Saturday, October 30, 2010

pushing too much

long days filled with bright brilliant moments - brain is nearly on disconnect - fumbling to attach words that formulate thought - things i currently like - Blitz with Jason Statham and London Boulevard with Colin Farrell, movies based on books by the amazing Ken Bruen - how can you not like a movie that uses the Clash's "London Calling" as it's music - the compliement on my paintings from the pizza delivery girl last night was nice - if she is reading this and would like to see more she can email me at - exhaustion and a touch of frustration

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Last Ride of The White Man

For the past 7 months I have freely roamed the night cloaked streets of Phoenix on my bike without the aid of a light. Officially this is illegal. Numerous times I have passed by the police without them batting an eye. I have spoken to other cyclists who travel at night, with lights, and they pretty much all have stories of being stopped. Of course these individuals all tend to be not of the caucasian variety or generally quite sketchy. Night after night passed, seeing many officers of the law and rarely so much as a slow down. I felt as though my travels would continue to be uninterrupted by the local constabulary. Of course all good things must come to an end. Tonight I was stopped. Less than a mile from home (my nightly ride is about 16 miles). I was advised that lights are required and the officer requested to search my bag. Everything came up clear and after briefly chatting with the officers (another had stopped to join the first) about the dangers of traffic and seedier neighborhoods I travel through, I was allowed to finish my nightly journey. It's a fun, strange world we live in, you never quite know how things will play out. I guess I'll install a light, though I truly feel safer without one

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Vertigo Obitutary?

San Diego Comicon International 2010 has come and gone. I didn't attend, haven't since 2003. The size and scale have grown into something I am just not that comfortable with. The last time I seriously looked at going was 2005 and during the few minutes I got up from my chair to chat with my wife about going, the availability of the plane ticket I was considering went away. So too did my interest in attending. It also turns out that was the first time the place sold out and the fire marshall wouldn't let anyone else in. Time and money saved. As years progressed I have quite enjoyed reading all of the online coverage. Up to the minute announcements of stories and projects and certain artists working on favorite titles. It was great, even if some of them never happened. In particular I enjoyed reading about projects from my favorite imprint, Vertigo.

With Vertigo, DC Comics published fiction that interested and entertained me. I had long grown tired of guys and girls in tights beating the shit out of each other for no useful purpose. I looked for something with a little more thought and personality. Books that reflected the interests, intelligence and integrity of the creators. Projects brought forth with a passion, not in desire of a larger royalty check, or aftermarket art sale. Or even god forbid, a movie option. Vertigo provided this, an undiluted, not mixed with rat poison and stepped on seventeen different times fix for my comic habit. I am their target audience and Vertigo has provided what I need time and time again. It's a happy little arrangement.

For the past two months Vertigo has been announcing cancellations of titles. Air, Unknown Soldier, and Greek Street. This is not an uncommon occurrence. Vertigo is a publishing house in the business of making money. If a book doesn't sell, it does get cancelled. We are all adults and this is the way the world works. This time, however, we have a difference. Vertigo has done this before, it's a cycle. Cancel a few titles, announce and launch a few new ones. Wash, rinse and repeat. Except now we seem to be stuck on rinse, as in rinse away. Vertigo has not announced an ongoing title since SDCC 2009. At SDCC 2010 their is no online mention of any new projects. The major announcements are for an anniversary issue of Fables, Vertigo's ranking powerhouse, and Hellblazer, the longest continuously running book that's been launched in the last 22 years (for the record at DC the longest continuously published under a single titles are Detective, Action, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Hellblazer). That's it. No hype for the remaining Vertigo Crime books that are in the pipeline. Or for Original graphic novels like Dark Rain, or the Dean Haspiel illustrated Cuba book. No extra push for The Green Woman by Peter Straub and painted by John Bolton. No mention of the book Janelle Jones is drawing for them that gets mentioned in her bio in the week of con release TroubleMaker (written by Janet Evanovich and published by Dark Horse, so it's going to get seen by more than a few people).

This silence is puzzling. And more than a bit concerning. Here's what I think we will be seeing in the coming two to three months.

1. The Retirement of Karen Berger. The heart and soul and driving force behind Vertigo, she is also the longest standing editor at DC. After more than 25 years it's not unexpected that she would politely step away, either by choice or request.

