Friday, January 29, 2010

Jim and Barb

For those of you unfamiliar with the exploits of Jim and Barb, they are characters from the Catchup Advisory Board commercial parody from A Prairie Home Companion.

The characters are played by Sue Scott and Tim Russell who are really the Mel Blanc's to Garrison Keillor's Jack Benny.

After doing a recreation of the Hank and his horse Seymour from the old Narragansett Beer Commericals I thought I would re-imagine Jim and Barb in that sort of art style made famous by people like Jay Ward and UPA Animation Studios in the 1950's and 1960's.

I drew the characters and outlined them with a brush pen. Then I added the gray tones on Photoshop. The bottle of ketchup was taken from a photo online and I added a Poster Edge effect on Photoshop as well as black border using the Layer tool.

Sort of to give it that xeroxed look they used with the Narragansett bottles in the commercials.

If you're unfamiliar with either the Prairie Home Companion radio show or the Catchup Advisory Board sketch, here's a clip of Sue Scott and Tim Russell performing it. I get a kick out of it every time I watch it.

You must be - double dead!

A design I just completed for one of my E-Bay clients for a tattoo design based on Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Ironically, Jack and Sally was the names of my late Grandparents. Only my Grandmother's name was spelled SALLEY.

Illustrated in Deleter #4 Black Drawing Ink with Crow Quill Pen and some Brush on Canson Smooth Bristol Board.

I've graduated to #4 since they didn't have anymore #3 at That's Entertainment.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hi Neighbor!

This was the commercial I took the two characters from. Since there's no real images available to copy, I pretty much sat at my computer pausing the commercial from time to time trying to get the characters right. Kind of like what I used to do with movies as a kid:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One of the 10 finalists!!

I just found out yesterday my design for the Narragansett Father's Day Tie Competition is one of the 10 finalists!!

So even if I don't win first or second prize, I already win a case of Narragansett!! And that's pretty darn good ;-)

But here's my design again. I used the Sold on Merit image they supplied for the competitors and created my own image based on one of the old Narragansett ad's from the late 50's early 60's.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just a reminder of an upcoming art show!!

This show is being hosted by the ladies of the Central Massachusetts Roller Derby. So, needless to say this won't be your usual "folksy" arts and crafts shows with wind chimes, paintings inspired by Currier and Ives of Winters in New England and pretty necklaces.

Unless, the necklaces are made from other people's teeth ;-)

I will be selling and signing copies of all my books currently in print as well as signed prints and original artwork.

Please feel free to print out the flyer above and pass it out to friends or e-mail it to people you think would be interested in checking out the show. I hope to see you all there!!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I have never really done this in the past but I decided to take a couple days breather from working on pages for Polly and Handgraves to get some scriptwriting done. As I mentioned in a blog prior since completing Alice Faulkner last year I've had the itch to do one or two of the Sherlock Holmes stories from the canon.

I had decided to adapt both The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton and The Adventure of Black Peter.

So, last week while I was sitting in the waiting room for a doctors visit I read Charles Augustus Milverton from beginning to end and started reading Black Peter. That afternoon I started scripting Charles Augustus Milverton on Saturday and spent all of Sunday scripting Black Peter finishing that one around 7:53pm.

In between scripting I got a little bit of exercise and dinner in ;-)

I'm not sure when I'll get started on either story since I'm currently trying to get the latest Polly and Handgraves tale in the can AND I would really like to do an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland in the upcoming year.

But still. I'm really itching to do another Sherlock Holmes tale.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

After doing an adaptation of William Gillette's play Sherlock Holmes I have been putting a lot of thought into doing an adaptation of one of the stories from the canon.

My choices have come down to both Charles Augustus Milverton and Black Peter. And I think I may end up doing both!!

Originally I ended up wanting to do Sherlock Holmes stories that had not been adapted too much. And even though it's been adapted a couple times, I couldn't resist doing an adaptation of Charles Augustus Milverton.

