Bride of the Water God Fan Art

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. Symphony Number Six is chugging along (slowly) but I took some time out this weekend to do some fan-art for Bride of the Water God, a deceptively compelling manhwa by Mi-Kyung Yun, published in English by Dark Horse. (“manhwa” is, I believe, Korean for “twelve educations of the adulterous winter,” but I might have that wrong.)

Bride of the Water God fan art

I drew the titular water god, Habaek. He’s a pretty interesting character – short-tempered, haughty, but also quite loving. He’s trapped in the past in more ways than one – figuratively because he can’t move on from his ill-fated first marriage to a human woman, and literally because every day when the sun rises his body transforms into that of a small child.

BotWG has more wrist-grabbing than I’ve ever seen in a comic or anywhere else. A panel of a wrist being gripped by somebody’s hand occurs probably 7 or 8 times an issue! Sometimes it’s erotic, sometimes it’s violent, sometimes it’s humorous. Mi-Kyung Yun clearly loves to draw grabbed wrists!

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February Figure Drawing

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

I went figure drawing with the Periscopalians yesterday. Erika Moen hired a terrific-looking model. I’m please with some of the rapider sketches, but as we transitioned to longer studies my still-lingering inadequacies as a draftsman became more apparent. I was sitting on the floor for most of this, so my point-of-view resulted in some funny foreshortening.



Here are Steve Lieber’s renderings of the same subject – can you tell where he was sitting in relation to me?

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I’m Still Drawing, I Promise!

Posted by on Jan 23, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

This month I began my next comic, “Symphony Number Six.” Since it’ll only be 32 pages long, I’ll be releasing it all at once and won’t be maintaining a regularly-updated website as I did for SNitLoE. But for my friends who want a behind-the-scenes peek, I’ll be posting the occasional panel on this blog. Here’s panel one:



Yes, I am once again beginning a comic with a car driving toward the horizon. Looks a lot better than last time though, huh?

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New Years Revolutions

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

"New Year's Revolutions"

Man, what an amazing year! From January to December, I was filled with so much hope, even though many movements met brutal opposition and the struggle still continues everywhere. Here’s to the People in 2012!

From left to right, Juventud Sin Futuro (Spain); South Sudanese secession (South Sudan); “Russia Will Be Free” (Russia); Camila Vallejo, Communist student leader and leftist dreamgirl of the decade (Argentina); Generic Union Guy; Old Man 2011 with Baby 2012; “Islam is a religion of Justice and Tolerance” (Tunisia); Egyptian Revolution (Egypt, where hundreds of protestors swept up their own mess); Wall Street Occupier (U.S.A.); “Indignants in Syntagma” (Greece); Madison, Wisconsin Occupier (U.S.A.)

Happy New Year! Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!

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Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Just fooling around with mermaids for a potential 2012 project.


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Signing in New Orleans!

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

Hey “y’all,” I’m currently “letting the bonbons roll” in “the Big n’ Easy,” visiting my family for Christmas (or as we call it “down under,” “Fat Tuesday.”)

Every single day of my life until I left for college at eighteen.

Anyway, I’m having a signing event at Crescent City Comics on Freret Street uptown, next Friday (after Christmas). If you are a Louisiana-type person who understandably missed the October book release in Portland, now is the perfect opportunity to get your autographed copy of my graphic novel!


Hope to see you there!

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Christmas Card 2011

Posted by on Dec 18, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hey guys. Okay, by now it should be very obvious that I did not complete (or even really begin) the 30 Characters Challenge. A busy month, what can I say.

Here’s the postcard I designed for Christmas this year. The Hebrew text at the top reads “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) and the large Latin text at the bottom says “and the Word became flesh.” (John 1:14)


I knew that given my recent re-involvement with Jesus Christ I couldn’t get away with a snowy, jingly “secular” Christmas image this year. I also knew that I didn’t want to fall into the sort of sentimental trap of many religious Christmas cards, where the manger scene is played for cuteness or pathos or the Maji for Oriental mystery. Babies are cute, sure. A baby born in an ancient barn is an interesting story, I guess… but the point of the incarnation is that this particular baby was the same person who SPOKE THE UNIVERSE INTO EXISTENCE.


Merry Christmas, y’all! I’ll probably have some more drawings up before the 25th.

By the way, if the image looks a little weird it’s because it was optimized for print using a tutorial by the digital print sorceress Christianne Goudreau.

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#2 – Vincenzio "Fingers" Paganini

Posted by on Nov 5, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

Relax, he’s a concert violinist… you racist.

By the way, I’ve started reading Yo, Is This Racist? on tumblr. Worth a look!

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#1 – Slam Aleikum

Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

This year I’m participating in The 30 Characters Challenge, where you try to design thirty characters in the thirty days of November. Character design is definitely one of my weak points. This is something I just realized after spending two years drawing characters I designed in a few hours.