2. The dissolution of Vertigo as a separate label. I envision the statement going something like this - "Thoughout it's history DC has endeavored to bring a diverse and varied line of visual entertainment all under the legendary DC bullet. Not just Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but Jonah Hex, Sgt Rock, Young Romance, Camelot 3000, Watchmen, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, Atari Force and countless others. It is with great pride that we welcome Fables and Unwritten to this ever growing legacy."

3. The burn through of whatever's been commisioned and is too far past the kill fee stage. With the recent announcements for the 2 year old Sean Murphy Hellblazer mini-series and Warren Ellis's "Shoot", I think we are already starting to see this happen.

If I could see the future I doubt I would use that power to look at this particular outcome but it does look like the writings on the wall. I truly hope it does not come to pass. I have very much enjoyed Vertigo's output for the past 20 years. Vertigo has provided topflight work from creators like Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Jock, Andy Diggle, Peter Milligan, Jaime Delano, Brian Wood, Brian K. Vaughn, Marcelo Frusin, Sean Phillips, Duncan Fegrado, Josh Dysart, James Jean, Paul Pope, Lee Bermejo, Paul Jenkins, Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, Chris Bachalo, Ted McKeever, Jon J Muth, Dave McKean, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Barron Storey, Becky Cloonan, Steve Seagle, Dave Johnson, Michael Zulli, Clem Robins, Patricial Mulhvill, Todd Klein, Denys Cowan, Kent Williams, Warren Pleece, Danijel Zezelj, Jason Aaron, R.M. Guera and the list goes on and on. Brilliant and dedicated passion from each and everyone of them. And rarely do you see a useless bastard wearing spandex.

I love comics. Vertigo was created to provide a place as I grew and evolved, I do hope it continues.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

digital warmups

the inking project is complete and turned in, now i am stretching out my digital skills to prep my next endeavor

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ink textures

working on an inking project, the first i have done in a very long time. trying to find that magic with the brush again

Friday, April 2, 2010

Stuff that's in my head to write about...

..and my brain turns to tapioca and my fingers freeze, and the words don't end up on the screen. Here's a list of these ideas, maybe i'll be prompted to produce.
* Dick Giordano 1932-2010 - still really processing how much his work affected me through the years
* Watchmen 2 - the idea of any kind of sequel, prequel or spinoff creates a very volatile reaction, i want to let it settle down in to concrete thought before jumping
* Mike Benson very kindly sent me copies of his two part Batman story in Streets of Gotham #8 and 9. i feel conflicted because these comics have promising ideas but the execution leaves a whole lot to be desired - my gut tells me this is not from the creative team - make my brain tread carefully or maybe just say fuck it and write what i really think - i will reread them before i do that
* Pirates and Ninjas - working on a short piece that initial spark comes pretty easy, breaking it has been kicking my ass - writing about the failures might get me over that hump
* Superhero comic ideas that i have had over the years that i'm pretty sure i will never fucking write because the execution and my general distaste of that genre kind lock it up
* short bits about a variety of practical jokes i have played on various friends through the years - of course they might not find it funny. Also some of them are still ongoing so they might read about it and not quite get the joke

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

music makes art

occasionally i paint a figure or face - nowhere near realistic, stylized and filled with the energy and vibrancy of my abstracts- these are a couple of the ones i haven't just grabbed the white can and oblitered before packing up for the day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

lost then found

last year if went through a horrific computer crash - i lost years of digital work - all that remains are a few things posted to my photobucket, these images pulled from an old blog archive and a few things i have on cds

Design stuff

graphic design has become my passion. i've been fortunate enough to work with a lot of great friends and clients - these are some stuff from Phoenix Fashion Week, that I produced last year

texture texture texture

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Texture Tuesday

as i create, i am always looking at how to produce new and interesting textures. using my camera i can add a new factor of depth and blur into some of these flat images. i could do this in photoshop but i think the camera adds a spontaneity that you can't hit undo on

even older and something new

the wash paintings are a few years old. pushing ink around on paper always brings a smile to my face. the headshot is the reverse of a quick marker sketch on typing paper

Monday, March 22, 2010

older paintings

these are some of my older paintings, when i first started working with sprays

abstract everywhere

more images, more abstraction - keep it moving

Sunday, March 21, 2010

three paintings

these are three of my paintings. i love working abstract. it generates a very raw energy that frees my mind of all the daily clutter.

image whorery

i'm going to try and create a habit of posting something. at least an image. everyday