Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Prints Preview (Part 2), and some other thoughts

To the art in a minute...

I'm sitting here in the infusion center with Traci, waiting for her to get her chemo, and it occurs to me how truly blessed we are. Yeah, I know that seems weird to say, given that she has stage 4 cancer, but we both feel that way. There are so many people who have shown us such kindness throughout this difficult process, and I just can't help but feel ok. My grandfather, who also happened to have stage 4 metastatic melanoma (yeah, we've been through this before in my family), had a phrase he often used, and it's one that when the chips are down, my family often quotes; "It'll all work out." Simple but true. One way or another, it will, and we'll be ok.

On a somewhat similar note, my friend Stephen Silver, an accomplished artist and character designer, wrote a really nice piece that I thought was apropos of our current situation. Check out "Today"

In my last post, I mentioned the art auctions my friends put together to help us out. After I posted, another page went up (I believe the auctions are all now completed), so I also wanted to add my friends Ande Parks and Phil Hester to my "thank you" roll. Phil's a great guy, extremely talented, and very generous. Ande is one of my closest friends, and I've known him longer than almost anyone else in the comics business. Ande has done some stuff behind the scenes for which I'll never be able to thank him enough. Really, both of these guys are terrific! Click those links, and check out their sites!

Alright, enough of the personal, and on to the professional. Last time, I showed you some previews of my new prints. Today, I have previews of the final two (for now). I've had enough requests for my baseball work that I decided to have a couple of the vintage ones printed. Here they are:

The prints should be in this week, and I'll have specific ordering info here, when they're available. In the meantime, if you'd like to get a jump on them, please feel free to email me at (bear with me) rich(underscore)faber(at)comcast(dot)net.

Thanks, and in case I don't post again until later, I hope you all have a happy, healthy (please!), and safe holiday!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Prints Preview (Part 1)

Before I get to today's post, I need to alert you all to something that a bunch of very nice people are doing for my family. Spearheaded by Drew Geraci, an inker I've known for many years, a number of very talented comics artists have contributed artwork they've done to help pay some expenses towards my wife Traci's illness. Drew's friend Mark Hay has placed several of those pages of art on eBay. Click here to view the entire auction.

Thanks to Drew, Mark, Andy Owens, Paco Diaz, George Tuska, Tim Bradstreet, Ethan Van Sciver, Paolo Rivera, and my old pal, Andy Kuhn for donating the art. Special thanks to Heidi MacDonald for the initial post publicizing the auction, and to all of those who have and will bid on the items.

As for my own work, in yet another effort to raise money, I've previously mentioned that I've decided to create limited edition prints of some of my work. My printer informs me that most of them have been sent to press as I write this, so I should have them available shortly. The first four prints I'm having done are of some of my classic subjects; black and white graphic portraits I've created over the past few years. Here's a preview of what they'll look like:

For ease of uploading, I've included them here as one image, but each portrait will be printed separately, and sold individually. I will probably do some kind of deal for those that buy more than one, however. I'll have more details here, once the prints arrive. I'll also be doing another set of prints as well, featuring a couple of my baseball subjects. I'll show a preview of those early next week. Please check back then to get the full scoop!

If anyone out there reading has a suggestion for the best and easiest way to create a click-to-order system for either here, or from my website (or ideally, both), please feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments for me. I'm looking for ways to keep the process streamlined for everyone. Thanks!

Also, this is as good a time as any to mention that I enjoy getting feedback, so please feel free to comment on any of my posts. Few people take advantage of that feature, but I do love hearing from people, so please say hello if you're reading. Thank you!

Thanks, as always for visiting.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reading Heroes Cover Art

Hey, it's some new art! But before we get to that, for those that have been asking via email, yes, I am having prints made of some of my illustration work. I'm in the process of having the samples printed for review, and once I go forward, I'll have all of the pertinent info right here, including pricing, and how to order. Look for that, plus images of the available prints, in an upcoming post (probably within the next week). In the meantime, I'd like to remind everyone, including those coming in late, that I still have plenty of comics art for sale, and now have a list available. You can email me for that list, and I'll be happy to send it along. Last, there are also still quite a number of t-shirts left, so if you need a holiday gift, it's your lucky day! T-shirts make awesome gifts! You can read all about this stuff, as well as the reason for the big sale (for those unaware), in my previous post, here.

OK, so I promised new art! I've been very fortunate in my career to be able to work on a variety of things, and many of those intersect strongly with my personal interests. As many of you know, I'm a comics guy, and have been lucky to work on comic books for most of the major publishers. I am a car buff, and am one of the artists on NASCAR Comics, as well as having been able to draw cars for various other clients. I also love drawing likenesses, and have had a number of clients hire me to do portrait work. A few of those things (although no cars this time!) came into play on my most recent project. I'm going to be working on a comic book for the University of South Carolina. Former Olympic and WNBA basketball player, Dawn Staley, is now the coach of the USC team, and like me, has an interest in getting kids to read. While Kids Love Comics is my venue, Ms Staley does it through her own Dawn Staley Foundation. The University has contracted my client, Starbridge Media Group, to create a comic book about Ms Staley's efforts to promote literacy, called "Reading Heroes." Here's the cover:

I was given the rough layout by my editor, John Gallagher (who also provided the drawings on the rough), and I did the finished pencils, inks and colors. John did the design work and lettering. This project is really cool, and I'm looking forward to working on the interior of the book soon. I'll be posting that artwork as well.

