And Fun Was Had By All

...well, not really. I seem to have caught the baby's cold, so I'm spending NYE2007 on the couch, watching a movie, and probably going to bed early. Ho hum.

However, sick or not, I've decided to do a post every day of January to kick off the new year...I've got a ton of great projects in the works, and I can't wait to show them off! So thanks for all the hits in 2007, and keep watching Atom-Bomb Bikini!


A Tale of Two Winos

It's been the best of times, and the worst of times for Amy Winehouse this year. Last spring, I did an illo for Brick of the boozy songstress to accompany a glowing review of her (admittedly pretty solid) new record, Back To Black. She's all glamorous, a little edgy with the tattoos, but definitely rocking the old-timey starlet routine. Success was unkind to ol' Wino, however, and by late fall she'd cancelled her tour, been photographed in dozens of unflattering situations, and now she's the punchline to a joke in Savage Love.


Happy Holidays, Everybody!

Happy Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, whatever...just make it a good one!

Be a Quitter

Here's an image I created recently for a teen-targeted anti-smoking organization...they're gonna put 'em on t-shirt! Special thanks go out to Wide Awake pal Justin Gammon for setting it up. If I get any info as to how you can get one of your own, I'll post it here!



The last way you'd want to spend the holidays: Snowed in at the airport, surrounded by screaming kids. From the Stranger.


Ghosts of Christmases Past

With the big day just a week away, and inspired by a post over at the Lurid Board, here's a few of the holiday cards I've sent to friends and clients over the years:

Last year's, which I was pretty pleased with:

This one's from 1999, just a couple months after I adopted a little dog and named him Puck:

In 2003, I was buy as hell with client work and we'd just moved to Richmond in mid-November. It was all I could do to hack this out and e-mail it to everybody:


Eat Your Vegetables

This spot comes from an SF Weekly story last summer about efforts to improve nutrition standards at a women's prison. Mmmm, carrots!



A couple recent Savage Love spots: A guy laments that he just doesn't find his "dress up and play superhero" adventures as exciting as he used to, and an examination of the sexual holy grail for your average joe: the two girls and one guy threesome.


Big Pernice Brothers Sale

If you like power pop or indie rock, and you've never heard the music of the Pernice Brothers, you are seriously missing out. That's why you should head on over to the Pernice Brothers official website and order some CDs. Best of all, all the CDs are on sale for just $7 through this coming Monday...it's such an incredible deal, I can't even describe it (T-shirts are on sale too). My personal favorite record of theirs is probably The World Won't End, but Yours, Mine and Ours is really awesome too. Aw hell, you really can't go wrong with any of them.

Here's an illustration I did for (and of) the band that I did back in 2005...it was the cover of a cool little comic book that was a special giveaway for early-orderers of Discover a Lovelier You.

Seriously, go buy some CDs. You'll thank me later.

Where Stalks...the Snakehead!

A couple years back, I posted a story that I did for McGraw-Hill that was used in a series of textbooks, with the promise that I'd soon post more. Well, here it is 19 months later and I'm finally getting around to it! Part of why I didn't post them earlier was because I wasn't exactly sure if I should, since I'd essentially be giving away for free what McGraw-Hill paid handsomely for. Thing is, I've been trying to locate the book where this and other stories I did appeared, and I'm finding it absolutely impossible..so I figure it oughta be seen by someone!

At any rate, the story...I was given the assignment to create a story about the snakehead, an aggressively carnivorous fish, native to China, that has been accidentally and ill-advisably introduced to the east coast of the US of A in recent years. Its effect on native ecosystems can be devastating...it eats everything, and can actually scoot up onto land and move from one body of water to another. It's pretty scary lookin', too.

I'd been reading a lot of Jack Kirby's Challengers of the Unknown stories around the time I began this tale, so I decided to approach it from a 1950s-brilliant scientist vs. natural threat kind of angle. I also thought it'd be cool to have the characters think they are safe as the story ends, their short-sightedness obscuring the real danger. Anyway, it was a blast to work on...of all the stories I did for McGraw-Hill, it's probably my favorite. I really should color it and put it in a mini-comic sometime...



A Stylish Way to Steal

Another cool old-timey spot from Virginia Living, this one concerning a woman who stole a bunch of money, only to have her crime discovered on her wedding day! And hidden in the most inventive of places!


