Friday, May 29, 2009

UPDATES, SNEAK PEEKS, AND A STUDIO TOUR TO BOOT!

Lots to share this time around, kids, so let's have at it….

DEAD DUCK:
Hey, have I mentioned that I have a graphic novel called DEAD DUCK coming from Ape Entertainment in November, and that I currently have an online Dead Duck comic featured on Apecmx.com that you can view right now? I didn't? Huh. Well my apologies. Check it out HERE, and again, so sorry I didn't clear this all up earlier.

COMMISSIONS:

My classic cartoon commission drive has been going great guns and you can view the most recent offerings HERE. If anyone's interested in getting in on this or commissioning me for any other theme or purpose, you can always reach me at fourpanelhero@hotmail.com or send me a note on Deviantart.

CARICATURING GIGS:

I've got 'em coming out of the walls like goblins in Sarah's bedroom (that's a "Labyrinth" reference for you fellow Jim Henson fans). I've got two alone this Sunday, one in Midland at a picnic at Blessed Sacrament Church in the afternoon. Then later that night I have another at Saginaw Valley where I'll draw caricatures all night (10 pm-3 am) for Flushing High's post-grad party. It's my second year doing the church gig and probably my 13th year doing the SVSU gig. Guess I'm doing something right to be getting repeat business.
Though it's a little after the fact, here's a photo from a caricaturing gig I did a month or so back for Eastern Michigan University's theater department at their Notscars awards.

This is just a sampling of the pile of pics I drew that night. Thanks to my wife Laura for getting me this gig and to Austin Tracy for taking this pic.

ARCHIE CARDS:

Evidently my Archie cards went over big with my contact. He immediately commissioned me for 24 more, which I exuberantly agreed to create (though the deadline was really baring down on me at this point). But in between Tuesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon I managed to get them all drawn, colored and in the mail. If you're interested, they should be on sale in a few months, and proceeds from their sale go to The March of Dimes. So be on the lookout for them, and I'll be posting some of them here once they've all been released.

LITTLE GREEN MEN:

I wasn't aware this would happen yet, but evidently the comic I've been writing and drawing for my publisher is now available to read online, which you can do HERE. And as promised last time, I'm ready to show you the cover to the comic that I recently drew. I'd also mentioned that I paid tribute to one of my loyal followers within the artwork, and I can now reveal that person, too (click on image to make bigger):

If you missed it, there's a poster on the back wall that says "Vote for Lexie Cottrell for prom queen!" Lexie is my cousin, and while I've yet to fulfill my promise to create a comic about her called "Spoiled Brat Comics", hopefully this small shout-out will make her smile. It did for me!

And finally, THE STUDIO TOUR!!!

As of last weekend I completed the decorating of my studio, my four-walled mistress that my beautiful wife Laura has to share me with. The atmosphere in here is a perfect mix of eclectic pop culture and childhood abandon, and has fueled my creativity like no studio I've had before. So, let's begin our tour and see what it is I'm gushing about…..

This is the east wall of my studio. Above the door you'll see my Nightmare Before Christmas dolls and porcelain wall hanging, which cover my Tim Burton fandom quite nicely. Below it is a fairly recent poster of the 1983 film "The Dark Crystal." And below that, one of my comedy heroes, John Belushi as seen in "Animal House". Two the left of that is (top) a poster I swiped from Delta College back in the day. It was an ad for The Art Institute of Chicago and shows mugshots of Popeye, Olive Oyl and Fred Flintstone. Below it is a James Dean Poster and below that is a poster featuring buxom characters from comic creator Jim Lee's Wildstorm line of comics.

Moving left along the east wall, you can see my circa 1983 collection of Fraggle dolls. This is the first time I've been able to display them in at least ten years, and they really add to the décor, in my opinion. And to the left of them, is my little shrine to Jason Voorhees, my favorite movie monster and the best Halloween costume I ever donned. That's a mirrored closet below, showing me taking the pic, plus blowing a bit of the surprise of what lies on the west wall.

Here's the nerve center of it all, my drawing board. Above it are various framed and signed certificates and caricatures that I drew of various celebs from Star Wars films and the cartooning world. To the right of all that is a vintage Labyrinth poster and an Alex Ross Fantastic Four poster.

