Friday, August 30, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Page Seven Complete!

So at long last page seven is done.

Stickboy and Psychoboy head to the mall and end up at the arcade. The arcade is modeled off vague memories of Aladdin's Castle arcade, which was my real life first stop anytime I went to the mall in the 80's or 90's. I seem to remember the walls were a bright warm color, probably red, and employees wore red vests. The older gentlemen is based on the manager there (doesn't he just look like an arcade manager?) and he'd always have a younger guy there assisting him or watching the place if he wasn't there.

So another in-story brand I created was the arcade game Stick's fawning over: Space Chicken Massacre! It's a light gun game where you shoot killer mutant space chickens. I loved the concept because it was the one thing I could think of that was so absurd that no one would make a game of it. If I eventually do some of the longer stories for the series, Stick and the gang will go see Space Chicken Massacre the Movie at some point (think Aliens, but with killer chickens).

I took some artist license here with the military using videogames in its training. It's actually first person shooters they used, but an arcade game was much more visual, so I went with that. There were real calls for videogame censorship and, of course, this page imagines it as reality.
Ironically, a lot of modern arcades look like the one shown here, not out of censorship, but simply because arcade videogames declined as home consoles became more powerful and more popular. You might find a four-token racing game, a couple light gun games or a Pac-Man/Galaga cabinet in them but that's usually it as far as the videogames go.

And in the inside joke category, check out the claw machine with several Pokémon and Digimon in there. I told you there would be more 90's references than you can shake a stick at!

Next up is page eight when our heroes meet...Dante from Clerks?!?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Political Cartoon-palooza! BYOP (Bring Your Own Paper)

Here's another cartoon with Stickboy in it, done for UNCP's student paper, The Pine Needle. This one is on a shift in policy that would've required students to bring their own paper to computer labs to print on. I don't recall if this was a proposed policy or one that was enacted, but it went over like a lead balloon with students who didn't like being nickled and dimed by a university they were paying thousands to.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Concept Guys

Continuing with images from my YouTube video: Here's the image that The Badass was done for. It's three silhouettes representing different genres of ideas I've done plots for. The Badass represents crime comics. The other two guys represent fantasy and superhero concepts I have and are references to specific unpublished characters I've created.

This being the first art I'd done in years, I kept it as simple as possible, with silhouettes against a sunset...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Badass

So they'll be no finished page until Wednesday or Thursday. In the meantime, I'll be posting some art, starting with some from my Introduction Video on YouTube. A lot of images appeared in there that either look cool or have a lot of history (or both).

This is one of them. I call him The Badass. I drew him for an image representing the different genres for concepts I've done plots for (and sometimes drawn penciled comics of). I've plotted some more grounded types of sci-fi concepts involving crime, and wanted that to be represented. I went with an assassin/enforcer type character, since I felt that would be immediately recognizable, even in shadow.

He was one of the first things I'd drawn in years and I didn't realize inking him with a normal pen wouldn't work well once he was scanned and colored in Photoshop. The lines weren't dark enough and confused the paint bucket and the image you see is what I got. It looked so cool I just kept it that way after turning the lines white.

He doesn't represent any specific character I've created, but he looks so cool I might come up a story up for him. Or if I ever do crime noir comics, he could be my cover corner box image.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Page Seven Colored...

So the colors on page seven are done. I doubt I'll get a chance to work on the lettering this weekend so most likely I'll be finishing this up on Wednesday or Thursday.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Touching up inks on page seven

I'm starting to touch up the inks on page seven now. I've been a bit under weather so I'm running behind.We'll see if I can still get the whole page done this week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Does Stars of the Media exist in real life?

