Monday, December 30, 2013

The KING and I
A Tale of MY artwork:
A gift to (and from)... Jack Kirby


Jack Kirby at his drawing board, as seen in the documentary:
"With Great Power - The Stan Lee Story"


Yes, I know… after an attempt to commit myself to posting artwork more often here, than do I seemingly vanish off the face of the Earth. My current schedule of freelancing and "day-job" keeping me quite busy, with no new posts for a year – missing many opportunities, including; Halloween and Thanksgiving.

But what if I tried to make up for it by presenting a blog entry that is part “ghost story” as well as a testament of my deepest thanks? – Both aspects given to me from Jack Kirby – 20 years apart.

This blog entry is a true life story about how I met Jack Kirby, gave him a small gift, and how, over 20 years later, his “ghost” showed up and returned the favor.

JACK “KING” KIRBY was not only one of the founders of the comic book medium, but perhaps its greatest talent as well.

The worlds that burst like lightning out of his mind, the fantastic imagery that exploded like a volcano from his hand, likened him to a god; a true “CREATOR”.

But this tale is not one that focuses on the myth of the man, nor on the legend that spawned such descriptors, but instead on a small personal history... and a mystery, sparked by a moment or two in time – one forever in amber within my memory – the other… captured forever on film.

Take a look at the photograph atop this post, of Jack Kirby at his drawing table.
Do you see the drawing of Captain America atop the King’s board?
The one with which he is posed, pen in hand, as if upon which he is putting some finishing touch?

That… is MY artwork.

Ah… I hope that got your attention.

Yes. That is MY drawing of Captain America, one that I gave to the King, when I had the pleasure to meet him at a comic convention back in (late) 1990  (or early 1991).

Not only that, but if you look even closer, you’ll note that the artwork is inside a black matt frame.

That is because when I frequented comic-cons during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s it was as a professional artist (having had some pro work with a few indie publishers) and I would sell my work – some; original art, drawn at request, and some; hand-colored photocopies of previously drawn illustrations, framed in those mats. It was one such piece that I gave to Jack Kirby.

I will provide PROOF of which here.

Here is a photograph of myself, taken expressly for this post, with not only a similar, colored photocopy… not only one in the exact same type of matt… but one that was taken from my flatfile archives, where it was stored away after being colored, matted, signed & dated in 1990! In my other hand is the ORIGINAL pencil artwork, drawn in 1989 (which shows what was obscured by the mat: the Shield & Eagle atop the flagpole and the rest of Cap’s left foot, as well as the remainder of the flag).

Just so you don’t think that I merely photoshopped my work into the photo (or drew it after the fact), please note that I discovered the Kirby photo while watching a documentary, on Netflix, a few weeks ago : “With Great Power; The Stan Lee Story”, which was produced in 2010.

Here’s the pertinent clip from the show that shows the image shown in the photo atop this page:
(if for some reason the video clip doesn't show properly, a link to the YouTube page where I posted it can be found [HERE])

Obviously, I could not have altered the image in an already-filmed documentary, which anyone can now go and verify. The Kirby photo is near the end of this clip (but around the 20 minute mark in the full video).

Now allow me to turn the clock back, for a moment of explanation as to the origins of how Jack Kirby came into possession of my work, and then I’ll turn the clock forward again, to early this month, when I discovered that the photograph of the King with my art even existed…

While I have already written of my meeting with Jack Kirby, back in an old post, a few years ago on my other blog, [HERE], I’ll recap and continue the tale now.

As some readers of this blog may know (as detailed in several other old posts), I was a professional writer / artist for a few independent comic companies in the late 1980’s – early 1990’s (1987 – 1991 to be exact).
I had started out just as a guy with a rented table in the dealer’s room, who would either draw your custom art on the spot, or sell pre-drawn samples and even hand-colored photocopies of my work.
It was in that manner that I was “discovered” by some publishers and garnered assignments for published work. With actual published credentials, I then graduated to a free table in “artist’s alley”, the professional’s room.

Still, I was a young and inexperienced 20-something year-old “kid”, and every once in a while, a “real” pro artist would walk over to (or past) my table and we would get to talk about the industry.

At one weekend show in New York City, I met Jack Kirby. (I also met Stan Lee at the same show, but I've already told that tale [linked to HERE]). Jack was walking through the “artist’s alley” room, with his wife, Roz. I saw him, and immediately felt that I should say something… DO something… to express my gratitude for his immeasurable contribution to the field.

