Thursday, December 29, 2011

[VINCENT] Self-fulfilling Prophet-y

hi.


It's the holidays and everyone's everywhere buying and giving, giving back and buying again, throwing 'bows for that discount scarf and getting pepper-sprayed for that next Jordans. Hope you're all well and keeping the holiday safe. Give love to your family, friends, that lonely guy next to you at the bar, or whoever you're celebrating with.


I won't say much about this one. Just a little fanboy art for Prophet, emphasizing the old-school EXTREME aspects of his costume (big everything), and adding a little bit of my style to it at the same time. Like it?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[JONATHAN] Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays everyone!

Keeping this post short and sweet. Actually, it's a follow-up post from earlier in the month. This is my holiday card for this year. It features my holiday-themed creation, the Silent Knight! A superhero Santa if you will. In this year's "issue", he's taking on some sort of Christmas-Wreath-gone-wrong monstrosity! :-P

Hope you're enjoying the holiday season with friends and family.

And Happy New Year!

Now, gotta get back to work and make some new art for the new year! :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

[VINCENT] Oogey Boogey Haunt-y

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.


My post last night was supposed to be something completely different from this, but as I was drawing it out I realized it was going to take way more time than I thought (as in several days of work) to get what I wanted out of the idea in my head, SO, I went to one of my go-tos.


This is actually a good thing. One, because I just read Haunt 19 & 20, the inaugural issues for the brand spanking new creative team, Joe Casey & Nathan Fox. I have to say, while the previous issues were fine for what they were, what they were was old hat for me, the reader, and, frankly, everyone involved creatively from issue one. It was a super-anti-hero book done the way most super-anti-hero books were written and drawn. Props to Ryan Ottley, Greg Capullo, and especially Robert Kirkman, for getting Todd McFarlane back in the game. BUT, like everything in this world, there comes a time for change. And, boy did things change with issue 19. 


WOW!


I've been a fan of Nathan Fox for a long time. If you look at our sidebar of inspiring artists, he's on the list. If I had to rank him in that list, he'd be pretty close to the top. I met him at Wonder-Con in San Francisco a couple years ago and watched him draw a sketch for me in one of his sketchbooks. It was that brief experience that gave me the confidence to pick up a brush and brushpen and try different techniques. I have to thank him one day (ONE DAY!).


Finding out that he was going to take over the drawing duties on Haunt , along with Joe Casey as the new writer, well, my head exploded. And that was almost a year ago. Finally, finally, their issues are coming out and I can't be happier. The new direction the book is taking, Casey completely embracing the dark, weirdness of the relationship between the brothers, and adding in copious amounts of his signature crazy ideas, along with Fox's super-kinetic brushwork is just perfect. I really can't wait to see what else they do with this character now that they've got their grubby, ink-stained fingers all over him.


And now, my silly fanart:



There's all kinds of wrong in this sketch, but it is what it is. I really like using the brushpens now and have gained more confidence with them. This was the first time I used my Copic markers for anything and I'm definitely going to start practicing with them more now. I had a lot of fun just throwing lines around on the paper and seeing it come together as something resembling Haunt. Oh, and, I guess, this is the official debut of my new signature. Whatchuthink?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

[JONATHAN] Mission Impossible: Stag Theater!

Just got home from a showing of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but what made this showing even cooler than a normal showing was that I got to see it at the Stag Theater on the Skywalker Ranch! Skywalker as in Luke Skywalker. As in George Lucas' movie making workplace!

I've been fortunate to go see a few movies there as one of my closest friends works on the Ranch and invites me to be her +1 to a buncha screenings. I didn't want to take any pictures for fear of getting her in trouble, so instead, I posted a picture of the theater that I found on Google images.

Seeing movies in this theater is a unique experience. Everyone in the screening is either an employee or directly connected to an employee, so they treat the film with great respect. You know how you go to a movie showing these days and try to lose yourself in the movie, but there are kids running around, someone brings a baby that ends up crying, the guy behind you won't stop talking, and the person 2 rows down to your left keeps checking their phone so that you keep catching the light from their screen out of the corner of your eye? None of that happens here. It's awesome.

Once everyone's seated, the movie starts up without any previews (I gotta admit, I do like previews sometimes, but don't mind getting right to the main event). Then as the movie gets going, I'm reminded of my favorite part of watching a movie here -- the sound! My god, the sound is amazing. I mean, it's Skywalker Sound! It's absolutely ruined me for the sound system at any other theater. The sound is crisp and clear. When it gets loud, you feel the sound against you. The bass is visceral. There's weight to it. It becomes another element of the movie. Then, when the movie is all done, everyone remains for all the credits, applauding when a coworker's name appears onscreen. All in all, it's a unique and enjoyable experience. Already looking forward to the next time I get to go!

If you want to take a virtual tour of the Stag Theater, click here.

