Tuesday, December 22, 2009

End of year update

This year has been crazy. Locus has gotten away from me--it's like a bucking bronco and I'm hanging on for dear life, I swear. I'm still behind on a few commissions, and I still haven't sent off free copies of issues Four and Five to the people who won them through donating to the comic. Hell, I haven't even checked my Paypal account to see who's won a free copy of Issue Five yet!



I'm sorry about that. Busy busy busy. Locus is more work than I've ever dealt with at once, and that includes the days when I was doing M/W/F updates for Kiss 4K while simultaneously holding down a 50-hour per week Day Job! I've turned down three other comic/graphic novel gigs this year, including one that I really was looking forward to. There just wasn't time! Locus is becoming my full-time job.



Anyway, Issue Six has just been submitted to Ka-Blam, and should be available on Indyplanet.com soon. I'll be spending the week after Christmas getting my shit in one sock (as my father-in-law likes to say) so I can make 2010 a great year for Locus fans.



One of the things I'm working on is cutting a whole issue out of the "Unveiled" storyline. It was originally going to run six issues, but it turns out I'm not the only one who has been missing Locus while this story's been running. So I'm considering rewriting the end so that issues Eight and Nine are compressed into one big finish. If I do it right, we'll get to see Locus two months earlier than previously planned, which is good. I've been sketching out new bad guys and new plot twists for months now, and it'll be good to get them out of my head and in front of your eyes sooner than expected.

The new story (which starts with Issue Nine) will have much more action and ass-kicking than Unveiled had, and that's because I've laid down most of the groundwork with Unveiled, which leaves me more room to write some action and horror. It's gonna be a lot of fun.

This is my last blog post before January (probably) so I wanna wish you guys a great holiday season. Whatever you're celebrating this time of year, I hope you have a great time.

And thanks for making this year so fucking awesome. It's been a lot of fun, despite all the bucking and hanging-on. Let's meet up and do it again next year, okay?

As Pinhead likes to say, "I have such sights to show you," and it all starts in March of 2010, once Unveiled is finished.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Locus & Spook Private Commission

Ralph V from Belgium (one of many Belgian Locus fans) asked for a private commission featuring Locus and Spook. This is what I came up with.



Nothin' fancy. Just a little attitude from our girl and her crazy uncle.

If you would like a private commission as well, drop me a line! My email is indigoshift at gmail dot com, and I've got some slots free this month.

So treat yourself or someone you love to some original artwork! Doesn't have to be Locus-related, either. I'll draw just about anything. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bat Loaf!

He's the Bard out of Hell. The only D&D character to own a Flying V lute and pray to Sammy Hagar.

I didn't make him up, but I sure wish I did. No, Bat Loaf is a character I first read about over on Stupid Ranger almost a year ago, and asked Matt (who blogs there) if I could draw this awesome character.



The lady with the Lita Ford chaps is his wife, Niann; the baby is their son, Tarrasque Loaf--so named because he was conceived on the back of the Tarrasque.

Is that awesome or what? I'm going to try and find some time to do a few more Bat Loaf pieces, but I make no guarantees at present.

In any case, throw up the Horns!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Locus is moving!

My thanks to the Crosbys for hosting my Crazy Titty Comic on Keenspot for a whole year.

However, I'm moving Locus over to my buddy Matt's comic hosting site. You can find Locus here.

All pages are up, and there are character bios, forums, an RSS feed, and all that other stuff I couldn't get working right on Keenspot, because I'm an idiot. ;)

So update your bookmarks! And tell all your friends.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I killed a bunch of (imaginary) people today...

Going through a lot of old art folders and sketchbooks, and came upon an old, old folder full of weird characters from a strange Heavy Metal-ish story I used to tinker with about fifteen years ago. Lots of science-fiction and super-hero type stuff...the kind of stuff I'm completely disinterested in at this point.

It wasn't anything published, mind you--just some stuff I used to doodle and daydream about.

