Monday, October 26, 2015

ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND 19X27 print art


Paul Loudon and myself have decided to launch a mini fundraiser prior to launching a proper Kickstarter to fund a pilot episode for ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND. 

AVAILABLE NOW!! Order a special 19x27 print of Paul's amazing promotional work for ALICE. As a special thank you for taking part in funding the pilot, not only will you receive a thank you in the credits for the pilot, YOU WILL BE GIVEN THE OPTION OF US USING YOUR LIKENESS AS AN EXTRA IN THE PILOT EPISODE!!

Once you have purchased the print please sent us a photograph of yourself to swashbucklingalice@gmail.com

You will also receive a character sheet of the way you will appear in the series!!

The cost is $75 per print and limited to 25 only. Click on the button below to preorder today.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Worcester Wares

If you haven't been down to Worcester Wares located in the back of the DCU Center (the Centrum for all of us over the age of 35) in Worcester Massachusetts, then you're missing something really great!!

It showcases artwork, prints, mugs, bags and other things with a Worcester theme to them. I am currently selling postcard prints of my work there. Jessica Walsh is a really nice person and very enthusiastic about all things Woo.

She even allowed me to record this little plug for both her store and for my own work.

video


So if you're in the area, please go check it out. Then you can go get yourself a drink and a bite to eat at the Citizen across the street.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Set Design

While rummaging through some artwork to put in the show at Mocha Maya's, I rediscovered some set design I did for a play I wrote (but never staged) back in the dear dead days of the early 2000's.

I ended up putting the two in the second photo in the show at Mocha Maya's. But who knows. I may end up utilizing them some day.



Solo Show in Shelburne Falls MA

Several years back I did a solo show at Mocha Maya's in Shelburne Falls Massachusetts. They recently contacted me again to do another show which I promptly said yes!!

If you have not been to either Shelburne Falls or Mocha Maya's both are really great places. I posted some photos of the work which is currently on display as well as some photo's my wife took at the Bridge of Flowers.








We also poked around a little bookstore in that area where I made this neat little discovery for $4!




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane


About a month back I was contacted to do character designs for a novel by Deanna Raybourn titled Silent in the Grave. The novel featured an amateur sleuth named Lady Julia Grey who was bent on investigating the mysterious death of her husband.

I had a great deal of fun working on the designs and I had created the illustration above as a thank you to the clients who contacted me to work on the project.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane

Lady Julia Grey


Nicholas Brisbane
Some commissioned character designs I was contacted to do of Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane for a project.
 
I completed about seven designs in all for the project and it was a lot fun to work on. I was told to make my characters a bit more buxom than I usually do. As you see from the design for Lady Julia.

Monday, June 22, 2015

MASSive Con at the DCU this coming weekend!!

Syd and I will be hitting up MASSive Con at the DCU Center (known to us old folks as the Centrum) this coming Saturday. For Syd it's a chance to meet Jim Cummings. The voice of Winnie the Pooh. I'm using it as an opportunity to promote Alice and the Invaders From Wonderland. I had some cards made up for the show from the amazing poster art Paul Loudon created.


Double Midnight Comics out of New Hampshire is hosting the event. And it sounds like they have some pretty amazing events scheduled. Screenings of Bladerunner, the Goonies and The Never-Ending Story with a special guest who starred in each movie scheduled to appear at the screen and take part in a Q and A.

It will also give Syd and myself an opportunity to visit with my good buddy John Shaver who is helping out Double Midnight with the event,

So if it's looking like your weekend might prove to be boring, check out MASSive Con this weekend!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sympathy for the Devil: Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

 
Of all the actors to play the coveted role of Count Dracula, Sir Christopher Lee was by far my favorite. Born in 1922, he was the same age my Grandfather would have been and came from that generation who know what an honest day's work.
 
Something my generation and every generation after me sadly lacks. As well as sorely lacking a respect for our elders as the internet and social media have made us more opinionated, arrogant and with the way people can readily create as many anonymous profile to attack people with no fear of any recourse...
 
...cowardly.
 
They weren't called The Greatest Generation for nothing, kids.
 
But he was more than just Dracula. Sir Christopher is in fact mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records for most movies acted in. Like I said, from a generation which was a head and should above the rest.
 
And in his case, at over 6'5", that phrase rings more true for him.
 
