Saturday, August 29, 2009

Local Author's Extravaganza is today!!

Today's the day!! It will all be taking place at Borders Books and Music out on Boston Turnpike Road in Shrewsbury Massachusetts. A great store with a great group of people working there who are polite and professional behind the register and always offering service with a smile.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Bat-Man: Arkham Asylum

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with Crow Quill Pen and Brush on Strathmore 8x12 Smooth Bristol Board.

Inspired by the new hit game Arkham Asylum with a distinctly 1920's twist to it. I based my illustration of the place which houses all of the Bat-Man's greatest villains on the most intriguing place in Worcester Massachusetts: The Worcester State Mental Hospital. A place more than worthy to be used as Arkham.

On the wireless tonight!!

For those of you who don't live in Worcester Massachusetts, you will also be able to listen to my interview on WTAG Tonight with Mike Messina on WTAG's website. Just click on the photo above to go directly to the website and listen to it.

Batman and Robin

After reading issue #3, I think the new Batman and Robin series has the potential of being one of the best mainstream comic books to come out in a long time.

However, my biggest disappointment is finding out that Frank Quitely will not be doing the interior art after issue three. Nothing against Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion's artwork in any way. I just found Frank Quitely's style seemed to blend really well with Grant Morrison's writing. It had a more gritty, surreal feel to it that I thought worked really well in this nightmarish world Morrison had created for Batman and Robin.

My other disappointment was the fact that they killed off the Mr. Toad character after issue two. I thought this would have been a really great reoccurring villain for the new Batman and Robin. Kind of a creepier version of the campier villains like Tweedledum and Tweedledee and Mad Hatter that started to crop up more and more in the Batman comics after the Comics Code was put in place.

I suppose it's comic books and villains and heroes don't seem to stay dead for very long.

BUT I do like the new key villain Professor Pyg. He seems to be this deranged Mr. Joyboy style villain who despite horrifically disfiguring people seems to think he's doing nothing immoral.

And Grant Morrison is terrific at writing the dialogue for Pyg that is both very funny and incredibly disturbing. His rantings make absolutely no sense (at least to me) but that's what makes it work so well. His homicidal and bipolar rantings seem perfectly normal to him. Along with pig noises and squeals he makes in between.

Morrison had mentioned introducing a rogue gallery that was more along the lines of the 1950's comics and the 1960 television series but with a disturbing twist. And I think he's succeeded with that.

AND I was very happy they didn't have Dick Grayson wallowing in self pity about "Oooh! I can't handle the mantle of the Bat!" for this issue. Hopefully, they will stay away from that altogether because that can get tiring. And unlike the Azrael/Batman from the 1990's Knightfall storyline, I think the former Boy Wonder is really great as Batman.

Even though you have the sense that Bruce Wayne will probably return the moment the new Batman film goes in production, I don't mind Dick Grayson remaining Batman for a while.

I'm probably not going to get the single issues after #3. But I might pick up the trade paperback when it's out. The Batman and Robin series is definitely worth thumbing through at your local comic book store.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WTAG Tonight this Friday 8/28

I'm going to be appearing on WTAG Tonight with Mike Messina this coming Friday night at 6pm to chat about Local Author's Extravaganza at Borders Books and Music happen on Saturday afternoon as well as discuss being a local author and talk about my own books.

So tune in to News/Talk 580AM and 94.9FM WTAG on the old wireless this coming Friday night at 6pm!!

Gotham City Adventurer

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with Crow Quill Pen and Brush on Strathmore 9x12 Smooth Bristol Board.

Depicting The Bat-Man as a 1920's style adventurer in the mold of Douglas Fairbanks. The pose was inspired by a publicity photo from the first Batman movie serial from the 1940's as well as David Mazzucchelli's very bold and stylish interpretation of Batman.

Click on the E-Bay link to the left to start bidding!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Count Dracula

Illustrated with Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink and spotted with Brilliant Red Gouache with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore 9x12 Smooth Bristol Board.

Another take on the Count. A variation on both the more romantic and more rat-like Dracula. I stayed with the more decaying and decrepit looking Dracula as portrayed by both Max Schrek and Klaus Kinski with both the look of the face and claw-like fingers while dressing him more elegantly in the style of the Dracula we're more familiar with in pop culture.