In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more about Dawn Staley or her Foundation, you can click here. I love the fact that I can work on stuff that helps promote reading, so this should be a great project!

Coming soon, I'll be posting some work from a few years ago that was inspired by The Incredibles! I seem to have a lot of Pixar connections lately!

Thanks for checking in, and I'll talk to you as again soon!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Back To Business - WWE/Cars

But quickly, before that, I want thank all of you who have visited here in the past two weeks, and especially all of you who have reached out to me via email. I appreciate all of your kind thoughts, encouragement, and of course, the many requests for art. Thank you all. It all helps tremendously. I'm still looking for buyers for a lot of my art, taking orders for shirts, and accepting requests for commissions (although it may take a bit of time to get to some of that... bear with me, please), so please don't hesitate to write me. Last, thanks to Tom Spurgeon, who was kind enough to link back here about my wife's medical situation.

Now, as my title implied, I have some new work to show! A couple of months ago, I was contacted by World Wrestling and Entertainment (WWE) for a freelance project. It turns out that they have a kids magazine called (appropriately enough) the WWE Kids Magazine, and needed an illustrator who could draw cars, was familiar with NASCAR and has done comics. Apparently they did a web search, and found me! Which is great, because the art director I worked with on this project was probably the most professional AD I've worked with, and it was an OUTSTANDING experience! I'm hoping to get more work with them soon!

As for the actual project, I was asked to draw the wrestlers as cars, similar to the Pixar movie "Cars" (as you might have guessed), and place them in a racing setting (hence, the NASCAR connection). I hinted at this several posts back with a visual of the eyes of one of the characters (can you spot which one...?). So, here's what I came up with:

As I said above, this was so much fun to work on, and it was really right up my alley, in terms of combining cars and a comic style. I hwas very happy with the way it turned out, as was the client, but it was quite a challenge. It was a real learning experience, but one I enjoyed thoroughly. And if you're interested in seeing the work in the magazine, it's on stands RIGHT NOW, so hurry out to your nearest newsstand! You can see the cover (with a small inset of some of the characters I drew) at the WWE link above.

Please check back soon for some more new artwork. I have another sports-themed project on tap, and I've been authorized to post the image here soon! Stay tuned!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

So Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Just a quick list of the things I'm thankful for: My wife and our beautiful son; our families, and many, many friends; Traci's outstanding doctors and nurses; our health (Traci's cancer is currently stable!); our home; our careers, mine in particular right now; and all of the spectacular people who have reached out to me over the past several days. Thank you to all of you! I also need to thank the following folks, who have brought our situation to your attention: Steven Goldman, Johanna Draper Carlson, Heidi MacDonald, Rich Watson, Glenn Hauman, JK Parkin, and especially "The Roomies" (you know who you are).

I'll be posting some new art next week, so I hope you'll all return to see it! Thanks! I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Personal Matters (or, Cancer Really Stinks!)

Hi there. Due to the kindness of a good friend of mine, Steven Goldman, I'm guessing that some of you might be new here, so welcome! As a brief introduction, my name is Rich Faber, and I've been working as an Illustrator since 1993. I'm probably best known for my work as a comic book artist, having worked on such titles as (in no particular order) Green Lantern, Buzzboy, Titans, Steel, Adventures of Superman, X-Men, and many others. I also do the majority of my freelance work these days illustrating projects for a variety of clients, including the WWE, NASCAR, USA Networks, Scholastic, and New Line Cinema, among others. Normally, I showcase my work here, but today, I'm going to do something a little different; something a bit more personal.

Those of you who have visited here before might be aware that my wife has been ill. I've mentioned it here in previous posts, somewhat vaguely, because I'm not great at talking about my private life; especially in a place like this, where I've specifically established it to promote my work. However, now seems like a good time to break from that mentality a bit.

Back in August, my wife Traci was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. Yeah, it's a tough one, and while the diagnosis stinks, we're not the sort of people who give up, despite what statistics say. We hate statistics (well, except in baseball, where they're pretty useful!), and anyone who knows both of us will tell you that we're both really stubborn. I mean REALLY stubborn! Challenging diagnosis? Yeah, well, we'll see about that!

Traci's attitude is tremendously positive about all of this, and I'm trying to use my sense of humor to keep her amused... you know, when I'm not annoying her with all of the little insanities my life tends to bring. So we're not exactly laughing about all of this (well, maybe sometimes), but we're also not doing the "woe is me" dance either. We have a huge network of support, both family and friends, and that helps us get through each day too. Traci's been doing chemotherapy since September, and so far, she's tolerating the treatments very well. We're hopeful that we'll get some good news about the most recent scans.

So, mostly, we're good, in light of everything, but lately things have gotten a little hairy, financially. While we have health insurance, it's not covering everything. Medical bills and co-pays can truly be a drag. It's been tough for us to maintain our regular work schedules between treatments (and Traci's ensuing fatigue), doctor visits, and caring for our two year old son. So, as a result, our bank account is beginning to say, "Um, hey? Guys? What the HECK is going on!?" So we're looking for ways to generate more income, in order to keep afloat.

