Friday, December 23, 2005

Another True Story

true story

What I like about this one is the way it plays with the structure of the gag-strip format. The first panel takes the part of the punchline here, followed by the setup. Once you reach the end you have to double back (mentally) for completion of the central theme (why is the dog acting this way?). If you remove the first panel the rest makes no sense.

And it's true... Tico does hate the snow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It all goes with life's yin and yang, I guess...

true story

If it's gotta be a joke, at least make it a bad one...

it's kind of like a joke

Apparently it's hard for me to make comics in the three or four panel format without trying to tell a joke. That's not what I want to do with these - tell jokes, I mean. If I can't lick the inclination I may have to abandon the format for these sketch-comic thingies.
This one sure feels like a joke, even though it doesn't make a whole lot of sense as one. I was going for the depiction of the sudden realization that the entire world may not be familiar with some things you may take for granted (or something like that). Yeah, I know... real profound (har har). Not sure if it all comes across but the whole thing is depicted pretty much as it happened.
A small victory.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Babies, Babies, Everywhere!!

So, in honor of Cat Garza's new baby girl I thought I'd put up some new pictures of my own little bundle of joy. You know, kind of give Cat an idea of what he has to look forward to.

(Okay, okay... So I'm just proud of my lttle girl and I want to show her off. Is that so wrong?)


Thank you Walmart Picture Studio.

Baby!!! It feeds itself!!!

She'll have none of that spoonfed-by-mommy-and-daddy nonsense. Such an independant minded child.

Note also the fancy new photo in the "profile" of the blog. Not my best posing (perhaps if i had known of the photo op in advance) but one of my favorite pictures nonetheless.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Go on. Ask me how I liked the movie...

if you were here you would see a comic right now

I'm not what you'd call a big fan of Gus Van Sant. Not that I have anything against his films, it's just that I haven't seen that many of them. Like the rest of middle-America, I watched Good Will Hunting (and it's "sequel", Finding Forrester). And also like the rest of middle-America, I tried to ignore all the hubbub over his shot-for-shot remake of Psycho. I've still never seen that film (the Van Sant version) nor have I ever seen My Own Private Idaho. So you see I'm no expert on his work.

What I do know is Nirvana and the circumstances surrounding the death of Kurt Cobain. In high school I was pretty obsessed. I devoured anything Cobain related in the media. I remember pouring over Tom Grant's early internet posts on his investigation into Cobain's death (Grant was a private investigator that Courtney Love hired to find Cobain when he "escaped" from rehab). It's kind of sickening to think back on it, all that wasted time. But anyway, yeah, I'm pretty familiar with all of that.

The film seems pretty accurate in that regard. Of course there's a disclaimer in the credits (this film, while inspired by the death of Curt Cobain, is a work of fiction...) but all the elements I'm aware of are accounted for and events seem to match up with what is known about Cobain's suicide. From rock-star ennui and the pressures of fame to details of chronology (Tom Grant completely missed finding Kurt in his search of the Cobain household. He later turned up dead in the one room Grant didn't search.) Despite the name changes, all of the details are in the movie. I don't know where they shot it but the greenhouse (or gardening shed) where Blake (the Cobain character) finds his end is almost too eerily (visually) similar to the shed where the real Kurt Cobain spent his last night. The final scene, the discovery of the body, is staged so remarkably well it matches up almost exactly with the well-known photos of the scene of Curt's death.

Michael Pitt, who plays Blake(/Cobain) does a fairly convincing caricature. The mannerisms are pretty good and the Cobain slouch is in effect. With his dirty hair all in his face he could almost pass as Cobain. Pitt also provides a passable possible embryonic Nirvana song in his A Long Hard Journey From Death to Birth. and there's a dischordant, Sonic Youth-y (Thurston Moore serves as "musical consultant") tape-loop collage experiment in the middle of the film (which ended up scaring Sophie, poor baby).

The cinematography and the editing are the real stars of the film, though. The photography has a rough-edged kind of beauty to it (not eye-pleasing but somehow right). Much of the focus is on the setting. Lots of wide-angled distance shots and stationary trailing shots following the action (20 seconds on only the bushes). The scenery is anything but pastoral ("I don't get it," remarked Rachelle, "It's not even pretty"). But it fits the decidedly unsentimental portrayal of events.

