Saturday, November 29, 2008

A page of faces.

You can see I stuck with some and didn't bother finishing with some others. I'm updating my website shortly and I needed a few odds and ends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Switching to

I'm switching to Ask. com.
I've been using Google since the founders were as poor as I am. Google is now too big and doing some things I don't agree with; such as positioning themselves to be the copyright registration service, putting photos of everyone's home on Google maps, ignoring half the internet in their search results, laying off thousands of workers without having to report it as required by a publicly-traded company, and circumventing copyright laws with their library project.

Yes, Google owns Blogger. Not sure what to do about that yet.

Spooner Cover

I'm awaiting proofs for the new Spooner books and they should be available next week. This is the cover for the Sunday comics. The daily strips will be published in two volumes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Two heads.

A little jpeg while I wait for my scanner to get here.  Two Happy, lonely heads.

p.s. Never fall in love with an aftermarket scanner. Acquiring replacements can send you to the dark corners of ebay.


Highlights High Five Magazine

I have a full-page illustration in the December issue of Highlights High Five Magazine on stands now.

Go pick up a copy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


We went to see "Wicked" on Saturday.
It was our second time to see it, we also saw it last year, but since they announced the Chicago production of "Wicked" will ring down its final curtain after its 1,500th performance at the Oriental Theatre in January, we decided to take some family along with us and get them hooked on the tale of the witches, Galinda and Elphaba.
By the time the show closes in January, more than 3 million people in Chicago will have seen it in its 3 1/2 year run.

It's my favorite musical. I love the Wizard of Oz and I love this amazing stage production. But I really, really love this wonderful story that has been woven into a story that everyone already knows. I love how it all comes together at the end. Pure genius!

Anyway, go see it if you can, you'll be glad you did.

Free Dr. Pepper

Thanks, Guns N Roses!

Friday, November 21, 2008

LIFE Magazine images

1. Go to
2. Click on: New! Search the newly digitized LIFE photo archive.

Search millions of historic photos
Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.

3. Type in something fun like: "CARTOONIST."

Find something awesome like this photo of Johnny Hart:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Totally Off Topic

It's no secret that my favorite band ever is Guns N' Roses (The Handsome Family comes a close second).
I have followed them before they were known to most people. I have been to three concerts, I have bought multiple copies of their mom sewed a bunch of GNR patches all over a denim jacket for me and I wore that jacket throughout high school and I have it hanging in my closet today.

I can't explain it, their music really speaks to me.

Axl Rose is in my top three people to meet before I die. I would love to spend one hour with him, I have tons of questions to ask.

Sunday is a big day for me, after 16 years, Guns N' Roses has a new album out called Chinese Democracy.
It's exclusively sold at Best Buy...and on iTunes of course.
I will be there on Sunday morning to pick up my copy.

Dr. Pepper was so sure Chinese Democracy would not come out this year, that they guaranteed to give everyone in America a free Dr. Pepper if Chinese Democracy was released in 2008. And now they've announced they'll pay up.

Needless to say, in my studio next week, we'll be blasting some Chinese Democracy!

Christmas on My Mind

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holiday piece

Superboy Redux

If Michelangelo was a comic book artist.

Work in Progress

This is for a story I hope to have completed within the next twenty years or so.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sam the Reader

I had this piece of Bristol board sitting on my drawing board and it was begging for ink.
So I decided to just draw on it and see what happened ... no planning, just making up as I went along.
It was fun.

Ink on bristol board

Monday, November 17, 2008

100,000 Visitors!

We're coming upon the two-year anniversary of our little blog here and I just noticed we got our 100,000th visitor!

Mostly our visits come from Ted, Wes and myself checking in to see if anyone posted "those pictures" from our Christmas Party last year. Trust no one!

Congratulations to our 100,000th visitor. Your secret decoder ring is "in the mail."

Ya'll come back now, ya hear?!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wall of Fame

I got this photo the other day in my e-mail.

Mike Knudson, author of the Raymond and Graham series and myself made the "Wall of Fame" in Mrs. Thunem's 6th Grade Class at Sanborn Elementary School in Arizona.

Pretty neat honor!

Grubbs Trade Paperback

This is the cover for the Grubbs trade paperback. We're getting closer to having the comic books printed and released. Grubbs is also now appearing in several weekly newspapers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Just a sketch.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Supreme Blogger

This is off topic, but I found it interesting that the Supreme Court has a blog.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

From the Ol' Mail Bag ...

I got some fan mail from the students at one of the schools "Raymond and Graham" author, Mike Knudson and I visited a while back.

I love seeing how kids draw the characters I've created. Neat stuff!
I'll post more as soon as I get them scanned in.

Thanks kids!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Making Potholders

I believe I have found my true calling. Made potholders with my daughter this week for an upcoming homeschool craft fair.

It was very therapeutic. Nice to have something to do with her, and keep me away from the computer or thinking about work.

