Sunday, May 27, 2012

And The Inks...

I got the inks for the newest OilCan Drive piece done this week. I also got a lot of the production done on the printing for some new OilCan Drive merchandise and give-a-ways. It;s been nothing if not a very productive week.

I have a feeling it's going to be a crazy upcoming week with family and friends coming into town for my wedding next week. So, while I'll try and keep updating the blog you'll have to forgive me if I miss a day or two. But, I promise I'll show off some of the stuff I'll have at the Denver Comic Con before that weekend.

It's been a lot of fun getting it all together and I hope it shows when I roll out OilCan Drive to the public.

Have a good one!

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Pencil Sketch

Between all the work for the wedding, client work, and trying to get things figured out for the Denver ComicCon before I go away on my honeymoon my head has just been spinning this week and I feel like I'm coming apart at the seams.

But, I did find some time to draw a new OilCan Drive illustration for a piece of work I'll be giving out at the convention. And, if I'm lucky, I'll have enough time to breath to get the inks on it done soon.

But, for now, I am off to watch a little TV and then head to bed.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An Army of Frogs

In order to save some time I re-purposed the frog illustration I did for Monika's and my wedding invitations and turned them into the table numbers that will be on each table at our wedding reception.

I printed out each frog piece with a different number on them, laminated them, and then spent yesterday afternoon cutting them out and fitting them with easels. Luckily there weren't too many because my right hand started aching a bit after trying to cut everything out so precisely.

And now, as you can see, we have an army of frogs ready to descend upon our wedding. And, if you like this, wait until you see what Monika has been working on concerning these two characters. It puts everything I've done so far to shame.

Have a great night and I'll see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back on the Clock

After a week of the blog being quiet I think it's time I got back on the clock and got back to work.

This last week has been a whirlwind of juggling client work, OilCan Drive work, trying to get stuff done for my upcoming wedding, and trying to get things squared away for the Denver Comicon that will be held a mere three days after I get back from my honeymoon. But, amidst all the craziness things are getting done.

Monika and I headed down to the hall of records last week and got our official marriage license taken care of. We also signed some other papers, got my ring ordered, and even found a free afternoon to slip away and see the new Avengers movie.

It's been an exhausting week and, to be honest, I feel like I never get enough done. But, at least for now, the blog is back online and I have some new posts planned this week to show off some of the give-a-way items I'll have at the Denver Comicon.

So, have a great night and I'll see you tomorrow.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Last Days of Ace!

Today is the last day you can head on over to Kickstarter and pledge a donation
to help out my friends' Dan O'Connor and Rob Kelly's campaign to print up their first Ace Kilroy collection.

The good news is that they've already hit their goal and the project will be happening. So, any money you donate means you are guaranteed to get the goodies on whatever pledge level you contribute to. And, from what I've heard, if they hit four thousand dollars by the end of the campaign everyone who donates will get an extra goody on top of everything already listed. As of now that goal is only a hundred and ninety dollars away.

So, if you haven't yet, go on over and check out the campaign HERE. If nothing else, check out the great Ace Kilroy video that I helped put together. It's always fun seeing your friends succeed and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

You Can Pick Your Friends...

I feel like Jeff pushing me to go to the Denver Comic Convention in June has definitely opened up the door to a lot of things I've wanted to do with OilCan Drive over the last few years. So, along with books, paper toys, new business cards, and possible prints, I am now adding custom OilCan Drive guitar picks to the list of fun things I'll be surrounding myself with at my table.

The picks will be the same gauge of orange tortex plastic I use when I play my own guitars and will be double sided. I tried my best to figure out how to put everything on one side but it was hard to get the website across without messing up the art too much. So the decision to go with two sides seemed to be the best way to solve the problem. And, if these go well I figure I can always do more, put another character from the band on the next batch, and have the backs the same so I can make limited sets of guitar picks.

I think these will really be a fun and unique thing to give away to people visiting me at my table. I'm hoping they'll be even more popular than the business cards almost everyone else will be giving away. Plus, it really drives home the fact that OilCan Drive is not only a comic book project but also a musical project.

