Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Two Doctors

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

This has to be one of my all time favorite Doctor Who episodes from the original series (1963-1989) and it was the first time I was introduced to one of the Doctors prior to Tom Baker.

At the time I was in the fifth grade which was probably sometime around 1986 or 1986. They had been showing Doctor Who on our local PBS Station WGBH Channel 2 in Boston for a couple years now. As far as I knew at that point Tom Baker was the first Doctor because I think I remember they had only shown his episodes. Mainly because he was the Doctor at the time the show had gain popularity in the United States. That was also the point of the show where I could only watch Doctor Who from the corner of the room because Tom Baker frightened me.

I'll explain later...

Fast forward a few years to Peter Davison and Colin Baker. That was around the time I was a little less timid to watch the show and it was during Colin Baker's tenure that I really became a fan. He's gotten a lot of harsh criticism over the years, but he is still one of my favorite Doctors.

I think at the time I was going through a lot of being picked on at school by fellow. I was also terribly overweight at the time. Something that made me really self-conscious for years to come after that.

So, I really liked this character who was not afraid of wearing something I would get made fun of on the spot. Seriously I had a student make fun of my pants because they looked slightly pink. Are you serious??

I also liked the fact that Colin Baker's Doctor was so brash and self-confident and he didn't let people bully him. So, that made Doctor Who viewing all the more fun for me.

Well, enough back story. The Two Doctors was the first episode for me to discover a Doctor prior to Tom Baker in the form of Patrick Troughton. Through the magic of home video, since 1995 I've become more familar with the past Doctors.

Some of you might remember Patrick Troughton as either the ill fated priest in The Omen or from a few of the Hammer Horror movies. In particular The Scars of Dracula.

I took a few liberities once again with my interpretation of the meeting between Doctors number two and number six. I decided to make the Second Doctor appear as he did during his tenure from 1966 till 1969 rather than how he appeared in The Two Doctors.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Doctor Who: Lungbarrow

Another illustration inspired by the Doctor Who "New Adventure" series of novel published by Virgin from 1991 till 1997 which featured the Seventh Doctor as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy. This one is based on Marc Platt's novel Lungbarrow which was the final in the series of adventures for the Seventh Doctor.

This story the Doctor returns to Gallifrey and his ancestral home of Lungbarrow, where for over 800 years his 44 cousins have been trapped.

Once again I wanted to do my own spin on the Seventh Doctor's appearance. I always liked how the Doctor would change his attire during Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's tenures while maintaining a theme to it. The velvet jacket and frilly shirts with Pertwee and the long coat and scarf with Baker's Doctor.

So, I wanted to go along the same idea with the Seventh Doctor and change his appearance slightly. So, I borrowed a few looks from various sources.

Much like my previous The Doctor and Benny illustration, the jacket is borrowed from the one Lee Sullivan illustrated him in for Death Comes to Time and the panama hat is the one he wore during his tenure as the Doctor from 1987 till 1989. And then again in the 1996 Eighth Doctor movie. The waistcoat, shirt and trousers are borrowed from his costume from the Eighth Doctor film. Once again, the question mark brouche on his jacket lapel and shoes with spats is my invention.

The Timelord standing behind the Seventh Doctor is supposed to represent a younger version of the First Doctor. Sort of like he's being haunted by his past.

The concept of the young First Doctor came from something I had worked on ten years ago for a final project in my comic book class. I was doing story which would feature the Third Doctor, the Master and the Cybermen. One of the things I wrote was a flashback scene which would feature a very young Doctor in the academy.

A bit arrogantly I must confess, I used myself as the physical basis for the young Doctor. So, I thought I would use it again in this illustration.

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Remake of the Bride of Frankenstein????

There are some things that should just be left alone. The Bride of Frankenstein is one of them.

There's a difference between a remake and an adaptation. An adaptation is like taking Shelly's original novel Frankenstein and either remaining true to how she originally wrote the story or putting your spin on the tale.

A remake, however, is doing a new version of the 1931 film of Frankenstein with Karloff.

Films like Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee or Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein film aren't remakes. They're adaptations.

If they took the story from the Karloff film and made the monster (whose name is not Frankenstein, mind you. The Doctor's name is Frankenstein) look blocky with bolts sticking out of it's neck then it would be considered a remake.

Personally, I wish there were more adaptations like Andy Fish's take on Dracula rather than attempting to remake a classic. I cringe at the very thought but suppose it's only a matter of time before Citizen Kane and Duck Soup are remade.

Remember when the Zucker Brothers tried to do a twist on Night at the Opera with Brain Donors? If not, you didn't miss much.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One year, one month, 127 pages and a near nervous breakdown later I'M DONE!!

May 6th of last year I started penciling and inking the first page to Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner after several false starts. At about 2:30pm, I finished cleaning up the pages, fixing the lettering, flattening all 127 pages and burned them to a disc ready to be published.