So for the final Stars of the Media entry, I explore the question of if the toys or anything else on page six exist in real life.
I expected this to be a short post where I  just mention the Bill Clinton Corkscrew figurine (which has a functioning corkscrew coming from the President's crotch) and move on (I couldn't find any figures or dolls of Monica Lewinksy).
And then I did a search for an OJ Simpson action figure....
So it turns out there's a collector's market called "murderabilia" for people who collect memorabilia from mass murders. And apparently with the advent of the internet, business is good. I found several sites, the most extensive of which had a link that said, "Click here to view our amazing serial killer merchandise." Yeah, I only wish I was kidding about this. 
So among this "amazing serial killer merchandise" is:
  • an auction of letters written by serial killers from some guy's private collection 
  • a magazine devoted to serial killers "chock full of rare interviews, articles, letters, death certificates, documents, artwork, trivia and much more." Serial killer trivia?!?!
  • books containing the complete FBI Files of a particular serial killer, including one volume on the complete files of the Columbine killers
  • DVDs on each killer containing interviews and news footage. The one on John Wayne Gacy includes "uncut raw video taken by the Chicago Police in 1978 while they dug for bodies in Gacy’s house." And the last volume in the set? You guessed it... "Carnage in Columbine."
And, yes, among the merchandise is a figure of OJ Simpson and it's not done in satire or irony. This is OJ the night of the murder with his shirt soaked in the blood of his victims. And if that wasn't enough it's part of a set. Oh, yes, you can also get figures of serial killers Jeffery Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and Ed Gein
The figures are sculpted by some guy who was looking for a way to make some money and found it in appealing to murderabilia collectors. ABC News' website ran an article on him that ironically noted: "He says he has seen his sales climb from approximately 100 figures in December to 'several hundred' in February, which he considers remarkable because he has no advertising outside of media coverage."
How does he justify making money off murders?

"Yeah it's a pretty shameful thing to do," he said in the article. "I'm making money off these grisly murders. But these guys were shameful before I got a hold of them. I seem them on (Channels such as) A&E, Discovery every other day. People write books about them all the time and are making money off of them."
And he's gotten requests to do figures on the Columbine killers, which he was asked if he had plans to make. 
"I live in Denver," he said. "It wouldn't be too safe for me if I did … people take exception enough as it is with what I do. Besides I knew people who were affected by Columbine."
Well, thank goodness, at least we won't have a Columbine two pack.
So apparently if I set my story in 2013, Psychoboy would've needed a bigger room.
I love free speech in this country, but I also wish people could think of better ways to use it sometimes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Stars of the Media: Monica Lewinsky

And here's the box I made for the Stained Dress Monica Lewinsky figure in the Stars of the Media line that appears in the first issue of my comic. Her box didn't fair as well over the years as OJ's did and required quite a bit of digital clean up.

Next: Has anyone made ever made Stars of the Media merchandise for real?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Stars of the Media: OJ Simpson

So here's the front and back of the Stabbing Action OJ Simpson box I made for the Stars of the Media action figure line that appears on page six of the first issue....

Next: Stained Dress Monica Lewinsky!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stars of the Media!

So  back in 1999, I had these insane action figures on page six of my comic called Stars of the Media, which captured the disgraced and demented that dominate the headlines in plastic form. And then I got an assignment to make a box in my college digital design class. Well, some things are in life are just too perfect to pass up.
Thus, I made boxes for both the Stabbing Action OJ and Stained Dress Monica Lewinsky figures. It was a lot of fun. I took apart boxes to learn how to make one. I got to design a logo and slogan for the action figure line ("If they've done wrong, we've exploited it"). Best of all, I got to do the back of the box, showcasing OJ's stabbing action feature and the other toys available in the line.
The boxes are surreal. Like something out of my crazy comics came to life. They get a great reaction from those who see them. I even got an offer to buy one at a comic convention I displayed one at back in 2000.
Sadly, I didn't know what I was doing back in the day and the material they were made of was too flimsy and not very durable. They're terribly warped, beat up, dirty and deteriorated. Though nowadays I suppose that would make them even more authentic as old packaging from late 90's toys.
So the pics in today's post will give you an idea of what they look like as boxes and then Monday and Tuesday I'll post close ups of the front of and back of both boxes and rounding it out with a blog on Wednesday on if anything like them was ever actually made.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Page Six Complete!

So page six is done.
This page continues the scene in Psychoboy's room from last page, this time with things I made up exaggerating the media's infatuation with the then-recent Colmbine shootings. While there's been lots of references to real life shows and brands in the pages so far, there is something really fun about just making up stuff in-story. What would the Simpsons be without Kwik-E-Mart or Kevin Smith's films be without Mooby's?
And in that tradition we have...Stars of the Media! It's the action figure brand for the disgraced and demented of society that dominate the news cycle. Like most action figures of the time, they only have five points of articulation (their head turns and their legs and arms can move up and down). Monica and Bill have cloth clothing on so you can't see their arm and leg joints like on OJ (cause if Stained Dress Monica Lewinsky doesn't come with a stained dress, what's the point?). 
Unlike most things I've colored for the series so far, I have printed color material to sample from for the action figures. Namely, I made packaging for the fictional Monica and OJ figures, which I'll be posting pics and scans of for the next three days. And then on Wednesday I'll be doing a blog asking what, if anything, on that page that was fictional in 1999 actually exists today?
And then after that, page seven...and the mall!  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Page Six Colored!

