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.