Wednesday, December 10, 2014

MASSIVE Holiday Art Sale!!

THE BAT-MAN VS. THE PENGUIN 9x12 Pen and Ink Artwork. Just one of the many pieces available to bid on!!
In an attempt to make holiday shopping easier for you,  Bunny and the Badger is having a MASSIVE Holiday Art Sale on E-Bay!!

I've listed over 25 illustrations. None of which is over $5.00!! Some even lower!! This will be the only time I will be having an auction like this of any kind. Once the holidays are over THAT'S IT!! So take advantage and get some last minute shopping done!!

Click on the link below!! Happy Holidays and Happy Bidding:



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Out Now!! I LOVE YOU, BUN BUN!

 
Although I have illustrated two YA series's, The Ninnies for Paul Magrs and Loogie the Booger Genie for N.E. Castle. This is my very first book for very young children.

Meet Bun Bun. He's not just a toy. Find out how he is the most important bunny in the world to one little girl. And how sometimes our best friends can be stuffed.

It should be up and running both in print and for download on Amazon.com in a day or so. However, if you can't wait that long you CAN purchase a copy from Createspace today by clicking the link below:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Popeye (1980)

 
 
I confess. POPEYE starring Robin Williams is one of my favorite films. I loved it when I saw it as a kid in 1980 and I love it now. It was one of Robin Williams very first starring roles. Actually, it may have been Robin Williams very first starring roles. He did a great job as my favorite one-eyed sailor. And I felt as far as the actors they chose to fill the roles of the characters created by E.C. Segar THIMBLE THEATRE, it was very well cast.
 
Heck!! It's even directed by Robert Altman!!
 
Although I think my favorite bit of casting in the movie was Ray Walston as Poopdeck Pappy. Popeye's long lost father. Perhaps because he might actually remind me of my own Dad.
 
 
Cartoonist Jules Feiffer writes his own introduction story for the character that does not really borrow much for Popeye's own first appearance.
 
However, to be fair Popeye's actual first appearance seems like an afterthought. However, the character was not the original star of the strip and was only intended on being a used for a few weeks before he was dropped. But Popeye proved to be so popular with readers that they had no choice but to keep him.
 
Which I really didn't mind as a kid that they didn't use the original first appearance as part of the story line because I really didn't know about it.
 
And it still doesn't bother me. I think Feiffer wrote an enjoyable script filled with all the quirks and nuance's of E.C. Segar's strip and even the Max Fleischer cartoons. And I found this introduction of Popeye just as acceptable.
 
The movie also includes a fantastic soundtrack by the late Harry Nilsson who seemed born to write music for Popeye.


 
Even his song Gotta Get Up fro 1971 seems like it could have fit into the soundtrack of POPEYE.
 
And he did some songs I really liked in the movie like this ditty:
 
 

 
For someone like me who doesn't care for movies with musical numbers, this one I don't mind. I think I like the fact that the songs and the singing is somewhat rough around the edges. Which go very well with the characters Segar created.
 



I think it's a movie that people really need to give a second chance. If you watch it as nothing more than harmless fun, you'll enjoy it.
 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vamping and Stamping...

video
 
For the past year or so I've been teaching myself the ukulele. I've been learning a few songs. Mostly ones from 1890 to the 1920s since I have an affinity for that era. However, I did learn the song SOMETHING written by one of my favorite Beatles George Harrison on the uke recently.

Yes I'm not perfect and I admit to it. But I'm enjoying myself enormously. The uke has given me something (no puns intended) to unwind with. I don't have many hobbies and I consider creating artwork my livelihood and NOT a hobby.

And if I were to wait until absolute perfection on anything I'd never get anything done. I'd just be one of those arrogant little toadies with absolutely no talent who troll people's blogs leaving insulting comments.

Incidentally, for those who would like to attempt to leave an insulting remark about my ukulele playing, I should warn you that I do monitor all my comments and most likely your comment will not be published. So you'll waste your breath for nothing.

