Friday, May 29, 2009

The Right Formula (1) - Yes, More Cars

Hey, I'm back, and it hasn't even been a month! How about that? Seriously, I hate that it takes me so long between posts now. What's going on here at home is so exhausting that it takes me a while to be able to clear my head enough to post something coherent.

In any event, thank you all for the messages and the notes of support. As I said in a recent post, cancer sucks, but it's much easier knowing how many of you are out there thinking of us.

As my title states, I'm still working, albeit infrequently. A recent job called for me to draw cars, yet again. As it's something I love to do, it's always a fun time for me when I can. This particular job was pretty challenging though. The client is actually a colleague of mine who was working with a major Formula One sponsor on a comic book featuring the new F1 car design. This particular design is not something that is intuitive to draw. It's unlike any cars I've drawn before. The lines on the car are very curvy, almost abstract, and it took a while for me to be able to master the flow of the design. I see a few flaws in it myself, but my colleague and the client were happy. I wouldn't mind doing more of this type of work. Anyway, here are the images:

This image was used for the comic book cover.

This one was the double page spread.

I think I might post some of the rough versions of these at a later time to give some insight into my process.

I'll have to get to that later though. For now, I hope you all have a great weekend! I'll be back here soon.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

For Mike (And Todd. And Matt. And Suzanne...)

Thanks to everyone who has written with encouraging words about my wife's cancer. We both appreciate all of the sentiments. Quick update on Traci, and then I'll move on to the latest piece. She's now begun a new clinical trial at the University of Pennsylvania, and we're hopeful that the success they've had with this combination of chemo and another drug will also apply to her. Although her cancer has advanced quite a bit since the time I mentioned it here, she's hanging in, and with the support of family and friends, we're managing to keep things afloat, and stay relatively sane throughout this difficult time.

As to the aforementioned friends, Matt and Suzanne Wieringo are a couple of very good ones. Many of you know about my friendship with Matt's brother Mike. Since Mike died, Matt and Suzanne and Traci and I have become good friends. They are actually a part of our (ever-growing) network of support, and have been incredibly kind to us in the face of Traci's illness. They recently came to see us for a visit, as detailed on Matt's blog, and we had a wonderful time seeing them. They also did a lot to help out around here, even though they were only with us for a little over a day. I'd had a little surprise waiting for them for a few months, and was so glad I could give it to them in person.

First, the background. Last summer, I attended Heroes Con in Charlotte for the first time. I'd brought copies of my NASCAR Heroes comics, and gave one to my good pal, Todd Dezago, who also happens to have been Mike's best friend. Todd was flipping through it at my table, and asked me something that I still feel honored by to this day. Looking at the portraits of the drivers I had done for the comic, he asked me if I'd be willing to do a portrait of Mike for him. I was floored, as I had actually intended to do just that for him as a birthday present (we share a birthday, October 10th) that fall. It's nothing new for Todd and I to be thinking of something at the same time. It's happened many times before. We attribute it to the common birthday, but really, it's probably just that we have the crazy gene in common! Anyway, this was one time that I was actually surprised by what he asked me, and of course, I told him I'd be honored to do the illustration for him.

Todd sent me a bunch of reference photos of Mike, and I went to work. I finished up the following piece in November, and now have permission to share it here:

Todd told me I could mention where he's using it, so it's for the upcoming Mike Wieringo Tellos tribute book. That's all I know about it at the moment, but Todd will be issuing a press release at the appropriate time. As for Matt and Suzanne, when they visited, I gave them two card stock copies of the portrait, one for them, and one for Matt's parents. It's probably one of the most meaningful pieces of art that I've ever had the privilege to create, and Matt told me it's now hanging in a particularly appropriate place of pride for me, the guest room where Mike stayed when he visited Matt and Suzanne. I can't think of a more touching place, and I'm so pleased that it means so much to them, my very good friends. Thanks guys!

I'll be back soon with more new art. In the meantime, in light of the previous, hug your loved ones, and make sure they know what they mean to you.


Friday, May 01, 2009

Free Comic Book Day 2009

Hi everyone. Sorry I've been away so long again. Once again, it's due to my wife's illness. I'll detail things a bit more in my next post. In the meantime, I need to let all of you know about Free Comic Book Day. For those unfamiliar, tomorrow, Saturday, May 2nd is FCBD. Many comic book shops around the United States will be participating. The event is designed to bring new readers into the hobby of comic books. To this end, many publishers print up FCBD versions of some of their books to give away at the event.

This year, like in previous ones, I'll be at my pal Joe Murray's store, Captain Blue Hen Comics, in Newark, Delaware, along with my friends Jamar (Detective Boogaloo, Grosse Adventures) Nicholas, Franco (Tiny Titans) Aureliani, Scott (Scooby Doo) Neely, Neil (Superman Adventures, MANY others!)Vokes, and a few others. Joe's store is a beautiful family friendly place, and the event usually brings in a LOT of kids! It's always a fun time, and I'll be there sketching for kids all day. In years past, we've done Buzzboy, Roboy Red, and NASCAR Comics for FCBD, but the economy being what it currently is, we have no new books for this year's event. However, I will be bringing my own personal copies of past years' books to have on hand. I'll give those away for as long as I have copies.

In addition, I'll have many of my comic books for sale, including Buzzboy, NASCAR Comics, Impulse, Bug, and a bunch more of my DC and Marvel Comics work. I'll also have my Roboy Red and Drama Queen t-shirts for sale. Pictures of the shirt designs below:

Last, I'm going to dig out some posters I've had from previous conventions and FCBD events. I'll give those away as long as I have them too.

I hope you'll come by to see me and the others this Saturday! Click here for all the Captain Blue Hen FCBD news. Should be a fun day!

I'll be back soon with new art, and some other news soon.