The artwork itself was awful, and the concepts and ideas were pretty much ripped off from anything and anyone. You know...the kind of crap you do when you're in your early 20s. ;)

I've been toting this stuff around for almost 20 years, because I threw a bunch of art away when I was 22, and regretted doing so. Told myself I'd never do it again.

However, looking through some of this crap...well, it's just embarrassing. So I took out some pieces I was still fond of, and ran the rest through the shredder.

It felt odd, but not bad. Like I was closing a door I never planned on opening again.

All told, there were about nine or ten characters from this old folder who I'll never see again. That sounds very melancholy, but it's not. All the good ones survived, and I may end up sticking them in a Locus comic a few years down the road.

It's good, every now and then, to trim the fat from your life. Helps you focus on the things you want to develop some more.

I feel 10 years younger and 10 pounds lighter somehow. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

RockIt Queen

Here's another commission, from Stacey during the latest Facebook Comic Con. It's her character, the RockIt Queen. It pretty much has everything I like to draw in it, and was lots of fun. Thanks, Stacey!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Commission!

It's always fun to take a break once in awhile and do some OPA*. Case in point:



The cool thing about this one is that I ended up adjusting my inking and coloring style to something a little better-looking that what I've been doing for Locus Issue Five. And that's always a good thing!

Stay tuned! I have another commission I'll be putting up in a day or two.

*OPA=Other People's Art. ;)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Locus #4 now in print!

You can grab a copy here.

Also (in case you didn't know already), issue 5 is online, free to read, and already half-over! Start reading it here.

I'm also currently putting together the first Locus Trade Paperback, which will collect the first three issues of the comic. It will have a lot of extra artwork in it, including all new covers for the three issues, all the gallery artwork in the back of the individual print issues, and 16 pages of rare art from the first Locus webcomic I did, way back in 2001.

Currently, it's weighing in at about 106 pages. It's gonna be grand.

Stay tuned! I'll let you know once it's up for sale.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

S/Lay W/Me

It's nice to take a break from comic-makin' and get back to RPG illustration every now and then.

My good friend, Ed Heil, pointed me to Ron Edwards' "S/Lay W/Me", which is an awesome game. He'll be selling this game at GenCon next month, so if you're going, grab a copy! It's lots of fun.

I did six pieces for this game, two of which are below. You'll have to look at the game to see the other four.

Ed did some art for the game, too. I love his style. He's like the 21st century Vaughn Bode.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Vacation sketches, Part 1

I just got back from my yearly "Get the Hell out of Arizona" trip--up to my friend Hambone's place.

We ate a lot of good food, played a lot of Rock Band (I'm the drummer), and every single time I went out back for a smoke, I walked barefoot in the grass. It felt great.

Also during this time, I drew some sketches in my trusty travel sketchbook. I'll be sharing the better sketches with you as I find the time to scan them in.

First up is our heroine, Locus:



And here she is again, in color:



I really like the way this one turned out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Some Tal artwork

So, I was wondering the other day how some Tal art would look in the art style I'm currently using, and this is the result:



Here it is in black and white:



If you'd like to use it for personal use--like a character sheet or something--knock yourself out!

I'f you'd like to put it on a website, I'd appreciate a shoutout and a link to Locus (which is NSFW!).

Thanks for checking it out! It was a lot of fun to do.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Locus #3 now in print!

Looks like Issue Three is now up for sale over at Indyplanet. Click here to get your own copy!

Also: JP Morgan, the creator of Fission Chicken, has created a real-life t-shirt based upon the one I drew Spook wearing during Isaac's funeral in Issue Four. You can get your own FC shirt here. It's so awesome. I'm gonna get one as soon as I'm able.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quick Locus updates

Just in case anyone's getting their Locus news from this neglected blog, here are a couple of updates:

Locus #3 (which you can read online starting here) has been sent to the printers as of five minutes ago. Sorry for the wait!