Suddenly, I KNEW what I could do. Like the tale of the “Little Drummer Boy”, I had a gift for the King, and while it wasn’t much, it was all that I had.

I looked at my artworks which surrounded and covered my table, and thought that, most of those characters were co-created by Stan Lee, and would not make an appropriate gift, as they might instead serve to rekindle the heated feelings that Jack Kirby may have had towards Lee and Marvel. No. Instead I would make a gift to him of the one character thereupon that was his – with no ties to Stan Lee…

Captain America.

I quickly grabbed a hand-colored copy of a drawing of Captain America that I had done, and vaulted over my table to go and meet this iconic industry giant.

Gently shaking his hand, I gave him the illustration of the comic character that HE had created - and bestowed upon the world - as a gesture of my thanks and admiration.

I embarrassingly asked for an autograph, but his wife explained that he was under strict orders to rest his hands and that if I gave my name and info, he would mail one to me at a later date.
I happily did so, saying that autograph or no, this was indeed an honor that I would never forget

While I never did receive the autograph, I took some small, humble hope that a piece of my work was in possession of the man. Although, truthfully, even that thought was fleeting, as I wondered why a giant such as he would even bother to keep such an offering. Looking at the illustration with the eyes of a more mature artist, I know that the illustration really isn’t very good. Sure, it has good qualities, but overall, it’s just not all that good. Not good enough for someone like Jack Kirby to keep it for long.

I thought that maybe he’d have tossed it in the back of a closet, out of a kind sense of thankful obligation, sort of how one might keep a received birthday card in a drawer and promptly forget about it for years. Such was the fate that I imagined for my artwork; gently forgotten in the back of a closet, until it would eventually be discarded.

Sadly, within 4 years of our meeting, the King was dead.
I couldn’t help but wonder over the years… Did he keep it? Did he like it? Would it be thrown away with the assorted junk that accumulates on the periphery of our lives?

A gift given. A memory made. And a mystery… in my mind.

Now please indulge me as I flash-forward to the present and my viewing of the documentary.

While flipping through the selections on Netflix, I was in the mood for some comicbook goodness, and thought a documentary would be perfect.
The selection; "With Great Power - The Stan Lee Story" sounded familiar, but I knew I had never seen it. Surprising since it was released in 2010.

It would be less than a half-hour before a point in my life of 20 years prior would leap into my present-day living room.

When the scene in question came on screen, it felt like an electric jolt went through my body. My body went rigid, my eyes opened wide, and my mind… my mind reeled.

I immediately recognized my work. But more importantly than anything, I immediately knew that Jack Kirby had kept my gift.

It was as if I were seeing a long lost friend, contacting me from beyond the grave to answer a question, long thought unanswerable.

To see that the great artist not only kept the piece, but had it close enough at hand for use as a prop in some photo-shoot truly brought a shock to my mind, and a sense of peace of mind as well.

But then it also brought further questions:

WHEN was this photo taken?
WHY? For WHAT purpose?

I can only imagine that when asked to pose for some photo opportunity (a magazine shoot perhaps), the photographer may have thought that a piece of Jack's own original black-pencil artwork might not have "popped" (which is unthinkable), or simply lacked the visual impact that a full-color illustration would instead provide. So the (ignorant) photographer just had Jack place an already-colored piece on the desk.

So, looking around his studio for a suitable image, of a character that would be recognizable, not only for who it was, but that it was one of his characters, my artwork simply fit the bill. Nevermind that it wasn’t drawn by Kirby, as his hand is positioned to block the view of my signature (a ~PCK~ in a scroll with the year beneath it) which I would guess was the photographer's direction; "OK, Jack... just move your hand over a bit...there!" Authenticity may have taken a back-seat to necessity.

I knew that there would only be a few people who could shine any light on these tiny mysteries (perhaps John Morrow from TwoMorrow's Press - publishers of the Jack Kirby Collector magazine, or someone from the Jack Kirby Museum project). However, I also knew that there was one other man who would not only have the best chance of knowing, but who might like to discuss this story with me, and so I contacted Jack Kirby’s long-time assistant & friend, Mark Evanier (who you'll note was shown being interviewed at the start of the video clip I presented above).

