Monday, December 24, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

In The Meantime...

I was going through some past files samples...Like seeing old friends, this is.
If I've published these already, well...sorry.
These are pages from HELLBLAZER:Papa Midnight, a mini I penciled, Dan Green inked and Mat Johnson (Drop, IncogNegro) wrote.

Hope you enjoy these.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My First Ebay Auction!

After seven days of nail biting (galvanized ten-penny roofing)my first eBay auction went off like a rocket! My first Jack of Fables workbook, "Broken Crown", containing thumbnails, notes and character sketches for issues 11-15. I wanna thank all bidders and of course, the buyer...who may or may not chose to remain anonymous on this blog.

Of course, the real issue of doing this was whether or not I could manage a letting go of such a tidy volume of original work. You know...not a problem! I like the idea of reinforcing the fetish of possessing a bound body of art and sketches.

More of this will happen as I complete Moleskins every 4 months or so (eyes crossed and fingers peeled).


Hats off to the Fables/Jack of Fables team for being the TOP sellers at Vertigo!
A BIG doffing and bowing to Moleskine Guru Jim Woodring, cause he is the Master.
Go to his blog and wither before his brilliance!

...a wardrobe study for the Pathetic Fallacy ("Gary...or maybe Kevin.")from "broken crown".

Thursday, October 11, 2007

...And THEN, There Was A Band Called "A Flock Of SEAGULLS"

This is wild...Paul Mounts just emailed this over. Back in the mid-1980's we worked together at a studio, The Storyboard Studio. Wow, look at that tennis sweater I'm wearing. During the day I was always trying to score preppy night I'd stalk artbabes. Neither would have anything much to do with me. How you like me now, ladies? Lenin DelSol, Doug Heinlein, and the not-dead JJ Stadaema are in this photo.
Paul Mounts has crouched down behind me. Roy Hunt is kicking him. There was loads of kicking in those days. We worked really fucking hard 6-7 days a week. We were princes on North Michigan Avenue. Strange that Paul would send this to me this week...whenever I'm stressing (as I am now), these are the people and the location in time and geography that make up my dreams.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jack of Fables#15, Breakdowns(Unh!)& Pencils

OK, so I'm a little depressed...This issue, #15, will be the last issue you'll see me on until issue #21. I know, I know.

Let's just pretend that things are proceeding swimmingly. You go...look at the pretty pictures. Go on!

*turns head, bites knuckle to right hand*

Off to a scramble with a scribble is what my Grammie always said (not really, she was a deaf/mute, but could kick like a mule!). This is the first pass at getting the flow for Page #1: it didn't fly...

So I was prodded into doing a revised break, which works a little better. I was on the phone the other day with Alex Ross. He was incredulous when I told him that I submit thumbnails of my pages still. It's just a part of the process that makes the job easier for me in the long run.

LOL...I had to do this one over again, too. Normally Shelly would let me get away with this sort of thing. But she wants to make sure that I'm toeing the line now that I'm under Anglela's Editorship. The revised breakdown is a .tiff, which won't load on this site.

Ah, finally some real continuity. It was a treat having to draw three types of giants for this part of the story. I really wanted to make it seem that Wicked John had put some miles behind him in the course of his adventuring. So I tried to make the environment for each giant different.

Look, I'm just going the throw these up so you can look at what's what. I'm frustrated and bored and don't feel much like writing.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Newcity 2007 Best of Chicago, Redux

OK, so my ever-expansive, yet oh so fragile, sense of modesty must step aside in order to accommodate those of you who won't follow the title/link in the previous entry... I love you despite your forcing my hand to such brazen chest-thumping.
Here (unbeknown to yours truly and in a deft conspiring that would rival that of the mercurial dealings of ancient Rome's Senators...Whoah, I'm watching way too much "DEADWOOD") is the conclusion that the unfathomably talented and perceptive staff and contributors of Newcity found themselves confronting (yeah, far too much "DEADWOOD"):

"Best local mainstream-comic-book creator

Tony Akins

The “Big Two” companies, Marvel and DC, spent much of the past year fleecing their audiences with over-hyped, convoluted, company-wide crossovers that you need a PhD in Dorkology to follow. That’s why we love us our Vertigo books. One of our favorite titles from the DC imprint is the Eisner-nominated “Jack of Fables,” a spin off from Bill Willingham’s wildly popular “Fables” series. In penciling the adventures of Jack Horner, Tony Akins makes every facial expression count, from a devious eyebrow arch to a calculating smirk. We also love the way he draws Humpty Dumpty and Paul Bunyan, too."

