Friday, December 24, 2010

The Blight Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas!
And at the North Pole
Santa's sleigh was all loaded,
But his tummy was bloated.

He pulled off his hat and his coat,
And away he did run
To the end of the hall.

He was feeling much better
And hopped in his sled,
When again came the feeling
And he ran to the head.

"This ain't good,"
said he to the missus.
"I've got the runs but
I've got to run!"

"Tonight's Christmas Eve!
The biggest night ever!
I'll never eat jalepeno peppers with raisins and rum-cake chocolate-chip ice cream again!
No, never!"

"You're lactose-intolerant!"
said Mrs. Claus tartly,
"You know ice cream makes you
gassy and farty!"

Then what to his watering eyes
Should he see,
But eight tiny reindeer with
Imodium A-D.

"Take this," said Dasher,
"You'll be fine in a flush!"
Santa winced at the pun,
But he was in a rush.

He downed the whole bottle
And chased it with a cookie,
He hoped that for now
There would be no more dookie.

The reindeer were all hitched,
And the sleigh was all loaded.
Santa had to admit
He was feeling less bloated!

With no time to spare,
They were up in the air.
Children's homes everywhere!

And I heard him exclaim
As he shifted in his seat,
"Happy Christmas to all!
And watch what you eat!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

8-Year-Olds Publish Scientific Study on Bees

Graduate students the world over have got to be feeling like slackers right now: A group of 8- to 10-year-old British schoolchildren have published a scientific paper in the peer-reviewed journal Biology Letters.
The paper, written entirely in the kid's voices, found that bees can learn to use spatial relationships between colors to figure out which flowers have nectar in them and which are dry, Wired Science reported. It's not a game-changing finding, but reviewers said the methods were sound, said University College London neuroscientist Beau Lotto, who helped the kids with the project, in an interview with Wired Science.
The paper and a supplemental video are available online. The paper itself features a figure done in colored pencil and a thanks to the local pub for offering free Cokes to the children while they wrote up the manuscript.
The study may be the only scientific paper to contain an emoticon. "We then put the tube with the bees in it into the school's fridge (and made bee pie :) )," the students wrote, explaining how they calmed the bees so they could dab them with paint to tell them apart.
Of course, Wired Science reports, the main goal of the project was to get kids interested in science. On that front, the study was a rousing success.
"Science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before," the chlidren wrote.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nonprofit Wants to Buy the World's Biggest Communications Satellite

There's a huge satellite for sale and the nonprofit group A Human Right wants to buy it to provide internet access to the unconnected.

The TerreStar-1 satellite is the largest commercial communications satellite ever built—it's roughly the size of a school bus. It was launched by the TerreStar Corporation in 2009 to great fanfare. At the time, Jean-Yves Le Gall, the CEO of Arianespace, the company that provided the actual launching services, said TerreStar-1 would "revolutionize telecommunications over North America" by providing phone and laptop users with a fast, universal voice and data connection.

But the TerreStar Corporation recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and it's selling off the TerreStar-1. Seeing an opportunity, A Human Right has started a campaign, Buy This Satellite, to raise $150,000 for the first phase of a three-phase plan to buy the satellite, move it over a country that needs internet access (Papua New Guinea, for example), and then connect it with people on the ground via low-cost modems.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Clemson Wallpaper

My wife made me do this.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Than A Feeling - Iggy

If you like the song More Than A Feeling, you'll love this rendition by guitarist Igor Presnyakov.

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Purchase.

He does the whole job once you feed the sketches in from the drum scanner.

The only problem now is we both fight over certain pages we'd like to do... And he makes this high pitched whirring sound.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

When I Grow Up.

Sneak peek at my recent picture book.

p.s. The answer is Yes, Weird Al is amazing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chris Samnee

I just stumbled upon Comic Twart and I LOVE CHRIS SAMNEE'S ART! I wish I could create such a wonderful marriage of black and white.



Jonah Hex

Minimalist JLA

Howling Avengers

Doctor Who

The Scarlet Bride on Kickstarter

I've been involved in a project that's up on, a graphic novel project called The Scarlet Bride; or A Bloodstained Romance. Kickstarter is an online funding platform for creative projects. Project owners make a pitch, as through the video for The Scarlet Bride, and viewers like you make pledges to support the project and see it become a reality. If the funding goal is met in the alloted period of time, those who made pledges have their credit/debit cards charged. If the goal is not met, no money is taken. It's a great concept and has allowed several creative projects to get off the ground.

"The Scarlet Bride; or A Bloodstained Romance" is planned as a run of six 22 page comic books, followed by a 132+ page Graphic novel release.

The Scarlet Bride on


My son has opened an Etsy store called CreatioNation and is selling his popular Fuzzyclops creatures. They make great holiday gifts!

