Wednesday, November 30, 2005
My dog Dauber is an amazing animal. He is very intelligent and is one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet. Dauber loves to play and most of all Dauber loves to play fetch. If you start to pet him or pay attention to him in anyway he will run away from the attention to go and find a toy so you can throw it for him or to play tug of war with him. It is a very undeniable urge that he has. He is focused on one thing and one thing only. He needs to have a toy. That is his priority. He seems to be very insecure without it. He is just like Linus and his blanket.
Two weeks ago I got a call from my Parents telling me that they had taken my dog Dauber, a five year old Boston Terrier to the Emergency Room at Alameda East Veterinary. It seemed that my Father saw Dauber acting very disoriented and was walking very strange and rushed him to hospital. I immediately left work, got in my truck and sped over to the animal hospital. When I got to the hospital they had already taken him to one of the back rooms to do an EKG and some blood tests. It took about 20 minutes for them to come out to get me so I could go back and see him........... That was quite a long wait for me. I walked back with the vet to see Dauber. I expected to see Dauber laying unconscious on a table with a bunch of tubes in him. To my surprise Dauber was up, alert and the acting like the wonderful dog he always is.
The vet brought us the results from his blood tests and everything was normal. There wasn't anything in his blood test to explain why Dauber had acted the way he did. The vet told us that it seemed that Dauber had a seizure of some sort, but the exact cause is unknown without doing more tests such as an MRI to check for a brain tumor.
We took Dauber home and watched him very close for the next two weeks. Dauber acted normal and was his natural self until the day before Thanksgiving. Dauber had just eaten his dinner and he started acting as if he was disoriented just like he did before, he even leaned up against the stove so he would not fall over. My Mother picked him up and put him on the couch, she tried to get his attention but he just stared straight ahead. After about 10 minutes he seemed to come out of it and started acting normal. Since it was the holiday we had to wait and take him to our regular vet on Friday. The vet checked him over and could not find anything wrong with him. The vet said that based on what we explained to him he thought that Dauber had a petit mal seizure and that he could be epileptic. My cat Sketch is epileptic so this is nothing new to our family. The vet prescribed phenobarbital to help control the seizures. Hopefully, this is the correct diagnosis and not turn into something much worse, like a brain tumor.
Lately, Dauber has been the same crazy dog with only one thing on his mind....... he has to have his toys.
I love my dog,
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
(click on image to enlarge)
As we gather with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us all take a moment to remember that it was President Lincoln who first declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, even in the midst of the Civil War. On October 3, 1863, the president issued a proclamation that called upon the nation to give thanks for "the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies." He eloquently expressed the desire of the American people for "full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union," setting aside the "last Thursday of November next" as a "day of Thanksgiving."
Abraham Lincoln really was a great man. The drawing above does not reflect that. The reason why it doesn't is because I got inspired to draw Lincoln in my "Pickled" style from looking at Mark Ryden's Anima Mundi book. Ryden's book is a wonderful collection of his paintings and drawings. For some reason a lot of his paintings and drawings feature Abraham Lincoln. This "Pickled" drawing is a result of those images............
I was planning on including this drawing in my soon to be released book. Unfortunately after I went through all of my images this drawing of Lincoln did not make the cut. Because of that, I never inked it. To celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, I thought that I would post it here and get some sort of use out of it. To make the drawing more interesting for me I added some very desaturated color to it. I like the result but I think that my black and white cross-hatching style is much stronger and more competent.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
(click on image to enlarge)
I was looking through some old files this morning and I stumbled upon this image. This was an illustration done for Wizard Magazine sometime back in 2000. At this time in my life I was single, working every hour of every day at a small independent design studio. It was a busy time for me. All I did was work............(all work and no play make ME a very dull boy). I got a call from Wizard Magazine and they asked if I could do this illustration for their article on the top 100 cartoons of that year. They wanted me to use the very famous "Superman vs. Muhammad Ali" cover by Neal Adams as reference.
(click on image to enlarge)
Wizard had this huge list of characters that they wanted included in the illustration. This was a rather ambitious job for me because there were a few of the characters that I had drawn before, but most of them I had never even drawn and a few I have never heard of. It was going to be a difficult task for me and I was given a very short deadline to get it finished.......... Being worried that I would not be able to make the deadline and that I did not want to turn in something that was half assed, I thought I would call my buddy Eric Wiese and get some help on this thing.
Eric and I go pretty far back. He worked with me at "Digital Hellfire", a coloring house that colored a lot of titles for DC Comics and Harris Publications in 1995. After things went sour for me there, I had started my own coloring studio "Color Monkey" and eventually got Eric over there to work for me. Much more than a friend, Eric was the perfect employee. He worked hard, he was good at coloring and the best thing of all, he was very fast. I think that Eric enjoyed the work but deep in his heart he wanted to make pictures move and children smile. Eventually Eric would leave me behind and go on to directing and animating cute little characters for movies, television and video games. It was a very sad day for me when he moved on to the bigger and brighter opportunities.