Mr. Evanier told me that Jack Kirby kept EVERY drawing that he was ever given by fans. He would keep them nearby in his studio, some hung up on the walls, some down leaning against the walls of the room, and that he would frequently interchange what was displayed on the walls and/or the floor stacks. Everyone got time to shine, and he didn’t judge the works on artistic merit more than the fact that he was thrilled that someone actually took the TIME and ENERGY to CREATE something. He was humbled, and gladdened that he was able to inspire anyone to do so, but it was the act of creation that he most admired and by which he was delighted.

Most others sent him drawings OF him WITH his creations. My gift, however, was one of an impromptu nature, given on a chance meeting, and as such, was only of one of his creations.

THAT, it seems is what might have been the reason that my artwork was placed upon his table for the photo. It would be unlikely for a drawing OF Jack and his characters to be drawn BY Jack, wherein my piece featuring only Captain America might have been a better fit for the photographer’s direction. That and/or the fact that without any other figures on the page, the one figure is full-sized and instantly recognizable to the viewer, if not the actual style or the fact that it wasn’t a Kirby drawing.

Sure, when I first saw the documentary photo, my mind had let fly with fanciful notions that maybe Jack Kirby had liked my work... and maybe had it on his desk because he wanted to send me an overlay drawing showing me the correct way it should have been drawn (as I know that it wasn't a great piece)... Or maybe, he saw some spark of talent in the drawing and wanted to mentor me... or maybe someone, somewhere saw this one piece and maybe wanted to contact me for some project...

All fanciful dreams...

The truth is most likely what I and Mr. Evanier both concluded; Jack was a class act and kept all things that fans gave him. His hands wouldn't allow for him to draw anything for that photo session, and maybe the color drawing just fit the bill as a prop.

That I had always sort of wondered whether he kept it, whether he liked it, whether it was lost in time... all those questions were answered by one photograph, over 20 years later. For that I am grateful. For the fact that he used my drawing, my tiny gift, for the photo (even if by random chance)... I am humbly honored.

And so, I just want to say once again, for all the wonders he has given the medium, all the enjoyment that he has given to me, and for the gratitude that I feel knowing that he liked and had my work near to him… THANK YOU, JACK KIRBY.

It is my pleasure to state that John Morrow of the aforementioned TWOMORROWS PRESS, has expressed an interest in publishing this blog entry in one of his publications! Most likely The JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR magazine!
He has asked for high quality images for reproduction of all the images seen in this post, so it should look quite nice.
I'll be sure to make the official announcement when the article is published.

After months of trying to orchestrate an open spot in the JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR, (because, as anyone with even a smidge of publishing understanding knows, space is a premium and stories crop up and drop off constantly,) my tale was published, in a truncated form, in the letters pages of issue #64.
While not the big feature story I was hoping for, it did contain most of the information from this post as well as photos seen in this post. Not too bad.

While flipping around YouTube a day ago, I found ANOTHER documentary that shows the same photo of Jack Kirby with my artwork. This time, MORE of the photo is shown.

From the 1996 documentary:
 STAN LEE: The ComiX-Man
 (that it seems was broadcast in two segments on A&E)

The photo is at the 14:52 - 14:55.5

A brand NEW documentary (series) has begun to air last night on AMC (American Movie Classics) titled:
and on the first episode:
The Mighty Misfits Who Made Marvel
,at the 28 minute mark, that image was used, yet again, when speaking of the mistreatment of Jack Kirby, and how, ironically, he wasn't being acknowledged for his artwork.
The episode can be watched for free on either YouTube OR the Google Play app/site.

HOW many documentaries used this photo?
Now, more than before I am determined to find out WHAT this photo was for and WHY Jack chose MY piece with which to pose.
I may never know the answer, but I am filled with wonder.

Thanks, Jack!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Doctor Strange and Clea - DANCING


In my most previous post [HERE] wherein I showcased a "recent" commission (uh... from *cough* August), I also noted that there was another commission request that I had worked up not too long thereafter (September/October) that I wanted to share here as well.

Well, I really wanted to get these on the blog here before 2012 comes to an official end, so... here it is.

