Skip to content

time lapse of drill strip

See the final strip here

first time i’ve used sound effects. (nope i’ve used them here and here.)

you can really see me struggle with how the effects should appear in the frame.

the first idea was that the letters would spiral around as if spun by the drill.

i still think it is a good idea, but the execution just wasn’t there so i had to simplify.

the strip is still successful, but when i look at it, it is not as visually interesting as it could have been.



designing an invite for a pool party.

first version was fine. graphic. but I wanted something with a little more personality…


so I quickly doodled this. clearly I don’t know what a shark looks like, but the drawing still felt more fun. I really like the little guy on the left.


looked at a lot of shark photos and my drawing  improved. you think you know what something looks like until you try to draw it.


added color. really like the towel in this version.

I still wanted to see if I could push the shapes of the shark further so I give it another go.



but after that I ended up almost back where I started with this version:




Trek Fan Shirt

I made up a fan shirt in time for the new Star Trek movie that came out a month ago.

ST Fan Shirt

I ended up canning this image; or the slogan, anyway.  It just felt too insider-ish. First you had to get the reference to Shepard Fairey’s Obama Hope Poster. But even if you got that reference, unless you were a hard core trekkie, you were left scratching your head at the IDIC slogan.

So, instead I went to print with this image, instead.

Spock Fan Shirt Final

I wanted to do a Kirk shirt as well, but I didn’t have the right one-word slogan. Yet.

Peanut Spidey

Here’s another shot at inking and coloring a peanut Spidey in Freehand.

First the sketch.

Then the inked and colored version.

The linework feels more lively than my previous example, but I don’t know if Spidey feels very peanut-y anymore, though.

Just finished reading:

This is the first Tintin story I’ve ever read; and it really blew my hair back. Though this collection is black and white, I’ve seen color samples of Herge’s strip and they’re just beautiful.

In fact, don’t this;

and this;

seem to have a lot in common? (You can check out my previous post on this piece here.)

And so far, this link is the best look at Herge‘s process that I’ve found.

screentone out

Peanut Preview

Here’s a look at a sketch done in preparation for my piece for an upcoming art show. Be warned: “Thar’ be crazies on that link!”

The theme I’m participating in is Peanut People; right now the name of my piece is Peanut Gallery. I’m going to draw gobs of characters from fact and fiction.

Here’s a color version of Peanut Spidey.

As always, you can click on the image for a closer look.

The inks are too heavy; too lifeless; no thicks and thins; no line variety in general. (Inks were done in Macromedia Freehand, by the way. I used the variable stroke pen tool. If I had it to do again, I’d use the Bezier pen tool. More control.)

I’m fairly happy with the color job. Also done in Freehand.

More on the way!

screentone out


Coupla weeks ago. The comic book store; after a few pints. It’s the last place you’d expect an epiphany.

Buddy Don is scoping out the Star Wars action figures; I’m whining about work.

Don picks up an action figure based on the Ralph McQuarrie concept art. The toys themselves look pretty chintsy, but most toys do. The packages, however; loaded with McQuarrie’s artwork, look terrific.

“The trouble with working at a tshirt shop,” I say, “all I ever get to design is tshirts. I don’t get to learn anything else. I’d like to try some package design.”

Don looks at me like I’m an idiot.

“Then design an action figure tshirt,” he says.

Epiphany: I am an idiot.

It’s up to me to learn what I want to learn.

Because I’m an idiot, a week goes by before I realize I need to scrap my idea for the upcoming art show and instead design a package for my Hulk Herocap, (Herocap origin for another day) and enter that in the show.

I start to take a closer look at the construction of boxes. I make a trip to Wal-Mart and pick up a Spider-Man Mighty Muggs. (The colors on the Mighty Muggs boxes are appealing; if a little flat. I love the top panel, with the close up of Spidey’s Eyes, but overall, the boxes are a little boring. Why have a static image of the exact same thing that’s in the box? The box design should be more than appealing; it should be exciting. But the packages do feel very solid, not at all flimsy, which I like.)

I do a little package design research online: to try and learn techniques for cutting the boxes so i get a nice smooth line; if I have to worry about the ink bleeding, where I can get a plastic mold insert to secure my Herocap in the middle of the box. I find a couple of interesting sites: The Dieline and Package Design Magazine, but I find little on the nuts and bolts of making your own boxes.

I am on my own.

I start drawing up templates for the box on graph paper.

You saw some of the artwork for the Hulk box last week.

I learn a lot from the box of a Dashboard Monk that Don’s brother Les gave me.

I learn even more from finally putting together a mock up of my own box.

Here’s the artwork. If you take a closer look ( by clicking on it), you can see that I don’t have flaps on the side panels, and you can see that I ran out of room on my graph paper; so I didn’t have a back panel, which was going to be fine, because I would cut it out when I cut out the cardboard backer.

Only, when I cut out the panel, I cut it out an inch shorter than it needs to be; so I end up with a, what, parallelogram? With the front panel one inch wider than the back panel.

After I put it all together, I color in Spidey’s mask with a magic marker so that it’s brighter. The cross shape is the graph paper glued onto a cardboard backer. What you can’t see is the giant glue glob resulting from my clumsiness. What you can see is that the box is just too big for the Hulk Herocap prototype. Don’t worry, I will be making up a Spidey Herocap.

The cardboard interior felt dark, so I added a sheet of paper to brighten things up:

You can see here where I had to trim the top of the box to run (semi) flush with the side panels.

I kind of like the box shape. I think I’m going to use it; just flip it around so that the small panel is in front…Failure is the perfect teacher and I learn a lot.

Design a smaller box. Set up a cutting and gluing station separate from your drawing table. Be sure of measurements.

First Look

Ooh, all of you lucky dogs out there are getting a sneak peek!

I’ve been working on (well, not so much working on as, mostly thinking about) a new big project for the art show coming up June 7th.

Here’s a first glimpse at HERO CAPS…the future of uncollectable collectibles.

Don’t tell anyone, but this is a glimpse at the artwork for the limited edition ultra-rare Hulk Box. Just one of a kind. It won’t be like any other Hero Caps box!

If you look close in the upper right hand corner of the picture you can see I’ve started working on the real Hero Caps boxes. The Hulk Box was just a crazy idea….ooh, inside, I was going to have a puny Bruce Banner Cap, but it would be even cooler to have a Hulk Brain! Wonder where I could get one…

After taking a look at this artwork, I know that this is just a rough draft. The Hulk just doesn’t look ANGRY enough to me…he looks more confused, or astonished…

You can click on the picture for a closer look, you know, if you’d like.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why it is you’ve never heard of a Hero Cap, it’s because I invented it! My buddy Ryan came up with the name, and my pal Donnie (of penguin fame) helped shape the first Hero Cap with a precision-dependent heating system.

Boy, I can’t wait till I’m all done creating them. They’re the perfect collectible for keeping in the box!