Weekly Sketch 4/27

Still lovin' that red pencil...


Boomin' Bust

As a reward to all the faithful readers who stuck through all the fancy learnin' this week, here's some cheesecake for dessert!

Boom and Bust-Page 6

And so it has come to this...the town is deserted, but our lowly prospector from page one is still around, hoping to strike gold once again. Sad li'l feller.

Next up: Fun with Philosophy!


Boom and Bust-Page 5

The tough times arrive...the gold has dried up and the town is dying. I especially like the top tier of this page, as the look of the miner's faces tell the story. I'm also a sucker for a comics cliche, as evidenced by the guy pulling his pockets inside-out in the center panel!

Tomorrow...the conclusion.


Boom and Bust-Page 4

This is where it really started to get fun...the tent city gives way to the booming, populous town, and all the folk are livin' high on the hog for awhile...until that note of foreboding in the final panel. For reference, I watched (and often paused) the Kurt Russell film TOMBSTONE and the first season of DEADWOOD on DVD...you have no idea how close I came to adding "cocksucker" as the second word in the story!

Boom and Bust-Page 3


Boom and Bust-Page 2

All right, I suppose I should have described this story as "mostly wordless" in the previous post. Still, if you're talking about the gold rush, and you're limited to one word, what's could possibly be more appropriate than "GOLD!"? Especially as uttered by a scruffy n'er-do-well with a couple teeth missing?


Boom and Bust-Page 1

I thought the story of the gold rush would be told best wordlessly, and mostly conveyed via images and comparisons...so I sketched out an outline for a six-page story and got started. Throughout the story, I tried to show the same places and settings a various stages of their development, as you'll see as the story progresses.

A big tip of the hat goes to my pal Galen Showman, who pointed out and provided many sources of reference...one thing about working with McGraw was that I was often left to my own devices when it came to research, but to their credit, they usually "took my work for it", so to speak.


History Lesson

Responding to a request by fellow ink stud Joel Priddy, the following is a story I created last year for a series of history textbooks to be published by McGraw-Hill. He explains the genesis of the project far better and more eloquently on his blog, but here are the quick facts: The books were to be aimed to junior-high students, and would kick off chapters about specific historical eras with "graphic novel" stories relating to what the students were about to read. I worked on this project for the better part of 2005, as did a couple dozen or so other artists.

Of the first batch, completed last February, this was my favorite...a chapter on the gold rush, showing how small towns erupted and prospered furiously when gold was discovered nearby, only to die just as furiously when the riches dried up. I'll be posting a page a day, so be sure to check back often. And to my regular readers, fret not....although these pages contain a necessary dearth of hot, randy pin-up chicks, I'll try to post an image or two to keep you going amidst all this fancy book-learnin'!

Also, comments on these pages are not only welcome, they're emphatically requested! Don't make me beg, people!


Weekly Sketch 4/04

...kinda ridiculous I'm still callin' this "weekly sketch", considering the last one was over a month ago. Ah well.

Big thanks go out to everyone who checked out TEENY BIKINI #1! Hope you all dug it, and that you'll be back in a couple months for issue two...and speaking of issue two, I wouldn't be too surprised to see the images below end up in there somewheres!

I ordered a bunch of Sanford Col-Erase pencils from Dick Blick a couple weeks ago, and I'm really having a blast sketching with 'em... just love 'em to death. 10 each of Blue and Carmine Red...and at just .39 each, they don't break the bank.


In Other News...

Not a lot of drawing going on over the weekend...I spent most of Saturday and a good deal of Sunday in the backyard, working on "curb appeal" and trying to solve some drainage issues around the foundation of the house, in advance of putting in a brick patio one of these days. Here's the thing: every time it rains, our backyard (which resembles Oklahoma of the late 20s) turns in to a massive mudhole, especially around the southeast corner, where the hypothetical patio will reside. The gutters drain directly onto the rock hard, non-porous "soil", and the water that doesn't end up in our basement sits there for several days. The solution, at which I arrived thanks to my Dad's advice, was to dig an 60 ft. trench away from the house, fill it with 2" PVC pipe, and drain the water into the alley in the back of the house.

It was only about 8" deep, and I had a lot of help thanks to the inexplicably energetic Mr. Babb, but sweet jeebus was it a pain! It's Monday night, and I'm still sore all over. I hurt in places I didn't know I had (my hands in particular for some reason). But its awesome...and as if to reward my hard work, we had a huge storm this evening and eureka, it works!

We also added some much-needed plant life to our dust bowl of a backyard...Brooke chose the plants and I dug the holes, and it looks pretty goldang swanky, if I do say so myself. Puck even got in on the action, watering one of the shrubs before we even put it in the ground. Oh, them pups!

Anyhow, the obligatory photos:

That's 60 feet, bitches!

"I was only trying to help!"

Looks even better in person.