You really need to click on the pics to see them at all.
There are waaaaay too many details to be seen in the small image that fits in the blog.
(and sadly, even the scan can't capture all the details and shading in the original drawing, so...)
If you REALLY want to see them BIG, then "right-click" and open in a new tab or window.
Otherwise, a simple click will open it in a blogger-slideshow big enough to see.

drawn in pencil (blue and graphite) on 11x17 vellum-finish bristol board
the typed URLs are only on the scan, not on the original

This commission came to me by a reader of my comic blog (which is why these scans have that blogs URL and email contact info on them), wherein she requested an image of DOCTOR STRANGE (yes, him again) dancing in the moonlight, with his long-time love; Clea, beneath the window of his Sanctum Sanctorum.

My first rough sketch, based upon the initial criteria of the requester - where she wanted it to be:

", energetic dancing -- in contact with the ground and with each other, but just barely. Clothes likewise -- anything that is relatively close to the body but still shows some 'flow' is fine with me..."

...wasn't quite what either of us were hoping for.

Certainly, I did get all the specifics of her request; "free, energetic dancing"? - check. "Barely in touch with the ground or each other"? - check. Sanctum window and full moon? - check. But still, it didn't seem quite right.

Personally, I love(d) Clea's pose and her coy smile, but Doctor Strange is usually a bit more stoic to be seen doing whatever "frug" I drew him doing there.

I also wanted to add a little something to the composition, as if it were just the two of them beneath the moon-lit window, it would have seemed... lacking.

So, I tossed in a variation of a statue of the Hindu deity Nataraja's most famous incarnation as the "Dancing Shiva".  The reasoning being that the character of Doctor Strange was tutored in the mystic arts in Tibet, and is (or should be, at least) learned in all Eastern religions, so it would be a natural thing to have around his Sanctum. Also, the fact that the Shiva is "dancing" helps to echo the actions going on in the background.
However, I hedged my initial bet, unsure if the buyer would want a religious artifact to be shown, so I instead inserted an "other-dimensional" variation of the statue (and to be comic-canon accurate, I found that just such a designed state was used in an issue of Doctor Strange's own comic [# 55 to be exact]).

However, much to my delight, and to the buyer's credit, she thought having the dancing Shiva present would be a nice touch.

She did have some minor changes, however - lose the curtains (easy, but not without consequence to the composition) and find a better dance pose (er...not so easy).

After a few email exchanges wherein we discussed just what sort of pose she truly wanted: dynamic, counter-balanced, graceful, with a mixture of "in-love" and "free" feelings.

At that point, I realized that the type of dance I should be aiming for was more "ballet" than free-form.

So... I whipped up a few.

While, I personally loved a few of these poses, none of them were quite what the commissioner was looking for, so I did another...

THIS pose, at least of the male figure, was what she wanted. Now I just had to find a better pose for the female figure.

So, I tweaked it a few more times.

That last one was the one she liked! It seemingly had all the criteria that was required. The only minor request on her part was that I not show the full rear-end of the female. That was easily done, and made for a better pose, as I was able to shift "Clea's" weight and pose to the side, thus allowing her torso to twist to better face (and allow her arm to reach) her male dance partner.

Of course, the entire time I was sketching the roughs, I had in mind to keep Doctor Strange "topless", dressed just in his tights and sash/belt, as it gave him more of a "ballet" flair. That, unfortunately, wasn't what the buyer wanted, as the character had recently changed his costume and no longer wore his flowing tunic and tights combo, but instead a more form-fitting combo with a "tails" extension which flowed behind his legs.

SO... it was that in which he was dressed.

However, there were other mediating decisions and circumstances surrounding nearly every aspect of the illustration. 

For example; Doctor Strange's outfit had been drawn in the comics as either being some kind of leather / latex  material; shiny and slick , or as a matte fabric.
Personally, while I preferred the matte fabric style if I were to render it thus, he would have blended into the black background, so I had to go shiny.

Also, the nighttime sky... I opted for a horizontal "foggy" look to counterbalance the swirling smoke emanating from the incense brazier and statue (the shape of the smoke helped take the place of the curtains drapery). It also helped to make the sky drop back into its own plane - separate from the black walls or the curved window pane.

A few design choices paid off quite well:
- The numerous circular motifs; moon, window, Shiva statue, moonlit floor.

- The pose of the dancers emulated the "tic-tac-toe" shape of the window pane

Certainly, I can see many things I'd like to take another crack at, but the buyer was thrilled!
When it arrived at her home, she told me that the scans did not do it justice, as there are MANY subtle details and rich shading values which a scanner simply can not capture.

