Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Black Van

Just came in from a great evening with my friend Steve Wagner of Astropolitan Productions. We caught Satoshi Kon's new feature, "Paprika". Excellent anime.
He also did 'Paranoia Agent' (an OVA series), 'Millennium Actress' and my fav of his, 'Tokyo Godfathers'. The latter two being features.
I'm too full of tequila to draw and too addled by a night of top-notch Anime on the heels of a night seeing a fantastic production of Tom Stoppards, "Arcadia" at the Court Theatre to do anything but post.
So here!
There's a story. I have some "Flight" worthy stories in me if the would just return my calls *pout, arms akimbo*

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Schultz Sketchbook

I schlep a backpack normally; several moleskines, ink, pens and brushes. Books I like to limit to paperbacks because of weight. Lately, I've been keeping volume one and two of the Mark Schultz Sketchbooks close company. Can you blame me? I'll have my hands on number three soon. I pour over them often in admiration. I also have the "Gorrillaz:Rise of the Ogre" which is also, truly awesome. Here's a quick sketch from
the moleskine; a tiny crack at a direct swipe from a Schultz, then a larger "freeform" sketch.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Jack of Fables#14 Solicitation

Damn!This stuff just APPEARS! It's awesome, too! Another cover by Brian Bolland!
Wonderful,no? Again, I have to say how great it is to be with such great creative company. Of course, I'm as intrigued by what's happening here as you :~)
The guy with the guitar, you may remember, is Wicked John, Jack's doppelganger. There's some vigorous discussion about the nature of his guitar in the
forum; steel vs. nylon string, etc.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Moleskine; Women&Bridges

While I'm waiting on script from Bill and Matt I'm catching up on some long LONG overdue commission work through Court Gebeau and others. I'm also spending some time with my newly cracked moleskine "Women and Bridges". Yes, I name them so I can keep track of what's what. For instance, all the Jack of Fables work you see at breakdown and concept stages is in the moleskine "Broken Crown". Get it?
Yes, the Jack workbooks will be going up to auction for charities. The first image was a featured SFX in a dream I slogged through a night or two ago. There'll be more from that coming. Below that is a transcription of a couple of noodles from a dragsheet I was using to protect a page from getting smeared by my hand. The noodles ended up becoming too degraded to save so I just redrew them in the moleskine.

The Lonely Rice Chronicles

Since I'm throwing hollas, I have to holla at Tony Maldonado over at 'The Lonely Rice Chronicles'. He may be my oldest link in my list as he's way down there at the bottom.
Like Barry Crain, I always get a kick out of seeing Tony's sketches and noodles. It's also fun to spend time with him; he's a regular visitor at Dovetail (my lair and lab).
Scoot on over to his blog (linked above) and take a look at his art and question your worthiness ( I do...Question my worthiness, not question yours. Why, should I?).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I'm starting the entry off with James Jeans' provocative cover for this issue to take the sting out of what follows...which is nothing short of a gory exhumation and forensic reconstruction of the body of work that I submitted as Issue Ten. As I drew the issue, the Fables Forces had to initiated a tactical "re-arrangement" while on the march and Issue Ten became Issue Nine in order to protect the fast moving flanks of the Fables Juggernaut from enfilade. I love my crew, so it was no biggie.
I say "forensic" because the work and files sorta got lost in the wriggly-wrinkles of my brain, across the desktops and in the zippedy-zot wafers of two computers and suspended my email accounts data column going months back. I've spent over an hour reconstructing the corpse for this entry. Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty awesome corpse! I'm just trying to be clever. Which hurts...
Some of the DNA sequencing is spotty; Pages 9 and 10 are not loadable to this server, so you'll have to take your impression of these missing bits of evidence from the coroner's breaks. OK, you get my don your latex gloves, protective goggles (or your "Sunglasses of Justice")and make sure David Caruso doesn't sidle up next to me during the autopsy(that guy creeps me large).

Begin breaks; you'll notice that until others on the crew noticed and yanked my leash, I was trying to sail Jack with a rougish Van Dyke. Time and degrees of grooming figure into every life. So Jack's chin-whiskers went the way of Anne Coulter's panties at a GOP fundraiser. No lie. But I just pretended that there was radio interference when they said to loose Gary's beard, too.

I don't care how many starts you seem to have, the first page is always anxiety-ridden and awkward. For me at least. It's like I don't know dick about the book from the last issue. Seriously, until Cinders reminded me that I had forgotten to post this issue, I had forgotten about drawing this issue!

Noelle is inspired by a woman I dated a couple of years back. I believe that some women, like C, reach a "critical mass" in scale and beauty and either go bonkers or become super-models. C was the former. We'd get together and by the end of the night I'd wonder why I didn't think bring a shovel and a sack of lime.

As Shelly says, "This is a "hair" book."

This breakdown of of pages 4,5 and 6 are the last of this degree of scratching we'll see. Somewhere between this page and the next, a matter of an hour or less, I picked up a Hunt 513 and started using it to bring something more indelible to this stage of work. And when I say "indelible" I mean "lovely-and-all-wise-editor proof" :~D
Well,damn! He's INKED it! It must be good!

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

OK, so does panel 4 (below) read? I wanted Jack to appear to place dramatic emphasis on the dialog here by thrusting his junk into the air.

Here's them new breaks I was yammering about. Shiny, huhn?

Pages 7-8 contain some nice low-angle shots of Lady Lucks', um...demeanor. Advantageous this angle is in showing the contrails of airliners that may or may not be in the favor of her fortune.

Pages 9 and 10 I'll load at a later time. The files were Carusoed, I mean, corrupted .

