Friday, October 17, 2014

New Book, and Fangbone! update...

Today I started drawing a new picture book written by David Friend.  I haven’t worked on a picture book since 2010, so I’m really excited to get rolling.  It’s a truck book, so that was a terrible joke. 

The first thing that most illustrators do when creating a book, is sketch the whole thing out on one large piece of paper.  This way it’s easier to break up the text, and get a sense of what the whole thing will look like.   I also start looking for good compositions to emerge.  The picture below was just my first pass. There will be many, many more…

People keep asking about the Fangbone! TV show.  I wish I had some answers myself.  The stuff I do know, I can’t share.  Things are looking good though. The waiting at this point is very, very difficult, and it would crush me if the project fell apart this late in the game.  I’m trying to stay positive, which actually is not my default setting and it takes a great deal of effort.  And cake.  Cake helps.

This is a scan from my 2001 picture book, “The Pie is Cherry.”  Sadly, it is no longer in print.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Astronaut #18

Here's the same image as yesterday, this time the lines were drawn with a brush.  I tried a very different color scheme, and I think it works well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Astronaut #17

Here's a new astronaut piece.  I was trying to see how little line I could get away with and still allow  the image to work.  While I intended it to look very light, as if it was drawn in a few moments, the line looks a bit too stuff.  It's amazing how something as simple as line quality can make, or break a drawing.  This was a good experiment, but I have some ideas on how to improve this, and play more to my strengths.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Where did the summer go?

Wow!  The summer really went by fast.  I've been creating the art for Icky Ricky #5, and have been working with the Fangbone! writers on some new scripts.

I'm putting up a few sketchbook pages just for fun.  There's no theme here, and there's nothing to discuss about their content. Just couches, monsters and knights. Enjoy.

I hope to have some big news on Fangbone! shorty!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Icky Ricky 3, and more...

Wow.  Did more than a month pass already?  I’ve been working on a few different things.  Icky Ricky #5 has been written, and I just completed the sketches.  Book #6 has been outlined.  I’m beginning to write that one now, and in a week or so I will begin on the book #5 final drawings.  It sounds a bit complicated, but it all makes sense in the end.

Icky Rick #3: The Dead Disco Raccoon was published in May.  I think it is, by far, the funniest of the bunch.  As always, there are a few different stories in the book.  In book #3 Ricky buys an ice cream cake on the hottest day of the summer, tells the story of how he met Gus, cleans a kitchen with a leaf-blower, buys a taxidermied raccoon, and gets attacked by a demon toilet!  All for $4.99!

The Fangbone TV project is still chugging forward, and this time I think we see the station ahead.  We had a meeting with Disney XD Canada, the folks who ordered the pilot, and they are very happy with our work.  We are hoping that a final decision, good or bad, will happen in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Astronaut #16

This is from a cardboard print I made in grad school about six or seven years ago.  I used photoshop to duplicate certain parts of the print and add the wood.  Not much to say about it.  

It's done, which I guess is a good thing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More "Worm" sketches

Here are a few more sketches from my big, sprawling, "rock and roll kid ends up in apocalyptic wasteland" story.  The star of the story is Worm, who I am really getting a kick out of.  I have many ideas and notes for this, but I really don't know what form it will take, and when I will be able to get to it.  I see it as a one long, stand alone, graphic novel.

One of the things I'd like to do is incorporate real lyrics into the story, as Worm has many of his favorites memorized.  I've blurred out some notes that would only make sense to me.

Here's some other characters.  At the bottom of this page are three tribe elders who carry ancient trophies on their heads.  They have named themselves after the text on the trophy that they each wear.  The first one is "MVP," the next is "Champion," and last two are known as "Northeast Champs Division 4"

More supporting characters.  (This image is made up of two scans.)