She also took it upon her self to computer-color it as well, and I have to say, she did a fabulous job!

So, if anyone has an interest in getting some commissioned comic art drawn by me, you can see that I give a lot of thought and consideration to the job. And I always strive to deliver more than what has been paid for.

I'll post a price list in a new post to start off 2013.

Happy New Year!
Let's hope to get more commissions to showcase here in the year to come!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Doctor Strange


This post SHOULD have been made in August 2012.
However, I neglected to do so, and such it's being entered now before 2012 wraps.

Oh, so how to begin this post after...Lo! A YEAR or so has passed since my last offering.
Many quotes could be used, from Mark Twain's oft-repeated, "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" to even to paraphrase Eva Peron's (by way of the play, 'Evita'), "Don't cry for me 'blogger-readers', the truth is I never left you..."

So what HAVE I been doing these past many months?

Well, a lot of real-life @#$%^&* (my car's transmission gave up the ghost and my wife's car had problems that in order to fix cost the money I had saved to buy a used one for ME).
After a summer of no real work (my current job with a school is "seasonal") I've been called back for the new school year, but it's a rough schedule.

But, the good news is that during the summer, I got to do some freelance artwork.

I had a few occasions to use my talents to earn some well-needed green - two for old employers, who - while still not able to rehire me - due to budgetary constraints - occasionally send me some requests for artwork. I won't bore you with those pieces, since they tend to be, non-comic-book, exploded-view technical specs for how to assemble assorted products. *yawn*

There's a promotional comic book project that has been given the green-light, but it's still in the planning stages, so that isn't anything I can work on at the moment.

However, I have had a few instances where I have either been asked (or, took it upon myself) to draw a comic-book character (or two) for a readers of my comic blog.

Sadly, I didn't scan in some of the other pieces, as they were more or less "quickies" ($10 - $20 "sketches" drawn on comic book backing boards, which, while I might call them "sketches", can be very detailed and often are what other artists might charge double the amount to produce).
Characters like Batman, Spider-Man and Green Lantern. Cool stuff, but, as I said, basic sketches and I mailed them off without nary a scan.

In fact, the object of this post (and my next) were actually drawn during the summer. This one having been drawn for someone who did not request one, per se, but did - out of the goodness of her heart - made a donation to the blog via paypal.

A kind reader opened her heart (and purse) to send a donation and so touched was I by her kindness that I made sure to draw her something "special" as my way of saying thanks.

click to enlarge

drawn by PTOR, ye humble blogger.
(so humble that I only sign my work with the mysterious -yet stylized-
 "?" question-mark-shaped letter "P".)
Oh, and the since it was commissioned via the comic blog I tossed that URL up top.
But no worries, the URL typed along the top is only on this digital version.

Drawn in pencil (blue and graphite) with copious amounts of subtle detail and shading, on 8.5 x 11 bristol board (the type of paper used for the drawing of comics), I presented her with this rendition of Doctor Strange (a large head-shot with a smaller full-body pose alongside).

Basically, I drew two different "roughs" and then dove into this final piece (which would normally fetch somewhere around $50 - $70 or so at this size and level of detail, but I gave to her "free" to repay a kind deed).

Just so you can see the process, here are the two sketches.

 2 ballpoint pen scribble sketches.

The first sketch I was looking for the right "mood" for Doc's face. Then, I just wanted to rough out the rest of the composition: smaller full-figure of Doctor Strange in his astral form, window design, but wasn't sure about adding the collar of the Cloak of Levitation.

The second sketch, I made the main figure / bust a bit smaller so I could fit in the cloak and the Eye of Agamotto, and then changed the position of the smaller figure to one that I liked much better.
But, the main figure now seemed too small for the composition, so I would have to lose the cloak and Eye entirely to accommodate the larger head.

And thus, once the final layout was deemed "right", I worked up the final piece that you saw above.
(Normally, if I was taking this as a commission - and not a surprise "thank you" - I'd have emailed the rough sketch to see if that was the direction the buyer would want before drawing the final piece.)

I sent her a scan of the final piece to see if she liked it, and then, with her approval, sent the physical drawing on it's way.

