Friday, November 27, 2009

A really great review on Diary of the Black Widow :-)

Boston Bibliophile wrote a really nice review about Diary of the Black Widow on their blog. And I was chuffed to bits over the kind things people had to say. Click on the image below to check it out:

Alice Faulkner on Amazon.com!!

Now available at Amazon.com!! Stellar cover coloring and graytones by Rori Shapiro with a terrific introduction by Brenda and Effie/Doctor Who Hornets Nest author Paul Magrs and a dedication to my late Professor Patrick Welch. Who I owe a great deal of my inking style to.

Click on the image below to order your copy today:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Alice commission


An illustration I did for a client. Illustrated with Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with crow quill pen and brush on Strathmore smooth bristol board.

The look of Alice was actually inspired by a 1949 Alice in Wonderland illustration created by Ayres Houghtelling.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Recommendation: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century 1910


Before you confuse this series with the 2003 movie of the same name STOP RIGHT THERE!! This is another unfortunate case where a less than spectacular movie adaptation completely ruins a really smashing comic book series.

And it's been well documented that Alan Moore will not have his name put on the credits of any movie adaptations of his work because of the treatments his books like From Hell, V For Vendetta and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have received. In the case of From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen the adaptations have been so far removed from the original graphic novel that the only thing they have in common is the name and a few of the characters. Johnny Depp's Detective Abberline was not a psychic or clairvoyant or whatever. The psychic in the original case was Robert Lees but the film producers saw it fit to consolidate them into one character.

However, the movie had good bits in it with Johnny Depp, the late Sir Ian Richardson (another favorite Sherlock Holmes actor of mine) and Ian Holm.

But enough about that.

If you have not had a chance to read the original LOEG series, you're missing out. I think it's probably one of the most clever and original series to come out in a while. I really can't say much more about Alan Moore's writing that hasn't already been said numerous times. But I don't know how much has been mentioned about Kevin O'Neill's artwork. I really like it because it reminds me a lot of Keith Giffen's artwork for some of the Lobo mini-series's. But probably a bit technically better than Giffen's art.

So, expunge the 2003 movie from your mind as you're reading the series. You'll find that very easy once you get several pages into the books.

And this brings me to the newest chapter of Moore/O'Neill series Century 1910. I've gotten through the first chapter in this new series What Keeps Mankind Alive and it is great!! Mina Murray has returned with an entirely new League which consists of Allan Quatermain's son, Orlando, A. J. Raffles and Thomas Carnacki.

I was quite pleased to see the inclusion of Raffles in the league. For those unfamiliar with the Raffles series, it was actually created by E. W. Hornung, a brother-in-law to Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Raffles was supposed to be the anti-Holmes. Holmes is a consulting detective who is absolutely brilliant at fighting crime. Raffles is a gentleman thief who is absolutely brilliant in crime.

I had thought about doing an adaptation of Raffles at some point. Then again, I had thought about doing an adaptation of several things I may or may not ever get around to doing. Typical ;-)

What really grabs me about this entire series is how Alan Moore has brought these fictional heroes from both classic literature as well as pulp magazines together in a very fun Justice League/Avengers sort of way while still remaining true to the personalities created for the original characters by their respective authors.

The first book is only $7.50 in graphic novel format. And even if you have not read the entire League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, you can still jump in here and enjoy this story on it's own.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Promoting my friends: Dawgtopia!!

Have a pet you adore? Well, why not take them on a little day trip up to Dawgtopia located in Bath Maine and have them groomed by the very best!! Please feel free to print off the flyer below and pass it along to your friends who would like to take advantage of these great deals!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Alice and the Mad Hatter


Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with Crow Quill Pen on Canson Smooth Bristol Board.

December Workshops and Winter/Spring Classes now being offered!!

To close out the month of December and 2009, I will be teaching four ONE DAY workshops at the Worcester Art Museum. For anyone who has never taken an art class at WAM before, this is a great way to get a taste of the types of classes the Art Museum has to offer:

Comic Art 8 - 10 Years 12/28/2009 12/28/2009 Monday from 10:00 AM to 12 N

Comic Art 11 - 13 Years 12/29/2009 12/29/2009 Tuesday from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Mural Painting 8 - 10 Years 12/29/2009 12/29/2009 Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 12 N

Mural Painting 11 - 13 Years 12/30/2009 12/30/2009 Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 12 N


And my list of Winter and Spring classes are up on the website:

Cartoon Characters 5 - 7 Years 01/05/2010 03/02/2010 Tuesday from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM 18

Drawing Dark Stories 14 - 17 Years 01/09/2010 03/06/2010 Saturday from 10:00 AM to 12 N 18

Art of Cartooning 8 - 10 Years 03/16/2010 05/11/2010 Tuesday from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM 18

Comics - Villians Rule! 11 - 13 Years 03/20/2010 05/15/2010 Saturday from 10:00 AM to 12 N


Click on the link below to sign up for any of these classes today:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Introducing the new Polly and Handgraves cover!!