So, if you're in Denver for the Comic Con in June, come on over, say hi, and pick yourself up pick :)

Have a good one!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

OilCan Drive Business Cards

I brought this up before but I thought it might be cool to show off the two designs I came up with for the front and back of the OilCan Drive business cards I sent off to the printers yesterday.

I used some of the existing art I created for the website and threw these two pieces together in an almost movie-poster-like style. I really like both of them and I'm almost sad that they're only going to be 2"x3.5" big. I may just have to recreate these as stand alone pieces to put up on my table when I am at the Denver ComicCon.

Yes, if I haven't mentioned it here yet, I will be at the Denver ComicCon sharing a table with Jeff Lafferty in June. I don't know all the details yet or exactly where our table is but once I know I'll pass along the information.

I do know that I haven't sat behind a table or even set foot in a comic book convention in over ten years. Honestly, for some reason, doing it again kind of scares me. I don't really know why. I know it's some deep psychological thing and part of me thinks I have some weird love affair with comics and I feel like comics didn't really want me around. Or something like that.

But, I figure the best way to get over this fear is to just go and do it and get it over with. It will be great having Jeff next to me. It's all his idea and he's done all the heavy lifting. He'll be there with his awesome painted sketch cards and I'll be there with a bunch of OilCan Drive stuff.

So, yeah...Denver in June....I'll be there and so will a bunch of these new business cards.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Well, I think I got the glitches fixed on the OilCan Drive website last night. I still have no idea what was wrong in the first place but I took all the posts down that weren't working, reloaded them, and that seemed to work. Of course, at one point, every comic in the story was up on the site (lucky you if you were looking at the site at that time) and, at another point, I basically took down every comic on the site (if you saw it then, please go back...there is something there now.)

So, while I felt like banging my head against the wall more than a few times I think it's finally back up and running. Unfortunately, I did lose a few posted comments so, Jeff, if you're reading this, I didn't mean to delete your comments. I'm sorry.

I did get some more OilCan Drive stuff done today. I got some buttons ordered for some new Henry Pin-Head paper toys I need to get done and I created and ordered some OilCan Drive web-comic business cards. I also got the banner done for the site which will always live under the header of this blog. It will probably change from time to time as I create new art but, for now, I'm just glad to have a permanent link here to the web comic.

And I also created some templates of panels for the comic so I can easily draw new stuff without laying out borders. I think, since I went digital, I've gotten so used to the freedom of simply drawing and then cropping after the fact that going back and drawing inside existing boxes just doesn't feel right. Hopefully this will work and get the drawing of the new story flowing a lot better.

OK, it's been a busy day but now I need to start sketching out some client work before I go out for a bike ride. There is always something to do around here.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bit of a Glitch

So the OilCan Drive webcomic site has been up for a few weeks now and everything has been running fine. That is until this week when something strange started happening and I can't seem to figure out how to fix it.

I uploaded the first issue of the book onto the site and three times a week the site auto-updates and a new comic should show up on the front page. It's worked from the beginning but on Monday I looked at the front page and there was no image, just text. It also said the comments had been turned off. Hoping it was a one-time glitch I let it go but it happened again tonight. Same thing. No image and a message that the comments were off.

The frustrating thing is that when I am logged into the site it works just fine. The front page shows the image like it's supposed to. When I am logged off it just comes up blank.

The new comic pages are being uploaded and you can find them in the archive so I have no idea why they aren't showing up on the front page. I posted a question in the Webcomic forum so hopefully I can get an answer soon.

It always seems like I am trying to fix something or overcome some sort of hurdle as I try to do this. It should be easy but some days it seems like I should be banging my head against a wall.

Keep your fingers crossed that I can get this figured out and fixed soon.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Colored Capes

Once I'd inked Thom's cover for the newest Love and Capes issue I couldn't wait to start coloring it.

Because Thom had based the cover's idea on Drew Struzan's "Adventures in Babysitting" poster both Thom and I had the same idea to try and replicate a bit of the paint strokes Drew lays on his own board before he starts painting. So I did a bit of painting myself and scanned the patterns into the computer to use on this piece. If you look at both the background and the brick wall closely enough and you'll see hints of the patterns I created by hand to use in this digital painting.