The reason for this is I wanted to give the impression that despite his rather deformed and horrific appearance, there is something very alluring about Dracula that attracts his victim. And also to give him that look of nobility despite his decaying appearance.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Castle Dracula

"He may not enter anywhere at the first, unless there be some one of the household who bid him to come, though afterwards he can come as he please." ~Count Dracula

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with Crow Quill Pen and Brush on Strathmore 9x12 Smooth Bristol Board.

Jonathan Harker's first glimpse of Count Dracula as he enters the castle. The image is inspired by a promotional photo of Max Schrek as Dracula (although called Count Orlok in that film for legal reasons).

I decided to go for the Max Schrek and Klaus Kinski less romantic and seductive version of Dracula for this illustration. Although, I like both the Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee versions of the character a lot, I wanted to give more of the appearance of a decaying vampyre nobleman locked away in his decaying castle in my illustration of Count Dracula.

Click on the E-Bay link to the left to start bidding :-)

Local Author Extravaganza at Borders Books and Music

August 29, 2009 starting at 1:00 PM Shrewsbury - Borders
476 Boston Turnpike
Shrewsbury, MA 01545

I will be taking part in the event alongside some other very talented authors from the Worcester County Area!! Please come on out this Saturday and chat with the authors about their books and anything else they might be up to.

And they'll even be very happy to sign their books on the spot for you!!

Please be sure to call the Borders in Shrewsbury for more information about what authors will be taking part in the event!!

Phone: 508.845.8665 Fax: 508.845.3640

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer auctions continue!!

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

SPECIAL SUMMER AUCTION!! The winning bidder will not only get the chance to win this illustration featuring the Black Widow and the Detective Inspector but will also receive a copy of both Diary of the Black Widow and The Spaghetti Strand Murder.

Both books will be PERSONALLY SIGNED to the winning bidder of this auction!!

Click on the E-Bay link to the left to start bidding!!

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

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

Arthur Dent and Marvin the Paranoid Android. Inspired by Douglas Adams's brilliant classic "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".

I decided to do a composite of Marvin from both the BBC television series and the 2005 movie adaptation. I mean, you couldn't have chosen a better sullen voice than Alan Rickman as Marvin. It seemed like it was tailor made.

I used a bit of the circular look of Marvin for the movie but I absolutely love the bizarre design of the face from the television show. So, I put the two together along with a few of my own ideas here and there.

I made Arthur Dent's hair a bit thinner and more scraggly than his movie alter ego because this is the way I pictured him when I was originally reading the book.

You can bid on it starting at $9.99 by clicking the E-Bay link to your left :-)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor and Iris Wildthyme

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

This time I have Iris Wildthyme and her doubledecker bus finding it's way into the Tenth Doctor's life.

I have stated in the past that Iris is a character I would love to see make the transition into the current Doctor Who series. I would have loved to have seen her bump into David Tennant's Doctor and have him blurt out with his "What??" when he first runs into her.

I could also see her taking quite the fancy to the younger looking Tenth Doctor. Although I'm sure she'd be in absolute bliss to be able to run into the even younger Eleventh Doctor. Or perhaps saying something to the Tenth like "Still, you're not as young looking as your next..." and the Tenth Doctor cocking an eyebrow and saying, "My next what?" which Iris would probably say, "Never mind. It's not important." or something along those lines.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Reichenbach Falls

"You will change your course. You will try to elude me. But whichever way you turn, there will be eyes that see and wires that tell. I shall meet you there. And you know it. And when I fall, you will fall with me." ~Professor James Moriarty from William Gillette's play Sherlock Holmes

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

This illustration depicts the famous and final confrontation between Sherlock Holmes and his arch-nemesis Professor James Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls in the story The Final Problem first published in December of 1893.

I don't think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle could have picked a better location for this scene.

This was originally to be the end of Sherlock Holmes. He and Professor Moriarty were to have fallen to their almost certain death on the rocks below. Watson never sees this confrontation and only imagines what it might have been like and how it must have ended from the note Moriarty allowed Holmes to leave him.

