Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gene Colan Lone Ranger Inks

Just finished up inking this one.

Brick NJ - Safest town in U.S.? wah?

I had heard about it on TV and a friend just sent me an email about the best/worst towns in America so this was my reply to him. Crazy!

Well i lived in St Louis for a while so i guess i'm movin' on up huh? and i grew up drinking beer behind the shop-rite in brick plaza.

It's weird, i always avoided brick when i was in NJ. well, later on anyway. i literally drove around it to get where i was going. hmmmm? BUT the absolute best chicken wing place is in brick so i go there whenever i'm back in ole joisey.

The band's home base was in brick at George the bass players house. god i cringe thinking about it all now. (i've got douche chills) He passed away a few years ago. poor bastard.

Then I did a google search for "Brick Plaza" and found this:

Just as I remembered it, all grey & depressing. Then I also found this picture. I passed this thing 1000 times driving through Bayville. Now I know a little about it.


Captain America 2007

Captain America 2007 by Gene Colan. WOW! Gentleman Gene comes home again to the red, white & blue & I have to ink and color it.

Talk about a challenge. Gene just blows me away when I think he's 80 years old this year and still has the enthusiasm & drive most 30-somethings lack today. He has nothing to prove but still attacks each and every job with total commitment and fearless energy, willing, almost obliged, to bend reality to his will. Armed with only a pencil and a blank piece of paper.

It's simply incredible to me so I will be anxiously awaiting the first few pages to arrive. My usual routine is to just take the page(s) in and get an idea of what's going on, where's the lighting coming from and what's happening in general. The faces & expressions are the most important so I do those last after i've warmed up and have the brush cooperating.

Inking Gene in general is always a challenge, mostly because I want him to be happy with the outcome and maybe more importantly I want his stuff to look the best it can. I think he's doing the best work of his entire life and I really want everyone to know it. I'm not sure many inkers would say it but it's a hell of a lot of fun too. I get excited every time a package arrives to open it up and see what I'm up against so these Cap pages will be no exception. It's an honor and a pleasure to have the the opprotunity to be working with Gene and also to have his blessing and endorsement. I can honestly say the he and his wife Adrienne are my biggest fans and I'm very proud to call them friends. This is going to be a fun ride, what else can one expect when The Dean is at the wheel? Buckle Up!

This is a reply to the blog post by Gene below.

I find it a huge challenge each and every time I approach a new comic story, no matter how large or small. I'm at my desk, ruling up the first page of Captain America. I write cap. america in the upperhandcorner and then write 'page one'. I don't do any preliminary sketches. I work panel to panel. I steel myself to get into the story and familiarizing myself with the first several pages. I don't tread the entire plot because I would get too preoccupied with how I'm going to tackle some of the more difficult panels. It takes about four to five pages for me to get warmed up enough to get comfortable with what I'm doing. I've been thinking about the first page for about a week now. I basically know what I'm going to draw in the first panel. Nick Fury is facing a wall of monitor screens. The monitors reveal Cap and other well known superheroes fighting. my pencil will begin with Nick Fury. That way I can work in all the monitors around him. More to come...I'll post some visuals as I move along.

Best! Gene

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Gene Colan "Old Friends" Color

Started this last week & shuffled back & forth between stages with this & that. As always the colors are pretty colose. I messed with some settings to try and get them as close as possible but it never really is exact, oh well. I'm very happy with it as a whole. It was a challenge but I jumped right in after 2 quick marker guides. The lighting came out as I had imagined it. Getting the idea out of my brain & onto the paper is always what I strive for.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gene Colan Daredevil Colors

Finished inking & coloring this one today. Tried a photo look for the background. Came out cool. It was sparse to begin with so it needed that little extra kick for the background. Don't think you can go wrong with a NY skyline either, plus it's easy. Done & Done!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sketching Cats

Eh, I'm just fooling around with some cat drawings. Just gearing up, looking for a "look". Happy with these. Just searching for something. Will need a cat for something coming up. eh. I need a fish too.