We're not in the habit of asking for money (or anything, for that matter), so I came up with a game plan (another baseball analogy. I'm sensing a theme) to ask for your help, and you'll get something cool in return. Everyone wins!

Here's what I have in mind: I have a backlog of 15 years worth of comic book art that I'd like to make available to finance some of the expenses. In addition, while I do have work on my desk, I'm looking to take on a little extra commission work (illustration, comics, etc.), and even more ideally, new illustration projects for clients. Ongoing work would be especially cool, but I hear we might have a little problem with our economy right now, so I'll understand if that's not feasible at the moment.

I can make it easy for anyone to make payments for either art or work, through my Paypal account. All you need to do is email me at rich(underscore)faber(at)comcast(dot)net (sorry about the format. Just trying to avoid "spambots," and I know you're all smart folks who will figure out my email address), and we can get the ball rolling. If you're interested in buying art, I can give you a general idea of what I have, and we can take it from there. I also have t-shirts available, which you can check out in this post. They're $20.00 each ($22.00 for XXL), which includes shipping. Orders to the USA only, please.

Oh yeah, I also came up with one last option too, just to make it even more accessible: for anyone who's not interested in buying or commissioning art, I'll also send out a signed comic book for any amount you'd like to contribute. I have a lot of my comic book work from over the years, and I can probably even do requests for specific signed copies, if I have them available. If you're interested in that deal, please use the above email address to Paypal any amount of your choice. I'll do this as long as I still have comic books with my work available.

The last piece of business I need to address is that my friend Steve, mentioned above, is also a survivor of malignant melanoma, and is an incredible inspiration to us. His kindness has included emotional support, and in an act of great charity, he's chosen to write about Traci and me in his latest edition of the Pinstriped Bible, a column he writes for the New York Yankees on their Yes Network's website. Here's a link to that column: Pinstriped Bible. Whether you're a Yankees fan or not, Steve's column is always entertaining, and a great read. He's a comics fan, a history buff, and always has an eclectic mix of humor, facts, stats where appropriate, and insight. It's never boring! Please take a few minutes to check it out, and give some traffic back to this good pal of mine.

Wow, that was a long post! If you're still here, I applaud your ability to stay awake. Thanks for bearing with me through it though. I hope you won't take my lame attempts at humor as meaning I don't take things seriously. It's just that in order to get through such a rough time, this is my way of coping. Also, if this post was too serious, it would have been waaaaay more boring than it already is! I know, because my first draft was exactly that, and even I had trouble getting through it! Anyway, as I said, yeah, the situation kinda sucks, but we're making the best of it. We're trying to laugh as much as we can, and stay positive. In any event, our goofy two year old boy won't allow us to get too down; he's just too funny! We know Traci is in extremely capable hands with the crack medical team working her case. We have every ounce of support we can get from family and friends, and are extremely blessed to have such an astounding show of good will and love from them. So, in short (not really), we have every reason to believe we'll get through this family crisis relatively intact.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this personal post. I promise to get back to art posting again soon, but for now, you have my sincere thanks for taking this all in, and hopefully, throwing some more good thoughts our way!


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day: Go Vote!

OK, it's the moment we've all been waiting for: Election Day. I really don't do politics, but I don't see this as a political thing. Any of us who are eligible in the U.S. should be going out and doing what is our privilege and our responsibility. I believe this is the most important election in my lifetime, so I'm just using this forum (MY forum, actually) to encourage people do go out and elect a new president!

And yeah, I know it's an art blog, and so in keeping with the spirit, the above image is one I created to run as the backdrop for the cover to the retail edition of NASCAR Heroes #4. Here's how it looked on the actual cover:

Alright, well I'll see you on the other side of this momentous time for our country.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Scary Self-Portrait (for Halloween)

Hey everyone (I really wonder how many people see this, actually...). Thanks to everyone for the good wishes about my wife's illness. We have a lot of support, and hearing from everyone definitely helps keep our spirits up.

I also want to remind everyone that the deal I mentioned in my previous post for the t-shirts is still active. I'd really like to fill a bunch of orders, because, frankly, the medical bills are beginning to pile up, so we could really use the extra money around here. I hope that doesn't sound too much like begging, so let's just say it's more of a plea. Thanks for understanding.

Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd post something that is appropriate to the occasion. Then I realized I'd used up all of my scary illustrations a couple of years ago! So, in lieu of that, I decided to put something up that I've been told is a little scary. The original self portrait I had on my website (it's still in the portraits section)was a painting I did while in school at SVA. I always thought it turned out pretty well, so I thought it was a good piece to have on my website. However, when I began teaching several years ago, my students, who were kids (as opposed to college students) began to go to my website to see my work. Their parents did too, sometimes before the classes began each semester. Many of them would come into the first day of class and tell me they were worried that I might be mean, as the picture on my website was so scary. I was actually surprised to hear this, although I really shouldn't have been. Back when I was in school, I fancied myself to be kind of artsy, so I went for a piece that was a bit moody. So, really it was intentional that it looked that way, but it had been so many years, and I'd gotten so used to seeing it, that it didn't really occur to me that it wasn't the most... shall we say, welcoming portrait to have as my opening page!

