Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cinescape Illustrations on Parade... Plus Agents of Peril and Creepsville, Of Course

Way back in the 90s, I was employed by Sendai Publications, which evolved into MVP Media. Among the publications they produced was a television and movie sf/horror/fantasy publication called Cinescape. At the time, I wasn't doing much at the company after HERO Illustrated was cancelled. Every now and then, Steve Hockensmith and the art department would be putting the latest issue together and need a last minute illustration for the current issue before they could put it to bed. I became the last minute guy a few times.

I thought I would show you a few of them, a couple in color as they appeared in the magazine and a couple more directly from the artwork itself in B&W. Click on the images to see the larger versions. Here they are...

This is the first illo I did for the magazine, for a story about Hollywood turning its gaze on comic books. Fortunately, X-Men, Batman and Spider-Man happened and Shi didn't. Hot Stuff the Little Devil was never in development. I put that in as a joke. He appears again for another illustration I did, which is posted here below.

This next one was needed pretty fast, meaning "Now. Today.") They needed a picture of ET down on his luck. Here's what I gave them. I actually like this little piece a lot.

This unusual piece was done for a story on a company that had an interesting idea about how to get movies financed. Their concept was to attract desperate actors, fanboys and whomever else to pay to be seen in the movies the company wanted to make. Interesting concept, but as far as I knew, this was the last we ever heard from them.

This final piece was done way back when George Lucas announced the return of the Star Wars film series, which would be the first 3 Prequel Chapters. There were attempts to revive the old TV Battlestar Galactica. I was never a fan of the original series. Also, as far as I know, Richard Hatch was never fat. I have to admit that I enjoyed drawing all those props.

That's it for this week. Hope you liked the old zine stuff. Before you go on to your day, check out the Agents of Peril and Creepsville strips below. Next week starts a month of Halloween stuff, which means additional postings right here, kiddies. See you for the kickoff next time!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What Is Frank Up To? Besides Creepsville -- Some Artwork Hints and No Spoilers!

It was only last night that I finally got a chance to sit down and do some work on the photos for a second Party In Wisconsin bit of silliness. I found that I couldn't make myself do it, mainly because I was very creative on drawing comics stuff this week.

So, I thought it might be more interesting to show some of the stuff I did... which will, I hope, show how much fun I've been having.

This first piece features the Monster Patrol. As I work on things, I have found myself doing these Pin-Up pictures (as Stan Lee called them in the old Marvel Comics). I enjoy drawing them (and inking them, too), but I think the real reason is that I feel there are things to address about the characters, specifically in their design. I can't always explain or understand what I think is amiss, so I let my subconscious mind handle this, just letting the art happen. After some sketches, I will sometimes ink it. On this particular piece, I could hardly wait to ink it (I think that's a good sign). Here's what I ended up creating. [Let me also note that everything here is (c) & TM Franklin J Kurtz. All rights reserved.]

This next piece of art is for a project that I've been working on for a long time. I don't think I've ever shown this or even given a hint of it. I will say that it ties into the columns I used to write here under the name of "Confessions of a Monster Kid."

I had a great time doing this, and hope to finally show you it much sooner over later.

Here's a small teaser for a graphic novel that I'm working on. The reason I'm showing this to you is that it touches on demonstrating a small part of my creative process. A lot of what I do in drawing comics starts with little sketches and thumbnails, just to make a note of an idea I might have had. Whenever I'm out and about, I usually carry a sketchbook with me to do oddball doodles, etc. I must admit a lot of these drawings just end up buried in a box in my studio at home, but sometimes they become a part of project I am working on. When that happens, I usually do a more detailed pencil sketch to give me a better idea of how it will look and whether or not the design even works at all.

Here's a creature that made it through the final cut and will appear in a project I'm working on.

That's it for this week's Blog. I really want to get back to work on... okay, I'll tell you... the Agents of Peril comic. The old strips are almost gone and the new stuff is biting at the bit to be seen. As promised, here are this week's 2 AofP strips as well as a page from Creepsville.

Have a great week and get to sketching.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pronto Pups For All!!! ... and the Somewhat Vague Creepsville Connection. Toss in Agents of Peril, Shake Carefully. Serve and Enjoy.

Now that we returned from our big east coast jaunt, things here at the ranch have returned to very temporary order. After all, Halloween is just around the corner (my favorite holiday!!!).

