Monday, September 29, 2014

24 Hour Comic Day Challenge!

 I am finally back from my trip to Maine and the East Coast to see my family, catch up with some friends, and recharge my batteries.

The trip went great but it started with a bit of a hiccup. Originally I planned on driving thirty one hours from Colorado to Maine. I started well enough, got out of Colorado, and headed into Nebraska. Around four hours in I started getting a bad feeling. I gave it another two hours before saying, screw it, and I turned around and headed back to Colorado. I don't know if I had some premonition of impending doom that I saved myself from or if I simply wasn't enjoying myself six hours into the journey and couldn't imagine sitting in a car for another fifty eight hours. But, I got back to Boulder, got some sleep, and booked myself a flight for the next day. From there, the trip went great and I had a lot of fun.

I'll definitely be putting some photos from my trip up but, first, I wanted to show you what I've been working on since I got back.

This coming weekend, October 4th and 5th, I'll be participating in my first official 24 Hour Comic Challenge. It's an annual event that has been going on for years and is the brain child of comic book great Scott McCloud. The idea is that you sit down for 24 hours and, in that time, you complete a fully finished 24 page comic book. I've tried it once by myself with disasterous results but I am hoping that first attempt will give me some insight on how to succeed this time around. I told a friend my ideas on how I was going to go about it this time and he commented, "it's great that you have it all planned out." My response was, "I always have a plan...whether it works or not remains to be seen."

So, we'll see how it goes.

The story I plan on working on is OilCan Drive related and, if all goes well, it will fit into the regular OCD continuity and I will post the pages on the OilCan Drive web comic site soon enough. But, because I am participating in an event with multiple artists, the event coordinator asked for submissions for the anthology book cover he is planning to put together of everyone's work. This being my first time attending I wanted to give him a cover and do the best I could to make an impression.

The event will be taking place at my local comic shop, Time Warp Comics. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary and requested that the cover feature their store mascot and a few of the characters that have appeared in their newsletters comic strip over the years. So, here is my rendition of Tommy Timewarp and his friends!

I created the piece in the same way I plan on doing the 24 hour comic to test out the process. I sketched the whole piece out with a non-repo blue pencil and went right to ink using only Sharpie and Micron markers. It's pretty much the same way I do a lot of my advertising work that usually has super tight deadlines. From there I scanned the piece into the computer and added color and text.

While I won't be doing any color on the actual 24 hour comic my plan is to get all of the art for the story done in 24 hours and ready for scanning and lettering. My hand lettering leaves a lot to be desired and the pages for the anthology aren't due for two weeks after the event so I figured I'd give myself some time to letter the story in a way that looks pleasing and I am happy with. Is it cheating? Maybe. But, I guess that will put me out of the running for the gold medal and the million dollar cash prize (ha ha ha.)

So, if anyone is in Boulder, Colorado next weekend and wants to come check it out I'll be at Time Warp Comics starting at 10am on Saturday, October 4th.

And I will definitely be posting progress photos and updates on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. So, even if you're not in the area you can follow along and see how I'm doing. I'll make sure to put links up on Friday so everyone knows where to follow along.

Have a great week everyone. It's good to be back and I'll talk to you all soon!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Road Trip

I am packing up and heading off on a cross country road trip tomorrow. I am hoping I can get from here in Colorado to the coast of Maine in about four days or so with a planned day of hanging out with my friend Thom in Cleveland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, here I come!)

It's been a while since I attempted something like this so I'm both excited and a little nervous. But, one thing I know for sure is that my new little Fiat will probably do a lot better on a cross country trip than my old Jeep Wrangler did when I first moved to Colorado from the east coast all those years ago.

I'll make sure to take a bunch of pictures from the road and keep the updates coming.

Have a great week everyone and I'll be talking to you from the middle of America the next time we talk!

See ya soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy September!

 Happy September, everyone!

I was actually supposed to be on the road today heading towards Maine but yesterday ended up being a mix of a bit too much work and a bit too much trying to get everything ready to go. Last night around 11pm I finally decided that no one was forcing me to leave on Wednesday so I decided to postpone the trip for a few days until everything settles down. Once I made that decision it felt like an incredible weight was off of my shoulders and everything felt so much better.

So, I took my time and got the TK piece all colored up pretty and dropped it into the new blog header.

The coolest thing about this piece is that I based it off of a friend of mine, Tonya Kay. I've had the character in mind for years and it is based on how she looked when I first met her. Back then she had these awesome blonde dreadlocks and an amazing look that I was immediately drawn to.

I've actually had the pleasure of drawing her a few times, once as a pin-up piece and once for a logo for her personal project, "Tonya Kay's Pin-Up Pole Show." But, in the back of my mind, I always wanted to turn her into a character in the OilCan Drive world.

I did this piece with a strong image in my mind but no actual reference of her in front of me. I figured that way I was using her as inspiration and not simply copying a photo of her. I think I capture a bit more of her character and soul this way than simply copying the drawing from someone others' photo.

Before I started I drew out a few little sketches in my notebook of the character and got a good general idea of what I wanted her to be. I knew she was a mechanic who wasn't afraid to get dirty and fix things but I also wanted her to be sexy as well. I originally envisioned her in a duster jacket but I figured that would be too impractical to wear when you're on the floor getting dirty and fixing things. So, I came up with the idea of her wearing a coverall jumper that covers her figure while working and then unzips to turn into a duster able to show off her figure underneath. I had a friend with a duster and, checking it out, I think the design would actually work if it was built and worn. Maybe someday someone will make one. I personally would love to see it!

After all was said and done I went back and looked at a few old photos of Tonya and ran across these from when she was shooting a film called "Bold Native.". You can definitely see where the inspiration came from even if I didn't look at the photos while I was working.

I've sent all the process pieces and the finished piece to Tonya and she's posted them and written a great piece about me and the art on her own personal website. You can check it out HERE. I am a huge fan of hers so it's always a joy when we talk and share each others' artistic endeavors.

As for me, I will hopefully be out the door and on the road soon. While it was great to give myself a day to relax it looks like I'll still have a few more things to do before I go. But, leave I shall and I'm sure it will be a great adventure.

Have a great one everyone! Happy September!