Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006, acknowlegements and appreciation

What a terrific year 2006 was.
What a blessing it was to have worked with such cartoon luminaries as Peter Avonzino, Tom Conner, Chris Duffy, Claudia Katz, Joan Hilty, Jeff Hong, Mike Carlo, Heather Kenyon, Dave Roman, AL PARDO, Chris Reccardi, Manny Galan, Rachel Gluckstern, Bobbie Paige, Dwayne C. Hill, Lynne Naylor, Dan Yaccarino, Andy Suriano, Stephen (he spells his name correctly) Sandoval, Clarke Sager, Jackson Publick, Jared Deal and Lynne Naylor. And my dear old King Features compatriot, Frank Caruso. Special thanks and a tip of the inkwell cap to my boys, Pete Browngardt and Phil Rynda, and my girl, Melissa Johnson.
I thank you all.
What a lucky slob I am.
(Even luckier if I managed to spell everyone's name right.)
As good as this year was for me, professionally, it's gonna get better in 2007.
This I know.

Fellow Bloggites, please return early this week.
I'm gonna start off '07 right.
With scans of Toth originals.
So y'better come back.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


...though please note, the new year is 2007, not 1950.
My very best wishes,

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The packages!
The wrapping!
The caroling!
The wassailing!

All this Christmas, and hubbub--
I'm too tired to post this week.
But check out this Holiday art!

Happy Holidays to all,
Peace to all,

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Weekly Shank.


Freaking hilarious. For some reason, this stuff kills me!

Hellboy Jr. character sketches

These're for Keenan, who requested I post some Hellboy Junior stuff.
Like I said, I don't have much that hasn't already seen print. But I found these on the back of a page of unused (and not very interesting) inks.
I'll say this-- I sometimes get recognition for doing the Harvey style well, and I generally poo-poo the idea. But that Wendy's pretty frickin' sharp, I don't mind sayin'....

Hilarity ensues...

Remember when Flash was new, and web-toons were the big thing?
I was there, man.

I sold this idea to Funny Garbage, who were then doing the Cartoon Network website.
I did no other work on it than this drawing, and the concept. I dunno if they ever created the cartoon. I think they did.

The idea was: a PBS think-tank style show, like the McGlaughlin Group, but featuring the unintelligible growls and gurbles of the creatures from the Herculoids.
I made big money from this, baby!

DEXTER'S LAB Character Sketches

As I mentioned elsewhere on my blog, when I'd gotten the DEXTER job from DC, I did't feel comfortable drawing the characters "on model". So, I played around with their looks, trying to find my specific voice with their designs. I unearthed these this morning, my take on Dexter's parents.

Spotting Blacks, part 1

Matt Jenkins resently requested that I jot down and share some of my theories on spotting blacks for the comics page. For those of you not familiar with the term, "spotting blacks" means strategically placing areas of black within a drawing. It's almost a lost artform. Very few comics artists, especially mainstream comics artists spot black areas any more. I suppose in this day of photoshop bells and whistles, it seems an anachronistic way of creating depth for an illustration.
But it is a lovely art. There's a finesse and specialty to spotting blacks. And it doesn't serve exclusively to create the illusion of depth. It can be used to create mood. It can be used as a storytelling tool, a way to specifically focus your reader's eye. And, at it's most ephemeral, it can be used to create a rhythm, and vibration to an entire comic book page.
I love spotting blacks. It's hard to do, but very rewarding. I'm okay at it, and I've gotten quite a lot of good advice about how to do it through the years.
Some notable wisdom:
Almost 20 years ago, Kyle Baker told me that spotting blacks was "adding little images of white in large black fields, or little images of black in large white fields."
Keith Giffen, more than 20 years ago, held up a page of the LEGION he'd just completed, and asked me, "What jumps out at you immediately on this page? The black areas, right?"
And, to that point, Jaime Hernandez, arguably the finest black-spotter in the business today, responded to my asking for advice in this area by saying "Always put your character in black clothes."
Remember, the eye will always go to a black area on the printed page.
There's a lot of complexity to spotting blacks, so I'll try and organize my thoughts to continue onto part two. Anyone with their own theories are certainly welcome to post!