Friday, July 28, 2006

Post Comic-Con 2006

Wow!! Comic-Con was a blast!!! STill recovering from it all. Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came by our booth. Thank you, thank you for all the support and encouragement!!!!!! It was truly great meeting all of you. It's so great to now have a face with the name!

I'll be gone for a week for vacation, so I won't be posting til August 4. At that time, I want to start a blogroll of all those great folks I met at the Con. I also want to start posting new work for my next book. As mentioned before, I hope to do a hardcover, color book next time around. As far as Volume 2, they will be available through Stuart Ng BUT not until I return after August 4. THere is some interest in republishing Volume 1 again, but that is still pending. Of course I'll keep ya posted.

In the meantime, keep drawing, keep creating, and of course, fists high!!! Saludos mi brothers and sisters!!! Catch you in a week!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Update: Comic-Con 2006

(pages from Bits & Pieces, Volume 2)

Just hours away, and Comic-Con 2006 begins!!! This is quite exciting! As I wait anxiously for my books to arrive from Kinko's, I can't help but reflect how the year has gone since the last Con. Quite honestly, last year I wasn't planning to go to the Con, but my buds Patrick Morgan and Jose Lopez encouraged me to go, so at the last minute, I pulled off two all-nighters and got the book made. Fairly low rent, but a book nonetheless. I really had no idea what was to come.

What happened was that I met such amazing artists from all over and was just blown away at the talent! The one thing which really made an impact to me was that there was a brotherhood of artists, pros and non-pros who came together and presented their work as their own!!! It was refreshing if not inspiring to see folks doing it for themselves. I realized that self-publishing was a means to get your work out, without the scrupolous review of a committee, or the approval by countless producers and wannabee "creative executives". What the Con meant to me was a rekindling of how great it was to be an artist again.

The Con has it usual fare of sensory overload! Waves and waves of people walking thru aisles, shopping, glancing, looking, and smiling. By Sunday afternoon, I was exhausted,... but man I was so excited inside!! What followed after that and to the months to come was the blog phenomenom. The blog has been my creative engine if not a latenight addiction to feed my creative hunger. Just tune in every night and open a link, to another link, to another and you are constantly presented with such kickass, amazing talent from all over the world!!!

Well, here it, Tuesday night, as I wait patiently for my books. I look forward to renewing the spirit and kinship I made with my brethren from a year ago. The future is indeed bright, and I can't wait!!

Other brothers who will be attending are:

Louie del Carmen and Octavio Rodriguez (booth H3)
Steve Silver (booth H6)
David Colman (booth H5)
Mike Mattesi from the Entertainment Art Academy (booth 1021)
Garrett Shikuma (booth 1032)
Katzenjammer Studios (booth G7)
One Sick Individual (aka Edwin Haya) (booth D6)
The Those Guys (booth 1132)
Animation Mentor Online School (booth 5520)

... and this great list from Clay Kaytis from Animation Podcast.

I'll only be attending Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you're interested in Volume 2, please stay posted. I'll have information after the Con as to where you can get a copy.

As far Volume 1, I still have some copies available at the Booth. You can also purchase it through Stuart Ng or Bud Plant.
And for those interested, I'm working on a hardcopy book for next year's Con where I'll be presenting my personal projects and some visual development pieces. I'll give updates as time goes by on the content and so forth.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Gracious and Oh So Talented Randall Sly

One of the great things lately regarding the blog phenomenom is the opportunity to discover amazing artwork and talent from ALL over the world. One person who I think has made a great accomplishment in providing a valuable if not inspirational resource is Randall Sly. He created CharacterDesignBlogspot. and it's wonderful. A definite bookmark for those who want an inside view as to the some of the great character designers and illustrators working today.

I'm also pleased to share that Randall has an amazing blog featuring his work here. Randall, you've been holding out on us. Your work is simply beautiful!!!!!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Inspiration - Ed Li

Ah, the wickedly talented Ed Li.

Ed as you can see does it all. He is a superb draughtsman, both traditionally and digitally. His drawings, even his sketches are so inspirational! His location studies are what I've always wanted to strive for in my drawings: quick, energetic, and informative.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bits & Pieces, Volume 2

Yay! I finished the cover for my sketchbook. Now to go to Kinko's to get it done for the Con. The format is very similar to volume 1. I'm planning to make a hardcover book for next year featuring more layouts and visual development pieces on my personal projects. Too early to say what's in, but I'll keep ya posted. I'll also have more information on Volume 2 later on the week as to where you can get a copy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Inspiration - Simon Rodgers

Here is the ferociously talented Simon Rodgers. I met Simon when we worked together on the Tarzan TV series at Disney some years ago. I vividly remember how talented this guy was!!! Beautiful, dramatic work and great epic compositions. The first piece above was done for a "Conan project". Can't wait to see more! It's really a treat to see him work digitally too. The man is a monster, not to mention one hell of a ping-pong player and a great guy to boot! Bookmark Simon at his blog here.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Comic-Con 2006

It's almost here! Me and my buds Patrick Morgan and Jose Lopez will be at Table G3 at the San Diego Comic Book Convention from July 20-23. Patrick will be selling his new "Sketchbook, Vol. 2" and Jose will be selling his new book "Mariachi Samurai, Vol. 1". I'll be selling "Bits & Pieces, Vol. 2." Should be a great weekend. Hope to see you there!

This is a quick sketch for the Amazing Mr. Uli Meyer. This is a working sketch for what's to come!!! And Senor Matt, your's is in the works. More to come!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

A small story about friends ...

I'd like to share a very cool story that my cousin Julie sent me. The message is pretty clear.

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.

His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd."

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.

My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. " They really should get lives.

" He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes.
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came! , and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! " He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college.

Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation.

I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous!

Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. " Thanks," he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends...
I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.

I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved.

My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.
Not until that moment did I realize it's depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions.

With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse.

"Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

There is no beginning or end.. Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is mystery.

Today is a gift.

Anyway, I thought this was a very cool story. I always ask myself, "how can we make this world a better place"?. "How can I make this world a better place"?. Not easy answers. BUT, being nice is definitely a great place to start, and the world needs people like the narrator who reached out to help someone during their low points. And friends, near and far, are some of the greatest gifts one can have. Anyway, draw on good people.