Shameless plug! Comikaze this weekend!

Here’s a poster that I penciled for work (inks by Mike Rote, colors by Nathan Kane, and type/design by Serban Cristescu):

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It’ll be available at the Bongo Comics booth, this weekend at Comikaze! Get ’em while they’re hot! I’ll be there on Saturday, you might catch me at the booth!

And here’s a look at some of my rough sketches that lead up to the final product:

I post this type of work-stuff on Instagram semi-regularly, so follow me if you want to see more! Do NOT follow me if you don’t want to see Instagrams of action figures, food, and cats.

What time is it? SHAMELESS PLUG TIME! (Also Adventure Time)


Whoa, take it easy, Ice King! I know, it’s shocking that I’m finally updating my blog. I am… the worst. Buuut, one of the things I was working on whilst neglecting my blog was art (pencils/inks/colors) for a 4-page story for the Adventure Time Annual! The script was by long-time crony Josh Williamson. And if I’m not mistaken, it should be in comic book stores this week!

Here’s a look at the title panel:

I’d show show you more, but this is already like 10% of the whole story. C’mon, it’s only a 4-pager, whaddaya want from me?

Make sure you pick this issue up–it is hilarious and purdy to look at, in no small part due to the inclusion of stories by Bryce Carlson, Dustin Nguyen, and Derek Fridolfs! Props to Shannon Watters for her expert editing of this excellent edition!

JASONBOT.COM starts here!

Please correct your bookmarks and readers as necessary!

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Greetings, Programs!

Welcome to my new blog, now hosted on my very own domain: JASONBOT.COM!

You will find that all of the posts from my old blog have been imported to the new site–however they have not yet been altered, which means that some links are going to redirect you to the old site. My apologies for that! Over the next several weeks (possibly months) I will be working hard to make sure that the links in every single post are updated. I’ll also be overhauling the post tags/categories, and just generally trying to class the joint up. The details aren’t important, just stick around.

For those interested in a little background–I started my old blog on New Year’s Day of 2007, with a goal of posting 2 color sketches a week. I took about 6 months off in the latter half of 2010, however, by my calculations–adjusting for the the intensified posting while I was working on the Help the Cheerleader commissions–I still averaged roughly 2 drawings per week. So, with 5 years in the can on the old blog, it seemed like a good time to begin anew.

Whether you’ve been with me since the beginning, or only just stumbled upon this blog, thank you for reading! I hope you stick around for my nerdy scribblings and my geeky ramblings.

A special thanks to Kevin Church, who I obliquely referred to in my very first blog post, and who very generously worked his magic to create a blog template (for this site) that fit my needs and wants!

Okay, that’s all for now. Regular posting should resume this Tuesday. And off we go!

Happy New Year, you nerds!

Stormy Weather

This is late, I should have posted yesterday!

If you aren’t aware of my commissions to Help the Cheerleader, then CLICK HERE.

The write ups about Help the Cheerleader have been incredibly supportive, and there have been some terribly kind things said about me, which I certainly do not deserve. However, I am grateful and shocked, to say the least. A few highlights (click to see each article):

Never did I dream that I would see a huge burst in my pageviews, and that the vast majority of the visitors would be from Ms. Magazine!

So, I have indeed started on the sketch commissions–pencilled about 23 of them so far. Nothing inked and colored yet, but I am making progress. In the meantime, here’s one of my sample sketches, Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm of the X-Men:

Back to drawing for now!

UPDATE!!! Help the Cheerleader Commissions…

So, to recap:

There’s a fundraising website called If you haven’t heard of them, please take a minute to read about their cause. The site is run by Jessica and Theresa, who work their asses off in their free time for a good cause. If you get a chance, tweet them, or drop a comment on the site to let them know what a great job they’re doing.

A few days ago, they launched a fundraising campaign offering sketch commissions (by me) in exchange for a $20 donation.

We had a limit of 20 commission slots.

On the first day, we received about 15 requests. I was relieved that people were interested!

On the second day, thanks to re-tweets by many notable geek/comics bloggers and write ups from some well-known websites, we received over 130 requests.

Let me say that again, we received 130 requests in one day.

That puts us at a total of about 145 requests (I think we’re actually closer to 150, but we’re still sorting through them). So y’know, that’s way past our cap of 20. We are truly overwhelmed and grateful for the positive response!

Let’s cut to the chase here:

We are going to honor every commission request that was submitted before the website was updated to inform people that requests were closed.

