Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Edward Bear

Over the Summer I had read Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner to the kids at snack and lunchtime in the Summer program I was working for.

My Grandmother Herholz had gotten my brother, sister and myself copies of both Winnie the Pooh books as well as the book of poems AA Milne had written. But I was never a big reader in my younger days so I never really had the patience to sit down and read the books myself.

So, here I am at 32 years of age reading these children's stories for the very first time. And I loved them!!

I had bought my niece copies of the books as well for Mummy and Daddy to read to her at bedtime. So, I thought for this particular Christmas I would do a couple of Winnie the Pooh illustrations for her. I had this pack of Winsor Newton color inks I've been itching to use since last Christmas.

The first one of Christopher Robin and all his friends I did entirely in Windsor Newton Black India Ink and color ink. It comes off looking too blotchy on the scan, but it looks much more satisfying in the frame.

The second one of Pooh meeting Tigger for the first time was done in Deleter #3 Black Ink and Glauche. Again, it didn't scan terribly good but it looks very good behind the frame.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Two Shabby Figures


The first meeting between Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell from Laurie R. King's novel The Beekeepers Apprentice. Deleter #3 black india ink with crow quill pens, brush and colored on Photoshop.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays one and all

Well, I was up at 4:53am this morning getting all my last minute holiday bits and bobs done. My cold last week kind of knocked the wind out of my sails on getting anything productive done, so here I was at a ghastly hour of the morning where everyone is either still fast asleep or still fast a sleeping it off getting all the stuff I should have done three or four days ago done.

But the point is moot. I had everything pretty much in the can by 7:30am and wrapped by 8:30am. Or theresabouts.

Now it's about nearly 10am and I'm probably going to need one more small cup of coffee to keep me reasonably sane throughout the day. My usual supersized Nightmare Before Christmas mug of coffee really isn't cutting the mustard this morning. So, I think I'm going to have to have a seven-per-cent solution of caffeine just for good measures.

I hope all my family and friends have a very Happy Holidays this year. And if you happen to be in the area of the Shrewsbury Borders on Friday, stop on by and say hello between the hours of 1pm and 5pm!! I will be taking part in a Decembers Authors Showcase. The Borders in Shrewsbury started to put this event on in the Summer and it's become a real hit. Both with the writers and the people that show up.

I will be signing copies of both my books in print at the moment and promting both The Spaghetti Strand Murder and Polly and Handgraves. Both of which come out next year.

Borders Books and Music is located on 476 Boston Tpke. in Shrewsbury, MA!! So come on out and spend a few hours with some really talented writers from the Worcester County area!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holmes and Russell



Canson Bristol Board with Deleter #3 India Ink.

T&G Article on WAM's Open Studios: Creativity heroes



WORCESTER— The O’Neil boys of Worcester line up with the superhero drawings they did in a program at the Worcester Art Museum, which offered free open studios yesterday and today. The boys are, from left, Isaiah, 11, Elijah, 8, Benjamin, 7, and Isreal, 5.

Bottom photo, Nailah Smith, 6, focuses on her mobile creation with her mother, Charisa Cottonham of Worcester.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Patrick Welch's website

Check out some of Patrick's Micromentalist work by clicking on the link below:

www.patrickwwelch.com

His work can also be found on:

http://www.gescheidle.com/view_exhibition.php?eid=58

and:

http://www.gescheidle.com/view_exhibition.php?eid=60

In 2006, Welch started an art movement collectively known as the micromentalists. The general philosophy of the group is that art need not be "monumental" in scale to be important, and has been described as "pseudo-Marxist". Welch's purpose in putting together the Micromentalists was to start an art movement based on this philosophy. Their founding members included artists Bill Drummond, Steve Keene, Paul Nudd, Patrick W. Welch, James J. Peterson and Eric Doeringer.

The group is known not only for its premise of small art, but also for its commercial practice of selling art at lower prices, adjusted for the income of the buyer. Their first shows were mentioned in Chicago and national art media for these reasons and for the participation of notable artists such as Drummond and Keene.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Patrick W. Welch. Teacher, artist, mentor and friend


I can honestly say that Patrick Welch personality and work has had the greatest influence on my own artwork. Especially pen and ink. Needless to say, I was in completely shock and disbelief to find out that he passed away back in October.