But if wasting your energy on insulting people is what you live for, be my guest.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bill Watterson

 
It's been almost 20 years since Bill Watterson decided to cease publication on his beloved comic strip CALVIN AND HOBBES. I feel like Watterson created the last quality newspaper comic strip. I suppose that  statement is debatable. However, that's the way I felt and still feel. It was well drawn. It was well written. And it made me laugh. Three important elements when you are creating something that is SUPPOSED TO BE funny. And which is not always the case in many strips.
 
Watterson was basically king of the world during that time. He even pushed to have a full page for his Sunday strip so the quality wouldn't suffer. And he got his way! Which earned the ire of fellow creators such as Bill Keane of Family Circus.
 
I shouldn't speak ill of the dead (but I will anyways) but Calvin and Hobbes is a better strip than Family Circus ever was. Besides, why need extra space to have Billy running around in his little dotted path around the house and backyard to whatever crap he was supposed to be doing. Or a comic drawn by Billy (eternally age 7) because Bill Keane took the day off to shotgun a 40 of Old English with Jim Davis and Cathy Guisewite.
 
It was a surprise to everyone when Bill Watterson decided to bring his comic to an end on December 31st 1995. A decision that more than irritated many people. Although possibly not Bill Keane who I hear was nursing a hangover from a night of beer pong and jello shooters with Andy Capp creator Reg Smythe from the rumor I just made up now.
 
I actually respect Watterson for his decision. Sometimes it's good to end something while people still miss it rather than when you've rehashed the same joke like so many comics that came before Calvin and Hobbes.
 
At the time he stated his interests had shifted in a different direction. And I respect that too. I think it would be a greater tragedy to have had him continue to create Calvin and Hobbes strips only to resent the very characters he created.
 
Not to mention characters who are STILL beloved by millions. Not bad for a guy who made a decision NOT TO merchandise his characters in any way.
 
Which made Bill Watterson's new strip such a welcomed sight for me. He has done very little comic work since the end of Calvin and Hobbes seeing his latest strip was delightful in its simplicity. It reminded me very much of George Herriman's Krazy Kat stylistically. But it was so recognizably Bill Watterson.
 
I'm not sure if this is heralding a series of new comics for Bill Watterson. If not, it's still good to have this one.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Boy and his Turtle!! Submit artwork today!!

Mommy! Mommy! What's that bad man doing to that turtle???



Well folks!! I finally got my lazy hinder in gear and created a button to submit artwork to A BOY AND HIS TURTLE!! What I'm hoping to be a collection of 50 or so illustrations created by artists from around and about the Worcester area celebrating Worcester's own beloved oddity: TURTLEBOY. Also know as the Burnside Fountain. Edited by myself and fellow artist Jon Hansen.

With cover art by Derek Ring!!

I've got a Paypal button up and running for those who wish to submit online. It's a $10.00 application fee which will be returnable if your artwork is not chosen. However, we also added the option if you would like to use your $10.00 fee as a donation towards printing costs. Don't feel like ya have to. It's just an option. Not a prison sentence.

You can send a sample of your artwork to my e-mail at herbertzohl@gmail.com and I will get back to you once myself and Jon Hansen have made our decision.

I'll try to get a tradition submission sheet ready for those who prefer to submit the old fashioned way.

But click on the button below to submit your $10.00. I would wait till you have an image completed before you submit your application feel. Then e-mail me your name and your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you.


Boy and His Turtle Submission Options
And for those who wish to make a snarky comment about all this. I wouldn't. I just won't publish your comment anyways. So you're wasting both our time. To everyone else good luck and happy submitting!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bruce Wayne: The Boy Wonder


I've only caught one episode of GOTHAM so far. But I actually liked it. A lot more than I thought I would. Good cast and an interesting take on how Bruce Wayne would ultimately decide to become Batman.

Robin Lord Taylor's performance as Oswald Cobblepot, the man who would ultimately become that fowl... I mean... foul fiend The Penguin is a particular favorite of mine. I also really enjoy Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth.