The cityscape behind the characters came from a bunch of buildings Thom sent me that I then colored and placed into the background. While he didn't ask for it, I thought creating my own version of the Adventures in Babysitting logo and placing it on the billboard in the background fit perfectly.

When I was done with the piece I flattened the layers, saved the file, and sent it off to Thom.

Here's hoping he likes it and I'll let you know when the cover sees the light of day.

Have a good one.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Love and Inks

A week or so ago my friend Thom Zahler of Love and Capes fame asked if I would like to ink one of his covers for an upcoming issue of his comic. I guess the newest series he is doing will have inks on each cover done by various artists and, somehow, he decided to ask me to join in on the fun.

So I agreed and before I knew it this blue-lined pencil sketch appeared in my email inbox. The last time I inked over another artist's pencils the actual penciled piece arrived in a FedEx box. I inked it up and sent it back the same way it had come. But, I guess this is the way the professionals do it now.

So I took the file, a nice piece of bristol board, and headed on down to Kinkos. I printed out the blue lined art on my piece of board and brought it home to ink.

It was fun to ink over the blue sketch because it meant I wouldn't have to do any erasing on any errant pencil lines. I inked away, hit the piece with some white out to clean up some of my mistakes, and called it a night.

Like I said, it's been a while since I inked over another artists pencils and it's been even longer since I inked over any of Thom's work. The last time I think I had the pleasure was in 1992, during our senior year of college. The assignment was to pencil three pages and then someone else in the class would ink them. So, Thom and I traded pages and went to town.

I hope he's as happy with this piece as I was and I'm really glad he thought of me to do it.

Of course, this time I had one request when he asked me to ink his work. I told him he had to let me color it too.

But, I have to save something for tomorrow.

Have a good one.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Third Time's a Charm

I knew when I launched the OilCan Drive webcomic I had started the clock on me doing new pages for a new OilCan Drive story. I have enough material to cover the first year of the site being up and running but, after that, I wanted to have all new stories.

So, when the site launched I heard the starting gun go off in my head and I just started working away.

One of the problems I've always had is that I sometimes jump into things without thinking them out or planning too well. When I was in seventh grade I remember being in a science class where the teacher gave out a sheet with detailed instructions on it. We had two minutes to complete every one of those instructions. So I started working away as fast as I could. The girl next to me sat and did nothing. I was worried for her that she wasn't doing a thing. I was panicked for myself and her.

Before I knew it the two minutes were up and I was only on the fifth of twenty tasks listed on the sheet. I had failed but I gave it my best shot. Then the teacher told us to read all the instructions on the sheet. There were nineteen tasks that had you doing something. The last task, the twentieth, simply said, "disregard all above instructions and do nothing."

The girl next to me had read all the instructions before starting. I had only heard the starting gun go off in my head and plunged ahead. I had failed.

It was a lesson about reading all the instructions first and having a plan.

Judging by my not only one, but two attempts to start the next OilCan Drive story, I don't think I've learned this lesson well.

So, I've taken a step back this week and rethought a few things. I am taking some time to make a plan for myself and give myself some new parameters.

Making comics is not as easy as it used to be. I was taught in art school that doing a comic book page was as simple as drawing a 10"x15" box and keeping your images in there. The gutters were to be a quarter inch each and that was it. Start drawing.

But now, with full bleed pages, odd sized comics, and comics on the internet, there are no more rules. You can do whatever you want to do. It's all up to you.

So, I've had to take a few steps back, think about the parameters I've set, and give myself some new rules.

Hopefully the third times is the charm.

One more time into the breach, dear friends!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May!

Hello everyone and happy May!

It seems like I always get really busy at the end of the month and the blog is the first thing to suffer. This last week I was juggling a mixture of client work, work for friends, mixing songs, and trying to get some pages done for the new OilCan Drive project.

I've been banging my head against the wall with the recent pages for the OilCan Drive webcomic. Nothing is feeling right and, honestly, I had one night where I nearly gave up. But, I took a night off, regrouped, and am rethinking my approach. It's not quite there yet but it feels like it is back on track.

OK, back to it. Have a great May and I'll talk to you soon.