Thursday, August 30, 2007

Redesigning the Devil

The other major project I am working on is getting a new version of The Devil's Candy Store website up to replace the single placeholder page we have now. It's coming along swell, but I want it to be done. Now.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Horror

One of my favorite things to do is create posters for the theater. I am currently working on one for my friend Charley Sherman's WildClaw theater troupe. It is an adaptation of the seminal horror classic, The Great God Pan. Here are some sketches showing some progress towards the final piece.

After reading the script (but before I spoke with the director/adaptor, Charley), I took a stab at an image that would capture the essence of the play. These elements seemed to be a Victorian leading lady with creepy monsters. The sketch is a lady with her face in partial shadow and monsters creeping from beneath her skirt. After showing this to Charley, we discussed the play and realized this image was wrong for many reasons, including possibly giving too much away. Plus, it wasn't a "grabber".

The next thought was much more "Alien" chestburster. More movement and more possibilities with composition. And Charley liked that it read HORROR play much more than the first.

Charley was wondering if we should place some monsters into the scene, as they would be in the actual play.

We wrapped up our two and a half hour discussion confident that I had a handle on several ideas for the poster. One issue was trying to find a POV for the lead character in the poster. Should she be looking straight at the viewer? I gave that a stab here to think about it. I don't always sketch the whole poster, just the part I want to play with.

It wasn't quite working, so I went back to thumbnails of the whole design and settled upon a centered image of the woman wrapped in monsterous tentacles that are reaching skyward. At her feet would be the other monsters in shadowy silhoutte.

I drew a larger version in pieces on tracing paper. This one is about 11" x 23". The proportions are off for the typical 11" x 17" poster, but it gives me the elements to play with. I took the monsters out, because they drew your attention away from the dynamic attention of her reaching up towards the title of the play.

I like this sketch and so does Charley. I think we're on our way.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Beating the Odds

Went to Arlington Racetrack today with Julienne and Mary. Bet on seven races. The horses I bet on won four of those races. Four winners. Whew. I hope I didn't use up all of my luck for the six years.

Now, back to work.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Covers by Jon Foster and Stephan Martiniere

Over at The Art Department, Irene Gallo's excellent blog, she has posted the new cover by Jon Foster for the Dragonback series.

She also has the new cover by Stephan Martiniere for the book, Escapement, by Jay Lake.

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Indy GenCon, Professor Dorman, and Sikozu

Yet another trip and convention this summer. This time, Dave and Denise Dorman, Julienne and myself loaded into Dave's car and headed to Indianapolis. Dave was invited by Durwin Talon to Visionfest 2007 at IUPUI to speak on Sequential Art.

The Visionfest 07 Guest Speaker Panel (Durwin Talon, left/Dave Dorman 4th from left)

And while we there, Denise and I met with a few artists and 3D modellers to discuss The Devil's Candy Store. There also happened to be the Indy GenCon celebrating it's 40th anniversary. Saw some fun stuff, but the highlight was meeting Australian actress, Raelee Hill. She played Sikozu on the amazing Farscape. In person she is charming and funny and pretty as a picture.

Raelee Hill as Sikozu in Farscape

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Friday, August 17, 2007


Dave and Denise Dorman and I are sitting in a bar in the city of Indianapolis where the GenCon Gaming conference is being held. The table next to us is filled with guys who are 20/30-something with ponytails and beards being very loud and rowdy.

Me: Man, those guys are loud.
Dave: Well, they're gamers.
Denise: How do you know?
Dave: I could tell the minute we walked in here.
Me: Dave's got gamedar.

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Pink Raygun Interview

Pink Raygun came by the Rolling Thunder booth at the San Diego Comic-Con where The Devil's Candy Store was hanging our shingle and did a fun interview with Denise Dorman and myself. Lisa Fary and John Dallaire of Pink Raygun were very cool.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Shimmering Resumes

My buddy, Paul Freiberger, has a new site called Shimmering Resumes. Check it out if you are interested in enhancing your career and may want to consider a new resume or some career coaching. I worked for Paul at the thinktank Interval Research Corporation and he is one smart mofo.

Paul also co-wrote the definitive book on Silicon Valley - Fire in the Valley - with Michael Swaine.

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William Gibson - Spook Country

One of my favorite authors, William Gibson, was in Evanston today reading and signing his new book, Spook Country. He is always charming and funny and today he had the largest crowd this Barnes and Noble has ever had for a signing.

Supercide and Gibson looking at my Burning Chrome poster

Bill was happy to see me and I was happy to see him

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Wizzie World ChiTown-style 2007

Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica

To be honest, I went to the convention in Chicago this year for one thing and one thing only. To meet Tricia Helfer of BSG. Number 6.

She was great. After many hours of signing everything people put before her and sitting for every photo possible, she was still the sweetest, charming young lass from Alberta that one could ask for. And yes, she's that tall and that beautiful in person.