The series has some of the grittiness of the Christopher Nolan trilogy without being too "real". One of the things I think was a weak spot in the trilogy for me... that and the Christian Bale Batman voice. I missed many of the villains like the Riddler and the Penguin which were apparently too "lightweight" for the Nolan films.

Its also nice to see the series focusing on the origins of some lesser utilized Batman villains like Hugo Strange. A character I really like and someone I'm surprised none of the films have featured in some capacity.

The series focuses on Jim Gordon before he was the commish and a Bruce Wayne barely out of Jr. High School. Along with a few vigilante type character that came before the Batman. I does make me wonder if they might go in this direction.

Bruce Wayne becoming the first Robin: The Boy Wonder.

Some of you out there might not be familiar with one of the older continuities in the DC Universe which introduced Bruce Wayne as the very first Robin. 

It was originally used in a Batman story from the 1950's and later recounted in THE UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN illustrated by John Byrne and Jim Aparo (seen above) in the early 1980's. Bruce would create the costume in order to meet Harvey Harris, detective he idolized, and learn the basics for detective work. It should be noted to Bat-Fans out there that the color scheme and domino mask of Robin's costume were actually originally intended for Batman.

Yep! If you didn't know that before, you read that right!!

The purpose for the secret identity was so Harris learning Wayne's true motives (avenge his parents death most likely) which could potentially lead to the detective discouraging Wayne from pursuing this obsession. Wayne ends up saving  Harris's life in the process of trying to meet him and in gratitude for the good dead, the detective agrees to train the lad and even gives him the moniker Robin since his costume resembles a robin redbreast. 

Many years later when Bruce Wayne would become the Batman, he would pass the Robin guise to his ward Dick Grayson.

This continuity has long since been retconned. Which I think is kind of a shame because I feel the whole idea of a young restless Bruce Wayne donning a mask long before he was Batman is a great idea.

Actually, I think it would work really well in the context of the series GOTHAM. Mock me as you may, but I think it would be great. Especially considering they are creating this bond between Wayne and Jim Gordon. Perhaps it's time to dust off that old story-line and substitute Jim Gordon for Harvey Harris...

...the detective Wayne idolizes.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Steampunk Alice Costume

Several months ago Carrie Nilles contacted me asking if her daughter could have permission to use the design Paul Loudon and myself created for our Steampunk Alice project to be used as her costume. They had found my design on my deviantart site and what her daughter liked about it was the fact the design was fun without it being all "corsets and cogs" as some Steampunk Alice costumes can be.
 
Carrie posted a photo of her daughter's costume yesterday and I have to say I was very thrilled with the results and very flattered they used my design.
 
 
I thought they did a fantastic job with visually realizing the character design :-)

Friday, October 10, 2014

William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes

Back in 2009 I released a graphic novel based on William Gillette's play SHERLOCK HOLMES... actually my association with the play goes back a bit further than that.

To give you a better idea, at the dawn of the 20th Century William Gillette WAS the face of Sherlock Holmes. A great deal of that had to do with his 1,300 stage appearances as the character. And some of it had to do with Frederick Dorr Steele using his likeness as Holmes in the artwork he created for Collier's Weekly's reprinting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original tales.

He WAS the face of Sherlock Holmes the way Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett and now Benedict Cumberbatch have become the face of the character to their respective generations.

While it's debatable he was the first actor to play the role, he should get credit for introducing the character to an American audience. Many of the elements we commonly associate with Holmes such as the deerstalker, hat the curved pipe (sometimes briar, sometimes a meerschaum) and the phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson" were due to Gillette's play.


Some of this made me dislike the Gillette play for the longest time. At first I felt like it watered down and dumbed-down the character. However, over time I began to appreciate both Gillette AND the play her wrote. In truth what he did was take some of the best elements of the very best Sherlock Holmes tales (i.e. A Scandal in Bohemia, The Final Problem and The Sign of Four) and wove them together to create one narrative.