Colors on page six are done and I'm currently lettering it. I'll have the finished page up tomorrow! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Political Cartoon-palooza! Gray Mail

It's Kinkygirl in all her black and white glory! This political cartoon for the UNCP newspaper from about eight years ago marks the only printed appearance of Stickboy's girlfriend, Kinkygirl, who I already discussed in a post about  the College Follies Facebook page.

This one is about "gray mail." It's the email you get that's not unsolicited junk mail, but it still clogs your inbox with messages you don't want. In this case, it was the university flooding our inboxes with emails about campus events. The sender was labeled as Kay Oxendine, who was in the Office of Student Activities.

I love the expression on Stick's face. And how great it is to see a big, heavy, bulky computer? I bet you could throw your back out carrying that thing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Social Media on Parade: My Google+

I thought I was done with Social Media on Parade, but I was looking at my personal Google+ page and recalled how much I liked the image, so I thought I'd share it on here. It's from the same photo shoot as my Youtube image and Twitter background. It's a nice mix of promotional and comic art and past and present works mixed together.

I also want to say how much I'm enjoying Google+. I'm having a strange amount of difficulty connecting with people and getting "likes" on the College Follies Facebook page but I'm doing amazingly well on the series' Google+ page. The interface honestly makes it a lot easier to post things, connect with like-minded people and just find cool posts to comment on. I just wish more people were on there, but if you are, please check me out. I appreciate all the pluses and followers!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bigirl, the College Follies Ring Girl

So back in 1999 and 2000 when I originally made the black and white comic I'm currently coloring and touching up for the web, my college student website acted as portfolio, art gallery and home of the online version of the comic (I had each page up as a large jpeg). This was back before daily updates had become the expected thing, so many sites made by people (like me) who couldn't update every day put a list of updates up as one of the first things visitors would see on the site. Nowadays web design templates give most sites a way to place or link new material on the frontpage. Back in the day, you just updated the various different pages and galleries inside the site, and let visitors know about the updates.

And thus I used Bigirl like a ring girl at a boxing match, greeting visitors and holding up a sign letting people know about the latest additions. I always liked the image. The color version has been lost along with the site, but it'll be a cinch to color it again. I'm sure I can sure figure how to put it to some current use. I'm open to suggestions: what should her sign say now?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Page Five Finished!

Page five is done, so now I'm a third of the way through the first issue!
This page wraps up the scene in Stickboy's room from  page four. And then we finally meet Psychoboy! Psycho's first panel is more low key than Stick's, but after a page or so of Stick freaking out, a change of pace is good.
Psycho is easily influenced and spends his life leaping headfirst from bandwagon to bandwagon. Every time you see him he's into something completely different: a different hobby, job, car, girlfriend, room decorations, etc.
So, of course, Psycho has a collection of everything on the shooting. Newsweek did have a  diagram of the shooting though, of course, it wasn't a fold out poster. And the panel with the tower of magazines on the shooters is exaggerated...there's just no way Psycho's ceiling is that high.
And Psycho's house and room turned out to be purple. I went through several possibilities. Typical bland household colors (like typical hairstyles) didn't seem to fit the character. I was looking for a background color that hadn't or wouldn't be used in other scenes. The color purple popped into mind.
 The friend who kinda inspired Psychoboy is a huge Joker fan. Since Joker is a sociopath, using his signature color seemed to go along well with Psycho's current infatuation. It (along with the reds) gave Psyco's home a weird, unique and slightly ominous tone. Though, since this is Psychoboy, chances are everything will be a completely different color next time you see it.
Another odd note, I stumbled on an online radio station that plays vocal music from Power Rangers and Super Sentai (the Japanese show Power Rangers is based on) and was listening to it most of the time I worked on this the Psychoboy scene. A combination of 1990's rock and J-Pop  seemed oddly appropriate to me.
So here's page five, with more Psycho coming next page (along with a collection of action figures that has to be seen to be believed!).

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Political Cartoon-palooza! Book Buyback

Here's another political cartoon with Stickboy in it from my days as a cartoonist for the student newspaper at UNCP. If you've ever been to college I don't think any explanation is needed for this one...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stickboy and Psychoboy...underwear models?

