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!

I ate 23 tacos in the past week…

Not all at once, but over the course of 6 meals. Here’s the breakdown:

Tuesday (lunch@ Tacos Por favor):

  • 1 carne asada taco
  • 2 chorizo and cheese tacos
  • 1 chicken taquito
  • Tuesday (dinner@ Tito’s Tacos):

  • 5 beef tacos
  • Wednesday (lunch@ Tacos Por favor):

  • 1 carne asada taco
  • 2 chorizo and cheese tacos
  • 1 beef taquito
  • Thursday (dinner@ Tito’s Tacos):

  • 4 beef tacos
  • 1 bean/beef/cheese burrito
  • Saturday (lunch@ Coppelia’s Bakery & Cafe):

  • 2 beef tacos (soft)
  • 2 chicken tacos (soft)
  • 2 chicken empanadas
  • 1 slice of tres leches cake
  • Sunday (lunch@ Coppelia’s Bakery & Cafe):

  • 4 beef tacos (soft)
  • 1 beef empanada
  • 2 beef flautas
  • 1 slice of tres leches cake
  • In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I highly recommend both Tacos Por Favor, Tito’s Tacos, and Coppelia’s to anyone living in the Los Angeles area.

    Even while I was painting this piece in Photoshop, I was still desperately craving tacos. I decided that 23 was probably a good place to stop for the moment, and instead just dreamed of tacos while eating yogurt and granola. This piece took me about an hour.

    ME WANT FOOD!

    Let’s get soot-faced

    I’m continuing to build a generic archetypical noir cast. Here’s a soot-faced street urchin:

    I feel like my paints got too fussy on this one, not enough bold strokes. And the contrast stinks! Also it was meant to be less dingy and a bit more green. Oh well…

    I’m not sure if I’m going to do more of these–we’ll see if the weekend washes me back to nerdy shores, or if I continue on this path a bit longer.

    Not an egg…

    … but hardboiled nonetheless. Just a little practice painting (in Photoshop) of a random, nameless, sardonic private detective. Probably a tangential subconscious sideffect of borrowing The Thin Man (both the book and the movie) from Ren:

    I feel like I might be a little burnt out on my usual fan-art fare? I still have an unlimited number of pieces that I want to draw and post, but I just can’t seem to get it together these days… maybe a few more of these painting exercises will do me good. We’ll see–my muse is capricious! I call her Blogonia.

    ._.

    She-nobi

    Josh and I were chatting over the internets through the miracle of modern technology, and I drew this kunoichi with a program built into the IM program:

    I added the type in Photoshop, naturally. I admit, this post is at least partially motivated by laziness… but on the other hand, I am genuinely happy with how this doodle came out. It’s nice to bust out something spontaneous and simple every now and then, without all the planning, nerdy research, and pointless attempts at perfectionism.

    Fascinating.

    Let it never be said that I can’t admit when I’m wrong. And yes, that was a double negative.

    A year ago, if you had asked me about the-then-upcoming Star Trek movie, I would have said, “Why bother? End the franchise, it’s over.” Star Trek had been dying slowly for years, and I was not a fan of Alias or Lost, and therefore not a fan of J.J. Abrams.

    Well, I watched Star Trek over the weekend–it was good, and the franchise is back. Not only was I wrong, I’m glad that I was wrong. Mr. Abrams you now have not only critical and financial success, but also the respect of this nerd. I’m sure that must mean the world to you.

    Here’s Spock:

    click above for larger view

    I may have enjoyed the new movie, but just to be clear, this is Leonard, not Zachary. Or Spock Prime as they’re now calling him.

    Not So Secret

    He’s the least secret of all secret characters, but he’s still bad-ass. From the Street Fighter franchise, Akuma!

    click above for larger view

    Akuma’s greying temples are seen in some of the offical art from Street Fighter III, but generally are not standard. I decided to include them, because I like the idea of this being the most ‘current’ version of Akuma, relative to his imaginary age. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore. Bedtime!

    FOR RENT: tower of untold mystical might, 2000 bed + 2000 bath, spacious, Battle Cats okay, street parking.

    Drawn for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here, and my post is here. The voting thread is here

    The subject this time around is an environment–the Three Towers of the Eternia Playset. It’s probably a safe guess that the Three Towers were an attempt to one up Tolkien. I however, found myself short of time, and was only able to draw up one of the three–here’s the Central Tower of Eternia:

    click above for larger view

    The subtitle comes from the He-Man mini-comic about the Three Towers.

    Landscapes and environments are not my strong point, so this was a good exercise. My take on the Central Tower is an attempt to ground the playset in ‘reality.’ The griffin statues were gold on the original toy, but I gave made them less eye-catching in my version to avoid drawing attention away from the Guard Lion, who really is the main attraction here. I tried to create a sense of the epic size of this thing… to give you a better idea of what I had in mind–ten adults could stand comfortably abreast in each of the windows located near the top of the tower.

    By the way, does anyone else think the Central Tower must be cousins with the Cave of Wonders from Disney’s Aladdin?

    No Apologies

    THIS IS A SPOILER ZONE FOR TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED… YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    I claim to be such a huge Transformers nerd, and yet I don’t believe I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy Transformers Animated–I’m caught up on season three, which has been amazing. Both the series and the toyline are easily amongst the best incarnations of the franchise since Generation One (for anybody keeping score, I do enjoy the two most controversial incarnations of the series–Beast Wars and the live action movie). Transformers Animated has introduced a fresh asthetic, invigorating a franchise that was in danger of stagnating. The new, cartoony look is largely the doing of Derrick Wyatt, who’s quickly becoming one of my favorite character designers. The asthetic has been translated into the toy line masterfully by the team at Hasbro, and provides a great visual counterpoint to the gritty realistic look of the Transformers live action movie(s). It is a good time to be a Transformers geek.

