Dinosaurs, Naked Women, and Sci-Fi, Oh My!

drawing of a naked woman wearing a sci-fi astronaut helmet and shooting a lazer gun while wrapped around the neck of a dinosaurOne of my students, one of those self-proclaimed artists, wrote an essay about their identity in which they proclaimed what it is to be an artist. Part of this identity includes a love of dinosaurs, naked women, and sci-fi. I imagine this student would have flourished during the age of ten-cent pulp fiction of the early 1900s. The point of the assignment was to explain a piece of their identity and explain it in a way to try to create an understanding in the reader about a way of being the reader may not be familiar with. Said student concluded their essay and then drew a few things in back of the infamous "blue book."

In response, I drew this rather quickly, desperately needing sleep, but unable to not respond to the artist in kind. It probably beats a few comments about commas and semicolons.

See you at the next zine/mini comics fest!

Conversations with Mark! #2: Andi and Her Boobs--Now in StrohmengerScope!

[click on image to enlarge, as if they aren't doing fine on their own]

Conversations with Mark! #2 is now brought to you in vivid color with StrohmengerScope. Thanks to the talents of Stephen Strohmenger and his strong work ethic for this more visually attractive version of the original B&W comic from 2008. Shit, I'm lazy.

Visit Stephen's website, Chakramolds, for his art, music, and other creative endeavors and be sure to check out his comics at Lemonslugcomics, not to be confused with bananaslugcomics (no one likes those guys).

Of course, I have Stephen Hines (via Facebook) to thank for putting me in touch with Mr. Strohmenger, so check out Hines' comics and other creations now.

Thinking and Feeling: Daily Comics Journal Potential

About two weeks ago I sat at Borders (not going to happen for much longer) sipping my red iced tea with honey and I tried to draw myself from what's in my head. Then I thought about how I might lay out a four-panel daily journal idea, much like James Kochalka's, but then I put words into those bubbles. Finally, I thought I'd rough out what happened earlier that day, when I made a poop that came out shaped like a question mark. WTF?

Portrait of an Artist as a Young Woman or "It Almost Looks Like Me"

Last night I drew for over two hours while at Borders (while it still exists). I sat down and I fucking drew until the store was about to close and I do desperately had to pee. I tried to capture the vitality and soul in Julia's eyes and in her smile and I couldn't do it. Regardless, here is the result...

And here is the image I viewed while drawing...

She is damn edible and we will likely be making comics together as she's a helluva artist.

Some Rough Work: Self-Portrait and 'junct Banner Idea

This self-portrait made from a picture I took needs to be inked and I've various ideas on how to play with it with different coloring and shading ideas. If it's not too late I might like to use it for my ArmzRace business card.

This tracing of the above self-portrait makes me out to be hairier than I may actually be.

Then the source material.

This second image got cut off and needs to be rescanned ("smart" scanner, you know"). I was considering this being an ongoing banner for the 'junct series but am considering a new banner for each comic. I've got an idea of me on the letter T like Jesus on the cross because I sometimes feel that way teaching.

This is a more refined version of the banner though it still needs work and inking. The image my look familiar because of this and this.

Thoughts people? Help me make this better. Send me ideas.


Cej: See my reply below; here's one I darkened up for you just using the contrast feature in photoshop. So no need to ink.

365 Days of Imperfection: Day 8 (Really): Behold! Cock-Thulhu

cockthulhu1 Shit. It worked out in the end. My backlogging of blog entries had made it to 7, and I'd posted on time on day 9, and here is day 8, created on 8 January in Mark!'s swanky Uptown (Re: Almost Harlem) apartment overlooking Cloverfield.

If Mark! hadn't gone to some tropical island to swim with mini-cthulhus I'd of course would not have missed a day, even with Jonica and I arriving home at 4 am because I toiled away in the sketchbook of Mark!, who should scan the Supergirl Mark! I made at his birthday some years ago.

Really. What the hell can I say about this image?

Oh wait. I'm full of shit. I can't even read my own signature. I made that on the 5th and for some reason I keep thinking this is 2008, as if that would make the world a better place.

365 Days of Imperfection: Day 7: 'junct 1: Job Security rough

Here is the rough I created for the first installment of 'junct. It would have been great if I'd given it more time before creating a more finalized version. Kind of like waiting a few days between writing drafts. Same idea. I wonder what I'll think I should have changed when I wake up tomorrow afternoon. What I really needed to work on was my portrayal of Jonica. I can turn myself into a few simplified variations of...myself, but she was a challenge.

On the right hand side you'll see what I attempted to draw of her from a photo from Virginia Beach last May. I think I made her look too much like a guy. Luckily I think she's been girled up properly in the finished version of Job Security. I wonder if I can do it again.

Click to enlarge

junct 1 job security rough

The import things about capturing Jonica was her lips. They are full, gorgeous, and their natural disposition is a little upturned on the corners. The next trick is capturing her cheeks, because they are rather broad. Her eyes are also stunning, but I didn't have to capture them in the headshot rough since she was wearing sunglasses and this comic is B&W.