No, our heroes haven't decided to run for mayor of New York. This is from a "virtual paper doll" I had on my student website back in 1999. I had various outfits from the first story around them that you could click on and the characters would appear in those outfits and react to them (their expression would change and they'd say something). It was a lot of fun, but unfortunately has been lost to corrupt zip disks and an erased site. I'll probably recreate some of the images involved later, but only when I get a bit further in the series, as one set of outfits would actually spoil the ending of the first story.

And. by the way, I used the heads from this image for the first issue's title page. That's why they have those expressions on their faces! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Go, Chiggy, go!

A character inspired by a bird doll, as a bird doll...irony!
So the page I posted yesterday had an appearance by an adorable yellow bird doll.

That's Chiggy. He's a little character who is, strangely enough, inspired by an interview with the band, The Presidents of the United States about their song, Mach 5. In it, they explain the line  "Chickie on the dash" refers to a bird doll they have that's so worn and beat up that it barely resembles a bird anymore. So I started to doodle sketches of what that would look like as a cartoon character. I misheard the name, thinking they were saying "Chiggy," and thus that's what I named the character.

He was just a cute little critter I'd draw when I was bored. He makes me happy. He became something of a mascot for me. He greeted people on my old (now erased) student website, right beside my logo, declaring "It tastes great!" He may have said some other things at various points, but I can't recall them now. I drew him in a few homemade greeting cards for friends too.  He even made it into the plots of one of my more out-there fantasy concepts as a non-speaking pet of a main character.
I've got more art of him laying around, but this is the one set of sketches I could find that was already scanned in and cleaned up. I may post more at some point in a future blog if I ever get time.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Page Four Done!

Page four is complete!

This one took the longest because it's the most complex, with the most objects, lines, areas, etc to be colored and inked in the first issue. So not only did the coloring take awhile, but it required lots of touch-ups, since this page was a bit too much for a novice inker back in the day. It's good to finally see Stick's redecorated room in all its emerald glory.

The scene is inspired by the advice "experts" on cable news shows gave parents after Columbine about going through all their kid's things, reading their journal, etc. to see if they were under any negative influences or were disturbed in some way. So this is basically what would happen if parents actually listened to all that nonsense and acted on it. Lots of 90's references in the dialog: The Crow (one of my favorite movies), Rob Zombie (who's still going strong today) and the early Spawn figures (which I never owned, but thought were cool).

I used my own parents as a starting point on the design for Stick's parents, but like most things they ended up becoming their own unique, distinct design. One notable inside joke is the inclusion of  a Chiggy doll in the fourth panel, which is based on another character I created, which I'll get into next post.

And why is Stick's room green? Because my childhood room was green, of course. I was a big Incredible Hulk fan as a little kid. As I grew older I liked other heroes with predominately green colors like Martian Manhunter, Spectre and the original Green Ranger (from Power Rangers), so it turned out to be a pretty good choice.

The next page will be much easier to do and will feature the first appearance of Psychoboy.  I won't say the rest of the pages will be a breeze after page four, but it does feel good to finally have conquered the toughest page.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

I'm currently coloring page four...

I'm almost done coloring page four. I'm currently finishing the colors on it and will hopefully get all the lettering done soon so I can finish it up tonight.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Page Four, Touched Up Inks

I'm going to try doing things a little different, and instead of just posting a page on here when I'm done with it, I'm going to post it (or part of it) in its various stages of completion. So I'll be teasing it with updates and then doing something more in-depth on it once I get it done. This will give you a way to keep track of precisely where I'm at on the comic during the later half of the week (and sometimes the weekends) when I have time to work on the pages.

So first up is the touched up inks on page four. I'm currently coloring it right now.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Political Cartoon-palooza! Campus Parking

So in between pages, along with past comic art, I thought it might be nice to occasionally post a political cartoon I did back in 2004-2005 when I was the cartoonist for The Pine Needle, the student newspaper of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

In these cartoons I'd use Stickboy anytime I needed to represent a typical college student, so he appeared in several of them. This first one is about flooding on campus. And, no, that is not an exaggeration, the water was really that high in the parking lots, heck sometimes higher, and students' cars did get flooded quite a bit. I saw on the news that when the flooding was really bad near the dorms, students would go outside and float around on their mattresses. Ah, the joy of higher education in a flood plain!