A Fiver of Females


U.Va. Magazine


4th Annual Ginter Park Show

Hey, if you're a resident of Richmond (perhaps linking to the site via RVA Blogs) and you don't have any big plans for Saturday afternoon, why not take a jaunt up to the Northside and check out the 4th Annual Ginter Park Arts & Crafts Show? There'll be artists of every stripe in the house, including myself, as well as over 20 others!

See the details and partick'alars below. Hope to see you there!

WHERE: 3421 Hawthorne Ave., Richmond
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 am-5 pm
WHO: Over 20 artist, Including:
Rob Ullman- Comics and Illustration
Kelly Alder- PopIdiot Tshirts
John Haddad- Photography
Diana Vicenti- Fiber Arts
Jim Callahan- Comics and Skeatboards
Steve Bennet- Oil Paintings
Plus Jewelry, ceramics...you name it!


Sacked by the City Paper

I've been doing spot illustrations for Savage Love every week in the Washington City Paper since the summer of 2000. It's my oldest regular gig, and my favorite...the column gives me tons of great material to work with, and has resulted in literally hundreds of hilarious ideas and images. I'd be hard-pressed to think of a better job.

Last summer, the City Paper (along with the Chicago Reader) was purchased by the folks at Creative Loafing, a chain of weeklies with papers in Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa, and Sarasota. I suppose changes were inevitable, and the one I personally dreaded most has come to pass. As of the end of 2007, I'll no longer be illustrating Savage Love in the City Paper. I think it's more of a budget thing than a they-think-I-suck thing, but it's nevertheless devastating and depressing. The thing that bothers me most, aside from the practical implications of the loss of income, is the thought that there was a line item on some spreadsheet that said "Savage Love: Illustration", and that some guy in a suit just crossed through it with a red pen, and just like that, it was over.

I'm biased, sure, but I think that the illos I did brought a little something extra to the column...and I don't think I'm 100% alone in having that opinion. Anytime I do a show in the capital region, whether it's SPX, Baltimore Comicon, or the City Paper's own Crafty Bastards, I have people come up to me all day and tell me how much they enjoy the spots. It's very flattering, and I'm extremely grateful.

Anyway, if you're one of the people who likes your seedy sex advice served with a little graphic blandishment, you should make your voice heard, and contact them them here. Write the City Paper a letter or shoot them an email asking them to reconsider and keep running the Savage spots. And if you're a reader in one of the other cities Creative Loafing calls home, drop them a line and request that they add Savage Love to their paper. It might not do any good, but you'll have my eternal gratefulness.

And of course, if you do write, don't forget to be polite.


(EDITED to include a few links to recent Savage Love spots.)



Another piece for the Boston Phoenix, this one about the fine art of thrift store shopping in Beantown. Tried some different stuff with this one ("sloppy", textured color, etc.) and for the most part, I think it was successful.

My original sketch:


Smart People Like Boobs

Following a link from Will Pfeifer's X-Ray Spex blog, I submitted the link for AtomBombBikini.net to the Blog Readability Test. Apparently, smart people like some titties, 'cause it came up as a GENIUS level blog!

I don't know if that's an endorsement for this test, or an indictment!



Tits & Tats*

*If I'd had the guts, that's what I would've called this blog!


The Front-Runner

I got a last minute call the other day to do a portrait of Hillary Clinton. My style of doing caricature is sort of all over the place...they don't have the uniform look of a Trenholm or Sturdevant, and tend to all come out a little different, depending on how the process plays out. Anyhow, this particular illustration edned up going in an entirely different direction than I originally intended it to, but I'm pretty happy with the results.


Richmond Con Stories

Two or three times a year, the affable Brett Carreras of Brett's Comic Pile here in Richmond throws a comic book convention...and god bless 'im, he almost always invites me to exhibit as one of his guest artists. Problem is, every time I go, I always seem to sit there all day and not talk to anyone except the other exhibitors. Which leads me to believe that folks don't to go to the Richmond Con to meet artists...they go for the voluminous amount of dollar boxes and fifty cent comics.

That's what I always thought, anyway. Turns out they just couldn't be less interested in me!

I guess if you go to enough SPX's and Crafty Bastardses, you start to get a little bit of an inflated ego. You think you can sell your stuff anywhere. A few hours at Richcon cured me of this misconception right quick.

