Friday, August 31, 2007

That's why the lady is a vamp...

I am notable in that I am one of the few people in all of geekdom who has not seen Ed Wood but has seen Plan 9 From Outer Space. Someone lent it to me recently, so I was inspired to draw Vampira:

This was sketched in pen (no preliminary pencils of any kind) on a piece of scratch paper, and touched up a bit in Photoshop. If you look carefully, you can see some text gibberish in her hair--I could have cleaned it up, but decided that it gave the piece an interesting quality. In retrospect, the text is so tiny, I don't think it makes a difference one way or another. When I drew this I wasn't looking at any reference, and with that in mind I think its a halfway decent likeness. I don't know what made me color the picture monochrome, but I think it worked out alright.

And now, a five second review!

* * *

Plan 9 From Outer Space (Available on DVD)

For those who have not seen Plan 9 From Outer Space, I just want to say that it is far from being one of the worst films of all time. It is filled with flaws, riddled with continuity errors, and is unintentionally laughable. In spite of all that, or because of all that, it's still, like, totally watchable. In fact the pacing in Plan 9 has better pacing than most of the movies I've seen in the past two and a half years. No joke!

Verdict: Awesome. Vampira! Tor Johnson! The best narrator ever! Bela Lugosi! Sort Of!

For More B-Movie Awesomeness: An Italian movie from 1963, Atom Age Vampire is a work of genius!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

He-Man contest ending Aug 31st 11:59pm

Hi all,

The He-Man contest has been a lot of fun to watch! It's almost a shame the fun has to end. This is a fun and free contest to promote some good wholesome drawing. There's still time to do your sketching! Contest closes Friday August 31 11:59pm Eastern time. Click HERE for more info.

Here are the entries so far!.. in no particular order

Charles Santoso







Jonny Dark


Matthew Blair


Toronto Fan Expo 2007

Amazing as always. Thanks so much to EVERYONE that came by the booth to show us some love. We had an amazing time. Next year will be bigger and better. I can feel it.

Here's some pics:

Best costume goes to this little man with the white hair

A picture of our booth

A super cool fan with one of my paintings as a tattoo

Here's a funny doodle given to me by a very talented student (Thalia) from Seneca College.


Here's some MUST SEE links!!
James Jean
Paul Pope
Francis Manapul
Humberto Ramos <--new address
Francisco Herrera <-- new address

BONUS POST: What Time Is It???

I have been meaning to put this post up forever--old chum Gavin linked me to a video on Youtube. What follows is an animated short of minimalist cartooning and absurdist humor, in the most awesome form ever. Rather than rambling on in my usual manner, I will let the video speak for itself--you would be doing yourself a great disservice to not hear what it has to say. Ladies and gentlemen, Adventure Time:

For more on Adventure Time:
"He's like fifty patoots!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Dude With An Axe!

(Posted early cuz i feel like it, sucka!)

Another Masters of the Universe action figure variant re-purposed (by me) into a new character. It's the opposite number to last week's Battle Armor Skeletor re-vamp, Battle Armor He-Man, reborn as "Battle-Scar," for obvious reasons:

click above for larger view

On the one hand, I think I more or less got across what I was trying to with this piece. On the other hand, I think it greatly suffers because I have not yet posted an illustration of He-Man proper, for comparison. I need to remedy that soon. In the meantime, I'll just have to point out the differences that would be apparent if I'd had the foresight to finish a pic of He-Man first. Lame!

Anyways, where He-Man has blonde hair and orange (copper?) bracers & belt, Battle-Scar is strawberry blonde, and has gold bracers & belt. I've given Battle-Scar pale skin and blue eyes, in contrast to the cartoon version of He-Man, who had dark eyes, and deeply tanned skin. The idea was to give Battle-Scar more of a Celtic or Nordic look (which is where his title of Berserker comes in as well). In terms of facial features, the cartoon depicted He-Man with more or less classic good looks--in comparative nerd terms this means that if you ignore his coloration and haircut, he pretty much looks just like Superman. I gave Battle-Scar a face that was a little closer to the rough-hewn looks of the toy. His armor is slashed and dented, to represent the battle-damage gimmick of the toy, and the scars on his body were added to continue the theme and give a visual cue as to his ability to take punishment (more in the profile below). On its own, I think this character re-mix comes off as just a version of He-Man, but once I post my take on He-Man, hopefully the differences will be more apparent.