And I have to say, this was probably my most difficult project to complete to date. It's also the longest book I've put out to date. The previous longest was Diary of the Black Widow which ended up padding out to around 88 pages.

But with this project there was a lot more planning and reworking the original script. Even while I was working on the pages I was making changes to the script.

William Gillette wrote a really great play. Well, actually expanded a play which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had initially wrote. It's somewhat an omnibus of all the great Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He borrowed elements from The Sign of Four, A Scandal in Bohemia and The Final Problem just to name a few.

What that does is introduce people to Sherlock Holmes who had never been exposed to the character as well as introduce them to some of the classic stories by weaving the elements of those stories into a brand new tale. And hopefully they'll enjoy their experience enough to want to look into those stories which the play was based on.

One of the things when I was approaching adapting the play into a graphic novel was the fact that I had to approach it like I was making a movie. With a play, you do not have the luxery of cutting to different scenes. You have to pack all the action into one scene (or Act).

So, you couldn't have Holmes and Watson at Baker Street and then sudden cut to Alice Faulkner being held prisoner at Edelweiss Lodge. Alice Faulker would have to be one entire act while Holmes and Watson would have to be another act.

When I started adapting the play I wrote it out straight as each act originally appeared. But the play itself is a bit too wordy and besides the fact Sherlock Holmes doesn't really come in until about halfway through the first act.

So, my first step was to condense the scene and pick up the pace. And that meant omitting both characters and dialogue that I felt really didn't move the story along and just was really there for filler material.

Like I said, this is something you have to do with a play because you're trying to pack a lot of action to stretch out a scene.

The result I feel gave the story a bit more a mysterious edge and it made you wonder where some of the incidental characters fell into the scene.

But now it's done!! Needless to say, a lot has happened between May 5th of last year and now. Some good and some heartbreaking. But I've always found that some of the best work out there comes out of some of the most trying times.

Take Paul McCartney's Band on the Run. Not that I'm arrogant (or stupid) enough to ever compare myself to the accomplishments of Sir Paul. But that album is a prime example of how something really fantastic came out of a really trying time in his life.

In the end, I hoped that the changes I made to the play still remained true to the spirit of both William Gillette's play and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character.

Thank you again Rori for your marvelous graytones and cover coloring! And thank you Jared for proofreading and going over my lettering and punctuation :-)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Well, that was quick!

Needless to say, I was very surprised to hear back from the Xeric Foundation a week before I expected them to respond. Once I saw that I had received a letter in my mailbox I had a sneaking suspicion that this was going to be a rejection letter. A lot of the times, people will either respond by telephone or e-mail if they accept your work. Of course this isn't necessarily true because I've received countless rejection via e-mail. But more times than not, if you're accepted it's by the quickest means possible.

Pretty much I was rejected by a form letter stating pretty much that they regret to inform me that I wasn't going to receive a grant and the board is far too busy to give reasons why it was rejected but don't stop trying to put my work out there.

I'll be honest, I'm not terribly upset by the news. Mostly because I kind of expected it. Not to downplay my work but there are so many artists out there. And art really is a subjective thing. What one person could think is the the greatest work since Schubert, another person might just find it merely mediocre.

I'm also pleased that I took that risk. If I didn't, I would be sitting around wondering "what if" right now. And it really wasn't a risk because all I ended up spending on was photocopies and postage.

It wasn't like I just spent millions of dollars to open up a high end restaurant only to have it fall into the Atlantic Ocean.

They were right about one thing in the letter. Don't give up. If you're a young artist, be prepared for many letters like this. Just learn from it and keep trying. The biggest mistake I ever made was giving up after my first few rejections back in 1999. Don't do that. Just keep sending your work out despite.

In the end I'm glad I did it and now I move forward. I had intended on putting out my Sherlock Holmes graphic novel even if I didn't get accepted by Xeric and that's what I'm still intending on doing.

Another sneak peek at Alice Faulkner

Well, I should be hearing back from the Xeric Foundation on the Self-Publishing Grant sometime after next week. But in the meantime, I thought I would post one more sneak peek of Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner.

What happens next... ;-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A couple new Small Works

Both of which are available for bidding on E-Bay...

How Right You Are, Jeeves

Alice in Wonderland

Monday, June 8, 2009

Check out the Armsby Abbey

It's probably one of the best finds for me in Worcester since Andy Fish introduced me to the Corner Grille. After people had been telling me all about the place I decided to finally check it out in my travels yesterday.

It did not disappoint in the least.

They give the option of being seated on the sidewalk. But I've always felt like the only way to really experience a new place was to sit inside and soak it in. The moment I stepped in, it brought back memories of going to Churchills in Savannah Georgia with my SCAD buddies.

I loved the atmosphere and all the people working there were very friendly from the moment I stepped through the door. The beer I had on tap was excellent. I love a good IPA and this was a great IPA. From what I have been told they brew their own beers. And the food was very good too.

