Thursday, October 25, 2007

Iron Gelatomettista Challenger - Francis Manapul!

For anyone who's been following the Iron Gelatomettista challenges here, the name Francis Manapul should be all too familiar. Not only was he the first challenger to step into the ring, but he also beat four of our own 'mettistas in his last round here back in July. A dark day for the blog indeed!

Not only is he a threat here on the internets, but he can also hold his own on the comic racks with such upcoming titles as The Legion of Super-Heroes appearing in December, Iron and the Maiden in November and Sept Guerrieres from Editions Delcourt in 2008. The point here is that he's good, very good even, but then the artist he's facing off against this time is no slouch either: Jim Lee.

You didn't really think Jim was going to sit idly by and watch Francis walk away with the crown, did you? Ha, ha.

Post your choice of two characters below and come back at the end of next week to catch all of the action as Jim Lee faces Francis Manapul!

I'm OK, you're OK


Thanks to all who sent their well wishes in regards to the fires which have literally besiged San Diego. Some of the people from WildStorm were forced to evac from their homes but everyone is accounted for and safe. There was a large but smaller fire back in 2003 (Cedar Fire) and the city and county learned from their mistakes from that disaster and the handling of this fire though much larger in scope and scale has been a lot better. The evacing has gone fairly smoothly as the 911 reverse calling system calls people at their homes with notifications to move out as the fires' way. Determining that has been the tricky part as the Santa Ana winds are particularly strong and are changing direction a lot. Shelters are well run. Saw on the news that there were as many volunteers at Qualcomm stadium as there were displaced people at one point. I'm actually buying supplies to take down to the shelter. Apparently handi-wipes are a needed item as people don't have access to showers and need to clean off. Last thing I would have thought to be in short supply.

Tons of people were forced out of their homes but the losses have been primarily property with about 1800 homes destroyed thus far. But estimates are still vague.

I'm close to the ocean so we've been unaffected except for the smoke, heat and general bad air conditions. Eyes are perpetually raw etc and the headaches from the poor air quality make working a bit more difficult. Can't get away from the smoke even indoors. It's hot but I've not even been running the ac and as few of the appliances as possible to conserve electricity as part of the power grid is down and getting overloaded.

First night (Sunday) was bad enough that I ended my normal drawingfor the night early and laid down and put water compresses on my eyes. I'm sure it was made worse by the fact that I was up in Del Mar earlier that Sunday afternoon. That valley was sucking in a lot of hot air and smoke from the large fires due east and the skies were a dark gray with ash and leaves with debris flying about from the heavy winds as the sun burned a dark red in the hazy sky. It started up fast and got bad quickly. No immediate danger tho as that was still miles from the fire site; in fact, from La Jolla, you wouldn't know about the fires except for the smell and smoke in the distance. The streets are fairly empty which is very unusual. Can't imagine how awful it would be to be closer and feel the intense heat and smoke.

Things are still chaotic today (Wednesday) but the winds have died down a bit making efforts to fight the fire a bit easier and a lot of relief workers have come from other parts of California and the US to help.

As I mentioned, WildStorm is fine...voluntary work attendance as the mayor has asked people to not go to work in general to allow relief workers easy access to all parts of the county. Lots of friends have been evaced but all are safe and sound staying with friends. Exact nature of damage won't be known for a week or so after the weather changes which is expected by this weekend.

Thanks again for the inquires. I've been meaning to put up a number of blog entries but it seems only bad news gets me motivated to post...will need to rectify that and now!

Above, is a black and white of the Heroes TPB cover. It's the one for the Direct Market.

