Thursday, February 24, 2011

Christ, Doc! You killed him?

(Click on the image above to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

Thus ends Chapter 2.

Not my best panel, but not bad, either.  I like that Clay is astounded, Carol is concerned, and Doc...well, he's lighting his pipe.  Can NOTHING shake that guy?

Stay tuned and find out!

Next stop, Stockton Station.  The Monster goes to town.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

I didn't see what happened next.

(Click the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

"Y-Yer one of THEM!"
What do you supposed Mason meant by that?  Good night, Mason.

So, we see here, in this very dramatic and colorful panel, a bit of how unsettled Clay is by witnessing this first event with Doc, and how distrustful and...well...intimidated he is by him.  Who the heck wouldn't be?  Clay was drug out of his house in the middle of the night, drove for hours across the country, threatened by a shotgun, and then witness to something...strange.

It would probably leave us all scrambling a bit for sanity.

Only one post this week, unfortunately.  Valentine's Day, my wife's birthday, a funeral and a concert all fell in the same week, so I'm feeling lucky to get anything done at all.

But, I didn't want to disappoint you guys, or leave Clay, Doc and Carol hanging there.

In other news, I just received the most extraordinary package the other day.  I was part of Daniel and Dawna Davis, creators of the incredibly wild and wacky webcomic MONSTER COMMUTE.
I love monsters and cool, stylistic art, so when this pair of hard working, indie folks announced a fund drive for their second book in the Monster Commute series, I knew I had to be on board.

So, I pre-ordered by book, and sat back to wait, like a good little patriot.  And man, was it worth it!

First off, the box it comes in is covered with cool little stamps:

And when I opened the thing, it was like getting a love letter!  I mean...who does this??

Then, BEHOLD all the extra loot!  Heck...this was like some kind of Monster Christmas!

Money from Hell...pins, and cards...

A travel brochure for Monstru...sort of a weird, backwards U.S....

A cut-out steam car...and finally, the book itself...

WITH a personalized sketch from Daniel!

I...I was just blown away.  Keep in mind, this isn't some mega-corporation that has boxes of this stuff sitting in a warehouse to be sorted by underpaid workers...this, this is the Indie spirit and craft at its best.  Wow.

Here's to you, Daniel and've raised the bar way up for all of us!  Now, GO BUY THEIR STUFF!

(Runs off to design his own custom stamps for the "Legion of Atomic Supermen!")


Saturday, February 12, 2011

How is he DOING this?

(Click on the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

Suprise!  I'll be you didn't expect an update THIS soon, did you?
Well, that's what happens when Dave gets 6 hours of quiet to work.
And I like this page.  Much more than the previous one, but that's how it works sometimes.  Look at the depth of field..objects in the foreground, midground and background, dynamic diagonals all over the place, sound effects, cool colors AND pithy dialogue.  Whew!

Notice how I've got more blacks in this post than the previous one?  I'm trying more shadows...I was missing them.  See how Doc's face is half in shadow?  That's new for me.

Poor Agent this panel he reminds me of those old comic ads for Charles Atlas Bodybuilding where the scrawny guy is tossed around by the big lug on the beach.  Doc is good in a scrap, no kidding, but he's got his flaws, which you'll see as the story goes along.  I also imagine that as Clay gets used to his new "Atomic Superman", he'll be able to use it to his advantage.  We'll see.

So, as I said in my earlier post, I've been reading (and re-reading) Adam Hughes lovely "Cover Run" book of his DC comic covers, and he mentioned that he had a soundtrack he liked to listen to as he worked with particular characters.  That sounded like a great idea...I've tried it before, with some success, but I'm having trouble collecting a playlist of songs that would work well for Doc Monster.

Do you guys have any suggestions?

Talk to you soon,


Friday, February 11, 2011

I don't remember seeing him move.

(Click on the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

Oy Vey, this piece was difficult.
This is the THIRD piece I've done for this panel.  One completely finished before I realized it's lame-ness, the other made it to pencils.  Here's the first:

The first one was rejected because...well, this is a big "Doc Entrance" panel, and the darned thing had him looking over his shoulder as he ripped the door off.  You couldn't see a bloody thing.  Plus, Carson looks sort of stuck in there, and everything is on a single plane...not very interesting at all.
This second piece just got to the pencils stage (and this was AFTER a page of thumbnailing) before I realized that, while it had depth, and Doc looked pretty cool...there was no real awareness of him having just ripped the car door off.  Bleh.
So, I started over.  Again.
Fortunately, I'm pretty happy with the final result.  I could have probably gone with the first piece and have posted a bit earlier, but you guys deserve the best, right?  Besides, what would Doc say about that kind of attitude?
I know what he'd say.  "If you don't increase your meager efforts, you will continue to be worthless."
That's Doc for ya.  Nothing but love.  He'd make a great dad.