Now, I can pass for holding, at best, a Bachelor's in Dorkology; never felt there was much need for anything beyond what I could put to proper use.

Again, thank you to Newcity. Hail to ALL of Chicago's local creators! Huzzah, VERTIGO! Viva, FABLEDOM!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Newcity 2007 Best of Chicago

Patrick Brower of Graham Cracker Comics sent me an email that completely wrecked my morning today...I mean, I hadn't even had coffee and I find this looking me square in the face!
Thank you Newcity!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mike Bell

These paintings hung in the DvA Gallery; a local gallery/frame shop here in Lincoln Park. The Astro Boy piece is what caught my 35mph attention as I cruised, then re-cruised past the storefront. I've only just managed to stop in at DvA this week to ask about the art, painted by Mike Bell. The Astroboy had sold, but the Mighty Mouse is still available. I'm refitting the studio/lair and this would be a great acquisition, no?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Get A SecondLife! In FABLETOWN?

There are few things that I miss about working in gaming...OK, maybe there's NOTHING I miss about working in gaming. But I do fondly recall laying out and designing worlds at an isometric (?) perspective. In fact, I do this still for my own enjoyment; using a precut tile template to use as a guide for a building sketch.

Here are a couple of the "idle" ones...

Goofy, I know. But it beats smoking to pass the hours.

Speaking of passing the hours, I'm fascinated by SecondLife. I'm not the only person. Last week I had officially caught up on ALL of my FABLES reading and just like when I was child reading Richard Scarey, I wanted to immerse myself in the geography and environs of the fiction. This means drawing...
At first I believed I was charting uncharted real estate, then I stumbled over Bill's maps of Bullfinch Street and the Farm. Undaunted, I kept on. What I gained from my stubborness was a good fix on what the addresses are on the street. Then based on Bill, Lan and Bucky's art I began to draw isometric elevations of Bullfinch buildings.


Why not? Besides, I'm waiting for script, so this is "me" time.

Here are the first Bullfinch drawings...

...and here is where the Madness begins.

Why can't WE have a Fables Community in SecondLife?
Where we could become our favorite Fables?
Avatars customized to character, spells, the buildings and places from the series?
There, I've dared to dream it. Who'll dare to Do it?

I'm looking at Bill and he's giving me the thumbs up (OK, so I'm imagining he'll do that).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jack of Fables#14 Production

Two gullet-wrenching, scrotum-shriveling JoF art entries in a single day!?


Again, where some of the pages have gotten to are of little concern to me at this stage; I just need to get these entries up to date! You don't mind, do you? So turn off the Emmy Awards and grab a piping hot mug of lung chutney and relax as I present art to pluck at your rods and cones.

We start, per usual, with the breakdowns for the ish. Again, I've taken to keeping all work at this stage in Moleskine workbooks.

It wasn't until I had progressed to the penciling of Page 2 that I realized this was a very potent image from my dreams. So all you psych-types have at reading into this.

In the script Bill had the Librarians all whispering in hushed tones. At the same time he had asked for them to be kitted out in start* gear. So the note to Angela in the break is to address this point.

Andrew popped an artery when he had to ink all the detail on the Librarians. Poppin' an artery is fine by me. I was really more worried that the sight and effort of these pages would liquify the contents of his bowels explosively, the resulting jet propelling him out of his seat and through a window to his demise. What? It's happened to me before. That's why I wear a helmet when I work. And cheap jeans...

Checking my perspective? Trust me,you'll only be disappointed. Editorial had me add the insert of Gus. This made the page work so much better.

* if you read Neal Stephenson, you know that this is his contraction for "state of the art".

Thanks for rezzin' by!