Alex Wald manning our Artists Alley table

Oh yeah, I was in Artists Alley, too. Alex and I were hawking our wares with Alex being the much more successful one. Things are looking up lately for Alex. He is the colorist on a new Star Wars book, among many other things.

Bill Reinhold

Alex, Linda Lessmann, and Leanna

Leanna's New Tattoo (she designed it herself)

Linda Lessmann

Mike McCormick, formerly of First Comics

Mike was my BSG pal at the con. He was kind enough to wait in line me for Tricia Helfer's autograph. And if you have ever waited in line with me, you know what a sacrifice that was. Thank you Mike.

Serena Guerra

Serena and Jeff were at the table next to Bill and Linda, along with fellow artist, Dave Kovacs, and were part of our little Alley community.

Dave Kovacs

Lydia Burris

Lydia made the rounds of the tables like a trooper. New to comics and the big city, she is taking on comic books with her own work. Her enthusiasm reminds me of Willow Dawson.

Black Canary and Batgirl

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wizard World Chicago - Pre-show Press

Alex Wald and I were interviewed for a nice little piece by Michael Bonesteel of the Pioneer Press. Just in time for the old Wizard World. This link will take you there.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

SDCC 07 - Meet the Convention

A spot of color in the darkness

Jabba the Hut and Denise make nice

The Joker and Harley at the Rolling Thunder booth

Blade Runner everywhere

The Batmobile - no matter how many times I see it, I love it.

Denise, Tony Swatton, and a Pirate Lass

SciFi Channel Mind Control Device

They're alive!!! And invading Alex's personal space.

Sunday afternoon. I know the feeling.

See you next year!

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Friday, August 03, 2007

SDCC 07 - Meet The Devils

San Diego Comic-Con 2007. Exhausting, exhilarating, ass-kicking.

One of the best things about Comic-Con this year was the chance to meet a lot of the people involved in The Devil's Candy Store adventure.

Stormtrooper Elvis, Jack, Denise, and Dave Dorman

My new business partner, Denise Dorman, and her husband Dave Dorman made this an exceptional trip. Their friendship and con experience made this event happen in all the right ways. Thank you, Denise and Dave. It was a pleasure to meet Darlene who took care of Jack while we took care of business.

Denise and I also did an interview with Lisa Fary and John Dallaire of Pink Raygun.

And now, in no particular order, the Devils and some friends:

Mark Nagata and Alex Wald

Alex Wald, The Devil's Candy Store Art Director, met up for the first time in human form with his longtime pal, Mark Nagata of the Max Toy Company. Alex will have some work in a show Mark's putting together at Chicago's Rotofugi called Toy Karma.

Christopher Moeller

Craig Elliott and Amy

Batgirl and Jon Van Fleet

Scott Hampton

Durwin Talon

The lovely Kristina, Stephan Martiniere, and Donato Giancola

We had the good fortune of having our portion of the booth directly across from Donato's booth where we got to know Donato's beautiful and charming helpers, Christina and Rocky. They shared their space with Cathy and Arnie Fenner of Spectrum.

Jon Foster and Denise Dorman

Mike Kennedy and his fiance, Liz

Tom Baxa

Joey Wester and Christopher Moeller

Joey is this dazzling redhead whose work you've seen many, many times, but just don't know it. Joey is the premiere painter of those paintings you see in television and movies in the characters' surroundings.

Denise and Dave Dorman and Clydene Nee

Clydene was instrumental in many good things to come our way and we thank her for it.

Jack and the Chocolate Box

Beth and Phil Burnett

Phil was my fellow BSG geek and thankfully one of us made it into the panel. Of course, this meant that Beth had to sit through four hours of geekville and Danny Bonaduce questions.

Dean Haglund and Patti (and the Joker)

A big surprise was meeting Dean and his beautiful girlfriend, Patti, who turned out to be excellent dinner companions. Both were charming and funny and Dean had stories that ranged from Buddy Hackett to Ur Castles and beyond.

Others in The Devil's Candy Store circle that were a joy to meet were Tom Carroll of Rockstar Games, Kevin Anderson, and Rebecca Moesta.

We also ran into Howard Chaykin, Brom, Olivia DeBerardinis, Geof Darrow, Peter Kuper, Tony Akins, Joshua Ellingson, Alice Bentley, Bill Reinhold, Peter and Anya from the Blick Forums, Mitch O'Connell, and Steve Rude, among others.

And Kathy Tanaka came to visit!!!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Hedrons

I'm writing this in that buzzing glow one gets when you've just heard a new band that is just right, right now. I was checking out who was going to be at Metro and The Hedrons appeared as a second act on a bill. I just missed the show, because I was at the Comic-Con. I went to their webpage where there is plenty of music and videos and holy fucking shit is this just the kind of music I want RIGHT NOW.