So, here’s how it’ll work:

  • As we planned, the first 20 people who made requests are going to be given information on how to make their donation.
  • Everyone else goes on a wait list. Each person will be sent an email letting them know what number they are on the list. The people on the wait list do not pay up front, and they are under no obligation–if anyone wants to be taken off the wait list, just email us. No pressure, and no hard feelings.
  • After I finish the first 20 commissions, we will email the next 15 people on the wait list to let them know that they’re up, and give them information on how to make their donation, and I will begin on their commissions.
  • After I finish those 15 commissions, we will email the next 15 people, and so on.
  • I will be posting commissions here on my blog as I finish them, so you can get an idea of how long you might have to wait if you’re #142 on the list.
  • Please bear with us while we get this thing running smoothly. We just need to sort through all the requests/donations and then I’ll be off to the races. I’m chomping at the bit to get started. This really unintentionally turned into a race horse analogy.

So there you have it.

Lastly, I just want to say a few words of thanks:

To everyone who requested a sketch (even if you didn’t make it before we cut off requests), thank you for your generosity and compassion. This nerdy misanthrope is relieved to know that there are some good people in this world.

If you tweeted about this, re-tweeted it, emailed it to somebody, linked it in IM to a friend, blogged about it, re-blogged it, tumbled it, re-tumbled it, hell, if you opened up your window and hollered about it to someone passing by on the street, then I love you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is so hard to get the word out on a good cause, but you folks made it easy.

Here are some of the notable articles and mentions:

If you wrote an article about this fundraiser and don’t see it in the links, please leave a comment with a link! I will add it to the list.

Message and thanks regarding my commissions to Help The Cheerleader

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read this post.

FIRST, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Huge thanks and big props to Jessica and Theresa of the LXL (AKA, the League of Extraordinary Ladies) who are managing the site and the fundraising for the Help the Cheerleader campaign. And a special thanks to LXL member Jenn, who facilitated my introduction to Jessica and Theresa.

I totally forgot to mention all that in my last blog post, which I apologize for. Jessica and Theresa were fundraising long before I ever approached them with my idea, and without them, none of this would be possible. They’re doing an amazing job, so please shoot them a tweet, or drop a comment on the LXL site to let them know that!

SECOND: The first day of commission requests went great! As of 8:30pm, we had received 14 requests! Requests are being processed, and I will start drawing ASAP! Check back here for updates, I will be posting commissions as I finish them.

IN SUMMARY: Thanks again to Jessica, Theresa, Jenn, and the LXL. Thanks to all my friends on Twitter and Facebook who helped spread the word on this. Thanks to all the strangers on Twitter and Facebook who helped spread the word. And a BIG THANKS to the people who have requested commissions so far!

HEY! Commission a sketch from me for a good cause: HELP THE CHEERLEADER

If you just want to get right to the specifics of the commissions, CLICK HERE.

The cause that I’m raising money for is

From the site:

A Silsbee High School cheerleader took her school to court when they kicked her off the squad for refusing to cheer her own rapist.

The week of May 5, 2011 the Supreme Court refused to hear the case and is requiring her family pay the school $45,000 in legal fees.

We want to help – and we want to give you the opportunity to help too.

The less I say about it, the better, cause if I start talking about it, I’m just gonna get mad. Suffice it to say, this is utterly unacceptable, and if we can help, we should.

So for $20 bucks, you get a full color sketch from me and you help a good cause! And if you don’t want a sketch from me, you can still donate to the site, that’s cool too! Either way, please spread the word! Thank you!

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UPDATE!!! Please click this to read more!

Step by step and day by day (that’s two ABC TGIF references in a row–I promise this won’t become a trend!)

(EDIT, 01/20/2011: for those who are interested, I’ve compiled this step-by-step walkthrough into a single huge image file–you can get it on my DeviantArt account here)

I talk a decent amount about my artistic process on this blog, but I don’t think I’ve ever really given you, Dear Reader, an actual step-by-step glimpse at what my process looks like. So I thought today it would be nice to take a look at how a finished drawing by J.Ho comes together. Let’s get right into it…

* * *

STAGE ZERO: The assignment and the character.

The “assignment” in this case was not a blog post (although it has become, a blog post), but rather a cover illustration for a book. My old crony Charles produces an e-zine of speculative fiction called If-E-Zine (pronounced Iffy Zine). He was planning to compile some of his work into a book, and I offered my services for the cover.

