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!

Jack of Fables #'d the Thirteenth!

Hello, again.
So here's some more art from Jack of FABLES!
Yes, it's sort of another half-assed blog entry, but LOVE those, right?
Truthfully, sometimes to get a book out on time Creators are called on to make sacrifices by sharing the workload. Jack is fortunate enough to have gads of talented people ready to step in when needed; Russ Braun is one of those talented folks. Russ and I will share some of the upcoming issues for scheduling reasons.
But don't worry (because you look very worried), I've just completed the entirety of JoF#15 and have 6-7 nice scripts lined up and ready to tackle!

Per usual, I'll lead off with breaks for the issue. Oddly, there are breaks to pages that I can't find the actual scanned pencils to. But you love a mystery, don't wittle mystewy marmots.

There's also a patch here. Sometimes a panel will get changed late in the game (after Andrew has already inked it) and I'll come in and re-draw and ink the new patch. I'll even adhere the patch to the page with my own highly adhesive bile, just like Toombs in that X FILES episode, but sexier.

Speaking of sex things; I had the luck to see the "FAMILY GUY LIVE" performance at the Chicago Theater last night. Paul Mounts secured tickets and I got to tag along with he and his son Logan and his friend Ari. It was a BLAST!
If you have a chance to see it, do it!

And now... some of Jack 13.

Man, looking at this you have to be glad that all this costs you is time!
What a half-assed show! I'm a-gonna make up for it to all y'all, no lie.
I've got some shit comin' that'll turn your poo purple!
Sure, laugh now. But when you sitting at a proctologist's office in a paper gown trying to stop the wave-after-wave of Barney earworms...well, you'll either thank me or wish a plague on my heart.

That's all I'm saying.