Van Art

For a secret project:


Cyber Monday Sale

Like everyone else in the known universe, I'm running a holiday sale! All orders over $25... which includes ALL original art... are 30% off thru next Saturday, December 7th, at the Atom-Bomb Bikini Etsy shop using the code SHOPSMALL. If you've had your eye on something, now's the time to pull the trigger...and if there's something you've seen here on the blog in which you might be interested, but don't see at the Etsy shop, please shoot me a comment, tweet or email about it...chances are it's available, and I'll make you a good deal!




I went with Miranda Frost (as portrayed by Rosamund Pike in DIE ANOTHER DAY) for the Trinquette Publishing Bond Girls Facebook Challenge. I figured I'd be the only one, at least!


Beck and Blue

’Nuff said!


On the Air!

Hey all, I'm happy to report that I'll be a guest on The Hockey Show this very afternoon at 5:30 CST on Winnipeg's WMUM! We'll be talking about comics, Old-Timey Hockey Tales, the Penguins and hockey in general, all kinds of stuff. Please tune in!


Happy Halloween!


Spooky C-Ville

Just in time for Halloween, here are a few recent spooky illos for University of Virginia's online Alumni magazine.


Kent Comic Arts Fest 2013

Last weekend the fam and I trekked up to Ohio for, primarily, the inaugural Kent Comic Arts Fest and to a lesser extent, for a long overdue visit with my parents and my sister's family. KentCAF is a show that's been in the works for quite awhile...the organizer, my old friend Wayne Harold (best known as the filmmaker behind P. Craig Russell's Graphic Storytelling series), has been talking for years about creating a convention in my hometown, but life and other obligations kept getting in the way. Thankfully, things finally came together over the last year, and I'm really glad they did.

The small but extremely impressive guest list included old pals P. Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, Galen Showman, Jay Geldhof, Will Pfeifer, Neil Vokes and Jim Anderson...honestly, it was as close to a class reunion of the old Lurid.com Message Boards as you're ever likely to see...as well as folks I hadn't met yet, like Derf, Scott Hampton and American Splendor's "Genuine Nerd", Toby Radloff.

I have plenty of my own thoughts on the show, but before I get to them I'd like to share a few comments from Wayne with his take on how things went.

Overall, I think that things went really well! The weather took a turn for the worse and it was pretty cold and drizzly, but the audience built throughout the day so that by the time we got to The Artists of The Graveyard Book presentation at 3PM, the Kent State Kiva had a nice-sized, very engaged audience.

I’d like to get more foot traffic for the Guest Alley and Marketplace next year—especially since that portion is based at the KSU Student Center and is totally free—but the guests and exhibitors that I spoke with all said that they made decent money selling stuff, especially since it was a debut festival. Most have already signed on for next year and they promise that they will bring other creators and exhibitors with them.

We’re also going to expand the educational offerings next year. Jill Thompson called me on her drive back to Chicago and said that she would love to do a painting class and also portfolio reviews for budding artists. P. Craig Russell is up for the latter as well. I’m going to try to get another nice room for the all-day classes. So we’ll have a dedicated space for the educational portion, plus the free Guest Alley and Marketplace, plus the onstage programming at the Kiva auditorium.

With a lot of the shows lately, it all seems to be about herding as many people in as possible in order to outdo each other by trumpeting higher and higher “numbers.” I’d rather have a smaller number of really satisfied attendees—the whole KentCAF experience is all about getting to spend some quality face time with the creators.

We’re not doing the show to make money—there are a lot quicker and easier ways to make a buck. It’s all about promoting comics as a true art form, teaching eager folks some great techniques, and having a freaking amazing time at the VIP party. And on that count, I’d say we succeeded right out of the gate!

The first year is all about planting the flag, now we just have to keep improving the experience.

I think he really gets to the point of the show in that fourth paragraph. Granted, the size of this first KentCAF could've been much bigger...and it promises to be in years to come...but man, the quality of this small sample of exhibitors is beyond reproach. The same applies to the small but interested crowd. The focus on education is a worthy goal, as well.