I first knew about Patrick back in 1996 when I started going to college in Savannah. I didn't really get to know him until the following semester when I took his Penciling and Inking classes for the first time. I had already become a fan of his work. I loved his inking style and the style of his artwork. Not to mention the bizarre sense of humor in his comic art.

His character design and inking style is what has heavily influenced my own work.

I also became a fan of his teaching style. He wasn't afraid to tell you what he thought was shit about your work. But at the same time, he would be certain to tell you about what he thought were the strong points in your work and how to build them up.

For me, that's what made Patrick a great professor.

After he left SCAD in 1998, I ended up losing touch with him for a few years. But I've been very happy with the advent of places like Myspace and Facebook to get back in contact with him again.

I was very pleased to have Patrick W. Welch as my mentor. But I am more pleased to have been able to call Patrick W. Welch my friend.

Thank you for everything, Patrick. There are so many students you have influenced out there with the person you were and always will be. And I was one of them. Thank you.

December Author Showcase

Nothing to do day after Christmas? Well, come on out to DECEMBER AUTHOR SHOWCASE taking place at Borders Books and Music located on 476 Boston Tpke in Shrewsbury MA.

I will be signing copies of Diary of the Black Widow and Confessions of a Peculiar Boy... And Other Stories as well as promoting two of my books coming out early next year.

The show will be taking place Friday December 26th 2008 from 1pm till 5pm. So, come on out and see me as well as some really talented authors from the Worcester area.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Phantom


I had mentioned Lee Falk's The Phantom in my previous post about the Spirit. My interest in the comic was in great part due to my Dad's enthusiasm for the character when I was younger. He had an aunt and uncle who use to go on safari and when they would come back for a visit, they would bring these large print copies of the Phantom comic books with them. And it got my Dad really interested in the character.



The Phantom was created by Lee Falk February 17, 1936 with the first strip drawn by Ray Moore.

What I like about the character is the design of the costume and the setting having it take place in a jungle atmopshere. And for those who love the Princess Bride, I also like the fact that the Phantom's identity has been passed down. The first Phantom took on the identity to avenge his father who was murdered by pirates and the mantle continued to be passed down throughout the ages.

Giving evildoers the impression that the Phantom is immortal.

But if you're a young comic fan and you're unfamilar with the Phantom, I'd definitely recommend going down to your local comic shop and checking out some of the original stories.

The Spirit


Probably two of my favorite non-DC or Marvel mystery men were Lee Falk's The Phantom and Will Eisner's The Spirit. Although, I suppose now both characters have been published in DC or Marvel in some form or another. Although, at times, not nearly as well done as the original. But it never is.

I'm really thrilled to be seeing the Spirit finally get the theatrical treatment. I love how they've given it that very Film Noir treatement of Sin City. It should be noted that Frank Miller is directing this film who also created Sin City and directed the film.

I was first introduced to the character and it's creator Will Eisner back in 1989 when I was given a copy of The Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Comics. Which I still have in my collection to this very day. The story that stood out was The Story of Gerhard Shnobble. What caught my attention was Will Eisner's artwork. After looking at both the artwork on the first Superman and first Batman stories, this was a huge departure from a lot of the comic art that was out at the time.

It was good!! It was stylish. I was pretty much into only cartoony sort of characters at the time, and what I really liked was the fact he seemed to blend a somewhat more realistic comic book style with a slightly cartoony look the characters.

At the time I was beginning to become disenchanted with cartoon characters and I wanted to do something more. In 1989 Tim Burton's Batman had just hit the theaters and besides that film I had started really becoming interested in comic books through two sources.

1.) A tattered copy of How To Draw Comics the Marvel Way given to me by my friend Jason Burtchell.

2.) My friend Michael Goodrow's comic book collection. At that point, I had never in my life seen a cedar chest full of comic books.

For me, the Spirit was a happy medium between my cartoony style and this new found appreciation for gritty comic book characters.