You know, all those years storyboarding condescending talking waffles, obsequious boxes of tampons, feral dogs fugitive from the Outback selling car wax, spelling bunnies spared from predation and dancing dinnerware that disregard the Sabbath really pay off on this page!
Fuck! Look at those bastards jump!

Yes, that's the coveted iPhone.

Throughout the this arc I tried to present the casino as a real castle whenever and where ever possible.

Hey look! Bonus stuff! These are the attempts to beard-up our scoundrels for this arc.

Well, that's all I've got...keep reading Fables and Jack of Fables! But I don't have to tell you to do that, do I? Trust me, what's coming is so phuct up...It makes the Bush Administration look like Jessica Biel's butt: flawless.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Love Me My Don Cheadle...

Somehow Barry Crain is as convinced as I am that Don Cheadle is the right guy to play the role of me in the movie about, well...ME!
Hop on over to Barry's Hootennanny (in my links as Barely Sane) and check out his nipple-twisting Conan the Barbarian pages! Ouch!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"You're Totally Fucked"

I enjoy musical theater...You wanna make somethin' of it? I'll slip into Times Square to catch a show. The last one was "The Drowsy Chaperon" which was really, really great.
Tonight, the cast of "Spring Awakening" performed a medley at the 61st Tony Awards that blew my socks off. Then it took the Tony for "Best Show"! I love well crafted, scored and choreographed nihilism. Fucking go see this show. It's full of Anger, Rock&Roll and Sex. What is there to life that could be more fun?

Friday, June 08, 2007

I Had "Temporal Diaspora", That's It!

Really? You think it's bad waiting for the comic you most love in the universe (Jack of Fables) to get shipped to you? Just try LIVING with an issue! Don't get me wrong I love doing this for a living. But it does phuck up one's sense of time; panels and pages blurring together into an endless tiling of continuity; referring to previous issues for consistency in wardrobe and props...
So I FORGOT about drawing those 22 pages that made up issue 9...the ACTUAL issue 9, not the blog entry (below) that's really Issue 10! Thank you, Cinders (the Linkmaster) for calling that to my attention.
Just a reminder, "You Keep What You Kill." is NOT a wedding vow...Not a vow.
Why that's relevent? I'm sure someone will remind me.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It's All Coming Back To Me Now...

Firstly, 10-Gallon hats off to Andrew Pepoy for saving my ass and penciling pages 13-22 of Jack Of FABLES #9. For some reason...issue #10 is lurking in my memory as not-so-fun a ride, too. But I drew the whole thing...(didn't I?) I'll recall why when I find and post the pencils. Note that it has NOTHING to do with the marvelous creative team on the book!
So here's Breakdown (1-22) and Pencils for 9 (the pencils I did at least; 1-12).
I'll comment as I load...

Let's see (above), yes...another frightening coagulation of ink and tears,scrapes and stabs that will become something that will pass for comics! By The Hammer Of THOR, BEHOLD (below)!
A page! Wrought from the rarest ass-vapors of Hell's Lemurs! Astounding!
(whoa! Jack's hair is out of CONTROL!)

I do like the "Tumbling Dice" device that I drew for the title-pad (no that's not what it's really called).Below, Page 2 Panel 4 has one of my favorite "walk-throughs" of mundy-fodder; the mook dancing with LL...can't you just smell the patchouli reek?

The background for this and the next page is, of course, clover. But the brain I decided would be funnier on a bed of parsley.As brilliant as the breakdowns were for pages 4 and 5...

Shelly felt that I could make them even more brilliant, or even purdy (yeah,as if).

I generally think that if a panel is weak in the breakdowns, that I can pull off a winner by the time I get to the actual page. Editorial expects the same of me. But Panel 4 of Page 3 continued in weakness from breakdown stage through to final pencils. I think that this was a case of my trying to be clever with my comfort in selecting high, forced perspectives for some panels. What I believed would clarify a crowded image only ended up making it more confusing. Learn this lesson!

This was fun...
There's a reflexive comfort to drawing consumer goods and settings; twenty years in advertising. I refrained from lettering the products Jodie is buying even though I do enjoy suchs distractions. But then Andrew would have been tasked with lettering when he inked.

Forgive me, I'm still having some "plastic" issues with Jack...the price of my rubbery expressions. Panel 5 is waving a red flag; I believe that the jaw-line was altered in the inks (I can't say that I blame move, his jaw is quite heavy here). Sigh.

LOL, the middle tier of Page 8 makes me happy.

Over the course of the next few issues of JoF, you'll notice that my breaks will become a little more "comp" or developed. The closer that I can get to the right feeling for the page in the breaks, the fewer mind-grapes that get exhausted across the empty page. The problem arises in approximating that "special" energy and "english" that thumbnails seem to express so well. Compare Page 9 Panel 1 in the breaks to the corresponding Panel and Page that's fully penciled; the break seems to capture Jack's zeal better as a controlled scribble. I swear I'm gonna just bitch-out a book of continuity that's all thumbnails *gets down on knee, arms flailing to heaven, head back* I Swear This, By The HAMMER of THOR!

Page 9 Panel 4; Yes, this was covered with spit because of the sound effects I was making while drawing it.

Pris Page; yo, is that chick like ALWAYS strapped? That's Hot.

I took some liberty with the first panel of Page 11; revealing my ideas for some of the GB procedure for on-site retrieval,cataloging and sterilization. There are notes on the breaks for this page that explain. Bill and Matt may chose to employ this in the future or not. Of course, I may be just creating more work for myself and Bucky by giving the Wordsmiths reason to request a view of the warehoused fable-swag somewhere in the Revise facility.

This page says it all; CAPYBARAS!
Everything beyond this page Andrew penciled. Cursing me the whole way. Ah, comics.