Wednesday, May 13, 2015

OilCan Drive Banner 2015

The newest banner design for OilCan Drive is finally done!

Even though I was down with a bad cold all of last week I knew I had to get the new banner done in time to have it printed for the Denver Comic Con coming up in less than two weeks. So, every day, sick or not, I'd work on it a little bit until it was done. I'm happy to say I'm pleased with the final results.

I built this new banner in a way that it can be split into two retractable banners and, hopefully, still line up in such a way that the image still works.

I even went so far as to do a mock up of my booth area to make sure, at least in the computer, that my idea would work. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it works as well in the real world and everything lines up and looks good. We'll see how it goes.

And, with that, everything I need to have done for Denver is done and off to the printers. I think it's the first time in the last three years that I'm not running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get stuff completed. And, if I'm being honest, that kind of makes me nervous. I'm so used to working under stress that getting things done two weeks early makes me uneasy.

But, I filled up some of my time yesterday updating parts of the OilCan Drive website. I updated the store section, changed some code to a few buttons, and added a lot of new art to the art section. You can go check out the changes to the OilCan Drive site HERE.

Okay, I am off to figure out some new stuff to do today. There is always something to be done and I never get bored. Onward and upward! I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Long Distance #2 Variant Cover

Since it has now been officially solicited I guess it's safe for me to show off the variant cover I did for my friend Thom Zahler's IDW book, "Long Distance."

I teased a few of the background images on the blog over the last few months but I thought it might be best to hold off on the final image until the book was officially out in the world and ready to be ordered.

Long Distance is a relationship and dating book and, because of this, coming up with an interesting idea for the cover wasn't the easiest thing to do. But, Thom gave me a few ideas and told me what the interior of the story covered. When he told me they went on a date to the Natural History Museum in Chicago and saw the giant T-Rex fossil there I figured that would be something pretty cool to draw.

After doing a bit of reference on the T-Rex fossil I did my best to draw his characters in my own style and called it a day. I'm really happy with the way this cover came out and I'm really enjoying reading Thom's new book.

If you'd like more information on Long Distance and all the ways you can order the newest copy you can check out its IDW page HERE.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Free Comic Book Day 2015

Saturday was Free Comic Book Day and, after having not participated in it since the first Free Comic Book Day in 2002, I packed some books up, got up early, and set up at a table at my local comic book shop, Time Warp Comics.

I showed up at 9:30am and there was already a line around the block outside. I snuck in the back door of the store and set up next to my friend, Kevin Caron. The store was set up so that, once the people were let into the store, the line would snake around the entire store, past a bunch of us attending artists, and then make it's way back to the front where all the free comic books being given away were located. So, everyone who came in the store had to come by the table where I was set up.

I took this chance to try out the new book rack I had bought for the upcoming Denver Comic Con. It folds up nicely for travel but becomes a four tiered rack where I can fit a lot of books and make them visible to people passing by. It worked really great. I also put out some extra copies of an old print run of OilCan Drive and some old copies of my first comic book, Exit 6. I gave those two books away as well as stickers, trading cards, and postcards. People really seemed to like what I was doing.

There were people in costume talking to the crowd, as you can see by the giant Galactus in the background. This guy was awesome but I don't know how much he could move around without any help. I know he was outside for a while talking to people but I mostly saw him as he leaned over a box of comics and talked to people in line. He was really funny and talked a lot to the kids.

At most comic conventions I go to now I try to sell my books, talk to people, and let them know what I'm doing. Since I've gone back to doing conventions I haven't really sat down and done sketches for people. But, on Saturday, that's all I did.

My throat was a little raw from a cold I've been fighting so I figured it might be safer drawing and sketching all day than talking and killing my voice. Plus, Kevin was sketching and it looked like a lot of fun. I borrowed some of the paper he had brought and, as people and kids came by, I'd take requests.

Most kids called out for superheroes or heroes from movies but there were a few interesting requests. My favorite was one from a guy who asked for "a space moose with a ray gun!" That one was a lot of fun to do. Another asked for The Walking Dead but, instead of a zombie, wanted a picture of Darryl. I did my best. One kid wanted a Terminator even though he had never seen any of the movies. He was still too young. But, I told him once he was old enough that the original Terminator was one of my favorite movies and I hope he likes it when he has a few more years on him.

Probably one of my favorite pieces came at the end of the day. A man with a Modok tattoo asked for my version of Modok. I loved how it came out because I drew his face like one of the characters from Evan Dorkin's Milk and Cheese. And I love Dorkin's stuff so it was a nice surprise and a good way to wrap up the day.

The final two pieces I drew were for two kids who had to leave early. But, I promised them if they emailed me their address I'd mail out their sketches to them. Tonight I need to make a run to the post office and send those pieces out.

I wish I had kept a running list of all the sketches I did. I only took a few photos as I went but there wasn't one piece I did that I wasn't proud of. Yesterday I made a list of all the pieces that I could remember. I'm sure I missed a few but, in one eight hour period, I drew over thirty pieces for people. That's not a bad hourly average and I'm really amazed at how quick I've become and how decent all of the pieces turned out. I guess I'm getting somewhere with this odd skill of mine.

Over all the day was really great and a lot of fun. I have to say a big thank you to Wayne Winsett, owner of Time Warp Comics, for inviting me to participate. I'm sure I could have gone and sat down in past years but it's nice to get a little push sometimes. All of the photos of the even I took from Jay Sternitzky's Facebook page. He has worked along with Wayne to not only put together the 24 Hour Comic Book Challenge I did last October but to also wrangle in a few artists for this event.

The crowds were great, the artists were great, and the staff of Time Warp was great. And, yes, my wife even showed up dressed as Wonder Woman. My favorite photo of her is one from out in front of the store where she greeted customers and talked to the kids. The photo of her was taken with two little girls who asked her, "are you the real Wonder Woman?" That is just too cute.

And, of course, my wife said, "yes!"

You gotta love stuff like that.

I hope everyone had a great Free Comic Book Day and I'll definitely see you all again next year!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy May!

Ack! I can't believe I actually forgot to put this up on the first of May! I guess things were so crazy getting ready for Free Comic Book Day last week and continually getting ready for the Denver Comic Con at the end of the month that it totally slipped my mind. I didn't even remember I hadn't done it until late last night.

Ah well....better late than never!

Happy May, everyone!