He was a Bond villain. He was Sherlock Holmes. He was Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man. He was in two Star Wars films. And age had not dimmed his ability to be a force to be reckoned with when he appeared in the Lord of the Rings films.
 
Although he could be called on to be a hero in films. Much like his contemporaries Vincent Price and best friend Peter Cushing. He seemed to relish playing the quintessential baddie.
 
He was in a class of actors who played both Dracula and Sherlock Holmes.
 
They don't make them like Sir Christopher Lee anymore. And I think I may have felt the Earth tremble slightly at his passing. Rest in Peace Sir Christopher Lee! You will be missed!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Alice in Wonderland



A work in progress. Illustration on Canson 11x14 Bristol Board and inked with Deleter #4 Black Waterproof Drawing Ink. In the process of adding a light watercolor wash over the inks.
 
What can I say? I love Deleter Ink. Especially this waterproof ink which is allowing me to use a new watercolor set I bought without the illustration becoming a big smeary mess when I add the colors.
 
No mess whatsoever! It's great!! I'm so glad I started using it again. Especially #4. It's by far my favorite drawing ink to work with.
 
I've left a lot of white space in this particular piece because I wanted to leave enough room to let the light watercolor wash shine through without it becoming too obscured by my usual obsessive compulsive line work.
 
Looking at the piece, there's a part of me that wishes I went with the Ayres Houghtelling versions of Alice's dress. Which was all white as opposed to the blue dress with the little white apron thingy in the front.
 
I may do a second version of the piece with that dress. Not sure.
 
Just started adding a few reds and yellows. I will be certain to post it once it's completed.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Final Problem 11x14 Pen and Ink Commission

 
Just completed my latest commission of THE ADVENTURE OF THE FINAL PROBLEM. Inked in Deleter #4 Black Drawing Ink on Canson 11x14 Bristol Board.
 
Sherlock Holmes's pose is based on an illustration by an artist who went by the moniker Spy. That image was based on actor William Gillette. Professor Moriarty in my piece was based on Peter Cushing.
 
Although, Mr. Cushing had portrayed Holmes on both film and television, I always thought he would have made a great Professor Moriarty.

Alice Promotional Cards fresh off the printer

 
Hoping to pass out a few of these beauties to some voice artists attending MASSive Con at the DCU Center in Worcester MA next month.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Circumstances of the Peculiar Boy

Throwback Thursday is something silly created by social media... not really sure where it started but there you are.

Some time ago I did a short story titled THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PECULIAR BOY. I did it originally in the Undercoverfish Anthology. Later I published it in a collection titled CONFESSIONS OF A PECULIAR BOY... AND OTHER STORIES (the "other stories" inspired by titles from Dr. Seuss) for Alterna Comics. The story featured an old bedridden woman in a nursing home who is vexed by a "peculiar boy" that seems to have chosen to sit in her favorite chair. She is annoyed because she can no longer sit in said chair and she resents this boy for being able to do so.

It should be mentioned that the "Peculiar Boy" you see in that tale was actually me. I based the image of the boy on my own Kindergarten photo.


There's a long tale behind the story itself. But I haven't the time to tell it today. But you can still download the book containing the story for your Kindle on Amazon.com!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Final Problem Commission

Pencils on 11x14 Canson Bristol Board. Ink will be applied once I get the thumbs up from the client. Sorry about the quality. I pencil fairly light and it doesn't show up well on my tablet. Most of my details I do directly with ink. I just use pencil for (very loose) plotting out.

Both the Sherlock Holmes Scrapbook and Sherlock Holmes's London have been invaluable resources. I've been using photo's of the recreation of Holmes's sitting room in the Sherlock Holmes Pub as reference material for Baker Street in this illustration.




Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sherlock Commission #2

A second Sherlock Holmes commission inspired by a Sidney Paget original. Making progress on it. Added a table of knickknacks and will be doing a light sepia wash soon. Luckily Deleter#4 is waterproof. I found that out when I was trying to do an ink wash and actually WANTED the lines I made to run a little.

 
 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Commissioned Art: THE SIGN OF FOUR

 
Illustrated on Bainbridge 15x20 Illustration Board in Deleter #4 Black Drawing Ink.
 
I'm back to using Deleter after trying out Sumi Ink. I've just found I enjoy working in Deleter much more and missed it. I'll probably have to order some more bottles of it.
 