I was just reading my friend's web journal & I'm feeling blessed that I dont have to brave the real world. It sounds tough out there. I can barely go to the supermarket w/o wanting to run out screaming let alone show up to a 925. Christ! It's BAD out there.

I'm enjoying a 6 pack of Wicked Ale after going thru a few 6-packs of Pumpkin Ale. I want to sleep but it's early.

I should be coloring but I'm not, I'm thinking of cats.

I just got a bunch of books in the mail. Good timing. I've had nothing but old MAD & Cracked to read for the last few days. Seperate Reality, Frog Pajamas, Fierce Invalids, American Gods & Stardust.

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Lucky" by Steven Cuden

We just watched this sick movie yesterday. My mother-in-law had called and said she had started watching it and it was too sick so she could'nt get thru it, Nuff Said! We went out and bought it for $2 at Hollywood Video. The dog "Lucky" is great. It's disturbing, I guess, but funny. Certainly worth the $2.

Television writer Steve Cuden makes his directorial debut with the creepy independent horror film Lucky. The story is about the miserable life of loner Millard Mudd (Michael Emanuel), a drunk cartoonist with writer's block. While out to get more beer, he accidentally runs over a dog. He takes the dog home and calls him Lucky, convinced that he's not really dead. Eventually the dog starts talking (voice of David Reivers) and Millard starts writing again. Pretty soon Lucky is telling him what to write and what to do, eventually turning his master into a homicidal maniac.

Gene Colan "Old Friends" Inks

Done & Done, hand color next!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Old Friends" Inks (In Progress 2)

This is the progress I've made this morning. All that's left is the background & the desk.

"Old Friends" Inks (In Progress)

Started inking this last week then jumped off to finish somethingelse. Jumped back into it today & will finish inking it today. Then onto color tomorrow. As you can see Drac is overseeing the whole project. You can see the pencils here:


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gene Colan - Dr Strange Colors

Just finished hand coloring this one. I've been chipping away slowly at it for the last week or so but completed it last night and was very pleased with the outcome. The colors are pretty close, maybe a bit more vibrant in person. When the fellow who commissioned me to ink & color it recieves it I'll post his comments.

Erasing Personal History

I just finished reading "The Eagle's Gift" by Carlos Castaneda. This is probably the 4th or 5th time I've read it. These are just such an excellent series of books & I've started "Journey to Ixtlan. This is a passage from it.

"Little by little you must create a fog around yourself; you must erase everything around you until nothing can be taken for granted, until nothing is any longer for sure, or real. Your problem now is that you're too real. Your endeavors are too real; your moods are too real. Don't take things so for granted You must begin to erase yourself."

Which reminded me of this newspaper clipping from The NY Times that I found 20 years ago stuck inside an old record sleeve.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sandman Promos

Here's the Sandman promo poster we scored at Hayward-Con. It's 17"x22" and has great Dave McKean art. I hope to get these signed and hopefully sketched on by Gaiman & McKean. Maybe in San Diego next year? I see the Absolute Sandman books are going for about 50 or 60 bucks, gotta score me one of those also. 600 pgs, oversized and recolored.

And I scored 3 of these off eBay. They are just perfect for getting a sketch on. 8.5"x11"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ernie's "Magic Garden"

On Saturday we went to the comic-con and while looking through a stack of original art by comic great Ernie Chan we spotted a wonderful Wonder Woman. I did'nt have enough cash left by this time so Ernie was cool enough to offer to hold it for me and I would Paypal him the nezt day and he could mail it to us. Cool! So we went home and I emailed him to get his Paypal info and proceeded to pay him. In the email I thanked Ernie for everything and being that he lives only onetown away I asked if it would be alright to swing by and pick up the art. To my suprise, not 2 minutes after I sent off the email, he called and invited us to come by, no problem.

So we set it up for Sunday afternoon and it literally took us 15 minutes to get there. Ernie proceeded to give us a tour of his beautiful orchard with all the grapes, figs, guavas & plums you could ever want. The next harvest, he said, would be in December and invited us back. We spent the next hour or so checking out the latest work he's been doing and I had brought along some of my stuff also for him to check out. Pretty cool day!