My drawing is a little static, but hopefully it gets across the idea of raw power that I was going for. No characters with axes next week--I promise!

* * *

PROFILE: Young, loyal to a fault, and still somewhat naive, BATTLE-SCAR is nevertheless a veteran of the battlefield. Even before he obtained his magical breastplate, Battle-Scar was well known for taking heaps of punishment on the battlefield. His immense stamina and resistance to pain are magnified to demi-god levels by the breastplate.

Ostensibly, Battle-Scar was the first member of the entity that would become affectionately known to the populace of Eternia as TEAM GRAYSKULL, named so by Orko, much to the chagrin of their reluctant field commander THUNDER PUNCH. It is notable that Battle-Scar is the only member of the core team who is not a blood descendant of King Grayskull.

HISTORY: Years ago in the northern lands, the boy who would become known as Battle-Scar watched as He-Man saved his village from a brutal attack by Skeletor's forces. This left an indelible mark on the youth, and he strove to live up to He-Man's example of bravery and honor. Thus when word of He-Man's disappearance spread, Battle-Scar (now a young yet experienced warrior) wasted no time, travelling to Eternos immediately to pay his respects to his missing (and possibly fallen) hero and offer his axe in service to Eternos and Castle Grayskull.

Initially He-Man's allies were unsure of what to do with the young scarred warrior who stood before them. Teela decided to consult the Sorceress, and was bringing Battle-Scar to Castle Grayskull, when they were attacked by a platoon of evil Horde robots. Teela and Battle-Scar managed to fight them off long enough to retreat into the safety of Castle Grayskull's dark halls. However, more Horde Robots were on the way, Teela had been gravely injured during the battle, and Battle-Scar's axe was shattered, and his armor was blasted to pieces. The Sorceress saw to Teela's wounds and lead Battle-Scar into a room pulsing with magical energies--the armory of King Grayskull himself!

"According to prophecy, only the just and even-handed--those worthy of King Grayskull--may wield these implements of war," the Sorceress told him, "choose wisely, young warrior!" Battle-Scar was humbled beyond words--he could not bring himself to even touch the magnificent arms and armor before him. Everything was elaborately crafted and intricately inlaid with precious metals and gems. He spotted a dusty breastplate and axe in the corner; unlike the other items, these were plain and ungilded. The axe was rough and worn from use, the breastplate marred by slashes and dents, and marked with an ancient heraldic symbol of Grayskull's line. In spite of their obvious wear, both were sturdy, and well-crafted--they would serve his purpose. Battle-Scar hastily equipped the breastplate and axe, promising the Sorceress that he would return them as soon as the battle was over. As Battle-Scar ran to the Jaw-Bridge, the richly crafted weapons shimmered and faded--in their place was a collection of humbler, and yet more powerful implements--like the axe and breastplate that Battle-Scar had chosen, these were the true weapons of Grayskull's armory. Sorceress smiled to herself, "Well done, young warrior."

Now armed and clad like a god of war, Battle-Scar dispatched the Horde robots easily. After the battle, Battle-Scar attempted to return his newfound weapons. The Sorceress explained to him that he truely was one of Grayskull's chosen defenders, and Battle-Scar pledged himself to defend Castle Grayskull until He-Man returned.

* * *

In case anyone didn't pick up on it, the whole "choose wisely" bit is totally lifted from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here and the post is here.

For my other "new characters from old variants" posts:

Pic of the week by Kei

Announcement 01: I'll be teaching 3rd year life drawing for the animation program at Sheridan College this year. I'm very excited about this!

Announcement 02: September 20th digital painting class on Schoolism is full. Classes open for registration: November 02, 2007 & January 30, 2007

Announcement 03: He-man contest will be closing this Friday August 31st! It's a fun and free contest Kei and I started to promote some fun recreational drawing. No money involved. The response has been wonderful! Winners get original art from Kei and I. Click HERE for more information.

