Monday, March 16, 2015

The Perfect Gig-Storm!

Warm air from a low pressure pinup system + a flow of cool, dry air generated by high pressure deadlines + tropical moisture provided by Hurricane Wolf Hands = the Perfect Gig-Storm!

That is my heavily researched (Wikipedia) metaphor for what the month of March has been like thus far, with a bunch of projects popping up, in addition to moving to a new place and getting Wolf Hands out on a regular schedule. Yep, it's been busy, and when you're in a tiny-ass boat getting tossed around by giant-ass waves, things get a little scary.

Why am I trying so damn hard to get you to visualize pictures in your mind box? This is an art blog. It's time to show off the fruits of my labor using actual pictures.

Big news: For the first time ever, I am a Creator Guest for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. As such, I wanted to be sure that I submitted something for the Souvenir Art Book this year. Since they don't want us revealing the image till it is printed, I have provided a snippet.

To tease and to tantalize.

It may or may not get picked for the book, but hey, there's a dinosaur on it, how could they say NO?

Had a few days to put this album cover together for my old pals of Puttin' On the Foil, an Okotoks band that is gaining quite a bit of popularity due to their drunken shenanigans and high energy tunes. I did their initial mascot drawing a few years ago, which you can see on their website.

They're always fun to watch and I really wanted to infuse this piece with the same energy they display on stage. This image is coloured slightly different from the one I passed on to them for the cover but I like it for the hot-hot colours and Mad Max vibe.

Seeing as how my sketch book is filled with lumbering naked, pudgy old men, doing a pinup for Steven Rosia's Muskoka comic was a no-brainer. He's been kicking all kinds of ass on his Kickstarter and from what I read in the preview, this book has some serious horror legs to stand on. Twas a pleasure to be a part of the campaign.

Did someone say "Legend?!?"

Huh? No? Oh, sorry...

Well, let's talk Legends anyway! Damian Wilcox, of Dorkboy fame, has been independently producing comics for 20 years now. He is a staple of the indie comics community in Calgary and was one of the earliest influences on my comic career. Since he is celebrating the anniversary with a collection of his work, I just had to provide a pinup. I nearly didn't make it in time, but I snuck this piece in based on one of the first Dorkboy comics I read, issue 5.5. Still a classic.

And of course the Alpha Comics Cover Challenge is still going strong. They really build up the artistic community  and its always a pleasure to visit the store, lay down some lines and joke around with everyone. I ended up getting second place for the Batgirl cover, special thanks to Judge Cameron Stewart. The jury (Chip Zdarsky) is still out on the Howard the Duck one.

And last but not least, i did some more concept work for music video director Doug Cook. I did a few different pieces but I really like this simple sketch of a band playing it up for/in spite of the prying eyes of Big Brother.

Now I shall get back to inking the remanants of Wolf Hands, as the Expo is ready to rear it's ugly (no, I mean, majestic and awe-inspiring) head, and there is much work left to be done.

Once more into the breach, my friends. 





Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like WOLF-Mas!

This will probably be my final post for the year so I'm definitely ending on a high note. I worked super hard throughout December to have a very special Holiday Episode of Wolf Hands ready for debut on Christmas Day. Justin wrote up this fun little tale for last year's holidays but I just couldn't fit it into the schedule. I knew I couldn't let it pass me by again.

The reaction has been pretty great thus far. Speaking of which, Justin and I received a great review from the legendary Aint It Cool News. I've been reading that site since news of the first X Men film was being snatched up in 1999, so it feels great to be a part of it in some way. Read the review HERE.  (It's about half way down.)

You can read the Wolf Hands Xmas Special and catch up with Season One by clicking HERE.

And in big news, you can expect Season Two to begin airing on Sunday, February 1st! I'll be making some promo art soon to celebrate this fact in style, haha!

Until then, happiest new year to you all, my friends!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

CANADIAN PULP - Week 6: The Road to Apeldoorn




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War stories are a main staple of pulp comics and books so I did some research into Canada's role in the second World War, searching for an historical event that I could add some of the pulp flare to. I stumbled upon Apeldoorn, a key battle in the liberation of the Netherlands, an event for which the Dutch people still donate 1000s of tulips to Canada annually. More details about the battle can be found HERE. The image of blood stained tulips and flaming windmills popped into my pretty early, and I knew they would be perfect for an action packed war tale.

The pose of the two main characters was definitely the biggest challenge for this one. I always do photo reference but I really should have nabbed a couple friends to photograph together because two spliced images of me holding me just didn't really cut it. I honestly think the earlier sketches have some better posing than the final but I'm still pleased with the final image, especially the colours.

And with that, the CANADIAN PULP series is complete. It was a very rewarding experience and lots of fun working with the Art Director of FFWD magazine. Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to create more work for them soon.

As we are nearing the completion of 2014, I've been reviewing all of the work that I submitted this year and I'm pretty pleased with the output. Wish I could post some of the pages of pitches I've been doing but that is all still in the air. Perhaps 2015 is the year they will find a home!

But until then, I have one more art bomb to drop. On Christmas Day. A special holiday treat for all you lycanthrophiles out there.

See ya soon.

CANADIAN PULP - Week 5: The Bride Says Die!




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There are plenty of great ghost stories in Alberta alone, but one of the most famous is that of the "doomed bride" of the Banff Springs Hotel.  She was even featured on a collector's coin created by the legendary Mr. Sam Weber. There are several different version of this story and I sort of combined them all together for this pic. I really wanted it to be a period piece, to reference old school horror films, and really convey that gothic, ghost story feel.

I also wanted to create a piece that focused very closely on a character's face, letting his expression convey the horror of the situation, more so than some grotesque image. I did a lot of sketches trying to push the facial expression and the hands of our haunted groom. I really like the title for this one too...not necessarily the typography though... so damn tricky.

Next (and final) week: WW2.

CANADIAN PULP - Week 4: Through Hell They March




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I just couldn't get through an examination of Canadian history without a few mounties. I didn't have too much time to research for this entry so I drew upon some of my previous knowledge gained when creating a comic for my Information Illustration class in Year 4. You can view the whole thing HERE.

This was one of the tougher compositions to nail down as you can see through the extra roughs. There were a lot of elements but I really wanted to focus on something a bit different from the previous entries. I figured the locust would be really fun to draw and help this piece stand out among the rest.

The colours were quite tricky on this one as well, as I wanted the image to convey heat, danger, and well, the Gates of Hell, yet the reds and flesh tones all started blending together. I was a bit worried about how it would print but it turned out quite well. I think this one has my favourite typographic treatment of all of them, the most pulpy looking I reckon.

Next week: Ghosts!

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



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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!