It's also the first time I've worked on Bainbridge Illustration Board in nearly 13 or 14 years.
 
The request was to have Sherlock Holmes more in line with Basil Rathbone's look as the character. I also got a little inspiration from artist Robin Jacques's artwork for a radio adaptation of THE SIGN OF FOUR featured in an issue of RADIO TIMES. The image was published in THE SHERLOCK HOLMES SCRAPBOOK (which has a wonderful introduction by Peter Cushing) which I usually work from when I need reference material along with SHERLOCK HOLMES'S LONDON.
 
 

Just what the Doctor ordered...

I have never shied away from the fact I am a life long Doctor Who fan. Ever since the early 1980's when WGBH Channel 2 Boston started playing them around 7PM in the evening (I think) I have been hooked on the show.
 
I look at it this way. You either love the show or you just don't get it. I love the show.
 
Recently, my wife Syd had found a Groupon to go to Super Mega Fest in Marlborough Massachusetts. One of the guests at the show was going to be Sylvester McCoy. Which some of you might know as Radagast the Brown.
 
But the rest of us Doctor Who fans know as The Seventh Doctor.
 
Well, we got the Groupon. How many chances does one get in one's lifetime to meet an actor who portrayed a character you enjoyed greatly.
 
I decided to present Sylvester with an original illustration. But I decided to do it with a twist. Back in the day there was a novel in the Doctor Who New Adventure line which had #7 crossing paths with Sherlock Holmes.
 
And I read recently, Big Finish Productions was to do an audio adaption of said novel with Sylvester McCoy portraying his incarnation of the Doctor.
 
So I decided to use that as the basis of my illustration.

 
Having Holmes and Watson entering the Doctor's TARDIS. I also used the TARDIS console room from the 1996 Paul McGann movie because he had stated in past interviews it being a favorite of his.
 
I finished the piece, framed and matted it and Syd and I gave it to him at Super Mega Fest.
 
And what might have helped him accepting the piece is he liked my hat. Which was the first comment he made when I walked over. Probably grinning like an idiot.
 
For those of you non-Doctor Who fans to understand. For me, this was like meeting William Shatner and Mark Hamill in person.
 
Later in the day I won some swag in Nerd Trivia because I knew Luke Skywalkers nickname on Tatooine and who was the artistic team who created Captain America...
 
...and just in case you didn't know the answers were Wormie and Joe Simon and Jack Kirby respectively. You don't know how many people said Stan Lee. Although, he did help to create half if not most of the Marvel Universe. However, he did not create Captain America.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wonder Woman as Interpreted by Darwyn Cook

I guess I really AM out of touch when it comes to collecting and reading comic books these days...

...and when I say reading comic books, I mean keeping up with an ongoing title issue by issue from either Marvel and DC. So I was not aware that they basically changed Batman's costume to resemble one of the robots from the movie CHAPPIE.

And part of me really just doesn't care. Even the upcoming news that they are going to be basically doing something similar to the New 52 over at Marvel really just DID NOT phase me much.

They stated that the Marvel Universe as we have come to know it since 1961 is going to come to end. But I'll be honest. The current Marvel universe really ISN'T the one we've known since 1961. The same goes for DC. Over the years it's become so convoluted with revisionist pasts and whatnot it's just not the same Spider-Man or Batman I knew as a kid. And probably that Spider-Man or Batman wasn't the same one readers older than myself knew when they were a kid.

But that's perhaps a subject for another day. And this particular blog post isn't supposed to be the usual grouchy old man rant.

 I was reading an article recently about some of the revisions they have done to Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman over the years. And wrinkling my nose in disapproval at the new looks they have chosen for each character. Wonder Woman in particular I think my favorite interpretation of the character was by artist Darwyn Cook for his NEW FRONTIERS miniseries.

For one thing I really love his early Silver Age style of artwork. The the simple bold lines on the characters are great. And his aesthetic choices for the way everybody's favorite Amazonian Princess are equally as great. I like the fact he decided NOT TO make her look like Paris Hilton. This Wonder Woman looks like she could totally kick your ass. Hell! I have no doubt this Wonder Woman could kick Superman's ass! 

The other thing I like is the fact Cook chose to make WW a couple inches to a foot taller than the Man of Steel. 