Here's the new pic of the week by Kei Acedera

Friday, August 24, 2007

Necessary Evil Character Files (Part 3 of 7): Asian American Ninja

Another entry in my series of character designs for Josh's upcoming comic Necessary Evil. Today's character is another student at the Necessary Evil Academy, Sol:

click above for larger view

On the surface, she seems like a typical teenager, maybe a little shy. Get on her bad side, and you'll quickly discover that you're dealing with one of the deadliest assasins around. As Jacob and Miller begin carving out out a niche for themselves at the Necessary Evil Academy, Sol quickly becomes an integral part of their group of friends and allies.

Ask your local comic shop to order Necessary Evil #1. It's on page 265 of August's Previews catalog, and the Diamond order number is aug07 3547. And after you've done that, add Necessary Evil as your friend on MySpace.

Previous Necessary Evil posts:I'll be taking a brief break from the Necessary Evil Character Files, and resuming when the book's release date is closer. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

They're commmmming! Toronto Fan Expo

Tomorrow the Fan Expo begins!

Our friends Alberto Ruiz, Stephen Silver, David Colman and Joe Weatherly are all coming across the border to pay Toronto a visit! You don't want to miss this.

Alberto Ruiz - Table A3 & A4
Stephen Silver - Table A5
David Colman - Table A2
Joe Weatherly - Table A12
IMAGINISM STUDIOS (Bobby Chiu, Kei Acedera, Thierry Lafontaine & Peter Chan) - Tables A8, A9, A10, A11

Stephen Silver will be signing books and doing caricatures as well!

Here's a caricature Stephen did for a fan at the Chicago Wizard con a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Digital Painting Video!

Toronto Fan Expo 2007 in 2 days!

Here's a new digital painting videocast I did yesterday. Hope you like it!



He-man Art Contest Info click HERE!

This Is Not A Good Title.

One of the websites that I would have normally used (to link useful reference pictures of action figures and so forth) was unavailable at the time of this post. I will update later when the site has returned. UPDATE: links to Battle Armor Skeletor and Accessory Pack added.

Another Masters of the Universe action figure variant re-purposed (by me) into a new character, this time it's Battle Armor Skeletor, now known as "Armorax." The name Armorax was just a last minute portmanteau of the words 'armor' and 'axe.'

click above for larger view

The first thing that strikes me is the alarming similarity between the pose on this one and last Tuesday's post. O_O This was totally unintentional and all I can say in my defense is that the two pieces were not drawn consecutively, and both were inked and scanned months and months ago. The posting of the two pieces in such close proximity is an oversight on my part--I have to admit, over the past several months I've been drawing dozens and dozens of gestures for He-Man characters (many of which have not been completed/posted yet) and it's getting hard to come up with original poses. I can at least promise you that the next few He-Man illustrations will have varying poses.

Back to Armorax--the weapon he's holding is somewhat based on an axe that Skeletor used in the pilot episode of the series, "The Diamond Ray of Disappearace." I also had in mind the blue axe from the Accessory Pack. He has a bonus bat-cape to match my illustration of Skeletor, though Armorax's cape is shorter because Skeletor outranks him (more on that in the bio below). Armorax has a "normal face" but wears a skull mask to show his allegiance to Skeletor (more on that in the bio as well). The idea is that he is from the same race as Skeletor, but lacks the mutation/deformity that Skeletor is cursed with. I also wanted to show some battle damage as a nod to the original action figure (whose chest armor would show gashes upon impact) but at the same time, I didn't want to obscure the cool bat symbol too much. As a compromise, I gave him a nasty gash in his skull mask.

As for colors, the only noteworthy deviation from the original is the mask itself. I gave Armorax a mask of bleached bone to distinguish him from Skeletor's yellowed skull.