What a kind & hospitable fellow he is and a comic great ta boot! Conan was my absolute favorite for years and there's only a few people who you instantly associate with it, John Busema & Ernie Chan. We had an excellent time & look forward to visiting with him again.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Farewell CBGB's

The first time I played CBGB's was in 1984. I was singing in a death metal band and the last time was 2004 playing punk/hardcore guitar. I remember flying in from CA to play 4 shows with Discharge (NY, NJ, Boston &Philly) I brought nothing w/ me and all I wanted was to get back. I broke a string in the first song and had to borrow a guitar from someone, our bass player had just been in an accident and had been thrown thru the windshild, he was wearing a stupid bandage around his head like in a cartoon and had a concussion, so everything was like it had always been playing at CBGB's, an organized mess. It was strange being there the last few times. There was no smoking which was VERY strange. There were rumblings at first of it being closed down, then talk about moving it to Vegas but it all seemed unreal, i guess i had seperated myself and thought it didn't matter very much either way but when our friend sent this picture this morning it really hit me and brought back a flood of memories and nostalgia. Mixed emotions really. Just going into the city in those days, the lower east side, the bowery, getting arrested, the cops, the beers, drugs, the music, the "scene", friends (lots of em gone now), driving uptown, harlem, seeing someone get shot (twice), muggings,beatings, lots of nonsense, which all seems meaningless now all these years later. The good times take a front seat today. The excitement, the "ignorance is bliss" of youth, the harmless partying, the friends & fans, the incredible sense of meaning in a meaningless era of Reaganomics, fighting for an unknown cause (but really just looking for an excuse to party), all the greatest bands of those days came thru CB's, The Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, AgnosticFront, COC, DRI, Mental Abuse, AOD, wayyyy too many to recall them all, all the ridiculous circumstances we all put ourselves in that make me cringe today. So it really does mean something, what? not sure but not nothing, ha!

I remember vividly the last time I was there, I had to go grab my amp head from about 2 blocks away. I had probably 10 too many drinks and seemed to have gotten lost on my way back (maybe more than 10?) so I ask a few people on the street "hey *hic* where's CBGB's?"until one decent guy proceeds to tell me "right there you idiot!"and points directly across the street. I had been standing right in front of it on the other side of the street the whole time. StupidA$$! But in my defense the whole block was under construction with scaffolding covering much of it but I know, I know, I'm still an idiot for getting lost right across the street from the club.

Gene Colan - Black Widow Inks

Here's the Black Widow that I finished yesterday. You can check out the pencils here: http://tinyurl.com/yeh6k6

My Shadow

Monday, October 16, 2006

Gene Colan - Daredevil Inks

Just finished inking this one and a Black Widow. Will post the BW tomorrow. You can see the pencils here: http://tinyurl.com/yyk6v5

Hayward Comic-Con (part 2)

Finally got around to downoading a few pictures from the con. Here's Tony Dezuniga & his wife.
Here's Tony & Ernie Chan.

Here's a few other things we scored. A Howard the Duck Magazine for $1 (I had never even seen this one before and it has all Gene Colan art, nice!), Three 7" records, one being a cool Elastica 7" and another Groovy Ghoulies 7" with cool Sam Kieth cover art, a really cool "Absoulte Sandman" promo poster and Sherry won a crappy door prize, a Tim Truman "Scout" trade paperback which we gave to our friend Mike. And last but not least a fantastic Wonder Woman drawing by the great Ernie Chan (more on that tomorrow.) http://www.erniechan.com