The more I thought about it, it really was a great way to introduce an audience who may not be readily familiar with the character to give them what was really a "Best of" album of some of the great Sherlock Holmes stories.

This reason, and the connection of Gillette being a fellow native New Englander (go visit his castle along the Connecticut River. Its an amazing place) also helped me in my decision to choose Gillette's play to adapt into a graphic novel.

Recently, they found the only film Gillette did as Sherlock Holmes back in 1916. The film was said to be lost to the ages. But it was recently discovered. Apparently it had been misfiled or something. But as far as Sherlock Holmes films go, this is the absolute Holy Grail of Sherlock Holmes films. The only film appearance of William Gillette as the character he made famous on stage.

I'm actually surprised by this fact. Especially considering how many times he appeared on stage in the role I'm surprised this film is the only time he would appear as the character.

The film itself is in the process of being restored and is set to debut at a film festival in France next year. And in the United States following this.

However, if you cannot wait for that, you could always pick up my adaptation of the play which would ultimately become the film starring William Gillette:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ello, ello?

Just got on Ello recently. Not quite sure what to make of it....

Then again, I wasn't quite sure what to make of Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Tumblr, Facebook, Myspace, Instant Messenger, Chatrooms, Messageboards, e-mails or the internet in general when they first came out...

...and to tell you the truth, I still don't know what to make of it all.

But if you're on Ello, hit me up. To be honest, the site sounds like a song written by Donovan:


Friday, September 26, 2014

Page Plus Celluar


A few months back I decided to dump Verizon. I was paying $45 to $66 a month on a cell phone plan that DID NOT include texting. Which I barely used anyways. And I said to the customer service representative it just seemed ridiculous to pay this much for a phone I barely used.

I would like to mention, that the person I chatted with at Verizon was actually very nice and very courteous. Of course they wanted to keep me as a customer and it would be a really dumb business move to act like a jerk and berate me for leaving.

So my buddy Andy Fish had mentioned that he was using this Page Plus and he was paying $12 a month for his plan. Honestly!! It just made sense to me. I hate talking on the phone and I'm not big on texting. But I do get both options for infinitely less than what I was paying with Verizon.

It should be mentioned that Customer Service with Page Plus is awful. You're better off trying to set your account up online. But once you get your phone hooked up with one of their plans, its clear sailing from there. You also have the option of keeping your old number.

I've had no problems with service or anything since I signed up. It just seemed like a no brainer for me.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Just when you thought it was safe to wake up to a balanced breakfast


Illustrated on Canson 9x12 Smooth Bristol Board with Sumi Japanese Black Drawing Ink and Brush. Had a bit of fun with this one. Breakfast favorite since 1971 Count Chocula re-imagined into a fiendish creature of the morning. And you can bid on it right now by clicking on the link below:


Friday, September 5, 2014

The Tick to Return?

The Fox Broadcasting Corporation have a long and storied history of making some really lousy decisions as far as the television shows they have decided to broadcast and the ones that get the axe before they are even given the opportunity to reach their potential.

Quite honestly, I would liken the people who make the decisions of what goes, stays and gets cancelled to a room filled with monkeys on typewriters attempting to adapt the works of Shakespeare...

...however I find that comparison highly insulting towards monkeys on typwriters attempting to adapt the works of Shakespeare...

The point I'm getting at was that THE TICK starring Patrick Warburton was one of those shows that Fox in their esteemed collective wisdom not good enough to continue running after only 9 episodes. And I think if I remember incorrectly, they only ran 8 of the 9 produced.

Although, slightly different from both the comic book series the show was based on as well as the hit animated series, the live-action Tick was just as good as the two in my less than humble opinion. It was snappy, well-written, highly entertaining with a great cast that made it laugh out loud for me. Patrick Warburton WAS born to play the Tick.

Apparently, he enjoyed his time on the series so much he actually kept one of the costumes he wore as a souvenier.