I'm not sure if Sir Arthur realized this at the time but he actually did something very clever by not having Watson witness this struggle. It gave him that loophole to be able to return Sherlock Holmes and make it believable. At the time he had finished writing the story I'm sure he felt that Holmes was as good as dead and that was it. He had grown weary of his creation and wanted to move on to other things.

What he didn't count on was the public outcry over Holmes's death.

I was inspired by Sidney Paget's original depiction of the two locked in combat as the sounds of the waterfall pounded mercilessly behind them. I was also inspired by the scene in which Alan Moore wrote a more detailed version of the confrontation in his stellar graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Which I felt was one of the best illustrations of Holmes I've seen in comic art in some time. Holmes's costume was inspired by a cross between the one Jeremy Brett wore in the adaptation of The Final Problem as well as the tweed costume William Gillette wore for the play Sherlock Holmes.

The illustration is available for bidding on E-Bay. Click on the E-Bay link on the left hand link bar.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Doctor Who: Time Rift

This illustration is based on the now famous Seventh Doctor fan video Time Rift.

I have never seen the production in it's entirety apart from bits and pieces. The lead actor who portrays Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor has gone on to write for both the Doctor Who novels as well as an audio adventure The Fearmongers which featured the bone fide Seventh Doctor and Ace.

The original plot was: The TARDIS is drawn off course and sent to Washington DC in the near future by the Time Lords where they want the Doctor to investigate interference in a major historical event to happen within the next 24 hours -- the complete and total destruction of the US capital by an unknown force. With the help of UNIT's scientific advisor, Dr. Black, the Doctor is able to determine the cause of a series of unexplained appearances and disappearances (including that of a cybernetic warrior from the year 2165 named Ray). A time rift, which is a tangle in the delicate web of time, has centered itself on the DC area and, if it is not taken under control quickly, will go critical and destroy the entire city. General Kramer requests the Doctor's aid in averting the disaster.

I thought the story sounded great and would have loved to see it get made as a proper Doctor Who story.

I decided to do an illustration of the Seventh Doctor and the enigmatic Dr. Black. But I did the Seventh Doctor as though he was being portrayed by Sylvester McCoy. The costume design is from one I did for a couple early Seventh Doctor illustration I did which were based heavily on the one Lee Sullivan illustrated him in for Death Comes to Time.

With a few of my own inventions to the costume ;-)

Here's selected scenes from Time Rift below. I was glad to finally get the opportunity to see bits and bobs from it after all these years of hearing about it.

Bid on FRAMED Polly and Handgraves artwork!!

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Canson 8 1/2 x 11 Smooth Bristol Board. FRAMED!!

LIMITED TIME ONLY!! Original artwork from the on going series The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves created specifically for E-Bay and FRAMED!! This is NOT a reproduction or a print.

NOTE: This is original pen and ink artwork with the bidding starting at $9.99!!

The winning bidder of this auction will not only win the original artwork PERSONALLY SIGNED to them but they will also win a copy of the graphic novel The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves: A Sinister Aura PERSONALLY SIGNED to them as well.

Spider-Man in the Key of Ditko

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

Local Authors Extravaganza comes back to Borders!!

I'm planning on taking part in Local Authors Extravaganza at Borders Books and Music in Shrewsbury Massachusetts next Saturday August 29th from 1 till 4pm!! If you haven't been to one of these events, it's a really great thing the manager at this Borders has put together for the local authors to come out and talk about their books to the customers.

And even sign them on the spot.

The event is a lot of fun, so come on out and meet some very talented writers from the Worcester MA area!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Fourth Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey

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

Another supporting character from the new Doctor Who audio play Hornets' Nest written by Paul Magrs and starring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor. Mrs Wibbsey is the Fourth Doctor's land lady. Think of Mrs. Hudson if Mrs. Hudson had absolutely NO patience at all for Sherlock Holmes. If not a little bit of contempt for him as well perhaps.

I have them surrounded by the killer China dolls once again. I wanted Mrs Wibbsey to have no fear in the scene and be annoyed with the Doctor that this is happening to her.