So I finally updated it with a new self-portrait and relegated the original to the aforementioned portraits section. Here's the original. I'll let you make your own judgment about whether it's "scary" or not:

Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 10, 2008


12:40 PM. That's what time I'm posting this, and what time it was 40 years ago today.

I don't normally talk much about my personal life here, as I consider this more of a forum for my professional work, however, I'm making an exception today. Along with my good friends, Todd Dezago, and Mike Penick, today is my birthday.

And yeah, I'm 40.

Which is totally fine.

In fact, I was actually looking forward to it. We were going to have a big party, and just have a great time. I mean, how often do you have such a momentous birthday? If you're lucky, every ten years or so, for roughly 70, 80, 90 years...?

Well as often happens in life, this year we were thrown a bit of a curve. As I've alluded to here in a previous post, about two months ago, my wife was diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening disease. I won't go into specifics here, for the sake of her privacy, but suffice to say that it's a difficult battle, and one that requires a lot of time and energy. Time and energy is tough enough in good health, when dealing with having a very active two year old son, but made even more difficult by our present circumstances. Anyway, now you know why my posts have been infrequent.

However, I don't want anyone out there to believe we're sitting here feeling sorry for ourselves. Quite the contrary. In fact, we're actually learning a lot about how blessed we are. We have an incredible support system: loving, caring families, incredibly generous, wonderful friends, outstanding colleagues, and a hell of a lot of hope. We're also keeping our senses of humor when possible. As I said, we have a 2 year old. It's hard not to!

I'm writing all this as sort of a reflection. I figure 40 is a good time to take stock. My life might not have taken the turns I've expected (whose does?), but aside from my wife's illness, I really can't complain. Despite what we're going through, I feel like my career is on a new upswing. I have work I care about, and am doing things with my work that helps others as well. I feel a sense of purpose as I haven't felt in years, both personally and professionally. It's a tough haul here, but we move forward every day. I suppose we all do, eh?

Ok, so all that aside, this is still an art blog, so in that vein, here's a small glimpse of part of my current project:

It might look a tad familiar, but it's not what you think it might be. All will be revealed soon. Sorry to be so vague, but until this sees print, I won't be able to say more.

One last thing: the shirts in my previous post did really well at the Baltimore Comic-Con. I still have plenty left though, and I'm still offering them for sale. If you'd like one, please email me through the "Contact" link on my website. I accept Paypal, and they cost $20.00 ($22.00 for XXL), which includes shipping. Orders to the USA only, please. I'm trying to raise money to help with medical bills, so as an added incentive, anyone who orders a shirt will also receive signed copies of various comics I've worked on (while supplies last).

That's it for now. Thanks for indulging me with this post, and for continuing to check in. I'll post again soon.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baltimore Comic-Con 2008

This weekend, September 27-28 is the Baltimore Comic-Con, one of my favorite shows. I plan to be there all weekend, at the Kids Love Comics booth. I'll have many of my kid friendly books for sale, including some classics from throughout my career. Those titles include the Bug One-Shot (Marvel), a couple of issues of the late, lamented Impulse (DC), Legends of the DCU, Sins of Youth, featuring the Junior JSA (DC), and possibly some others. In addition, I'll also be selling my Roboy Red shirts, as well as the brand new Drama Queen shirts. Here's what they'd look like if they were flat and made of paper:

Fortunately, these are beautifully screen printed, and I'm very proud to have them showcased at our booth!

Also, as usual, John Gallagher and I will have all the Buzzboy and Roboy Red books for sale! If you haven't gotten them before, now's your chance!

I hope I'll see you all there this weekend!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Status Update: Still Here. (and a podcast)

I apologize for not updating in a while. Unfortunately, my absence has been due to a family illness. I might continue my sporadic posting for a while, but I'll try to keep up when I can. The near future should bring a whole batch of new artwork, so I'll share it as time allows. Thanks for your patience.

As those of you who keep up with my ramblings here know, back in July, I attended Heroes Con, in Charlotte, NC. While there, I ran into an old friend, Charlie LaGreca. Charlie was a production artist at DC Comics back in '93, when I first started working in comics on Steel. I used to go into the office back then to deliver pages, and sometimes, I'd work there in the production department. Charlie and I hit it off, and became good friends. Actually, he is directly responsible for me meeting my wife! Long story short is that he and I talked for such a long time one evening, that I missed a few trains to get home, and wound up meeting my wife on the train I took. If Charlie didn't have the gift of gab, I would have gone home as scheduled, and I might still be single today! Remind me to tell you the full story someday. It's a good one!

Anyway, I told that story because it indirectly relates to today's post. So, on the subject of Charlie's ability to converse, he now does a podcast (among many other things! Check his website, and don't worry about the fact that he spells his name wrong!) about independent comics called Indie Spinner Rack. Charlie has been trying to get John Gallagher and me on his show for a few years now, to talk about Buzzboy and Roboy Red, but our schedules never synched up. Fortunately, the laid back nature of Heroes allowed us that opportunity. It was a lot of fun to do, and I have a link! Here you go:


If you just want to hear John and me talking with Charlie, our section begins a little more than halfway through. However, it's a cool show, so you might want to listen to the whole podcast (for those that are reading this because you like the kids comics we produce, please be advised that although John and I always keep it clean, there is some PG-13 language in some of the other sections of the podcast. Disclaimer mode off).

