Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who Are the Agents of Peril?

If my memory serves me, between the Creepsville first series (published by GoGo Comics) and my self-published second series, I spent a lot of time working on another series called Agents of Peril.

Agents of Peril told the very odd story of the Frankenstein Monster working for the FBI, sent on a mission to a small town to investigate UFOs. There, he hooked up with a local equally strange plain-clothes police officer, Dick Protozoa. Together, this oddball team encounters loads of weirdness, bizarre hallucinations, mothman, and more strangeness.

The series was eventually posted on my website, Creepsville Online and evolving to Monster at least as early as 1999. After an extended period, Creepsville would follow with its own strip. I did a lot of work on AoP, but (unfortunately) never finished the story I was working on, because of health issues forcing me to close the site.

Looking at it now, I really like it. It's obvious (to me, anyway) that I was heavily influenced by Black Hole comic creator Charles Burns' work, whom I still enjoy a great deal. Like Burns' works, it is really a series that works best in black and white, due to my heavy use of ink.

You can decide for yourself, because I've decided to gradually repost those strips, in order. Maybe, by the time I get to the end of what's done, I'll take some time from the other stuff I'm working on to finish this story.

Please, let me know what you think.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Past, the Present and the Future...

I've been a very busy boy these days, somehow sneaking in some time on my comics projects while dealling with the important stuff at home. So, I thought I'd tease you all a bit with some of what's coming while explaining how I work.

Let's start with the future: I'm hard at work on two seperate comic projects right now. One involves Creepsville and other things (which I'll get to in a bit here). I thought I'd show you a very early stage in how I work on my comics... from my second project using a name with which I'm going to keep mum about for now.

The panel here will give you an idea how loose my pencils are initially. I prefer that looseness in rendering figures, which I think helps big time in the body language area of my characters. In the panel I'm showing here, I've actually started inking, which is not unusual for me. I ink what I like, what works... and then I may even go back and erase some of the pencils and redo them, changing elements or tightening them up. For example, the camera on the left side will be replaced. This project is a period piece set in the 50s and the camera looks too modern. I need to get some reference and will redraw it.

When I'm finally satisfied with the pencils, I'll ink it in full, erase the pencils and then tighten up with the ink. I don't know if that's normal, but it's how I work.

That same technique was used on the second piece of artwork here, which is a fake cover of a 60s era Brave and the Bold team-up type comic series. This piece and the story it belongs to actually first saw print in Big Bang Comics (#12, I think) published by Image. I'm going to be coloring that whole story for the project that includes Creepsville, which I mentioned earlier. I figured that a lot of you may not have seen this.

Regarding the Monster Patrol, much more lies ahead for them. I have a full comic story finished featuring the origins of this unlikely team as well as a penciled and half-inked follow-up. There's even a short team-up story where the titans momentarily hook up with Greg Hyland's Lethargic Lad that is fully penciled, except for some areas left open for Greg. Gotta get that one done, because not only is it a chance to work with Greg (one of my best buddies in the comics biz), but the story touches upon my affection for the Chicago Cubs. Monsters and the Cubbies? You'll see...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Creepsville Is Back?

I have to admit that my more recent work has not been on this wacky old comic book series, but there is a lot of unpublished material that I created that I'd like to see the light of day.

What you see here is the cover of what could have been Creepsville #7 or a stand alone Special. (Creepsville #6 was a never published Christmas story... but that's a tale for another time.) At about 40 pages, it is the longest story I ever did for the series.

I should also add that despite all that work already done, when I published Creepsville under my Laughing Reindeer imprint, I ended up not using a bit of this material. I crafted the second series of Creepsville along the lines of a serialized adventure-horror-comedy series; very influenced by Osamu Tezuka's work, particularly Astro Boy. For this second series, I redesigned a couple of the characters, most important being Rat and Percy. So, the older style stuff wouldn't work.

Years later, I'm back looking at it and thinking I should do something with it 'cuz it's actually a lot of fun. I've been scanning in the artwork for this issue and have started coloring it on the 'puter. Yes, Creepsville in color. When I feel like I have enough done, I'll start serializing on this site.

Who Was That Reindeer I Saw You With?

That was no reindeer. That was my life.

But seriously, folks... This blog thing started somewhat impulsively, posting bits and pieces of material mostly about other people's stuff. It's been a nice way to get back into the swing of things, creatively speaking. Now, I'm kicking it up a notch, sorta.

I'm at work on a few projects right now, and the bubbling pot of my brain is positively boiling over. I'm having a great time doing comics again, and I want to share it. So, on this page, I will be posting teasers, sketches, finished works (or links to such because of space limitations on this blog site) and whatever else I feel the need to pass along.

Hope you enjoy them.