Saturday, September 27, 2014

NEW YORK, NEW YORK...



With just a week and a half left, I should probably announce that I'll be at New York Comic Con on October 9th-12th, set up in artist alley at table D12. I'll have my usual offerings there--copies of the "Bodie Troll" trade paperback, prints, original artwork, comic pages, and I'll be taking commissions all weekend. Rumor has it Bodie Troll and his pal Cholly will be at the show too. Find me at D12 and find out for yourself!

Besides the con, there is another very significant purpose for this trip, something that I've waited a lifetime to accomplish, and had almost given up hope that it would ever come to be.

I'll be visiting the Jim Henson Company.

Through the kindness and generosity of Karen Falk (archivist for The Jim Henson Company), I'm getting a personal tour. If I ever had a bucket list, this was the only thing on it. Regardless of what the rest of the weekend holds--and I have high hopes for the con and my time spent in Manhattan--I'll board my flight back to Michigan with a smile on my face, knowing the once again, Jim Henson put it there.

Switching gears from promoting my comics to creating them, I've been very productive these past few months. I wrapped up my illustration work on "My Little Pony: Friends Forever" issue #11 two weeks ago. It was a fun challenge to contribute to this highly recognizable and much appreciated series, and I'm pleased with the results. The comic comes out November 19th in comic shops worldwide. I've posted this before, but here's another peek at my cover (and check out the cutie mark on the purple Pegasus on top):


 I was one of many contributors to a crime comic anthology called "Unlawful Good". The book is edited by Heather Antos, who spearheaded a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund it. At present, they're still accepting donations for even more bells and whistles on this already incredible book, so consider contributing here if you'd like to be a part of its success. My story, which I wrote and drew, is called "Man of a Thousand Faces", and it's a darkly comical 50's noir detective story. It's unlike anything I've ever done before, and I'm extremely proud of it, and of the book as a whole. Here's a sneak peek:

I've also been hard at work on the next issue of "Bodie Troll", which will kick off an all new four-issue mini series. This first issue introduces a new character to Bodie's world, and expands the underlying mythology of the comic. It's going to be filled with laughs, suspense, and no shortage of fun. The first issue will come out next spring, coinciding with Free Comic Book Day. It's already been written and drawn, and I'm coloring it as we speak. Here's a sneak peek:


Speaking of which, Bodie will be the headliner of Red 5's Free Comic Book Day issue next year, being featured on the cover, and taking part in an all new adventure. I'm working on that one right now, and it's going to be a (gasp) ROMANTIC FARCE! Never thought you'd see Bodie in a love story? Neither did HE!

That's it for now, friends. Count on seeing photos upon my return from New York, and more Bodie news to come!

Jay

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MY LITTLE COMIC PROJECT...

I can finally announce my latest comic project...

I'm illustrating issue #11 of MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDS FOREVER for IDW! It's being solicited in previews right now, and you can order it here!

And look who showed up as a cutie mark on the top Pegasus...
 

--Jay


Monday, August 11, 2014

Goodbye, Robin Williams...



Robin Williams was a hero to me on so many levels. When I was a child, he was my earliest comedic role model. When I was a teenager, he was the dramatic conduit for my performing aspirations. And in my early adulthood, he was my model for the man I wanted to be--an adult with the heart of a child. In the movie "Popeye", Robin not only played my cartoon hero to perfection, but his rendition informed the way I saw the character in all other media. In the best possible way, Robin Williams was, is, and will always be Popeye to me. And there can be no better icon for the man and his place in my heart than that.   

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

JAY'S DOIN'S JULY-OCTOBER



I've been more out of touch with updating my blog than usual. As before, it's been a case of "nothing to talk about, so why make a post?" But I've got a sufficient amount to share now. Let's get down to it...
BODIE TROLL



I'm currently working on the next "Bodie Troll" mini series. At present, the plan is for another four issues, though if I can manage it, I'd like to stretch it out to five. There's no set release date yet, but rest assured, this one will be worth the wait. I've finished drawing the next issue (#1, in the technical sense). The cover's completed (see above), and I'm in the process of scanning and coloring pages. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at page 1...  