I hope you'll take a little time to listen in. We enjoyed doing it, and hope Charlie will have us back again sometime soon.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Albert Einstein - Finished!

I had almost two hours to kill in a waiting room this morning, so I brought my art supply toolbox and the Einstein piece that I showed in progress last week. It was nice to be able to relax with my artwork for a change, rather than having to do something for someone else on deadline. This was one of those rare occasions when I could just do my thing, with nothing else in mind. I usually pick at my work, and make small adjustments even after it's "finished," and right now I see some things I could have done a bit better. However, in this case, I think I'll let it stand as is.

You might notice the increased details, added contrast for depth, and especially, that I fixed that wandering eye Albert had in my previous version. I don't have the opportunity to do ink washes very often, so this was fun!

I hope you all have a great weekend!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

'Ringo - One year later

Well, it's been a year since our friend Mike Wieringo died, and I wanted to make sure I marked the sad anniversary, without being maudlin. So, as Mike would say, "just a quick one today..."

I finished this sketch literally about 3 minutes ago. It's just a quick visual impression I have of Mike.

Despite my looking at a couple of photos, I know it really doesn't look like Mike, but it feels "right" to me anyway. I hope it does his memory justice.

We all still miss him.


Saturday, August 02, 2008

In Progress: Einstein Portrait

Last November, my wife and I had a little weekend getaway on Shelter Island, which is a small island just north of East Hampton, NY, on Long Island. While there, I began this ink wash piece of Albert Einstein. Ironically, this was created within miles of where Einstein spent a number of summers.

However, that piece of information never crossed my mind until just this moment, as I was trying to think of something interesting to write. On that note, here's the work:

I plan to add quite a bit more contrast and depth to it, and I'm hoping that by posting it, I'll force myself to commit to completing it!

I hope you have a nice weekend!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Herding Cats

A few years back, I was approached by a potential client who wanted me to create an image based on a phrase, for a book on business terminology. While the job ultimately didn't happen, I was fairly happy with my interpretation. I'm never 100% satisfied with my work (and hope never to be, to allow for growth as an artist), but I think this worked reasonably well. The phrase was "herding cats," as in, it's tough to get everyone's thoughts going in the same direction on an assignment. Hence, it's as difficult as herding cats. Or something like that. Anyway, here it is:

I'm missing San Diego's Comic-Con this weekend, but I'm happy to be home with my family for a change. So, I'll be enjoying this weekend. Hope you all do as well!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Another Car (Going Waaaay Back)

Things have been pretty crazy here, so I need to keep this brief. This piece is yet another car, a BMW M1. I was reminded of it because while this car looks pretty modern, it was actually a 1979 production model, and BMW is doing an updated version of it. I read that in a car magazine, and the new car is pretty cool. Anyway, that's not why this goes way back. The reason is that the photo I referenced is one I took at a car show around 1982 or so. I'll let you all in on a little secret: the following illustration, while updated in 2002, was actually drawn while I was in high school, nearly 15 or so years before that! I think I originally drew it while a senior, which would put it circa 1985-86! When I was redoing my illustration portfolio in '02, I decided that the drawing was still strong enough, and with a few small tweaks, professional enough to use. I still like it anyway, so here it is:

The original piece is around 3 feet long, and was a real bear to scan! I hope you like it.

Have a nice weekend!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Baseball in Pastels

This one is a pretty old one. When I was attending the School Of Visual Arts back in the early '90s, one of my assignments was to create a collage from pictures found in magazine ads, then recreate the entire collage in pastel. This is from my foundation year, which was 1990, and as you can see, I leaned toward photorealism, even then. This particular piece is a detail from a larger work. The original pastel is about 24" x 36," with this detail being around about 12" square. The ball itself is around 8" wide, so it's fairly large.

I don't think I've worked in pastel since then, but I have a lot of pieces I did in my illustration classes, and I really enjoyed the medium. I might have to try my hand at it again someday, although the mess from the pastel dust always drove me crazy...! Oh well.

I hope you have a nice weekend. I'll be back next week with more art, and hopefully, my HeroesCon report.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Art of Sequential - Following Up

Last month I posted about this juried exhibition in which I was invited to participate. As you'll see from the previous post, I entered the sequence of pages I drew for NASCAR Heroes. The exhibition was co-curated by my friends Rich Harrington and Jamar Nicholas, and the juror was another good friend of mine, Mike Manley. Mike wrote up his observations about the afternoon here, so I'm going to just give the highlights of my time there.

Despite the fact that this show was judged by a buddy, and curated by two other friends, I really didn't expect to win anything. Mike is a discerning art critic, and is not easily impressed. After 15 years of friendship with him, I know this intimately. That being said, he is one of the first people I trust with critique about my own work. He's a phenomenal artist, and I completely respect his opinions.

Which is why I'm so humbled by the fact that he selected my work for an Honorable Mention! That award really means a lot to me, particularly as I know Mike's standards. In reality, the award should also be credited to my partner-in-art, John Gallagher. John provided the rough layouts, and while I did the drawings, he did a lot of the really hard work, making sure the story was being told in an interesting way.

Jamar and Rich really made the event fun, and I want to publicly thank both for their invitation to participate. I can't wait for the next show!