5 years pass........
Eric just happened to have moved back to Denver from L.A. after a couple year stint on the "Rugrats go to Paris" movie when I got this illustration job. I got a hold of Eric asked if he had some time to help me knock out this illustration with the 90+ characters. I also wanted to give Eric a chance to draw the Rugrats again because I know he missed them so much and I wanted Eric to get some of his work showcased in Wizard Magazine. We met on a Saturday and I went over what I wanted to do. We broke the illustration into 4 parts. Eric would draw Homer Simpson and all the characters on the left side, I would draw Bugs Bunny and all of the characters on the right. It took us most of the day to get all of the reference together and try and find good images of all of the characters. After a couple of days, we had all of the drawing done. I think we drew this at 4X the size it was going to be printed. It took some piecing together and assembling in Photoshop to get it ready to color. Then I had some stuff come up at work and I got behind on the coloring.... So again, I had to call Eric to save me so I could get this to Wizard the next morning. The most amazing part of all of this was that Eric did all of the work for FREE. Absolutely amazing. You don't see that anymore in this business.
I was very happy that we would eventually collaborate together again on his Spaceboy Slim short. You can check out Eric's stuff if you go to the links on the right side of this page.
Thank you Eric for being there for me as an awesome artist, friend, co-worker and all around nice guy.
Monday, November 21, 2005
I did this sketch of the oni (devil) "Kobeshimi" while I was thinking about what I would like to experience while I am visiting Japan in February. I think a Noh drama would be great to experience, especially the Kyogen. Kyogen is the classical comic theater which balances the more serious Noh. While Noh is musical in nature, Kyogen emphasizes dialogue. The two are traditionally performed alternately on the same program and they share a common heritage.
I have also thought about going to a Kabuki performance. I have always been fascinated with the costumes, make-up and set design. I think it would be very beautiful and interesting to see. All of that visual stimulation would help the 5+ hour performance go by really fast.........
Another type of performance I would like to see while I am in Japan is the Bunraku. Bunraku is the Japanese form of puppet theater. Japanese consider it as a serious art form and not as entertainment for children. Bunraku is more than making puppets appear lively on a stage. It is also narrative chanting and shamisen music, by which the Japanese puppet theater is accompanied. This would be exciting as well as beautiful to see and hear. I can only hope I would get to see one of these puppets up close to see the craftsmanship that goes into each and every one.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
(pictured from left to right: My wife, Me and Glenn)
Glenn Barr is an amazing artist. Just looking at his art fulfills a need and a desire in my brain and it even makes me happy. Glenn is based in Detroit and paints better than anyone I know (for those of you who do not know, Glenn used to paint backgounds for Ren and Stimpy and many other cartoons). His paintings now hang in galleries all around the country and are always featured in Juxtapoz Magazine. His drawings and paintings have also been on CD covers, Rock Concert Posters and in Mad Magazine, various DC Comics, etc.
I have been a huge fan of Glenn and his work since before 1995. I can remember when I was at the 1996 Chicago Comic Convention signing with Chaos! Comics when I found out that Glenn had a table in artists alley. I was very nervous to approach him and ask for a sketch because he looked all tough and mean in his black leather jacket. (...scary...) I hesitantly asked if he had time to do a drawing. I came back to his table an hour later and there was my masterpiece. I had asked him to draw a character I designed while working for Chaos! Comics, "Li'l E." an animated version of Evil Ernie. When I saw the sketch I was in awe. My first Glenn Barr original.......That was a very good day for me. :) I have been collecting his art ever since.
I was fortunate to be able to have dinner and hang out with him a couple of weeks ago. The photo above represents the end of a great night of food, wine and art. It was very hard for me to not go "fanboy" that night.
This is one of the beautiful Glenn Barr original paintings that I own. I am very proud of it. It is a perfect combination of all of the things I love: Glenn's painting style, Japan, Godzilla, and the Flintstones.
Check out his website at:
(click on image to enlarge)
I am getting ready to go to Japan in February and I have been saving my money like crazy. I have been trying to keep myself busy with work so I don't spend any of the money I have saved. It has been a real challenge.........
Anyway, here is a drawing I did after I had made the decision to go..... I have been a fan of Osama Tezuka for a long time. I thought it might be interesting to see what Astro would look like Pickled.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
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This is the start of something new for me. I never thought that I would create a blog for myself. I think that it is a little self indulgent. Oh well, a lot of my friends and family have asked me to have a place where they can see what I have been up to and the art I have been creating. So this is the place where I will do just that. Have fun looking around and I hope you enjoy what you see.