A lot of reviews called the pacing "meditative" ("boring." says Rachelle). It's a long, slow slide to the ending. It's not really the kind of movie you follow along but you have to let it wash over you. Comparisons have been made to the other recent minimalist works of Van Sant, such as Elephant (which I also have not seen).

Even from a only a layman's perspective, I can appreciate the understated filmmaking. What struck me is the fine use of the combination of elements unique to the film medium. Visuals were important, and of course sound. While specific verbalization (the realm of prose) is obviously and adamantly unimportant. Most of the dialogue is mumbled or obscured (except a nice little allegory the P.I. tells regarding a vaudeville stage magician and the details of his mysterious death - you can hear that one all right). The dialogue is unimportant. It's the sound of it that's key. Only in film does this work. The forced ugliness of both visual and audio in concert tell the story much more effectively (and viscerally) than description or verbosity ever could.

So did I like the movie? I don't know. I guess i did as much as a movie like this can be "liked."

But, like the man said... like the man said...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Mind in the (Infinite) Gutter

gaze not into the abyss

Phil Sandifier entered the Webcomics Examiner fold in this latest issue with a take on James Kochalka's popular American Elf series called American Elf and The Infinite Gutter. I'm pretty new to American Elf (I just started reading it when it came up in discussion for the Artistic History of Webcomics also in this issue of the Examiner) but Phil seems to confirm my initial impression of the feel of the strip, and he explains it in a clever way to boot with his description of the infinite gutter effect.

I like the idea of the infinite gutter, especially as pertains to webcomics . Let me clumsily summarize: Form and display (design) of a given comic strip affect the reading experience in many ways. When a webcomic displays each installment on it's own page (rather than in the Manley-backed stacking method) then a temporal gulf is created between each strip. The space between one day's installment and the next, Sandifier argues, is effectively infinite. This infinite gulf can act just as a gutter does between panels. What Scott McCloud calls closure (remind me to share my thoughts on "closure" sometime) occurs here. This is the infinite gutter.

Now, McClouds idea of closure rests on the use of juxtaposition. If two successive moments are placed next to one another spatially then they are comics. Closure is your mind filling in the blanks between the two panels. So if it ain't juxtaposed it ain't comics, right? Well, I'm not so sure. This dependance on spatial relationship has not been sitting well with me lately.

Take the example of Ethan Persoff's The Recovery of Charlie Pickle. Like much of Persoff's work,Charlie pickle is presented on a page-by-page basis. Each page of Charlieis a single panel. Unlike American Elf there is no spatial juxtaposition on any given page. The images are clearly in a deliberate sequence and closure does occur, albeit between pages instead of in the gutters - the infinite gutter. The temporal gulf is smaller than in Elf, where the gap bridges an entire day instead of mere moments, but the principal is the same.

Charlie Pickle is precisely the kind of example Scott McCloud argues against in Reinventing Comics. Remove the aspect of juxtaposition, McCloud argues, and then it's not comics. But I think this clearly is not the case in Charlie Pickle and other one-panel-at-a-time webcomics.

I love panel-to-panel interplay. I love design and the effects design can have on multiple panel layouts. But I think dependance on spatial relationships between panels does not necessarily make or break "comics." Mr. Sandifier's idea of the infinite gutter only adds fire to this belief.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen... are you ready for some DISCERNING CRITICISM?!?

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

A new issue of The Webcomics Examiner is up.
I get a kick out of every new issue (although I don't know if it's that much of a kick).

My own participation in this issue consists of a small part in the round table and throwing in my two cents behind the scenes of the "best of 2005" list. I also wrote a review for this issue but Joe decided to hold it back for the big format change.

Anyway, the press release:

ecember 05, 2005-- The Best Webcomics of 2005 are
featured in the special end-of-year issue of The
Webcomics Examiner. The editorial advisory board
surveyed the field and debated to come up with a list
of the most noteworthy series and completed works.
Says editor Joe Zabel, "Everyone has their own opinion
about which comics are best; but we hope our listing
efforts will stimulate discussion and attract new
readers to a very fine group of cartoonists."