The cover was to feature the e-zine’s mascot and sometimes ‘host,’ Iffy the Ifreet, a horn-mohawked, skull-faced demon, garbed in leather, chains and spikes (very metal). Charles has dressed as Iffy for Halloween a few times (link, link, link), but always with a slightly different appearance, so I was given free reign to come up with a unique character design, as long as I met the basic criteria.

STAGE ONE: Basic concept for character design, and rough thumbnail for pose.

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At this stage I’m just loosely sketching Iffy, figuring out what he’s going to look like. Combining my favorite aspects of Charles’ past Iffy Halloween appearances, I’m able to decide on the proportions of Iffy’s face, and the configuration of his horns. I sketch him with a powerful build, and very quickly I stumble upon what will become Iffy’s pose for the final illustration–Iffy will be a menacing figure, stalking towards us, with a dangerous warhammer hefted over one shoulder, and a hand aglow with mystic fire.

I start working on some of the details of his costume and his weapon’s design, but before I get any further, I send what I have to Charles, to make sure he likes where it’s headed. He gives me the go ahead and I move forward…

STAGE TWO: Working out costume details.

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A character like Iffy should have a costume that isn’t to symmetrical, but on the other hand, you want the elements to feel balanced so that no one area feels too busy or too bare. One of the changes I make here is to change the barbed wire to razor wire for a more streamlined visual read.

STAGE THREE: Rough cover layout.

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Not much to see here–I just take the rough pose that I’ve come up with, and put it in a template matching the dimensions for the cover, so that I can figure out how the type will match up with the illustration.

STAGE FOUR: Color study.

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Now I’m ready to start the actual drawing… but not really. I’m planning on a very particular backlit color scheme, and I feel the need to do a quick color study over the rough cover layout. This piece isn’t crazy-involved, but I want to make sure that what I’ve got in my head (in terms of layout, type placement, and color) will actually work out on paper. Once I’m satisfied with it, I clear it with Charles, and start drawing…

STAGE FIVE: Loose pencils.

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This probably seems like a complex step, but once the costume details and pose are set, fleshing out the drawing is relatively straightforward. If you look carefully, you can see that I’m contemplating a flame pattern emblazoned on Iffy’s coat, but I’m not crazy about how it’s looking. Charles decides the flames on the coat are too busy, so the final version won’t have them.

When I’m inking my own work, it’s usually unnecessary to tighten the pencils further than this, so I leave it as is and move on to the final inks…

STAGE SIX: Type treatment + final line-art in layout.

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When I finish the final inks, I scan them, clean them up in Photoshop, and place them in the rough cover layout. Charles wants a retro-horror-looking title font, so I research some, and hand-draw a treatment for the title. I place that in the rough cover layout as well, and now we’ve really got an idea of how the final piece is going to look.


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I might have mentioned never shut up about what a slow colorist I am, so for me, this step is particularly time consuming. Someday I’ll make a step-by-step post about my coloring process, which is a whole thing unto itself, but for now I’ll just give you the basics.

Usually I just start slopping some colors around to nail down my color choices. Once I’ve got that figured out, I clean everything up. To keep things flexible for revisions, I tend to keep like-colors in separate layers, and give lighting effects (like the green flame and green highlights) their own layer as well. Color-wise, the important thing with this piece is the dramatic lighting created by the backlight and the green flame, so that’s my focus as I bring this illustration to a close.

Charles is happy with what I’ve done, so that means the illustration is finished, and I just need to finalize the cover layout…

STAGE EIGHT (FINAL): The result.

Charles gives me a template for the cover, as well as all the pertinent copy for the front and back covers. I make a blown-up, faded, monochromatic version of Iffy to use as a design element for the back cover, and insert that, along with all the copy. Behold, the final result:

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You would like to buy a copy, yes?

Big thanks to Brian Warmoth and Comics Alliance! And an apology for my terrible timing!

Brian Warmoth wrote a very generous article about this very blog over at Comics Alliance, which came completely out of the blue!

Please check out both Comics Alliance and Brian Warmoth’s personal blog:

I cannot thank Brian Warmoth and Comics Alliance enough for putting my art in front of so many viewers. But I will try: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

However, this means that I have chosen a terrible time to put the blog on hiatus, which I apologize for. Unfortunately current circumstances are what they are, so I’ll still need a bit of a break. Rest assured, that with encouragement like this, I will definitely be back sooner rather than later. See you soon, folks!

Worlds Collide!