Also, my first Locus-related t-shirt design has been created and mailed and is on its way to me. Once I get it, I'll put up some photos of it. I'm really excited about it, as is my wife--it's her shirt. She insisted.

Finally: Locus #4 is in full swing over on Keenspot! Head on over there and read it for free! Issue four starts here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New t-shirt design for Cockpit

Cockpit! I love this band. A shit-ton of talent and real nice people to boot. They're the kind of friends you brag about to your other friends, because they're so goddamned cool.

They needed a new t-shirt design. Unfortunately, I didn't get it to them before their month-long tour started in April. I had this miserable molar in my mouth and I was barely keeping up on Locus. Sorry, Cockpit. :(

I got it done, though:



It was lots of fun.

I'm working on something else with Cockpit right now, but they asked me not to tell you what it is.

And that's killing me right now.

This project is so cool...oh, man. Stay tuned! I'm gonna blab all about it the microsecond they tell me it's okay.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Locus #4: It's Early!

Issue Four of Locus is going online a little early. Check it out!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Album artwork--interior

I'm working with Necropharmacon right now, creating art for their new CD, the upcoming "Prisoner of Experience". This is the art that will go on the inside:



Difficult to draw (especially without using any references whatsoever) but a lot of fun to ink, and a breeze to color. I'm still trying to work out coloring in a subtle, more realistic manner...I just have so much fun with the more in-your-face style of coloring.

Classical Painter I ain't. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Locus Issue Two now in print!



That's right! You can now grab a hard copy of Issue Two by clicking here!

Why would you want to do that, if you can just read it for free online? I'm glad you asked!

Each print version comes with four extra pages of sketches and notes. Issue One, for example, had a number of sketches showing the evolution of Locus from her early days up to the pinup I drew when I decided to start the comic.

For Issue Two, however, I've included four pages of artwork featuring everyone's favorite uncle, Spook! You'll get to see the earliest surviving sketch of Shen'to Bana'i, drawn way back in summer of 1991. You'll also get to see the "Batman: The Animated Series" version of Spook, as well as the infamous "Disney Spook".

But the best part of the print version of Issue Two is this: I've included a full page from the original comic (done back in the mid-90s) featuring Spook's very first (visible) appearance. Note that this issue never saw print, and so this will be the first time anyone's ever seen this page.

You know you want it! Everyone loves Spook, and you do, too. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bloodrayne

This is my second-to-last commission from the Facebook Comic Con a couple of weekends ago. I was given a choice between Bloodrayne and someone I'd never heard of before, so I chose Bloodrayne. :)



Thanks to Stacey for the commission, and especially for her patience while I get over this tooth stuff.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No more toothache!

I got my tooth pulled yesterday and woke up this morning without any pain whatsoever for the first time in about six months. It's great!

It's also nice to be off the codeine. That stuff was seriously messing with my head. I didn't even know what day it was.

As a result, I have a lot of work to catch up on.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Toothache!

This is one of those stereotypical blog entries, where I post something mundane about my personal life. I normally don't like that sort of thing, but this ties in directly to the artwork, so I feel it's warranted.

I have a bad molar--top one on the right side, all the way in the back. It fucking HURTS, too. Oh, man. I finally went in to see the new dentist today, and it looks like it needs to be yanked. Which will be good. I'm sick of this tooth.

I waited about six months to get it looked at because my old dentist...ugh. I'm never going back there again. I never even met the dentist. I had to deal with this girl who scraped my teeth while talking down to me like I was five years old. She was a bitchy little thing. Drove me nuts.

Hell, the first time I went in, she started up on me for stupid shit. Then they took x-rays and all that, then told me to come back for cleaning and maintenance and whatever. So, I went back, and they took x-rays AGAIN. Way to game the system, kids. Charging me twice for redundant shit. I swear.

So, I said "fuck it" and decided to stay away from the dentist altogether. When it got to the point where I couldn't even eat, sleep or walk around, I buckled down and found a new dentist.