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hayward Comic-Con

We went to the Hayward Super-Con comic book show yesterday & had a fine time with our friends Mike & Lisa. We hung out with Tony DeZuniga & Ernie Chan for a while. I bought a few pieces of art and Tony signed a Batman page he inked in 1982 for me. Two colored pencil commissions of Death and Black Orchid and a very nice 1/2 inked Conan drawing. (I also got a Black Orchid print that was thrown in for free). We picked up a few freebies and a Corpse Bride boxed figure set. (Which I thought came with the DVD inside, but it didn't, F&%$) BAAU (Bay Area Artists Unite) was there and had pieces of paper layed out on their table for people to draw a page of a continuing story. The main character was the BAAU mascot, which is a dog so i drew my 3 dogs confronting him with a knife, gun & broken bottle. I don't know what they intend on doing with it but it was fun. If I can find out or get a scan i'll post that. A fine day ended with lunch over at La Pinata, the mexican resturant where I had a few beers. Here's a picture of the Conan drawing. We are going over to Ernie Chan's place in Oakland today to hang out and pick up a Wonder Woman page that he had put aside for me. I'm going to bring some of my artwork to show him also. Other pics can be seen here: http://comicartfans.com/GalleryRoom.asp?GSub=16331

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Annoying = Entertainment?

Since when did "annoying" become entertainment? It's incredible just how bad and irritating 80% of movies are these days. I don't understand, with all the remakes and outright crap out there, it's pitiful. I have seen a handful of great movies over the last few years so give credit where credit is due but most of them are just annoying crap, gimmee a break! Please, someone, write something original! I'm not much of a movie buff. I have my dozen or so favorites that I watch over & over but with Netflix & Blockbuster I can get all the $hit movies I want delivered right to my front door. Good for me!

On a happier note I recieved 3 more pages from "Archie: Riverdale & Back Again" by Gene Colan yesterday. That makes 6 in all. These pages are just wierd! Wonderfully strange stuff. You can see them all (as soon as I get the chance to post 'em) here: http://tinyurl.com/ezanu

Thanx to Ben over at Gotham City Art. http://www.gothamcityart.com/index.php

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Serta Sheep

Working on coloring some storyboards for a lovable Serta Sheep commercial. I got the distress call late last night that these need to be done today! So I'm off.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Gene Colan Dr. Strange (Pictures)

2:54 PM Done & Done!

Almost there, mountains are done. All that's left are the sky & little bit of the foreground.

Both figures are done (I'll come back in when it's all done & probably add some thinkness if needed.) & the background is starting to take shape. LOTS more linework.

Mephisto character mostly done and Dr. Strange is starting to take shape.
Just getting warmed up with the Mephisto character. Starting to get some of the heavier blacks in and rendering the form. LOTS of linework, but just getting started.

Gene Colan Dr. Strange

Started inking this on 10.7.06. The figures are done and this morning I'll start on the background. I'll be hand coloring it also. Will post some "in progress" pics as soon as I get a chance. It's taking shape. Yesterday I was rolling along but stopped to watch a movie and never got back to it. I'm juggling a few projects right now, as usual, but this will take a front seat, at least until the inking is done. Then i'll step away and jump on an architectural job that needs to get done. I need more coffee!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Marvel Legends: Monsters

A friend of mine just mentioned to me that he got this for his kid (yeah right, for his kid). All the great 70's monsters, I gotta get me one! The Zombie looks a lot like the Pablo Marcos version and the Frank & Werewolf are also pretty close to the Ploog version but the Drac? Kinda looks like the Neal Adams version from #1 but not the difinitive Colan version. Oh well, still pretty cool but i wish the Drac had the big Colan collar.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Jack Kirby Silver Surfer