Ok, I also have pictures to share from the day, so here they are:

Jamar, Rich, and Mike announce the awards.

Rich, Mike and Jamar looking smooth!

The guys ham it up, after they've handed me the certificate.

The award, and my artwork.

Jamar and me posing with the pages.

It was a fun time, and I hope I'll have the honor of participating in the next show!

Check back soon for my overdue report about Heroes Con.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Animation Creation

I was trying to think of something a little different to show. I've played around a bit with some very basic animations in Photoshop and Image Ready in the past, but I don't think I've ever posted them, so here's one I thought would be fun to show.

This is the first one I ever did, with the help of my good friend Howard Porter. Howard walked me through the step-by-step of creating an animated gif, which I then used to do, well, a step-by-step... of how to draw Roboy Red. I posted the original tutorial a while back. Here's the result of this experiment(click the link below the screenshot to see the animation):


Obviously, I'm no pro at this, but it is something I plan to do more of, and as I do them, I'll post them here.

I hope you all (both...?) have a very happy and healthy Independence Day.


Independence Day

Ok, I know you've all been just clamoring to know where I've been the past two weeks, right? Um... hello...? Is anyone still there..?

Just kidding. Sometimes I wonder if anyone beyond a few people actually read this thing. I think my Mom does. Maybe my Dad too. Oh well. I guess I'm just feeling a little dependent today, which is ironic, since it's Independence Day!

Anyway, my family and I just returned from a two week vacation tour of the south, seeing friends in Raleigh, North Carolina, moving on to HeroesCon in Charlotte, then onto Baton Rouge, LA and Hammond, LA to see some of my wife's wonderful family, a couple of side trips to New Orleans, where appropriately enough, my son threw up (not for the usual reasons people barf in NOLA), and then to a town near Nashville, TN, where we stayed with our friends, Scott and Donna Sava, he of the terrific Dreamland Chronicles. From there, it was home, through western Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and finally back to Pennsylvania. Whew! That's 3000 miles of driving, and I'm still exhausted, even after two days of being home.

So, all that to say that I'll be posting more frequently soon, including the follow up to the Philadelphia Sketch Club event, as well as a report on HeroesCon with pictures. I hope to get to that this weekend, but please forgive me if I catch up on sleep instead. My intentions are good. One thing that will be up in the next few minutes in a new Portfolio Showcase. I had extremely limited internet access while away, so I wasn't able to post my regular Friday offering. I should be back to doing that each week now, and for the foreseeable future.

For now, I'll leave you with this flag image I created for the background of the cover of NASCAR Heroes #4, out in stores now:

The image was created completely digitally, using the pen tool in Photoshop.

Hope you have a great holiday weekend!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The 'Ringo!

I'll be in Charlotte, North Carolina for HeroesCon this weekend, where I'm going to have the opportunity to participate in something unique and wonderful. Here's the press release, with all the details:

Mike Wieringo Scholarship “The ‘Ringo” Announced

Wieringo’s Friends and Family to Host Special Fundraising Booth at Heroes Con

CHARLOTTE, NC (June 16, 2008) When Mike Wieringo abruptly passed away last August, the comics industry lost more than a great artist and creator – it lost a friend. Now, Mike’s family has teamed with the Savannah College of Art and Design to create The Mike Wieringo Scholarship or “The ‘Ringo” to help keep his spirit of generosity alive.

Created by Mike’s brother Matt and his sister-in-law Suzanne, the ‘Ringo is designed to help provide similar help to artists at the Savannah College of Art and Design or SCAD. Domestic and international students with have a minimum 3.0 grade point average who demonstrate financial need and display a serious interest in pursuing comics as a career are eligible. The scholarship will take effect in the artist’s second year of classes, and is renewable for up to two additional years, provided the student continues to meet the criteria.

The recipient will be chosen from three finalists determined by the college in a portfolio review by Matt and Suzanne Wieringo, along with a rotating group. The ultimate goal for the ‘Ringo is to raise enough funds so that it can cover a full year’s expenses at SCAD, approximately $30,000.

Toward this end, a table staffed by Mike’s family and friends will be set up in his traditional spot in Artists Alley at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. Heroes was a big part of Mike’s life and career, and was the industry event he most looked forward to every year.

The table will raise funds through donations and the sale of remaining copies of Mike’s sketchbooks, copies of comics featuring Mike’s work, selected pieces of Mike’s original artwork, sketches by Mike’s friends in the industry who will be appearing at the booth, and items donated by other comic professionals. Pros appearing include Jeff Parker, Rich Faber, Craig Rousseau, Todd Dezago, Mark Waid, Cully Hamner, Richard Case and more to be announced.

“SCAD is one of the most impressive programs in the world to focus on the medium of comics,” says Jeff Parker, creator of The Interman and Agents of Atlas, who worked with Mike at Artamus Studios. “I’m pretty sure Mike would have loved to have attended such a place in his student days. It would make an excellent legacy for him if we can grow the Ringo scholarship into a launch pad for the future greats of comics.”

Despite his success on such books as The Flash, Fantastic Four and his own creator-owned Tellos, Mike Wieringo never forgot what it was like to be a struggling creator. For many up-and-comers, Mike served as a mentor and friendly voice, whether it was providing free covers, advice, or just the encouragement to keep going.

