Sunday, May 31, 2009

Finished scripting!!

I just finished scripting Romance with a Croquet Mallet today. Is it somewhat a bit smug and self-indulgent of me to be chuckling at my own lines as I was writing it?

Probably is. But I did it anyways.

I've e-mailed the script to a friend of mine to proofread it. She does a lot of script writing and sketch comedy, so she's good at that sort of thing.

It was nice to be able to use a few more of the scenes and lines from the original stage play Romance with a Croquet Mallet. There was a lot of stuff I missed when I was doing The Spaghetti Strand Murder and I'm glad I did because now they can be used in a new work.

The book is also going to be a bit longer than SSM was. So, there will be plenty of love, mystery, intrigue and of course a croquet mallet ;-)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Second Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith illustration

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Stathmore 9x12 Smooth Bristol Board.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Romance with a Croquet Mallet

For those of you who are unfamiliar and haven't read The Spaghetti Strand Murder just yet, Romance with a Croquet Mallet was the name of a play I wrote back in 2000/2001 when I was still trying to find my feet as either an artist or writer.

I really wasn't sure at the time if I had a future in either art or comic books so I began to do a little dabbling in playwriting. I had started familiarizing myself with Oscar Wilde at the time, so this play was somewhat my attempt at something along the lines of an Oscar Wilde play.

Although, in the end I found it read more like P.G. Wodehouse than Oscar Wilde. Which was fine by me. In the past nine or ten years I've found myself leaning towards the type of comedy of P.G. Wodehouse.

With a little bit of a naughty twist here and there.

But the play never went any further than a reading with a local theatre group up at Mount Wachusett and sat on my hard drive for ages.

Last year, I ressurected scenes and lines from the play for my graphic novel The Spaghetti Strand Murder. In the past month or so in between writing a couple more follow up projects as well as doing some freelance work, I had decided that I want to write a follow up to The Spaghetti Strand Murder bring back Doland, Lady Sloughshire, Morass, Maladay the Butler, Vicar F. Entreaty Thompson as well as possibly Tom Bakerfield Stewart and Enamour Infamy for a scene or two.

I also want to use Dashing Young Harold Larson and Brigette the Maid from the play as well as introduce a couple of new villainous characters into the mix.

I have a desire to write a Life and Blandings type of story with these characters.

There were still a great deal of scenes and lives unused in my play that I haven't used just yet, so I thought I would day after Thanksgiving on the old turkey and pick the bones clean once and for all.

And I've decided to finally use the title of the play on this story. So nearly nine or ten years later, Romance with a Croquet Mallet will finally see the light of day.

Perhaps not on the stage at the Hanover Theater in downtown Worcester. But on the shelf at That's Entertainment ;-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another commissioned piece

From another one of my E-Bay customers. The guy sent me a photograph of the person he wanted illustrated and gave me complete artistic license on how I wanted to execute the piece.

Once I saw the photograph, I was immediately inspired to take a trip down to Brookfield Cemetery out in the Brookfields and take a few photographs of some of the older Revolutionary War era graves for some background images.

The result is what you see above.

I gave the piece the unofficial title Memento Morti. I had taken a close up shot of one of the gravestones. One of the things I love about headstones from that era is the creepy artwork up at the top of them. But I noticed that written on the stone when I was looking at the photograph later on and it stuck with me.

Some of you might recognize the crypt from one of my earlier sequential works Ghosts' Story which I collaborated on with my friend Rori who wrote it from one of her own spectral experiences.

That story appeared in the Undercoverfish Group's anthology titled 103 in the Shade.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sherlock Holmes sneak peek in Heroes

I won't be hearing back from the Xeric Foundation until after June 15th whether I got the comic book self publishing grant or not. But I have put together an eight page sneak preview of Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner which I am planning on have appear in the upcoming issue of the Undercoverfish Groups anthology Detour. This issue is titled Heroes.

I had originally considered doing a short story called Oscar Wilde: International Man of Absurity. I had written a short sketch several years back which would feature Oscar Wilde as this James Bond type of super spy. I thought it might be amusing for this particular issue.

Unfortunately, I contacted plague and was bedridden before I was able to get started on it and by the time I was finally feeling better, I was beginning to rapidly run out of time to be able to write and illustrate a new story for the anthology.

I haven't missed an issue yet, so I decided I would submit a teaser for my graphic novel. What better superhero for issue like this than Sherlock Holmes?

But I will let you know when the latest issue of Detours hits the streets. Featuring the work and writing of some of the most talented people I know!!

Memorial Day and my Grandfather

I think for most of us born prior to 1996, we all had Grandparents who served in WWII. I was very close to my Grandfather. Milton Elliot Dorr was a very easy man to get close to. He was very kind and thoughtful. Always listened, always appreciated your company and was always there for you when you needed him. No questions asked and there was never any strings attached to his help. Or kindness.

He's the type of guy you wish you were. And that makes you appreciate the person he was because they only come around once in a blue moon.

He was my connection to that era and things like the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. He passed that down to my Mum so I ended up watching a lot of things stuff as a child and loving it. Especially the Marx Brothers.

Monty Python comes from my Dad watching it late at night and me taking it in through my sleep. So, between my Grandfather and my Dad, it really shaped up my sense of humor today.

My Grandfather also served his country proudly during WWII. He marched all the way from the boot of Italy all the way into the Lion's Den. And keep in mind this is a kid no older than 20 or 22 marching through the worst of conditions on foot.

At 33 I find it all unimaginable to go through all that. And he did and came back. He never considered himself a hero. He felt the men who gave their lives over there to serve their country were the real heroes.

THAT'S why that's the kind of guy I wish I was.

