Sunday, October 12, 2014

This Little Piggy: A Dusty Folk Opera

I had the immense pleasure of collaborating with the old Trout Puppet Workshop over the summer, creating a comic for the program of their latest show This Little Piggy. The deadline on this was crazy tight, but I am really pleased with how the story came out. Big thanks to Pete Balkwill for being a great collaborator on this, and helping to push my work into some strange new places.

CANADIAN PULP - Week 3: One Tough Cookie


Initial Colours



Rough Pencils 2

Rough Pencils 1

Second Rough

First rough

I went through a lot of roughs and revisions for this piece but I was pretty pleased with the final, so it was all worth it. I knew one of my pieces had to draw upon the pulp mythology of the femme fatale and I really wanted to spotlight a heroic lady from Canada's past. Marie Anne Gaboury was first on my mind. Probably known most famously for being the grandmother of Louis Riel, she was also a courageous adventurer, a real pioneer. You can read about some of her exploits here.

My first rough wasn't quite dynamic enough for me, so I revised it with Marie Anne in a more dynamic pose. My first crack at the pencils had her looking a little too posed, too regal. I wanted her too be tough, capable, strong. I nearly went with the initial colours for the final but realized at the last minute that it didn't quite have those pulp colours. So I jazzed it up a bit with some fiery reds and damn, if that didn't do the trick.

Next week: Mounties!

CANADIAN PULP - Week 2: Engines of Malice

Final Image




I'm a bit behind in updating my blog, but the CANADIAN PULP series for FFWD has wrapped up, so I'm jumping back on board the process wagon to show off the rest of the series. This image was inspired by horror films comics and definitely has that "Mignola vibe."

It refers to the story of how Dead Man's Flats, Alberta received it's name. There are a couple different legends about its dark origins but the one I chose involves two brothers who moved out West to do some logging. One became convinced that the other had planted electrical engines in the forest that were controlling his mind and actions, so he murdered his brother with an axe and dumped his body in the river. Chilling stuff. Perfect for Canadian Pulp!

Next week: Femme Fatale!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

CANADIAN PULP - Week 1: Bear Child

Final Image



Rough Pencils

Original thumbnail

Last week was the debut of CANADIAN PULP: my six week illustration series running in FFWD. Each week depicts a moment in Canadian history as seen through a pulp fiction lens. I always thought the Americans were really good at glorifying and exploiting their history for narrative sake, and I really think Canada also has a history rich with action, adventure and horror, making it the perfect subject for some pulpy illustrations. And if we learn a little bit about our nations history in the process, then super bonus!

Week 1 focuses on Jerry Potts, who I've referenced in my work before, in this Mountie comic for my fourth year illustration class. You can find out a bit about him here on Wikipedia.

Next week: horror!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fight Comics, Kick Starts!

Jason Mehmel's Fight Comics: Volume 2 was released last April at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and I was very excited to have a story featured within. Vol. 2 features work by other great local artists Ben Rankel, Jackson Gee, and G. Gerald Garcia. You can read the story online HERE.

Here are the pages sans text.

My goal with this story was basically to fill it with as many figures as possible, using various action techniques, each move should lead to the next. The added bit of fun was having the lead character dress himself as he fought, which complicated things exponentially, but made it a hell of a lot of fun.

I'm still hard at work on the Dash Bradbury pitch, but in the meantime, one of my collaborators, Jesse Young, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his anthology Here We Go! It's a great collection of comic tales with some fantastic art that stretches over several genres. Visit the site and show Jesse some love!

The next six weeks will be pretty exciting as I have an illustration series running in FFWD magazine. I will post images as they are released, along with a peek into the process. I've been wanting to draw for FFWD for so damn long, I just can't wait to show you what I've done up to for them. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Springtime, the Only Pretty Ring Time

Well, I told myself that after school wrapped, I would increase my presence in the comic community and get back to doing some travelling. Happy to report that things are trucking right along and this has been a most busy spring indeed.

Here is the monster sized blog update to prove it!

The Emerald City Comicon took place at the end of March and I had the pleasure of attending, and taking in some of the sights and sounds of the gorgeous city of Seattle. I drove down with Jason Mehmel (looking straight up Street Thug in this photo from the docks) and Young Neil Lalonde. Jackson Gee and Chris Doucher (of Comic Book Therapy) made for some fun hotel roomies and I met a lot of cool folks.

Listening to the Silmarillion audio tapes as Jason and I drove home through the misty Rocky Mountains was another highlight. As well as the crazy cool store filled with mummies, Fiji mermaids and this lovely soothsayer.

...I wish I was big...

The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo flew by a few weeks ago. I shared a table with my pals Justin Heggs and Jason Mehmel. I chatted to lots of great people as usual, sold some comics and sketches and spent some time drinking with great comic folk that I don't always get to see. The 4 day con definitely drained my energy, but the experience was so wonderful and upbuilding, I really can't wait till next year. This was my brand new banner in action:

And here are some of the sketches that I whipped up over the 4 day comic extravaganza:

Rocket Raccoon!

Supes and Chubby Batman!


A special request by Andrew Foley (an inside joke from a podcast) for Magneto with his weird helmet horns flipped down into a killer stache! 

Mike C. has been getting sketches from me for years now and I finally feel like my work is at a place where it's worth it. He always requests unique subjects that are out of my sphere of influence and it's always great to take a crack at new characters. Really enjoyed taking reference from the Pogo strip, clearly an influence on Jeff Smith's art style, and a beautiful example of brushwork.

Red Sonja, ready to kick some more ass.

Flash with a Queen injection!

Meow meow. (That hand took forever.)

Cap's shield.

The Black Cat, meow.

Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet.

One of the best nights during the Expo was pizza and drinks at the Hop n Brew. In spite of a surprise swarm of drunken, farting bananas on a pub crawl led by the Cyanide and Happiness crew, we all had a great night.

So let's talk Free Comic Book Day! Chris Peterson and I did free sketches for folks at Alpha Comics and it was a great time, filled with joy and warm feelings, as you can see in the photo below:

Chris Doucher conducted a great interview with Chris and I moments before the store opened. You can listen to it right HERE.

I really love drawing for people, especially watching little kids' faces light up to get their very own drawings of Spiderman and Wonder Woman.

Here are a few more I did throughout the day:

Rocket Raccoon


The one and only Doop.

So yeah, things have been busy, and I've been loving every minute of it!