Raptor Clans - Life of Leaf Clan

My daughter has completed her novel and is now selling copies. If you'd like to order one, please visit her Raptor Clans blog.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Original Dan DeCarlo Art

Original Dan DeCarlo art from Jughead Jones Digest #26, 1983. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tintin and I

"It was obvious to me that Tintin in Tibet had to be the climax of an intense personal drama — played out so movingly by Hergé in the snowy and desolate plains of Himalaya. All I had to do was unearth the story...”
— Anders Østergaard

White Board "Animation"

This is my short demonstration of a white board "animation," illustrating talking points from excerpts of a Malcolm Gladwell TED lecture.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Firefly x 2

This was just an experiment on Arches natural White 140lb hot press in watercolor and pencil. I threw a little digital in at the end.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Worry, Be

Here are five things that research has shown can improve happiness:

1. Be grateful – Some study participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that these people reported a lasting increase in happiness – over weeks and even months – after implementing the habit. What's even more surprising: Sending the letter is not necessary. Even when people wrote letters but never delivered them to the addressee, they still reported feeling better afterwards.

2. Be optimistic – Another practice that seems to help is optimistic thinking. Study participants were asked to visualize an ideal future – for example, living with a loving and supportive partner, or finding a job that was fulfilling – and describe the image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people too reported increased feelings of well-being.

3. Count your blessings – People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness, studies have found. It seems the act of focusing on the positive helps people remember reasons to be glad.

4. Use your strengths – Another study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways. For example, someone who says they have a good sense of humor could try telling jokes to lighten up business meetings or cheer up sad friends. This habit, too, seems to heighten happiness.

5. Commit acts of kindness – It turns out helping others also helps ourselves. People who donate time or money to charity, or who altruistically assist people in need, report improvements in their own happiness.

Monday, November 15, 2010

There Is A Distinct Audience For The Printed Product

For several years, people in the United States have been complaining about how newspapers are old news. Sales and advertising revenue have been slipping (although newspaper profit margins were 25% as recently as 2006). People are tired of reading old-fashioned ink on paper! they say. The Internet is the way of the future!

A peek at the rest of the world suggests differently. Are the corporations who have bought up the newspaper market just looking for a scapegoat, because they don't know how to run a newspaper business? Other countries seem to have a healthy print newspaper readership, and are finding a better balance between print and online subscriptions.

Print is still king: Only 3 percent of newspaper reading happens online

Rates of decline in US newspaper circulation slowed from last year in the same period last year, according to figures released on Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Audit Bureau showed that average weekday circulation at 635 newspapers declined 5 percent compared with the same six months last year. The decline last year was more than twice that, 10.6 percent, as newspapers struggled through the recession and more readers abandoned print copies for the Internet.

Sunday circulation at 553 newspapers fell at a slightly slower pace, 4.5 percent, the figures showed. Last year, it declined 7.5 percent.

The Wall Street Journal reported an average weekday circulation of slightly fewer than 2.1 million, up 2 percent from a year ago. The number of printed copies The Journal distributes each weekday averaged 1.6 million, a figure that has remained about steady in the three years since Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation bought the paper.The Dallas Morning News posted an increase of 0.3 percent to 264,000.

Randy Bennett, senior vice president for business development at the Newspaper Association of America, said the declines in part reflected a decision by newspaper publishers to eliminate low-cost — and less profitable — subscriptions. “There’s an acknowledgment that in this multichannel world, newspapers recognize there is a distinct audience for the printed product, and they’re going to spend much of their energies to reach that audience.”

But what is Canada doing that the USA isn't?

Newspaper readership remains strong in Canada.  Print readership is up, print and online readership up even more! The recent survey released by NADbank shows newspapers across Canada holding a very strong readership position.

In the one-million-population-plus Canadian markets, print and online newspaper readership has grown by more than 500,000 readers since 2005. Those top markets show total weekly newspaper penetration levels of between 75% to 80% of the adult population. That's an impressive reach.

In Toronto, Canada's largest market (population 4.5 million), print newspapers reach roughly 70% of adults over 18, online readership represents roughly 25%. Combined, they reach 76% of the adult population, an impressive reach indeed.

Toronto remains one of the toughest competitive markets anywhere, with seven English-language daily publications reaching roughly 3.5 million adults every week. Over the past year, weekly print readership rose 2% in Toronto, online grew 4.5% and combined the print/online combination grew by 3%.

Who says people are not reading newspapers anymore?

The Toronto Star, Canada's most-read newspaper, fared well in this most-recent release, with print weekly readership growing by 4.6% and the print/online combination weekly reach up 5.3% to just over 2.3 million readers per week. That's a nice showing for a large North American metropolitan newspaper.