We had bought the complete series on DVD at Walmart a few months back and I introduced Syd to the series. And she could not stop laughing. Mainly because she found the Tick's cluelessness hysterical.
Well, it looks as though he might be taking it out of the closet and dusting it off because there's talk that Amazon Prime is set to release pilot episodes of several shows which prematurely got the axe.

And the Tick being one of those shows with Warburton once again reprising his role as that "Big Blue Bug of Justice".

No word if the rest of the cast will be returning as well. I hope they do. I thought they were a great ensemble and the reason the show worked really well.

For me, what worked great about the series was the fact it stuck to the half hour format similar to the Adam West Batman series. Just enough time to keep you wanting more yet not too much to make the story and the jokes get stale. A superhero sitcom without that crummy laugh track.

I really hope this is true and the initial pilot is the launch pad for a brand new series. I think the world... well... at least the television watching world... needs the Tick more than ever right now.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Boy and his Turtle... or The Legend of Turtle Boy

Parents... this might be a good time to have that "talk" you've been meaning to have with your children...
Good friend and artist Jonathan Hansen have discussed the idea of doing a book featuring artists from the Worcester County and New England area doing their own interpretation of Turtle Boy.

Much like Narragansett Beer's slogan "If you're not drinking Narrgansett, you're not from New England" similar could be said about Turtle Boy "If you don't know what the heck Turtle Boy is, you're probably not from Worcester".

Turtle Boy is our own little oddity. The actual name of the sculpure is The Burnside Fountain. But it was given the affectionate nickname Turtle Boy by the locals. The original intention was suppose to be very mythological in origin with a nude young boy riding a sea turtle.

However, given the positioning of the lad and the expression on the turtles face some people are given the impression that... well... you do the math.

That aside, the idea is to feature 50 artists or so with the proceeds from the book going towards funding visual and performing arts in the city of Worcester. My lofty idea would have been to somehow fund reopening the much missed Foothills Theatre as both a working shared studio and performance space for both art shows and theatrical productions.

But I think that ambition might be a bit out of reach and I'm not sure if the Foothills building met with the wrecking ball when they finally got rid of that eye-sore known as the Common Outlets. Nonetheless, the money made WILL go towards visual and performing arts (and artists) in the city.

A formal application is in the works as well as formal announcement. So stay tuned.

My suggestion for a new Animated Batman series...

There have been quite a few Batman animated series's since the 1990s as well as several one off animated movies in recent years. Some of which I've enjoyed. Some of which I feel missed the mark. But I feel like its high time DC Comics and Warner Animation did a modern adaptation of Carmine Infantino's "new look" Batman from the mid-1960s.

I'm serious. If it wasn't for both Carmine Infantino's redesign of the Caped Crusader as well as the success of the television series starring Adam West, Batman would have most likely been cancelled and possibly been long since forgotten.

I think it's high time we give both their well-earned respect as either a television series or a one off animation the way they did Year One and the Dark Knight Returns.

I'm well aware some of you might say, "But didn't they already do that with Batman: The Brave and the Bold". Which, quite frankly, was a television series I greatly enjoyed. But the answer to that is NOPE!

Although there are nods to the Adam West series, the character design of Brave and the Bold is closer to the Dick Sprang/Sheldon Moldoff era of Batman. Dick Sprang's influence is apparent in the series's design of the Joker.

I would welcome a series that both took Infantino's design of the Dynamic Duo as well as adapted many of the stories which were written during that time period. It worked really well when they adapted The Laughing Fish for Batman: The Animated Series. They even managed to effortlessly add elements from an earlier Batman story The Joker's Five Way Revenge.

Perhaps if they were to do an animated series or movie of this nature, they could get Adam West and Burt Ward to reprise their respective roles as Batman and Robin.

Come on DC and Warner Brothers! Make this happen!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Renewed my website domain today

I was a bit mystified that had already been an entire year since I first set up a website and domain name!! Which meant it was time to renew everything. And the sooner the better.

