Monday, February 28, 2011

Here's a very international site that touches on things that we're all interested in: Comics, illustration, digital illustration, gaming, caricature, etc. What's more, it has a workable way of letting readers sample and buy digital comics ($.99 to $1.50). It's free to join and can be a place to display your art, like a more professional deviantart.

(To my surprise, I found posted in the Comics section a book I'd colored with the more-than-able aid of a young Jeremy Saliba and Julian Meyer several years back. "Chrissie Claus," if you must know.)

I also "discovered" a couple new artists I admire. Chief among them is Corrado Mastantuono. This guy is incredible! He can do beautifully stylized bigfoot/funny animal stuff as well as virtuoso realistic work. Europe's ability to generate awesome talents who go totally unheralded in the US is astonishing. It is comforting to think that in the coming years, I will increasingly have my own good taste and the internet to thank for my exposure to great artists from the world over, rather than the army of visually illiterate post-collegiate yutzes who edit comics in this country standing as gatekeepers.

And there's Damien Dunn, A skilled digital and pencil artist who does eye-grabbing caricature (See his awesome Jimi Hendrix in the scrolling art on the homepage). He's only in his mid-20s. Ya ask me, he oughta be a little more careful about covering his digital tracks--a lot of his pictures seem to start with his applying the Photoshop Liquify tools to photos. Which is fine. If he didn't have a good eye for creating the distortion, he wouldn't be such a good caricaturist. But sometimes you can spot bits of a piece that are clearly unadulterated parts of the original photo, which casts all his work in a slightly curdled light. But it is fun as hell to look at.

I'll bet there are a lot more great artists to be discovered there, alongside familiar greats like Dave Johnson, for example. It reminds me of the earlier days of, when it was still chiefly for pro-level photos and not a digital shoebox for people to hold their drinking pictures in. (Your five fat girlfriends drunk in Senor Frog's, 2005? Fuck, yeah! Load 'em all up!).


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pitch Basket!!

For those of you who don't want to do either a pet project pitch or pro samples, here are synopses of the various available original pitches. If you choose one, I will contact the writer to re-secure their permission, and find out if they have any interest in working with you on it, giving feedback.

Short Hand -- A young man with psychic powers has Progeria (sp?), a disease which makes you look 70 at age 17. The original "old soul," he helps the police solve crimes. Dialogue-driven, its script is mainly that,  running to 10 pp. so far. Very sharp writing.
Capers -- (for kids) three kids find a crash-landed alien ship. The dying pilot gives them amulets that transform each into superheroes that are adult superhero versions of themselves. Their first villain: Two headed crime-boss One-Man Mob. In plot form (Marvel-style), with some early visual development. Would make a good animated series.
Quantum Sue -- Humorous sci-fi with a Jewish female lead. She forms a team drawn from different dimensions to preserve earth life from a marauding agent of universal destruction, ala Galactus.
Human Conspiracy -- A tongue-in-cheek genre-bender; adventure, detective, s-f, western all in one. Full Script.
Brain Suckers of Venus--Humorous retro sci-fi -- full scr.
Null and Boyd -- Bloody, gruesome crime saga set in Boston with a central character who feels no pain, little emotion and should by rights be dead. In full novella form currently.
Andy's War -- AW is the story of a man named Andrew Tillman who has the ability to read the history of people and objects. He's a young African-American guy. Set in Vietnam. Concise full script, currently running to 9 pp., but expandable to a series pitch.
Tiger Moth -- the NYPD, breaking up a gun-running operation, discovers at its center a human with odd powers (superhuman fighting skills, flame touch, rapid healing). She say she's 30,000 years old and the Mother of Man. She takes on a shadowy cult called the Brotherhood which has for centuries been close to the seats of power, manipulating world events for its own gain. She is determined to defeat them, via means fair and foul. Set mostly in NYC -- Exists only as a pitch at present. This is one that a student might have a great role in shaping, esp.visually.
Lizard Planet --Goofy Sci-fi. Space Travelers from the Bronx colonize a distant planet, civilizing the sentient lizards there. full script
Worlds of Blood -- Bloody military adventure with an alternate-earths twist. Full of cataclysm and genocides across several worlds which intersect suddenly. Some of those worlds are semi-familiar, some bizarre and s-f-ish. Robert Kennedy is President of an alternate Earth and is a central character. This is a sprawling thing, like The Ultimates, and calls for an artist with cinematic sensibility and strong design skills.
Lust Among the Ruins -- Frazettaesque space fantasy with robots, mutants, sexy lead characters. Currently exists only as plot for a 7-pp.comic-book story. You and the writer could discuss what elements to keep for an ongoing series.

A few of these have some early visual development work done on them. You could see or not see that material; you are certainly not bound by it.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

AH Spills Tricks--A Must-See

I think Adam Hughes is probably the greatest comics cover guy ever. The only serious rivals I see are Joe Kubert and some of the EC people (Wally Wood, Jack Davis), whose approaches and aims are different. Hughes keeps raising the bar.

So, unbelievably, the online art supply vendor Jerry's Artarama has on their site three videos of AH telling how he does stuff! Free! Another thing that's unbelievable is how absurdly hi-def these videos are. They could be projected onto the moon. They take a long, long time to load.

Winningly, the Master is actually detectably a bit nervous on camera (I can more than relate; I'm horrible on video, but as Winston Churchill might have said, I have much to be horrible about)-- ironic, when you consider his skills and status. (He says "refract" when he means "reflect" for instance.)

I'm still downloading the second and third, but the first, on eyes, was well worth the wait.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

It's Worth More Than This...

Good news from the world of publishing. Great news, really: Andrew Loomis' Figure Drawing for All It's Worth is coming back into print at the end of May! Too late to help us in this semester, but still huge.

This book is as good as it gets for a pure illustrator's guide to the figure -- as opposed to the figure-drawing-form-life discipline, which is of course related, but there are many good books on that. Loomis was an illustrator, meaning that he could work out of his head, but would use photos or models as needed  to assure a convincing result. In keeping with the aims of this class, his book stressed the principles and the feel of figure drawing so that one could learn it at a deep level, and thus work from the imagination. It is a wonderful book, as all of Loomis' were. He was without equal as an illustrator's how-to author--the perfect combination of scholarship and virtuosity.

This book has been out of print, in its original form, for many, many years. Surviving copies tend to go for about $300 or more. You can preorder it from Amazon for a super-reasonable $23.08, save a giant 42% and get Poor Old Teacher a little kickback from Amazon by clicking on the link at right!


P.S.: Thanks to my good pal and fellow long-time Elvira artist Ronn Sutton for the tip.