This one has a funny story to it. So, my friend Mike, who had just moved out here from Detroit a few months ago, invited Sherry & I to come up and visit for dinner and just to hang out and catch up. We were hanging out looking through his art collection & Mike proceeds to tell me that he had sent a copy of a Jack Kirby Silver Surfer con sketch he owned (I dont remember seeing it that night) to a bronze-age artist to ink and that it had been almost a year and nothing. I thought "jeeze, what the hell can be taking so long?" A year? I laughed to myself and continued through the art and that was that. Later on the next week I remembered Mike's story and wanted to see the sketch for my self. So I searched it down. You can see it here: http://tinyurl.com/qwkp8. There it was, a Kirby Silver Surfer pencil sketch. "Wow" I said. It was nice and vintage from a convention in 1978, cool right? So it was too cool to pass up this opprotunity to zing Mike. We had planned to get together in early Oct., andthat was about 2 weeks away, so I grabbed the scan, grabbed my brush, and in 2 hours I'd finished it. I could barely stand not being able to tell him or send him a scan. It was going to be a suprise so I buttoned my lip and forgot about it (hardly) I made a copy, framed it and stuck it on the wall in my office. There it hung for 2 weeks, just waiting for Mike to see it. Oh the anticipation was killing me. The big day arrives. I was in the office w/ another friend of mine when Mike arrived and came in. I was busy but kept looking over my shoulder to see if Mike had spotted it yet, nothing. After about 15 minutes I just had to say something so I mentioned "See anything new on the walls?" It took a few seconds as Mike scanned the room and then...... this is how he decribed it

"I'd mentioned a while ago to Dave about having paid another "Bronze-Age" veteran to ink a Kirby con sketch I had. (Still waiting for it.) While helping Dave and Tom pack up some stuff for eBay, Dave CASUALLYasked if I notice anythng new on his walls (which are filled withincredible art, mostly by Gene and him). As I looked around the room, Ifelt like I was on a game show; and not having visited in over a month, Ireally didn't remember every piece. To be polite, I just kind of threw outa suggestion or two, until my eyes landed on a cool Silver Surfer piece.Well, first I didn't remember seeing the character on his wall before.Then I realized it was a Kirby drawing. And while I was mouthing thewords, "Is that Silver Surfer new?", I suddenly realized that it was MYKirby Surfer sketch in that frame!! It was the slowest burn I'd ever had,because it just didn't connect at first. (Kind of like being on a trip andseeing one's spouse in a totally different city you've never visited.) While Dave started to laugh, I blurted out, "HEY, THAT LOOKS LIKE THE ONE I HAVE!!" And he lost it. I'd been "art-punk'd"! (Thankfully it wasn't filmed.) Well, even more to my surprise, Dave pointed out he'd framed a copy and generously gave me the original...(after he picked me up off the floor, of course!) I was speechless! Thanks so much, Man!!"


Friday, October 06, 2006

Tomb of Dracula & Batman

Finished inking this one also yesterday. I was rolling and wanted to get this done & posted. I wanted to add both the Drac & Batman logos and messed around with it a few different ways, this one seemed best and looks good. I added where I could to fill in adding the moon and a few bats in the sky, I put in the smoke/mist of Dracula & added some cape to Batman.

Gene Colan Captain America

Finished inking this one yesterday. I went pretty quick, no problems. It's 13"x19". You can check out the pencils here:


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reid Fleming Coffee Mug

I just got me one of these & you should too! Hurry!


Neil Gaiman "Other People"

Tues night Sherry & I went out to Menlo Park to attend a reading by Neil Gaiman from his new book "Fragile Things". It was pretty cool, he read a short story called "Other People" & a poem called "Locks". We had to get there early & get a ticket for the reading & signing, we got 349 & 350. I guess we didn't get there quite early enough but that was fine. We bought the new book, went to the bar across the street and waited (drank) until the sheduled start time, then walked back over. No big deal, we waited in line then took our seats for the reading. It was pretty short then he took a few questions. That went by fairly quick then it was time to get in line for the signing. We were going to be there for a while...................Until a nice couple came up to us and asked "Did you get your books signed yet?" We said no. They proceeded to give us their tickets, numbers 249 & 250. They were permitted to cut to the front because the girl was pregnant & they didn't take their tickets. So, this was brilliant! It probably saved us 2 hours. We headed towards the line & had our copies of "Fragile Things" (required) & "Coraline" signed along with this Death Tarot Promo (see pic) that I've had for a while. (Now I just have to run into Dave McKean). We had a very good time.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Flip Over, Crash & Die!"