All my entries won’t look like this. Some will be cartoonier, some will be in color, some might be all-digital. I’m hoping to branch out a lot this month. Stay tuned!

The one thing I know for sure is that I want 15 of my characters to be female. Or I might do 14/14/2 or 13/13/4 if I decide to include characters of ambiguous gender. I wanted to start off with a strong Muslim woman character – I think there’s a huge dearth of these in popular media.

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Release Party Re-cap

Posted by on Oct 3, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

A big thanks to everybody who came out to my release event at Cosmic Monkey. It was wonderful to see/meet you all! Here are some pictures from Saturday night, taken by my friend Matt Cruz.

There aren’t a lot of pictures of me here because my head was constantly bent over as a I drew doodles on people’s title pages.

Here are some celebrities holding my books – click the images for giganto versions.

Stumptown Underground editor and zinestress Katie Ash. The one and only Hopskotch SunDAY! In the background you can see my housemate (and caterer) Katy Ellis O’Brien.
Hereville author Barry Deutches. Barry led the Comic Creators meetup group that workshopped many of SNitLoE’s later pages. Jake Richmond, who draws an adorable/horrifying webcomic called Modest Medusa. He also led the meetup with Barry.
Kevin Wilson, who draws Titanzer and also provided my button-making supplies. Ron Chan, who hangs his hat at Periscope Studio where I used to intern.

So BY THE WAY there was an error in the printing that I didn’t notice until after the release party. Page 176 is where page 176 should be, but it’s ALSO where page 76 should be. I am 90% sure this was a mistake on the part of the printers, but they have been so accommodating I’m not going to give them a hard time about it. Anyway, all the copies I sell from now on will have the correct page 76 inserted discreetly in the proper place – you probably won’t even notice unless you feel the scotch tape.

Lastly, here is a picture of me being happy and a picture of my friend Alan doing his best Kafir impression:



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Book Release!

Posted by on Sep 24, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

Hey guys, I just wanted to make sure that everyone who reads this blog knows about my book release party on Saturday, October 1st.

Cosmic Monkey Comics was already my favorite comic store in Portland long before they agreed to host this event. I will probably be spending my money there as fast as people are handing it to me!

If you are on facebook, RSVP to the facebook event page. It doesn’t actually matter, but it strokes my precious ego and lets your friends know that you read good comics. Hope to see y’all there!

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Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I drew this picture for my old friend Elliot Kaplan, a physicist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. If anyone I know can answer the timeless question “Magnets, how do they work?” it’s probably Elliot. He currently works with the Madison Dynamo Experiment. My understanding of this is limited by my own feeble brain and not by Elliot’s lucid explanatory skills, but here’s the gist: The earth has a magnetic field. The earth’s mantle is full of circulating molten metal, and its circulation is what generates this field. In Madison they’ve built a large, hollow globe, which they fill with liquid sodium (a convenient approximation of the earth’s mantle, which I think is mostly silicon and magnesium).

They blend the sodium around with fans and pass magnetic fields through it, measuring the results. And here’s where I get a little shaky. Lightning crashes and all the scientists start laughing maniacally, God get furious, Galactus shows up hungry, and before you know it the Dynamo kills your wife on your wedding night.

Okay, so what’s this have to do with my drawing? Apparently, it’s a tradition for Elliot and his crew to get Chinese food before every run of the experiment. In some cryptic way, the fortune cookie fortunes have so far always predicted the outcome of the day’s run. Elliot commissioned a cartoon depicting physicists divining the future from fortune cookies, suggesting that their safety gear would make for good “cultish regalia.” I couldn’t agree more!

… in bed!

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Art for my own Release Party Flier.

Posted by on Sep 11, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

Hey Apostrophobiphiles! If you read this blog then you’ve probably heard all about my graphic novel Savage Nobles in the Land of Enchantment, which is now available in print. I’m having a release party on Saturday, October 1st from 4-6pm at Cosmic Monkey Comics in NE Portland, OR. Below is the flyer for that event:

I am sort of please with the artwork for this flyer and sort of not. I think I am getting a better and better “knack” for composition. A big help was reading Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers by Marcos Mateu-Mestre. He has truly amazing skills at designing compositions that are clear, pleasing, and intuitively comprehensible, even when depicting complicated action. He also has a somewhat sketchy, digital graywash style that looks so effortless it must be affected. Since “Framed Ink” is mostly geared towards storyboarding, I found myself wanting to design a SNitLoE scene with a short, wide frame like a movie screen.

(click for larger version)

So while I think the composition is basically sound, I have a lot of qualms about the artwork itself. While I’m glad I rendered the desert mountain beyond a simple sandy mass, I think I might have gone too far the other way – the characters, especially Theo, get lost among the jumble of lines in the rocks. Somehow I am not differentiating enough with my inking between “flesh,” “cloth” and “rocks.” The blacks are not well placed. There’s something wrong with pretty much every single hand in the picture, and some of the proportions are way off. Oh well, it’s just for a flyer that’ll probably get torn down anyway!

