Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
This entry came from out of the blue from Jessie Desmond. Jessie is a former student with diverse talents (you should see some of the amazing cakes she's made) and interests, who occasionally has moose show up in her back yard.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Back in 1986 my friends Gary Fields, Jim Rohn and I attended a number of Fred Greenberg's New York City conventions promoting THREAT! these cons were a great chance to meet fans and other creators.
During one of the cons in 1986 a fellow approached me about the possibility of doing a signing at his store. I was flattered that he asked me and was feeling somewhat superior that he had asked me and neither Gary or Jim. Rather petty I admit, but most of the guys I went to school with were all trying to get their piece of the fame and recognition pie. Being asked to do a signing at a store was somewhat prestigious and I felt like I was starting to climb the proverbial ladder.
On August 1st I took a bus up to Suffern, New York and was deposited, if I remember correctly, right across from the comic book shop I would be signing at. At the store the owner welcomed me and had a table all set up near the door.
There were a few people in the shop and they seemed interested in me and my artwork and the general buzz of a creator signing. Not one of them seemed to be anything other than a kid who would have normally been in the shop on a Friday afternoon anyway
A few people drifted in and out of the shop for the next few hours. The owner made some comments about not getting enough advertising out on time.
I was there for five hours and I don’t recall signing very many comics, perhaps a few flyers from the store advertising the event, maybe a sketch or two.
The owner of the store had promised to buy dinner and pay for my transportation costs. During the day he mentioned the French/Vietnamese restaurant that we would be going to.
As the day wore down the owner showed me the back room of the store where he said he had an art studio and he was producing his own comic book. If I remember correctly, the room was paneled in blue and there was a drawing table and a few drawing instruments scattered about.
The artwork was amateurish, the story about a team of super agents who lived in a secret lab underneath… the Meadowlands!
And as he talked up his concept, he pitched the idea of a crossover with ZONE.
And at that moment I realized the reason he had invited me to do a signing at his store and not my fellow THREAT! creators Gary and Jim.
We went to a Chinese restaurant, the French/Vietnamese place had a dress code and the owner of the store was not dressed properly.
For some reason, maybe a screwy bus schedule, the owner of the store offered to drive me home.
BUT, he tried really hard to convince me into staying for a few hours more and going to the local cinema for the opening night of George Lucas’ newest feature film, HOWARD THE DUCK.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
See the earlier posts Set the Way-Back Machine and Notes from 1983.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Again, I curse my use of such a light lead. I had to do some work adjusting the levels to get this to be visible.
This was drawn when I lived in a small apartment on Bright Street in Jersey City. It was a great apartment with a big kitchen, a deck and access to a somewhat tamed jungle of a back yard. That apartment was my refuge from the dissolving of a marriage. Clark the cat loved the deck and back yard.
I'm not sure what prompted this sketch but I remember right after I drew it I felt a little shock at my use of the F word in relation to ZONE. I like the idea of him being protective of her and her having the strength to tell someone off knowing she had ZONE as backup.
Monday, July 11, 2011
This was done while traveling on the train, the lettering added later. I liked it better before I erased all the extra pencil lines.
I intend to turn this image into a 30" x 15" oil painting.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
This image is almost a throwaway, it's nothing special when it comes to images of ZONE but it does illustrate one of the best things about ZONE (in my mind anyway) and that's his shape. This drawing plays (nominally I admit) with negative space.
The dynamics of ZONE'S unique head allows for plenty of latitude when it comes to designing interesting panels, especially in close-ups. One of my goals when I designed the character was to create something that I could draw to look the same, over and over again.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
For nearly 20 years a seven foot tall man-monster stood a silent vigil outside my parents home.
That's right, sometime in the late 80's or early 90's my dad made a ZONE out of plywood and kept it in his suburban back yard.
I'm unsure of the actual year he created it but the young gal on the left in the bottom photo is all grown up now and the mother of a toddler herself.
My father was always one of my biggest supporters, particularly when it came to ZONE.
Thank you Dad, it always tickled me and made me proud to see a life-sized version of my character.
Sadly time and the elements took their toll on the big guy, ants had eaten through his body and his time to stand silently among the trees was no more.
This past spring while I was visiting my parents I noticed the once proud head resting against the garage, it was all my dad could save of our creation. I asked my dad if he would mind if I took the head home, he gave his permission and it now sits stoically on a shelf in my apartment.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
These are drawn about the size of a comic book. I'm not sure what I did them for, as a layouts for pages or just to try drawing at print size. ZONE doesn't have his weird shoulder wings so I know they were drawn after ZONE appeared in DARK HORSE PRESENTS, so this was drawn in maybe 1990 or 1991.
I'm satisfied with pages one and three but page two just doesn't work for me. I was trying to show three different things simultaneously. I think the sequence could be extended over a couple more pages.
Now, the inspiration for this story I remember clearly.
This was inspired in part by Patti Smith's poem: the amazing tale of skunkdog, the first portion of which follows:
the amazing tale of skunkdog
comes from within...
seven days and six nights the hero watched relentlessly.
horizontally under the sky. without food, drink or friend.
what was he after. what was he looking for.
a sign? an answer? a way out? something new.
now on the seventh evening of the seventh day hero
was holding on by a thread. lack of sleep, provisions
and loving arms was taking its toll. he ceased to
fair hero. he who was so intent on keeping his eyes
peeled immediately missed out.
for he had made the sky jumpy. his piercing stares
put it on edge. when he finally looked down the stars
went haywire. cassiopia rocked like a cradle.