Alex Ross did the mass market one and nailed the likenesses. Portraits aren't my thing but I had a great time doing the piece. Here's a link to the color one on TV of small and doesn't do justice to Dave Stewart's awesome colors. Will see if I can get a larger file.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Firestorm 2007

(entry ricH)

It's been a rough couple of days here in San Diego and today is really going to dictate how a lot of this whole wildfire thing is going to play out. For many people's homes today is going to be the make or break as the fires move west. About 4 years ago we had a fire that they say was smaller than this and it was the worst thing I'd ever been through in terms of a natural disaster. Smoke slowly filled my house as ash rained down everywhere, it was dark at about 2 PM, my carbon monoxide detectors started going off (which really freaked me out because where the hell was I going to go, it was even worse outside)...and then the power went out. It was just this weird silence as you tried to figure out what to do next.

They can't even really fight the fire at this point. The weather conditions are too extreme. The winds have really kicked up in the last hour which is bad news. The fire fighters basically have to wait until it threatens enough homes and then they make a 'last stand' to try and save as many homes as they can, then they move on to a new neighborhood. 1,250 homes have been lost already.

I know several Wildstormers have been evacuated from their homes, and many other friends and families have been or are being affected by this as well. They are saying all total right now 513,000 people(as of 2:30 PM) have been evacuated from their homes in San Diego county.

So please keep everyone in San Diego in your thoughts. Especially all the fire fighters, military and police trying to help with saving peoples homes and their lives.


UPDATE 5:30pm 10/23 on Comic Book Resources:
CBR News spoke with three more members of the San Diego comics community Tuesday evening. Wildstorm founder and Editorial Director Jim Lee wrote to say that their offices aren't at risk and while about 15% of the company's employees have been forced to evacuate, everyone is safe and accounted for. "There was a big, but smaller fire, back in 2003 and the city and county learned from their mistakes and the evacs have gone pretty smoothly as the 911 reverse calling system calls people at their homes with notifications to move out as the fires change direction and threatens new neighborhoods," Lee told CBR News. "Shelters are well run. I saw on the news that there were as many volunteers at Qualcomm stadium as there were displaced people. I'm actually buying supplies to take down to the shelter. Apparently handi-wipes are a needed item as people don't have access to showers and need to clean off. Tons of people were forced out of their homes, but the losses have been primarily property with about 1000 homes destroyed. But estimates are still vague.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Iron Gelatomettista Champs - D'Anda & Lopez!


Hey y'alls, first and foremost, Mike and I want to thank Jason and Edwin for participating in this latest challenge.... let me tell ya', from all the challenges I've done so far, this one was a BEAST!!!

I hate what I did with Mike's pencils... we ended up doing this in about 70 minutes and that is NOWHERE near enough to finish a full color piece! BUT I guess that's why the damn thing is called a challenge! :)

So, thanks again to our challengers, Edwin and Jason, and to everyone who voted!


Friday, October 19, 2007

Iron Gelatomettista - Lopez & D'Anda's Conan!

Finishes by Carlos D'Anda and initial sketch by Michael Lopez.

Vote for them by posting a comment below!

Iron Gelatomettista - Johnson & Rosell's Conan!

Finishes by Edwin Rosell and initial sketch by Jason Johnson.

Vote for them by posting a comment below!

Iron Gelatomettista - Conan!

We got a little head-start this time, so here they are!

Side-by-side! (Don't vote here.)

Final voting ends at Monday, 5:00pm PST.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Iron Gelatomettista -
Lopez & D'Anda vs. Johnson & Rosell!

It's time for another tag-team throwdown!

In this corner, we have WildStorm alums, Jason Johnson and Edwin Rosell. The penciler and inker, respectively, of such titles as Wetworks and Gen13: Interactive. Nowadays, they're both living the high-rez life as video game concept artists, but still remain faithful to their first true love: comics!

In the other corner, Iron Gelatomettista favorites, Michael Lopez and Carlos D'Anda will step into the ring to pick up the gauntlet against their old studiomates.

Who will rise to the challenge? Who will feel the pain? Who will they DRAW?

Well, post your choice of a single character for them to choose and they'll do what they do best, Friday at 5:00pm PST!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Big Headed


Waddup y’alls. Hope you all had a good weekend.

