Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Jamar!

Or rather, a sketch I did of him.

I rarely draw just for the fun of it these days. I find most of my time is taken with drawing for work, or I wind up spending my work time doing things for my various websites. Yesterday, I was proofing some comic book stuff, in my capacity as editor for John Gallagher's Buzzboy, and I went to the web to check to make sure one of the visuals was correct. When I found what I was looking for, one of the other things that came up in the image search was a picture of me with one of my trihosts from Comic Book Diner, Jamar Nicholas. I liked the angle of the shot (the photo was taken by your friend and mine, Mike Manley, so no surprise that it was well composed), so I decided to do a little sketch of it. I thought it turned out ok, so I took a photo of it with my phone camera, and imported it into Photoshop to clean it up a little (that, by the way, is a little tech tip. If you're on the go with your art, and don't have access to a scanner, but need to upload it somewhere, you can take a picture of it, and clean it up in Photoshop later. I actually do this quite a bit now).

Well, I got kind of carried away, added color, and an hour and a half after I began, I wound up with a completed color sketch. What's funny, is that generally, I do a finished drawing, maybe ink it, and THEN add color digitally. and even then, I use my tablet to color, fairly precisely. This time, I used a mouse, on my dining room table. I don't normally work this way, so this was a little rougher than my usual finished work, but it was also liberating. It kind of felt like working with watercolors, and I think the finished drawing sort of looks like a watercolor piece. Anyway, here's the sketch:

I'm going to attempt to do a few more like this, beginning with a much-needed new self-portrait, and one of Gallagher as well, as I'm thinking we might be able to use them for the podcast website. I'm sure I can do one like this of me, but I have a feeling John will be a challenge. Ironic, since he and I have been friends and colleagues for over eight years, and I sit right next to him at every show I do. We'll see if that translates into an accurate portrait. I'll keep you posted!

I'll be back soon, so stay tuned!


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Podcast! Comic Book Diner

So, I have a new endeavor, and it's related to my art, but it's a bit of a step sideways in my career. While I've been an illustrator for over 17 years, a little over 24 years ago, I was a DJ on my college radio station. I was only at this particular college for one semester, and therefore did not have enough time to really explore that avenue of expression, but the experience has always stuck with me.

A couple of years ago, my good pal, Charlie LaGreca, a fellow illustrator, and an alumnus of the DC Comics trenches, interviewed my collaborative partner, John Gallagher, and me at HeroesCon, in Charlotte, NC, for his Indie Spinner Rack comics podcast, which spotlights independent comics and their creators. John and I loved the experience, and we've had an idea brewing since then. It's not something we actively talked about a lot, but over the past couple of months, John has had a real desire to do a podcast of our own. Early on in the discussions, I mentioned that our good friend Jamar Nicholas would be a fantastic partner on this project, as he has a natural charm and wit, and has plenty of experience behind a microphone himself, as the emcee of the Glyph Awards, a ceremony at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention. We immediately contacted Jamar, and he was on board!

About two weeks ago, we all got on the phone together and came up with a plan for what we wanted to do, and so, The Comic Book Diner was born!

Basically, John, Jamar, and I are the (as Jamar coined it) tri-hosts of the show, in which we discuss, round table style, the art and business of comics, both web and print, and the future of each format, as well as whatever related (and unrelated) topics come and go with the flow of the conversation. We each have a different take on things, as each one of us comes from a slightly different perspective in our careers. It makes for interesting listening. We're all pretty decent conversationalists, and we tend to amuse one another, and we're told, others as well, so I hope you'll stop by our virtual hangout and have a listen. Our first show is right here, so please click that link, and then drop us a line to let us know what you think. Our contact info is right on the CBD home page, or you can always drop a line here, or from my website. I hope to hear from you soon!

We'll be doing shows on a regular basis, so check back here for more scheduling info. I'll be sure to post whenever a new podcast is up, and when we establish what our schedule will be, I'll be posting that here as well. In the meantime, be well, and I'll be back soon!


PS: the awesome logos you see here were created by John Gallagher, our Designer-in-residence!