Although, I've already got a to do list of projects longer than both my arms, I don't mind tacking a couple more on to that to do list.

Although I've already started scripting Charles Augustus Milverton to a comic book script, probably wouldn't get either project started until sometime after I finished both the second Polly and Handgraves tale and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

But it's always nice to have projects planned and scripted in advanced. Just so my mind doesn't rebel against stagnation too too much ;-)


I absolutely love the old DC Comics art style from the 60's and early 70's. Especially artists like Carmine Infantino, Curt Swan, Neal Adams and Nick Cardy.

Well, singer, songwriter, fellow artist, SCAD alum and my best friend on the planet Rori Shapiro knows one of those Silver Age artists Ramona Fradon and has gotten the opportunity to color some of Ramona's comic art like the one of Aquaman you see above.

So, if you would like to own some great artwork done by two great artists be sure to click on the image above to take advantage on bidding on a signed copy of an Aquaman illustration! Signed by both Ramona and Rori!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Curiouser and Curiouser

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink (the ideal ink for all comic artists) with Crow Quill Pen on Canson 9x12 Smooth Bristol Board.

Up for the bidding on E-Bay. Click on my E-Bay Art link on the left hand side of the screen to place your bid today!!

Holmes and Watson

Illustrated in Deleter #3 Black Drawing Ink with Crow Quill Pen and Brush on Canson 9x12 Smooth Bristol Board. Inspired by a shot of Jeremy Brett leaning against a lamppost in The Eligible Bachelor.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coming soon!!

True I'm still working like a demon to complete the next Polly and Handgraves adventure but no time like the present to start promoting!!

Please feel free to post this on your website messageboard or blog!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

3rd Annual Narragansett Tie Design Contest

Although I didn't win last year, it naturally didn't stop me from entering this year's Narragansett Father's Day Tie Contest.

This year I used one of the images they supplied for anyone entering the contest on their website as well as one of my own images. I decided to recreate a couple of characters that were used in one of Narragansett's vintage commercials back in either the 1950's or early 1960's.

I love the character design from the commericals because they reminded me so much of Rocky and Bullwinkle. One of the greatest television cartoons of all time!

But here is the design:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

All about Sherlock on Inquiry

Click on the link to below to listen to my interview on Inquiry hosted by Mark Lynch:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Inquiry with Mark Lynch

This will be my third time on Mark Lynch's talk show Inquiry on WICN in Worcester and it just gets to be more fun every time I do the program. And I think this was probably the best interview I've done on the program to date.

And this time it was all about the Sherlock :-)

For those of you unfamiliar with both Inquiry and Mark Lynch, Mark taught me Comic Art and Film Animation when I was a wee lad at the Worcester Art Museum. He is such a great guy and has this amazing knowledge of comic books, comic art and comic artists. From the known to the obscure. And his program is very much like that interviewing people not only in art or entertainment but also interviewing people in the sciences or birdwatching. Which is another passion of his.

The interview should be up on the website in about a week or so. So, click on the link below to check out WICN as well as listen to a few of Mark's past interviews. They're really great!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Boston Comic Con in April 2010

I'm already making plans on attending Boston Comic Con in April!! This time I'm going in on a table with horror writer Bob Heske who has a couple really great comic book anthologies on the market. One of which includes a short story by the hardest working artist in the business as well as my Undercoverfish/Worcester Art Museum chum Andy Fish!!

Also, the guest list is through the roof this year which includes:

Jim Lee, MIKE MIGNOLA, ERIC POWELL, Gene Colan, Bill Sienkiewicz, STEVE RUDE, Skottie Young, Jim Starlin, Jim Mahfood, Joe Quiones, JH Williams III, Christopher Golden, Joe Jusko, MICHAEL GOLDEN, TOM SNIEGOSKI, Mark Chiarello, Norman Lee, CRAIG ROUSSEAU, Billy Tan, Ben Templesmith, Cameron Stewart and Pat Broderick

To check out their website, click on the banner above for directions to their larger location this year!! I hope to see you there in April!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sherlock Holmes starring Peter Cushing

I've nearly finished watching A&E's recent release of Peter Cushing's Sherlock Holmes episodes for BBC Television on DVD and found myself feeling rather disappointed.