This new guy is great. He's a crotchety old man, like Doc Cottle from Galactica. It's hilarious.

"Well, we can try to save that tooth, but you can see how it's all loose and has all that empty space around it. I could send you to a periodontist, but he'll just charge you for a root canal and probably pull that tooth anyway. I'd rather just pull it next week and be done with it."

(read that to yourself in Doc Cottle's voice, and you'll get a good idea of where I was an hour ago)

I've been taking too much aspirin over the last week or two, so he can't pull the tooth till next week. In the interim, I have a prescription for codeine to tide me over until Yanking Day.

Ah, codeine. I love codeine. It's wonderful stuff. The last time I was on codeine was when I had my ingrown toenails operated on waaaay back around 1992-ish. I was so delerious from pain afterwards that I mixed up my dosages for codeine and the antibiotics I was taking. Ended up accidentally doubling my codeine dosage, and spent the next 14 hours (or so) in a strange, strange world of my own. I spent the whole time sitting in the recliner, drawing one picture.

It completely changed my art style, too. For the better. I haven't drawn the same since that day.

So...here I sit with a codeine prescription in my pocket, which I will be filling tonight. I doubt I'll double the dosage, but it'll be nice to not hurt so bad for a change. Six months of this shit is enough.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Eden

I've been meaning to finish this one for ages now. So here you go! Locus' mother, Eden.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

15-Minute Masterpiece: Spook City

This took me 15 minutes to pencil and ink. Just goofing off while taking a break from designing the cover to Issue Three of Locus.

I do so many of these little 15-minute goof-off pictures that my wife said I should start putting them online. So here you go!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Eden on Bed

Here's a little sneak-peek at a side project I'm working on. This is a picture of Locus' mother, Eden.

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fooling around with face-recognition software

I should be working today, but I had to play around with this "which celebrity do you look like" application.

I uploaded some pictures of myself and got some very strange results. Then I uploaded a couple pictures of my wife (she wanted to play, too) and it only recognized two of the four pictures of her. I guess it doesn't like profiles.

Then, my wife suggested I try it with a picture of Emily the Strange (this picture, in fact), but it didn't recognize a face at all.

Which isn't surprising--that's a very basic representation of a human face.

Well, this got me to thinking...what would my very own comic-book heroine Locus look like?

I submitted this picture:



And again, it didn't recognize a face at all.

So I started thinking about colors and such, but especially file size. I did a quick, 10-minute sketch of Locus in a straight-on, boring face shot. The kind of thing she'd have on her driver's license:

(note that these drawings are all scanned in at full color and 300dpi, in order to give the recognition software more data to work with)



I wasn't expecting it to recognize a thing, but it did! It gave some interesting matches, too:



Now I was getting interested in how this thing worked. It actually picked up some quick and sloppy pencil work. What would it do with old-school black & white inks?



Here's what it gave back to me after thinking about it for a minute or so:



At this point, I was having a lot of fun. The next logical step was color. Nothing fancy--I should be working, after all. So I stuck some quick flats behind the inks.

(If you've never heard the term, "flats" means a flat base color which a colorist uses to block off major shapes for coloring later)

Note that these are the base flats I use to color Locus in the comic.



And here's what the software spit back out:



Very interesting.

I decided to do a quick coloring job--just modeling the forms as quickly as I could. I really didn't spend more than five or six minutes on this. Used a lot of Color Dodge (brush set at 19%). It's nasty-looking, but this is what I ended up with:



The software couldn't recognize a face anymore. It must've been the awful job I did on the left side of the face (her right side, if that makes more sense to you). I really didn't do that cheekbone right.

It also might've been the inks, I thought. All that weird cross-hatching might've made sense to the program when it was just black and white or flatly-colored. So I touched it up a bit and removed the inks altogether. I also added a very basic gradient background to sort of half-ass show where the light was coming from. I figured I'd help the software out a little that way.

