Thursday, April 30, 2009

The uncommon cold

I've been completely bedridden since Monday with the flu. It very well could have been the swine flu. But even if it was my advice would be this. Don't panic and do what you usually do when you have the flu. Force plenty of fluids and just stay in bed and sleep.

And that's pretty much what I've been doing since Tuesday. I'm feeling a little bit better today. Enough where I can go into work. But it's right off my feet again when I get home from work. I ache all over. Mostly from sinus pressure and being in bed.

I don't think I've had the flu this badly in a long while. It felt a bit too severe to be a cold. Even though it did have certain cold like symptoms. The week before I came down with a cold during April Art Week and I didn't really have a chance to rest it off because I ended up working all of the week. That and we had that that spike from 30 degree weather to 86 degree weather. So, I'm sure that helped incubate any flu viruses that happened to miss us for the most part this winter.

Well, time to clean myself up and take a Dayquil.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Drawn animation

One of the things I would really love to start teaching at the Art Museum by Fall is a Drawn Animation class. This is kind of been a dream of mine for the past couple of years. Both Andy Fish and Brian Shea had a great deal of success with both the Claymation and Stop Motion classes.

It was how I would approach the class was the question for me.

I had taken drawn animation classes with Mark Lynch from 1989 till probably sometime around 1992/1993. Mark had used Super 8 Cameras to film the animations with. And the results were always very original and hysterical.

Of course there were always buckets of tempera paint used in the claymations because the claymation characters would always end in tragedy. Which was also hysterical.

I had thought about taking the old equipment Mark used and use it for my class. But it was becoming apparent that this wasn't going to work very well due to the fact that it was very difficult to both buy and develop film.

Even back in 1989, this equipment was already pretty outdated and Mark had talked about moving towards 16mm film to do the animations on. But that never came to be.

Well, I had been chatting with Andy who was having a great deal of success with the claymation classes. What he had been using is a web cam with Photobooth to take the initial shots and then load the images up on Flash.

I had asked him how a drawn animation would look using that technique and he said it worked really great.

So, I had talked with Chris who runs the youth programs at the Museum about possibly testing how this would work on the last day of classes during April Art Week. I had all but two students in my Friday Animal Animation class, so I thought what I would do is have them work on a drawn animation with their characters the first hour of class and then we would go over to the computer lab the last hour of class and see how well their animations worked.

We had also called in one of the assistants Raffy to help us to figure out Flash. Raffy's really great at the program so he was invaluable at getting the images loaded from Photobooth to Flash.

And the results were excellent!! They reminded me so much of the quality of the animations I use to create for Mark Lynch's class. And not only that, the two students I had in the class did an excellent job with their drawn animation. Especially since neither of them had attempted drawn animation, they both did a great job!!

All in all, it made for a really great way to end the week and I'm really looking forward to doing a drawn animation class for Fall session.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Polly and Handgraves on Myspace!!

If you happen to have a Myspace account, be sure to befriend Polly and Handgreaves by clicking on the link below. And be certain to tell your friends about it:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lincoln Hates Werewolves t-shirt design

This is an illustration I did for a t-shirt based on the book Lincoln Hates Werewolves. Those of you unfamilar with the werewolf hunting exploits of our former President, it's from the series of the same name by Stephen Lindsay published by Alterna Comics.

My Lincoln design was illustrated on Canson Smooth Bristol Board and inked with Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with Crow Quill Pen and Brush.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Polly and Handgraves blog is now opened!!

I made a decision to create a blog specifically for Polly and Handgraves since I'm strongly considering it to become my first ongoing series. I will continue to write all my other comic projects and random thoughts in this blog. Along with some Polly and Handgraves stuff. But the bulk of my Polly and Handgraves, news, photos, sneek previews will all be in the brand new blog. Which you can check out by clicking the link below:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves comes to Facebook!!

Have a Facebook account? If not create one and join my brand new Polly and Handgraves page by clicking on the link below:

From there you can keep up with any future Polly and Handgraves tales, facts and places which inspired their stories as well as places you can pick up there current adventure A Sinister Aura!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Polly and Handgraves casting call...

Not a real casting call, mind you. It was actually sparked by one of the questions asked on Alterna Comics new Creators Page. If I were to do a movie based on my books, who would play the part. The only question I was completely sure of was Polly and Handgraves. I would cast Oona Chaplin as Polly and Rupert Everett as Handgraves. With the Ditty Bops song Nosy Neighbor as the title track.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In life a little rain must fall...