CRIME COMIC

Also on my drawing board, I'm working on an eight page story for a crime anthology called "UNLAWFUL GOOD". It's being spearheaded and edited by my friend Heather Antos. If you haven't yet, you'll be hearing plenty about this in the coming months, with a Kickstarter leading the way to what will be a very fun comic full of a variety of talented artists and writers. My own story is called "MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES." It's a wordless story that draws inspiration from 1950's film noir movies and TV shows (particularly my favorite detective show, "Peter Gunn"), and takes a big visual cue from old 1950's cartoons, particularly those produced by the UPA Animation Studio. Like most of my comic work, I wrote it (if you can consider a wordless story written), drew it and colored it (it's black, white and grayscale, if that counts as coloring), and I'm very excited to be working in this new style. You can see the opening panel below...




CONVENTIONS

I do as many shows as I can each year, and most are modest sized and within driving distance. Well, I'm closing out this con season with four bigguns that are a bit outside my usual travel area.


  • SAN DIEGO COMIC CON (July 24th-27th) : My second year attending! I'll be doing some signing times at the National Cartoonists Society booth, and at Red 5's booth (publisher of "Bodie Troll"). Unfortunately, those times haven't been confirmed yet. So this is more of a  heads up that I will be at the con, and if you can find me, those are the places I'll be.



  • FAN EXPO TORONTO (August 28th-31st): For the second year in a row, and my fourth appearance at one of their shows (they also put on Toronto Comicon in March), I'll be in artist alley at my favorite con in my favorite city! If all goes accordingly, you'll find me sitting between Julie Faulkner (creator of "Promises Promises") and Jay Jacot (Creator of "The Tao of Snarky").



  • BALTIMORE COMIC CON (September 5th-7th): This is a brand new one for me, but one I've heard tremendous things about. I'll be in artist alley, and more specifically, in the all-ages comic creators pavilion.



  • NEW YORK COMIC CON (October 10th-13th): This is the biggest jump I've made for a con. NYCC is the second biggest show in North America, and I will be set up in my own little pocket of artist alley. It's going to be a heck of a trip, not to mention it falls just three days after my 40th birthday, so I'll be celebrating in the big apple. It'll be an amazing way to wrap up my con season, and to say goodbye to my 30's.


So that's where we are for now, kids. Other things are bubbling below the surface that I can't talk about yet, but they're good. Oh, they're good. Thanks for coming back after such a long absence. I hope to return with more news a lot sooner than before!

--Jay   

Friday, March 28, 2014

BODIE'S BUSTING OUT ALL OVER!




At long last, the BODIE TROLL TRADE PAPERBACK is in stores! The book turned out terrific, and the reaction of return readers and new ones alike has been wonderful. If you haven't already, visit your local comic shop and grab one while you can! The trade will be in constant circulation, so if your shop says they're out of stock, have them connect with Diamond Distribution or Red 5 Comics, and I'm sure they can get more copies!

I unveiled the "Bodie" trade at Toronto Comicon at the start of March. My next convention appearance is also in Canada, at The Sarnia Pop Culture Show this Sunday. It's only an hour and twenty minutes from my home, and just over the border, so it's the perfect show for traveling. Not to mention I'll be doing the show with some of my comic creator friends from both sides of the border. Good times will commence, and the poutine will flow like wine!

But now, the BIG news...

 The National Cartoonists Society has just released the nominees for their division awards, and "Bodie Troll" has been nominated for best comic book of 2013! I'm kinda speechless and gobsmacked about it--this is the biggest honor of my career. There are only three nominees for this category--I'm up against the great Sergio Aragones and his "Sergio Aragones Funnies" comic for Bongo, and Chris Samnee, artist on Marvel's "Daredevil" comic. I couldn't be in more esteemed company, and I couldn't be more proud to have "Bodie Troll" recognized by the NCS! They'll announce the winner on May 25th, so I'll let you know the results then!

More news soon, and more Bodie by the bushel!

---Jay