I want to start this week's update by sharing a very special experience that I had. On Easter, my wife and I had brunch at my grandma's, on as beautiful a day as one could hope for. During a post-meal conversation with my cousins at the dinner table, I looked out the window, and saw a cluster of chubby bubbles float into my view. I immediately bolted out the back door and reveled in the scene--my aunt Karen and my young cousins Kayte and Spence, waving bubble wands into the gusty wind. I took my turn with the wand, and felt the pure bliss of a dollar store novelty as I danced around the yard, waving bubbles into existence. The four of us were laughing, and marveling at the wild ones that wafted high above the rooftops. I realized that I was euphoric, that I was in the presence of real magic. I could see it, touch it, breathe it in. Childhood memories came to mind, but this was more than nostalgia. This was me tuning in to a part of myself that I didn't realize had been absent. It was whimsy and beauty and comfort, and it restored my belief in simple joys. Perfect moments don't come along often, but I'll always remember this one, it all its light, fragile, soapy wonder.
Over the past couple months, I've been doing some work with Hemmeter Elementary School in Saginaw, Michigan. After their annual SPARK Day (an event that brings presenters in art and science to the school) where I taught some of the classes how to draw famous cartoon characters (teaching them to draw Popeye was an especially proud moment for me), I was further commissioned to draw a poster commemorating the event. The artwork below will hang in the school for years to come, and I'm very proud to have contributed to such a wonderful event.
As I previously mentioned, I had been asked to contribute a guest strip to artist Denver Brubaker's fantastic web comic, "Tales of a Checkered Man". My guest strip just ran yesterday, and I'm thrilled that Denver allowed me to play in his creative sandbox. You can view the comic at the link above, and can also see it below.
After posting my Bodie Troll pages last week, I received some very enthusiastic feedback from friends and followers. This prompted me to do something I've never done before with one of my creations--I'm taking on a collaborator. Though my usual working method finds me being very possessive of my work and the creative process, Bodie is a very special project for me, something new and different from what I've created before. As such, I want a colorist who can enhance my work in ways beyond my own capabilities. Fortunately, I'm very close friends with a talented artist who's perfect for the job--cartoonist Evan Shaner, whose work has been seen in Archaia's "TheStoryteller" graphic novel and in the Dark Horse series, "Dark Horse Presents". Besides being a whiz-bang illustrator, Evan is a deft hand at coloring, and he's agreed to color the four-page Bodie promo that I'm putting together. Evan has colored my work before to fantastic results, which only strengthened my resolve to get him for this. When we have something to show, you can bet I'll post it here. In the meantime, you can see one of our previous collaborations below (and one of my favorites):
If you've been following Dead Duck online (and why the hell WOULDN'T you?!), you'll see that I just wrapped up the previous storyline, "Gangs of New Scotland, or Quebec to the Future". On Thursday April 12th, we begin the next storyline, "One Toy Soldier Rides Away", which is an homage to the great 80's toys I grew up with. Bookmark the link above and follow the story over the coming weeks--it's one of my top favorites, and a HUGE fan favorite as well!
I'm such a lemming. Just as I did with Facebook and Twitter, I followed the rest of my online brethren over the cliff and into the latest social network craze, creating my own Tumbr account. Unlike this blog, which focuses on news of my career told at great length, my Tumblr--tenatively called "Unrefined Foz"--will feature random sketches and doodles. My scribbly side deserves some recognition. So visit the link above and get to recognizing, folks!
My last chunk of update is that, for the past couple months, I've taken literal steps towards a healthier me. I've been walking an hour a day, and even began wearing a digital monitor to keep track of my steps. To date, I've lost at least five pounds, and an inch off my stomach. I've also worked to change my eating habits, making room for more fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes and sweet potatoes have been pleasant discoveries in my meals, while kiwi is a fruit I wish I'd begun eating a long time ago. It's been nice to have a goal outside of my artistic ambitions, and I'm pleased with the progress I'm making. Here's to more progress in the months to come!
That's it for this week. take care, my friends!