Thursday, September 30, 2010

4th Annual Wonder Woman Day

This artwork is my donation to the upcoming 4th Annual Wonder Woman Day. The October 24 event is an art show and silent auction to benefit Raphael House of Portland, Bradley-Angle House & Portland Women's Crisis line- dedicated to supporting survivors of domestic violence and committed to social justice.
The artwork is approximately 20"x 16", pen and ink on 2 ply bristol paper. I have valued it at $300.00 for tax deduction purposes.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fogtown page 117

Frank is entering the lair of Madame Tse. I re-purposed an elevator from the Bradley Building, here
in Los Angeles. The building was used as the interior for the Outer Limits episode, "Demon With a Glass Hand", and in "Blade Runner".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fogtown page 115

Frank is escaping from Eliza, in her office in the Omni-Zeotrope building, across Columbus Avenue, into Jack Kerouac Alley, next to what is now City Lights Books. I used the same alley on pages 30/31, which leads into China Town on pages 32/33 and 116.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2nd half of podcast on Da Vinci's Waking Dream

Will Norman has posted the 2nd half of his interview with me at

Russ Heath Tribute

I first met Russ Heath in Will Meugniot’s office at DIC, in the summer of 1989. I was there to pick up or drop off a freelance storyboard on “The Real Ghostbusters”. Sitting next to Will was a handsome middle-aged man dressed stylishly in black accenting his thick, gun-metal gray hair. I found myself shaking hands with none other than Russ Heath. Not only was he HOT, but he was (and is) one of my favorite artists.

As I recall, we had 2 interactions that summer while I repeatedly free-lanced for Will.

1): I had Russ sign the page of original art I owned to the recently published graphic novel, “The Shadow; Hitler’s Astrologer: 1941”. While he wrote his signature in red ballpoint pen, I attempted to commiserate with him about the truly wretched coloring and production job with which Marvel Comics had desecrated the artwork. Russ deflected my impassioned indignation nonchalantly, pretending it was just a job like any other; he got paid, who cares? For myself, I was so offended by the coloring that I got rid of the book, even though it was magnificently illustrated by 2 of my favorite artists, Mike Kaluta and Mr. Heath. (I re-purchased the volume, after more than 20 years, on, while writing this essay.)

2) While visiting DIC I observed Russ showing a copy of Blazing Combat, with his artwork to the Archie Goodwin scribed story “Give And Take”, to a young artist with whom he was working. Russ was obviously out to impress; “Give and Take” is one of his stellar accomplishments in a long and stellar career. The kid apparently didn’t know or care who Russ was. I watched Russ point out specific panels he of which he was particularly proud to the blasé tyro. I was jealous that Russ seemed to care what the idiot punk thought but amused by Russ’s rejection by the clueless fool.

The interesting thing about writing this reminiscence is the ambiguous, transitory nature of memory. Was Russ’s hair gray in 1989, or had it already gone white? Was the young artist really unimpressed, or was that just my impression, magnified by jealous memory? (I know he signed my piece of original art; I still have it with his signature thereon.)

The art piece I’ve done for the tribute book is a recreation from “IL SHOWDOWN A RIO JAWBONE”, published in “National Lampoon Presents: The Very Large Book of Comical Funnies”, (1975). This story had a huge impact on me as an aspiring comic book artist in his mid-teens. What I loved (and still love) about his humor work is that it’s played totally straight; with no “wink-wink, nudged-nudge”. Then as now I am in awe of his control of the pen and brush, the hyper-realistic yet exaggerated nature of his posing, composition and lighting, and the skilled and dramatic way he spots blacks, second only to Alex Toth. This acolyte salutes you, Maestro Heath.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fogtown page 106

Andersen suggested we place Eliza's office in the Sentinel Building, which now houses Francis Ford Coppolla's Omni Zeotrope offices. I felt that it would be optimal to place her inner sanctum in one of the round rooms at the building's sharp edge. Unfortunately, I was unable to gain access to the building's interior as it was closed for remodeling. I had to extrapolate the interior of the building from what I could see of the exterior.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fogtown page 104

Frank's girl friend/ girl Friday, Loretta Valentine discovers Frank’s secret stash of 50's gay porn. In those days this took the form of chaste "Physical Culture" pamphlets. Ironically, these tracts are the same size as the Vertigo Crime imprints product, 5 3/8" x 8 1/4".

Loretta is based on actress Eileen Brennan.

One of my ongoing pet peeves with straight male cartoonists is that they tend to draw the same woman, varying only the  hairstyles. Even the cartoonists who individualize their men fall into this trap with women. On this project, I was trying to  differentiate the female characters as much as the males, yet still have them be beautiful and sexy. In Loretta’s case, I fear I erred on the side of individuation; at times she appears quite ugly.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fogtown page 97

In all of Frank and Eliza’s interactions culminating on page 108, I contrived graphic strategies to keep them separated even if they were in the same shot. Eliza is Frank’s long abandoned daughter, unbeknownst to him. She is based on a combination of Natalie Wood and Ayn Rand.

In pages 25-28, I placed Frank on the  left side of each horizontal panel, Eliza on the right, separating
them by placing the word balloons in the center of the pages. In this sequence, I separate them by running panel gutters through what would otherwise be the same panel.

Blog Archive