Iris and her boys

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

Another illustration featuring Timelady Iris Wildthyme. This time alongside five of the Doctors she has appeared with in either the BBC Books or Big Finish audio adventures. She appeared with the Third Doctor in the book Verdigris, the Fourth Doctor in the short story Old Flame, the Fifth Doctor in the audio adventure Excelis: Dawn, the Sixth Doctor in the audio adventure The Wormery and the Eighth Doctor in the books The Scarlet Empress, The Blue Angel and Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

Once again Iris's appearance is based on Björk and her attire is taken from June Hudson's character design of Iris's clothing.

A while back I tried to submit a story idea that would have featured the Second Doctor running into Iris during the beginning of his exile. The story would have probably been placed between The War Games and Spearhead from Space and would feature the Cybermen in 1900 with a bit of a Curse of Frankenstein twist to it. My proposal was ultimately rejected.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor and Iris Wildthyme

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

This illustration is based on one of my favorite characters from the Doctor Who novels: Iris Wildethyme created by uber writer Paul Magrs. Iris is a fellow Timelord of the Doctor whose TARDIS is shaped like a Double-Decker London Bus. Unlike the Doctor's TARDIS, Iris's is in fact smaller on the inside than it is on the outside because it was dying when she found it.

I have her appearing with the Eighth Doctor in this picture because she appeared in quite a few of the Eighth Doctor Adventures published by BBC Books. I based Iris's costume directly on the illustration famous Doctor Who costume designer June Hudson did for one of the covers for an anthology of Iris Wildthyme short stories.

My interpretation of Iris is based on Björk who I could imagine playing the part of Iris if the character appeared in the current television series.

It Names my Name

Another submission I finished work on this afternoon. Illustrated with Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Canson 11x14 Smooth Bristol Board.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Doctor Who: Verdigris

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink and painted in gouache on Strathmore 9x12 smooth bristol board.

This illustration is based on Paul Magrs's Third Doctor novel Verdigris published by BBC Books. If you have not read it as of yet, I recommend the book very highly. Paul Magrs wrote the book keeping the campy feel of what I like about Jon Pertwee's era as the Doctor. I especially like the alien character Verdigris from the novel.

While I was reading it I could almost hear either Stephen Thorne or Michael Kilgarriff's booming voices as Verdigris. Stephen Thorne in particular for those Doctor Who fans who remember him in the Daemon or as Omega in The Three Doctors.

I was very much inspired by the Axons when I was illustrating the character of Verdigris.

And the Master even has a part to play in the story. But not in a way you would think he does. But I felt as though I needed to add him to the piece as well.

I also decided to spot the piece with red and green gouache which were the colors Magrs wrote Verdigris being in the novel.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Doctor Who and the Hornet Queen

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

Inspired by the new series of Fourth Doctor audio plays Hornets Nest written by Paul Magrs and starring Tom Baker as the Doctor for the first time since he left the role in Logopolis nearly 29 years ago.

This illustration features the Fourth Doctor facing against the key villain of the story the Hornet Queen. My idea when creating the image was to make it look like something that would have come out of that era for Doctor Who. The look of the Hornet Queen was inspired by both Fendahl (Image of the Fendahl) and the Jagaroth (City of Death). I also wanted the Fourth Doctor to look similar to the way he would have looked between the television episodes The Invasion of Time and The Ribos Operation.

The illustration can also be found on Paul Magrs blog:

Anna and Otto

A submission I just completed. Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink and rendered on the ole Photoshop.

Doctor Who: The Four Doctors

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore 9x12 smooth bristol board.

Same concept as my two Three Doctors illustrations I did earlier. This one features the four later Doctors starting with the Eighth Doctor and followed by the Ninth, Tenth and now the Eleventh Doctor.

Normally in the past, the Doctors tend to bristle when they meet their past incarnations. I wanted to go along the lines of how pleased the Tenth Doctor was when he ran into his Fifth self and make him more chummier towards his future incarnation. Whereas the Eighth and Ninth Doctors are eyeballing each other up a little bit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Beatles: Pepperland

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

Doctor Who: The Others

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore 9x12 smooth bristol board.

Similar concept as my previous The Next Doctor illustration taking place within the 11th Doctor's mind. This time I have the new Doctor surrounded by alternative... or perhaps future... incarnations of himself. I used actors who have played the Doctor in different media's to portray the others.