So, there's some different stuff going on around here.  Did you see my signature in the piece?  Yep, I kind of like has that old newspaper strip feel.  Also, did you see that link up on the right that goes to my Ghost Zero comics for sale?  Yep!  I'm pretty proud of them.  If you like Doc, you should give GZ a try.  Apparently, I write acerbic characters.

Also, I just received my copy of "Cover Run: the DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes" in the mail the day before yesterday, and I'm in hog heaven.  I'm a HUGE Adam Hughes fan, and my inspiration folder is full of his stuff.  Needless to say, this lovely little book hasn't left my clutches since.  If you love Adam's work as much as I do, then this thing will be a blessing to your bookshelf, my friend.  Or, if you just like looking at well drawn females, so much the better. Go buy it!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

He doesn't negotiate.

(Click on the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

Mason seems pretty secure in his position, don't you think?  Too bad he doesn't know what's in the back seat of the car he just shot. :)

I had a good time drawing this one.  I really like the faces of Mason and Carol, and their poses.  It wasn't until I was done inking the thing that I thought, "Oh hell...that could be a really confusing panel."  My wife confirmed it, so I had to do some last-minute editing.  The colors were hard to pull off so that they worked together.  Then, there were TONS of FX sounds in there...each one of them took extra time.

All in all, this one took me about 5 hours AFTER the pencils were done.  I hope it's worth it.

Something I've been thinking about is signing my work.  The old strips that I really admire, Steve Canyon and Rip Kirby (who was a big influence on how Doc looks) had signatures from their respective creators.  What worries me is that a signature might interfere in some way (though I could work to minimize it) and look odd once all of these panels were finally collected into print.

So, what do you guys think?  Signature or no?

Thanks for following along, and welcome if you're new to the strip!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I don't BELIEVE this!

(Click the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

Ah, the art of negotiation.  I get the feeling that Clay hasn't negotiated much...but what do I know?  Maybe this is how it's done.  Let's see what our "hillbilly" thinks of it.

I don't know if you're aware of it, but there's lots of chatter going on in the interwebs about creator owned comics.  Steve Niles (30 Days of Night ) has posted what he calls a "rant" about supporting indy comics by buying them and passing the word about ones you enjoy.  Also, fellow Southerner Eric Powell (Goon) has posted a video I like to call "An Inconvenient Truth about Comics".   (Careful, crude humor.)  Briefly proceeding them was Mark Millar's (Wanted, Kick Ass ) announcement that he had pretty much had it with "the big two" and called for support of creator-owned properties.  Of course, way before then, fellow Kentuckian, Robert Kirkman (Invincible, The Walking Dead) came out with his call for creators to work for themselves. "Creator Owned" the new Black?

Well, with all of the wonderful technology at our fingertips, producing work is easier than ever.  Of course, getting it distributed to where folks can SEE it is still a problem, not to mention that almost all of the above guys have done work for Marvel and DC..which is a nice leg up.  Still, they are all right.  With mega-corporations owning DC and Marvel, there isn't going to be lots of risky new material coming out from them...probably, we'll just see more Spiderman, Captain America, and Batman...all of which I stopped reading in the 90's.

You know what?  It doesn't matter to me.  I don't write Doc Monster (or Ghost Zero) because they'll be best sellers, I write them because I want to know what happens in the story to these guys.  That's it.  There isn't anyone who can tell this story, so I'm the one to do it.  That's what's important.

So, I guess my take is, if you see some poor guy busting his butt over a creation he really loves, and you dig it, send him a message of encouragement, or better yet, buy something he's put out.

Speaking of encouragement, I was BLOWN AWAY by Sean Frye's INCREDIBLE portrait of Doc!  Check it out!
Sean really picked up on the bestial nature of Doc, eh?  Wow!!

Thanks, Sean!  I hear he's got more in the works, which blows me away that people would want to do something like that.  I mean, Sean could be playing video games, or something fun, but he chose to draw Doc.
That's the kind of people creators like me need.