Friday, October 31, 2008

Sherlock Holmes graphic novel


Happy Halloween tricks or treaters and party people!!

I just started penciling and inking page 73 of my Sherlock Holmes graphic novel. Work has been going slow (by my standards) but really good!! I've been continuing to make amendments to my original script. I've also added a couple of new scenes and lines that I hope will only make the book even more fun for the readers.

The picture above is a little hint of what you may see in the book.

My graphic novel definitely won't be a revisionist version of Sherlock Holmes. I think there is a place for that but it's just not me. I want to remain as true as possible to both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and William Gillette's brilliant work while leaving my own tiny thumb print somewhere in the corner ;-)

But I'm hoping to have everything ready and in print by sometime next year. I originally had the whole book topped off at around 100+ pages. But it may turn out to be more than that. But stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boston Comic Con is THIS coming Sunday!!




The Boston Comic Con will be packed with even more tables this time around! Guest comic book artists! Toys and collectibles! New and old comic books! Superhero memorabilia!

For parking and transportation information, please visit the Back Bay Events Center website. Discounted validated parking is available at 100 Clarendon St.

For more information about the show, please e-mail us at bedrockcx@aol.com, or call 508-320-1440.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cover art!!



This is going to be the front and back cover for my Sherlock Holmes graphic novel. Both colored by Rori and both of which I based on a couple of Sherlock Holmes illustrations Based on William Gillette. The first one was based on an illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele:

The second one is based on an image created by an artist who went under the name Spry:

It should be mentioned I also based the way Sherlock Holmes is standing in the first image on Robert Stephens in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.

But not to get ahead of myself, I've still got miles to go before I'm finished the graphic novel. I'm still both penciling and inking the pages, editing the script as a go along and working on a few new scenes that will hopefully delight all you Sherlockians out there.

But it is nice to have the images for the cover ready.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Better luck next year


Well, I started to come down with a cold so I wasn't able to do the entire 24 Hours of the Comic Book Challenge. I woke up Saturday morning after making sure to put myself to bed around 9:30pm. I don't think I've gone to bed at that time since... since... I can't remember. Nonetheless, it's been a while and I wanted to make sure I got plenty of rest before the challenge.

I didn't. I slept fitfully during the night. I even had a dream I was in a Laurel and Hardy film before I finally woke up in the morning.

But that morning I didn't feel rested at all. I knew something was up and I felt annoyed about it.

I had been looking forward to the challenge for some time now. I had thought about it for a couple years but I didn't have the courage to commit. Well, after much mental debate I finally did. I had signed up, got the supplies ready and I was ready to go.

And then the particularly evil cold that has been visiting several members of the Art Museum staff had finally decided to come along and pay me a visit.

I haven't had a cold since sometime in either late Winter or early Spring. So, I was probably overdue for one.

And being someone who becomes a complete and utter whiney wuss when I get a cold, I decided it would be best to bow out of the 24 Hour Challenge for a good night sleep.

But Andy talked me into doing at least a three hour challenge which consisted of three pages in three hours. So, I did it and I was able to get three pages in the can in less than three hours.

I'm still a little bit disappointed. I had been looking forward to the event and perhaps having a comic book story completed. But at least I was able to get a taste of what it is like. And I like it!!

All the comic art completed during the challenge will be on display at the Art Museum for the next couple of weeks. So, come on out and see what people have accomplished.

But the three hours definitely gave me a taste of the challenge (as well as a slice of buffalo chicken pizza at Blue Jeans) and I am looking forward to giving it another try next year.

Hopefully, I won't be visited by the plague next time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The 24 Hour Comic Book Challenge @ WAM is only a couple days away!!


So, get your coffee, pixie sticks, No Doz and crack ready for 24 hours of comic book art!

From Saturday October 18th till Sunday October 19th from 3pm till 3pm at the Worcester Art Museum
55 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA!!

For those still interested, you need to preregister with the Art Museum.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Spaghetti Strand Murder is available for preorder!!


The (sort of) sequel to Diary of the Black Widow will be available for purchase in January 2009. But you can preorder your copies through Amazon.com, Borders.com, Barnesandnoble.com and Target.com today!!