The Webcomics Examiner is a monthly forum of reviews,
interviews, and critical articles evaluating
webcomics as a fine art. The free-access website is at

This issue also features Part 2 of an editorial
roundtable on The Artistic History of Webcomics, with
T Campbell, Shaenon Garrity, William G., Phil Kahn,
Bob Stevenson, Eric Burns, Wednesday White, A. G.
Hopkins, Rob Balder, Tim Godek, Zabel, Alexander and
Brandy Danner. Chronicling the webcomics medium's
creative evolution, the discussion includes profiles
of Cat Garza, Tristan Farnon, Demian5, Patrick Farley,
Broken Saints, Justine Shaw, James Kochalka, Roger
Langridge, Jim Zubkavich and many more.

Also this issue:

--Webcomics pioneer Tracy White discusses her
innovative approach to webcomics in an interview
conducted by Zabel.

--Philip Sandifer probes the secret life of James
Kochalka's legendary autobiographical comic American

--Tristan Farnon's Leisure Town is analyzed by Zabel.

The cover artist this issue is David Hellman, of A
Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible fame.

So go. Read. Learn. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Self Portrait No.1

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

I've been flipping through the archives at Angel Interceptor again. I was gonna do Inteceptor as my first Examiner review but just as I was preparing to write it, Ira Marks up and stopped posting comics there. It's too bad. He's got a nice style. Kinda long, spindly appendages. Cartoony but with a little bit of creepy, spidery twist to it. His ink work was good but I especially liked when he switched to just pencils like in The Coward From Where. Very much a "hand written" style. Immediate and personal like Jefreyf Brown and Anders Nilson meet, I don't know, Edward Gorey or something. The story where I fell in love with his pencils is, alas, no longer available online. It was a kind of human-raised-by-animals fairy tale with a "futility of social justice" motif. Incredible page design where all the smudges and scratches seemed to make sense. He even had lines of dialogue crossed out and re-written right there on the "finished" page. It was so fuckin' cute.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I Thought I Had Lost My Cat Today

We couldn't find Rufus this morning.

I was feeding Sophie her morning bottle and Rachelle had gone downstairs to feed all the animals. We feed our cats twice a day. They know the schedule and when they're fed, they all come running. When Rachelle had filled their bowls she noticed that one was left standing without a cat anywhere near. Sophie had just about finished her drink when Rachelle burst back in with a panicked rush in her voice.

"I can't find Rufus!" she said.

You may remember Rufus from my timeline comic My Life With Pets. He's the big orange cat about halfway down on the far left, just above our dog Chi Chi.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

Rufus was one of our Humane Society rescues. When we first brought him home we already had four cats. Normally, a new animal brought into such a situation would range on the caution scale from a little nervous to quick! finds me some place to hide. As soon as we opened the carrier Rufus hopped out, took one quick tour of the house and plopped down on the couch, just as calm as could be. It was just as like he'd always belonged here. I don't know what it is about Humane Society cats, maybe they're just grateful to get a home, but they always seem to make the best natured pets.

But this morning he'd disappeared.

All of our cats are indoor-only pets, but the dogs go outside to do their business. Some of the cats, being curious by nature, try to escape through the open door when we let the dogs out. Usually we see them get out and usually they don't get far (although, trying to chase down a black cat in the dead of night isn't always a whole lot of fun). A search of the whole house did not reveal our missing cat this morning. This time we must not have seen Rufus go.

Rachelle did a quick walk around the house, calling his name (later she said she kind of felt like an asshole, walking around the yard in her bathrobe yelling "Rufus... Rufus..."). I put Sophie down and pulled on my shoes and coat to go canvas the neighborhood. The last time I had let the dogs out was the previous night. Rufus must have gotten out then. He had been out all night. He could be anywhere. I took a step out the door, expecting at least a long search. Honestly, though, I really feared what what I would find laying in the ditch alongside our road.

Now you might say, "Tim. You've got (let see... onetwothhreefour) eight other cats. Really is one less gonna make a difference?" But you have to understand something. Of course we are what you might call "animal lovers." You kind of have to be to pile up that many pets. But more than that, I think it's pretty safe to say that Rufus is our favorite pet of them all (they're not like kids, you can pick a favorite). Ever since that first day we brought him home he has been nothing but love and warmth and acceptance. Not just to us, but to all the other animals and people we have welcomed into our home. When we fostered the three kittens (Libby, Stripey, and Miko), Rufus was the one who really adopted them and raised them like his own kin. He comes up to see everyone, and I mean everyone who comes over. But, unlike Macio, he's not overly friendly and knows not to push his welcome. He's a big, warm, friendly teddy bear of a cat and quite possibly the best cat ever. So I was afraid and saddened at the thought of never seeing him again as I left the house this morning.