This will be the cover for the next installment of The Adventures of Polly and Handgraves. I penciled, inked and designed the sky. The characters were all colored by Rori Shapiro!!

I liked the colors she had previously used on a color version of my Sherlock Holmes and the Valley of Fear illustration so I asked if she could use them on the cover.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Books you should read: Brenda and Effie

I first got into Paul Magrs writing when I read his Doctor Who novel Verdigris. What I really liked about the book is how he captured everything about the Third Doctor era of Doctor Who on television as well as the feel of the 1970's. I could just imagine the fun tatty sets and gloriously over-the-top villains.

I was also very pleased to get to know Paul Magrs through many of the online networking site and do a little book swap.

This brings me to a series of books he has written featuring a pair of characters by the name of Brenda and Effie. I had just finished reading the first book in the series Never the Bride about a month or so ago and now I'm onto the second book Something Borrowed.

I have to say this is probably the best new series I have gotten into for some time now. The first thing I like is Paul makes the lead characters a pair of older women rather than a couple of young girls going on these rather otherworldly adventures.

As a matter of fact Brenda is quite a bite older than most and had a very long and checkered past before she decided to settle down and run her little bed and breakfast in Whitby and finally live a quiet life...

...or so she thought as she and her friend Effie seem to be dragged from one strange adventure to the next.

There are so many things I love about the first novel alone. The first being how Paul Magrs has broken each chapter in the book to read like a separate television episode. The other is how he has taken the best bits of classic science-fiction literature, the Universal Monster Movies of the 30's and 40's and reintroduces them in a very fun and unique way by blending them with a humor quite reminiscent of writers like Evelyn Waugh and Stephen Fry.

The way the characters talk in the book are so much fun to read.

I highly recommend you pick up Never the Bride, Something Borrowed, Conjugal Rites and the recently released Hells Belles on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com!! You will not be disappointed!!

I should also mention that Paul has also has a series of Doctor Who audio plays out called the Hornets' Nest which star none other than Tom Baker as the Doctor. These plays are great for people who are fans of Doctor Who or Tom Baker. As well as people who are fans of the old Sherlock Holmes radio drama's starring Basil Rathbone. These plays read very much like those radio drama's.

Speaking of the nocturnal dandy Sherlock Holmes, Paul was very kind to write a great introduction for my upcoming graphic novel Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner.

New Alterna Store is opened for Business

Alterna Comics not only has a great brand new website but they also just launched their brand new web store!! So, click on the link below to check it out and either order or pre-order a particular title today:

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Cooking Blog


Cooking has kind of become one of my newest obsessions. I've been doing it off and on for the past couple of years. Most of my culinary dabbling have been steak, chicken, hamburgers, pork chops and meatloaf. What's has kind of gotten me interested are shows like No Reservations, Bizarre Food and Man vs. Food. Yeah, I usually switch it off when it comes to the "potentially watching someone choke to death" sort of challenges. But there were a couple of dishes I really would like to try at some point.

That and doing a lot of cooking on the grill outside over the Summer (well the days we actually HAD Summer) got me to really enjoy (and somewhat obsessed) about cooking.

The third thing was the Montreal Steak and Chicken seasonings got me hooked as well.

One of things I've tried lately that has turned out really well was Shepard's Pie. I had adapted the idea from this restaurant Eller's where they would take the leftover prime rib from the previous night's special and make a Shepard's Pie out of it. Naturally, I wouldn't do this with prime rib because it's quite expensive. And if I did have a cut, I wouldn't be using it for Shepard's Pie.

But I've been able to take a leftover London Broil and use that. The trick is to chop it up into cubes and then slow cook it in a marinade. What I do is I take a frying pan and put a small layer of water on the bottom and add a mix of steak sauce and Worcestershire Sauce and just keep turning over and stirring the meat under a low heat until all the liquid is dried up.