Inspiration for Doctor Watson

Of course one of the inspirations for the way Watson will look in my graphic novel is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Since the story is being told through Watson's point of view, my feeling is Doyle is Watson.



My other inspiration is pretty obscure. What really inspired my look for Watson came when I decided to do a little bit of sketching around the Worcester Art Museum after classes one day. Right after you enter through the cafe, on the left side wall, there's a painting of Stephen Salisbury III.



I had passed the painting many times without much notice. Usually I'm so busy taking my classes from gallery to gallery that I really don't have time to stop and smell the roses.

But that day I happened to look at the painting and say to myself "There's my Watson!!" which I promptly made a sketch of his look and his attire.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Some Halloween movies to add to your Netflix list



All of which are perfect for your Halloween horrorfest:

Cabinet des Dr. Caligari., Das (1919)
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)
Frankenstein (1931)
Dracula (1931)
The Body Snatcher (1945)
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Dracula (1958)
Also Known As:
Dracula 1958(USA)

Horror of Dracula(USA)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
The Mummy (1959)
Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
A Study in Terror (1965)
The Oblong Box (1969)
Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht (1970)
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
The Ruling Class (1972)
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979)
Murder by Decree (1979)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
From Hell (2001)

Sign up for the 24 Hour Comic Book Jam at WAM today!!



You may also log onto:

https://educationreg.worcesterart.org/CourseStatus.awp?~~08SPL1018

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

24 Hour Comic Book Jam at WAM!!


Well, I'm getting my non-photo blue pencils, erasers, bristol board and pens together because I officially signed up for a night of comic art and sleep deprivation at WAM!!

This is also know as 24 Hour Comics Day.

The event will be taking place at the Worcester Art Museum from Saturday to Sunday, October 18-19, 3-3pm.

24 Hour Comics Day is an annual event where cartoonists around the world attempt to create 24 comic panels in 24 hours. Last year, over 1200 comic artists took part at challenge events in 17 countries, sustaining themselves on art and coffee for a team total of 28,800 hours of comic creation. WAM will also be hosting 3-hour and 8-hour challenges.

For more information on the international event, visit www.24hourcomicsday.com.

I still refuse to drink Red Bull because I hate the ad's. But I am preparing to bring several thermos's of coffee and those whiskey shots of energy drinks to the event!!

If you haven't signed up yet, I recommend you call WAM now and reserve your spot. But be warned. Come prepared to work or Andy will have you secretly killed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My thoughts on the new Sherlock Holmes film...

I'm not completely put off by the thought of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson respectively. In that respect Guy Ritchie got it fairly right as far as age is concerned. In the first Sherlock Holmes stories, both Holmes and Watson are actually around the age of 27. Although, this would make both actors too old to play the part seeing that Robert Downey Jr. is 43 and Jude Law is 36. But in the grand scheme of things they're young guys. So, let's not split hairs.

Although, here's a tidbit of information for you all. One of Jude Law's earliest acting appearances was all the way back in 1991 in an episode of The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. The episode was Shoscombe Old Place which starred the ultimate Sherlock Holmes Jeremy Brett.

I happen to like Jude Law. I thought he gave a really great performance as Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas in the film Wilde. That was the movie that kind of won me over for his acting chops. Sort of the same way Chaplin won me over for Robert Downey Jr.'s acting.

Strangely enough, both films are bio's.

But with this said, I think this is probably the most unusual Holmes and Watson since Nicol Williamson and Robert Duvall were Holmes and Watson in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.

And yes. You read that right. Robert Duvall as Watson.

I don't know much about the series of comic books by Lionel Wigram this upcoming movie is based upon. So, I really can't give an opinion on something I haven't seen or know nothing about.

I suppose from a marketing standpoint, I understand Guy Ritchie's choice for Holmes. There's no bigger name in Hollywood that is in demand other than Robert Downey Jr. at this very moment. And like I said, he's an actor I really like. And I'm happy he has cleaned up his life and he's getting the respect and the attention he deserves.