I took one step out the door. I heard a meow.

Rufus was right outside our front door the whole time. Cowering between our steps and the remains of a rose bush, scared out of his wits. I only spoke his name once and he popped up the steps, through the door, and back inside our safe warm home.

We were lucky he had the sense not to wander far and we were lucky that last night didn't get as freezing cold as it has been getting lately. But we were all glad to have him back safe, it seemed Rufus included.

In celebration of Rufus' return (and because I haven't released a comic in so long) I give to you a sneak peek at the Welton Colbert epic I have now returned to preparing. So for Ryan Estrada on his birthday, and for you (for making it all the way through this post), I present part one (the prologue) of The Welton Colbert Show.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tree City officially down the drain and Colbert wins... This Time

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

More spinning my wheels as the unfinished comics keep piling up.

I'm shelving Tree City. Part Three is all drawn up. I'm not completely happy with the way it turned out (which is about par for the course with most of my comics) but that's not why I'm putting it away.

Tree City, as I've envisioned it, is a very drawn out and involved story, and it really doesn't make much sense except as a whole (or serialized into the six chapters). I'm averaging about six to eight months per installment (each chapter is eight to ten parts) and it's just not a story that can adapt to that kind of schedule. I certainly wouldn't want to read it like that. It might all be well and good (though not ideal) if I had the time to focus exclusively on it and dribble it out piece by piece, but there are too many other avenues I want to explore right now. Tree City wad kind of an accident. I never intended to serialize it on the web. I was just using it to play around with the infinite Canvas program. I'm pretty sure it's a good story, though, and I may return to it if I ever have the freedom to devote to it the time it deserves.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

The comic I've been spending most of my time lately on was to be for Ryan Estrada's Welton Colbert Guest week. You may remember Colbert turning his withering gaze in my direction in the pages of Comixpedia. His strip was basically an "attack" on infinite canvas so of course my response turned into a massive nine-part Infinite Canvas epic (okay, "epic" might be stretching it.But it is nine parts.) Alas, I bit off more than I could chew once again as it now appears there is no way I'll be able to finish it by anywhere close to the deadline. Which is too bad. I think what I have finished is some of the best cartooning I've ever done and the script would have been very compelling (in my opinion). I thought about sending him just the first part (of the nine) 'cause it's done and it could conceivably stand alone. But it really makes a better comic when grouped with the rest, so I've decided it's all or nothing there, too.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

So where does that leave me?
Well, I've got a ton of short standalones piled up and I've started work on a story called "I Lost My Voice"

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

And I've got something else up my sleeve that, if I can work it out, means you'll be seeing a lot more comics from me on the internet next year.

I will make comics again, someday...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Well it's fixed now

Stupid Blogger. I'm thinking of switching services anyway. Big plans. We'll see...

Anyway... Sophie's very first Halloween.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

Thassa big pumpkin.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

It's cute, but it's not, like, Ann Geddys Cute. (I hope)

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

Like I said, thassa big pumpkin.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

And the two loveliest ladies in my life.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Salem Jack: DONE!!!


alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

Waiting for Bill's approval but, PHEW!!!

I guess I really can finish things.

And now just for fun:

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

WHEEEEE - HAW!!! Now that's a Friday Night!!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Somebody out there does care!

Took me a little while but I finally came across this response to my entry in the Examiner's Triangulation Challenge of this past summer. I really take it as a testament to my efforts that someone took something I did so way off base.

To tell you the truth, I've been feeling a little down of late. I feel like I've just been spinning my wheels for some time. This turned out to be just what I needed to pick me up.

I mean, I got called a douchebag for cryin' out loud. How awesome is that?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Salem Jack: does this painting ever end?

Snuck in some more work on the book cover this weekend, between copiuos amounts of chores and other middle-class drudgery.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

Got the boys blocked in. At least we seem to be in the homestretch now.

Friday, September 30, 2005

New Webcomic Examiner

Hooray! Huzzah!

A new issue of the Webcomic Examiner is up!

