Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Prayl PART 2

I think I may have said this in the previous post, but to be frank I never feel a need to include too much detail when I'm drawing fantasy. Because, well, it's fantasy. All the details have already been worked out, and if it's "original" it's usually just some alteration.

I'm fine with clichés, because at the end of the day, fantasy is just for fun.
Sort of like kitsch, pretty much.

So yah.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Prayl" part One

First off, Happy Christmas!
I should be in bed, but I'm not.

I'm going to do this post. Used to be Christmas Eve, but now it's Christmas, officially!

Let me get straight to business.
I had planned on spending my holiday fleshing out the story of a super hero comic I've been cooking up. And then I remembered that, I had planned on trying out my fountain pen for the first time and using my time at home to master it.

Funny thing about college.
Funny thing about vacations.
Funny thing about winter...

Neither category offer good motivation to get off your butt when you don't have to. So even though I had these plans, I decided instead to go with the flow. And that flow, surprisingly, lead me to be deeply immersed in Myth. Amazing game. A-mazing. But that's Bungie for you.

I had been thinking about general fantasy in the week previous, but playing this truly wonderful game really pushed me to develop my thoughts. That, and drawing with my beloved Alex.

My relationship with fantasy is tenuous. Growing up I fell in love with it through my father, books, movies. Before I was ten I had just a vague understanding of fantasy. I knew there were soldiers and beasts and that was about it. When I was in the 4th grade I made my first friends, and played my first fantasy computer games. There was no turning back.

I "learned" about elves, dwarves, orcs. All the rules. And yet, despite everything my friends and I remained a world apart from what you might consider "true fantasy fanatics." We all owned macs, our access to high end fantasy RPGs was cut off. No consoles either.

In the passing years none of us ever played a game of Dungeons and Dragons. I never played Magic. I never read Lord of the Rings, or any fantasy novel of any kind for that matter. I remained "touched" by my computer games, but still pure. I love the idea of Dungeons and Dragons, but it was soon made clear to me that some people take the game too far. Our new friends in high school found our understandings of fantasy to be mere child's-play at best, and insulting otherwise.

What can I say? I never heard of a beholder!
I digress. It was very political.

As I developed into a teenager I fast discovered that talking about goblins in public was risky business. With so many people frowning on my interest, I became discouraged about the whole concept of fantasy. Even in college, many of my peers refused to take fantasy seriously. You couldn't get them to read a single sentence with the word "Conan" in it.
I was humbled, if not silenced.

But then my father published his first fantasy novel, and then his next, and his next, and his next until I could boast that my dad was an accomplished fantasy novelist.
I gained confidence, seeing that you could still make money off of good fantasy.

I don't plan on fleshing out an epic. Fantasy for me, is creating worlds. And even though I may be populating it with clichés and stolen ideas, it's still better than not creating worlds.
In fact it's damned fun. Expect more, increasingly nerdier posts.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Hey everybody, here are some comics from my sketchbook that I spruced up.
Enjoy! Both were inspired by frustration.

I feel I should add that these two comics are unrelated.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Color experiment.

This was a present for a good friend of mine.
There is nothing more satisfying for me, sometimes, than surprising someone with art.

But yes, this was a color study to be sure.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sketchbook Project Part ONE

So, as part of my Senior Art Seminar Project our class had to apply for some kind of exhibit that would showcase our work. I had heard of the sketchbook project and decided to give it a whirl. The idea is that they send you a sketchbook, you fill it up, and then send it back to be a part of a library of sketchbooks.

Waiting for my book to arrive, I thought of the project as an opportunity to flex my comic muscle, and impress people. I have to admit that I was some what disappointed when the book did arrive. It was smaller than I thought, but worse than that there was a theme to it.

"My life inside a yellow submarine."

If the theme had been something more thoughtful like "anger" or "time" or really anything more broad I probably wouldn't have reacted as I did. But being totally uninterested in yellow submarines, I confess that it had an affect on my work. The project was now more of an assignment than an interesting opportunity.

All this is of course possible due to my BRAND SPANKING NEW SCANNER.
I have named her "Ceres" after the artificial intelligence in Obsidian that makes dreams a reality.

I think a lot of the work in that sketchbook is junk, I'm not even sure if I want to submit it anymore. But I've always been hyper-critical of my work. Without further adieu, here is the comic:

Sketchbook Project PART TWO

I might have done some editing and spruced up the comic a bit. But I really don't like it.
It's hard not to view the whole experience as a waste of time, because the fact remains that I WAS a practice in drawing backgrounds and working in smaller format.

So yeah. Let's just call this a practice.
A study!

The Sketch Book Project PART THREE

I didn't bother to scan any of the other pictures that I allude to in this comic.
This is more to tease your sense of mystery than a reflection of my laziness.