I was going to draw my head next to hers, like in the photo, but stopped for the time being. It's so easy to get distracted and not finish a project.

Jonica and Paul at Virginia Beach 2009 May

365 Days of Imperfection: Day 6: Vomit? rough

My second to last full night in New York I went to the library as I always patronize the super awesome Suffolk County Library system because they have almost every book, album, or movie I could ever want. Mark! heartily agreed. I met up with my friend, Steve, who had to use the bathroom, so since the library was closing I chose to wait outside. All of a sudden I had a semi-vomit that I had to spit out.

I was having a lot of anxiety upon returning to teaching and that was before someone ruined my perfect schedule.

Click to enlarge


Here's what I have planned.

First panel: an establishing shot of the library.

Second panel: what is currently the first panel.

Third panel: X-Ray of my insides (yes, only some bone and some soft tissues show up). I was thinking the comic would be B&W, except stomach juices and vomit, but I don't know if my Prismacolors will do what I need them to on this one.

Fourth panel: Actually several panels, as my stomach juices churn and rise.

Fifth panel: Me spitting out some vomitus.

Sixth panel: Vomit pile, perhaps frozen since it was so damn cold.

Ideas, gang?

365 Days of Imperfection: Day 5: Starchild pencil shading

I'm afraid the scanner might not be the best tool for showing this. At least, not with my current knowledge of the scanner's workings. Anyhow, I've shaded the figure using a light source on opposite sides for each image, respectively.

I'm playing around with basic stuff since I'm so very out of practice or have never pushed myself to such simple things in the past. Sad.

Click to enlarge

starchild shading 1

As you can tell from the image above (I hope), the light source is to the right.

starchild shading 2

And here the light source is to the figure's right, but mostly sort of our left. It looks like a bright light source, like maybe some semi-low sunlight in late spring. Eh?

Does either look better than the other? I should probably nub or finger smudge, but I wasn't going for that, but I can give it a shot. It seems the pencils will work better than using my Prismacolor melder marker thing. I'm not quite sure how to use that.

Really, this day 5 post should be the Cock-Thulhu I drew and colored in Mark!'s sketchbook when Jonica and I stopped at his place on the way back to Virginia, but I supposed we'll have to wait until Mark! returns from the island of St. Thomas.

365 Days of Imperfection 2010: Day 9: 'junct 1: Job Security

This is the first part of the 'junct series. I came up with the name about a year ago and Andi and Mark! loved it. I'm sure they'll be contributing ideas, comics, and cartoons. I also welcome ideas from my many colleagues being treated poorly in the world of higher education. If you couldn't tell, the title of this series (and one day anthology comic) is supposed to sound like "junked", because that's often how one feels as an adjunct instructor.

Need I say more?

Click to enrage

junct 1 job security

I've been inking photocopies, so I can make changes if anyone has any constructive suggestions.

I'm not near the point where I like or feel comfortable with digital lettering, etc. I'd like to learn how eventually. My hand really hurts right now.

I'm happy with the way I've captured Jonica where I think she's somewhat identifiable to people who have met her. I've been having a lot of trouble with capturing the essential details to have a simplified cartoon version of her, yet make it clear it's her and not some random chick.

I'm gonna backpost here for a few days. I know I've missed days 4-8. FML, right?

365 Days of Imperfection: Day 4: Starchild with gray background

I liked how Jugwinecomix used her gray Prismacolors for some backgrounds so I decided to try this myself. I like how it makes the figure stand out more. Background grays are probably very effective when the figures aren't colored I imagine.

Click the image to enlarge. I've finally learned how to do this thanks to Cej's wonderful instructions. He should work with computers for a living.

starchild background grays

Now that I have access to my scanner I'm wondering why my letting is so blurry. Every time I want to change the resolution it tells me that's not the best choice. Or I should say HP tells me it'll look better at the default resolution. Well, when I post Day 9 we'll see. I have to rescan it because my scanner... Oy! Advice?

365 Days of Imperfection 2010: Day 3: Voices Rough

I've been wanting to draw this as a cartoon or comic for over a year. Just wait for the punchline on this one. First, I realize of I'm not going to ink these in any way, I'll need to darken the lines more until I have my scanner and can make adjustments that way. Until then, it would also be great if I knew how to make the images blow up into a new window or tab as Cej has done for Day 1.

No, this is not a masturbation cartoon, but what I am having trouble with is the position of the girlfriend in the midground or is it background behind and semi-over the guy. Hence two rough images here. I'm not sure of the top of the page gives it away or if I'll need to include a certain face to make it more clear. I'll probably try two versions of the final cartoon to see what my audience here thinks is best.

voices rough 1

In this second image I roughed the guy and roughed his girlfriend in starting with her left hand on his (this is not family friendly)  erect cock (now we'll get more hits on the blog here) and then spread out from there. Uh...so to speak. I'm still not happy even after I had to erase the whole crotch area and re-sketch it.