And again: this isn't a very good piece of art. I'm experimenting here--trying to see how this thing thinks--not trying to make an actual portrait.

Besides, I really should be working right now. :)



I uploaded the inkless Locus and...it recognized her face again! Here's what it gave back to me:



At that point, I realized it was getting late in the day and I should knock it off and get back to work.

This was a fun experiment. Educational, too. Note the duplicates:

Jessica Simpson showed up in the pencil and ink results, with 66% match for the pencils and 66% (again) for the inks.

Aishwariya Rai shows up with a 70% match with the pencils, but disappears from the results until I put flat colors behind the inks. Then she returns at a 68% match.

Alicia Silverstone matches the inks at 67%, and the flat-colored inks at 73%.

The final image (as terrible as it looks) manages to match with Billie Piper and Helena Bonham Carter, which is interesting. I never noticed Locus bearing a resemblance to either of those two ladies, but now that I look at it...

Then again, that final image "matches" some very weird photos--like that black & white almost-profile of Oscar Wilde.

At some point, I think I'll try this again--but not till I have more time to do a better job. Something painterly, maybe. Who knows?

Also: I really want to try this with Spook now. Really bad. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Locus Issue One now in print!

Hopefully, you've been following the webcomic I've been putting my heart and soul into since November of 2008--that little ditty called "Locus", whose tagline is "Boobs, Blood and Bad Language". If not, click here!

Issue One is now up on Indyplanet.com, and includes all 24 pages, plus 4 more pages of never-before-seen Locus concept art, some of it going back years.

Click here to get your own copy, and to help keep your favorite starving artist up to his armpits in ramen and mac & cheese. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Old Talislanta art

So, I was digging through the stacks and bins and boxes of old art in my studio this weekend, in order to find some old Locus art, and I stumbled upon some old Tal art instead.

Well, technically, it's Midnight Realm art, but you get the idea.

I honestly don't remember why I didn't send this off to ShootingIron. It might've been because Rich Wallace was doing the Zoab, and had already done up versions of his own. Who can say anymore? It was six years ago, and I have trouble remembering last month.

Anyway, here you go:



Friday, January 9, 2009

2009

Jeez, what a year last year, eh? I think everyone had a lousy time in one way or another. My wife's a pesonal banker, and I got to hear all sorts of horror stories about her clients. All my comic-makin' friends went through hell, too. What a mess 2008 turned out to be.

2009 is already shaping up to be a better year, though. I'll be finally getting to work on the graphic novelization of A Prophecy Forgotten, which will be fun. One or two other secret projects should be seeing the light of day this year as well. I also quit one of my projects--the graphic novelization for Yesterday Was A Lie. It just wasn't a good fit. I bowed out so they could find themselves a better artist. ;)

And then, of course, there's Locus, the personal project I've been dying to re-start since 2001 or so. It's already up to issue two, and the response has been great so far! Much better than I expected for a webcomic that only updates 3 days a week with the tagline "Boobs, Blood and Bad Language".

I'll be getting a print version ready in the next couple of weeks, as well as some merchandise like mini-posters, t-shirts...stuff like that.

As for conventions, I don't think I'll be spending much time at cons this year, but we'll see. I'll be back home for the Fourth of July (as always), and up in Halifax for another Kiss convention--although I'm going back more to show my wife how great Halifax is, as well as introduce her to all the new friends I made up there. I love Halifax. I wouldn't mind moving up there and living out the rest of my days.

I'm also considering hitting WW Texas this fall. My bud Mr Riot offered to let me crash at his hotel room, and he's such a crazy fun dude that it's gonna be hard to resist. But we'll see. Money and all that. You know how it is.

At any rate: big things are coming this year! I know everyone says that in their blogs around this time of the year, but it's true. I have a lot of weird and cool things in the pipe--videos, a live model dressed up as Locus...big things.

I'll be building them up slowly and carefully, though. Slow and steady and all that.

Now I gotta get back to work.