For today’s post, I’m offering up a rare crossover betwen my day job and my blog.

In the past, I’ve mentioned a few times that I work for Bongo Comics, publishers of a variety of Simpsons and Futurama comic books and collections. Well, last Wednesday, this gem finally hit stores:

This deluxe collected edition features both Simpsons/Futurama Crossovers, which were written by the very talented Ian Boothby, and pencilled by the equally talented James Lloyd. The hardcover book measures 7.5 x 11 inches (larger than standard comic dimensions), clocks in at 208 pages, and comes in a robust die-cut slipcase. It retails for $24.95, which is already a great value, but can be found for a significant discount from the usual online book-sellers. Please check the book out–it’s very funny, smartly written, gorgeously illustrated, and (I say this as a fan, not an employee), it’s truly one of my favorite Bongo stories of all time.

This new collection has some bonus materials, including some great preliminary sketches and character designs from James Lloyd’s sketchbook, and a pin-up gallery featuring Alex Ross, Sergio Aragonés, Geof Darrow, Kyle Baker, Glenn Fabry, Tone Rodriguez, Peter Kuper, Ty Templeton, Bernie Wrightson, and more. Well, somehow, there’s also a pin-up in there by a total unknown, AKA yours truly. If I may present today’s post, my pin-up, titled, Cosmic Brouhaha:

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(Apologies for the watermark)

I’ve been at Bongo for well over a decade (basically my entire adult life), so this piece has a great deal of personal significance, as I feel like it represents my growth both on and off the job. This pin-up really gave me a chance to stretch my wings, and I think it’s my most ambitious color piece to date. Stylistically, I chose to keep the characters relatively on-model, but in terms of the general crowded cross-overy energy of it, I did my best to channel George Pérez. Overall, I really had a blast with this!

MMO Tuesdays (Part 3 of 4)

As promised, here’s an MMO villain–Doctor Destroyer from Champions Online:

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I have no idea why the good Doctor’s character design so closely resembles that of Doctor Fate. You’ll have to take that up with the creators of Champions. I also have no idea why my drawing turned out so meh and stiff. That is strictly my fault. I think the colors turned out decently though. Gold is shiny.


OH HEY–don’t forget to go to your local comic book store tomorrow and pick up the new JLA 80-page giant, which includes stories written by my pals Josh and Derek! Click on the pic below for details… DO EET!


I’ve mentioned Nathan‘s Boris the Raccoon previously. Starting this Saturday (August 15th), some Boris customs will be on display (and for sale!) at the Black Maria Gallery. The show runs through September 5th, but if you aren’t local, don’t forget that you can still purchase a normal Boris from the U1 Toy Arts website.

Not sure if you should buy Boris? Well, he looks great standing on your window sill while you’re away:

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And he looks great hanging out with ol’ Bone-Brain, whilst planning some kind of mischief and/or mayhem:

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I know what you’re all asking yourselves…

“Hey Jason, what would it look like if you drew Boris looking somewhat aggro with an arbitrarily-added orange light source?”

Here is your answer:

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I had a lot of fun with this–it’s always interesting to do a take on a very stylized character and see if you can walk the line between keeping recognizability and adding your own style. And the basic color scheme on Boris made it easier to play around with adding the random extra light source. Now go buy yourself a Boris!

Let Us Pray…

This week, Comic-Con will descend upon us once more. Let us pray that last year’s… incident… will not be repeated.

If you’re heading down to Comic-Con, please be sure to visit:

  • Josh and Vinny signing daily @ Image Comics. Booth 2729.
  • Dustin and Derek, who both have tables in Artist’s Alley. Table FF-04 and Table KK-08, respectively.
  • Karen, Sherri, and Jodi @ the Tired Girl Collective in small press. As mentioned in my previous post, they are also hosting Nathan and his new toy Boris the Raccoon. Even though neither Nathan nor Boris are tired girls. Or are they? Table M07.

BONUS POST: Boris the Raccoon! Now Available!

I only mentioned it in passing, but Nathan‘s new designer toy, Boris the Raccoon, has been getting a decent amount of coverage:

Yesterday, in a rare excursion into the outside world, I attended the official launch party for Boris at Meltdown Comics. Vinyl Pulse has posted coverage here. Err… I mean coverage of the launch party, not of my attendence thereof.

Here’s a picture of the Boris that I purchased, now integrated into my menagerie of desktop toys!

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Also pictured: Shia Lebouf, Optimus Prime, G2 Sideswipe, Wreck-Gar, Mer-Man, Slash, and my Wacom tablet.

