Tag Archives: layout

Nostalgia – Vantage Comics and Card Picks Fanzine

Way back in the ancient 1990s… there was a comics fanzine called Vantage Comics and Card Picks. As you might surmise from the title, they talked about comics and trading cards! 🙂 There were others too, like Wizard and Hero… but specific to this blog post, there was Vantage. My memory is foggy at this point, but at some point way back in the day they had a job opening. I can’t remember if they were looking for someone to do page layouts or creative writing, or perhaps both… but I worked up a couple of full-page samples of funny to submit to them. I don’t remember ever hearing anything back from them, and that fanzine is long gone… but I recently found my old samples again and scanned them in so that I could share them on the blog.

Some of the jokes still hold up, even if you might not get exactly the reason why I made them… probably the most obscure one is the Crypt/Moon Knight non-crossover joke, which basically pokes at the notion around that time that some characters at some companies were virtually indistinguishable from characters at other companies 😉 I also like the fact that the picture of Captain America is literally there for no real reason… I mean, nothing on either page makes any reference at all to him!

This is 20+ year old stuff from me, but I think my sense of humor is pretty much still in the same general place, so let me know what you think. Also, I kind of miss fanzines like we had back in the 1990s. We don’t really have that today. Sure, there are some Web sites, but it’s just not the same as a monthly magazine that you can hold in your hand.


Ghost in the Candy Shell

Once again, one of those ideas popped into my head and I was amazed to be unable to find any evidence of it already having been done… so I did it last night, just in time for April Fool’s Day!

A nice mashup of everyone’s favorite green lady M & M and the Ghost in the Shell. Recent promotions for the new live-action movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, are what got this idea going. Truth be told, though, the parody here is drawn from the original anime movie poster design more so than anything to do with the modern remake.

I intentionally skimped on the cityscape at the bottom, it’s just a silhouette to set the stage and to honor the layout of the original poster design. The shades rest a little low on M’s face, ‘cause she doesn’t seem to have a nose! 🙂 I also like the simple repeating pattern I came up with for the background to echo the simulated tech background of the original poster.

Please let me know what you think, and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

Something Mortyfyingly Ricked This Way Comes…

So… Rick and Morty is a thing… a cartoon on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup. I almost missed it, as it was often on in odd time slots last year… but it is one of the most awesomely weird cartoons you’ll ever want to watch, and the second season is only a few days away now!

I actually drew this the weekend before last… and posted it on Facebook then too. I even posted it on the Rick and Morty page, and they liked it… so if Rick and Morty likes Rick and Morty, then who are you not to like Rick and Morty?  Go ahead… try not to like it… I dare you! Rick and Morty forever and ever, for a hundred years.

Rick and Morty Final

So… I actually created two final versions of this image, and here’s the secret behind-the-scenes scoop why… I didn’t like my original final piece. I’m not quite as skilled at hand-inking and hand-lettering as I’d like to be… some of that is the tools I have at my disposal, and the rest is lack of practice from years of finishing stuff on the computer where I have quite a bit more control and ease of correcting mistakes.

Rick and Morty

What I didn’t like about this one… was that the lettering ended up so much larger than I wanted, I had to omit some of the original dialog and did not have any real estate to do some of the stuff in the background that I had wanted. I don’t hate this version… it’s just not the version I wanted to create… fortunately I had the scan of my original pencil sketch…

Rick and Morty Sketch

So, returning to the original sketch, I used this as a baseline to draw the eventual final version (the topmost one in this blog post) completely digitally. If you compare my two color versions above, you can clearly see where I was able to do a better job in the ultimate final version of capturing my original concept.

What I’ve basically done as a result of this learning experience… is develop a new process for myself. I like drawing with traditional tools, but only when it yields something I’m happy with creating… and while I like having final original works that I can sell to others, that doesn’t trump the desire to create what I intend to create. So, going forward… my standard process has become:

1. Pencil sketch and layouts on paper.
2. Scan and keep the original sketch somewhere safe for future reference or potential sale.
3. Use the pencil scan as baseline to create final digital render, coloring as desired.

This gives me a best-of-both-worlds situation where I have an original pencil sketch if anyone is interested down the road, and a final digital piece that completes the vision as I saw it in my head. I hope you like this as much as I liked drawing it… and make sure you watch Rick and Morty on TV too!

Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

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