Okay!! Next Comic Con I'm just going to bite the bullet and get the full table!! Getting half the table kind of taught me a lesson!!

I ended up getting stuck next to this guy making and selling buttons out of old comic books and trading cards. I knew today would be a bad omen because the moment I arrive I see all his stuff on my side of the table and he says "Oh, I didn't think you were showing up". IT WAS 9:30 IN THE MORNING!! It was like the Far Side cartoon where all the bears are standing around the casket and the bear in the casket pops out and says "I was hibernating! Don't you guys take a pulse??"

So, that already made me a little on edge with the guy.

My other gripe is knowing that you are getting HALF A TABLE, why would you bring a ton of shit to a show. The most I have is my portfolio of prints and my books. THAT'S IT!! This guy's got his laptop, screens, another laptop and I think he had one of those screens like the ones my Grandfather use to use under the table.

And the fact he had to mention that he was new at this five or six times and blamed it all on Boston Comic Con that he didn't have a lot of room to set up his home office in.

I did mention that it was half a table we were working on? To refresh yourself, see the picture above again.

Business was kind of slow to begin with that day for me. But I think any potential business I could have had was killed because of his dopey buttons and the fact that he was a complete stream of consciousness all day long.

I can understand when it's someone's first time at the show and you get those first time jitteres. But he just reeked of desperation.

And it was the same line every time: "I'm a buttonsmith. Some people are blacksmiths but I'm a buttonsmith". Wasn't funny the first time. Try hearing that from 10am till 5pm!!

And to make matters worse, if he didn't have a particular card, he would tell the people to come back and look around the show for a $0.50 comic book. Which really irritated me because then I lose out on a potential sale because he's sent them away to go find some comic book or card.

Or the people hanging around his part of the table would stand DIRECTLY in front of mine. Ruining my chance to talk to people who might look at my work.

I had my worst show since stART on the Street in September and this guy makes a killing. However, it's his first time at $3.00 a button. So, he might have made $50. But to him it was a killing.

Still, the fact he was flaunting this to the other artists by the end of the show was painfully annoying.

At one point of the show, he asked me if being standoffish was a better approach. What?? I didn't think I was being standoffish. I was just not throwing myself at the people. If someone walked by, I would say Hello and flash a friendly smile and engaged them in conversation.

I know as a buyer, I hate it when people have to force themselves on me.

Honestly, it was like being out at the bar and you see the guys throwing themselves at the women sitting next to them. That's the best way I can describe this guy. They guy at happy hour who is desperately trying to score.

I suppose it's bound to happen. You're going to have a bad show. I guess after the success I had with the last Comic Con in November and the Christmas Show at Union Station, I did get a little complacent and expect all the shows to be that successful.

Not intentionally, mind you. But it does lull you into a false sense of security.

The day wasn't a complete loss. I got to see a few familar faces that I've made friends with at past conventions as well as meet a few new faces which was nice. And I did make somewhat of a profit. It would have been much more annoying if I made nothing. If anything else att least I broke even.

But lesson learned!! Next comic con, I'm just NOT going to take any chances and I'm going to get myself the full table!! I'm not going through that crap again.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Today's the day!!

Well, I'm up at 6:14am. I've actually been up since 4:30am but I just got out of bed around 6am.

Well, today's the big day!! BOSTON COMIC CON!! If you happen to be in close proximity of the Back Bay Center in Boston, come on out and see me at Boston Comic Con from 10am till 5pm!!

It's always a lot of fun to check out all the artists as well as all the collectibles.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Polly and Handgraves

Well, I just started writing a follow up to A Sinister Aura. Unlike the first tale, it's not going to be based on actual events. BUT like Sinister Aura, it's going to be a mystery based around actual places in Worcester and Worcester County.

It's going to be a combination of an earlier draft I started for the second Polly and Handgraves story as well as parts and plot ideas from another story I had started to write but kind of abandoned.

Since I like both ideas I thought I would combine them into one story with all the elements of historic Worcester, classic murder mystery formula and some conspiracy theories I have cooked up that might amuse you.

Stay tuned for the return of Polly and Handgraves. But in the meantime, order your copy of A Sinister Aura or come out to Comic Con in Boston on Sunday and get your copy personally signed by me:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Boston Comic Con is approaching fast and furiously!!

I will be signing copies of Diary of the Black Widow as well as two of my latest releases The Spaghetti Strand Murder and The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves: A Sinister Aura.

I will also be selling signed prints of my work there as well.

So come on out for a day with comic books, comic book artists and people dressed like comic book characters!!