I'm sure it left mental scars but he never took it out on anybody. Given what he experienced over there, finding out that your brother died in a house fire while you're across the ocean and the kind of childhood he had which lacked any sort of love or family life would leave most people bitter and cynical.

Not my Grandfather. He was probably one of the most tender and family centered people I know. And I think a lot of it had to do with the fact since he didn't have that stability in his own homelife he was going to make sure he gave that sort of homelife to his own four daughters.

And the stories he told of his times during the war. But he never talked about the men he killed. He thought it was disrespectful to do that.

If you ever want to stop me, I'd be very happy to tell you what I can remember. But they'll never compare with the way he told them.

My Grandfather has been gone for nearly three years now. And there's not a day that goes by that I miss him. I realize I was very fortunate. A lot of people I talk with either never knew their grandparents or their grandparents were such thoughtless and bitter people they could never get close to them.

And I was both fortunate to know and be close to my Grandfather. And anybody who knew my Grandfather knows exactly what I'm talking about.

So, with that said, thank you Milton E. Dorr and thank you everyone who has served our country and given us the freedom we have today.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Commissioned piece

The classic Patrick Troughton(Second Doctor) era Cybermen. My particular favorite of all the Cybermen designs. Requested by one of my E-Bay customers.

Pen and ink and ink wash. Illustrated with Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink (by far the best around for all aspiring comic book artists) with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore 9x12 Windpower Smooth Bristol Board.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Doctor Who

I had started doing some artwork again for E-Bay. This time I thought I would try some Doctor Who art.

It's funny what will sell and what won't sell on E-Bay from month to month. A couple months ago people were bidding on my Sherlock Holmes work right to left. But now I haven't even got a sniff. But I put my first Doctor Who illustration up for bidding and the same day someone has put a bid on it.

Oh well. I'll probably hang onto the Sherlock Holmes ones till the Robert Downey Jr. movie comes out. People will probably take interest in the character by then. Especially if the movie is a success.

For those of you who know me or read my blog, I have been a huge fan of Doctor Who since the early 1980's when I use to watch episodes from behind the sofa because Tom Baker frightened me. Especially the end of The Invasion of Time when he looked right at the camera and started to laugh. I still remember that one and when Julian Glover's character pulled off his human masked and revealed that he was a one-eyed alien at the end of part one of The City of Death.

Of course fear usually turns to intrigue and by the time I was in the Fifth Grade (and they started showing episodes of the Fifth and then Sixth Doctor) I was hooked. Every night at 7pm on PBS Channel 2 in Boston.

But here are the illustrations I created for E-Bay. All of which are selling:

Audio Journals

I had recently done some artwork for Audio Journals. I had done a couple illustrations for them a while back featuring this seeing eye dog they named Wiffy for some promotional stuff.

According to their website: Audio Journal is Central Massachusetts' radio reading service for individuals who are print disabled. We provide information, education and entertainment to those who, for any reason, are unable to access the printed page. We serve not only those who are totally blind, but also those who are legally blind or have any visual impairment or physical disability. A print disability prevents one from holding printed materials. Common causes include paralysis, arthritis, stroke, AIDS, multiple sclerosis,cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease, just to name a few.

My brother Mat's friend Jason Rufo works for Audio Journals and he was the guy who originally came to me to do some artwork. I've know Jason (or JJ as we usually call him) since High School.

They wanted something more cartoony than I usually do. Cartooning is one of those things like riding a bicycle. I did it so much when I was younger it almost comes naturally for me. It's my on/off switch. I can switch on whenever I it comes in handy for things like this or doing a class at the Art Museum.

I even had a student ask me if I created the Flintstones once during a class ;-)

Well, he came to me this time to say that they wanted some more artwork of Wiffy for this cook book Audio Journals is putting together. So, this is the work I came up with. I'll be certain to let you know when the book is out:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Last day of classes

This session has been pretty good. I've had good students in my Thursday class and both of my Saturday class even though I found by the eighth week I was pretty burned out when it concerned all things Samurai. I was probably luck to be able to squeak out as many projects as I did with that subject matter.

But for the most part this session went really well. Especially my Saturday afternoon Comics on Computer Class. I was really impressed with the quality of work that came out of that class and how adventurous the students were with what the created.

This was actually my first class I taught for the computer at the Art Museum. I had kind of held back from teaching a class over the past couple of years because I wasn't terribly sure if I knew what I was doing as far as doing graphic design sort of stuff. But since I have been able to do quite a bit more work on the Photoshop, I've become a bit more comfortable with the idea of teaching a computer class.

And I'm really looking forward to the Fall Session since I will be teaching a Drawn Animation class. As I have stated in a few past blog posts, it's been a pet project that I've wanted to get off the ground for a few years now. And seeing the success of the Claymation classes on the computer, I think it was time to start a traditional drawn animation class at WAM.

Well, I've got an hour or so to go before class ends. And then it's onto the Summer session. If you've got a talented kid who loves art, log onto and sign them up online or stop by the Art Museum and pick up a brochure there.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A (reasonably) clean bill of health

Well, I went for a check up today and the doctor said I had a respiratory infection. But it was one of these things where I was nearly over it so they really couldn't give me anything for it. Other than tell me to keep drinking plenty of fluids and take Mucinex to break up whatever was left in there.

But I'm relieved to know I'm on the upswing now. Last week was probably the worst bout of the flu I can remember ever having. It was bad enough where even Andy Fish noticed I was really out of it at work on Saturday.

I didn't go to the doctor because I thought I had the swine flu. But if it was something worse, then it's always good to know what I am up again and how I can treat it. So, I am happy that I've been treating it the right way and I just have to keep doing so.

I suppose if I succeeded in anything, I dropped down to 155 pounds in the past week or so. I wanted to at least get under 160 again. So, I suppose there's nothing like an illess to help out in a diet ;-)