I rolled into the KSU Student Center about a half-hour before the show was set to open and got right to setting up. The limited guest list, combined with a great amount of space, meant I could actually spread out my "shop" a bit...there was plenty of room for all my comics, as well as space for prints and original art, even my box of what I call "Fire Sale" art, weird odds and ends from 12+ years of freelance illustration gigs that I sell for $8 apiece. It's a nice change of pace from having to cram everything onto a six square feet of tabletop. Next year I'm bringing everything

Sales and attendance were good too, if not quite seeming in line with their potential. Granted, it was an amazingly shitty day weather-wise, cold and drizzly, not exactly the kind of stuff you get excited about going out in, but I did figure the free admission to the "marketplace" section of the show would bring a few more curious souls than it did. One problem may have been a bit of a lack of promotion...a friend whose son is a freshman at Kent told me he came to the student center to look at the show but couldn't find us. Nothing a few bigger, more colorful posters can't fix! And still, for the size of the crowd, I was amazed that almost everyone who walked by the table actually bought something...not just a $2 mini comic, either, but prints, original art, etc. Having a huge crowd of looky-loos is one thing, but it doesn't mean much to me as an exhibitor unless they're prepared to drop some cash!

Of course, the fact that KentCAF essentially took place in my hometown meant seeing several pals old and new who stopped by to check it out, including my friend RyCo who drove all the way from Pittsburgh and Brian who came over with his family from Youngstown. I saw a few folks like my friend Sue (with who I actually attended Kent State back in the 90s) and my pals Eric, Kelly and Bill who came in from out of town as much to hang out with all us arteests after hours as to shop around the festival. 

It was also just plain odd at times...at one point I walked to the lower level of the student center to have lunch in The Hub, a huge commons area that houses the food court, etc...I sat in that room on countless nights in 1994-95 working on my first comic strip, which ran in the Daily Kent Stater, but haven't stepped foot inside in well over a decade. Put me in a very melancholy place...got me thinking about what I'd done, how far I've come...but also what's to come, and frankly, what I have left. Hell of a thing to contemplate over a Subway Classic BMT, I'll tell you.

So overall, I'd call the inaugural Kent CAF a big success. There's definitely room to grow...I'd definitely love to see some not-quite-as-local folks as exhibitors next year, guys like Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg from Pittsburgh, Tom Williams or Jeff Smith from Columbus, more folks from Chicago...and I plan to contribute my efforts to make that happen. Also, I was too busy to take in any of the panels, which is frustrating if de rigeur, and I hope to remedy that in the future. 

So bring on KentCAF 2014! And until then, hop over to Facebook for a bunch of photos!!

Photo by Robert J. Lucas/Record-Courier

Me and RyCo

A couple sketches


Look Ma, I'm Onna Radio!

While you're clock-watching at 4:30 this afternoon, tune in to TSN 1290 Winnipeg! I'll be joining The Hustler and Lawless Show to talk about Old-Timey Hockey Tales, sporty pin-ups, the Winnipeg Jets, probably Sidney Crosby a little bit and god knows what else!



I've been loving watching the Pittsburgh Pirates return to MLB prominence all season, and naturally, that enjoyment has led to my creating a bunch of new Buccos-themed artwork, including couple prints and even a t-shirt!


The Art of the Spank

I created these illos for the October issue of Penthouse (you can probably guess the topic), and I'm really happy with how they turned out! Anyway, look for more in November and December!




80s Phils

When I think about following baseball in the early 1980's, two names always spring to mind: George Brett and Mike Schmidt. They were inescapable, on every book cover and pack of baseball cards... and usually sporting that sharp baby-blue uniform.


Diamonds are a Girl's Worst Enemy, Collected!

Finally, some new comics! The print version of Diamonds are a Girl's Worst Enemy debuted at SPX last weekend, and is now available in the Atom-Bomb Bikini shop! What started as a lark too me waaaaay too long to complete and publish, but I'm glad it's finally done and I hope you enjoy it!


My SPX Haul




Go, Mordecai!

Mordecai has always struck me as being an Archers of Loaf guy. Rigby, I dunno...Any suggestions?



Registered at "Cash"

A cover illustration for C-Ville Weekly, about the high cost of having a wedding in Charlottesville.


But Honey, I hadda do it for my ol' pal Chappy!

I have a few illustrations in the September issue of Penthouse Magazine (including a full-pager), accompanying an excerpt from a spicy new book about how to find new and exciting ways to do it. So, you're welcome for finally having a valid excuse to purchase a copy. Seriously, I feel like John Candy at the beginning of Splash. “They printed my letter!”