With your help, the Mike Wieringo Scholarship can continue to grow and help a new generation of creators get the training and connections they need to start their careers. Mike’s talent, enthusiasm and generosity inspired many in the comics industry to be their best as both creators and as human beings. With your help, Mike will continue to be an inspiration for creators in decades to come.

I'm very pleased and honored to be included in this incredible tribute to the life of my friend Mike. For more on how this came to be, please check out my friend (and Mike's brother) Matt Wieringo's blog here. This one really means a lot to Matt, obviously, so go over there, leave a comment, and show your support! Thanks!

I hope I'll see you in Charlotte!


PS: For those wondering about the Philadelphia Sketch Club event, I'll post some pictures and news soon!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Juried Exhibition Alert!

In my previous posts, I've neglected to mention that my sequential work for the NASCAR Heroes comic book has been accepted in the Philadelphia Sketch Club's Annual Juried Exhibition of Sequential Art, "The Art of Sequential." This is the second PSC exhibition in which my work has been accepted, and the last time I won in my category! I'm not sure lightning will strike twice, but it'll be fun to find out. The reception is this Sunday, June 15 (yes, it's Father's Day). If you're in the Philadelphia area this weekend, please stop by. You can find directions to the Sketch Club on their website, http://www.sketchclub.org.

Oh, and here's one of the pages that made the show:

I hope to see you tomorrow at the Sketch Club!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Feeling Super

Ok, I'm back onto the Portfolio Showcase kick, so here's something I did a few years ago for a client. They were looking for something "Super" looking, if you catch my drift. I'm sure you will, once you see the images. Anyway, I had to put the character in a few poses, and here's the initial shot:

I've included the final inks here, and with the flying pose below, I also wanted to show a variation on the outstretched arm. The client asked for the arm to be raised a bit from the pencils, so that's what I did. Here's the final inked version:

... and here's the original pencil rough:

Finally, I was asked to create some variations on the facial expression from the original pose. Here's what I came up with:

I really enjoyed this job. I always love being able to work on character designs, and am actively seeking to do more at all times. If anything new comes up, I'll be sure to post it as well.

That's it for now. Have a great weekend, and happy Father's Day to all those Dads out there!


Friday, June 06, 2008

In Progress: 1959 Ford Thunderbird Sketch

Since my blog seems to have become "Portfolio Showcase" all the time, I thought I'd do something just a bit different this week: an in-progress sketch. I rarely show my work before it's finished, but I thought this might give a little insight into how I begin my process. The sketch below is how I begin most of my car illustrations. I generally begin with a rough of the car, and refine the sketch to something resembling the actual car. This is an example:

Believe it or not, this will eventually become a fully rendered photo realistic car illustration. It might take a while to do this one, as I have other work on the table, and this is a personal piece. However, I will share, and I'll post more progress as I go.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Bugged!

Back in 1997, I was hired to ink my very first Marvel Comic, called "Bug." for those who might not be familiar, Bug was a Micronauts character, and while Marvel no longer had the Micronauts license at the time, they still retained the rights to any characters that weren't toys, and were specifically created for the Micronauts series, published some years before by Marvel. It's a long convoluted story, of which I'm sure you can do a search on to learn the history, but the bottom line is that Marvel got to keep the rights to Bug. Lucky for me! Not only was it a fun comic to work on (one which very few people even know exist. I think I might have more comped copies of it than were actually sold!), but it also marked my first work with my now longtime buddy, Todd Dezago. It was a heck of a lot of fun to work on, and I really enjoyed inking my other pal, Derec Aucoin,who is now called Derec Donovan (another long story). The drawing below is NOT from that issue, but rather, a fan-requested sketch. If anyone is interested, I'll actually have copies of Bug, as well as some original art from the book, for sale at Heroes Con next month in Charlotte.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the drawing:

Speaking of conventions, while I won't be set up at a table, I will be tooling around at Wizard World Philadelphia this weekend, so if you see me walking the floor, feel free to stop me to say hello. Unless I'm in the men's room. Then you should wait. ;-)

On that charming note, have a nice weekend!


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Ice Sculpture Design

Just a quick one today. I missed Friday, due to my wife's birthday, but I wanted to be sure to post something for the week.

Three years ago, my grandfather turned 90, and my family had a big surprise party for him. My mom wanted to do an ice sculpture for the party, based on an old photo of him, so she asked me to come up with a design. Here's the sketch we sent the sculptor:

This sketch is based on a photo of my grandfather in front of a 1933 Ford, and because of the nature of ice sculpture, I had to pare down the details, in order to make it easy on the sculptor to work out the construction. This sketch is also actually the basis for another illustration I plan to do sometime. If I can find the pictures of the ice sculpture itself, I'll try to post that too. Enjoy the rest of this long (at least here in the U.S.) weekend!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: MinoriTeam

