Tuesday, March 30, 2010





Monday, March 29, 2010

Last Unicorn #2 - Interior page previews!

Pencils by my wife Renae De Liz. Inks/color by Me. Check out previous posts for more art premieres of the new comic book adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Unicorn!" for IDW Publishing.

That last one in particular, with the close up of the harpy... ! MAN! I love my wife! She can draw anything and make it look incredible! Beautiful things, scary monsters, whatever. It's a dream every time I get to work with her.

Thanks for checking this out and please spread the word! We'd love to hear what you think and I'd personally love to get my wife's work out there to the furthest reaches of the universe!

Oh, and catch up on Last Unicorn before the comic hit stands. Books, DVD's, CD's, Apparel, Awesomeness!


Comics Art Career: A note about page rates

Hi, everyone-

Message boards are an excellent place to find countless threads on this subject, and most end with pretty good informations about what's "standard" in comics. What's gone before, what the highest rates are, what's considered entry-level, what is your time worth?

All that is fine information, but I think it's missing a key element.

What is a realistic amount to live on?
How much work will it be?

I think a lot of writer's with projects, and even a lot of publishing companies don't get this. They enforce monthly deadlines, but don't offer compensation to match. I think artists don't keep this in mind either. We ask, "What are industry standard rates?" not "What do I need to live?" and then we just go with what we can get.

For starting out, $75 is okay. But once you're established, and you have a family to take care of, that number becomes LOW. Think about it, $1,650 BEFORE taxes. That's around $1200 after taxes. That's not much to live on. Rent and groceries and you're done. And for full-time work, approximately 8 hours/day. That's about $9 an hour (not including the time for research, reading scripts, layouts, character designs--which are usually unpaid, paying for supplies, etc., etc). You can make that in fast-food. We're providing very specialized work. Without being money-hungry, WE need to determine the industry standard.

So, yeah, keep that stuff in mind. Who is your artist? Is he a single guy living in Kansas who can live pretty decent on $2,000, or a married guy with two kids living in New York who needs $5,000 a month to scrape by.

New artists (and old), please keep this in mind as you're forming your career. It's absolutely essential to be able to sustain it. Trust me, I'm still struggling with this stuff. Figure out your budget and if you can't get higher pencilling rates, try to find other ways to get to your budget mark each month, whether it be adding other skills (inking, coloring, etc.), moonlighting in other industries (film, video games, trading cards, etc.) or finding ways to do more work in your chosen area.

Oh, and just for the record, these are "Industry Standard" rates:

Entry Level: $25-$50
Mid-Level: $75-$100
Hardcore Pro: $125-$200
Superstar: $300-$1200
Ray Dillon: $5,000-$1 Million (includes inks, colors, letters, friendship, on-call assassin, lunch, dinner & a movie...)

Share your thoughts on this and feel free to ask questions.

Thanks for reading!


More great books on Comics & Art Career

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"The Last Unicorn #2" Comic Book - Creepy little snippet!

Pencils by my wife Renae De Liz, inks/colors by Me!
Published by IDW Publishing, based on the novel by Peter S. Beagle

And if you haven't already, make sure you tell your local comic book store to order issue #1 and the rest of the series! Also, if you're at Wondercon, you have the chance to get an advanced signed copy by Peter S. Beagle.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Interiview @ MasterDigitalColor.com!

Read about the creation of my new Superhero Team "The Shen," and Having a Comics Art Career! CLICK HERE:

I originally created this Superhero Team to be used in the Superhero Hero Style section of the book Master Digital Color. You can see how Brian Miller of Hi-Fi colors this piece and get a hi-res downloadable version to practice on from the CD Rom that accompanies the book!

And see an exclusive preview of this excellent new how-to book from Hi-Fi "Master Digital Color":Within the pages of Master Digital Color you find the ultimate comic book art gallery to color along with detailed step-by-step tutorials, hands on challenges, advice from the experts. Also features a Bonus DVD with Video tutorials - Artwork for all tutorials & challenges - Color guides, sample & reference art - Photoshop Add-Ons: Brushes, swatches, actions, scripts, & more - Click-A-Tone create - Manga style grayscale comic artwork - Hi-Fi's 1-2-3 Automation one-click color separations - Bonus artwork

Here are the progress steps that went into making this piece. Concept sketch, cover sketch & cover Inks me. Colors by Brian Miller of Hi-Fi.

About The She'n: In ancient Chinese mythology there is a long-forgotten. tale of four beings who ride within a storm and fall from the sky. All face death, are resurrected after four days and are granted powers. They walk among men to stop a great war and endless bloodshed. In modern day, these are four strangers from around the globe visiting Shanghai who manifest powers after a plane crash and are considered gods among men, or "She'n." One of whom, their leader, follows another meaning of "she'n" as a shapshifting dragon who creates mirages. China needs them to stop the political war that has begun, the plague of violence and decay on the streets, and new unforseen supernatural forces soon to be released to bring an end to the world.

The Characters:
Benjamin Song (the Dragon)
Jena Huang (the Hawk)
Billy Hu (the Tiger)
Cali Hung (the Bear)

The Shen is © Ray Dillon, 2009

Read the Interview HERE-->

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

VIDEO: Me Painting RPG Fantasy Warrior Woman!


This was a commission for http://www.BigIronVault.com a role-playing game magazine.

I was asked to do a lookalike tribute to a Larry Elmore painting. Tried to do my best with that.

The model in this piece is Jessica, the wife of Keith Foo, owner of Big Iron Vault.

Please, let me know if you think the length and speed of this (and my other) videos is good or two slow/fast. I greatly appreciate your feedback.

ARTISTS: Check out these instructional and motivational books on art and career: LINK

Thanks for watching!


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

VIDEO: Me Painting April O'Neil for DawnoftheNinja.com!


-- This is a fan-based graphic novel and film concept that I'm illustrating. Created by Luke Keith & Steve Lee. Written by Jeremy Fiest. Drawn by me!

--Music used with permission:

-- Song #1: "Underground" by Loch - http://www.youtube.com/lochofmceo

-- Song #2: "Righteous Ninja" by Duece Z - http://www.DueceZ.net

To hear the FULL songs, go to: http://dawnoftheninja.com/player.php

ARTISTS: Check out these instructional and motivational books on art and career: LINK

Thanks for Watching!


Monday, March 01, 2010

New TMNT Paintings! Shredder, April O'Niel, Beebop, & Rocksteady!

I'll doing concept paintings and illustrating the graphic novel for Dawn of the Ninja, a gritty, dark, realistic take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's a fan-based graphic novel and movie concept.

Go to http://www.DawnoftheNinja.com to learn more!

How-to Calm Your Baby & Stop the Crying!

Oh, my gosh!! I'm so excited!! Anyone who follows my Twitter knows that my wife and I just had a baby and we haven't slept since. We've been having a really a hard time calming our baby and getting him to sleep. We've tried books, online videos, advice from all over, and nothing quite worked. Some worked a little, some worked once and never again. THIS worked instantly and is continuing to work. Please, if you have a newborn, get this DVD! Have a stress-free time with your new baby! I know WE wanted and needed that. I'm sure you do, too!