Then you just put it into the dish you're going to be using to make the Shepard's Pie with and add the corn, mushrooms, mashed potato topping and whatever else you use to make your Shepard's Pie with.

This steak and Worcestershire sauce marinade works great if you put some water into a freezer bag and put the steak in the marinade and let it sit all day till you're ready to cook.

Another thing I was thrilled to try this week was Curry Chicken. I love Indian Food. I probably had it when I was very, very young over my Aunt Patricia's house many years ago. But I was too young to remember. But I've absolutely loved it ever since I tried it about six or seven years ago at the Chef of India in Shrewsbury.

Sadly, that restaurant is no longer there and has been replaced by the Bollywood Grill. However, the India Cafe right across the street is excellent!! Especially for those who have never tried Indian Food before and would like to experience it for the first time.

Well, I had some Curry Powder on the spice rack and I decided I would give it a try. What's the worst that could happen? Well, apart from the food being unfit for human consumption, that is.

I found a couple really great recipes online:

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1839,154163-229204,00.html

and:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Indian-Chicken-Curry-II/Detail.aspx


What I ended up doing was taking the best bits out of both recipes and consolidating them.

And thankfully the results were indeed fit for human consumption. I also opted to use spinach instead of mushrooms in the curry. Which I thought was great!!

The curry recipe was by far my favorite and the most fun to work with of everything I've been cooking. So, I am definitely looking forward to doing that again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The cover for the next Polly and Handgraves adventure


Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with Crow Quill Pen and Brush on Canson Comic Book Cover Sheets.

Polly and Handgraves updates


After a couple of false starts I have begun work penciling and inking pages for the second Polly and Handgraves adventure. Once again utilizing Worcester 1929 as the backdrop for the story.

I don't want to give away too much of the story just yet. This includes the title. But as for the story itself it will take place directly after the events of A Sinister Aura. Neither Polly and Handgraves will be given anytime to rest when an old friend of Polly's call upon her for help.

I'm pretty set with the beginning of the story for the most part. It's more near the end and tidying up the loose ends and iron out the conclusion of the story which is giving me fits at the moment. But I have two good friends of mine Ainsley Waller and my cousin Jared Wicklund proofreading my script.

I've been trying to do that more and more with my work nowadays. Having friends read it before I commit myself to pen on bristol board. Just so I know I have my facts right and my storyline seems realistic. Well, as realistic as a fantasy story can get.

But I just finished penciling and inking the cover yesterday and I will be posting a black and white version of it before I send it off to Rori to color.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Doctor Who: Eighth Doctor and Charley


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

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Revisions

A revision to my poster. I decided to change one of the band names to Letters to Cleo.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

90's Alternative Poster


A submission I completed tonight for an upcoming show at Space 242 inspired by 90's Rock Posters. I got the idea from a Nirvana poster but I made a conscious decision NOT TO go with a readily recognizable band like Nirvana, Soundgarden or Pearl Jam for the alt rock acts featured in the poster.

And I chose Shonen Knife just because I love them to death ;-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sherlock Holmes: Frank Langella

A clip from a production of William Gillette's play Sherlock Holmes which starred Frank Langella. He had had success on stage with another pale creature of the night in Edward Gorey's production of Dracula. Now he appeared as another as Sherlock Holmes. The play was filmed for HBO sometime in the early 1980's with the title Sherlock Holmes and the Strange Case of Alice Faulkner. Which is one of the reasons I chose an alternate title for my own adaptation of the Gillette play. I wasn't sure if the people who did this particular adaptation still owned the rights to use that particular title.

If I were ever given the chance to do an film adaptation, my choice for Holmes would be Richard E. Grant.

I am notoriously picky when it comes to the look of a Sherlock Holmes production and immediately I don't like the costuming. As for Frank Langella's acting. I'm not the fence because there are some very good bits from what I have seen of his performance.

Nevertheless, I find him more convincing than Matt Frewer. That's for sure.

But since I have not seen a film of the entire play, I really can't give too much of a critique. And as a matter of fact one of the clips they posted online of the play a while back was actually very helpful in making my graphic novel. Unfortunately, it was pulled from Youtube.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Danger, Watson!

"Watson, I should be very much obliged if you would slip your revolver into your pocket. An Eley’s No. 2 is an excellent argument with gentlemen who can twist steel pokers into knots." ~Sherlock Holmes from The Adventure of the Speckled Band