Boris is created by Nathan Hamill, sculpted by David Kawano, and produced by U1 Toy Arts. He’s available for purchase at the U1 Toy Arts website, and will be sold at Comic-Con at the Tired Girl Collective table in small press (Table M07). More Comic-Con plugs in my next post.

Plug Time!

Well, it seems the prolific young Joshua has become very difficult to keep up with recently–last week the third and final issue of his series Overlook hit stores.

Overlook is a gritty noir tale for mature readers written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Ale Aragon. The cover for #3 (below, left) is drawn by Ale with colors by Jacob Glaser. All three issues are available now (covers for #1 and #2 are shown below, right).

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And what’s this? DC comics is soliciting a Justice League of America 80-Page Giant which includes a story written by the same Joshua Williamson? And it also features a story written by yet another pal, Derek Fridolfs? And it’s on sale September 30th, for $5.99?

Excellent work gentlemen–can’t wait to read it!

Star Wars Lite (1 of 6): That little droid and I have been through a lot together

Plug first, sketch second–you all know my crony/chum Hammers, right? He’s better known to the world as Nathan Hamill, and he’s been interviewed on regarding his participation in the most recent series of Star Wars Galaxies trading cards. Click HERE to read it.

Notably, the article mentions a non-Star Wars item–Nathan’s upcoming foray into designer toys, with a bad-ass vinyl racoon. You read correctly, a bad-ass vinyl racoon.

And as an unintentional coincidence, I’ve prepared a series of Star Wars sketches for the next few weeks. Here’s R2-D2:

You can imagine what might be coming up in the ensuing weeks. And if Star Wars isn’t your cup of tea, you philistine, stay tuned for more Street Fighter and He-Man after I wrap these up.

Semi-Related Topics: Johnny Monster and the New York Comic Con

At the peak of my vile plague I was barely blogging and missed out on telling you all that Johnny Monster #2 was solicited. And now Johnny Monster #3 is available for order in the current issue of Previews.

Johnny Monster #3 (of 3)
Story by Joshua Williamson
Art and Cover by J.C. Grande
32 pages FC $3.50 April 15

The peaceful habitat Johnny Monster created for the monsters has been invaded by violent mercenaries causing utter chaos! As a result, the largest monster the world has ever seen has been unleashed on New York City on a quest for revenge! Only Johnny can stop him… but does he want to? Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to this monster-ous mini-series!

Check out the covers to both #2 and #3, drawn by the talented J.C. Grande and colored by yours truly:

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Be sure to ask your local comic shop to order Johnny Monster #3! It’s on page 170 of February’s Previews catalog, and the Diamond order number is FEB09 2437.

Annnnnd, if you happen to be attending the New York Comic Con, be sure to drop by and visit Josh Williamson (writer of Johnny Monster, Dear Dracula, and Necessary Evil) and Vinny Navarrete (Dear Dracula penciller, Necessary Evil inker, and Johnny Monster logo designer). Those young ruffians wil be sitting with Shadowline at the Image Comics booth.

Post Script: Make sure you check out the Shadowline website, which has a cool Johnny Monster animation at the top of the page.

BONUS POST: Johnny Monster Cometh!!!

Well, what have we here… the current issue of Previews… under Image Comics and Shadowline

Johnny Monster #1 (of 3)
Story by Joshua Williamson
Art and Cover by J.C. Grande
32 pages FC $3.50 February 18

Johnny Monster is the world’s foremost super-star monster hunter, but what the world doesn’t know is that he was raised by the same monsters he’s “hunting”! Now, in order to save his adoptive family…he must fight them! Johnny Monster mixes Tom Strong with Godzilla movies by way of Tarzan and the Phantom to create a compelling and different monster mash! From the acclaimed writer of Dear Dracula and Necessary Evil!

Another offering from my crony Josh, with art by a new collaborator, the talented J.C. Grande! Johnny Monster promises to be a really fun comic, but let’s face, what I’m interested in is ME ME ME. Josh asked me to color the covers for Johnny Monster, and it was really the first time I colored someone else’s art. It was an interesting experience, and I’m pretty happy with the results. Here are J.C.’s bare inks, alongside the finished cover, with my colors, and a very slick logo by Vinny:

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Be sure to ask your local comic shop to order Johnny Monster #1! It’s on page 168 of December’s Previews catalog, and the Diamond order number is DEC08 2275.