Worm's best friend is a local warrior-type kid called Cheese Fries.  Worm gives him that name after being unable to pronounce his real name.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Flexi and Trent

Sometimes when you have a new idea turning over in your head, it's good to knock out a simple image to help make your concept concrete.  These are the two main characters from something new that I am working on.  I'm not sure what form the book will take at the moment, but I'd love to do another graphic novel.

The quick version of the story is that Trent is an American kid who gets "stuck" in the small, strange, and strict country of Ploobsburg.  He becomes fast friends with Flexi and the two of them have to figure out a way for him to get home. Oh yeah, that barbed wire on the wall there?  That's a pretty common site in Ploobsburg.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Soldier sketches

Here's a batch of soldier sketches from the same sessions as the astronauts.  Again, I'm really just trying to find more interesting shapes in my characters.  I feel that some of these are falling into the "yes" category, and some into the "no" category.  But we all must make many lousy drawings if we want to get to the good ones.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lindbergh School, Palisades Park NJ

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."---Milton Berle

Thursday, March 13, 2014

More space travelers...

Some astronaut sketches from the other night.  Sadly, as I try to get simpler in my designs, I can't help lay on the details!  But these make me laugh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ricky Covers

As I'm getting ready to post the cover of Icky Ricky #3, I wanted to share theses cover sketches for book #1.

Astronaut #15

Can't believe I never posted this.  This was done last year, it's 100% digital, except for some paper textures.

It makes me think of my favorite line from Star Wars, "No blasters! No blasters!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Here's some more animation design work.  In my picture books I never get this extreme with shapes, and this doesn't come naturally to me.  One thing I am having a tough time with is combining gesture and design into one image.  I think I'll get there.

I have no idea why I chose to draw bikers.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A new direction...

With the possibility of the Fangbone! pilot being picked up, I'm trying to develop some animation design techniques.  This is not a style that I have ever focused on, so these initial attempts will most likely be lacking.  These two a from another idea I have been working on for a while.  One's a scientist, one's a presidential type.  I like the shapes, but the line work needs to be taken to the next level.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The eyes have it...

One thing I've been meaning to do lately is to take some time to learn to animate a GIF.  It actually was quite easy and I'm bummed I didn't do it earlier.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Book ideas...

I'm not really sure how the next few months will play out.  I could be working on a TV show, or I could still be doing my books.

I get many ideas for books.  Some are good, some are lousy.  Some get all figured out, some don't make it past a notion.  This year, I am going to try to make covers for some of the ideas, just so that I can have a record of them, and I can try out new techniques.

"If You Met a Guy from Outer Space" is a little picture book idea I've been thinking about the last few weeks. I can't really say what it's about because I have a few, very different concepts for it.  However, last night I had some time and put this together.

I liked the design, but didn't like the characters.  The kid was way too bland, and no different than how I have been drawing kids for ages.  This afternoon, I took a bit of time and re-drew the characters, and I think they're much more appealing.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Here are two very different sketches from the last few months.  I added the digital color a few weeks ago. I'm still trying to figure out how to combine line and textures, with a minimal palette.  I'm getting there. The monster drawing was only about an inch wide, and was blown up quite a bit so that the quality of the line would change.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I had an entire other New Year's post ready to go, and then as I pulled up this piece of art, it occurred to me that I didn't actually draw it.  This is a promo piece for the Fangbone! pilot which will be done soon.  This year is a huge roll of the dice and I must admit that I am very nervous.  The show could get picked up which would be amazing and a life-long dream to be working in TV/Film.  (Before I took my illustration career seriously I studied Film at SVA.)

Or, knock on wood, the show doesn't get picked up, then...well, then I have to make peace with that somehow.

But here's the thing...I'm proud of the work I've done on the show.  I'm thrilled that the producers have treated me with such respect and have kept my so involved. I'm over-the-moon happy with the work that the writers and animators have put into it.  It's really, really good and I can't wait for it to be seen.  It's taken years to learn this, but at the end of the day, I must be content with knowing that I did my best.  Whether people like my books, or my art, or the show, well, I can't control that.

Here's to 2014 and doing my best!