I also couldn't help thinking at the time "This would make a really great movie". I might have told a friend who fancied himself a filmmaker I thought this would make a grat film only to get scoffed by him tell me he thought the character was stupid and would not make a good film.

Hmmm? Let's see now. 19 years one kick ass looking film from one kick ass writer/director later WHO WAS RIGHT BITCH???

Sure, I really can't claim victory just yet. I haven't seen the film. But I'm really impressed with the way it looks. Honestly, it's a lot better than what I would have had in mind for the character.

What I like is it's different from the Batman and Iron Man films. Not saying anything bad about either of those films. They're great films and deserve the praise they have been given. I just like it when you have so many films like this coming out because it gives something for everyone.

And I can't wait to see a film that has been, in this once young and eager comic book fan's opinion, years in the making.

And for those of you who fancy yourselves well versed in all things comics, graphic novels and sequential art. Before you have anything derrogatory to say about anyone who suddenly comes to like the Spirit just because the only thing they know about the character is the movie SHUT UP!!

Don't act so high and mighty about it just because they don't know what Will Eisner was doing on August the 15th 1946 when inked panel four on page one and what sandwich he ate for lunch that day and every line of the working script he may or may not have been working on doing the story. Or haven't read a Spirit comic book a day in their life.

JUST SHUT UP!!

If that's their introduction to the Spirit and they only thing they know about the character, then so what?? It's a movie. It's meant to be enjoyed by everyone. Know-it-all's and novices alike.

So there!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Open Studios at WAM was great!!

If you didn't happen to show up to take part in Open Studios at the Worcester Art Museum, you missed a really great time. Jamie Buckmaster and I were onhand doing art based activities for people who either had kiddo's suffering from cabin fever because the schools were closed or without electricity.

The results were some really great projects and a lot of fun!!

If you missed your chance today, hopefully you will be able to stop in tomorrow before the snow starts to fly. You and the kiddo's will have a blast!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Worceser Art Museum Open Studios


I'm going to be at the Museum from 10am till 3pm doing a couple of Superhero activities as part of WAM's Open Studios.


Thursday, December 18 & Friday, December 19

Many towns in our area are still without power. In an effort to be a good neighbor, The Education Team at the Worcester Art Museum is opening the studios for FREE tomorrow and Friday to our friends in our community. Kids out of school? Getting cabin fever? Come get warm, and enjoy a fun arts-based activity with your children!

Create in our studios on a drop-in basis:
10 am-12 pm & 1 pm – 3 pm

The day's activities consist of:
* Free artmaking activity for children (parents must accompany kids)
* Free wifi connection from the Museum Library and Lancaster Lobby
* Holiday shopping in The Museum Shop
* Museum galleries and The Museum Café open regular hours (The Museum Café is open 11:30am-2pm on Thursday & Friday, and Galleries and The Museum Shop are open 11am-8pm on Thursday and 11am-5pm on Friday)

Admission to the Museum galleries is always free for Members and Kids 17 and under. Regular Admission to the galleries is $10 for adults.

On the mend

I haven't had a cold since April or May. I THOUGHT I had a cold around the time the 24 Hour Comic Book Jam was taking place. But apparently, I was having a particularly bad allergies this Fall. False alarm.

This is a cold. I'm drippy. My nose hurts. The last couple of days I've felt feverish and achy. I've been kind of grateful for the storm having cancelled school in Worcester for the past couple of days. It's given me a chance to lay low and try and kick this bugger in my nose.

On the bright side, I've lost weight in the past couple of months. I've finally got under 167 lbs for the first time in several years. And I'm sure this cold is helping that as well since I usually go into shut down mode and lay off my favorite ales, stouts and porters while I recuperate. All of which I had somewhat cut down on since over the Summer already.

I've been able to get a few things done, mostly personal, during the cold. But not much of anything in getting any new projects started. I've been trying to live out Dave Sims life of stick a Kleenex up your nose and quit bitching, but it just hasn't worked out that way. I think a mix of all the excitement and now this cold has got me completely whipped.