Speaking of reflections, the quality of the scans also reflects my contempt for the comic.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some prints!

Hey guys!

Though I am unable to attend your comic needs, I can give you a slice of pie.
My thesis show is going to be in May, and I've been working on it since I got here.

The idea revolves around the self portrait, only instead of one I plan on printing
one hundred unique etchings.  Each one is framed.

Ultimately I want a mass of pictures that gives an overall impression of my life story (thus far).
Each print doesn't reveal too much, but together I hope they will act like a school of fish.

Here are three of them!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Hello everyone,

Unfortunately I do not have anything to show just yet for this blog, but know that I AM in fact, working on a comic.

I was informed recently that the best way to really broadcast a blog is simply updating it on a regular basis. All the professionals do. It is with a heavy heart that I then came to the realization that you followers are simply going to have to be patient until I graduate college.

With my thesis, classes, and me just trying to take advantage of my last year; I have to prioritize the now.

So, needless to say...updates will be infrequent.

But again, I DO have a comic in the works!
So there's that!

Thank you to all who check up on my site.
You will be rewarded in time!

And please, don't hesitate to comment, even if it's an older post!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Suicde in Salad? Yum.

Yesterday was the opening of SALAD, an art show featuring the work of New Paltz students and more. Myself and my good friend Elizabeth Cooper both had work on display in The Shirt Factory, a hip gallery in Kingston.
Our stuff will be up in there until October 23rd, so if you're in the area, check us out!
Pretty sure it's free to get in. Pretty sure.

The cool think about The Shirt Factory was that just around the corner were a bunch of other art shows. The blurred, candid is of Alex (yes, the Alex) and Tiffany admiring the latest works of Arnold Levine.

We had a good conversation with him, talking with artists is so much more rewarding outside of a lecture hall.

Alex and I always have fun going to galleries and pretending to buy art for our apartment/house. We also like "buying" art for others.

"You want that one? Tell you what, happy birthday."

I'd like to do some more comics soon but work is happening. Happening all over the place.
I pray for patience!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Self reflection, and a CHARLES DUMP

Sketch book portraits.

These are some portraits I had in my sketchbook that I thought I'd gussy up.
The first one of Charles, is about four or five months old.

You'll notice that the alien is in fact, a ballet teacher.

And as for the pirates, well. If you ever find me riding along side your bike with mine, it means I'm pretending to blast you out of the water.
True story.


In the beginning of summer I started using a moleskin sketchbook instead of my usual leather bound 8.5 x 11 sketchbooks. The reason for this was because I'm going to have to get used to smaller formats, so I figured it'd be good practice to jump ship.

I had, at this point, developed an even larger ego, so when the first few pages didn't turn out well, I just ripped them out. After several frustrating pages, torn asunder, I drew this first comic.

Little did I know the consequences of this plucky little demon. I liked the look of him very much, and drew a portrait of him, but that was all for the next couple months.

In college, I found myself drawn to him again, and I began making comics that explored his personality more. What I discovered was a lewd, brutal, cynical, malevolent little shit, that I soon realized was the incarnation of my id.

Like seriously, this is it. He is called Charles.

I grappled with making him a thoughtful, complex character, but the more I tried the more he rebelled. I found that he'd always end up screaming in comics, simply for the sake of destroying the clarity. He lives for controversy.

I even went as far as introducing him to one of my other favorite characters, the Shakespearean jester from "The Great War" series. But he ended up killing him with an ax. I was so upset that I couldn't finish the comic.

The more blunt, offensive, and nasty I draw him; the more true to his character the comics are.
I didn't intend some of these images, I just found him this way. After this post I'll dump the rest on you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Full Captain Lester Comic

Just for the sake of not having to scroll down for future inspectors of this site.
In the future all comics in a series will be displayed like this.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Guilt Ridden Post

This post marks the near close for the last summer I'll spend doing whatever I like. Living at home, jobless, these things will change come next May; and I look forward to it with great excitement and anxiety.

But enough of that, I have to apologize for not making any new posts. I had actually planned on keeping up with the comics while I was in the Cape, but paradise has a wonderful way of eliminating your sense of ambition.

When we got back home my next week was spent with my brother who visited us from Seattle. And then of course after that with only three or so weeks left, I scrambled to spend as much time with people (Alex) as possible. I'm trying to make the most of what will soon be my last week here, but today is a packing day. All the hardware, supplies and nick knacks have been organized and sealed. Now all I have to do is mop up the little things.

Browsing through my computer transfers I came across some of my prints from last semester in New Paltz. So here they are. The first is a collaboration with the lovely Miss Clara.

Unfortunately once I get back into the swing of college, I likely won't be able to take making comics seriously for a while. A long while.

