The Big Red Cheese

When I was in NC for Xmas last weekend, I dropped by my favorite used bookstore and found a copy of DC's SHAZAM! Archives Vol. 1 in pretty good shape for just fifteen bucks! It's kinda rough, corny stuff early on, and I imagine the later volumes have much better stories, but C.C. Beck, who drew the strip, was pretty dynamite from the get-go. Inspired, I drew this up a couple days ago while waiting in line at the bank.


Weekly Sketch 12/27

I finally feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things, sketch-wise, after a busy autumn. Drawing's been extra fun the last few days!


Promo Time

The only thing more exciting than paying my quarterly income taxes is sending out my quarterly self-promotional postcard! Here's what I'll be sending ot this time...the fourth and final in a series of calendar cards featuring artwork from my "Suburban Supergirls" pinups that ran in AdHouse Books fine Project: Superior anthology last year.

If you're an art director, and you'd like to have one of your very own, drop me an email and I'll make it happen posthaste. If you're just a regular schlub and you'd like to have one...aww, drop me an email and I'll send you one too!


Anatomy of a Spot

With a surprising bit of spare time this week, and no real desire to leave the house, what with the traffic and the shoppers and the cold...I thought I'd go ahead and hip the folks as to how my process goes when I'm doing a spot illustration. A peek behind the curtain, if you will. Without further ado:

I've been illustrating Savage Love for awhile now, and the challenge always lies in extracting a PG-13 drawing from the often R-rated column and the topics it discusses. Not always an easy task, but usually a satisfying result. For the column of 12/7, all the letters concerned the sexual practices, or lack thereof, of people with various disabilities. You can read the whole column here, but I chose to make this letter the topic of my illo (edited somewhat for brevity):


Q: Due to a rare autoimmune attack three years ago, I have been indefinitely confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. I was never sexually active before the attack, so now I’m left to face my sexual future from a significantly altered perspective. The important thing to remember is that I can still engage in sex. I think a common misconception that many people have is that we automatically can’t have sex. I would like to pursue physical relationships with women, but how do I let them know I can still perform without just coming out and saying it? Are there any wheelchair fetishists out there I should know about?

A: “Many people think ‘paralyzed from the waist down’ means ‘turned into a block of ice down there,’” the authors of The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability — Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg and Fran Odette — wrote in a group e-mail. (We’ll call the authors KSO for short.) That paralyzed folks don’t have blocks of ice in their pants is something we fully ambulatory idiots can go our whole lives without learning. “[Non-paralyzed people] have been raised to believe that it isn’t polite to ever ask a person with a disability anything about their disability, let alone about sex,” says KSO, “at least when they’re sober.”

“As for wheelchair fetishists, HANDICAPPED, they’re out there and KSO has some good news for you: “They tend to be straight women looking for guys who use wheelchairs.” Straight women — they’re just a bunch of kinky, sex-crazed freaks, huh?


Wheelchair fetishists? Well, that's an idea just tailor-made for one of my illustrations! Often, it takes me awhile to thinkof an idea for a spot, but not this time. Right away, the idea of a girl sitting on the lap of a guy in a wheelchair hits me, so I whip up some sketches. I figure they're both overjoyed that they've found each other, so he's smiling ear to ear, and she's pretty much going wild. Maybe he should be popping a wheelie, too?

I'm obviously going to have to draw a wheelchair, and draw one well, for the joke to work..so next, I get on Google for some photo reference...and find some, thanks to the good people at Veer:

Then, the pencil stage...I usually work on oddly cut and sized pieces of Strathmore 2-ply bristol board, which I originally buy as 30" x 22" sheets, and this time, I chose a piece that was too small to fit the whole drawing on the page, which is why the woman's hand is cut off at the top. This means I'll have to ink the drawing on another piece of bristol, using the lightbox...which is kind of a pain in the ass, but it beats having to do the drawing again!

Finally, it's time to ink. I use a #2 brush for most of it, except the lines on the tie, and some of the components of the chair, for which I use a Pitt Artists pen. I find that my brush lines tend to be a bit wonky at times, going from thick to thin, and while that's great for figures, it looks kind of bad on non-organic objects like cars and, well, wheelchairs.

Speaking of wheelchairs, I'm pretty happy with how this one has turned out. It looks good, the perspective is correct, or at least, I've faked it in a believeable way. I struggle drawing vehicles of any kind, anything with wheels, so this a pretty satisfying result.

So that's that! Another satisfied customer. The drawing runs in the City Paper a few days later, and I start think about next week...


Weakly Sketch

Not much of an update, but hey, the holiday season is a busy time!


'Tis the Season

I can't believe it's December already...time really flies when you get old. I actually really like this time of year, aside from the obvious reasons. Time was, when I'd look back at the previous year, all I would feel was regret, that I hadn't done enough, accomplished enough. Recently, though, I've been a lot more satisfied with my output...I can actually review what I've done all year and feel good about it. Most of all, I'm amazed that I've gone another year supporting myself as a freelancer. Is this an actual impressive accomplishment, or just complacency brought on by rapidly advancing age and my growing familiarity with apathetic detachment? Aw hell, I don't know...

Anyway, here's a new piece, created to sell on the website (It'd make a great gift, as would any of the half-dozen or so new pieces I added to the site yesterday.). It's Flower, Kamandi's ill-fated girlfriend from Jack Kirby's early 70's masterpiece. I picked up Kamandi Archives Vol. 1 awhile ago, and I guess I got inspired. The fact that she walks around topless didn't hurt, either.