But here's my feelings. I think a lot of books and movies take a huge risk at trying to make Sherlock Holmes more dynamic. Because it can either work brilliantly or it can blow up in your face.

A good case in point is the movie A Study in Terror which starred John Neville as a more youthful Sherlock Holmes than most moviegoers were use to seeing with the tagline: "Sherlock Holmes meets Jack the Ripper! Here comes the original caped crusader!"

Both Batman T.V. series and James Bond were massively popular at the time. So, the producers were really heavily marketing it on that angle.

And it's a great film!! It didn't do good originally in the box offices. But it's one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes films.

The reason I feel this movie works is because despite stuff like making Holmes a man of action and even giving him a knife which pops out the end of his walking stick, the producers stick close to the original character of Sherlock Holmes. They still remain true to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character while making him James Bond with a cape.

An example of reinventing Holmes that went horribly, horribly wrong is 2002's USA Networks production Sherlock also titled A Case of Evil starring James D'Arcy. It's yet another attempt to do a Young Sherlock Holmes type movie. The producers also saw it fit to give their Young Sherlock a sex drive and make Dr. Watson an eccentric inventor.

How could you possibly go wrong with that? Well, you could and it did!! The movie was awful. AND once again you have Richard E. Grant horribly miscasted as Mycroft Holmes.

As I have stated before I thing REG should be the one playing Sherlock Holmes in most of the productions he has been a part of.

But it's an example of how reinventing the character can make for a really bad film. In this particular film's case, it tried to completely reinvent the whole history of Sherlock Holmes.

With all that said, I'm willing to give Guy Ritchie's film a chance. Mostly because that part of me that likes to see how someone approaches the character of Sherlock Holmes. Good or bad, I like to see how actors approach the character.

Here's another historical fact for you all before I close this blog. When William Gillette took his play Sherlock Holmes to England, the young boy who played Billy the Page on stage was a young Master Charles Spencer Chaplin...

...who Robert Downey Jr. portrayed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I love old movies!!



I had already mentioned my affections for old movies in a prior blog post but watching The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone last night reminded me why I love that simplistic approach of old movies.

Yes, Nigel Bruce's irritating, bumbling and harrumphing Doctor Watson makes me want to tear my hair out. Which I suppose isn't wise nowadays seeing that my hair doesn't grow back so quickly anymore.

But that's besides the point.

The soft tones of the black and white as well as the flickering lights in the background.

Movies between the 1900's to the 1940's are probably my favorite to watch. I love silent films. I take a silent movie approach to many of my illustrations. It's easy to draw a scene and have a speech balloon saying "The murderer got away!"

But it takes a great deal of skill to show that without the use of words. Merely expression and body language. And I think that's why I feel many silent movie actors are very underrated.

I love movies from the 30's and 40's because that was the time my Grandparents lived through. I was very close to my Grandparents and even though they are gone, these movies are what keeps me connected to their time.

Actually, when I was as young as many of the students in my art classes, I was watching stuff like the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy as well as movies with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields and Mabel Normand.

My Grandfather loved Laurel and Hardy. They had a night of Laurel and Hardy films on TMC over August. I found myself chuckling at a scene where Stan Laurel is sitting with this child who is telling him the story of the Three Bears. With voices. During the story Laurel keeps falling asleep. And what wakes him up is when the little girl does the baby bear voice.

To some, they would find the scene boring and unfunny. Mostly because nowadays if you're not getting kicked in the crotch, it's not funny. But what was funny about the scene was the look on Laurel's face everytime the little girl would make him wake up with a start.

Like I said, I knew about most, if not all these movies when I was a kid. I've found a lot of my students have never seen a silent movie in their life. And I think it's kind of sad that a lot of these films are being missed by people nowadays.

So, if you get a chance go on Amazon.com, put them on your Netflicks list. Or wait till they're on TMC again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Polly and Handgraves design



I just finished up coloring the new Polly and Handgraves image this morning and started putting it on t-shirts. I will probably continue doing that later on today.

I'm planning on starting an image based on The Spaghetti Strand Murder in a couple days in between continuing work on the Sherlock Holmes graphic novel.