From what I've been told is there is some scumbag lurking out there on the Super Information Highway like that sleazy guy in an equally as sleazy dirty Ford Econoline Van who just waits for people's domain names to expire. Then he swoops in and steals the domain. Usually your site ends up becoming a link sites to various porn sites that will most likely give your computer a virus.

He then tries to sell you back your domain for a ridiculous amount of money.

Seeing that it's only $14 bucks to register, I thought it would be best to get it out of the way before I lost my domain and had to start from scratch.

So, you can visit my site at the same name and the same address for another year. However, I did give it a slightly new look with a brand new image (as seen above) just to commemorate a whole new year.

So, come and visit me anytime!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Around and about the Brimfield Flea Market

Last Sunday Syd and I checked out the Brimfield Antiques Flea Market. I've never been to it and to be honest I didn't know what to expect...

...and I don't think I was ready for the sensory overload. Even for the last day of their Summer schedule and many of the vendors had rolled up days prior, it was still pretty well attended with a lot to look at.

Syd scored a phrenology bust (as seen above) and a bunny bank. She had got it because it was similar to one she had a kid. I found some piano music with ukulele accompaniment to a song from 1926 called WHAT A SMILE CAN DO. That was pretty much my big purchase for the day. A Del's Lemonade cart happened to be there so we shared a large cup of their famous frozen lemonade and One Love Cafe (located on 800 Main Street in the Woo) had a cart there too so we had jerked chicken and tofu respectively. It was the first time I had jerked chicken and we may have to visit their restaurant sometime soon. We also had some amazing handmade donuts. And I've never been a huge sweets type person. But these were great!!

I also happened to snap a shot of a vintage Narragansett Beer Bottle.


We also ran into several of our friends walking about that day too. 
 
All in all it was a fun day out without breaking the bank. And we're thinking about checking it out when it starts up again in September.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Goon Show (Colour Version)

A color version of the Goon Show artwork I did recently. All colors added digitally. I decided to give Spike Milligan's character Count Moriarty a sickly green pallor. Simply because most of the shows describe him being in a perpetual death-like state.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

More Goon Show artwork

A second attempt at characters from THE GOON SHOW. This time in Sumi Black Drawing Ink with brush on Canson Bristol Board. Featuring key characters Neddie Seagoon, Eccles, Bluebottle, Hercules Grytpype-Thynne, Count Jim Moriarty, and Major Denis Bloodnok. 

You may also currently bid on it:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Quick Goon Show Character Sketch

A little something I sketched this morning for my British friends in mind. Many of my American friends might not be familiar with The Goon Show.

Then again, maybe some of you do. 

However, for the benefit of listeners who are not familiar with the Goons, it was comedy that ran on the radio from 1951 until 1960s which starred Peter Sellers, Harry Seacombe and Spike Milligan voicing various character. 

The show would later be revived in the 1960s as the Telegoons which featured marionette versions of the characters once again being voiced by Sellers, Seacombe and Milligan. I've wanted to try and do cartoon versions of the characters for some time. 

I did a quick sketch of Count Jim Moriarty and Hercules Grytpype-Thynne with Neddie Seagoon in the middle of them this morning. Moriarty, Grytpype-Thynne and Seagoon were all voiced by Milligan, Sellers and Seacombe respectively. 

Most of the episodes would consist of Grytpype-Thynne and Moriarty suckering the hopelessly hapless hero Neddie Seagoon into one of their schemes to swindle money. Which Neddie would be the inevitable fall guy.

I also took some reference for the look of the characters both from the Telegoons puppets and the Telegoons comic. I did a little revising on the character designs. Especially in the case of Neddie and Count Moriarty whom I imagined looking slightly different than the puppets or cartoon characters created.

Nothing fancy on this one. Just Micron Pens in my Pen Sketcher Sketchbook.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Donate to Alice and the Invaders from Wonderland


Although the Indiegogo fundraiser for ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND has come and pass, I have not given up fundraising for the project and I am looking into new options to... um... kick start... a new fundraiser.