This week, we were in Sandwich, Illinois, home of the biggest county fair (it is actually the Dekalb County Fair) in the state. We've been told countless times that it's larger than the State Fair, too. With the coming of the Fair, there also comes my my single favorite "seasonal" food item, the incredible Pronto Pup. The Pronto Pup looks like a normal everyday corndog, but nay nay my friends, such is not the case. This delicious king of corn dogs has a wonderful batter on it that when finished cooking turns into a lighter than usual covering that is just plain good... actually, it's really, really good.

Now, at the Sandwich Fair, the one and only Pronto Pup stand that I go to is just across from a building that has been called The Women's Building forever. The man behind the counter making these delicious dogs is named Barry (to make sure that you're at the right place, because there are other Pronto Pup booths.. and even bogus Pronto Pup booths... I kid you not!) ... who looks a lot like the late, great Jerry Garcia, but Barry's hair is longer. I'll add that this booth is very close to a gazebo that sells Fair t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.

I've been hitting this booth every year I've been at the Fair since I returned from the West Coast with some few missed. In fact, one year, I was there for its full five days and ate nothing but Pups... Oh, joy...

The connection to my Creepsville comic is that way back in 1996, when I was self publishing my Creepsville comic series under the Laughing Reindeer Press name, Pronto Pup became very useful. It was the second issue and featured a story wherein Rat and Percy run around the town tearing it up chasing after a bizarre creature called Doctor Nothing. The chase goes into an amusement park called Thrill Land. I drew a spread across those two pages and filled up the space with the kinds of things one might see at such a place... one of which was Barry's Pronto Pup stand, in which I drew in the man and 2 of his homeys.

Here's the page, plus the Pup stand.

I'm writing this early Saturday morning (actually about 7:30 am, a little later than I usually do). Just to alert you, the Fair is open today and tomorrow. If you just happen to find yourself there, do yourself a favor and get a Pup. Oh, and a lemon shake-up, too.

Now, I don't make a nickle off doing this. This is strictly a food item that I love made by people who care. Barry has been doing this for longer than I've been drawing Rat and Percy. I understand that dedication.

Just do me one favor, if you go there, please tell them that you saw this weird-assed show of Puppy love on this blog and that Frank sent you to them. They will take care of you. (Boy, I wish I had one of these things right now...)

This craziness caused me to delay those photos from another trip to Wisconsin that I said I would be posting here. Those will start next weekend. Here's a couple of odd teasers.

That's it for this week. Enjoy the Pups! Go Cubs! Go Bears! Go More Science High! Here are this week's helpings of Creepsville and Agents of Peril.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

I'm Back Again, With Creepsville and Agents of Peril In Tow... A Fearful Populace Asks, "What Up?!!"

What Up?

Once again, I had to hold off doing the Laughing Reindeer Blog, because I was nowhere near my 'puter (as Deathlok the Demolisher used to call his computer). In fact, I was on the road with Colette on a quest to get our youngest, Becca, started on her trip cross country (literally Syracuse, NY to Washington State) to her waiting school and classes in Journalism.

On the way to her on Friday, Colette and I decided to celebrate our 7th anniversary by taking a few hours to stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Much to my pleasant surprise, it was great. There was so many great artifacts on display that it was almost overwhelming. I'll try to put up some pictures this week... as soon as I can figure out how to do that with my cell phone.

Saturday, we spent the day with Becca and Johnny seeing their home for the last couple of years.

On Sunday, we all got into our cars and started our long trip home... which was brought to a stop once we got to our second planned stop: Niagara Falls. What an incredible sight. The water rumbled as it tore through its bed. As awe inspiring as this was, we really couldn't stay around, because we had to make Illinois that night (Colette and I still had to go to work the next morning).

Regarding the missing Blogs, I think last weekend's will have been the last for awhile. Next week I hope to show you pictures from a more recent party in Wisconsin (or is it Wiscon-Sin), which had something to do with Star Trek. Oh, and no bras were stolen or damaged.

Oh, and Wednesday this week is the day the Sandwich Fair opens. I'll be there, eating Pronto Pups like nobody's business.

Meanwhile, here are this week's Creepsville and Agents of Peril strips. Until next week, don't jump over any waterfalls in a barrell.