My own contribution to this issue is a look at the use of music in webcomics. Click the link on the front page after you see what else is there:

September 30, 2005-- In celebration of the tenth anniversary of webcomics as an artform, The Webcomics Examiner is conducting a roundtable on the Artistic History of Webcomics. In part one of a two-part series, T Campbell, Eric Millikin, Shaenon Garrity, William G., Mike Meginnis, Bob Stevenson, Eric Burns, Wednesday White, A. G. Hopkins and Rob Balder join moderator Joe Zabel in exploring the medium's creative evolution, with profiles of Charley Parker, Pete Abrams, Scott McCloud, and many others, in the latest issue of The Webcomics Examiner.

The Webcomics Examiner is a quarterly forum of reviews, interviews, and critical articles evaluating webcomics as a fine art. The free-access website is at

This issue also headlines a major interview with Dinosaur Comics creator Ryan North. In a conversation with Mike Meginnis, North describes the origins of his unique, graphically-arrested series, and explores issues of art and language with remarkable candor and sophistication.

Also this issue:

* Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago speculates on the role of museums in preserving webcomics culture in "Curating Webcomics."

* Tim Godek hears the sound of music in comics, spotlighting Cat Garza, Neal Von Flue, and Kean Soo in "Click to the Beat."

* Andrew Wade chronicles the creation of a webcomic in "Diary of a Web Artist, by Someone Who Isn't."

* Alexander Danner reviews Steven Charles Manale's series Superslackers.

This issue's cover is by webcomics legend Cat Garza, creator of the critically-acclaimed Magic Inkwell series. The cover is accompanied by a soundtrack by Squarepegz, featuring Zen Boodamasta and Unknown Souljah.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Am I Still Here?

Are you?

It seems to me lot of blogs are like the detritus of the web. Online public diaries filled with boring minutia and self indulgent complaining. There's a voyeuristic kick to reading these blogs - peeking in on someone else's life - but it wears off quickly. A lot of bitching is what it usually is. And usually bitching about nothing.

Not to say that there aren't blogs that are interesting or even useful . Ther are interesting people out there and people whose opinions have some kind of merit (did you think I was talking about your blog up there? No, no. I love your blog). Generally it seems that these kinds have some kind of focus, though, other than on themselves. It seems these blogs have some kind of purpose.

I wonder, lately, about the purpose of this blog. I started this blog for webcomics stuff. I opened it to comment in someone else's blog. I used it to try my hand at the composition of reviews. I announce my infrequent projects in it. I had hoped that it would be a way to keep my hand in the community, somehow - keep a more regular presence on the web.

It's been nearly a month since my last post here. Is this blog really necessary? There are outlets to say what I want to say about webcomics in forums and other peoples blogs. I continue to write for the Examiner and Comixpedia is still an option as well. I've released just one short comic since June (when my baby was born). I have little time to spare daily. Ideally that time should go more to actually making comics than just trying to participate in the culture.

Webcomics is something I've come to care about quite a bit in the last year or so. I enjoy feeling like I am contributing to the community (as it is), and I definitely have a lot of opinions on webcomic matters. But this blog has deteriorated to a slow trickle of nothings. I don't have time for anything else. I barely have time to read webcomics anymore. I don't want to worry about updating this blog just for the sake of updating.

I'm leaving it open for now. I'll finish my process on the book cover (though I'm not sure if anyone cares) and I'll announce my occasional comics releases (though I'm not sure if anyone cares). I'm not ready to let go of this outlet, though it seems less and less likely anyone will read it and less and less likely I'll even get the chance to use it.

But I wonder if I'm just contributing to the flood of worthless trash out there.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just bitching about nothing...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Salem Jack: Two for the price of one!

It's been a while since I posted any of this process but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on it.

Here's what it looked like up until this morning:

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

I have a bit of a problem with my perspective here. Note the two li'l guys unloading the boat. This happens to me quite a bit, actually. I get the perspective right in the drawing but then, like a teenage son, it just kind of slips away while I'm not paying attention. I ought to know better by now.

Anyway, here's how it looks now:

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

The perspective's fixed but... hmm... my scan looks kind of crooked.

I guess I just can't win.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

More Brushpen Fun!!!

Hi there.

Would you like to take a peek inside my sketchbook?

Well, sure. Who wouldn't?

brush pen

I'm having fun with this new brush/pen! I should've started playing with this years ago.
The drawings are character sketches for a story tentatively called I Lost My Voice. You'll see the yellow peanut guy again. Except he probably won't be yellow.