Now on Etsy.


Now on Etsy.


Drawing in the Sky

A couple weeks back, my wife had to travel to San Francisco on business...and having made several trips out the Bay Area separately but never together, we decided I'd buy my own plane ticket, crash in the nice hotel room and play Betty Draper for a few days.

We did a few touristy things, and had some amazing meals... but with my wife often busy with lectures and other programming at the conference she was there to attend, I found myself with a lot of two- to three-hour blocks of down-time. It was a really nice change of pace to have options when finding things to keep myself busy.

One evening, as she attended the conference's opening keynote, I considered seeing a movie...maybe Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel... at the theater right next door. However, I'd picked up a few new supplies at the Utrecht Art Store a few blocks from the hotel, and was itching to try them out. So, I skipped the movie and set out to find a place to sit and draw.

It was at that precise moment, riding the elevator, that I noticed a sign for The View Lounge, the bar atop our hotel on the 39th floor. I went on up, ordered a local IPA, and sat down to draw. The view was as advertised, simply amazing, even on a cloudy evening.

I chose to work on a drawing commissioned by my friend Patrick of former Penguins forward and current radio team member Phil Bourque, the Ol' Two-Niner. Originally meant as a sketch card, I started over from scratch on a larger 6x6" sheet of Bristol and completed the entire drawing, pencils to inks to color, in that beautiful spot as night fell over San Francisco. While it may not be the best drawing I've ever created, it's without a doubt one of the most enjoyable and memorable times I've ever had participating in the act of drawing!

POSTSCRIPT: The next day, I hiked a few miles to Japantown with my pal The Tot and bought more fantastic art supplies at Maido, an amazing Japanese stationery shop I first visited in 2006 and have thought of often since then. Imagine if JetPens.com was a physical shop rather than a website, and that's pretty much what you've got inMaido. I realized they have a web presence, and are well worth checking out!


The Seeds of Fandom

“I honestly don’t remember how, but I listened to the 1982 Super Bowl on a Sony Walkman with radio capacity while sitting in a middle-school class at Hong Kong International School.”

Gage Harter tells a funny, personal story about becoming a Washington football fan, in the current issue of Richmond Magazine!


Eight Ways

Dan Savage offer eight ways he could leave this mortal coil and completely leave his husband and child high and dry...until the repeal of DOMA, that is.


Night of Honky-Tonk Angels 2013

I meant to post this weeks ago, but I got caught up in all the Heroes Con and San Francisco hoopla and forgot all about it: This year's edition of the fantastic Night of Honky-Tonk Angels benefit show happened on June 1, and I was once again honored to provide the artwork for the poster!


Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2013 – Cup Finals Edition

As you might suspect, my heart isn't super-into this one...after the colossal turd the Pens laid in the ECF, the last thing I was all excited about doing was a Cup Finals illo for another team. Still, a trip to Heroes Con over the weekend salved the wound a good bit, so I managed to get my shit together enough to finish out the postseason here.


Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks

If I'm being completely honest, I really would've been scared of a matchup with Chicago had the Pens advanced that far. They've been top dog all season, and they don't seem to play with the mental fragility Pittsburgh does. Boston will no doubt give them a harder fight, and a harder series, but in the end, I think the Blackhawks will solve Tukkaa Rask and score enough goals to win.

And besides, what's the alternative? Don't forget, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is one of the main reasons we had to suffer through the lockout...do you really want to live in a world where such a man gets to lift the Stanley Cup over his head for the second time in three years? Ain't NOBODY got time for that. Blackhawks in six.


Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2013 – Conference Finals Edition


(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (4) Boston Bruins

This is as absolutely amazing a final four as you could want. None of this 7th and 8th seed BS, just pretty much the top four teams (standings be damned) over the course of the season, squaring off for the right to go to the finals.

This matchup definitely seems to favor the Pens. After a shaky six games against the Islanders, they steamrolled the Senators, scoring goals in bunches and clicking at a very high rate on the power play. Boston's defense is deeper than Ottawa's, but they also play within a system and are not particularly speedy, which should rule out most of the chaos that Pittsburgh had such trouble with against the Isles.