Oh, and as for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, don't worry, I'm not gonna spoil anything for anyone reading this. Just going to say that I enjoyed it thoroughly and I recommend seeing it. I loved the 3rd one (JJ Abrams!) and couldn't wait to see this one as another director I love, Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles, The Iron Giant) was directing this movie. I was eager to see if he'd successfully make the transition from animated movies to live-action films. If you ask me, mission accomplished! (pun intended :-P)

Monday, December 19, 2011

[JANA] Pants Monday

I decided that this week would not be a week I forget to post despite having to wear pants all day. So here is something I did awhile ago in watercolors but I love it so very much and it's meaning is so close to my heart that I thought I'd share it again. I must frame it and hang it on my wall... If I could just find room!

It is Lady Death and she is the Life/Death/Life keeper. The character comes from a book I am reading and have been reading for some time. While she may be skeletal and scary to look at for some, she is also imperative to rebirth, which I symbolized by putting a green key around her wrist. Her colors happened almost by themselves and I am grateful. Sometimes when I color things I tend to go overboard and then it looks like I've never taken a color theory class. But I have. I swear.

Her hair, the colors... hell, pretty much the whole piece was inspired by an artist I discovered on DeviantArt called Shwarzer-todt. I am assuming she is a female since it says so on DA, but that is neither here nor there. I love her work. It has hints of Dia de los Muertos and her color scheme is fantastic. It's not to drab and depressing nor is it too bright and offensive. Anyway, check out her art, especially THIS piece and THIS piece. Oh, and mine, too, please. ^_^


Sunday, December 18, 2011

[KEVIN] Wolves in the Throne Room // Celestial Lineage 2011 tour print

My design for the WITTR tour series curated by Andrew Crawshaw (Brokenpress, Seattle, WA)  is now available for purchase: $15 + shipping. These are hand-screen printed, numbered and signed by the artist. Please email: kevin at viraloptic dot come for details.









Print details:
- 18x24" black poster stock
- x3) color print: metallic copper, gold and silver inks
- coverage dates for the tour:
9/16/11 Bethlehem, PA
9/17/11 Richmond, VA
9/18/11 Greensboro, NC
9/20/11 Sheffield, AL
9/21/11 Nashville, TN
Printed by Andy @Brokenpress in Seattle, WA.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[VINCENT] Baggin' Bodies!

So my studiomate, Jonathan Chan, beat me to the punch and posted his fanart piece of Jason Pearson's BodyBags comic book characters, Mack and his daughter Panda. Here's mine:
Jason Pearson has been one of my favorite artists working comics for years. His sharp, angular lines, exaggerated figures and dynamic poses, all while keeping a strict adherence to real life details, is what I love most about his style. His creator-owned book, Body Bags, is the culmination of everything that Jason has been working up to and a distillation of all of his stylistic quirks and favorite things to draw: girls and guns. What I love about creator-owned comics in general is that, in the best of them, while reading, the reader can actually get to know the creator. The creator pours all his heart and soul into the book and it doesn't just show in the artwork, but in the dialogue, the subjects that come up in character conversations, little details drawn into the background, etc. Read Invincible and try not to think of Robert Kirkman's distinct voice in that book. Read Savage Dragon and try not to think about Erik Larsen putting exactly what he was thinking about at that moment into whatever issue of that book. It's the same with Body Bags. Jason Pearson is all over this book and if you've ever met the man, you know that only Jason Pearson could do a book like Body Bags. I won't go into a big review, but it's definitely worth a read and hey, it's the holidays! Why not get yourself or a loved one a copy (not for kids! not for kids!) of the trade, Father's Day


P.S. I just realized the image I emailed myself of the scan is really low-res. Will have to rescan and update so you all can see the bloody details better. For now, good night.

[JONATHAN] Body Baggin

Recently, I've been revisiting some issues of BODY BAGS and I'm still blown away by the work, even though it debuted in the mid-'90s. The work still holds up to this day. I remember being familiar with Jason's work from the awesome SAVAGE DRAGON: BLOOD & GUTS miniseries a few years prior and eager to see more of Jason's kinetic, stylized art. So when I saw BODY BAGS on the stands, that was a no-brainer for me to pick up.

I feel like BODY BAGS was a book ahead of its time. There was really nothing like it on the stands as it pushed the line on violence and got a somewhat controversial reputation. But at the center of it all was a father-daughter love story, albeit a love story wrapped in bullet shells and knife-play.

Jason's storytelling and composition were sensational. Although I enjoyed his previous work and felt the Michael Golden inspired vibe, BODY BAGS was really the series where he came into his own artistic voice. The series clearly didn't pull any punches -- it was unapologetic to its readers. It had a strong attitude, one that Jason clearly conveys whether it was intentional or just a by-product of his clear vision in what he wanted to do.

