Thursday, February 28, 2013

Set and Costume Design for The Crown Diamond

Here is the set and costume design planned for The Crown Diamond which will take place at Nick's Bar and Restaurant in May. The only costume design missing and I need to finish is Merton the Boxer.
The set itself is being designed to fit the stage at Nick's. The walls are roughly 11x11 feet. Which, for a play of this nature, is the perfect fit.
What I'm planning on doing for the set design is to have it colored in sepia tones. I had suggested sepias when I did set design for the Kentucky Rep's staging of William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes and I am planning on doing something similar with this play.
If you would like to read the play itself, it is available to view at the Diogense Club's website:

Sherlock Holmes at Nicks Bar and Restaurant

Well!! Time to let the cat out of the bag. I've been chatting with Nicole, the proprietress of Nick's Bar and Restaurant about staging a performance of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's play The Crown Diamond: An Evening With Sherlock Holmes.
The play itself is perfect for the stage area at Nick as seen above. It's one act, one set design and only five actors top. Maybe two or three at tops at a time on the stage.
Chatting with Nicole about it has been great!! She is also a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and wants to do it justice with the right casting. One big problem at the present. I need to search for a lead actor to play Holmes. Unfortunately, the chappie I had originally intended for the part, Mr. Susurrus Din (seen holding a monocle in the picture above) is  moving to Philadelphia with his wife tomorrow for a better job.
Which I am very happy for them both. But it means I have to say goodbye to some very good friends. As well as goodbye to a very good choice for Sherlock Holmes.
So now I must find a new Holmes. I have a few leads but nothing concrete.
However, it shall be done. And the play is scheduled to be staged May 10th with a live dress rehearsal on May 9th.
More news to come later on. So stay tuned... 

Antiquinox Masquerade Ball on Saturday March 23rd

Syd and I have a show coming up on March 23rd!! We will be taking part in the Antiquinox Masquerade Ball taking place at 120 Commercial Street in Worcester Massachusetts!!
The show is Steampunk inspired and costumes and masks are highly encouraged at the show. So you know Syd and I will be dressed to the nines...
... the 1899's to be more precise.
But we both are planning on getting some new Steampunk inspired jewlery and art completed before the show. I got a sneak peek at some of the new gears and keys Syd ordered for the show and you folks are in for a treat.
I should also be selling brand new copies from the second print run of the Casque of Amontillado.
Our good friends and professional scallywags Jon Hansen and Grace Cherubino will be there selling Scallywag Ceramics at the show. And if you have seen what they're selling you really need to check them out. A great assortment of Tiki Mugs that would be the perfect addition to your home.
Tickets are selling out fast so click on the link below to purchase tickets today:
Hope to see you all there!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Change, my dear. And it seems not a moment too soon...

Every year or so I get bored with the appearance of my blog and I feel it's time to do a little redecorating. It seems as though it usually coincides with Spring. Or at least when it gets close to Spring.
The other problem is I've been sorely neglecting this old blog. I guess I've been insanely busy with projects. But that's a lousy excuse because that's why I should be BLOGGING MORE!!
My good friend and consumate blogger Andy Fish has scolded me on the matter and rightfully so.
Let's be honest. If we don't put in the extra effort to promote our work, how will we get people to take notice?
Even though I try my best to do as many shows as possible during the year, online promotion is just as important.
What's that? Moot point because NO ONE cares about you, your book or your signature? Doesn't matter. Promote yourself anyways. How are you going to get people to care about everything mentioned above unless you do the leg work. Even if the leg work is using your fingers to promote online.
I don't keep a blog or frequent the social web because I think I'm famous. I do it because I want people to get to know my work and make connections.
Although, some of the projects I can only really hint at for the time behing because they're still in the planning stage.
However, I can tell you that I've been very busy working on the second and third book for author NE Castle's series Loogie.
Much like Paul Magrs's book The Ninnies, this has been a series I've been having a great deal of fun working on. The next two books are still in the works, but if you have not had the chance to read the first book Prince of Pranks, I highly recommend you order your copy today:
It's already getting some great press from the Feathered Quill and was awarded The Children's Literary Classic Seal of Approval.
Did I also mention my wife Syd makes jewelry and you should buy some? Well if I didn't, you should check out what she is currently selling on Etsy:
Treat your sweetie to a unique hand-made item by my sweetie!!
Well, that's all from me for now. I promise there will be more to come later on. Things like Sherlock Holmes on stage in Worcester.... OOPS! I've said too much!! I can say no more ;-)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spring offerings at WAM

Obviously an older photo because when was the last time you remember Jim Davis ACTUALLY drawing Garfield?
Spring is just around the corner... well... my Spring Classes are just around the corner. This year I will be teaching a Saturday Morning Cartooning Class at the Worcester Art Museum for ages 8 to 10 years.