Not because of the episodes I've seen. They're great fun to watch. Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock are very enjoyable to watch as Holmes and Watson and the episodes are very faithful to the original tales written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Why am I disappointed then? Because out of the 15 episodes produced for BBC Television, only five of those episodes survived.

This was due to something the BBC did back then called wiping. To save money on videotape, the BBC would wipe tapes of television shows and then reuse them for other broadcasts.

There are countless episodes from classic BBC television shows that DO NOT exist anymore because of this. The most famous of this is Doctor Who where many episodes from William Hartnell right up to Jon Pertwee's tenure are either lost forever or do not exist in their entirety.

I'm sure if any of those people could have looked into the future, they would probably be kicking themselves now seeing the sales for classic television series's on home video.

Back to Sherlock Holmes, one of the episodes I was greatly disappointed in seeing no longer existed was Black Peter. I'm not sure if there's ever been an adaptation of that Sherlock Holmes story apart from Eille Norwood in the early part of the 20th Century.

But all that aside, I highly recommend picking up The Sherlock Holmes Collection on DVD. The episodes that did survive being wiped are excellent. Some viewers who are not familiar with the way the BBC used to film their shows in video for the studio shots and on film on location might find it hard to get used to.

Especially with the way most films and television shows tend to be a bit more real looking nowadays.

I basically grew up on watching PBS, so there's this part of me that has a real warm spot for watching shows like that.

But I've been waiting a decade for this to be released on DVD and it was definitely worth the wait!!

New look for a new year!!

Well, after thinking it over for a little while, I decided that with a brand new year upon us my old blog needed a new look. And with a brand new banner featuring sleuth and adventuress Polly Plum who is preparing to embark on a brand new adventure with her faithful valet and friend Handgraves.

More to come later on in the year. But I just finished penciling and inking page nine of the new tale and I am just about to start penciling page ten as we speak.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Feb Fun Classes added

On the left hand side if you scroll down below the Sherlock Holmes link (which you are more than welcome to check out too. Heh heh!) is an updated list of the classes I will be teaching during Feb Fun Week. Which includes more cartooning classes than you can shake a stick at!!

So click on the classes you think your son, daughter or grandchild would like to take sign up today while spaces are available!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Day After...

Okay so there's no robot holocaust just yet. But there's still hope for that come in 2012. And we'll have to wait and see if Arthur C. Clarke has lied to us yet again. 2001 came and went without any spaceships being piloted by murderous computers. Now we'll have to wait and see if there will be any monoliths transforming Jupiter into a new sun.

But I'm not going to hold my breath ;-)

I am glad to see the change of the calendar but at the same time I don't want to put too much thought into the New Year and just take things as they come.

But this year does have a good feeling to it. Maybe because it's the beginning of a new decade too. So, it's like starting fresh. And I'm looking forward to seeing what this year has to bring.

I have several projects I really want to get into the can. A couple I have already mentioned. But most importantly my second Polly and Handgraves story which I think is long overdue by my standards. I am going to try and finish that up hopefully by February or March.

And there's the possibility of a second Sherlock Holmes tale. I really enjoyed working on my first one and that has definitely given me the itch to want to do a follow up.

But more on that later.

I also mentioned in a couple blogs prior about finally doing my take on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I've been very grateful for everyone who has passed along some really great adaptations by different artists. It's very nice to know there are other people out there who feel the same way I do about doing adaptations that remain true to Lewis Carrol's original tale.

One of the things I would want to achieve is recreating John Tenniel's panto style for the animal characters. I like it because there is a slightly unsettling and somewhat nightmarish feel to the characters. Which is something I want to draw upon.

If I can get all those things accomplished this year, I will feel very pleased. But still. It's a new year and I am very happy to see 2010 arrive!!