I was also impressed by the fact they didn't have a television blaring in the background with some sporting event or something. So, you can actually have a conversation with someone.

I also had no trouble parking on the side of the road. Since it was a Sunday I didn't have to feed the meters. But they're located on a part of Main Street that isn't as difficult to navigate. Especially if you are heading towards the place via Highland Street.

But I had a great time yesterday nursing my beer and sketching for a couple hours. I definitely recommend you check it out. It's probably one of the best establishments I've been to in Worcester for a while.

You can click on the picture above to check out their website.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kids these days...

I was driving to the bank this afternoon. A client had paid me the rest of the money they owed on a project (all $21 of it) and I had decided to put it in the bank. You never know when that little extra will help out with the bills.

Well, I had come up to the lights and a group of High Schoolers were crossing at the lights. It didn't matter if the lights were red or green they were too busy posturing to bother to look and make sure it was safe to cross. I was taking a right turn so I looked over to make sure they got onto the curb before I made my turn.

One of the boys in the group looks over at me and then makes this gesture like he's going to come at me. In my car. In the middle of traffic. With traffic coming in the opposite direction that could possibly nail him if they didn't see him standing in the middle of the road being a tool.

I snapped "Grow up you little f--cker" and took my turn. Yeah, I know. Real mature of me. But honestly it annoyed me!!

I can't imagine I was ever that stupid or that arrogant at that age. Sure I did some really stupid and arrogant things when I was a kid. But never threatened people in traffic. It seems like teens in particular have become even more stupid and even more arrogant than I remember.

And what's worse is these small town kids have absolutely no idea of the real world. They think they're all that and a bag of chips and act conceited. I'm sorry to inform you junior but you're a sixteen or seventeen year old nobody from a nobody town called Spencer Massachusetts. If you were thrown into the city, even a Worcester, you'd be skinned alive. You're small town white trash with no manners and no respect for anyone out there because you're too busy thinking that this world revolves around you.

I hate to tell you but it doesn't.

And the fact he's arrogant enough to do something like that. Especially in this day in age where someone could be carrying a gun, or a knife or a bat or just get out of their car and beat the crap out of you in front of your cock little friends.

It seems like that doesn't matter either. It's like they have this video game mentality. Oh, it doesn't matter if someone pulls a knife on me, I'll get another life when the game starts up again.

Sorry. As far as I know the dead stay dead.

It does make me appreciative when I do see friends of mine who are doing their best to raise their children right. And working at the Art Museum I've definitely seen some of the best kids out there. So, I'm not pointing the finger at all kids out there. But it has definitely been something I've noticed especially in small towns that they have this big fish in a small pond mentality.

Still, drop the stupid little bugger in the center of Main South at midnight and I'd like to see if he'd go at anyone the way he threatened to go at me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Seventh Doctor and Benny

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

A bit of a concept piece. This one is inspired by the Seventh Doctor's New Adventures companion Bernice "Surprise" Summerfield. I based Benny on Lisa Bowerman. An actress who played the part in several Bernice Summerfield audio adventures as well as in a couple Doctor Who audio adventures alongside Sylvester McCoy.

The Seventh Doctor's been given a few different appearances in the New Adventures series of novels which were published back in the 1990's. Most artists who either did cover art for the novels or comic strips for Doctor Who Magazine during that time got rid of the question mark jumper he wore in the series and gave him a different fedora with the brim turned down as opposed to the one he wore in his television episodes and the 1996 telemovie.

I wanted to create my own "New Adventure" style Seventh Doctor and I got my inspiration from a few different sources.

I retained the fedora his Doctor was famous for. The hair and the stiff Edwardian collar were from his costume from the 1996 Doctor Who telemovie. The coat was inspired by the illustration Lee Sullivan did for the animation that went along with the BBCi web episode "Death Comes to Time". I really liked his design and really wanted to use it.

I added a couple of my own little touches to the illustration. I placed a little question mark pin on his lapel. I was kind of sorry when they stopped using the subtle little question marks on the Doctor's lapels and to be honest, I think the production went a little overboard with the question mark jumper and the big question mark handle on the Seventh Doctor's umbrella. I'm sure I might get a little grief for that, but I always felt his costume would have been so much better if it were just the dark jacket and the chequed trousers.

So, I wanted to do a little nod to the question marks that appeared on Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker's lapels. Because it was something out of my childhood that I will always identify with Doctor Who.

The spats were my own little touch ;-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Three Doctors (illustration two)

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

This time it's the three original Doctors William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee.

The illustration was actually inspired by an outtake from 1983's The Five Doctors. Which actually featured Richard Hurndall stepping in for the Hartnell as the First Doctor Hartnell had passed away in 1975.

The clip consisted of Pertwee "chiding" Troughton for offering him a jelly baby during a take. So, I thought it would make a great image of the Third and First Doctors looking at the Second Doctor scornfully as he ate a bag of jelly babies.