The Bruins, who I frankly thought looked done and disinterested entering the playoffs, found another gear and dispatched the terrible New York Rangers fairly easily after their dramatic scare against the Leafs in round one, winning in the way that teams who have been there before tend to win. The Penguins are a whole different challenge, however, and the Crosby and Malkin lines figure to produce offense at a level they haven't yet seen.  Factor in the Bruins lousy penalty kill and I just can't imagine a way they manage to best the two-headed monster four times in seven tries. Or even twice. Pens in five.


(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (5) Los Angeles Kings

This is a real battle of titans that, honestly, could go either way. Though both teams' series went the distance in round two, I think the revelation in Chicago was "Maybe the are beatable", whereas the story in Los Angeles was "Man, Jonathan Quick is really, really good!" He's gonna steal a game, and he might steal two or three.

Still, the Blackhawks showed a ton of resiliency in coming back from a 3-1 deficit against Detroit, winning win they had to, and emphatically at times. Their forwards are incredible, and if they can get rolling and score goals... especially on the road... they should be able to move on.

It's seemed all season that this was the matchup we'd see in the Western finals, and it's a series I really can't wait to watch, 'cause it's gonna be good! Kings in seven.


Second Kid

There's a cliche about parenting that is no less completely true and valid: that unlike the first-born, over whom every bump, bruise and movement is fussed and monitored, the second kid can pretty much count on being completely left to his or her own devices, barring catching on fire or something, as portrayed in this illustration.


Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2013 – Semifinals Edition


(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (7) Ottawa Senators

I said before the series with the Islanders that it wouldn't be easy for the Penguins, and boy...it wasn't. The Isles were the better team for good stretches of play in the first round, and it really was a whole lot closer than the results will tell you. 

Conversely, the Senators dispatched Montreal with relative ease, in a brutal series that was more memorable for bloodshed than goal-scoring. I don't think they're quite as good as the Habs made them look, but they're confident and have a great goaltender in Craig Anderson playing at the top of his game.

I expect to see the Pens manage a return to basics and discipline in the same manner as they did when they lost multiple games, giving up tons of goals in the process, around the season's mid-point. They're better than they played against New York; now it's time to prove it. Pens in six.

(4) Boston Bruins vs. (6) New York Rangers

New York vs. Boston: It's a network executive's dream!

The Rangers relied on stellar goaltending to get past the once-surging Capitals, allowing zero goals in games six and seven to advance. They really struggled to score, however, a trend that plagued them all during the regular season as well.

Boston hung on by their fingernails, taking advantage of an historic collapse by Toronto in the final two minutes of their own Game Seven to move on. Honestly, I still can't figure out how these guys do it. They seem to be getting by on veteran experience alone at times. They're gutsy, though, and seem to be able to take it up a notch when they need it most.

I don't expect the Rangers to start shooting out the lights, but I think Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Co. will find the back of the net often enough to scratch through with a win. Sorry, New Yorkers, but it's the Rangers in seven.


(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (7) Detroit Red Wings

I've been watching hockey for a long time, and I gotta go back all the way to probably 1992 to recall a time when the Red Wings would be the underdog in this playoff matchup. Chicago can take another big step toward the Stanley Cup Finals by beating an old rival that has so often gotten the best of them. It should also be a fitting final act to this classic Original Six rivalry, with Detroit scheduled to move to the Eastern Conference next season. Blackhawks in six.

(5) Los Angeles Kings vs. (6) San Jose Sharks

Both of these team made quick work sweeping their opening round opponents, even if the Kings spotted the Blues a two-game lead before getting down to business. Now they meet for a rare playoff matchup between two California teams, and the stakes are high. For some reason, I think the Sharks will continue their hot streak and stun the favored Kings. It could be selfishness on my part, too, as I'm gonna be in San Francisco in late June and would love a chance to see a Stanley Cup game at the Shark Tank. 

Aw, who am I kidding, it's all selfishness. I'm sure I'll regret it, but I'm picking the Sharks in seven.

CRASS COMMERCIALISM DEPT: All of the original, hand-drawn art for this year's Stanley Cup picks will be on sale soon...but all of last year's art is currently available at my Etsy store, and on sale for 25% off through the month of May, when you use the code CUP13 at checkout!

Of course, if you'd like to go the extra mile and get a personalized, one-of-a-kind uni-girl illustration of your very own to your exact specifications, that information can be found here.