The emerging story in Canada is the strength of Metro, a free weekly newspaper that is published in seven Canadian markets. Metro Toronto, first published during the summer of 2000, now has more than 500,000 daily readers, making it Toronto's second most-read newspaper after the Toronto Star. Of the seven newspapers published in Toronto, four are paid and three are free. The free publications now represent roughly 30% of total readership in the Toronto marketplace. While some readers are definitely opting for online content offerings, the desire for print in Toronto remains strong.

Across Canada, newspapers remain strong. Also, it appears that while online readership for news continues to grow, it is not replacing the print habit for most newspaper readers.

The challenge for traditional media operations will be in attracting younger users. While the overall readership levels released in this study are indeed impressive, it is an aging demographic. Even the free-distribution newspapers tend to have a slightly older audience. The same can be said for traditional online news sites.

The demise of newspapers is greatly exaggerated.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amazon Ups Sales Percentage for Newspapers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Inc. said Monday it will start paying publishers more when they sell magazines and newspapers on its Kindle electronic reader. will pay publishers 70 percent of the retail price, after subtracting delivery costs, for each magazine or newspaper sold at its Kindle Store.

That's a reversal of the terms that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch said Amazon was paying last year for subscriptions to publications like The Wall Street Journal. Murdoch said last December that pays News Corp. a little more than a third of the $14.99 monthly subscription fee for the Journal, which he described as "not a great deal."

The move by Amazon, which takes effect Dec. 1, comes at a time when newspapers and magazines are increasingly looking at digital platforms like the Kindle and Apple Inc.'s iPad to replace revenue lost to decreasing print ad revenue.

Amazon said newspapers and magazines will qualify for the new rate only if customers can read the title on all Kindle devices and applications, and in all countries where the publisher has rights.

Amazon said a newspaper that delivers about 9 megabytes of content a month would pay about $1.35 in delivery costs, meaning a $9.99-per-month subscription would net a publisher $6.05 a month per subscription.

Peter Larsen, director of Kindle Periodicals, said in a statement that the increased revenue share is "a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than ever for publishers."

A News Corp. spokesman did not immediately have a comment.

Original Fritzi Ritz

An original Fritzi Ritz by Ernie Bushmiller, from 1933, was up on ebay. Fritzi Ritz later became Nancy. I thought what made it interesting was the use of the yardstick in the photo.

Click to enlarge

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Picture Books Remain Important

A recent New York Times article suggested that children's picture books have become less popular. The article cited the recent economic downturn as a possible reason, but also suggested that parents are pushing their children to get into chapter books earlier.

It sparked a large number of positive and negative responses but also a renewed interest in the importance of picture books for children.

What exactly is a picture book? A picture book is a book with pictures that are as important as the words. In fact, often the text does not make sense without the pictures.

The reader gains information from the pictures, the words, and putting the words and pictures together. In a well-written picture book, the reader looks at the pictures and reads the text in a back and forth motion that becomes the rhythm of the book. Usually the reader can sense when he or she needs to look at the next picture.

An illustrated book, on the other hand, has text interrupted once in awhile by illustrations, but can be understood without them. A picture book is a storybook that has a simple story line and is usually about 32 pages long. It may have about 200 words, but also may have no words at all.

People of all ages enjoy picture books, not only because of the intriguing pictures, but also the rich language in the text and the meaningful themes.

By reading pictures books, children will begin to want to learn to read and hopefully learn to love reading. When parents read picture books with young children, they show children the process of reading by demonstrating how to hold a book, turn the pages, pause to look at pictures, follow the words across the page, and guess what is going to happen next. This provides the needed experience with books before children can read on their own.

Other skills are developed when reading picture books. Motor skills are developed by holding the book, turning the pages, and pointing to the pictures. Visual skills are developed by looking at the pictures, thinking about what they mean, and looking for details in the pictures that were mentioned in the text. By naming things in the pictures, vocabulary is also developed.

Experts agree that children receive many additional benefits from reading picture books, with parents and alone.

They develop socially by exploring relationships and observing why people do what they do. They develop intellectually by gaining information, thinking creatively, using their imagination, and asking questions.

They develop emotionally as they learn to accept themselves and how to handle difficulties. They develop culturally when they learn about how other people live and how other people and families are similar or different. They develop artistically by learning to appreciate color, shapes, and design.

If parents are purchasing fewer picture books because they are pushing their younger children to read chapter books sooner, they are missing out on these important benefits, besides the pure joy and entertainment from reading them. If parents are purchasing fewer picture books due to finances, this could easily be remedied by borrowing books from the library.

At the Bismarck Public Library, Traci Juhala, head of Children's Services, has not seen declining interest in picture books.

In 2010, about 3,500 picture books and 2,000 chapter books were checked out each month. In 2009, about 3,000 picture books and 1,700 chapter books were checked out each month.

Not only has the use of picture books been on the rise through the Bismarck library, the use of all children's books has been rising. Picture books are about 20 percent of all of the children's materials at the library.

