Thursday, August 31, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
I don't remember the exact date when John Romita retired from Marvel Comics. I do remember that the company threw a retirement party and invited every Romita Raider who ever worked with him! As Art Director,John had a lot of work to do. He frequently got overwhelmed and got some help[with art correction. Stuff like changing figures or adding art. It started out informal, but it became a valuable training program for young artists.
I was a Romita Raider and I did my best to learn as much as I could from everyone working there. I attended the retirement party and posed for a great group photo!
I never got a copy of the photo, but I do have Romita's handwritten list of Art Apprentices. Are any of these names familiar?
Saturday, August 26, 2006
I have returned to work on Kolchak! The good news is that I have read the third issue script and It's excellent! The bad news is that the first issue will be delayed because of some nonsense I can't comment about right now. Nevertheless, I am back on the fast track with my inks!
Friday, August 25, 2006
What is going on with all the old photos being bounced around this select little blogosphere? Is the nostalgia because of marrages and turning forty and people moving to Portland and whatever else? I have to apologize to Sara for posting this ridiculous photo, but I don't think she's ever seen it! And does Steve look old enough to drink?
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Ben Raab is a writer based in LA and I first met him in NYC when he was an assistant editor for MARVEL. In the 10 or so years since he has become a writer of note, working on some excellent projects! He wrote 'The Lost Tribe' for Comiculture Magazine and last I heard, he was writing a book called 'Living in Infamy'. While exploring the newsstand I found his most recent project.
Ben has written a five page story done in comic book style in ESPN Magazine! It's a story about a Football player named Owen Schmitt. The art is excellent! Check out the 9/17 issue to see more.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I came across this image while web surfing. It's on sale at Gothamcityart.com and it seems as if the inker has put it up for sale. The penciller was Mark Texiera. Mark is a friend of mine and I love his work. Sadly, I never had a chance to ink him. The were many times in the early 90's, when he set up shop in the old Marvel Bullpen to stage an all-nighter. He would have to recruit any available artist to help finish an issue of Ghost Rider. I would have my own jobs to work on so I missed out.
This page was inked by Bob McLeod. I bet he had fun working on it!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Did you know that Culver City had an Art District? I did, and I visited an art opening there last night. There really wasn't anything exciting there to report. The paintings were colorful, but had little personality. Nice gallery space however. I should do more painting and have my own show!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
A little more than a year ago, I learned that CRACKED Magazine would return to newsstand and comic shops. The mag that was a MAD Magazine rip-off years ago, has returned as a MAXIM Magazine rip-off. I know that MAD had to change with the new generation. That change included color pages and Ligit advertisements (No more parody ads, dude). And the new management at CRACKED promised a modern mag with the type of humor that kids would enjoy. Unfortunately, the new CRACKED looks like MAXIM, but without the girls in bikinis. No bikinis! I felt jipped!
The humor goes for a DAILY SHOW spin in a glossy bi-monthly magazine. I thought that there would be something more from the past. Just about the only things left is the CRACKED logo and The mascot, Sylvester Smyth.
First issues are always a tough sell. Maybe the MAXIM imitation is deliberate and a parody of popular lad Mags. I will buy the next issue and hope for the best. And I'll hope for a lot more cartoons too!
Monday, August 14, 2006
The city of New Orleans has been through a lot. The hurricane changed a great many things and the city may never return to normal. I think that a winning football team can help the city. The New Orleans Saints played The Tennesee Titans in TN this weekend. The Saints won the game and the team looked good! It's only preseason, but I hope their success continues until January.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
What did I do this past Saturday? A picnic at The Hollywood Bowl with friends, then staying to hear the LA philharmonic. Tchaikovsky and his greatest hits! Romeo and Juliet and his 1812 Overature were featured and the finale included blowing up the venue. Just kidding. But the photos look scary!
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I recently read a response to one of my blogs and it got my head spinning. Sara Kocher wrote in response to a post about Power Pack, that Stan Drake gave her some Juliet Jones original artwork. What is the deal? I am sick with envy!