Two things to note: Yes, “algebraic” is misspelled – I corrected it on the finished flyer. And no, a scene like this never occurs in the actual story – but neither does the scene I drew for the cover of the book. Only Tonya and Greg discover Utopiopolis, and they are not dressed that way when they do.

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Benjamin Franklinstein!

Posted by on Sep 2, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Today is Independoween, the holiday that is calendrically equidistant from Halloween and the 4th of July. The holiday was the brainchild of my friend Xavier Lyles, who envisions Independoween celebrations as containing the best of these two holidays: fireworks AND costumes; backyard barbecues AND candy; jingoistic patriotism AND a spooky sense of the macabre. You could carve an American flag into a pumpkin. Or you could dress up like Independoween’s unofficial mascot, Benjamin Franklinstein:

It would have been really cool if Xavier and I were the originators of Ben Franklinstein, but unfortunately that isn’t true. I discovered that people have been mashing these two together for quite some time. There’s even a YA book about the character. Alas, there is nothing new under the sun. It is with great sadness that I’ve decided not to suggest this idea to Dylan Meconis as a potential follow-up to her werewolf/Enlightenment and vampire/French Revolution franchise.

However, my unoriginality is not simply a coincidence. A quote from Frankensteinia, an all-Frankenstein-all-the-time blog:

The connection between the Franklin and Frankenstein has been explored extensively. The real-life Franklin and the fictional Victor Frankenstein were contemporaries, and both were electrical experimenters. Frankenstein observed a tree shattered by lightning, and Franklin apocryphally flew a kite and a key in a thunderstorm, inspiring movie Frankensteins to release kites, capture lightning and zap monsters to life.

Mary Shelley was familiar with Franklin and his experiments. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was tutored in politics by Dr. Richard Price who supported the American Revolution and corresponded with Franklin. One of her publishers, Joseph Johnson, had released Franklin’s works in London, and her lover, Gilbert Imlay, was American and a Revolutionary fighter. Mary Wollstonecraft’s husband, William Godwin, was influenced by Franklin’s politics and he was a member, as was Franklin, of the scientific Royal Society of London. Mary Shelley’s companion, Percy Bysshe Shelley, studied Franklin and was conversant with electrical experimentation.

There is frequently quoted speculation that Mary’s choice of name for her scientist was inspired by, and perhaps even an homage to Franklin, though “Frankenstein” was not a rare name and Mary had almost certainly encountered it in 1814 during her trip down the Rhine and a stopover in the vicinity of Burg Frankenstein. Nevertheless, it is said that Franklin’s electrical experiments were so widely known and notorious that the novel’s original readers, back in 1818, would have easily made the Franklin/Frankenstein connection. Many scholars have since explored the influence of Benjamin Franklin on Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Percy and Mary Shelley, and its reflection in Mary famous novel, making Founding Father Benjamin Franklin one of numerous men of science of the era who are thought of as the “real” Frankenstein.

Ain’t that fascinatin’? Happy Independoween, everybody!

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Disney Princess Color Analysis

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

You know how sometimes you have an idea as soon as you wake up? This morning, this was mine:

It’s a combination of Scott McCloud’s approach to analyzing Golden Age superhero costumes, and Dustin Weaver‘s recent observation that, with her bold, primary colors and jet black hair, Snow White is basically Superman.

Just as we involuntarily, subconsciously know that purple + green= Hulk, red + gold = Iron Man and gray + bluish black + a tiny bit of yellow = Batman, we can’t see that unique combination of blue-green, red, flesh and lavender without immediately thinking (in a Jamaican accent) “Ariel!” We can instantly recognizable all the Disney heroines from their color schemes alone. I haven’t tried it with any other characters, but you can easily imagine similar color swatches for villains (Ursula, Gaston, Jafar, Scar, and Radcliffe all have wonderful and very distinct color schemes), heroes (think of Beast, Aladdin, John Smith, or especially Quasimodo), or even supporting characters (though characters like Flounder, Genie, Phoebus, or Mushu tend to be colored from much simpler palettes.) In every case, the colors are as unique as the character designs themselves.

(Notice that with the exception of Snow White these are all characters from the post-1989 Disney Renaissance. Disney had some terrific character designs in the 30’s, 50’s and 60’s, but the color element doesn’t particularly stand out for me. Quick! What color was Aurora’s dress in Sleeping Beauty? …See? Even if you know, you had to think about it.)

I don’t understand color. I barely understand how it works in real life, and I’m certainly not to the point of being able design with color in an appealing way. What Disney does (or did?) is simply amazing to me. They can paint with all the colors of the wind!

(By the way, here’s a link to a cool artist who drew many of the Disney princesses as superheros.)

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