Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Draw online with 10 Eastern!!

Hi, all!

I had a great new site passed on to me:

It has an online drawing program that allows you to draw with different layers, brushes, techniques, and colors, then publish it instantly on their site just by clicking SAVE. People can then comment on your work. There are different categories like Black & White, Color, Horror, etc. and each category has a different drawing system. It's really quite addictive. I've only done a couple of quick sketches on there so far, but there are a lot of talented artists doing really in depth pieces, from pixel art, like the old nintendo games, to much more detailed work. And it's not using a Flash system, like other sites. I'm not sure what the coding is, but it's pretty awesome!

(These are .png files, so I hope you can view them okay. If not, let me know, and I'll upload some jpg's)

Here's an example of some really good work by my friend and studio mate, Brent Engstrom (who goes by "poopmustache" on there for some reason ;o):

journal project They also have a great journal project going on where they send the sketchbook around the country and have people sketch and pass it on. Really fantastic, inventive site that I think is going to be pretty huge! I'm really impressed with the system over there. You HAVE to check it out! ;o)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Color of Nothingface...

nothingfaceClick for larger version

I've signed on to color the series "Nothingface" by Kel Nuttal and Morpheus Forge Ent. The pencils and inks are by Dan Schmidt. It also has awesome covers by Juan Ferreyra, the artist on Small Gods (and now Rex Mundi) from Image Comics!

Definitely a departure in style for me, as I use a more painterly look, even for my normal comic book work. We're trying to go simplistic and stylistic, expressing a lot with the color choices. It's definitely a fun project and I look forward to the rest of it.

For more information, visit Morpheus Forge Ent. or Kel's Blog, The Mad Alaskan! where you can also see the inks and other previews for the series.

Here's the first of the killer
covers by Juan Ferreyra:

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Just HAD to draw!

darkClick for larger version

GOSH! ;o)

I've been working some much on my novel, then all the lettering projects and whatnot, that I haven't drawn in about a week! Yikes!

So, I just had to draw something. Especially after visiting John Nevarez's sketch blog. I love doing these crazy sketch pages that (generally) have nothing to do with anything. Just random drawings; whatever pops into mind. Always helps to loosen me up and remind me why I'm an artist. Most of the time, there ends up being a weird guy, a superhero (usually Wolvie), a woman, the Hulk smashing something, and a baby. ;o) Don't know why, those are just fun things to draw and the wide variety is fun.

Now, I think I can do some writing. Been so busy today I haven't had a chance to do that, either.

Oh, and last night I watched a cartoon that I loved as a kid, "Fun and Fancy Free!" It's a Disney combo of "Bongo" and "Mickey and the Beanstalk." I had forgotten how much I loved that. The "My, What a Happy Day" song is great (especially when the cow sings. that cracks me up everytime).

Goofy: Turkey. Lobster. Sweet Potater Pie. Pancakes piled up 'til they reach the sky.

Donald: Quack-quack, quack-quack, quack-quack, quack-quack, quack-quack, quack-quack, quack-quack, QUAAAAACK!!

Goofy: Oooooooooh! I wanna eat'n'eat'n'eat'n'eat and eat until I die.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Chapter 30!!

darkBeen slacking on my bloggage lately, so here's another.

Yes, I have finally made it to Chapter 30 (31,000 words) of my new kid's fantasy novel (ooh, for those of you paying attention, that's a tad more info). As I mentioned in my Dillon Family Reunion blog, I had a very inspired day, so most of that was written yesterday, finishing up the last bit tonight. I'm really excited about the last few chapters.

They took an interesting turn -- still staying on my outline, but taking a different path from point A to point B. And that slight change in direction found me feeling very at home with what I wrote. What I mean is, it felt like a new piece of my journey as a writer fell into place; the style, the setting, the mood, everything felt very unique and very ME. Not that the rest hasn't, but this REALLY did. ;o)

So, that made me very happy and excited.