This is a choice suppose might have left the slightly more insecure group of male comic fans a bit miffed at the thought of a woman being taller than a man. But the choice made perfect sense to me. She's an Amazon. They're a warrior race. Heck! Even Lynda Carter is 5'9"!!

Not saying a woman under 5 feet tall couldn't kick someone's ass. But from the visual standpoint and given the origins of the character. Having her standing a bit taller than ole Supes makes perfect sense.

That's why I think Darwyn Cook hit it out of the park with his version of Wonder Woman.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Purchase ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND character design print today!!






Available on Bunny and the Badger right now are prints of the character sheets I originally created for ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND. Limited to 10 prints of each only, they measure 14x17 and will arrive to you signed and numbered. Click on the link below to order yours today:
 
 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

I was sorry to hear about the passing of Leonard Nimoy this afternoon. William Shatner was always one of those people you either loved everything about him or couldn't stand him for the ego he was reported having earlier in his career or the over-acting.

That just wasn't the case for Nimoy. I don't confess to being a fan of Star Trek, but I always found myself both liking Leonard Nimoy and his character of Chief Science Officer Mr. Spock.

I even got the chance to see some of his photography when it was on display in Northampton Massachusetts.

Nimoy even left this plane of existence with one last tweet on Twitter which I imagine will most likely be remembered with some of the great last words:

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wang Rong Rollin Chick Chick



 Back in a previous life I was a huge fan of Bjork's music. To be honest, I really haven't listened to her on a regular basis in a very long time. The last album I bought of hers was VOLTA back in 2007 which was seven years ago now. The last album I enjoyed by her was Homogenic back in 1997.

Most of my music listening these days is sporadic at best. I still love Shonen Knife after all these years. I can never get sick of them. Their tribute to the Ramones is one of the best rock albums out there!

However, I'm a sucker for what other people might deem to be "bizarre music". So, for your listening pleasure here a number from China by Wang Rong Rollin...

...and yes! I do blast it in my car.

A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin





I'm enjoying the book (soon to be a major motion picture) immensely. An older Sherlock Holmes living in Sussex Down tending to his bees is not a new concept. The talented Laurie R. King has written about it in her wonderful Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series. It was originally conceived by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself. After popular demand brought the great detective back to life, Doyle would later have Dr. John Watson mention in passing of Holmes's retirement in Sussex in later stories.

In fact, THE LION'S MANE takes place during Holmes's life in Sussex. It is the only Sherlock Holmes story I am aware of that is written from Holmes's perspective.

And it's a decent tale to boot.

On a side note, PG Wodehouse would do the same with his Jeeves series having one tale told from Jeeves's perspective. Jeeves would also confess a fatherly fondness for Bertie Wooster and not just tolerating him.

But I digress...

I am enjoying Mitch Cullin's take on a 93 year old Sherlock Holmes who is dealing with his one great mind beginning to diminish with age. Not just sticking to his surroundings in Sussex, the story concerns a previous case as well as Holmes traveling to Japan post-World War II.

It deals with Holmes as though he continued to live beyond the era of hansom carriages and gaslight. It also has Holmes giving his opinions about films made about his adventures with Dr. Watson and how Watson is portrayed in films.

I'm looking forward to seeing the film treatment starring Sir Ian McKellan when it is released (as pictured above) and I cannot think of a better choice for Holmes. Either John Hurt or the Late John Neville or Peter O'Toole would have been admirable choices as well. Hurt still being with us would have been my second choice in the title role.

I  highly recommend you pick up the book. It's a really great read!!

The clip from the movie looks pretty good too:



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mr. Holmes (2015)

 
This is a concept I've actually wanted to see done... or perhaps do myself... for some time now. An elderly Sherlock Holmes living in retirement tending to his bees in Sussex. However, novelist Mitch Cullin beat me to the punch with his 2005 novel A SLIGHT TRICK OF THE MIND.
 
Which I just ordered a copy of.
 
I always envisioned John Neville, who had portrayed the great detective in one of my favorite Holmes films A STUDY IN TERROR playing an older Holmes. Sadly, John Neville who had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease passed away back in 2011.
 
However, I think the choice of Sir Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes is excellent!!
 
 
They even have Nicholas Rowe, who played the character in YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES, making a cameo appearance as a "Matinee Holmes". So I imagine he's portraying a very Basil Rathbone version of the character.
 
I'm looking forward to seeing the film. I imagine it will still be better than watching ELEMENTARY.