Just a quick thought. Last night driving just 35-40 minutes to Menlo Park I observed at least a half dozen idiots, maybe more, driving incredibly fast, passing on the right, weaving in and out and being just maniacs (and getting nowhere I might add). I'd laugh and say "hurry up and get to that red light" or "everybody just die!" I'ts just incredible how everyone is in such a rush to get nowhere. But my absolute favorite is "Please flip over, crash & die!" It never works but reminds me of one time probably 10 years ago while I was driving up Fisher Blvd. in Toms River N.J. when I see this guy in my rear view mirror driving like a maniac and weaving in and out and really coming up fast on my tail. He proceeds to swerve around me, pass me so I say "crash you idiot!" and then about 1/2 mile up the road we passed him wrapped around a pole on the side of the road. ha! Slow down you idiots!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dinner w/ our friend Tom Field

Last night we went out for dinner with our friend Tom Field, he was back in SF again after having been here only a few days ago. We met him at the bar at the Hyatt and had a few drinks (a bad gin & tonic, so that was free, i drank it anyway, ha!) and a few laughs. We saw (smelled) a very smelly lady and wondered what foul stink she was trying to mask with all that horrible perfume. We figured she was trying to hide the cruel smell of death and that she was really a vampire stalking victims in a dark hotel bar. Thankfully she had her claws on some poor unknowing bastard, who obviously had lost his sense of smell in the war. That poor bastard! We had a nice friendly dinner while the football game was on (along with a bunch of drunken Eagles fans).

Among other things we talked about baseball, comics, Tom's first job writing for comics, art (he knows the guy who owns the cover to Captain Marvel #1), travelling w/ our dogs, the job i was supposed to be finishing but went out instead (it's done now), and last but not least we talked briefly about writing/drawing a fun, weird, spooky children's book. So he's going to start thinking up some ideas and I'll probably see him again in a few weeks when he comes back to SF on business.

Last but not least he sent me the link to Brian Wilson's website because he will be performing "Pet Sounds" in LA soon and I'm going to try and find tickets. It's sold out but maybe I'll get lucky. I wish I had remembered this sooner, oh well.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Freak Brothers Movie

Wow! How cool is this? I was doing a search trying to find out if "Gilbert Shelton" had a website and a few clicks later I found this.

New Pic From THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS Stop Motion Extravaganza!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with the latest from the greatest movie yet to be seen... that's right... THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS!!! Got this sent in from the director, Dave Borthwick, genius behind THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB. Seems that in about 5-6 days out of Berlin we should be hearing the latest news on the advancement of this monumental production of earth-shattering importance and coolness. I'm still hoping that they get the voices of Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson to be the voices of the fuzzy three... and maybe Woody Harrelson as the internal thoughts of Fat Freddy's cat. Hey, a Gilbert Shelton fan can dream dammit! As always I'll be watching this project like a masturbating squirrel in a big oak tree overlooking the nut factory! Click the picture for a gloriously big version!!! Ohhhh... the detail! BTW... with two stop-motion animated films nominated for best animated film oscar... can you imagine the world where THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS is nominated for an Academy Award! Oh yessssss, I can see it!!! and so shall YOU!!!


Gene Colan Dracula & Batman

Sometime this week, hopefully, I'll be inking and coloring this piece as a "Fantasy Cover" and it will be auctioned off on eBay (under sellername: genecolanart). I still have to figure out what the logo's will be. I want to put both the Drac & Batman logos into it but haven't had the time yet to ponder it. It should turn out pretty cool. Gene & I will split the proceeds. Visit Gene at http://genecolan.com/home.html

Our new dog "Dickie Girl"

Here's our new dog named Dickie Girl. Dickie is 6/7 years old and weighs 8 lbs. She is my new shadow. She's a lot of fun and has her own website, along with our other 2 dogs Poochie & Benny. All she wants to do all day is play with her brother Benny & chase her tail. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh a dog's life. You can read all about her adventures here: http://www.dogster.com/pet_page.php?j=t&i=385999