So pleased was she that she commissioned another item.
But that might be included in a future compilation post.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

- The FIRST Batch -

As some readers of this blog may recall, I was, for a few years, a card-carrying, paid, professional comic-book writer and artist. This was primarily back around 1988 to 1992.

During that time, in addition to the actual comic books that I was hired to create (for some small indie publishers), I also would frequent many comic conventions (comic cons) in the U.S. (primarily New York City, Long Island NY, Boston, Chicago and Pittsburgh, among others).

While attending the conventions, I had my own table in the "Artist's Alley" and would take commissions for original artwork, and also sell hand-colored, framed art prints.

Although drawn in pencil, I may have been a little ahead of my time, in that I knew that if I drew the pieces tight enough, that they could be reproduced without the need for inking.

Now, after more than 20 years, due to financial circumstances, I am selling these original pieces - some of which were used to make the black and white prints that I would then hand-color for sale.

Up on eBay, I have listed the first batch - 6 assorted pieces - and at the insanely low starting price of only 99cents!

These first 6 include:

The link for the eBay auctions can be found [HERE].
 * click on images to see them in greater detail *
(but the scans do NOT do the artwork any justice. Trust me. The originals are much nicer.)



Graphite pencil over blue-line pencil drawing
14 x 17 vellum finish bristol board
full bleed image

Taking advantage of the fact that his own movie has just opened, I am making THOR the lead item in this sale.

In this image, THOR is wearing a full suit of mystical armor and sporting a full beard.
This was drawn to pay tribute to the time when his title was written and drawn by Walt Simonson, who introduced those elements to the character.
One of the most critically acclaimed runs in the character's history.

The THOR auction can be found [HERE]


Graphite pencil over blue-line pencil drawing
14 x 17 vellum finish bristol board
10 X 13 image

Cousin of the HULK (she received a blood transfusion from him - which also transferred his powers to her), the SHE-HULK has been "Savage", "Sensational" but always "Sexy" and ready for fun!

SHE-HULK auction can be found [HERE]


Graphite pencil over blue-line pencil drawing
8.5 x 14 vellum finish bristol board
8.5 X 11 image

Perched atop an ornate brownstone rooftop in New York City, DAREDEVIL keeps watch to protect the citizens from any evil that would befall them.

The DAREDEVIL auction can be found [HERE]


Oh, and in case you don't think I show any love for the DC side of the street...

Graphite pencil over blue-line pencil drawing
14 x 17 vellum finish bristol board
10 X 13 image

Swinging out over the rooftops of Gotham City, the Dynamic Duo are ever-ready to combat the criminal element.

The BAT-auction can be found [HERE]


And now, to highlight an "indie" property (if IMAGE can be seen as "independent")...

Graphite pencil over blue-line pencil drawing
9 x 12 vellum finish bristol board
8.5 X 11 image

Cursed by Hell and Abandoned by Heaven, SPAWN (aka Al Simmons) is forever trapped between both realms and must constantly battle the forces of both.

I conceived of the flip-image of the hour-glass to show that he is trapped and doomed by both sides of the veil.
Weep for him, for he shall never know peace.

You can bid on the SPAWN artwork [HERE]


And, of course, no "team" is complete without this next guy...

Graphite pencil over blue-line pencil drawing
9 x 12 vellum finish bristol board
8.5 X 11 image

The ferocious mutant known as WOLVERINE is known for his rough and ready attitude - but his friends can also attest to a sense of humor as well.
Popping out a single (middle) claw (with a finger behind it), here he displays both!

Dig your claws into the Wolverine artwork [HERE]


These are merely the first of several batches.
I aim to list one batch per week (starting and ending on Sunday evenings).
However, I will be listing them, in advance, here on my art blog - in case anyone feels that they want to inquire about prices or just want to make an offer, and thus avoid the whole eBay rigamarole.

Upcoming drawings are of:

- GHOST RIDERS (Johnny Blaze vs Dan Ketch)
- INVADERS (Captain America, Namor, Human Torch I, Toro, Bucky)
- IRON MAN (large image)
- IRON MAN (8.5 x 11 image)
- J.L.A (the Bwa-ha-ha roster)
- J.S.A
- WOLVERINE (crossed claws)
- X-MEN (Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Havok, Rogue, Dazzler & Psylocke [in her original body and costume])

Like the assortment available this week, some are "good", some are better!

Remember, the link for the eBay auctions can be found [HERE] .

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Shifting Gears.