It reminds me of an old Archie comics story, drawn by the great Harry Lucey. Fred Andrews, Archie's pop, finds out the family doctor, his golfing buddy, cross-stitches. Fred is appalled and vows not to hang out any more with such an unmanly man, and find a new doctor.

His wife Mary says, "You go ahead. Find yourself a manly doctor who's all thumbs. I'll stick with one who has a steady hand, sharp eyes and knows how to use a needle." 'Course, he then sees his prejudice and the error of his thinking.

Could be it's good for us to find other hobbies that will help keep our fingers limber and minds clutter-free. Too much time at the drawing table can cramp up both.

What If Norman Rockwell Had Been Italian?

I ran across a wonderful site that has catalogued the cover art of Italian illustrators who contributed to La Domenica del Corriere (The Sunday Courier), the Sunday insert for Corriere della Sera, which was published from 1899 to 1989. The insert featured a weekly full-page illustration dramatically depicting events in the news.

I browsed through the cover illustrations, particularly those of Walter Molino and Achille Beltrame. They are up there with the best illustrators of that era, and it's fascinating to see the skill and imagination with which to dramatize even the most mundane news items... and when the subject is an exciting one, they really let themselves go after it.

I think the awesome work of these illustrators shows that even though photography has virtually replaced illustration, there are some things that only a skilled illustrator can do. Illustration is making something of a comeback, but publishers seem to lack the vision of what great illustrations can do for a publication. Browsing through these cover illustrations show what we're all missing today. Besides that, they're just incredibly fun to look at.

You can look through the collection of cover illustrations here. It's in Italian, so you can look for the box that says Per Autore (search by author/artist), or use Google to translate the page.

An artist's work is often defined by the era in which he lives... and what the illustration market is willing to pay for. I had to wonder what Norman Rockwell's covers would have been like if he had been born in Italy! Or what kind of work Michaelangelo or Leonardo would be doing if they lived in the modern age. (Actually, Leonardo is still virtually working in this age. NASA's new anthrobots are intrinsically based on his robot schematics.) And what would it have been like for me to have worked during the Golden Age of illustration?

It's our job to keep the industry alive, to try new things, make sure illustrators' rights are recognized, and to keep having fun while we do it. The past has a lot to contribute to the future as well, through artists like Molino and Beltrame. I'm certain I've absorbed a little Italian tabloid-illustrationism into my system this week, and that it'll find its way into my illustrations here and there.

Another page of Obama Rally Sketches

Click image to enlarge.

Obama Rally Sketches

Actually, more like notes ....


Men. Women. Children. People of all colors. It was a amazing night!
The Obama Rally in Grant Park in Chicago was spectacular.

Here are some photos:

Some crowd shots:

A family poses for photos:

"GOATS FOR OBAMA" On the other side, the goat said "We Need Change BAAAAAAAAAD!"

Lots of people posed in front of this giant portrait of Obama:

My lovely wife and her husband:

The moment we were all waiting for:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted.

And I voted.

Tonight, my wife and I hope to join the other million + people at the Obama rally, also known as Obamapalooza, at Grant Park in Chicago. We figured we may never get this chance again to be in the crowd with the senator of our state the night he is elected President of the United States. And there's that whole historic first African-American President of the United States thing too. :-)

We won't be in the official "I got a Golden Ticket!" crowd, we'll be in the spill-over crowd, but we'll get to see the election results and so forth on a Jumbo-Tron and hopefully get to see at least one person dressed up as Uncle Sam.

I'll post photos tonight when we get back.

Happy Election Day!

I Voted

We stood in line about an hour and a half in the bays of the local fire station this morning and cast our votes with the kids. It was frustrating because all the state legislators were running unopposed. Must be nice! That means if I would have put my name on the ballot, I would have had a 50-50 chance of becoming a state senator. Well, more or less.

It gets a guy to thinking...

UPDATE: I accidentally bashed my head against a nail in the wall this afternoon and it has left a small hole in my head. I'm now fully prepared to run for political office.

Snoopy Leads Obama, McCain in Early Returns

Early election results show Snoopy in the lead for the presidential election. Snoopy, with running mate Woodstock, made a surprise bid for the presidency yesterday as millions of relieved Americans began flocking to the polls. Early returns show Snoopy at 87%, Obama 5% and McCain at 3.729683 1/2%.

Winnie the Pooh Sketch

An oval pencil drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet, by E. H. Shepard, is seen in this undated handout photograph, received in London on November 4, 2008. An original drawing of A.A. Milne's popular children's characters Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger and Piglet is expected to fetch up to 20,000 pounds ($31,600) when it goes under the hammer on Tuesday.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Actual size.

This is a drawing of a little cowboy and i tried to keep it in it's actual size so you can see the size I tent to work at. This is always tricky for me. Stacy and Ted will attest I used to work HUGE, but I think I was trying to get a handle on how to use brushes and after time I became more confident to reduce sizes. 

Now I almost have to cut off bits of 18/0 brushes to get down to the size I want. If my eyes give out on me I'm screwed.

Warm-Up Sketch