The class is students who are both new to drawing cartoons and those who draw cartoons all the time. It's also a great opportunity for students not only work with characters they have already created but also create new characters. The biggest thing I encourage students who take classes like mine, or Andy Fish's or Scott Nelson's cartooning classes is don't just think of these as characters to use just in the class. Create characters you can use outside of class.

And basically I'm going to go through ALL THINGS cartoon in this class. Comic strips, comic books and cartoon animation. We'll be doing it all!! Or at least all I can fit into eight weeks.

Click on the link to sign up today:

Friday, February 15, 2013

I'm 37. I'm not old....

I finally got to use that quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail upon turning 37 yesterday... and I was amazed how many people didn't get it. Even after Syd gave hints. Aw well. I get to use it for an entire year. And that's all that really matters. 

 As far as Birthdays are concerned, this one was probably the best. And last year's was a good one too. Syd and I met up with my cousin Jared and his fiancĂ©e Alicia at Smokestack Urban BBQ on Green Street in Worcester. 

If you haven't been to Smokestack, you are missing out!! I think it's probably one of THE BEST BBQ places in the area. Hands down!! Good food. Good service. Friendly serving staff. We have never dealt with bad service or a snarky waiter or waitress when we've gone there. It was great being able to have a few laughs with Jared and Alicia. It's kind of becoming our yearly thing. 

 Afterward, Syd and I headed over to Beatnik's for Ukulele Thursday and I got serenaded on the uke by good buddy and local busker Rich Leufstedt. Which was a first for me. I have never gotten serenaded on my birthday... 

...okay, not quite true. I did get serenaded by my roommate A-Town Krolikowski in college on the accordion. But that was more him squeezing it tunelessly as he slowly snuck into my room. 

Trust me. It's a lot less creepier than it sounds. 

But that brings me to my Birthday gifts from Syd. This year she got me a replica Doctor Who Fourth Doctor scarf (the smaller "I won't accidentally strangle myself to death walking" version), a Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks t-shirt.... 

....and a UKULELE!! 

I had talked about perhaps learning the ukulele for some time now and Syd finally gave me a stop threatening and do it ultimatum and bought me one. 

And it's great!! 

Rich told me.... actually guarenteed me... that he could teach me how to play ukulele in one night. So I am going to take him up on that and go to one of his Ukulele nights and learn. 

So now you know why I posted the picture of the late great Peter Sellers above. Other than being a life-long fan. 

Well, on top of keeping up with ongoing projects this year, my other goal is to learn how to play the ukulele. I don't think you will be seeing me playing it in concert anytime soon. However, it would be fun to finally learn :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stormageddon 2013

I'll be honest with you folks. As crazy as the last storm was, it still doesn't match the storm we had a couple years back when it seemed like it snowed every day after Christmas. I'm not saying this particular storm was a dance around the Maypole. But I recalled seeing dirty piles of snow into July after the Winter we had a couple years back.

This kind of reminds me of that ice storm we had back in 2009. It was bad and it pretty much sucked the energy out of everyone just because of the intensity of it. But it was the only one this year and I hope that goes the same for this one. Luckily we didn't lose power this time. We just had to deal with 48 or so hours of cabin fever and watching the Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo.

I think I didn't get out of my pajama's all day. What was the point? Usually, I would have the urge to get into clothes anyway. Just because I can't stand sitting around in PJ's all day. But for some reason I just didn't feel the urge to go through all that effort. Especially considering there was a $500 travel ban for the state of Massachusetts.

So, I just spent the day working on artwork for an upcoming episode of After Hours for Cracked and the second print run I'm planning for Casque of Amontillado.

There were several things I needed to fix up from the first print run as far as the pages were concerned. I'm learning as I go along for the most part. The primary thing is the pages came out too dark so I had to lighten one of the layers of graytones I added. Also I'm fixing the cover as well. This time I'm adding a price to it. Which I forgot to do last time.

Then Syd and I made chili, watched Batman on MeTV and finished the night watching series four of Jonathan Creek on DVD. By then the travel ban had long since lifted but neither of us really felt like going out.

And now here I am writing this blog. The sun is shining. I don't think the birds are quite singing. But I know the groundhog is laughing his furry little backside off over an April Fools Day prank he decided to pull a couple months early.