As mentioned in my previous post The Amazing Skunkdog, In the early eighties I had entertained thoughts of illustrating Patti Smith's poem. This ZONE story was a tribute/swipe/homage to her work. To this day her words are still powerful and I can visualize the stars going haywire, I just don't think I've adequately visualized it on paper yet.
Did you notice the Pepsi can?
That is partially in answer to the perennial Coke or Pepsi question. It 's also a tribute to June Gibbons' novel The Pepsi-Cola Addict, a novel I have never read. In fact, it is a rather rare self-published novel that's quite had to get a hold of but the name really struck a cord with me.
I learned of June and Jennifer Gibbons by reading Marjorie Wallace's fascinating book, THE SILENT TWINS. Well worth reading or at the very least Googling. The Welsh twins had independently devised their own secret language and rarely spoke to anyone but a younger sister.
As teens the twins decided to become famous writers and both turned out several self-published novels. Their story is both sad and fascinating, at the time I read THE SILENT TWINS they had both been committed to Broadmoor Hospital.
The portion printed here is is done so without permission but with the hope that she would understand.
Friday, June 10, 2011
The Amazing Skunkdog - from my first year at The Kubert School. I believe these were done as part of a character design assignment for Milt Neil's, Introduction to Animation class.
The Amazing Skunkdog, name and inspiration come directly from a poem by Patti Smith in her 1978 volume BABEL.
I was planning to adapt the poem to comic pages and my well-worn copy of BABEL still has pencil marks in the margins indicating where I would break the poem down into panels and pages.
What does this have to do with ZONE?
A year before ZONE was finally delineated The Amazing Skunkdog was clearly his visual predecessor, we can see it in his hulking frame and the unique shape of his head.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Page 25 from issue # 3 of THREAT!
Well, I sold one page, this one, for $35.00 which was about what we were getting as a page rate back then. This one was one of my favorites and I've regretted selling it ever since.
I've always wondered if the guy who bought it hung it on his wall or just slipped it into a portfolio in his closet or under his bed.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
I saw Jones only once, at a comic book convention years ago. Try as I might I can't recall if I spoke to him or just studied him visually from a distance. If I did say something it would have only been something like, I really like your work.
I did have the honor of introducing a very close friend to the work of Jeffery Jones, and now she has a Jones painting hanging in her dining room.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
A Mother's Day tribute.
This play on words printed as page 16 in the very first issue of THREAT! I was struggling to draw my own mom in the second panel, working from a photo of her it just wasn't working out. Then, my roommate and fellow THREAT! contributor Jay Geldhof suggested I just find a "mom-type" photo for reference, I did and it looked so much more mom-like. I did some minor adjustments to the hair and glasses and then it really looked more like my mom.
Hold on tight to your genes, was a play off the Electric Light Orchestra song Hold On Tight (1981). Lots of talk about DNA and genes at the time this was created. Being a fairly new vegetarian at the time I was concerned about them using radiation on fruits and vegetables to kill bacteria and messing with plant DNA to create super plants that were immune to certain diseases and resilient to pests. After what happened to him, ZONE is cautioning us to be very careful with what we mess with.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Both of the guys featured here were students at The Kubert School. I think both of these drawings were informed by their interest in hip hop and graffiti art, and, both have gone on to become very talented artists and designers.
You can see more of Sean's work here:
You can see more of Jon's work here:
Friday, April 29, 2011
This is a page of original art that was sent to me by my friend Bjorn Ousland, way back when. I met Bjorn in 1981 at The Kubert School, he was in the class following mine. Bjorn came to study at the school from Norway, we shared a lot of similar interests from comics and music to artists and SF authors.
This page has ZONE showing up in the third panel on a poster being applied to the wall in the background. ZONE - UN FILM DE M. KRAIGER I'm not sure what book this appeared in but I believe it was a story written by someone else and illustrated by Bjorn. When he sent me the page he pointed out the coffee stain on right side of the page, courtesy of the books editor, it's not readily visible here.
After graduation, Bjorn went back home to Norway and has been steadily producing humor comics, historical graphic novels and children's books ever since.
To see more of his work, including incredible watercolors from exotic locales go to:
(click on the rocket-ship for English)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
This striking image is one of my favorites, Jeremy is a former student of mine from The Kubert School. I tried to get him involved with a couple of comic projects that never were realized through no fault of ours, the editor I was pitching ideas to was laid off.
Jeremy's latest mania is custom toys and you can see examples of some of his work here:
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Yeah, that's our guy ZONE, making a cameo appearance in the upper left, right behind Concrete's head. This was a goofy jam comic that Dark Horse published for that year's San Diego Comic Con. I didn't attend that year, so unless Dark Horse sent this to me, I'm not even sure where I got my copy of the book. It's not a great rendition of the big guy, but it's cool to see him alongside the creations of some of my favorite comic book artists, then being published by Dark Horse. Can you name all the characters?
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney - 1989
Rich and Tom are Kubert school alumni, I believe they were two years behind me but we'd met up at conventions or parties.
I had totally forgotten about this but found it yesterday going through a box of comics.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
I think I first saw George's work in 1979's Animal Bite Comix from Everyman Studio. Sometime in the mid-eighties I got to meet him through Gary Fields and CARTOON LOONACY.
George is hands down, one of my all-time favorite cartoonists, I just love his drawings and stories. He drew this in my sketchbook either at a convention or a picnic at his or Gary Fields' house.
George did the drawing of Max for me because I had written to him and told how much I had liked a story he had done about his dog Max.
You can see some of George's work here:
Good Ol' Joe Tater in "That's Life"
Cap'n Boom & his Burger Boys of Space
Those Cute Li'l Boopers