However, in the meantime I have set up a Donation button for anyone who is still looking to help get the project underway. 

To give a donation, no matter how small, please click on the button below. Any help I can get will be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!!





All perks $15 and over which I set up with the Indiegogo fundraiser still apply. Click on the link below to see the the perks list:

Alice and the Invaders from Wonderland Graphic Novel Indiegogo Campaign (Fundfaiser Ended)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Superhero Pop Art

Limited to five prints only on each!!

Batpop 14x17 $75.00 (Limited to Five Only)


The Big Red Cheese 14x17 $75.00 (Limited to Five Only)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cartoon Art

Some characters I'm in the process of developing for a potential Animated Series I'm in currently developing.

The cat-like character was actually from a design I did waaaay back in 1998 for an article my college newspaper was running for a Cartoon Film Festival taking place in Savannah, Georgia.

My editor Alexander Fox wanted characters who vaguely looked like they could be famous cartoon characters... And what you see above is what I came up with.

I shall keep you posted on how the series progresses.
 

The Shandy Fairy


Another Narragansett Beer inspired piece. This time featuring both the Beer Fairy and the FATHER KNOWS BEST type Dad from one of my earlier ones.

Pop Art Digital Painting

Experimenting in a little digital Pop Art Painting. In the style of Roy Lichtenstein. Something I've wanted to do for several Summers but am just getting to doing it now.

My subject is a panel from DETECTIVE COMICS #328 which famously "kills off" Batman's trusty butler Alfred and introduces Dick "Robin" Grayson's Aunt Harriet. The panel in question is Batman's reaction to the unseen death of Alfred.

Which my wife Syd's comment was that it looked more like exasperation and annoyance rather than grief. Yeah, the original panel Batman really looks more like he's exasperated that Robin had an accident in his green short rather than being upset over Alfred being smeared by a giant boulder.

The piece itself is mixed media. Batman was inked in Sumi Black Japanese Drawing Ink with Brush. The colors, lettering and effects were all added digitally.

And I have to say, the piece was a great deal of fun to work on.

39 hours left on Steampunk Alice Fundraiser...

With less than a day left its looking as though we're going to be nowhere near having enough for a print run of any kind. However, I'm not ready to throw in the towel on the ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND Indiegogo fundraiser just yet.

And any contribution would be greatly appreciated at this stage of the game moving forward.

Although this particular fundraiser ends tomorrow, I'm far from giving up on the project and I will be looking into new options to... um... kickstart... a new campaign ;-)

However, as for now, there is still time to contribute and please visit the Indiegogo page to see all the great perks you can score by contributing:

ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

I would like to thank everyone who HAS contributed to the fundraiser. Your generous contributions have not been overlooked and are greatly appreciated! Thank you :-)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A couple new designs...


As I continue my month of rediscovery (for the lack of a better term) I finished up a couple new designs this morning. The first one is a redesign of the "Beer Fairy" which appears at the bottom of Narragansett Beer's website.

A little (or a lot) inspired by the work of John Kricfalusi in that one. Wouldn't mind developing that one into a series of commercials featuring the voice talent of Kevin Barbare :-)

The second is another one featuring the new Shandy 'Gansett did with Del's Lemonade. This time featuring an illustration based on the "Gansett Girls".

Both of which I inked in brush on Canson Smooth Bristol Board. All colors, lettering and other effects added digitally.

Monday, June 9, 2014

One Dandy Shandy

Something I did in honor of Narragansett Beer's new shandy with another Rhode Island institution. Del's Lemonade!!

And it is good!!

Inked in Brush on Canson Smooth Bristol Board. Colors, lettering and other effects added digitally.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary Wolf

Apart from character names and the fact that cartoons interact with humans, the novel that would ultimately become the basis for the 1988 hit film WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT could be two entirely different stories. And neither of them are bad. Just different.