From left to right: Peter Cushing (from the 1960 Dalek films), Trevor Martin (from the 1970 Doctor Who stage play), Rowan Atkinson (from the 1999 Doctor Who comic relief sketch), Mark Gatiss (from a 1999 Doctor Who night special segments) and Richard E. Grant (from 2003 Doctor Who web animation Scream of the Shalka).

There's also someone else lurking in the shadows... and perhaps the Doctor's future.

Click on Bret's E-Bay Art to place your bid today!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doctor Who: The Next Doctor

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Canson 11x14 smooth bristol board.

All Eleven Doctors. Plus a few extra in the shadows. The idea was taken from Paul Cornell's Seventh Doctor audio adventure Shadow of the Scourge in which the Doctor explains to Bernice Summerfield that his past incarnations stand in the shadows of his mind looking on. And occasionally being critical. But his future and possible incarnations also stand in the shadows as well.

Working with that idea, I have the newly regenerated 11th Doctor surrounded by his past selves looking on suspiciously and skeptically at the new boy. I've also placed a few alternate incarnations of the Doctors in the shadows of the new Doctor's mind as well which include Peter Cushing, Trevor Martin, Rowan Atkinson, Mark Gatiss and Richard E. Grant. There's also another figure lurking in the shadows mysteriously... and sinisterly.

In this gathering of the Doctor's past lives, I have the Tenth Doctor stepping out of the shadows slightly handing off the key to the TARDIS to his successor. Very much inspired by the now famous promotional picture of Sylvester McCoy handing over the TARDIS key to Paul McGann when he took the role back in 1996.

Unlike the previous incarnations, I have the Tenth Doc smiling as he hands things over to a new Doctor.

Currently available on E-Bay!! Click on the E-Bay button to the left hand side of the screen to start bidding!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Green Hornet

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the character this is taken from Wikipedia:

The Green Hornet is a fictional masked crime fighter. Originally created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker for an American radio program in the 1930s, the character has appeared in other media as well, including film serials in the 1940s, a network television program in the 1960s, and multiple comic book series from the 1940s to the 1990s. Though various incarnations sometimes change details, in most incarnations the Green Hornet is Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher by day who by night goes out in his masked "Green Hornet" identity to fight crime as a vigilante, accompanied by his similarly masked Asian manservant Kato and driving a car, equipped with advanced technology, called "Black Beauty".

Okay, now here's the Green Hornet as he appeared in the 1940's movie serials...

And here's how he appeared in the 1960's television series...

And now introducing the Green Hornet for a modern audience... Seth Rogen???

I know Tim Burton made it work for Michael Keaton as Batman (which caused a stir at the time because he was known for comedies like Mr. Mom and Johnny Dangerously. But I still like both Batman and Batman Returns), Warren Beatty (not to be confused with Ned Beatty) was somewhat believable as Dick Tracy (And no. I didn't like the movie), Alec Baldwin as the Shadow seemed to have the right look and build for the part (can't comment on this one. Never saw it) and Billy Zane was actually quite good as The Phantom (lightweight but a lot of fun). But isn't this stretching it a little? It might work since they have a unique director in Michel Gondry behind the helm who directed some of my favorite Björk videos.

I guess the mindset might be to capture lightning in a bottle the way they did with Michael Keaton as Batman. The actor you'd least expect as a superhero pulling it off as a superhero. I'm still having a rough time wrapping my mind around Seth Rogen pulling it off the way Keaton did though.

But we'll see.

Next project... well one of them at least...

With this teeny bit of downtime I've been given, As I work on three other projects that need to get done I'm also working on a new project which I had started writing a month or so ago. The only difference with this one is I've decided not to do the art for it. I've actually enlisted the help of my WAM and Undercoverfish chum Jamie Buckmaster to do the artwork.

The reason for this is because this is I have a particular look for this story and Jamie's artwork is perfect. For those of you who are familiar with the Doctor Who TV Comic strips that appeared in the 1970's with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's Doctor, Jamie has a style that's similar but much better than those strips.

And that was the look I was going for.

The story itself is going to take my love for things like HG Wells, C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet trilogy, Hammer Horror and Doctor Who.

If you would like to check out the Buckmaster's work, there's a link on the left hand side of the screen. It's under my Friends of Mine link list.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Limited time auction!!

For a limited time only you can bid on a framed print of the cover for The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves: A Sinister Aura!! This print has hung in ARTWorcester's members show Journey... Stops Along the Way for $60 but you can start bidding on it now for $9.99 by clicking on the picture above!!

Not only will the winning bidder receive the print framed and PERSONALLY SIGNED to them but they will also receive a copy of The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves: A Sinister Aura PERSONALLY SIGNED to them as well. The perfect auction for anyone who cares about me, my books, or my signature. Or just enjoys buying art.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gotham City Adventurers

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing ink with crow quill pen and brush with ink wash on Strathmore 9x12 smooth bristol board.

A Roaring 20's interpretation of the Bat-Man and Robin as if they were being portrayed by Douglas Fairbanks and Jackie Coogan. Ready to fight crime on the streets of Gotham City in a Batmobile fitting for the 1920's.

Currently available on E-Bay with the starting bid at $9.99!! Click on the Bret's E-Bay Art link on the far left hand side to bid on it!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Demon Clown of Gotham

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore 9x12 smooth bristol board.

An interpretation of the Bat-Man and the Joker. A Jack the Ripper inspired Joker with influences from Sweeney Todd, Cesare the Somnambulist (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) and a a smattering of Charlie Chaplin/Buster Keaton to give a turn of the century style Joker that jilted silent movie comedian feel to him.

Once again, this is a rather swashbuckling vision of Bat-Man if he had been played by Douglas Fairbanks. With his costume inspired heavily on the low budget serials from the 1940's to give him the feel of someone who relies heavily on his wits to battle the Joker rather than a bullet-proof costume an myriad of gadgets.

You can bid on it right now by clicking on the Bret's E-Bay Art link on the left hand side. The bidding starts at $9.99!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

End of a somewhat tiring week

I was spoiled last week. This week wasn't nearly as good as the previous week as far as classes were concerned. The students for the most part did good work. I had one student for his age did amazing work!! But there were a couple that were really not that focused, did very little work and were really just distractions for the most part in the class. And I had very little success in getting them to stick to a project.

So yeah!! I was majorly spoiled the week before with a class of 8 to 10 year olds where I could throw out just about anything and they would run with it. These 11 to 13 year olds didn't have nearly as much enthusiasm for the most part. With three or four exceptions to the rule.

It happens from time to time but it's still tiring. I suppose in this case I think the parents had good intentions enrolling their child in my class. But I think what they would have just enrolled the student in one or the other class. The entire day was a bit too much and after lunchtime the attention levels just weren't there and the student would just become a distraction and I got little to no work out of them.

But it wasn't nearly as bad as some classes in the past where I felt like tearing my hair out afterward. Yeah, I've had classes like that.

But the week is over and I have some downtime now to work on projects.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Second Polly and Handgraves story has been scripted...

Well, I got the first draft written at least. I've still got a long way to go with proofreading and tweaking here and there before I set forth putting pencil and ink to bristol board. But I think I've got a really good plot for the second tale. One I hope everyone will enjoy :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sympathy for Shemp

I'll confess. I've never been a fan of Shemp. But I never really hated him either. I suppose I'm a bit jaded because I'm comparing him to Curly. For some reason, Curly added a sort of balance to the Three Stooges because he was so off the wall and had a natural talent for physical comedy. And his back and forth antics with Moe are always funny. You always catch something new every time you watch the shorts again.

I think Shemp's problem is he looked too much like Moe. He was Moe's older brother but the two looked like they could have been twins. It's strange how that works with siblings where one can almost look like a carbon copy and another sibling looks like he came from another family altogether.

Which is possibly a huge reason I can relate to Curly ;-)

But having watched Joe Besser for the first time a couple years back, it gave me a new found appreciation for Shemp.

