Most of the work I do on commission is illustration, but occasionally a client who knows about my comics will hire me to draw a strip for publication. This strip for The Portland Monthly was the client’s concept all the way, and if the result looks unusually stiff, it’s because I was dealing with a sport I know nothing about- basketball- and an athlete I’d never heard of- Rasheed Wallace ( I believe he used to play for a team called the Trailblazers). With the thorny matter of race added to the mix, I wasn’t about to attempt anything too caricatural. Basically this piece is a straight photocollage with a light layer of drawing- using photographs I found of Wallace online, I put together a layout with added captions and balloons in Indesign, then used Photoshop to convert it to a dithered dot pattern which I printed onto coquille board and then pencilled over.
Continue reading Comics For Hire #1: A Fresh Start.
I don’t have all that much to say about last weekend’s Stumptown Comics Fest because l didn’t do much beyond sitting at my table and selling books- I didn’t attend any panels or go to any after-parties. Instead, l enjoyed the spring weather and the unusual luxury of being able to walk home from a con instead of to a hotel room. I sat, l doodled, l made money- kind of like a night watchman’s job.
Continue reading Stumptown Report
This weekend l will be making my only convention appearance of the year at Stumptown Comics Fest here in Portland. I wasn’t able to get any new material together in time, but l will have all my books for sale; l will also make myself available for perspective consults. I’ll be taking donations as well for the S. Clay Wilson Special Needs Trust– if anyone’s on the fence about contributing to this worthy cause, they can preview the original art for the 24 hour comic I drew, a copy of which comes with your donation (I just haven’t finished scanning the art yet).
Continue reading Stumptown Preview
More words slung around about S.Clay Wilson, 24 hour comics and keyhole eyes in this interview at Michael Aushenker’s site, Cartoon Flophouse.
The Spring 2009 Drawpocalypse is now history, and I’m catching up on my sleep. As people following this blog are well aware, l decided to make my own 24 hour comic a benefit for ailing comix legend S. Clay Wilson’s medical expenses, and six other artists at the event decided to join me: Kevin Cross, Joshua Kemble, Mike Getsiv, Tony Morgan, Josh Fitz and Ben Sarnoff. I’m still toting up my own pledges, but I think it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand dollars. For those who are interested in pledging, it’s not too late: I produced 24 pages on the nose, so pledges can be some multiple of that, like, say, $240, $480, $2400… All checks should be made out to to the S. Clay Wilson Special Needs Trust and sent to PO Box 14854 San Francisco CA 94114, or you can visit their site: www.sclaywilsontrust.com. In response to numerous requests they now have a Paypal account to take contributions online. Not tax deductible, but you do get a signed minicomic of the story I drew, which l have no plans to make available in any other way.
Continue reading Drawpocalypse Postmortem
I’ve been meaning to get Anapest strips up more often, but life intervened, not to mention paying jobs. Anyway, the long wait is over and there’s a new strip for your enjoyment on my comics page. For this one I’ve strung together lines from disparate songs which just happen to form rhyming couplets in an anapestic cadence (sorry if the type is a little tiny; here’s the text: So listen up Buster and listen up good/Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood/ If one of those bottles should happen to fall/ Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall/She once swept an admiral clear off his feet/And the rhythm of life is a powerful beat!) I have been wasting more of my precious time on this earth than I care to admit lately running lines from songs in my head to see if they fit that Dr. Seuss meter (da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM). Some songs, like Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and The Lady Is A Tramp, have nearly all their lines in anapest; others have just one or two. Here’s a collection of random lyrics that all just happen to rhyme: Continue reading Anapest: The Mashup.
Comics fans have lately had distressing news about underground legend S. Clay Wilson, best known as one of the original Zap Comix artists. Last November Wilson suffered a severe brain injury after attending the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. He spent a week in intensive care and faces a long recovery. Although he is not as well known as some of the other pioneer undergrounders like R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman, Wilson looms large in my own artistic development,. Despite its dangers (flying beer bottles, venomous snakes, penis-shaped cannons) Wilson’s world was in many ways a friendlier mirror to the one I navigated as an adolescent growing up in 70’s countercultural Portland- like mine, it was full of shaggy drunks and spiky lesbians in leather- (though in contrast to the real-life lesbians I knew who fully embraced the man-hating, buzz-cut stereotype, Wilson’s dykes were no more menacing than the biker gang in Frankie and Annette movies.) Continue reading Calling All Checkered Demons.
Last Monday l took the kids for an outing with another family to Oaks Park, the local roller rink I used to skate at back when I was a teenager. l hadn’t been skating in years,and I figured it was about time for the kids to learn- Rebecca is already pretty good on ice skates. My accident happened when I decided to take a break from circling the rink and get a drink. Decelerating as I went from the wood rink to the carpeted outer area, I heard a pop and stumbled- I thought somehow the shoe had broken until an Oaks employee pointed out my broken shin and asked if I wanted someone to call 911(Please disregard any rumors you may have heard that my broken leg resulted from a rinkside run-in with Tonya Harding).. Eve has done research and tells me this injury happens to a lot of guys like me- that is, middle-aged hotdogs with an old man’s brittle bones- though it usually results from something more macho like a football tackle or a motorcycle crash. At least my downfall didn’t happen to cheesy organ music- the rink has switched to nonstop oldies.
l was taken by ambulance to Legacy Emanuel, where I received excellent care, had surgery the next day and got home the day before Thanksgiving. I had hoped to get some comics drawn during my hospital stay but I was on heavy medication and mostly took naps.This was all I could manage:
I just uploaded eight of my Palm Pilot comics to my page at Comics Lifestyle. This is a series of little autobiographical and dream strips I drew between 2004 and 2006 using the Notepad application on a Palm Zire 71. I still have the device, and in fact I am scribbling this paragraph on it in the Memo Pad application, but eventually I quit drawing the strips because the software’s limitations were wearing on me- the 1×3 window limits the number of frames to no more than three. and the combination of the application’s low resolution with the device’s clumsy stylus makes it difficult to get either fine detail or legible lettering.
What the software is best at is stipple, and I did do some decent drawings in it given the limitations. John Weeks was displaying the strips on his site for a while, and a techie friend managed to get them to display on his cell phone, and told me they looked really good there, making me feel very 21st Century. Still, I have never really warmed up to drawing using a computer or any electronic device.
The bulk of my artwork is created on paper using fossil technology like ink and brushes- which I then scan into Photoshop and beam worldwide.