Now, if you've been paying attention, you'll know that I'm very off schedule. My plan was to be done with this novel on Oct. 15th (3 days ago) so I could begin preparations for National Novel Writing Month. I was very uninspired there for a week or so and tried to fight through it. I made it, but it put me behind. On top of that, I have some new projects starting. I'm a little worried for next month, but not crushed. I am going to try to finish up the rest soon anyway.

On the other projects side, I'm lettering Noble Causes #15 and a Noble Causes Christmas Special, which I'm very excited about. A really cute story illustrated by Gabe Bridwell.

I'm also about to start coloring a hardcover graphic novel of mythology for a kid's publishing company. The key word is hardcover, because that will be my first. Graphic Novels don't often get a hardcover treatment.

And some various other stuff, but I need to get to bed, so I can get my days and nights flipped back around ... again.

As always, thanks for stoppin' by and keeping me inspired. Have a splendiferous day! ;o)

Cold ...

Click for larger version

From the prompt "Cold" for Illustration Friday.

This is actually a piece I did a while back for my short story, "Dad's Boots." I was hoping I could do something original for this one, because the prompt "Cold" really inspires me, but I don't see the time coming this week. I'm still hoping, but just in case ... This particular image was done up pretty quickly, just to have a display piece on the site. I think the expressions are kinda neat, though.

And here is an excerpt from that story:

I still heard his boots when I woke up. No smell of pancakes. No morning news. Just squeaking and creaking, old leather boots.

I don't want to give any more away, because I'm afraid it would ruin the payoff of the story. But, please, take the time to read it and give me your feedback. html version | pdf version

Thanks for lookin'! ;o)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Dillon Family Reunion

darkToday was the second annual Dillon family reunion since we used to have them over ten years ago. After moving from Smith Center, KS, we all kinda lost touch and weren't really looking to find it again, but last year, my Aunt tracked us all down and invited us to a reunion. It's been really great getting to know everyone again. The last time I spoke with many of them (before last year, anyway) was when I was in 6th grade, so a LOT has changed since then.

It was a really great time, too. Less awkward reintroductions than last year, more time for just chatting and playing with the youngin's. That's always fun, because I can still remember being about the youngest at those things.

Now, my point for posting it, besides just to let you know what I've been up to, is that I was incredibly inspired by this. I've been having a bumpy time lately with my writing, and even tried writing a bit on the way up there (2 or 3 hour drive), but was uncomfortable and uninspired so I didn't get a lot done. But, after seeing my family, playing around all day, and visiting places from my childhood, I was on FIYAH! ;o)

I've been writing like a madman since.

I still really want to take a trip all by my lonesome sometime and stay in a hotel for a week or so, then just ride my bike around all over and check everything out. It's so bizarre to see how small everything is. Seriously, I remember my house (which was torn down and is now just an empty yard) being SO far away from the highway, but it turns out, it's two tiny little blocks. So weird. There's just so many memories and stories there. As much as I hated living there when I was a kid, I always loved the town itself. It helps me get back to my childhood, which, as a children's writer, really helps inspire me.

darkIf you haven't already, I recommend going back to places you spent time (or town's you lived in) when you were young. It'll spark you more than you realize.

Anyone have stories like that?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Finished "Donuthead"

darkI finished reading "Donuthead" by Sue Stauffacher. Love that cover by C. F. Payne! This is a fantastic book. Really unique characters who really come to life. The strange bond between Franklin Delano Donuthead, a nervous, parnoid kid with an obsession with safety, and Sarah Kervick, a rough and tough bully from a trailer park, is brilliant and sweet. They help each other through a tough time and a little growing up. Beautiful ending. Really sweet.

I can't emphasize enough how alive these characters feel. All of them. From the school bully, to Donuthead's mom, to his younger, tag-along neighbor kid, to Sarah's dad, and on. I would love to see this made into a movie, or a cartoon series, or anything. I think kids (and adults) could really enjoy the adventures of Donuthead and Sarah.

