I am both happy and frustrated to introduce my first blog post of 2012. Frustrated because January blew right by me, with assignments and grown up responsibilities getting in the way of me talking about myself as if I were some kinda big shot. Well, here's where I repair the damage. A self-stylized, reality-rootless big shot I shall once again pretend to be, and hopefully I'll get this blog back on track, posting once a week with any little nugget of news I can pinch off. We'll see how long that lasts...
The "DEAD DUCK" WEB COMIC is steady moving along, posting a page from my graphic novel each Monday and Thursday. For those who think they've seen it already, I assure you, there's much new to see. In some cases, I've re-colored or tweaked/edited/overhauled some of the pages to meet my current standards. Also, I've painstakingly included piles of never-before-seen-trivia--painstakingly, in that I've had to remember what my thought process and inspirations were when I drew these pages five to six years ago. So be sure to check the comic out every Monday and Thursday, and experience each installment in a brand new way.
I've also just completed a new "DEAD DUCK" story, and have another script ready to be drawn. I'm hoping to get a few more done in the coming months, and run them on my "Dead Duck" web comic once I've run through all the old stories I'm posting. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at the newest tale, "Le Morte D'Mia" or "Swede Home Avalon, Yeah". It manages to mix Arthurian legend with the music of the 70's Swedish pop group, Abba (or at least a very loose parody of them):
I finished work on the final volume of "LITTLE GREEN MEN" for Ape Entertainment. Just as a refresher for those who may have forgotten, "LGM" is about a trio of aliens with their sights set on invading Earth, only to discover that we're towering giants compared to them. According to Amazon, "LITTLE GREEN MEN: SMALL PACKAGE, BIG FUN" ships this week. So if you've followed the aliens' adventures this far, now's your chance to snag the conclusion. Check out the cover art I drew for the book here:
I just wrapped up work on a new all-ages comic for Ape Entertainment called "DINO DUCK" (I must stress there's absolutely NO connection to "DEAD DUCK" here). "DINO" is also published through Ape Entertainment, and like my work on "LITTLE GREEN MEN", this was a concept that the publishers of Ape came up with, then passed off to me to design, write and draw. It's set in prehistoric times and sees a tribe of cave ducks at war with a tribe of monkeys. Dino Duck is the one brain among his dim-witted flock, and his crazy inventions are constantly misused by his tribe to battle their enemies, usually with failed and comical results. You can see the character sheet I designed here:
I'm currently working on a new comic for Ape Entertainment that I'm not sure I can divulge too much about right now. What I will say is that it's an all-ages funny animal book with monsters, so it's right up my alley. More news on that one as it develops.
I'm still plugging away at "NECRONOMICOMICS", my monthly comic for Rue Morgue Magazine, and loving every gore-caked minute of it. The art director and editor at Rue Morgue have been enthusiastic about my work, and are still giving me a free hand to slaughter the sacred cows of horror filmdom however I see fit. You can see one of my most recent cartoons below. One of my favorite stock horror movie concepts is the swarm of pint sized monsters that ravages a community, and I managed to include all my favorites in this installment:
For those who need clarification, the monsters I drew here are from (left to right, top to bottom) "Critters" (1986), "Ghoulies"(1985), "Munchies" (1987), "Troll" (1986) and "Gremlins"(1984). Hopefully people recall that the actual name for the monsters in "Gremlins" was "Mogwai", which also sounds funnier. Hence, the name's inclusion in the punch line.
I'm still working on completing "BODIE TROLL". I want to have some samples to show around the San Diego Comic Con this summer (see COMIC CONS below), so finishing at least a few pages is a priority. I'm also developing an all new comic that's still in the concept stages. What I can say is that it involves a burned out puppeteer and is set in the late 70's. I want to have samples of this comic, "Bodie Troll", "Dead Duck", and "Necronomicomics" to show at Comic Con, and I'm confident I can make it happen. Here's a sketch I did of Bodie last year, drawn on the back of a coaster from the Grizzley Peak bar and grill in Ann Arbor:
I just completed work on a new Marvel set for Rittenhouse. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say which characters, but I can tell you it's a superhero team, it's not Fantastic Four or X-Men, and they're making a movie about it starring Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans that comes out this Spring. Oh, and it rhymes with muhvengers. Count on seeing these mysterious cards sometime in 2012. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek. But you didn't get it from me:
The biggie for me this year is The San Diego Comic Con. I won't be in artist alley, but I plan on some face time at the NationalCartoonists Society booth at least, and perhaps a couple others I'm affiliated with if they'll have me. My main goal is to network and show my art around. Fingers crossed that everything falls into place in getting me there. Once there, I'm content to work my own magic. More news as it comes.
Now, the real blow to my con stops this year comes from Wizard World. Last year I was cordially invited to attend any show Wizard put on across North America, with a free table no less. I had counted on the same offer this year, and sent an e-mail to Wizard to confirm it. As I type this blog entry, I just received a response, essentially saying I wouldn't be a guest of Wizard this year. Evidently, there is a "strict comped table limit for each show as per the management" this year, and I didn't make the cut. I've already had to bow out of C2E2 in downtown Chi Town because of costs, and now Wizard World has given me the brush off. So sorry Chicago. I won't be seeing you this year. Or Columbus, Ohio for that matter, since the MidOhio Con was run by Wizard.
The couple places you CAN find me this year will be 21stCentury Comics in East Lansing for Free Comic Book Day on May 5th, and DetroitFanfare on Sept. 24th and 25th. I'll report in if any other shows pop up on my radar.
Though not technically a convention, The MSU Comic Forum was a wonderful meet and greet of comic artists that was held on Feb. 4th on Michigan State's campus. It was my third year attending, and I had my best time yet. We artists all had tables and sold our wares, but more so, we got to reconnect with each other and bask in the glow of each others' talents. Talented artists and great guys Jay Jacot and Ryan Claytor put on the event, and I'm indebted to them for allowing me to be a part of it. Here are two sketches I did during the show, of Wolverine and Frodo Baggins:
That's about it for now. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm going to try and maintain a weekly schedule for posting fresh news every Wednesday, even if it's only a couple crumbs of info. Please keep checking back here to give me an excuse to reach my goal. Thanks, my friends.