Or a peanut.

Anyway, still doing Tree City next...

Monday, August 22, 2005

You want a fight, Colbert? ...BRING IT!!

Just made it over to Comixpedia.

It seems Welton Colbert has it in for me.

I would fight back... but my retainer you see...
I can't take the risk...

not that he'd lay a finger on me. Two hits, you know what i mean...

but my parents paid a lot of money...

otherwise I'd totally kick his ass...

i'm not afraid...

my new inking technique is unstoppable

Starting work on the new Tree City.

Some time ago the pen I was using to ink the Nick Stevens segments of Tree City just kind of putzed out on me. I've tried out various other pens but I couldn't get the variable line weight I wanted. I think I finally found something I can at least live with.

It's one of these here dealies:

brush pen

I've tried inking with a brush from time to time but was never quite comfortable with it. This Micron brush/pen gives a similar effect as a brushstroke but can handle more like a pen (I know, hard to believe...). The nice thing is I can get the varied weights of a brush and it's a lot more portable.

So here's the first test shot of the new Tree City (in color - albeit limited):

in color!!!

We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Not cut out for the webcomics life?

So you've probably already heard about it.

Everybody else has.

here it is almost 7:00 and I still don't have a fully formed, well thought out and most importantly cogently expressed opinion on it.

Really, you people never cease to amaze me!

I'm never gonna make it in this world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Salem Jack: the sky isn't falling - but nothing's holding it up...

More process. Actually been like this a little while but it's new to you, right?

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

Working back to front here. Sky's done, mid-ground's done, boat's next (lota detail work).

And, yeah, this is as far as I've gotten. Good thing Bill didn't set a deadline!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Salem Jack: UNDERPAINTING? Who does a #*%! underpainting for acrylics?

I do, that's who!

Underpainting is usually reserved for oils which are more easily transparent and the bottom layer might actually affect what's on top of it. Acrylics are more opaque (unless they're watered down which doesn't work very well) so an underpainting is usually not necessary.
This is a pretty high profile job for me and my sketches were a little, well... sketchy, so I was a little nervous.
I blocked things out with and underpainting to give me a better idea of composition and value while I work.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

All of this will be pretty much completely covered by the time it's done, and it will look very different.

How do i know this?
Because I've already done a bunch more work on it.

But you guys don't get to see it yet.



Thursday, August 04, 2005

Well, hello.

It's been a while!

So what have I been up to lately?
Well as you know from my previous entries, my wife and I had a baby a little over a month ago. Everyone is doing fine. We are all happy and healthy and she's such a smart little bugger. As you can imagine she keeps us pretty busy.

In addition to my baby responsibilities, my day-job has also been soaking up a lot of my time. It's good that we're busy in a time when a lot of factories are laying off or shutting down (at least in my area) but all the overtime eats away at my "leisure" activities, namely making comics.

Well, drawing comics, I should say. My work duties don't take an enormous amount of mental acuity, so I normally have a good five-to-six hours of good thinking-time a day. That and the accessibility of my notebooks and sketchbooks have allowed me to stock up on plenty of stories and ideas. I have a good backlog of 15-20 solid strips - some short and sweet, some more involved - that I need to find the free-time to draw.

For right now, I've started on the Salem Jack cover ('cause it pays). I'll post the process to that to here. After that, more Tree City (the first chapter - in eleven parts - is completely scripted and laid out, the remainder just needs fleshing out). The rest is kind of up in the air. I've got so many ideas to work with.

Anyway, here's a comic I did find time to draw. Nothing to write home about, really. I've scripted a number of these shorter ones which I'll release from time to time between major projects. I hope it brings you some momentary amusement or something.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Man! Are Babies Small, or What?

Thank you to all who sent well wishes in the past few weeks. This has been a very busy and exciting time for all of us.

And now, because one person demanded it...


hand on head
So small!!

Sophie's hand in Rachelle's
OOOOH! Lookit the teeny-tiny little fingers!

it's our feet
The obligatory family foot portrait.

And just in case any of you forgot just how cute my baby really is:


All together now. One... two... three...


Friday, July 08, 2005

A Different Kind of Baby

Markus Müller's "baby," Infinite Canvas, has a new release today (v1.3).
Somebody try it out willya?