Back in late 2006, my pal Mike Manley was working on a cartoon called MinoriTeam, for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup. It was a politically incorrect take on superheroes, and the character designs were based on Jack Kirby's Marvel Comics style. As production progressed, it became clear that there was more work than Mike was able to do, and he recommended me to work with him on the show. It was my first time working on a cartoon, and it was a terrific experience. Although the content was definitely not for the kiddies, it was work that I'm still proud of. My job was to take the pencil drawings of characters and other assets, and not only ink them, but redo them a bit to get them "on model." This meant that any design that didn't look like Kirby had drawn it, had to be redrawn to capture that Kirby flavor. I can't tell you how much fun this was, and it was an incredible time of training for me. My output had to be fast and prolific. I did about 80 illustrations each week! The drawings were then scanned and sent in to be animated using Adobe's Flash program. I've since done a bunch of other jobs in this way, although in those cases, I generated the drawings from start to finish, but none has been seen by so many people. Anyway, enough talking. Here are some of the illustrations I worked on (I should be clear, and tell you that I didn't generate the original drawings, but I did redraw a lot of them. These are some favorites):

This character was the toady of the main bad guy (sorry, I don't remember a lot of the characters' names)

A nice group shot of the bad guys.

The above two are obviously a Frankenstein's monster/Hulk type. He was also a bad guy. Love the Hawaiian shirt! I love the look of this character, and truthfully, I didn't do much to the pencils, as I thought they were really well done as they were.

A stuffed killer panda. I don't know either...

The above three images should give you a basic idea of my process. On the left are the pencils I was provided, and on the right are my inks/finishes. A lot of the changes are somewhat subtle, but I think you'll get the overall idea.

Well, that's it for now. Have a nice weekend! I'll be back next week with more neat stuff, and maybe even an announcement!


Friday, May 09, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Union Station Illustration

Several years ago a friend of mine named Ande Parks, then fairly well-known as a comic book inker, began a second career as a writer. At the same time, I, being fairly well-known as a comic book inker, began a second career as an Illustrator. Ande was the first friend I'd made in comics, outside of my buddies from the School of Visual Arts who had become comics pros, and he and I talked frequently. When Ande started writing his outline for a new graphic novel, he shared it with me, and I had the pleasure of realizing that this talented guy was going to be an incredible writer. While he was busy writing, I was busy drawing, and had begun to develop what is now my photo-realistic pencil style. The graphic novel outline eventually became the book called "Union Station," which is about a massacre that occurred at Kansas City's Union Station during a prisoner transfer of Pretty Boy Floyd in 1933. The tale is historical fiction but gives some insight into the beginnings of the F.B.I. as well as a terrific story of love, betrayal, and gangsters and lawmen. When Ande had gotten a few pages drawn by a penciler he knew, he was going to submit the script and pages to some publishers to shop it around. He and I discussed the idea of me doing a pencil illustration as a cover piece for the proposal, and here is what I came up with:

Although it was intended to possibly be used as the frontispiece to the graphic novel, the idea was nixed by the book designer, so it never saw print. However, it's still one of my favorite pieces, and I plan to do at least one more companion piece to it someday. Hopefully, that'll be something for a future Portfolio Showcase.

As for "Union Station," it's a wonderful graphic novel, with beautiful art by Eduardo Barreto. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor and pick it up. It's something I don't think you'll regret.

I'll be back next week with more. Have a nice weekend!


Friday, May 02, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Rex Steele

Since it's the eve of Free Comic Book Day (don't forget to go to your participating local comic book shop!), I decided to showcase a comics pinup I did a few years ago. My friend Bill Presing works as an artist for Pixar Animation. He's a really talented guy, and has this incredibly cool adventurer character called Rex Steele, Nazi Smasher. As the name implies, Rex doesn't tolerate fascist, racist hooligans, and his comic adventures prove this. a few years ago, Bill asked me to contribute a pinup to his Rex graphic novel, and here's the piece I came up with:

As is typical, I couldn't resist throwing a car into the mix! I drew and inked this traditionally on 11" x 17" board, scanned the art, and added the gray tones in Photoshop. I hope you like it, and I hope I'll see you in Delaware for Free Comic Book Day!


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Free Comic Book Day - May 3, 2008

This Saturday, as I have for the past few years, I'll be appearing at Captain Blue Hen Comics, in Newark, Delaware for Free Comic Book Day. I'll be there along with my friends, Mike Manley, Jamar Nicholas, Scott Neely, and of course, John Gallagher. There will be some other artists there as well. You can check the Captain Blue Hen website for more specific details. We'll also be doing workshops, and a bunch of community outreach stuff. Joe Murray, Blue Hen's owner, always has a lot of great things set up for families. John and I will have two FCBD books to sign... Our Kids Love Comics anthology book, "Comic Book Diner," featuring a brand new Roboy Red story, Buzzboy, and a number of other all-ages stories from our KLC friends, as well as the FCBD issue of NASCAR Heroes (the covers to both books are below). It should be a great day, and I hope we'll see you there! If you're not able to make it to Newark, I hope you'll look for these two books at your local comic book shop:


Friday, April 25, 2008

Portfolio Showcase: Power Couple

This will be a quick one today. Due to an injury to my son (he's okay. It's a separated shoulder, but with a few weeks in a brace/harness, he'll be fine), I wasn't able to post the Free Comic Book Day info this week, but I'll be updating that info next week.

Anyway, another Friday, another event (this time it's a car show; Cars at Carlisle), so briefly, I did this piece as a gift for my cousin's wedding:

I like the way it came out, and she and her husband liked it too. It also works as a character design for my website, so that doesn't hurt either!

I'll be back next week with more art and information.