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!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sometimes people will even give you money to draw pictures...REAL MONEY!

Far from being a professional illustrator, I do sometimes trade what I like to refer to as my "skills" for some sort of compensation. A few years back, a guy from Chicago (actually my brother's boss) got in touch with me about illustrating the cover of a book he had written. It was a historical fiction set in early-to-mid 1800s and was a coming of age story of two young boys and their trip down river. Included among its admittedly Twain-like cast of characters was a young Abraham Lincoln, who provided a kind of spiritual center for the story.

The writer, Bill Harmening, was self publishing the book (a labor of love kind of thing - no idea what that's like) and couldn't afford a real illustrator. We worked out a trade: he got a book cover and I got to use my new status as published illustrator to impress girls at parties.
If you can't see this you're not missing much
(this is the book)

Fast forward five or six years.

The new Lincoln Library opens in Springfield Illinois touching off a renewed interest in everything Lincoln related. Seeing how Honest Abe plays a part in Bill's book, the powers that be at the Library smell some money there. Bill's got an inside line and some interest in publishing a re-write is drummed up. With a new book comes a new cover, so who does Bill call? That's right, the guy he got the free artwork off of before.

Only this time he asks me for a price quote.

So seeing as I got this plum gig and seeing how I got this blog, I thought maybe I'd try one of them process thingies that Neal VonFlue is so fond of. That way you get to see my work-in-progress and I get to keep track of a piece in a way I've never done before. So everybody wins.

And I get paid.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Even Money's on Merlin

So somehow I got nominated for a Webcartoonist Choice Award for outstanding use of infinite canvas. I'm up against D. Merlin Goodbrey and Drew Weing so I'm not gonna go planning an acceptance speech or nothin'.

There are a lot of pretty good comics up this year, in fact.
Some from my list are:
Copper by Kazu Kibuishi
A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible by Dale Beran & David Hellman
Achewood by Chris Onstad
Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North
The Discovery of Spoons by Alexander Danner & John Barber
The Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
Its about Girls by William G

and a bunch of other comics that maybe I should be reading.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

God Save the Kinks?

This morning in the space between my hitting the snooze button and the second alarm going off I dreamt an entire Sex Pistols concert.

I was in high school again and the show was apparently part of some school function. It was being held in an open-air venue, maybe the school's football field. There were tall bleachers leading to a plateau at the top of which I sat with Rachelle.

As the band broke into the first chords of God Save The Queen the people in the row beneath us all stood and ran, in tight formation, diagonally down the steps. The bottom row had also stood and ran opposite, towards us in an exact parallel course. This maneuver also took place through the crowd in the open expanse in front of the stage, front and back rows exchanging places. The audience, aside from this obviously rehearsed spectacle, had little reaction to the start of the show.

God Save The Queen had quickly melded into Anarchy In The UK. Looking on stage, John Lydon seemed in good shape, moving as if he were a young man. He moved well, in fact - in perfect unison with the back-up dancers. Everyone in the band was dancing, practiced choreography that appeared lifted from the Backstreet Boys. Upon closer inspection I saw that the bass player was not Glen Matlock nor Sid Vicious but was instead himself a former member of the Backstreet Boys (or maybe it was N'SYNC - who can tell the difference?). The band seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I was in the parking lot looking back. Before the first song ended the fans had begun moving toward their dirty cars to go home.

I woke up singing a Kinks song in my head.

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