There was a time, long ago, that Old School artists gave away original art, the same way a clown would pass out balloon animals. I remember working at VALIANT Comics in 1990, Dan Barry came in with original art from his Flash Gordon newspaper strip. He gave me one! Barry was working on a book for the company and he may have thought a kind gesture would go long way. I thought it was such a rare treat, and I cherish it today. If I'd known that Stan Drake was so cool, I would have begged for a few Sunday strips!
Oh well, I am grateful for the art I have. I just hope that I run into Stan one more time.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I really liked the art on the Jon Bogdanove and Hilary Barta run of Power Pack. I had a different view of the book once I started working on it! I was working in the MARVEL Bullpen in the late 80s, doing background art for a number of inkers. It was great training and I got a good page rate. The editor of Power Pack at the time asked if I would help the new inker. Sure! Who is he? The new inker was Stan Drake.
I was not familiar with him at all. The first inked pages from him smelled like Cuban cigars, but the art was beautiful! He had a clean, confident line and he knew how to draw pretty women. I think the first job was over Bogdanove and I remember he changed a few faces. I found out that he was one of the Old School artists of the 60s and 70s. He did a lot of photo-realistic newspaper strips and I got a hold of some copies of his art. At that time, for whatever reason, A lot of professional newspaper guys got comic book work. I was lucky to learn a few tricks from Stan.
At one point, I got to ink Power Pack all by myself! Inking over my pal and old roommate! But that's another story.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Tuesday was a busy day! I am working on some additional art for 'Jersey Boys' and I had an appointment to see the director, Des McAnuff. He is also the Creative Director of The La Jolla Playhouse and that meant road trip! I first started work on the show about 3 years ago and since the show hit it big, a lot people have moved on to other projects. Des is now working on a new show in La Jolla, 'The Wiz'.
I always arrive early, so I had lunch at a Rockbottom Restaurant in town. At 1:30, I walk into 'The Wiz' production meeting with Des and the entire cast at a circular table. Before he broke for lunch, He Introduced me as the 'Jersey Boys' artist! That was very cool.
I have shown earlier sketches on this blog and during our meeting, we brainstormed on some new ones. I did a lot of sketching and we agreed on some art. Pretty good meeting. Now I have to get to work on finishing a bunch of new art.
Monday, August 07, 2006
I watched the first NFL pre-season game last night! I was an OK game, but I didn't watch the end. I only mention it because the 2006 Football season will start in a month and I have a wager with a friend. In San Diego, I bet Dave Wohl that the New Orleans SAINTS will win at least half (8) of their games. He doesn't think they have a chance. The SAINTS have a new coach, a new QB and a great new Running Back, so I am optimistic! Stay tuned for details!
Saturday, August 05, 2006
MARVEL Comics published a book called POWER PACK in the 80's and early 90s. It was a book about four siblings living in Manhattan. Two boys and two girls with super powers, and they kept it a secret from the parents! There was always some kind of drama with whether or not to use their powers. The city is burning! How do we leave the house with mom in the kitchen? I grew to love the writing by Louise Simonson, but I didn't start buying the book until a new art team started drawing the book.
This is page 22 from Issue 36 of Power Pack Edition one. Art by Jon Bogdanove and Hilary Barta. Barta's inks ar incredible. Really strong and clean. Bogdanove had exact reference for the upper east side in panel one, and Barta does not slip up. I know that the PP kids are back in new adventures, but there's a different team. I think I'll stick to these guys.
Friday, August 04, 2006
I am a great fan of Japanese Culture. Not only the pop culture, but the history as well. So every once in a while, when a new Japanese film shows up, I will ask my friend Kazu about it. I show him a flier for the film 'Azumi' starring a cute girl, Aya Ueto.
Kazu tells me: "I don't know of the movie, but she is a model turned singer, turned actress. That's common in Japan."
Well, I guess that's the way young people get famous over there. All I know at this point is that the movie is about assassins, and the actress is overboard cute! Last night, I caught the 10:00 show at the independent movie house. I prepared for a really bad movie with sub-titles. I am surprised! I really enjoy the movie and Aya Ueto is an OK actress. I won't spoil anything by saying that there's a lot of swordplay, blood and teeth-grinding drama.
Chances are that you may never see this movie. It's in limited release around the country and it only played for a week in LA. But if you enjoy Japanese pop-stars dressing up in period costumes, taking a samurai sword and killing entire villages, then search for this film.