* * *

PROFILE: Brash, cruel, and arrogant, ARMORAX is the perfect champion for Skeletor's Elite. He is a virtually unparalleled melee fighter and combat spellcaster, and an excellent field tactician, though slightly lacking in experience. His chestplate, enchanted with his own dark magicks, provides him almost unlimited protection from physical attacks. His axe, imbued with sorcerous power by the evil powers of Infinita itself, is an artifact that was awarded to him by Skeletor himself. According to various rumors, his skull mask hides a horribly scarred face, or grants him the fighting spirit of a demon, or both. Neither of these rumors are true--in fact, he wears the mask as a sincere tribute to his master and mentor Skeletor, and his combat abilities are born of training and intuition. The scar on the mask comes from a particularly intense sparring session with Skeletor himself, and Armorax brandishes it proudly.

HISTORY: Skeletor's Elite are a group of cabalistic disciples, trained by Skeletor himself. Perpetually distrustful of his lieutenants (and with good cause), Skeletor formed this loyal, tight-knit inner circle to seize the reins of power in the event of his extended absense. With the disappearance of He-Man and Skeletor, the Elite have revealed themselves, much to the dismay of Skeletor's highest ranking evil warriors, Evil-Lyn in particular. Armorax was one of the first recruits, and of the first wave, the only to survive the fatal rigours of Skeletor's training regimen. His loyalty to Skeletor is absolute, however he was dismayed to learn that being Skeletor's named champion did not also grant him a position as leader of the Elite. TERROR CLAW received that honor, and Armorax is constantly smouldering with fury over this appointment. Armorax's resentment of Terror Claw is a fracture in the Elite that Evil-Lyn has picked up on, and intends to exploit.

* * *

Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here and the post is here.

For my other "new characters from old variants" posts:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fan Expo this weekend: Stephen Silver, Alberto Ruiz, David Colman and Joe Weatherly coming to Toronto!

Toronto Fan Expo 2007 in 3 days!

There's going to be tons to see and people to meet so come on down! I hear it's the 3rd largest Comic Con in North America. The Fan Expo has always been one of our favorite Comic Cons, not just because it's so big and so much to see but because it's in our hometown of Toronto Canada. Whenever Kei and I go traveling we always tell all our friends that the Toronto Fan Expo is something that they have to attend.

This year's comic con is extra special for us because we've asked some of our friends from California to attend for the first time: Stephen Silver, Joe Weatherly, David Colman and from NY Alberto Ruiz!!

Stephen Silver - is a truly inspirational artist and friend that Kei and I have admired for years. One of our favorite character designers and lead designer at Disney. His new book "Stephen Silver's Sketchbook" is an exact duplicate of his real sketchbook! A real MUST HAVE. Completely self taught and full of passion for his craft. CARICATURIST OF THE YEAR 2001. He'll be sitting with us signing books and talking about his online classes at

Alberto Ruiz - just about the best modern day pin-up artist today. His sense of design and ability to draw the female form is unmatched. He's also an independent artist and is one of the friendliest people in the biz. We love this guy because he always 'keeps it real.' Never afraid of saying exactly what's on his mind and fights for what he believes in. Alberto will also be sitting in our row talking to fans and signing books.

Joe Weatherly - is a Southern California based artist specializing in the drawing and painting of animals. His style is bold and vigorous capturing the essence and drama of the subjects he draws and paints. The attitude and expression of the animal’s character along with telling a visual story is what his work conveys. Conservation of the natural world is something Joe is very passionate about and hopes his work will motivate people to protect it and promote its survival.

David Colman - is an amazing animal drawer and designer working at Disney Feature. Recently he won an Emmy for his work at Cartoon Network. He also has a wonderful book on "The Art of Animal Character Design." Another must have!

So come on down to the Toronto Fan Expo this weekend and show these amazing artists a real Canadian welcome! We're going to talk Stephen Silver into doing caricatures as well!


TCAF review - 100% awesome. Thanks so much to EVERYBODY that came by our booth. It was completely overwhelming. 3 of our books sold out and a whole bunch of our prints as well!

Here's an illustration I'm working on. Not sure if I posted this before. I really like the idea but I wanted to tighten up the design of the "dragon pig" a bit better.