I'm now reading "Shattered Mirror" by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She's 21 or 22 and already on her 7th novel. So far, this book is really fast paced and exciting. I like the concep a lot. For more info, check out her site (with blog), and her Random House Site.

I also picked up "Colorado Kid," the new Stephen King mystery from Hard Case Crime, which I'm excited about.

And, I got "Hatchet," the classic by Gary Paulsen. I fell in love with that book as a kid and have been itching to read it again.

Now, back to writing. Only a few more days before I'm supposed to be done with my current novel and begin the preparation and outlining for my NaNoWriMo Novel. Eek!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Dark, But Shining...

Click for larger versions.

darkThe horror blog, "Dark, But Shining," is having a contest to win some free horror comics. These are a couple of quick entries I worked up. The prompt was a "visual representation of their name." I guess mine are more of a "dark, but glowing" style, but whatever. That's what popped into my head and it was just for fun.

So, go check that out. But, even cooler is their coverage of all things horror for All Hallow's Month. From movies to comics to books and more, they've got some really good content going everyday of this month. Halloween is probably my favorite holiday (maybe tied with Christmas), and this site has helped get me in the mood. I sound like an infomercial. ;o)

Okay, back to writing. I just needed a little break. Have a good day!

* Update: Hey, I won! *

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lost ...

Click for larger version.

The latest entry to Illustration Friday from the prompt "Lost." I was inspired by an anti-marijuana commercial (something along the lines of, "just tell your mom you forgot about her because you were stoned). I was originally going to have a city street corner background with a lot of very large people walking past her, but I decided to go more simple (mainly because that would have taken forever).

The idea of a kid lost in such a busy, jungle of people really terrifies me. So, in a sense, this is a horror piece to me. So, I will have to add on to the story for this piece and make it a happy ending. She is scooped up moments later by her mother who (she didn't realize) was just right behind her getting ice cream. ;o)

I was also going to use Painter, but I just feel so awkward in there, still. For example, I try to select and move a small area of my drawing, and it created a new "floating" layer, and couldn't merge it.

So, I copped out and used Photoshop. ;o)

Hope ya like!

Thursday, October 06, 2005


NaNoWriMoThe National Novel Writing Month website is now open for registration! This is the contest where a whole buncha writers start writing on Novemeber 1st and attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript. Lotsa writing goin' on. ;o)

The first cool thing I noticed after registering was that I could select a regional group that allowed me to post in a Kansas forum and meet other Kansans. That's pretty neat. Didn't even think about more locals working on this.

Now, the only problem is that I'm not on schedule with my current novel. I still plan on getting it done by the middle of this month, so I can plan for the next one. Gonna be tough, though. I have some other projects coming due soon and I've been fighting off writer's block (and a bit of procrastination, I suppose).

So, the registration reminder gave me a good kick in the tukus (how the heck do you spell that?). Hope some of you will join me next month. Let me know if you're in there, too.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Float ...

Click for larger version.

The latest entry to Illustration Friday from the prompt "Float." I was originally going to do a root beer float, because that was my favorite treat when I was a kid. Then I thought of a parade float. But decided to go with this piece, even if it's a little more obvious. It's based off of a dream I had recently. I wasn't able to fly, but only float, and it was really difficult. I decided to keep with the kids theme by making it me as a chunky little kid (I really did love those root beer floats ;o)

This is also my first real piece created using the program Painter. I definitely don't feel comfortable with it yet, and really I could have done this faster (and less messy) in Photoshop, BUT, I can tell that there is something there worth pursuing. I've seen the results people get with Painter, so I know that it is a good program. Just different from what I'm used to. I messed around with the oil brushes, pencils, blenders. Maybe I'll keep up my practice with these Illo Fridays.

Let me know what you think! And if you have any Painter tips or tutorials, let me know.

Read "Nightwing: Fundamentals" online now!

You can now read the fully illustrated and lettered story online here and let us know what you think!.