I was ecstatic to see more BODY BAGS in the late 2000s -- the 3 THE HARD WAY miniseries in 2006 and the appropriately titled ONE SHOT in 2008. I was hoping (and still hoping) that these were just a precursor to more issues to come. To this day BODY BAGS is still one of my all-time favorite series and Jason continues to be one of my all-time favorite artists. I liked his work on the DEADPOOL miniseries (WADE WILSON'S WAR) and his issues of UNCANNY X-MEN, but there's nothing like Jason on BODY BAGS.

Monday, December 12, 2011

[JANA] No Pants Monday

Over Thanksgiving I had a nightmare. That nightmare was that The Strange Talent of Luther Strode wrapped without me finishing my fan art and sending it to the creators and gushing about just how much I love their book. That nightmare spurred me into action! I'm not lying. So here it is in all it's glory my colored version of Luther Strode. Check the fantastically awesome book here and here and here! Buy it, read it, love it then tell Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore just how much!


Friday, December 9, 2011

[KEVIN] TENHORNEDBEAST

Foundational illustration and thought pieces for the upcoming TENHORNEDBEAST offering on UNREST PRODUCTIONS UK

The final illustration/design will grace the cover of a classy LP jacket, the concept is pretty strong and I do not really feel like sharing the final vision before it is completed, but more soon..





Wednesday, December 7, 2011

[VINCENT] Where have I been?

A question I constantly have to ask myself.


Well, I'm here for the time being and all thanks to my conscientious studiomate, Jonathan Chan. Who knew that a big move, my birthday, Thanksgiving, and the looming holidays, not to mention the onset of winter and shorter and shorter days, would have such a big effect on my productivity. Well no more I say! NO MORE!


Well, maybe a little more.


But, before that. I really haven't been doing much drawing in the last couple of weeks, but before Thanksgiving I did work on a commission for a client that might actually become a regular. She came my way via another commissioner I met at Wonder-Con. I did a quick sketch of her in her Snow White costume at the con and got two more commissions of her in other costumes afterwards. Here's one:


Caitlin in cat gear.
She recommended me to a friend of hers who commissioned me to do a pic of her and her husband in a comic book style pose. That went off fine, but I think I could've done better. I got my chance when she contacted me to do another drawing for her friend. The picture would be of her friend and her friend's fiance at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Yeah, I know. Needless to say, I needed reference. So off too Google Images I went. I found several pictures that had this sign in the background marking the summit. The sign said something like "Congratulations! You are at the highest point on..." (I honestly don't remember now). I thought immediately that was perfect to put the couple there and change the sign slightly to reflect the point they were at in their relationship,.This was the result (from a picture taken by camera because my scanner is not set up yet):

Zenith

As you can see this was still a work in progress when I took the picture. All said and done, I was very happy with how this turned out. Especially for the short amount of time I had to put this out. I still have to practice layering color on with the markers, but I could've gone for days just working and reworking those colors without getting anywhere. I'll practice at another time.


Whew! OK. That's all for now. That was a long one. I'm going to try and keep posting with new stuff for y'all as the holidays get nearer and nearer. AGH! Keep watching and keep creating!

[JONATHAN] My holiday tradition!

This is my favorite time of year! It's definitely NOT because of the weather (I'm getting over a cold right now), but something about the closing out of the year, reflecting on what transpired, getting together with friends and catching up, the anticipation of a new start... I just like that people are a little more friendly and a little more appreciative of what they have this time of year.

Speaking of the time of year, I have a personal tradition of making my holiday card. I figure I can't get all of my friends gifts, so instead I make a unique, custom card that I put my effort and abilities into. It gives it a more personal touch and shares a little bit more of "me". I started this tradition many years ago before I even knew how to scan a drawing. Now, it's evolved into a full-color illustration that I color-up in Photoshop, do logo design in Illustrator, and comp together with text in InDesign. It's neat for me to think about how far it's changed throughout the years...

Last year, I developed my holiday-themed hero, The Silent Knight -- a riff on Batman, aka The Dark Knight. I created a logo and mocked up a fake comic book cover as the front of the card. This year, I'm continuing the theme of The Silent Knight! I didn't want to post this year's card just yet as I feel like I should at least send out the actual card to my friends first -- it'd be somewhat ruined if they saw it here first. So intead, I posted last year's card to show the character and give an idea of what to expect from this year's card. I will post this year's soon!

Happy holidays everyone! Enjoy this time of year!

Monday, December 5, 2011

[JANA] No Pants Monday

Well... Due to some unforeseen circumstances I find myself away from my home computer, lacking some sketching time (and materials - conveniently left at mom's house out of state!) and a very low, low, LOW amount of energy. So here are some bits of humor. Hope you enjoy and your spirits brightened, courtesy of Kris Wilson.





Friday, December 2, 2011

[KEVIN] BLSPHM logo

new identity for mysterious blackened-noise outfit from Seattle (?) BLSPHM // Inspiration: gothic cathedral arches, magnified snow-flakes and medieval-weaponry // Process: white-out, india ink and  a some digital love/hate... you can get more info HERE.