Thursday, June 16, 2011


Back in 2006, Len Strazewski contacted myself, Andrew PepoyScott Beaderstadt, and others to draw stories for an anthology of stories that he wrote. I ended up drawing 2 stories, which have become 3 with at least one more on it's way.

The first story I drew was called True Colors and told the tale of a modern day psychic and business man who had stopped world domination when they were children. They come together again because the threat they thought they had stopped as kids has resurfaced.

After getting the letters back, I started the final step in the process- the colors:

For the dream/flashback sequence I chose to use simpler colors on the figures, not only because of the nature of the scene but also because the characters were children and comics for kids usually have more flat colors than sculpted/ modeled colors. This helps convey the innocence of the characters while the more detailed background colors convey the danger and the adult nature of their predicament. 

This is the final blog entry for True Colors, but there are more stories from this particular project coming soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Over the course of the past six weeks I've been pretty busy. I was fortunate enough to draw a wonderful Miss Masque story for AC Comics, written by David Watkins. In addition to that, I've been working on a project for Moonstine Books. Moonstone publishes great titles like Buckaroo Banzai, Captain Action, The Phantom,  Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and Honey West. They specialize in mysteries, thrillers and pulp heroes. The story I got to work on for them was Simon Templar, The Saint.

The Saint started as a book series in 1928, created by Leslie Charteris. 

The character had his own radio show- the longest incarnation starred Vincent Price, 

movie serials, 

television show- starring Roger Moore, 

and a big budget movie starring Val Kilmer.

The version that we are doing is the original - 1930's London. But who is The Saint? Here's how Moonstone describes the character:

The Saint is an adventurer, but a gentleman above all else. He reads the paper, eager to find a cause exciting to involve himself in. His moral code is strong, and is motives are also good: he would never hurt, steal from, or kill anyone who doesn't completely deserve it. The Saint is the Robin Hood of modern crime: he robs from the evil and heartless rich, and gives to the wronged and deserving poor--in the process, keeping a percentage for his own expenses. He doesn't work for the law, the government, or anyone else. He is a lone wolf, but he doesn't hesitate to team up or collaborate with anyone, including official agencies, when the need arises. He is also a romantic who believes in the excitement of living.

Very little is known about Simon Templar's background, or how he became the Saint. If his origin and circumstances of his youth seem to be shrouded in mystery, it is because he chooses not to reveal it. He has a great sense of humor as well as a great zest for life. He is well-to-do, well dressed, drives fast cars, goes to the best places with the most attractive girls, all without any visible means of support.
The police, particularly Chief Inspector Claud Eustace Teal, have their own ideas about the sources of his apparent wealth and for years have been unsuccessfully trying to prove it.
But behind the Saint's sophisticated facade there is a very different man.
Had he lived in the Middle Ages you would see him as a knight in shining amour--a Sir Lancelot, a Robin Hood, a Don Juan, or in the great western tradition, a one man vigilante.
His enemy is not so much crime, but injustice. His impetus, the plight of the innocent soul in need of a patron Saint.
In achieving his objectives he can be cold, hard and always independent. Behind the casual banter there is always the aura of a coiled spring. Hating violence, he will not only turn the other cheek he will turn it so fast that all you are going to hit is the wall you thought he was up against.
Simon Templar faces doom with a cavalier disdain. Yet this is not to say he isn't in constant jeopardy. For if he moves in dangerous places and is himself, the most dangerous of men, he is nonetheless only a man. Mortal.

The Saint comic is written by Mel Odom and will be published by Moonstone Books. More information on the character's history can be found HERE, and the comic HERE.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


One of the hardest things to accomplish on a static page is telling a story with a series of pictures. It's not as easy as it sounds, especially when dealing with a set number of panels and things happening within the panel. There are other mediums in which stories are told in as pictorial manner, like children's storybooks. When I was first learning, I didn't look at anything illustrated, rather I looked at movies and TV shows.

Comic books and movies/ television shows have a lot in common. They both use pictures to tell stories. My first attempt to learn storytelling from movies was to sit down with a movie and a pad of paper. I would then pause the movie at each new camera angle and do a quick sketch.

These little storyboards are from the beginning of the 1987 film The Untouchables

Although doing something like this is a good way to learn how to compose a scene, it is important to remember that movies and comics, while close ( my film teacher at Loyola called them "cousins") are NOT the same. In films, the movement happens within the screen while in comics the artist has to create the movement. This happens not only by what happens in a panel, but also by the way the panels are placed on a page.

This is a page from the second Stormy Tempest story appearing in Femforce #154 by AC Comics. As you can see, there's a lot of movement taking place, even though it's a flat piece with no physical movement.

There are many things that can be learned from watching movies. For example, if you take a look at this scene from the 1946 film It's A Wonderful Life, you'll see that  the camera is positioned so that it shoots through the pharmacy shelves, creating depth within the environment:

When a director does something like this, he/she makes what could be a boring scene visually more exciting. 

This is a panel from a project that I am working on. As you can see I have tried to emulate the camera angle shooting through an environment.

Comic book artists are basically movie directors. We just don't have the benefit of sound, music and movement. Our job is to create those aspects successfully in whatever way we can and be able to tell a story at the same time.