Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010 Sketchbook

I got this thing done this past spring for Chicago's C2E2 comic convention. Since then they've been sitting in my office waiting for me to get a storefront up on my website. Well, it's finally done. It wasn't even difficult. I felt slightly not-stupid for being able to figure it out and get it done, but slightly stupid for waiting so long.

So anyway, if you have any money left after SDCC, and have an interest, head on over to my website here and pick up a copy.

It's sixty pages of black and white work covering stuff done in the past ten to twelve years. The majority of the drawings have been redone this year to bring them up to my current level of skill (or lack thereof). They are mostly done with Photoshop and my Wacom Cintiq. Here are a few pages giving you an idea of what's inside. They're flying off the shelves like sleeping turtles, so hurry!

Yeah, I know. I'm not famous. I'm not even moderately famous. I am full blown unknown in the world of comics - well, in the world of everything really - but one day, when that's all different, this first volume will become invaluable. Just think about that. Granted, all of us might be long dead, but your great great great grandchildren will love you for what you've left them and they'll think of you when they're smiling to the cameras on "Antiques Road Show". And yes, for some reason I think that show will still be around then. Hopefully our frozen heads will be able to lean back, relax, and still watch it.

Friday, July 30, 2010


It should be obvious from my posts here that I'm not short_winded. That should make life through Twitter fairly difficult. I don't even have a clue what to say. So why am I doing it?


I think I'll have to get back to you on that one. You can follow my confusion @luxuryninja

Friday, July 23, 2010

Generation Text

That's the name I would give the generation that includes current high school students.

I was on the train a few weeks back and noticed a teenaged girl across from me texting away. I called a friend of mine. We talked for a half hour. Yeah, that's a long phone conversation for a guy, but whatever. We were talking creative stuff. At one point I thought "that's the difference between my generation and hers: if I want to talk to someone for that length of time I'd rather just call," which I was doing. The girl, meanwhile, kept right on texting. Finally, off the phone, I started reading a magazine. I didn't pay attention to the girl while reading but when I got up to get off the train the girl was still texting. Could she have taken a break while I was reading? Yeah, but somehow I doubt it. So that's like an hour of straight texting.

A week or so later I was on the train (aaagain) with my wife and in front of us sat a couple of teenaged girls. Across from them sat three of their friends. Five girls, together, talking away. Yakkity yak yak. And texting. Texting texting texting. Nonstop. That was impressive. I watched the girls in front of me and was further impressed with their texting speed. It seemed like they were texting as fast with their thumbs as I type with all ten of my fingers (and I know how to type).

And then, as if all this weren't enough, I came to the most startling revelation after about forty five minutes: these girls? They were texting each other!!!!!! I kid you not. One of the girls would type something and another of them, across the aisle, would laugh and say "yeah" or something. That blew me away. Sitting together on the train yakking it up isn't enough? Apparently not. Wow. So is this generation just that ADD or or they just that adept at multi-tasking?

And why is it always the girls that I see texting so much? Do the guys do it too? To that extent?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Manga Studio 4 EX

I picked this up recently because it was on sale for a very good price. I've been using Photoshop since sometime around 1997. I'm used to it. I know ten ways to do anything I need to do. Why try something else? Well, it's good to keep your brain sharp and up to date with what's going on in the digital art world. It's also good to constantly experiment; good for your art and, hopefully, good for your productivity.

It's been a slow process but I can say at this point that Manga Studio is worth every penny.

It's not a perfect program by a long shot. Worst part about it to date: the manual. Ugh. It takes some significant brain power to understand what their intentions are. They leave stuff out and half of it's labelled wrong. "New Special Ruler: Speed Lines"!? No such thing, but there it is in the manual. "New Special Ruler: Radial Lines"? Yes, but you have to figure that out. And the fact that you have to create a new Ruler layer, then select the type of ruler you want to create, then click on the layer you want to draw on? It's mentioned once, way earlier in the chapter, then never repeated. It should be repeated for each set of ruler layer instructions, for boneheads like me.

I know, I know, gobbledygook.  :-)

Yes, I still do a lot of my comic work in Photoshop (under drawings,  sometimes"inking", putting together pages) but I'm starting to do more and more in Manga Studio. It's so efficient. Panel borders, word balloons and captions, and now, as of tonight: speed lines! These tasks are all tasks that have traditionally taken a fair amount of time in either Photoshop or on an actually piece of paper. With MS I cut these tasks down to minutes instead of hours, and for a guy who's slower than he should be, that's a significant change. Worth blabbing about for a minute? Obviously.

Okay, I said I'd post art next time so here's a sneak page from Recovery Incorporated.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Through the Wormhole

I've got a couple of funny stories to relate but I wanted to post new artwork before doing that. All three have been put behind the need to say "I love this new series - Through the Wormhole - with Morgan Freeman." Can't help it. I'm a super geek. I draw stuff and love science. I loved Cosmos as a kid and I think this is the next generation of it, exploring the universe and how/why it is the way it is. Science has come a long way since Cosmos originally aired (late 70's, early 80's?) and this show is really up to date with current theories and the work scientists are doing to gain further understanding of our world.

The official website is here and you can watch the first episode, if you like, on youtube. I don't know if it will stay up on youtube (different channels have different attitudes about having their material there), but if the link's still good, you can start watching it here.

Okay, I'll post some new artwork next. Then relate more weird stories from life on a commuter train (which I don't even take regularly anymore but have been on a lot recently for one reason or another).

Friday, July 02, 2010


Not sure how long this will stay the headline, but the first press is finally out for a magazine I'll be a part of. It's called Strip Magazine (no, it's not a sex thing - think "comic" strip) and the first issue will be hitting the English market in November. That's English as in England, not all places where English is spoken predominantly (too bad). Click  here to see the article.

My story, created and written by me and my buddy Dean, is called RECOVERY INCORPORATED. Mia Raven is the main character and I'll leave it at that. I lie. I can't help it. It's an action packed kind of story. How's that? More? Okay. She's an American immigrant from Portugal with a troubled past and an addiction to risk taking. Here's some character studies I did of her.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Note to Commuters

This is mainly aimed at guys, but if there's any women out there doing this, you're included.

You're on the train, you forgot to bring along things to keep you occupied, and you're bored stiff. Because of this you can't seem to ignore the booger lodged up your left nostril. You try but it is a powerful thing and compels you to get it. It's okay. It happens to the best of us. Get it. Don't, however, forget this fifteen minutes later when you're still bored and you look at your fingernails and think "huh, I really should trim those," because when your fingertips go in your mouth and the biting begins, well that just crosses a line.

Either one is less than ideal when in public, but we're all human. It happens. But combining the two, specifically in that order? That's a no-go, as we used to say in the army. Just sayin'. People are watching. ;-)

Otherwise, happy commuting!