It's a creature study I did to explore the form a bit better and tighten up the design. At this point I'm not worried about texture, tone or lighting.. I'm just concentrating on the basic form of the creature.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Online Digital Painting Class begins Sept. 20th

Hi All,

There's 2 spots left for my next online digital painting class. Register at

In my first class on Schoolism, I had the pleasure of having David Colman sign up. For those who don't know who David is, he's an amazing animal drawer and designer working at Disney Feature. Recently he won an Emmy for his work at Cartoon Network. He also has a wonderful book on "The Art of Animal Character Design." For those of you in the Toronto area, David is going to be signing his book at the Toronto Fan Expo coming up August 24-26th and he'll be at the Labyrinth Book Store August 25th 7:30-9pm.

Here's what he had to say about my Digital Painting class on Schoolism:
"To ameliorate one's craft a certain amount of pain must be endured. Only through determination, passion and appropriate guidance can a new plateau be achieved. By guidance I am simply referring to the teachings of a contemporary master. Bobby Chiu is this master I speak of. Through the artistic journey we all come across talented individuals, both professionals and amateurs. However, just because one is a great artist does not necessarily make them a great teacher. Only a handful transcend both
disciplines. Bobby Chiu is one of these few. He sits atop a mountain of skill and achievements yet is able to explain how he got there. His methods are simple to understand yet tightly bound with valuable information. Since taking his class my personal work has jumped leaps and bounds. I recommend this class to anyone and everyone, both young and old, and to all of those who strive for excellence, because Bobby Chiu will get you there."

David Colman – Disney Feature
Development Artist/Story Artist (Los Angeles, USA)

On a similar note, here are some more testimonials from other wonderful students I've had the pleasure of teaching...

I've been working in photoshop for years as a freelance illustrator. I thought I understood this powerful program, but after taking Bobby's class I was blown away. The nine week course at Schoolism was inspiring, motivational and opened a whole new path for me as I work on new art work. The best part of the class is the one on one intruction you get from Bobby as he works on the assignment you hand in. You're able to work on your own time, watch the videos over and over again, and get personal instuction. Even the best art college in the country will have a hard time competing with Schoolisms savy and inovative online classrooms. I'm already planning on taking another class soon.

Steve Harpster
Childrens' Book Illustrator (Ohio, USA)

Hi my name is Erez Kramer, I'm from Israel, currently working as a graphic designer and will start studying animation next September.
When I signed up for to course I was hoping to improve my DG painting technique and I could see improvement right from class one.
By the end of the course my DG painting level was much higher and I found out how to put out things that I never knew how to before.

To sum things up, I think that this course is amazing and it will give a lot to any painter in every level.

Bobby- I really want to thank you again, it was a really good experience for me!

Best regards,
Erez Kramer
Student (Israel)

Bobby Chiu's Online Digital Painting course was a mind blowing 9 weeks experience for me. It was full of passion, motivational and inspirational.

Technical wise, I've been using photoshop to do my works for a few years now and I still learned a lot from the course... I've received some new techniques also additional tips and tricks which will be beneficial for my future works.

Theory wise, I've definitely gained additional knowledge and lots of new ones. Defining shapes through tones, compositions, colour theories and more!

The process of going through Bobby's head (explained in the video) is a rare and invaluable thing for me (and for other artists too, I'm sure) to experience. I've learned heaps from hearing what he was thinking and decisions which he made when he digitally paint his works

The best part is hearing personal video feedbacks for my submissions and the ability to hear Bobby's personal feedback to other people's works is a big bonus! I'm glad that the technology (internet) allow this to happen. Location and time differences are not an issue anymore.

I rate this course 10 out of 10 and will definitely recommend it to people who are passionate about art.

Thank you Bobby for making the online course happen at the first place. I'm extremely honoured to get a chance to be part of it. Now please excuse me, I have to draw, paint and keep learning again (as what all artists should do).

Charles Santoso (Sydney, Australia)
Graphic Designer

There is very little that I can critique about the class and a TON that I can praise about it. So I'll start with my opinion about what I think you should change. Well as I sit here thinking about what to write I realize that I can't think of much at all. The class was extremely informative. Any artist from beginner to intermediate will find this class to be a very solid learning experience. As a self taught Photoshop artist of about 4 years there were techniques taught in the video lectures that I simply don't believe I would have ever figured out on my own. I use techniques taught in your video lectures every day at my job and in my own personal work. Thank you for creating such a wonderful opportunity to learn from some of the best artists out there.
P.S. Hearing about the old lady that tried to steal your shirt was priceless.

The main reason that I decided to take your class is that I was tired of hearing you talk about me in your podcasts. I am/was one of these slackers you talk about in your videos and I was sick of it. So I had a choice to make. Either stop watching your videos on youtube or stop slacking. So taking your class was the first step to progress from slacker to artist. But the one piece of information that I will never forget as long as I live is that you had a dog name major who saw a ghost and took off The reason I remember this is that it was the first lecture and my girlfriend was listening to it from across the room. She was like," You actually paid to hear a guy talk about his dog major and some ghosts?" So she gave me a hard time about it. But thanks again and I hope that you'll hear about me someday.

Jason D. Ross
T-shirt Artist (Missouri)

I've had a great time with your digital painting class. At first I had second doubts, because there was no required skill level. I was afraid that maybe it wouldn't make sense to join this class. But I've been a great admirer of your work some time now, so I took the chance...

The courses were very different from each other though every course was helpful for the next. I had the feeling you were very inspiring towards every student. Highly talented or low- skilled. (of course I watched the other students' entries to see how I was doing)

Your feedback isn't too technical so that makes it not too dry either and the online course certainly helps to give everyone the attention they need in your video-feedback. It sure helped me improve my work! Maybe you should start a student gallery!
Great job! Had a wonderful time and thank you Bobby!

Michel Maas
Art Director (Noord brabant, Netherlands)


On yet another note.... the He-man Art Contest is free for anyone to enter. It's a fun little contest Kei and I put together. It's just for fun and the winner gets our original sketches posted HERE


Here's a cover I'm working on for Creative Engine with an amazing painter named Peter Chan.
This is the rough:

This is the "less rough" version:

Friday, August 17, 2007

TCAF this Sat, Sun! and.... Art Contest!!

For those of you in the Toronto Area, come on down to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, otherwise known as TCAF! The Imaginism crew will all be exhibiting there.


Fan Art challenge!

After a long day of work Kei and I found ourselves watching 80's cartoon intros on TV last night and found ourselves inspired to do a little fan art! We had so much fun doing it that we decided that it might be fun to come up with a little challenge! Post your best He-man fan art on your blog from now until the end of August 31st and then post your link in the comments. It's just for fun and free to enter.

Kei and I will check them all out! There will be two winners. We'll each pick out a winner and mail them our fan art sketches (posted below)! It'll be a fun and nerdy way to do some art for ourselves again. So anyone interested?

Not sure how many will enter or if any at all but if it works out well then we'd love to do it again!



Thursday, August 16, 2007

Necessary Evil Character Files (Part 2 of 7): Mean Girl

(Posted early cause I gots too much to do, and time's a wastin'!)

Another entry in my series of character designs for Josh's upcoming comic Necessary Evil. Today's character is Stacy Trax:

click above for larger view

Stacy is a student who attends the Necessary Evil Academy. She's the archetypical spoiled rich girl--vain, manipulative, cruel, and selfish--and she's set her sights on one of the twins. What will the brothers do when she tries to come between them? Stacy is featured on the cover of Necessary Evil #2, drawn by the excellent Todd Nauck:

click above for larger view

Ask your local comic shop to order Necessary Evil #1. It's on page 265 of August's Previews catalog, and the Diamond order number is aug07 3547. And after you've done that, add Necessary Evil as your friend on MySpace.

Previous Necessary Evil posts:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Digital Painting Classes in Toronto - Seneca College Sept 18, 2007

Seneca College Digital Painting classes are open for Registration.
Start Date: February 5, 2008
Location: Seneca (York campus)
(Keele, north of Finch) MAP
Duration: 9 week course.
7-10pm every Tuesday
Cost: $595
Bring a tablet. There will be a few tablets available but not enough for everyone.
Limit to 30 spots. Register HERE

It's going to be bigger and better than the one that I did at Sheridan. Now with the integration of it's going to have the best of both worlds. You'll be able to do the live classes with me and also have access to my online class videos so you can review the classes at home as well. The only thing you won't have is the one on one critique videos on your own work but I'll be answering any questions in the live class.

Please click HERE for testimonials from the classes I did at Sheridan.

Please leave any questions in the comments area.

For my online digital painting course register at

Here's the pic of the week:


Something is apparently wrong with my hosting... images are loading slowly, or not at all. I will look into this and fix it ASAP. Sorry for the inconvenience!

UPDATE: I have no idea what's wrong. It looks like all images are loading now, but slowly. If there are any tech-heads out there, I'd be glad to entertain theories.

UPDATE on the UPDATE: Erm... the problem fixed itself. No clue what happened there. O_O

Chicago Wizard World was amazing...

Chicago Wizard World was amazing... Thank you to everyone for a fantastic time!

Kei, T and I had our first piece of real authentic Chicago pie and boy was it AMAZING! No I don't mean some little fruit filled pie like grandma used to make. I'm talking about some thick juicy pizza pie... best I've ever tasted. Big thanks goes out to our buddy Jason Seiler for showing us what real pizza is supposed to taste like.

Besides the amazing food, we had an incredible show. Our Creature Sketches book is officially SOLD OUT! I'm sure going to miss that book.

Also another big thanks goes out to Michael Wright and Quanza (my apologies in advance if I didn't spell that right) for inviting our crew out with them. They showed us a wonderful time!

We had the pleasure of sitting beside Jason Seiler and Stephen Silver during the Chicago Wizard World Comicon. It was caricature heaven. Here's a clip of Seiler drawing a caricature of one of his fans. New podcast coming soon, I promise. As soon as I get a free moment

Here's another link to an amazing mind blowing caricaturist
Joe Bluhm Joe is the author of a fabulous new book called REJECTS. Besides the art, my favorite part about this book is all the writing. It's so interesting to read a glimpse of how it is to be a pro-event caricature artist. He's going to be at TCAF with us this weekend so come on down and show him some love, buy his book and get a caricature!

The Savage Sword of... ?

After many weeks devoid of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, I present to you a drawing of the rare and mysterious action figure known colloquially among fans as "Savage He-Man." The figure is also known by the far less glamorous moniker, "Wonder Bread He-Man" by virtue of having been a mail-in offer from the eponymous, um... bread. The fact that this figure was available through an offer from Wonder Bread is about all people can agree on. The concrete details of how, when, or why, are apparently forever lost to the forgotten mists of the early 80's.

My version of "Savage He-Man" has been re-purposed into a new character, just as I did with Starburst She-Ra several months ago.

click above for larger view

The visual details of Savage are largely the same. The contrast between the color of his hair and the color of his furry underpants is greater than in the toy, but I think it helps break up the monotony. I chose to interpret the toy's ruddy brown weapons as blood-stained tools of destruction. The blood stains were accomplished by choosing a "spatter" shaped brush in Photoshop and messing around with the shape dynamics and scatter settings. It doesn't completely blend with my style of rendering, but I'm happy with how it turned out because I basically accomplished what I was trying to do. Actually, I had a few options on how to render the weapons, and it was friend Annie (who was hanging out whilst I was coloring this) who challenged me to do it this way. If not for her I would have tried to take the easy way out. She also suggested that his eyes be hazel, and they are.

I have alternating feelings of lukewarmth and satisfaction towards the drawing itself. As far as proportions, the arms are far more ape-like than I intended. The right arm in particular is terribly awkward, even beyond the usual level of awkwardness resulting from my loosey-goosey depiction of anatomy. On the other hand, the intensity of his expression is about what I was aiming for.

Oh, by the way, the title of this post, and Savage's "Heroic Barbarian" tag, are both references to Conan the Barbarian--according to rumor, Masters of the Universe was originally intended to be a Conan toyline, but was repurposed into an "original" franchise, for whatever reason. Fans speculate that the "Savage He-Man" toys may have been discarded "Conan" figures that were produced before Conan "became" He-Man.

But, what's this you say, dear reader? It has been far too long since I posted a painstakingly written bio of a fan character? Read on!

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PROFILE: SAVAGE is a ruthless and experienced warrior who has little use for words. He fights with whatever tools he has at hand, or his bare fists if need be, and is a master of improvisation and opportunism. Savage is a capable tracker, and is well versed in jungle survival techniques. Superficially, his cultural differences alienate him from some of his allies, but his sincere sense of honor and valor are deeply respected by all.

HISTORY: The disappearance of He-Man and the Horde invasion of Eternia have left the planet in dire need of heroes. Teela, now developing her latent spellcasting abilities under the tutelage of the Sorceress, found herself isolated and outnumbered by Horde troops. In desperation, and lacking control over her newly emerging abilities, she attempted to summon He-Man by magical means. A mis-wording of her incantation resulted in summoning not He-Man himself, but one 'as good as' or 'as noble as' He-Man. Thus emerged the hulking barbarian Savage--with his sheer power to compliment Teela's skill, the Horde Troops were easily dispatched. Though Savage was displeased at being summoned without any choice in the matter, he was taken by Teela's beauty and fought alongside the forces of Eternos (the Eternian capital) for a time. Coming to terms with the fact that Teela was still infatuated with this so-called He-Man whom he had never met, Savage travelled back to his distant jungle home. Savage remains an ally of Eternos, and is leading his people in fortifying their territories against the inevitable spread of the Horde army.

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Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Necessary Evil Character Files (Part 1 of 7): WE'RE TWINS!!!

(Posted slightly early, because I feel like it.)

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned my buddy Josh's upcoming comic Necessary Evil? Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting the character designs that I did for Josh, talking a little bit about the characters and plot of Necessary Evil, and reminding you ever so subtly to ask your local comic shop to order Necessary Evil #1 (which just so happens to be in this month's Previews catalog). Oh, and before I start plugging the comic, in the interest of full disclosure, I ought to mention that Josh is crediting me as editor. But I don't get any money from Necessary Evil, so I hope you'll take my recommendation of the book sincerely.

First up, the main characters--twin brothers, Jacob and Miller.

click above for larger view

Jacob and Miller are the sons of the Matriarch, a woman widely regarded as the world's greatest super-villain until her untimely death at the hands of a super-hero. Years after the death of their mother, the twins receive an invitation to attend the Necessary Evil Academy, a school for super villains. This school becomes Jacob and Miller's introduction into the world of heroes and villains and serves as the keystone of the series. The twins are polar opposites--where Jacob is cautious, reluctant, and unsure of fulfilling his villainous heritage, Miller is wreckless, bloodthirsty, and eager to prove himself. In spite of their differences, the boys are fiercely loyal to each other, and over the course of their stay at the Necessary Evil Academy, that loyalty will be tested again and again.

Necessary Evil is published by Desperado, and the first issue ships in October. You can read an article about Desperado right here on Newsarama. It includes a brief mention of Necessary Evil!

Pssst... go ask your local comic shop to order Necessary Evil #1. It's on page 265 of August's Previews, and the Diamond order number is aug07 3547.

See, real subtle like.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wizard World Chicago! Artist Alley Table 3400!

Hi all.

Kei, T and I will be absent from subway sketching for the next 3 weekends. We will resume on Sept. 2nd.

We're going to be in Chicago Aug 9-12 for the Wizard Convention - Table 3400 in Artist Alley.

Then it's TCAF in Toronto the weekend after and then it's the BIG Toronto con, the FAN EXPO. Can't wait for that one!! Sorry about this... but don't worry. Comicon season is coming to a halt end of this month.

These weren't from this Sunday's subway sketching but we were on a bus at the "African Lion Safari" in Hamilton Ontario. We had a pretty fun time. I haven't been there for over 20 years...

Here's some sketches of a lion, baboons picking each others butts and other beautiful wildlife :)