We'll see what happens, but I plan on updating this blog as frequently as I did over the summer.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Portrait Exchange!

Lisa Perrin of Lisa Perrin has drawn a portrait of me! Ok I admit I just wanted her to draw someone of me, so I tugged and whinnied my way into convincing her it was a super cool art thing to do portrait exchanges.

Lisa Perrin is a fellow representational artist that is working hard at making a name for herself in the paper doll field. Doing a right job of it too, she's been in magazines and interviews. Making that paper!

If you want to see my version, you'll have to check out her site.

I actually really love how she handled me. I can tell that it's based on some serious conversations we've had together. In a way this is a much more telling portrait than the one I did a couple weeks ago.

It makes me question my own rendition, a little, but I genuinely believe mine is a side of Lisa that very few people see.

A dubious honor.

Nearly four years after it was taken, this photo can now be seen on page one of the google image results when you look up the word "larp."

LARP stands for Live Action Roleplay. If you want details feel free to check out my video on the subject.

The point is that my friends and I find ourselves in a rather ironic situation, where the popularity of the photo is slowly snowballing for entirely the wrong reasons. Like any eccentric icon, many folk look upon this image as the face of LARPing. It reminds me of how some people feel that Chris Crocker is the archetypal gay male. He really isn't. We really aren't.

The irony comes in by the fact that we weren't actually LARPing, but rather making a satire of the act. My friends and I are a bizarre lot. You might even call us "counter counter culture." When we set out that day, the idea was not to mock LARPers so much as to have fun at making fools of ourselves while pretending to LARP. I realize how that sounds, take it or leave it.

It's sort of like how hipsters wear ugly shirts. The idea is that their coolness defeats the lameness of what they are wearing. Only with us we had no pretense to assume that. We knew what we looked like, and were damn proud of it.

It's a shame though (I guess) because now people look at this photo and think that everyone who LARPs is as crazy as we are. Which, I'll add, is either not the case...or very much so.

So it is with nervous smiles that we come closer and closer to becoming internet oddities.

Funny how life works out sometimes.

We actually did it again and took photos but Blane was too embarrassed to put them up. Lots of speedos.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Details details...

There is more than a large part of me that has been completely obsessed with my "success" through this blog, and by and large that part has been disappointed with the number of followers I get.  It's funny, every professor you'll talk to in college with recollect the days when outside of school they learned (quickly) that they wouldn't see any immediate prosperity.

And I looked at them, braced myself for it, and disagreed.

There's been another part of me that has been wanting to churn out comics every day in preparation for when I re-draw my graphic novel.  I realize though that this kind of detachment isn't very rewarding for those who are actually interested enough to check up often.
The biggest let down of one of my favorite cartoonists was not that he stopped doing work, but that he never took the time to explain why, or what else he'd be doing.

And so, I shall try to make this more of a comic blog than simply...comics comics comics!


My biggest compliments and criticisms have always been linked to my sense of detail.  The common "don't draw types" are amazed with it, the common "drawing is so 1970s" types could give a damn,  and everyone in between wants more than my laziness is willing to produce.

I love detail, there's nothing I like more than being immersed in something that's well realized, visually.  At the same time I have a fancy for flat, semi-abstract, cartoon-like minimalism.  That's what happens when you grow up liking...

Myst and The NES

Bill Waterson and Edward Gorey

Will Vinton and Matt Groening

Jan Svankmajer and George Dunning

B. Kliban and Robert Crumb

etc etc etc...

It's funny because all these listed influences were capable (in contrast to their popular work) with extraordinary detail and surprising simplicity.

So I've always been involved in what you might call "representational art" but I've never been tied down by a "reality" of representation.  I find that when I enter spaces I've created, there are levels of detail that become necessary, and many that become unnecessary.

Despite this, many people scream for as much detail as they can lick up.  Looking at the contemporary comic market, just looking at the backgrounds, there's so much detail that I find it hard to focus on the characters.

But that's just me, and there are tons of people that love that.

My girlfriend and I both gripe about art critiques and how people complain that our work looks "flat" when we've both spent hours making sure that it does.  You can't convince people that flatness is a style.  Not us, anyway.

You can't please everyone.

Since this entry is more blog than comic (as opposed to a desired(?) balance) I'll include a strip that I didn't dare finish.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009



A while back I realized it was probably more handy to include an entire series (or as much as I can) into one post instead of posting them two or more segments at a time. Does this make sense? Let me know, because I'd be posting more often the other way around.

But sadly, as much as I'd like to continue my current comic, I'm going to have to buy some more pens. I may do some experiments with fountain pens before that.
We'll see what happens.

Rest assured this comic will be concluded!

Oh hey! Notice the shadows? Makes it pop right? Right!