“When we renovated the Children's Library, we intentionally moved picture books to front and center because parents and children love to come in the library to browse through the books, the new ones and the old favorites. We wanted to make them more accessible," Juhala said.

Original story

Hi and Lois Original

An original Hi and Lois by the awesome Dik Browne from 1956.
Click to enlarge

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

Just a quick promo drawing. Inked with a pocket brush pen and colored in PS.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Patrick Chappatte: The Power of Cartoons

At TEDGlobal 2010, in a series of witty punchlines, Patrick Chappatte makes a poignant case for the power of the humble cartoon. His projects in Lebanon, West Africa and Gaza show how, in the right hands, the pencil can illuminate serious issues and bring the most unlikely people together.

About Patrick Chappatte
Chappatte is a Lebanese-Swiss cartoonist who draws for Le Temps, Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Sunday edition) and the International Herald Tribune. Using clean, simple pencil strokes, editorial cartoonist Patrick Chappatte wields globally literate and to-the-point humor on world events -- the tragic, the farcical and the absurd.

Tintin - The Calculus Affair

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Inking Samples

Some more inking samples over pencils of Dave Ross and Cary Nord. Inked with Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and various liners. Yes, I'm looking for work.
Click to enlarge
It's much more fun inking the old-timey stuff.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tintin Movie First Look

Spielberg and Jackson have revealed the look of Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock to Empire magazine. The movie adaptation of Herge's The Secret of the Unicorn is due out October 2011.
Note: The image on this link is not from the movie. It's a scene from The Crab With the Golden Claws story. Boy, talk about being secretive.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Illustration Tip #1

When drawing fish, never add bubbles coming out of the fish's mouth. Fish have gills.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some dudes.

My niece drew these up for me a few weeks ago. I just love that she can draw... and draw "funny".
These both just make me smile. Thanks, Ash!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jump! Picture Book Dummy

If you'd like to take a look at one of my picture book dummies, click here. Especially if you're a picture book publisher.
One of the cool things about my attempts to paint with realism is the discovery of things like, white tennis shoes aren't really white.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Apple Mary Original

An original Apple Mary from its first year to be drawn by Dale Conner and written by Allen Saunders. It was created by Martha Orr in 1932. Apple Mary eventually became Mary Worth.

Less I$ More

Graham Hill, the founder of Treehugger, believes that we can live happier lives and save money by limiting the stuff we own and the space we need.

To prove his point that less is more, he recently launched a design competition called Life Edited. Hill is asking people to propose how he can transform his new, 420-square-foot New York apartment into an ultra-low-impact living and work space. (To put that in perspective, the average master bathroom is about 100 square feet.)

Hill thinks that by cutting out extraneous stuff, digitizing media, and creating spaces that can serve multiple functions—a lounge that doubles as a guest room, perhaps—it should be possible to create a small apartment that can accommodate two overnight guests, the occasional twelve-person dinner party, and a home office.

Hill and Life Edited are awarding $70,000 in cash, products, and contracts to the best ideas, and the winning concept will be used to actually renovate Hill's apartment in mid-2011. He will literally live with the results. You can find the full creative brief here and a Flickr set of images of the apartment in its current state here.

What If...?

What If Marvel Comics' John Romita had worked for DC Comics?
Click to enlarge

Thursday, October 21, 2010


For inking practice, I used the ol' Pocket Brush Pen over a couple of old Superman photos. I took liberties with the likenesses, but they're based on Ray Middleton, who appeared as Superman at the 1939 New York World's Fair's "Superman Day", and Kirk Alyn of the Superman movie serials.
Click to enlarge

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tarzan Original

A Rex Maxon original Tarzan comic from 1934. Maxon took over Tarzan from Hal Foster in 1929 and illustrated it until 1947. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


An original Pogo by Walt Kelly from 1968. Click to enlarge.

Are You A Superhero Or Supervillian?

NEW YORK – There may be a hero in all of us, but there's also a possible supervillain waiting to run amuck if one of us were to acquire superhuman strength or the ability to fly. In a society that reveres superheroes, just how many people could follow the do-gooder's path if they were suddenly bitten by the radioactive spider?

That thought may not weigh heavily on the costumed attendees of New York City's Comic Con that kicked off today (Oct. 8). Yet the odds for ordinary people becoming superheroes rather than villains don't look great when news headlines frequently tell stories of corruption among those with power – politicians, law enforcement and business leaders. And everyone has witnessed the more petty abuses of power that take place in workplaces and on the playground.
Yes, power does corrupt, researchers say. But they add it can also... 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bob Montana Originals

I'll never be able to pick a favorite Archie artist. Each one brought something important and unique to the character. These strips were drawn by Archie co-creator Bob Montana, upon whose work every other Archie artist built.
Click to enlarge

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Minute Movies

Ed Wheelan's Minute Movies, which satirized popular movies.

Saturday, September 25, 2010