Thursday, March 30, 2006

Night Time

"Night Time" is a short comic story I wrote and drew a couple of years ago for a great local literary magazine, Taddle Creek. They had let me draw a story for them once before, when they first began running a short piece of "illustrated fiction" (why, oh why can't we just call them comics?) in each issue, and I always liked how the editor just let me go ahead and do whatever I wanted, without needing to submit an outline or anything -- a kind of freedom that I've experienced very rarely.

Anyway, the editor even let me set how many pages I needed, and I stupidly told him I only needed four; even though I didn't even have any idea at that time what I was going to write. After I wrote it and laid it out, of course, I found out I needed a bit more space but by then the page count had been set. So, I actually decided to go with what I thought at the time was the strangest of all possible layouts -- a 15 panel grid. In the end though, I think that the grid was the best design decision for the story. It forced a "beat" and structure to what was, essentially, a very impressionistic story about memory.

I drew roughs on grid paper, using post-it-notes to replace/correct panels and copy. The final art was drawn with brush pens and markers, one tier at a time over 4 days. I have to thank Claudia for doing all the scanning and amazing digital cleanup.

I was happy enough with this story that I later collected it up into a mini-comic in a slightly different format. The story as it appeared in Taddle Creek was a finalist for the National Magazine Awards (finalist, not winner) and the mini-comic got a very kind review in the local Toronto weekly, the eye.

I'm currently working on another, much longer format story in a similar style which I'm hoping will find a publisher when its complete.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Toronto back alleys pt 4

Here's another drawing of the back alleys around my neighbourhood in downtown Toronto. Maybe they remind you of back alleys in your neighbourhood as well.

In keeping with the other recent drawings, I'm dedicating this one to another good friend of mine. This one's for Joyce, who moved out west a while ago but whom I hope will move back home to Toronto again sometime.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

At the bus terminal...

I drew this up after a lunchtime conversation with my buddy J. last week, so I'm dedicating this to him. Being an excellent cartoonist and illustrator, J. has some fantastic stuff on his blogs and he was the one who got me started with all this blogging in the first place. You can check it out yourself and be impressed by his work -- his blogs are in my links section.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Computer crashes make me grumpy.


My computer crashed on me twice recently, forcing me to re-do hours of work on an illustration that I was trying to get in for deadline. So, in frustration, I'm posting this drawing from my files.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

back to the shore...

Another two-colour drawing, done in markers on watercolour paper. This one was drawn late at night, after working on other assignments.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Not much time this week for new sketches due to deadlines, but here's an old one from my files. I leave it to you to write your own captions...

Friday, March 10, 2006

at the next station...

Another sketch of trains and train stations, drawn with markers while listening to the same CDs.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

long, long gone...

I drew this sketch up while listening to some new CDs I bought at Soundscapes, a great local CD shop which is open late and has an awesome selection. It was drawn with pitt pen markers on watercolour paper.

I'm going to dedicate this one to a certain nameless friend out east who is going to absolutely HATE this drawing. This one's for you, buddy ...!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby is King!

I really love the art of Jack Kirby. I've spent years studying his work, and have never grown tired of looking at it. It's just so unique and powerful. One of the nice things that's happened since his death is the amount of scholarship and care being put into maintaining his legacy. There are many sources online and in print of great Kirby art and information. For me, like countless other fans, the benefit of it all has been seeing some the wonderful rare work he left behind, like photocopies of his original pencil art or personal drawings and self-rejected pages.

Here are some Jack Kirby pencil drawings that were scanned in from magazine sources and then printed out and inked by me. I am in no way pretending that I can ink Kirby as well some of his inkers like Mike Royer or Joe Sinnott -- I was just having fun inking some drawings by the master and trying to learn what I could. I kind of view inking a Kirby drawing like doing the adult, professional equivalent of colouring a colouring book -- a fun diversion for an afternoon and pretty much foolproof as long as you stay within the lines.

Thanks always to Jack Kirby, who left behind such a rich resource of material for future students to learn from.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Rockets Go!

Ok, as a little break from those Peak Oil doodles, here are a couple of sketches of rockets, girls, and outer space from my files. They were drawn in a poor attempt at homage to two of my favourite sci-fi artists: Wally Wood and Al Williamson.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

But what about...

Its all bad.

It takes oil to drill for oil. And as the stuff gets harder to pump out, its gonna cost even more money and oil to suck it out of the ground and refine it. At some point, it'll cost more oil to pull it out than they'll be getting back. That's the scary part. So we'll never run OUT of oil -- it'll just become too expensive to try and get it out.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Its coming, people...!

Here's a drawing I did after lunch with my friend Robert today. I'll apologize to him now for the extremely bad likeness, but I was bit freaked out after he told me more about the Peak Oil crisis. He told me some of it last time we met up, almost 6 months ago and it terrified the daylights out of me then, but this time it sounded even worse!

If you don't know what Peak Oil is, you can google it and be terrified as well...