    Today’s post features the Autobots’ half human, half-Cybertronian sidekick, Sari Sumdac:

    click above for larger view

    I elected to draw Sari in my own style, because I think it would be foolish to try and out-Wyatt Derrick Wyatt. Sari is depicted in her powered-up teenage form from season three, though I did take some minor liberties with her costume. I tried to make this one a bit more dynamic, since I know static-ness is an on-going poblem with my art. Sari’s costume makes her look like a RAcaseal from Phantasy Star Online, which is definitely a good thing.

    • Please check out the fantastic blog of Derrick Wyatt, bad-ass character designer, and genuine Transformers fan: A Delightful Tedium

    What the what?

    Question 1: Is this the dumbest thing I’ve ever posted? Probably.

    Question 2: Is this the nerdiest thing I’ve ever posted? Almost certainly, but I have every intention of trying to continually out-nerd myself.

    Question 3: In spite of being both dumb and uber-nerdy, is this also the most awesome thing I’ve ever posted? I think so, yes.

    For reasons unfathomable even to myself, here is Darth Vader, if he were an Alpha Lantern of the Sinestro Corps:

    click above for larger view

    If you’re still reading, you’re probably still asking yourself, why? Well, I’ve been enjoying Green Lantern since the Sinestro Corps War, and I really like the idea of the Sinestro Corps having high-profile members like Superboy Prime, Mongul II, and Hank Henshaw. So my naturally nerdy brain was scanning its archives for other characters capable of instilling great fear, and since I had already crossed over Star Wars with the Green Lantern mythos, once or twice–I came up with Darth Vader.

    Before you protest–yes, I’m aware that this concept wouldn’t really work in the continuity of either Star Wars or the DC Universe due to the fact that Darth Vader died a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… long before the Sinestro Corps had ever been formed. If I had to come up with an explanation, I would say that the ghost of Anakin Skywalker was psychically controlled/driven insane by Parallax, and had regressed into the psyche of Vader once more. With his spirit trapped in the hollow shell of his suit of armor, and powered by a yellow power battery, Darth Vader is now forced to serve the Sinestro Corps as perhaps their most powerful enforcer.

    It had occurred to me that Vader could have made a good Red or Black Lantern. However, I’m not so into the Red Lanterns, and I’m not entirely sure how the mechanics of the Black Lanterns work. Overall, I find the fear-based Sinestro Corps to be more compelling.

    The really scary thing is that these hyper-nerdy thought-processes basically all occur without conscious effort. I’m just walking around doing normal things, like drinking Vitamin Water and playing with Legos. Meanwhile my brain is running these dorky match-ups between continuities in the background, and I’m only aware of them in a vague semi-conscious manner. BAM, next thing I know, I’m drawing Darth Vader with a yellow lantern embedded in his chest. It’s a blessing and a curse, people. A blessing and a curse.

    Say it with me…

    IT’S CLOBBERIN TIME!!! Here’s the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing, the Fantastic Four‘s cantankerous, yet endearing tank:

    My year has so far been filled with plenty of travel (not bad) and illness (not good)–I’m feeling fine now (with no further travel on the horizon), but I’m still playing catch-up. So, tonight’s post is a quick exercise in the rare (for me) traditional media. I sketched it in red and brown color pencil, colored it in marker, then went over the lines again with color pencil, and finally added some highlights with a white color pencil. Scanned it, managed to adjust it to match the original pretty closely, and here we are.

    Any real understanding I have of color theory has been picked up while working in Photoshop, so it’s a refreshing change of pace to apply what I know to traditional media. I think this piece needed more contrast to bring out the larger forms of the Thing’s features, like his brow, nose, and cheek bones (cheek rocks?). Recently, I feel like I’ve been struggling with contrast… having trouble getting it right the first time, and making a lot of adjustments. My sense of color is a bit off too, again, something that I’ve been getting wrong on early tries and making many adjustments to.

    My artistic senses might be dulled as a result of doing a lot of cheap blogs that don’t require artistic brainpower, and also banking a lot of blogs ahead of time rather than working continuously. When it comes to drawing, taking moderate breaks can actually help me out–when I come back to it, I feel energized. I suspect coloring is something that I’m still drilling into my brain, and I need constant exposure to the act of coloring, or I start to regress.

    Just thinking aloud here, carry on…

    Actual Size (Okay, not really)

    My ally today has been Mucinex.

    This is not an endorsement. Consult your physician and clergyman before using drugs, didgeridoo, or mustelids of any kind. Side effects may include blogs of poor quality, typing in small italic print, and writing satirical side effect warnings. Other side effects may include technically inaccurate use of the word satirical (but you get the point), and excessive rambling on. Do not operate heavy machinery while under the effects, including, but not limited to, Zambonis, Mazinger Z, or your mom.

    This is a pretty poor representation of a Mucinex pill actually. Other than the fact that the real pills do not advertise my blog, i also got the shape pretty wrong. And the face of the tablet should be noticeably convex. However, it was a decent painting exercise, just for larfs and practice.

    Star Wars Lite (5 of 6): If you buy a translator be sure that it speaks Bocce…

    I was just reading over the past few posts and realizing how monotonous I have become with saying how I had nothing to say. And yet, I have nothing to say! Here’s C3-PO:

    See you on Friday for the conclusion of this series. I’m not sure what will follow immediately, but I have a bunch of Street Fighter pieces in the works, a neverending supply of He-Man stuff (naturally), and a smattering of other random nerdy sketches. And as always, thanks for looking in!