I used to confuse Joe Besser with Curly-Joe. But I found out they were too different people and that made me tolerate Curly-Joe a bit more when I finally saw a Stooge film with Curly-Joe. He was still a very bland substitute for Curly but at the same time he wasn't at all as flesh-crawlingly obnoxious as Joe Besser. The moment you see Joe Besser say "Hello" in the opening credits you want to throw your cat at the television set.

But back to Shemp.

That made me appreciate Shemp a lot more. I still won't go out of my way to buy a collection of Stooge films with Shemp on them. But it's an unfair comparison. Curly was an original. Shemp never wanted to be a permanent replacement of Curly in the later films.

A good example of you do things to help out family.

But Shemp was also a Stooge before Curly. And he was a brother. Which, even though I'm still not a complete fan, makes him a genuine Stooge next to Joe Besser and Curly-Joe. ESPECIALLY Joe Besser.

Again with Curly-Joe, it was around the time Moe and Larry were well past their prime. And you probably really couldn't get away with some of the stuff they did back in the 30's and 40's (and even 50's). And physically probably couldn't get away with what they did in their prime.

I guess you could compare Curly-Joe to trying to replace a favorite cat with one that looks somewhat similar. It may resemble the cat you lost but it's not the same. There was just something about that cat's mannerisms you adored and this new cat may be nice and look practically the same. But in your mind, the first cat just cannot be replaced.

And it's funny to think there might have been a post-Larry Fine Three Stooges line up in 1975 which was never fully realized because of the death of Moe Howard.

Taking all that in consideration, I'm a bit more sympathetic towards Shemp than I used to be. But I'll still enjoy the shorts with Curly a lot more.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cover art for the bidding!!

Not reproductions or prints. But the original cover art used on both books. The winning bidder of either (or both) auctions will receive the covers personally signed to them as well as copies of the book PERSONALLY SIGNED to them.

Click on the handy dandy new auction link at the left hand corner of the blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor and the Valeyard

Illustrated with Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore 9x12 smooth bristol board.

Inspired by the Doctor Who novel "Matrix" written by Robert Perry and Mike Tucker which features the Seventh Doctor and the Valeyard.

Once again, I'm creating my own version of a "New" Adventure version of the Seventh Doctor with the look to his costume. Drawing from the jacket Lee Sullivan illustrated him in for "Death Comes to Time" while retaining his trademark fedora hat, question mark handled umbrella and plaid trousers he wore during his time as the Doctor.

For those unfamiliar with Doctor Who, the Valeyard is a future (evil) interim incarnation of the Doctor. Somewhere between regeneration 12 and 13.

Diary of the Black Widow first draft on the auction block...

This is the page that was part of my original submission to Fantagraphic Books in 2006 which was rejected because they thought I had done the pages in flair tipped marker. Which I hadn't. But I had used card stock instead of bristol board.

A lesson to all you young artists out there that the quality of the materials you use to create your work DOES matter ;-)

When the project was picked up by Alterna in October, it was done on good old reliable bristol board.

But winning bidders will not only receive the page personally signed to them but a copy of Diary of the Black Widow personally signed to them as well.

All four of my books currently in print are available at,, That's Entertainment in Worcester MA, Cormier Jewelers in Spencer MA and other fine booksellers online or otherwise.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

You're nothing but a pack of cards...

A second Alice in Wonderland piece. Original artwork by the artist. Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore 9x12 smooth bristol board.

Taken from the courtroom scene from Alice in Wonderland in which Alice exclaims when the Queen of Hearts demands Alice's head that "You're nothing but a pack of cards". I wanted to show both Alice's lack of fear at the situation as well as her annoyance by these silly creatures and the Queen of Hearts arrogance and obliviousness at Alice's obviously height advantage at this point of the story.

The Fourth Doctor and Mike Yates

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore 9x12 smooth bristol board.

This illustration was inspired by the new Doctor Who audio series "Hornets Nest" which stars Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Richard Franklin reprising the role of Mike Yates which he played in Jon Pertwee's era. The series is written by the amazingly talented Paul Magrs who wrote my favorite Doctor Who book "Verdigris".

Since the series takes place after the events of "Invasion of Time", I tried to make the Fourth Doctor look and dressed as he was during that time period. I also chose to make Mike Yates appear somewhat similar to how he looked shortly after "Planet of the Spiders".