A couple highlights:

  • A dude came up to James "Barf" Callahan, who was sitting next to me, and asked him to sign his show poster for him. I lent Callahan my silver sharpie, he signed the guy's poster, and then the guy walked away. Both our names were on the poster.

  • Another dude (also waiting to talk to Callahan, as I recall) took a glance at my table. Here's how the conversation went between him and his girlfriend.
    "Do you want a That's Just Super button?"
    "They're only seventy-five cents."
    "That's okay."

Nice. It wasn't long after that that I packed up my stuff and left...I didn't really want to miss that big Browns/Steelers game, anyway.


Enchantress Final


Snow and Ski

Here's a blast of job I did last week for the fine folks at the Boston Phoenix, for their annual Ski + Snowboard Guide. I've provided the actual cover with all the text in place as well as the final cover art, which was cropped a bit for print.


Now In Color

I posted this Wonder Girl illo awhile back, right after I inked it...I took a few minutes last night to throw some color down. Dig it, tigers!


Enchantress Inks


Enchantress W.I.P.


Happy Halloween!

I used to do a hell of a lot more fun stuff on Halloween than I do now...which is a drag, 'cause it's one of my favorite holidays. My old hometown of Kent, Ohio used to close off a few downtown streets so that everyone could slap on a costume and walk around and have a great time...these days, I never seem to know where the cool parties are. Ah well, at least there'll be trick or treating with the kid in a couple years!

Anyways, here's a few random Halloween-centric spots from the archives, and an all-new skelly girl for the occasion!


Death Dealing

The Stranger tackles perhaps the scariest subject of them all in this week's Halloween issue: DEATH! They take a pretty whimsical approach to the topic, aided by a baker's dozen of illustrations by yours truly. It's funny 'cause it didn't happen to you! Enjoy!




The Crowd Goes Wild

In Savage Love awhile back, a woman wrote in to ask about the commonality of a certain kink: a guy she'd recently met was extremely turned on by applause, of all things. So why would such a guy go to a sporting event, you ask? Maybe he's from Cleveland so he figured he'd be safe...


A Quick Note About the Orders

If you're one of the fine folks who ordered Atom-Bomb Bikini #5 or any other books from me recently, thanks! I truly appreciate it. You're no doubt wondering when exactly your stuff is gonna show up, so let me take a minute to give everybody a general update.

I got a huge boost in orders thanks to the Boing Boing post two weeks ago where Mark Frauenfelder reccommended the book. So many, in fact, that it's taken me awhile to get on top of all of them, considering that I was already scheduled to be out of town the following week at SPX, and because a good deal of the books, which are all folded and stapled by hand, had yet to be assembled! Thankfully, I'm just about caught up, and all of the remaining orders should go out by early this week. So if you can just give me a few more days, I'll have your books and stickers in your hands before too much longer!

Again, big thanks to everyone who ordered, and especially to Mark Frauenfelder for the awesome shout-out!


Alternate Jersey

Ullman/SPX Interview at Washington Post Express

Last weekend at SPX, Scott Rosenberg and Christopher Porter walked up and shoved a camera in my face, asking if I'd do an interview for the Washington Post Express. Being a whore for any attention, I said yes, of course. They asked some good questions, we talked about hockey, it was a blast. The interview, along with clips with over a dozen other artists and bigwigs from the show, is now online for your enjoyment/enlightenment. Thanks, guys!


Talkin' Tribe

I'm officially feeling it. Although it might not happen tonight, with the Sox leading in the eighth, I think this is the year the Cleveland Indians finally reach the World Series and win it for the first time since 1948. It's a hard thing to even imagine, after enduring all those last-place finishes growing up in Ohio in the 70s and 80s, and all the close-but-not-quite playoff runs of the 90s. It'd be all the more satisfying, too, should the ALCS victory come at the expense of the Red Sox...Boston fans are some of the most vociferous whiners in all of sports, constantly bemoaning their heartbreak and misfortune despite winning championships in all four major sports in the last 35 years. If any of you fackin' pussies wanna know real suffering, spend a few years as a Cleveland fan!



A commission I did for a guy a couple years ago.


SPX Haul

(photo stolen from Dustin Harbin)

SPX was great! I'll post a more lengthy report once I manage to steal some more pictures, but for now here's a look at all the great stuff I got!