I don't blame the filmmakers for going in a different direction than what Gary Wolf originally set up. In the original story comic strip and comic book characters interact with human beings. The 'toons dialogue would appear as "speech balloons" over the characters heads. Also the novel takes place in contemporary times (1980 around the time the novel was written) whereas the film takes place during the golden age of animation of the 1940s.

Given the medium the filmmakers were working with, it seems understandable to me that they would prefer to have the story centered around animated cartoons rather than comic strips. Given the rich history of film animation and the fact that animation creates the illusion of movement, it just seems like the logical choice.

That and it was just the right time for something like that. By 1988 animation had really hit rock bottom. Most of the classic characters had almost been forgotten and replaced by cheap television animation with the only purpose of selling toys. There was a big controversy over that at the time, but that's a conversation for another day.

When Roger Rabbit hit the theatres it caused a stir. But in a good way. Suddenly people saw animation. Really good animation!! And suddenly all these great characters that were long since forgotten were suddenly being remembered again.

It kind of sparked the whole animation revival of the early 1990s.

So naturally when Roger Rabbit was finally released on DVD, I had to get a copy. I first saw it in the theatres. The thing is, not only was it really well made, but the story and the acting was really good too.

Sometimes that's the problem with a blockbuster. Its like a sandwich made on really nice bread. But there's nothing but mustard in between. And as Chico Marx once said, "Mustard's no good without roast beef."

And this movie had roast beef to spare.

But with all that said, I finally got around to reading the novel. Which I am actually enjoying. I wasn't sure how I would take to it. But its interesting. To be honest, I wouldn't mind seeing a film of this version of Roger Rabbit.

However, I'm not sure if it would have had the lasting effect that the movie version had. Another example of just at the right place at the right time. And I'll be the first to say I hope they don't make a sequel. It'll never capture the magic quite like the original.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ming the Merciless and Princess Aura Color Art

Another attempt at brush and a slightly different style in my month of rediscover. Again I visit the world of Flash Gordon. This time my subject is the evil Ming the Merciless and his daughter Princess Aura.

A great deal of artistic license was taken with Ming. I'm sure I'll get hell for that from Flash Gordon purists. Princess Aura's look was inspired by the Filmation cartoon. Most notably the hair and headgear.

Mind you, this will probably not be the style I will ultimately choose. But then again, I may NOT ultimately choose a style to go with. This month is all about rediscovery...

...of sort...

You can bid on a 16x20 art print of the illustration on E-Bay currently:

15 Days left to fund STEAMPUNK ALICE!!



15 days left to contribute to ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND. Click on the link below to check out all the great perks you will score with your donation towards the fundraiser. A couple of which being the great original character designs of both Alice and the Queen of Hearts by Paul Loudon:

ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Flash Gordon: Mongo's Most Wanted

Beginning of a month where I try something new. I've been working in the same style for the past 14 years and I've begun to feel a little burnt out. So I thought I'd do a little rediscovering of my cartoon past as well as perhaps learning a couple new things along the way.
 
One of which is teaching myself to learn how to ink with a brush. The illustration you see above is my second attempt at brush inking. I thought I'd use Flash Gordon alongside his girlfriend Dale Arden for inspiration.
 
The reason Dale's hair is blue is its a bit of a tribute to how they used a dark blue highlight on all comic book characters with dark hair in old comics.
 
Right now you can bid on a 16x20 version of this image. It will be the only copy I'll be making at that particular size. Click on the link below to check it out and place your bid:
 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Still time to contribute to STEAMPUNK ALICE!!

The Indiegogo fundraiser to finance ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND ends June 20th!! There's still some time to contribute!! Please click on the link below to check out all the great perks you will receive for your generous donation!! If this fundraiser is successful, what you WILL get is a really fun book with some amazing artwork by Paul Loudon!! Click on the link below to check it out and be sure to pass it along to anyone you feel might be interested in contributing:

ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN