Saturday, April 29, 2006


"If you always do what you have always done. You will always get what you've always gotten." --Annonymous

Friday, April 28, 2006

1 hour comic

Well the sketch night was fun. Very small turnout this time. Just Luis, Brandon, Trinidad and I. But I really had a blast. We took our first try at doing "one hour" comics. And I think the results were very promising. I feel like this is the most fun I've had drawing a comic since my very first one back in 97. No rules, just stream of consciousness. It's funny how suddenly your obstacles can become a wealth of material when you just throw out the rules. I could have gone on all night if I'd not agreed to meet my girlfriend at midnight. So I'm really looking forward to doing more of these. And looking forward to doing some certain types of material I've always wanted to work on in this format. I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere now. Thinking is my enemy these days. It's been killing my creativity for years. Normally I would sit down to do something like this and all I could think about are the "rules". 360 rule, perspective, anatomy, style, storytelling, dialogue order, contrast, shadow, etc... all the thousands of rules I've accumulated over the years in my quest to achieve the "perfect" page. But the rules don't do me a damn bit of good if I'm not having fun. And I haven't been. Not for ten years. There's a time for your brain to process the rules. But there's also a time for just letting your brain play. I lost that somewhere in the portfolio reviews and 5 page previews. I lost that somewhere in the shadow of other talent. But I'm slowly getting it back. --Will

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lubbock Sketch Night!

The next sketch night will be Thursday (April 27th) at 8:30 pm. At the Denny's on slide road. I want to try something different this time. "One hour" comics. Everone will have about an hour to draw a complete story. Stickfigures and bubble heads are jus' fine. It don't matter how good you draw, just how fast you get it done. So start thinking of something fun betwixt yonder and now. This'll be more fun than licks on a tootsie pop. And if'n you're worried this don't jiggle your jello, I'm sure there will be a few of us doing plainjane regular old fashioned sketchbooksketching so'n you won't be left out. But I figure this is a nice change of pace, and something I need to be practicing anyways. I'll bring the blank books. You bring the pencils and fun. See you there. --Will

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Last week was a nightmare. I was knocking out pages Mon-Wed and working to hit 6 pages by the weekend. When I get blindsided by an edit that means I'll have to rework the last 7 pages of the book. I thought I could handle it, but it really knocked the wind out of me. So I took the weekend to regroup and recharge. I can still make my deadline, which I'm stoked about, because I've made it this far. When I started I was terrified I was gonna choke. But I didnt! Monday is a new round and I'm gonna make this happen. Then it's on to issue two. And I'm gonna be way ahead of the curve on this next issue. I guess this is what they mean by learning to roll with the punches. One thing I've learned, for all those of you out there wanting to do comics... deadlines are a good thing. At least if you're getting paid. Deadlines never seemed to work for me when I wasn't getting paid to do this. But not now. It's a real drive and a real pressure to get it done. I've learned more in the last two months about making comics than I did with the two dozen or so comics I'd published before this. One piece of advice though, keep a timechart of your hours and what you do each day. It's helped me immensely to see how many hours - at first, that I "wasn't" spending working - then, how many I was wasting on too little productivity - to finally, a reasonable amount of time per page, per day. Now to work. Five pages in 6 days. I can do this. --Will

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Drawing and structure suffer when we concentrate on one area rather than on the whole. If we could learn to simplify the subject we could more easily concentrate on shape, color and form." --Annonymous

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pirate Time out

What do you do when a pirates been bad? Put him in time out... on the Naughty step. This is a quick digital painting. I meant for it to be ten minutes, but it ended up being about an hour. --Will

Monday, April 17, 2006

Secret wars Re-enactment Society

This is freaking awesome! Thanks to Todd "El Diablo Robotico" Gray for sending this to me. Made my week! --Will

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Digital Painting

This has been a productive week. I'm finally coloring pages in under 6 hours now. 3 for Flats and 3 for rendering. And the quality is a lot better than when I first started. I also did 5 and a half pages this week. A new record for me. That's with a ton of distractions too. I feel like I've finally made it over the wall of anxiety I had before of not being productive. Heh heh, now my only anxiety comes from wanting to be doing my own work. It took me most of the week to figure out that was bothering me. So last night I decided to do a digital painting of an image I have for one of my comics. I remember dreaming up a lot of this story when I was younger and wondering if I'd ever have the ability to create it. I feel like I'm finally getting close. I'm not going to go into much about the story here. But that I was even more inspired to create it after experiencing the bioluminessence of the pacific ocean during red tide last summer in San Diego. One of the coolest experiences of my life. --Will

Friday, April 14, 2006

Pen sketches 4

I went sketching last night with my girlfriend at the bar. I had fun but I'm not too happy with my sketches. I did get to see D.G. Flewellyn play last night. He's my favorite local muscian, and I've probably seen him play a hundred times in the last ten years. It's always enjoyable. --Will

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Greyhound Coffee Theif

My girlfriend's Dad sometimes falls asleep in front of the TV. And we discovered that my girlfriend's Greyhound likes to sneak up and drink all of his coffee while he sleeps. Which of course makes him hyper-active till 3 in the morning. I thought it would make a funny cartoon. Fortunately/Unfortunately my girlfriend's Mom liked the drawing so much she made cards out of it to send to all their friends and family. I don't know if that's a good or bad way to start off with your future father-in-law. At least the dog looks cute. --Will

Monday, April 10, 2006


I decided to color one of those sketches in photoshop. And work some on the anatomy. I really enjoyed taking the original sketch and expanding on it digitally. I think I can do a lot with that. We'll see. --Will

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Pen sketches 3

I did some more quick ink sketches. This time using a water brushpen to blend the ballpoint. I really like the results. I was on a wolverine kick tonight so guess that's the theme for these. I really like the forest scene sketches. Almost makes me want to do a whole sketch story of him wondering through some dark forest. Good graphic material to work with. --Will

Friday, April 07, 2006

Good stuff.

This was a good week for me. I've finally broken a barrier I think. I'm consistantly starting and finishing pages in under 8 hours now. As far as coloring goes. When I started I spent almost 30 hours on a page (Retarded!!!). I think in time I can get it down to 4-6 hours a page. Even faster if I get enough work to hire/intern a flatter. I used to be able to draw and finish a page in a day on occassion. But never consecutively or consistantly. That's always bothered me and made me doubt that I had what it takes to do this for a living. But I'm finding that it's very different now that I'm getting paid to do it and I actually have a deadline. That fear I always had seems to be my strength now. I dont want to lose this opportunity. I've blown a handful of great opportunities in the past. I had the talent but I wasn't ready for them mentally. God I could write a half-dozen articles about that. But I'm definitely ready now. So this has been a pretty good week. If not for having to go to the doctor monday and tuesday it would have been kick ass. I'm looking forward to doing 4-6 pages next week. I know I can do it now. It's all about learning how to "keep it simple". And learning short cuts and forcing myself to get it done in a certain amount of time. Next I will learn how to consistantly DRAW a finished page in a single day. I'm going to start getting these ideas out of my head. There's just too much good stuff to let it sit any longer. Getting there. Getting there. I had an interesting break from the action today. Someone brought a bunch of kids to the studio to find out about doing comic books. It was a lot of fun for me. I answered lots of questions, did a few sketches, and gave some advice. I think I need stuff like that sometimes to keep it all in perspective. Reminding me where I've been and how far I've come. I have about 30 sketch books on a shelf in the studio and they were going through them, but they kept going to my oldest sketchbooks - stuff that I always think of as really, really, embarrassingly bad (You know what I'm talking about) but they obviously didn't agree. I remember drawing in some of those sketchbooks and I could never have imagined how far I would come in 10 years. So It was pretty fun. I'm going to talk to the school district here and see if they'll let me go speak to some of the schools here about doing art. I think Lubbock needs more people to do stuff like that. There's so very few resources here, it really makes it hard to think outside the box. And if I get one kid drawing comic books I'll be happy. --Will

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Eugene O'Neil - PBS Documentary.

I couldn't sleep last night. Had some stuff on my mind. Ended up catching the second half of American Experience doc on PBS about Playwrite Eugene O'Neil. I cannot describe how unbelievably inspired I was by this program. O'neil is a very tragic character. Heartbreakingly so. But his creative genius is inspiring. His insight into the human character is incredible. And his monologue in act four of "Long days Journey into Night" left me speechless. And I hope someday, with great longing, to be able to evoke that power into my writing. I may never be as great as O'neil. I can pretty much guarantee that. But if my writing touches one person the way his did me, I will be happy. Better to fall short of greatness than succede in mediocrity. There is one quote at the end of the doc that I feel has a lot of insight into what I feel is the potential of the comic book. The magic that I feel when reading a good story, when I totally get lost in the world for just a few hours. But it feels like a lifetime. It's also the feeling I get sometimes when I'm drawing a page. When I totally get lost in exploring the scene I'm in... "That's the eternal triangle -- the writer, the audience, and the actor -- where they join. And here's the thing, when you go in there to a three-hour and forty-five minute performance, or a 4:45 or 5 hours like in The Iceman, and if it's going right, it seems like about two minutes. You break time, and space and time. Ralph Richardson said, "Every time we go on the stage, we break time -- if we do it right -- we break space, and it's our time to dream. We dream, we have to be able to dream." I encourage anyone to check out the Doc if you get the chance. His life, and some of his plays are very hard to take. Stick with it till the end. It's worth the payoff. --Will

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Brush Sketches 2

I'm really stoked on this pen sketching now. I've always been jealous of artist that can do quick-sketch with just a ball point pen. I'm starting to get the hang of it now. Some of these are looking like Eddie Campbell's stuff, one of my favorite artists. I'm working on blocking in shapes using negative space and line's of motion. I'm really enjoying sketching these days. I find myself doing it every chance I get. On another note, I wore one of my old Bethy Gloom shirts today and was recognized by three different people. It's always a nice little ego boost when I find out people appreciate work I've done in the past. One girl was the daughter of my girlfriend's parent's friend's, and in the middle of dinner with my gf's parent's she was going on about how her friends loved the comic and have one of my prints from back in the day. Pretty cool. And this evening I went to denny's with my girlfriend and was recognized by another girl who said she'd always wanted one of my Edward Scissorhands prints, so I did a quick sketch for her (not the one pictured above) and she gave us money to pay for our wings. It's the little things that make it worth while. Anyways, back to reality. --Will

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Interesting Thread

There's a really interesting thread at The ENGINE from Warren Ellis with amature and professional artists like Dave Gibbons, Fabio Moon, Mike Weiringo, Gabriel Ba and Zander Cannon posting pencil/ink before and after images. It's interesting seeing everyone's process. How some artists put way less into the pencils than I probably would. Which may explain why the penciling/inking process takes so long for me. --Will
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