I'm slowly working on new comics around the baby's schedule!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I'm a new father. Bear with me.

And because my daughter is perhaps the most beautiful baby in the world,

I present Miss Sophie Alexandra Godek:

(taken on June 27th. the date on the pictures is wrong. it's the stupid camera. it couldn't possibly be my fault)

And because somewhere and at some point I said I would,

Pictures of the nursery:

Gorgeous, gorgeous, all around!

I'm gonna try to keep a lid on all this picture posting before I annoy you all with my overwhelming dad-ness.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Everybody else can stop trying. We have had the world's most perfect baby.

It's a girl.
Born Monday evening at 7:09.
(no fancypants digital stills for you. straight-up, old-school Polaroid!)

Rachelle was amazing!
I've never been more proud of her than I am right now.

Mother and daughter are both healthy and doing well.

Father is tired. So tired...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Past Still Haunts Me (or Bad German Comic)

The new comic brings up some old memories.

I was talking to Markus the other day about my high school German class and how I managed to pass it without actually learning a lick of the language.

I used to draw little comics for my teacher, painstakingly translated to really bad German (via looking up pretty much every word). Herr Caputo took a liking to me and to these really bad little renderings. Since we were a public school with virtually no accountability he could get away with just passing whoever he took a personal liking to, regardless of their actual knowledge.
So bad art and horrible language skills actually got me through my foreign language requirement and, therefore, my High school diploma.

Anyway, I still have some of these drawings laying around so I thought I'd post 'em up.

Backstory: This was done in to a short production of the Snow White story my German class was putting on.

In case you're wondering I played the mirror.

HOLY CAT! A New Comic!
(click to enlarge)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

It might be... It could be... IT IS!!!

I've posted a new Infinite Canvas comic up at my site. It's only been what.. four months?

It's a three-panel gag-strip type.

Or maybe it's not.

I like to think of it as a joke with two punchlines.

anyway, enjoy...
HOLY CAT! A New Comic!

(Special thanks to Markus for helping with the translation...)

Salem Jack: narrative, oh narrative...

Bill liked the sketch but some things didn't make sense to him.

If the boat was passing by or leaving the dock (in other words moving at all) then the boys should have been paying more attention to it (this being the middle of the 1800s there wasn't much else as far as entertainment, I guess) but if the boys were looking at the boat their backs would be turned to the viewer.

I liked the boys casual glances at the steamer in the previous sketch but Bill says they would have been more interested than that. He thought maybe the boat should be docked and unloading cargo. This is a process that would take hours (and be pretty boring even by 1800s standards) giving the boys plenty of time to devote to other boyish passtimes (fishing and skipping stones, in this case). You can see the boys' faces and it makes more sense (with regards to narrative.

Anyway, you can't really make any of that out in the new sketch, done quick and loose for composition:

Quick and loose - just like I like 'em!
and, by the way, that's not the typeface he's going to use or anything. I just dropped that in for the basic idea.

You know, you're probably getting sick of seeing basically the same sketch over and over again so I think I'm not going to post any more process until it's further along...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

It's Coming...

Rachelle had a doctor's appointment this morning.
She's one centimeter dialated.

My days are numbered...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Process: Salem Jack sketches

Since Bill basically likes the original design, I didn't have to do a whole lot of thumbnails for this. Basically, it's just adding the boat.
Which is pretty much what I did here:
Pretty boring
Pretty boring.

So a few quick thumbs for monkeying with the layout...
Stick Figures. YAY!

and I settled on the design I should've had in the first place:

I angled the boat for a more dynamic design. I also altered the position of the boys, making them react to the steamboat a little and (hopefully) tie the composition together.

I'm not sure about the direction the boat's pointing. Ideally the boat's front should point to the right (forward moving direction), right? To tell you the truth I don't know which end is the front of the steamer. I may have got it backwards. I'l have to look into that.

All in all pretty happy with the design. I'll have to tighten it up, of course. We'll see if Bill likes it first though.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Pre-Process: Salem Jack Cover


so, Bill says he likes the original cover design:

If you can't see this you're not missing much

but he wants the steamboat Talisman added:

It's just a boat

So the finished product should look about like this, right?:

Imagine the boat you can't see added to the other picture you can't see and there you have it.


Well that was easy.
Bring on the next project!

Blog Archive