Saturday, March 18, 2017

"On The Beach"

Since my surgery 2 weeks ago, I’ve been working my way through the EC “Picto-Fiction Library Complete Boxes Set”, published by Russ Cochran in August 2006. The four volumes reprint short stories heavily illustrated by Jack Kamen, Reed Crandall, Joe Orlando, Johnny Craig, George Evans, Graham Ingles, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Angelo Torres Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta and Bernie Krigstein. The stories, first printed in “Shock Illustrated”, “Confession Illustrated”, “Crime Illustrated”, and “Terror Illustrated”, read like pre-Code EC comics transposed into pulp short stories, no better, no worse; The art is what inspires. 

I bought the boxed set in 2006, when I was preparing to work on the “Fogtown” graphic novel for Vertigo Noir. My intention was to utilize the painterly half-tone illustration techniques of the EC Masters in my own work. Unfortunately I found that the deadline (170 pages ASAP, along with working 3 days a week storyboarding on “King of the Hill”) precluded any experimentation or exploration on my part; I had to buckle down and crank it out, doing what I already knew how to do, or figure it out as I went.

Things have changed. At the time of this writing (March 17, 2017) I’m on State Disability (I hope—stay tuned on that one) until late May, so I have time to immerse myself the way I didn’t in 10 years ago. This illustration, entitled “On the Beach” is a result. Perhaps, in time, I’ll develop the patience and facility to do a more exact homage; at this point I’m settling for energetic, chunky crudity. Maybe there’s a style in there waiting to be developed.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Full Nelson

This is newest installment in my series of drawings depicting the cast of “Bob’s Burgers”. Here we see  Zeke getting Jimmy Jr. in a Full Nelson. I based Zeke off Danny McBride and Jimmy jr. off of John Travolta.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Darryl Sings The Blues"

This is newest installment in my series of drawings depicting the cast of “Bob’s Burgers”. Here we see Darryl backed up by two members of the Belcher clan. This references  the Bob’s Burgers episode  “Itty Bitty Ditty Committee”, where the Belchers kids enlisted Darryl to be the lead vocalist to their newly formed group. The drawing isn’t entirely accurate, in that it shows Louise playing a triangle instead of a straw pushed back and forth inside of a plastic drink lid. I felt the triangle created a better silhouette.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Saturday Night Jimmy Jr."

This is newest installment in my series of drawings depicting the cast of “Bob’s Burgers”. Here we see  Tina and her on-again, off-again beau, Jimmy Pesto Junior, or “Jimmy Jr.” for short. I was slightly uncomfortable with this image; it places Tina in too much of a “one-down” position, but it seemed necessary to properly sell the joke. Oh well.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ben Grimm

Dumpster Diving! This time from a 1993 sketchbook. I was in my Kirby (as in Jack) phase, doing a portrait of Ben Grimm as a hot middle-aged man.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Shirley and Rosanne

Since we’re on the topic of women and beautiful women, I’m posting these sketches I did in 1993, when I was designing characters for the graphic novel “The Mark in America”, which was published as a mini-series by Dark Horse Comics in early 1994. I was working on “Lisle”, love interest of our titular main character. I initially based her off Ingrid Bergman, but decided, after I’d already fully pencilled her first appearance in issue #2, that she would be more interesting if she were zaftig. Eventually I went back into what I’d already drawn and added 50 pounds. But, as part of my research, I rented “The Honeymoon Killers” starring Shirley Stoler, and “She Devil” starring Roseanne Barr as reference for my beautiful overweight woman. (“About Schmidt”, with Kathy Bates’ nude hot-tub scene, didn’t come out until 2002, but I was able to use her in my second graphic novel, “Harry & Dickless Tom”

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"Two of A Kind", Part H

(Continued) We’re on the topic of work speed. 

I’ve written that my work philosophy as an action-adventure storyboard artist was: “as little as I could get away with and as much necessary”.

The thing is, I wasn’t being a hack, exactly. I was giving those projects exactly as much as they required; to do more would have been a superfluous waste of time and energy. The creative juice came from being as terse and expedient as possible, to work “smart”, not “hard”. It was an almost macho stance reminscent of directors like Howard Hawks and John Ford: they were storytellers, popular entertainers, not ARTISTS, for chrissakes.

In June of 2006 Antony called with the news that he was starting on the Season Eleven relaunch of “King of the Hill”, and he wanted me on his team. This new (for me) project required a complete reversal of my work method. We were mandated to do layouts in the storyboard stage, which meant we had to be scrupulously “on model”, which meant I had to slow way, way down, check my drawings once, twice, check it again. My drawing, when I was doing it right, was meditative, almost feminine. It was delicate; I’d spend an hour or two on each panel. Whereas, in years past, I had griped about not having time to do good drawing, now I was forced to it whether I liked it or not. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever post that work (King of the Hill, Bob’s Burgers); as crude and slap-dash as the board for “Two of a Kind” is, it has my personality in it; the work I’ve been doing for the last 10 years, on various prime time animated sit-coms is very ego-less: the better a job I do, the less I can tell it’s my work. 

I apologize for several missing pages from Part H. I don’t know why I don’t have them, but I don’t.

I am posting, in serialized fashion, my storyboard for episode 10 of The Batman - Season 4, “Two of a Kind”. This is the tenth and final posting. 

“Two of a Kind” was written by Paul Dini, directed by Antony Chun and produced  by Michael Goguen. Kim Smith was the line producer. Jeff Matsuda was the main character designer.