Sunday, May 31, 2009

My kids put me to shame

After months of neglect on my part, I've begun to scan some past artwork my kids made to post on their blog. First up are a pair of monsters meant to help people have good dreams. These were done about a week ago and already my kids are proving that they can outdo their dad when it comes to collage.

To see the full images go here.

Please leave them a comment.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Scooby-Doo for Hanna-Barbera and Classic Monster Fans

This is just a heads up for the next issue of SCOOBY-DOO, which will be available in comic book stores on June 10. I don't usually promote these in advance, but felt like this would have some appeal to adults as well as kids, particularly adults with a fondness for Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the 1960s and fans of special make-up effects in monster movies, two groups to which I consider myself a member.

The story, titled "Man of a Thousand Monsters" is about the slow death of practical make-up effects in favor of, usually, less effective CGI effects. The story is set at the Hanna-Barbera Studios, which I've treated in the past, and continue to do so here, as a physical live action studio like Warner Brothers or Universal Studios, and where their stable of cartoons were all live-action tv series and feature films.

The prop department, as seen below in the panel with fantastic artwork by story illustrator, Robert Pope, is a treasure trove of thinly disguised Hanna-Barbera props. There's the robot spider and jet from "Jonny Quest" one of the motorcycles from "Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch," "Speed Buggy," "Frankenstein Jr.," anvils, tnt, mousetraps, picnic baskets from "Yogi Bear," the Grape Ape's costume, Touché Turtle's sword, the guitar used by Quick Draw McGraw in his El Kabong disguise, Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har's balloon, Dick Dastardly's car, Rosie the Robot from "The Jetsons," and my favorite "Wally Gator." There's also a couple of items that look like they came from a certain superhero's cave. There's more on subsequent pages too.

Along with a "King Kong" reference, there are a number of classic, and contemporary horror references as well. Three make-up artists appear in the story. Recurring character, Time Sevine (named after Tom Savini), Jacques Pierce (named after classic Universal make-up artist Jack Pierce) and Rick Broiler (named after make-up legend Rick Baker). There's also an appearance by contemporary monster suit actor Doug Jones (here as Doug Bones).

Again this issue is available on June 10th. You can still let your local comic book retailer know that you'd like an issue put aside for you.

The Birthday of Three Horror Legends

Peter Cushing was born on May 26, 1913.

Christopher Lee was born on May 27, 1922.

Vincent Price was born on May 27, 1911.

While only one of them is still with us, I raise my glass to all three.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

News for XOMBI fans

Now that this is up on the DC Comics site, I guess I can let the cat out of the bag. BRAVE AND THE BOLD #26, scheduled to appear in comic book stores on August 19th teams up DC's supernatural agent of punishment; the Spectre with Milestone Media's immortal weirdness magnet; David Kim aka Xombi, although he never actually goes by that name.

Not only was this a great project for me to write because the story is illustrated by Scott Hampton and the cover is by Mike Kaluta, two of my favorite artists, but it was a chance for me to bring back the character I'm best known for after a twelve year absence. XOMBI ran 22 issues between 1994 and 1996 with an additional Hanukkah special illustrated by Guy Davis which has never seen print and was critically acclaimed, and well received by many comic book professionals including Neil Gaiman, Mike Mignola, Alan Moore and Harlan Ellison. It was not widely received by the general comic book reader though it did develop a devout following of intelligent readers. When the book was cancelled I NEVER thought I would be writing it again, especially after so much time had passed.

Out of all the work I've done, XOMBI is the thing I'm asked about more than anything else, even now. With that in mind, it gives me great pleasure to actually have some news to tell people regarding this series.

Of course the next question will be, what's next for XOMBI? Will there be more?

I can't say.

The best thing to help insure that there's more is to visit your comic book store and reserve a copy now, so that they know there is interest and order more for their store. After you've read it let DC know you want more, especially Dan Didio. Tell your friends to read it too. Spread the word. If you make enough noise and let me know what you did, there could be a prize in it for you.

In Comic Book Stores Today

SCOOBY-DOO #144 hits stands today. It contains the latest installment in my "Velma's Monsters of the World" series. This time the monster is the Aniwye, drawn by Karen Matchette.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Dapper Dans in 3-D

About a month ago I decided to attempt my first dimensional collage. Overall it went a lot more smoothly than I'd anticipated. Apparently years of making things out of cardboard and tape actually turned out to have a practical value for me, so it wasn't too hard to figure out the extra mechanics to make it dimensional. Even so, there are some things that I wish I had done differently. I still think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt.

While I enjoyed it, I don't think I'm about to embark on a switch to more dimensional collage. I really like the flat work that I've done. I think I will decide on a case by case basis which route to go.

The only thing I really don't like about this format, is I can't just throw the finished piece on the scanner in order to replicate it. Photography is now necessary, and I've learned that it's really tricky photographing artwork. Lighting is particularly difficult. The type of bulbs can change the appearance of the colors in the piece. The blue here, in particular is way off from how the actual blue looks. The second image gives a better sense of the actual colors, but even that is still off. In reality the blue is much more vibrant. Because I used reflective magazine paper for some of the collage, it would project a glare if I used a flash, or lighted it more directly.

At some point I'll get this photographed properly and repost it.

The subject for this piece is the Dapper Dans, the barbershop quartet that strolls up and down Main Street at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. There are Dapper Dans at Disney World as well, but this group is particular to the Orlando, FLA park because they are standing around the barber pole that can be found there.

I have no idea it the non-USA Disney Parks have their own Dapper Dans.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For Mothers

I posted this photo a couple of years ago. It was taken in Culver City, CA around 1998-1999. What says happy mother's day better than getting mom her own casket?