Anyway, on Friday, I was checking out some Painting books I wanted to get from Amazon, and that got me in the mood to do something a bit ‘painterly’ using Photoshop. I think Mike Lopez and I were checking out a book of Gustav Klimpt here at the studio, and that got me thinking a lot about silhouettes…. So, this piece here was basically an exercise in that… coming up with a simple silhouette first, and then flesh it out from the outside in without much regard to anatomy, limb placement, etc.

In this case, I wanted to use a cartoony shape, something that could have very easily been a Pokemon or something ‘softer’, but instead, used that outline and made it into some kind of bulky soldier. This took me about an hour or so, mainly I just wanted to play with color and outlines and have fun and not worry so much about it looking ‘finished’.

Peace y’alls!

Carlitos D’

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Black Cat


what's happenin' y'all? thought i'd share another sketch i did.

probably the second black cat i've ever done. i think it's pretty cool for a con sketch because i like the skintight shiny black outfit. i did a white queen that i'll post soon with a shiny white outfit too.

till then, hope you like it, see ya. mike

Thursday, October 11, 2007

You looking at me?


I finished another piece for Brian Stryker, last night after work. I stayed at the studio 'till nearly midnight too. Back in March, I did a "Gambit/Rogue" Nome remix piece for him and recently did the "Iron Fist" for his brother, Kevin. Thanks guys!

Below, I've included the prelim, which I decided to flip for the final, final figure pencils, half-way point with inks and the final with background.

Chamber was always one of my favorite Generation X members, both as a character and visually. Doing this piece was a lot of work but I had a blast. I was channeling some Bachalo with his energy signature and personally, this is one of my favorite pieces I've done so far. Hope you like:)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007



What up kirbyites? I heard they were in production on a new Thundercats CGI movie and it made me want to post my own picture.

I loved the cartoon and did it back in the day when I heard WildStorm was going to do the book. Enjoy the flavors.

Monday, October 08, 2007



Here's a Cap piece I did back in March right before Wizard World LA. I was just going through my art files and came across this piece and wanted to share.

My first stab at Cap and I think it came out well. Hope you like. :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

La Jolla Landslide


Little more than ten minutes away from the studio, this was the scene, Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, and thankfully, everyone here is safe and sound.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007



What up folks? Kirby here with some shout outs. First off, BIG up to my homie, Mr. Nome for constantly trying to step up his art hand (keep it strong and be yourself when shaking the flava tree. I got ya back son).

Also, please keep an eye out for Adam Warren's EMPOWERED Vol. 2 hitting the stands today (the man is a genius, pay attention to what he's doing. holla atcha boy).

Plus, I highly recomend the album "monstermaker" by dj Sharkey and C-Rayz Walz. I love this album. It has a Gnarls Barkley feel, but higher energy and more consistant vibe.Last but not least, check for Kanye's new album - sh!t$ good.

peace people

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wonder Woman Day II


Here is a piece I just finished a few minutes ago for the Wonder Woman Day 2 charity auction in New Jersey on Oct. 29.

I love the tones and contrasts you can get from working on the gray paper. As for the minor redesign, it's just me adding some of my flavor to an iconic heroine.

Now, as for my pick for who should be cast as Wonder Woman...Britney Spears. She's already hit rock bottom a few times and this would be a great way for her to make a real comeback. Plus, she looks decent as a brunette and just needs to get back in pre K-Fed shape. We know she has the acting chops and she would do a killer theme song!

Go Britney! Holla!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Whiteout Lotus Thumb!


Hey yall's, how's it goin? Here is an "Iron Fist" commission I did over the weekend for Kevin Stryker.

Before I started on it, I read all the issues of the new series and absolutely loved it. I am now an Iron Fist fan.

I'm happy with how this piece turned out, especially the "Whiteout Lotus Thumb" technique that I honed under the tutelage of WildStorm Grandmaster, Jim Lee.