I'm feeling a little better today. I always know when the Day-Quil kicks in a little better, I'm usually on the mend.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Give the gift of original art this holiday season!!



Last minute shopping dilemma? Having trouble thinking of that one last gift to give to a family member, friend or that certain special someone in your life?

Why not give them the gift of original artwork this holiday season.


My work ranges from idyllic holiday scenes to classic literature to something you have in mind but don't quite know how to express it.
Well, let me help you along the way

To commission a piece, e-mail me about size, price and what you had in mind:

herbertzohl@gmail.com

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Part I: The Gathering Storm

Well, I didn't have to form a soccer team and resort to cannibalism this weekend. Thank goodness. But I found that I can in fact survive a bugger of an ice storm like the one that rocked Worcester County. And I do mean ROCKED!!

When I went to bed Thursday night, I thought it was just some jerk decided to go out driving and hit a telephone pole. I come to find out in the morning that Governor Patrick declared a State of Emergency.

I was kind of lucky. Yeah, I lost power but I didn't have to spend time at a shelter. I built a fire, conserved water, cooked dinner over a wood stove and by Saturday morning stunk like a goat.

But I made it through and now I've freshened up and started getting a few projects both started AND out of the way.

One of which was an idea given to me by the lovely Trina. She really liked a panel in my upcoming UCF story Monsters Do Not Frighten Me and thought it would look really great on a shirt.

So during the blackout, I spent some time drawing an idea using the panel of the giant woman standing over the fierce but rather diminutive monster. The result was this:



I put it on a few products on Horrid Collectibles if you would like to check it out at:
www.cafepress.com/horridclltbles

Well, I hope you are all surviving the elements!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

stART at the Station

If you happend to miss out on stART at the Station today, you missed out on a really great time!! Great job to everyone who made stART at the Station possible today!! It was great to do the show again at Union Station this year. It's such a great place and has a really great atmosphere for an art event.

And thank you everyone who stopped by to say hi!! It was really great to see a few familiar faces and meet a few new faces as well!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

If you happened to miss Pop Euphoria's opening tonight...


Be sure to check it out before the show ends January 17th 2009 during ARTSWorcester's regular hours!! Congratulations to Veronica, Andy, Raffy, Tom Grady, Jamie Buckmaster, Mike Briggs and EVERYONE involved in the show!! It's such a great collection of pop art both from the Worcester area and beyond!! AND the actual cowel Adam West wore in the Batman series is there on display. How cool is that???

ARTSWorcester is located on 660 Main Street at the Aurora, Worcester, MA 01610

stART at the Station is TOMORROW!!


Hosted By: stART On The Street
When: Sunday Dec 07, 2008
at 12:00 PM
Where: Union Station
2 Washington Square
Worcester, Massachusetts|22 01608
United States

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pop Art in Worcester MA!!

Doing a great deal of Pop Art style projects in my comic book and cartooning classes, I've come to appreciate the whole concept of Pop Art a lot more in the past few years. And there's a great Pop Art show happening at the ARTSWorcester gallery Saturday December 6th that I think you all should check out. Hosted by guest curator Veronica Hebard and featuring some of the most talented people I know:


TOYS, FAIRYTALES, ICONS & EPHEMERA
due to demand, the show has been extended!

12.06.2008 - 01.17.2009
opens Saturday December 6th

660 Main Street at the Aurora, Worcester, MA 01610

Monsters Do Not Scare Me




Pages two and three for an upcoming story for Detour #12's Friends and Monsters issue. The title of the story is Monsters Do Not Scare Me and it's another silent movie style story.

I suppose if you would like to read into the story, it's could be seen as cutting the monsters in your own life down to size.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

COMING SOON!! A Drama in Two Acts!!

New illustration


I took some time off from comic art this morning to work on a new illustration. It's been a while since I've done some illustration work, so I figured I needed a breather from projects to work on something I was thinking about as I tried to get to sleep last night.

The piece is titled The Ghosts Can No Longer Harm Me and it was done on Canson Bristol Board with Deleter #3 black ink with crow quills of various sizes.