Friday, February 01, 2008
Hey, I'm posting a new blog in under a month (but just barely)…!
Let's just hit the ground running, kids. Y'know that play I mentioned last time? The one called "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel" written by Mitch Albom and being put on at The Bay City Players? Well thankfully, I got in the show and got the part I wanted! I'm pretty excited, since I haven't been in a show in just over a year, and even then it was just some small "filler" roles that were purely walk on/walk off, plus some barking dog sound effects from off stage (Don't get me wrong; I LOVED doing all that). But it's been even longer since I've played an extensive role in a show, and the role I'm playing in "Duck Hunter", loveable misfit hick hunter Duell Early, is very crucial to the whole play. So right now I'm studying my lines and preparing for a month long rehearsal. I'm nervous but very excited, and I'll let you guys know the performance dates when we get closer to curtain.
In other duck news, I've just completed my latest Dead Duck script, my longest one to date. Nineteen pages of pure 80's pop culture nostalgia, as filtered through my satirical and oft-times scatological sense of humor (though come to think of it, this may be my first script with no fart jokes in it! Heaven forbid!). Beyond that, all I'll say is that Dead Duck and Zombie Chick encounter loose parodies of some famous 80's toy icons and the death of their comrade. I think it's a really solid piece, and a landmark for its length alone.
I've also completed another Dead Duck script that I haven't begun illustrating yet. This one's a story that I'm slapping on the beginning of the impending graphic novel before any of the other stories I've already created, its intent being to introduce the comic's theme, setting, characters and all pertinent info. But at the same time, this isn't just a meet and greet; it’s a story like any other, and in my opinion, it's one of my best. I actually dug through my library of old sketchbooks and found an old dusty volume from 1992 that featured my first-ever complete Dead Duck story, drawn when I was a junior in high school. The story is based on a story from Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" which I studied in high school. So using that old story became the basis for this new intro story. Using it just felt right, and made me see that all the components for my current Dead Duck comic have always been there, and I was surprised as to how little changes actually had to be made. So I'm hoping to begin illustrating that soon, but it may be put off until I learn my lines for "Duck Hunter." That'll require a buttload of concentration.
I've been in contract with David Hedgcock of Ape Comics, and he assures me that the contract is written and will be sent to me soon. He tells me we're looking at a March 2009 release date for the book, which means I have to have the whole thing packaged by October of '09. I feel confident that I can do this, and I look forward to all the cool promotional stuff I'll be doing in the meantime:
*I'm dusting off Web/funk/Jedi/Tetris and Hogwarts Headmaster Jeremy "What the Foc you lookin' at?!" Foco to build a brand new Dead Duck section for my website (more news to come!).
*I'm going to be producing an online Dead Duck comic strip that will be featured on Ape Comics' website, as well as a quarterly full page Dead Duck comic for one of Ape Comics' magazines.
*Ape Comics will have an online store for Dead Duck merch that will require me creating a bunch of cool art for that.
And LOADS more to come!
In related news, there's going to be an aesthetic change to my website very soon. If you've been following my website for the past four years, you'll recall that on the main page there's my "Jayfosgitt.com" logo, and just beneath it, a cartoon of myself at the drawing board with my old character The Krazybread Man popping out at me. Well, given the recent popularity of Dead Duck and Zombie Chick, I'm retiring Krazy and bringing DD & ZC onto the board with a whole new graphic and logo. I'll always love Krazy and his old comic strip "Mother's Goofs," and who knows, he may come back in a big way someday. But Dead Duck predates him by a decade, and it's the duck's time to shine now. So I'll let you know when the change to the site occurs.
On the "Other than Dead Duck" branch of my artistic career, I've had my hands full creating artwork for a couple of fun clients. The first I have to show, however, wasn't for a client, but for my birth mom Penny's birthday. She works in a hair salon, so using that as inspiration and choosing to include her two co-workers in the gag, I created the card below:
This card was a lot of fun to make, and she gave the best reaction I could hope for: "Jay, you are so COOL!" Believe me, I didn't hear that a lot growing up. Still don't. So hearing it from her was a landmark event for me.
Next up, I was commissioned by Jim Lent, the guy who screen prints the t-shirts I design for the township and who also coaches JV girls basketball at Hemlock High, to draw his team's picture. The only instructions were to make the caricatures "bobble head-style," which basically means tiny body, oversized noggin. So I drew one generic body, scanned it into my computer, then drew individual heads and plopped them on. It was a pretty simple process, and I was happy with the end results:
Not long after, I'd heard of actor Heath Ledger's death. I've always enjoyed his work, and his 2001 movie "A Knight's Tale" has a special place in my heart. So in tribute, I drew him and the cast of that movie, just because.
Once I was done with that, I got a call from a client of my birth mom's who was looking for a caricature of a retiring co-worker. He sent me a photo, told me he was retiring from The Flint Journal and that he liked to fish. The end result was simple but, I think, effective.
And immediately after that, my friend Jason Pintar asked me to draw some promotional art for his band, "Across The Aisle". Using photos from their Myspace page, I threw together the following piece.
It was met with positive responses, though there was concern that I'd drawn the lead singer's breasts too big. I guess after drawing Zombie Chick and other voluptuous cartoon women for so long, it just kind of spilled over into this commission. I will say, however, that I ran the drawing past Laura and she thought it was in good taste, even complimentary. Regardless, after a hasty Photoshop boob job, I sent them the following re-do:
The most current project I'm working on now is for my friends Evan (also a hell of a cartoonist) and Carla (a hell of a sweet person). They're getting married in June and have hired me to draw artwork to decorate the tables at their reception. They requested I draw various versions of them in equally various themes, and the list was a cartoonist's dream challenge. I managed to complete all nine illustrations in a day and am a bit less than half way done coloring them. I'd show what I've finished here, but I feel it inappropriate to do so before the couple have even had the chance to take a peek. Still, I feel confident that they'll like them. I'm pretty please with how they're turning out.
So that's it for now. As always, sorry for the delay in posting a new blog. But when there's no news, there's not much to say. Luckily, it seems there's all kinds of good news on the horizon, and I look forward to sharing it with you guys. 'Til then, take care, and keep dreaming.