I'm not sure where to put her other hand. It could go several places, like maybe her arm is resting on her knee and her hand is hanging.

Other problems are that her head is too small. Actually, her whole body is too small in relation to him. I need to increase her body size as she looks very short compared to the laying (lying?) giant. Since she's somewhat leaning over his body she should be mostly the same size as him. I don't know if I need to or can attempt to slightly foreshorten her lower half to indicate these slightly varying depths.

What might not be apparent, and Cej will show me how to do this, if you can enlarge the image, is what I'm a bit happy with and that's some of the minor shading or line thickness on her right hand side (our left). Because my muse has a small frame and is rather slender, I was happy that I sort of captured her subtle waist and tiny (very tiny and cute) pooch curves. Well, maybe I didn't do a good job on the pooch, but I like the waist. Chest and boobs need work though. And there are no hips. There must be hips! How could I miss those!?

I considered making her completely naked but Mark! might get too excited if he saw labia or even a single pube. I'm pretty sure it was such drawings of mine that Mark! chose me to join the ArmzRace. Then again, for all I know he cornered everyone in the MoCCA DIY class  and asked them to join.

voices rough 2

There's gonna be a great punchline in the end and I'm hoping people get it.

Cej, Mark!, if this is not OK, I will put this stuff on another blog.

Ideas, folks? Less of my commentary? More? Is it just right? Less corn; get straight to the point? Talk more about cocks and labia?

PS: I'm obviously working under Hawaii time today, so it's still day 3.

365 Days of Imperfection 2010: Day 2: Agita Roughs

Megaribs Tonight there were MEGARIBS from Dixie's Smokehouse Texas BBQ and Rotisserie in Kings Park, New York. I miss Long Island. I miss it.

Tonight there was agita. As part of my apparent theme of getting old, agita is a significant aspect of aging. I don't think children suffer from it. It seems to be an adult affliction. The first time I had it I probably thought I was having a heart attack. What is it? Read on.

The first image is my mother eating a MEGARIB. I believe the size of the rib helps her maintain anonymity on the internet. It's been shown that facial recognition software requires the lower portion of the face to be visible in order to ID a person.

Next is my original rough for which I solicit feedback. As it goes, it's me eating a megarib (though I really had the much smaller St. Louis ribs), and then my representation of how it sometimes feels when I have agita.

Agita Rough 1

And below I was going for a sort of abstract look of the second panel. I'm experimenting. I should probably stick with the basics for now, learn basic anatomy and facial expressions better, but I'm impatient. I wanted to see how I might represent a person without pencil lines guiding me. I don't know if there is some way to train myself to see things more abstractly so I can envision what I want the outcome to be, even though I can't draw my non-abstract visions either.

Agita Rough 2

I'm not sure how well my limited selection if Prismacolor markers from Riebe's in Melville is going to work for my purposes. I didn't even think I'd be using them much for comics just yet. I like JugeWineComix use of gray tones, possibly using these same types of markers and wanted to emulate her style because I like it. I think it works. I'm not a fan of lots of dark ink and lines all over an image. Maybe David B's Epileptic scared me off of that. I don't even know if I can finish his book. I feel very disconcerted when reading it because of the story and very much because the art is so dark as part of the tone of the story and his brother's affliction.

Speaking of stories, I want to shoot for some kind of multi-paneled narrative soon. A comic for a change, instead of a cartoon.

I definitely want to get water colors involved soon. I haven't touched those in...forever. Maybe ten years? I miss them.

What I might end up doing, to make my art look crisper, is work in larger format and scan and then cut and paste and arrange with some kind of photoshop programs, which I think means me reinstalling my tablet and its software.

Obviously I'm working in Pacific time although I'm in New York.

365 Days of Imperfection 2010: Day 1: Starchild

Click to enlarge 100_5325

It was the first day of the year when I began this cartoon. Since this post is about my father and me, I'll take the time to bitch and explain how his printer/scanner isn't set up to scan anymore and despite my best efforts I could not download the drivers, so I've photographed my efforts and will have to scan them when I return to Virginia. So yeah, this has been posted on 2 January instead.

If the title didn't give it away, I plan on posting comic or cartoon each day. At least a panel, hopefully finished, will be posted once a day for the next year.

I want to have something to sell or swap by the time I attend a show this year.

Anyhow, for this posting, I'd considered calling it Inheritance. I'm sure I'll use that title somewhere. So until tomorrow...

Yeah. Wordpress stretches the image for some reason. WTF?

Provide comments, please. I don't know if it's the image stretching or if I didn't properly indicate my girth, so I'll have to look into that tomorrow, since it might look like I have bad posture is all. Good think I drew me in my black t-shirt. I can just go over the lines with more black!