Well... it's not as though I didn't know it was coming...

The most recent spurt of freelance work has all but dried up.

I am now in the process of taking training courses for a new "day job".
(I am reluctant to say "career", since i still aspire to one day return to a position as a Full Time ARTIST. THAT is my career.)

Still, this new direction needs its temporal demands from me, and as much as I yearn to sit and draw, between the training and the day-to-day aspects of "life"...I really can't do so.

On the up-side, I DO have one freelance project - designing a web-site for a local car dealership.
Already  worked up a spiffy new logo for them, and have tinkered around with the slicing and dicing of design elements and roll-over effects.

I guess I can show the logo.
I won't say the NAME of the place here (yet), but the logo doesn't give that way.
Well.. not the DESIGN aspect of the logo, anyway.
The completed logo does indeed give the name of the business (as most proper logos should).

*click to enlarge*

This gear and grill double "M" logo, was drawn in Adobe Illustrator and then colored and stylized in Adobe Photoshop.

But, the entire web-site is to be a step-by-step process, with status checks along the way, needing design approvals from their owners, and as such, I can't just bat it out asap.

I also have a few other projects at near-completion (which I had hoped to have done by now), but since they're private projects (to be unveiled when they are ready) they come after paying jobs and other more pressing things.
(One of which is my OWN web-site - which has been sitting in a "temporary placeholder" state for too long while i redesign every aspect of it.)


Friday, March 18, 2011

Bees, Beavers, Bodies and Me.

Busy, Busy, Busy...

That is my only (lame-o) excuse for not posting anything here since I promised that I'd post here more often.

I've been working a few freelance gigs (including a F/T in-house freelance position), often putting in "double-shifts"...
(F/T hours designing a catalog - as well as art recreations and whatnot - for my most recent ex-employer, and then coming home to put in late hours on freelance projects for my old former job.)

And, while I'm most grateful for the sudden return of work, and the satisfaction of knowing that all the jobs that "let me go" for one reason or other, still desire my abilities and are trying to work things out...

... I am exhausted.

No time to to draw anything for myself.

Hopefully soon.


Friday, December 31, 2010

TO WRAP UP 2010 -
ROM : SPACEKNIGHT Illustration

Well... we're one day from the end of another year... and to wrap up both the 2010 blogging year as well as the recent ROM SPACEKNIGHT original art series of posts (found HERE, HERE and HERE - wherein I went through the process of creating an original piece of artwork made especially for the fundraiser show/ auction to benefit former Marvel comics writer, Bill Mantlo - who was paralyzed and suffers permanent brain damage from a hit-and-run accident in 1992) I am presenting my original illustration here... in all its "final *digitally* inked glory" (if only I could put multiple "quote marks" around the word "glory")...

Click to see in all its """glory""".
 Original art by yours truly; PTOR.

The auction went well, some beautiful artworks made available to the masses for a good cause.
I can't rightly state that I understand the levels of bidding, however.
Some pieces, which, to me anyway, seemed slightly lesser than others, made off with large final bids, while other, artistic masterpieces of design, color and technique went by with only a scant (if any) bids.

I have two theories:

  1. Pieces created by famous (or underground) professionals went for higher values - due to their fan-bases and potential high investment potential.
  2. Pieces with any nudity and/or sexual connotations went for even higher levels - well... because sex sells.

With no sour grapes in any way, I'll own up to the fact that my own piece suffered, admittedly so, because I did not have time to color it.
Black and white pieces generally don't do well.
Especially, since mine was designed to BE in color, so it lacks the proper chiaroscuro and "spotted blacks" required of a piece meant to stand alone in stark black and white.
Simply put - I dropped the ball.

When reduced to the size of a thumbnail image (which is how they were seen in the auction listings - until one would click on it to see the whole piece made large), mine was unrecognizable as to what the image contained.

To rectify that, I am hoping to produce a fully colored version to present to the committee so that the color version might be used for the upcoming book release instead of the black/white version.

That is not to say that I am ashamed of this piece in any way.
Sure, like any artist, once I finished it, I IMMEDIATELY started picking it apart for all its varied mistakes and glaringly bad bits... that's just the nature of an artist to see where he/she could do better... but, that said,  I DO like it for what it is and stand by it as a sweet piece of comic art.

Best of all... because it was done for a good cause.

See you in 2011!