Here's a close up of three of my most important celeb autographs. Laura had me draw Muppet performers Jerry Nelson (with Floyd Pepper), Bill Barretta (with Pepe the prawn) and Dave Goelz (with Gonzo), then got them autographed for me. Best gift ever, I say. I made the frames myself in Muppety fashion.

Here's a bird's eye view of my drawing board, showing one of my current projects…

And here's a close-up. This is a commission for a fella who wanted me to draw the old Hanna Barbera character Jana of the Jungle dancing with the Marvel Comics character Tigra.

Second only to my drawing board is my computer station, equipped with a scanner, printer, telephone and digital camera. Honest to god, without this collection of technical junk, my career would be lost in the woods without a map. You can see my various creative influences in all the posters surrounding the station, and that giant Jessica Alba poster (an influence of a naughtier sort) to the left is from Sin City, a gift from my cousin Todd.

On the west wall we have some more posters (if you look carefully you can see some of cartoonist Evan Shaner's artwork on the lower wall) and my portable air conditioner. To the left of that is a circa 1989 poster of Iron Man drawn by French cartoonist Moebius. Above that is a Frank Frazetta print and above that is my hero, Jim Henson surrounded by his characters. At the very top of the wall is a special possession indeed…

I'd like to say I stole this off a Sith lord that I defeated in battle, but in truth it's yet another wonderful gift from my beloved wife Laura. Does she know me or what?

On the south wall is my library, filled with old and new books of fairy tales, folklore, graphic novels, biographies, reference material, comic strip collections, and all sorts of fun stuff that you’d imagine I'd read.

Atop that is the puppet shelf, where I display the best of my collection (quite a few are still in storage). Those are the puppets I designed and have professionally built of Laura and myself. That's a vintage 1978 Rowlf from my childhood, a "Where The Wild Things Are" beast, a blue fuzzy monster I found in the Swan Valley High School drama class prop closet years ago, Zip the snail (who I named myself) and Chum the seal (who I also named myself).

Here's my toy shelf, which is only partially complete. I still have years worth of old Star Wars toys boxed away in my grandma's attic…..

Top shelf: The Pillsbury Doughboy (a gift from my old boss Shelly), a vintage 1980 Kermit doll (a gift from Laura--still in its original box!), my Hellboy doll, Gumby and Pokey, Jabba the Hutt (another Shelly gift), and a Big Boy bank.

Second shelf: My vintage 1986 Firey doll from the movie Labyrinth, Popeye (a gift from my mom from years ago), Eugene the Jeep (Popeye's little magical sidekick) and Popeye's best friend Wimpy. Next to Wimpy is a very old Popeye Big Little book that I got from my friend Jeanne Schultz years ago. It's from the late 30's I think, too beat up to be valuable but a sentimental treasure for sure. In front of all that are some little clay statues that Laura and I sculpted and painted when we still lived in Midland.

Third shelf:
Collectible glasses from the comic strip BC (a gift from Jeanne again), some Muppet Star Wars toys and a Donald Duck Darth Maul courtesy of my friend Pat Dooley, an Edward Scissorhands figure, and a couple Madballs (a toy from my childhood that was recently brought back). I had three but one of them broke and all his ooze squirted out. And wouldn't it have to be my favorite. Sigh….

And rounding out our tour are a few more posters (left to right, up and down): Kramer from Seinfeld, the 1990 movie The Commitments, Nightmare Before Christmas and the movie Serenity. As you can tell, my likes and inspirations are mixed and eclectic, just the way I am. I'm so comforted by this room. My studio is my sanctuary and is a physical reflection of all that's within me.

Well, thanks for sticking around for all this hoo hah. Be here next time for more news, sneak peeks and unabashed craziness!

2 comments:

LadyJane said...

Wow! Your studio is awesome! If I were a thief, I'd break into your studio and steal all your awesome stuff! But your HellBoy doll would probably come to life and beat the snot outta me, so I won't chance it. I love how you surround yourself with what inspires you. And I love that you are still a kid inside! Never grow up, Jay!

Doc Shaner said...

I didn't realize you had that Moebius Iron Man poster! I just saw that for the first time a couple weeks ago.

Diggin' the new studio Jay, hope to get a chance to see it soon.