Monday, December 17, 2012

Another double dose of the Phantom...

Very busy with work again -- not much time for the blog -- but here are the most recent Phantom strips.  I hope everyone's having a lovely holiday season!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Phantom on the phone!

In this week's Phantom Sunday, Diana actually shows up, hanging with Guran and Devil in the Skull Cave.  Funny, how in the early days of the adventure strips, this sort of flat screen picture-phone communication was a staple of the science fiction strips -- Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers stuff.  Now it's just everyday technology.
 Thanks to Alex Saviuk for once again sending me a scan of the quarter page print version of the strip. All panels but the logo are used here -- though the art is slightly squeezed to fit that tall logo panel in. It's interesting to see how the color shifts in the printing process -- there's more red in the mix -- and the subtle color fading on the video screen is pretty much lost.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Them bones....

The mystery of the sunken ship and the skeleton continues -- and another mystery is solved.  The other week, Spider-Man strip artist, Alex Saviuk, sent me a scan of a Phantom strip in the "quarter page" format -- a format I thought was no longer offered!  And it got me to thinking -- how would papers run the "tall panel" strips I've been doing, as it seemed to me, there was no way to reformat those strips for the quarter page.  See below for the answer!
  And here it is -- they skip the "drop panel" from the top row -- and add a larger (older) version of the logo panel!  Thanks, Alex, for sending this along!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Just finished this new SCARY MONSTERS magazine wraparound cover -- a tribute to movie make-up genius Jack Pierce. All Photoshop. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I shared these on facebook -- but they are certainly worth posting here on the blog as well.  Here are a bunch of trade ads for the 1933 King Kong, found on the Internet Archives.  These are from various issues of The Film Daily. Enjoy!

The suspense builds!

This Sunday's Phantom, posted for your enjoyment. Yes, I know it's Tuesday. I'm busier than usual right now -- commercial illustration, comic book work and commissions have filled my schedule to overflowing -- a nice problem to have for a freelancer, I suppose.  Still, it means I'm fighting the clock to make deadlines, and wishing some elves would show up Wednesday night to help fix Thanksgiving dinner! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The sunken ship -- a goof-up -- and the panel you didn't see

Here's the Phantom Sunday of 11-11-12 -- as seen on the web and in newspapers around the world.  But I didn't originally draw it quite this way.  The final panel was first drawn as you see it below the Sunday strip -- with the action going from left to right.  I'd pencilled, inked and colored the strip that way -- and was about to deliver it.  And then I realized I'd made a blunder.  

As drawn in the original final panel, the blast damage from the rockets fired by the jets would be on the opposite side of the ship from how I'd drawn it in that big panel in the middle row!  Ouch! So, with the help of Photoshop, I moved the inset Phantom close-up to the right, added the missing drawing created from the moving of the word balloon -- and then flipped the image of the ship and the jets, fixing the continuity issue.  I did neglect to flip the position of the big smoke stack, so there's still a small error in the artwork -- but not the big continuity blunder I initially made!  The mistake is preserved in the original ink art for the strip.

So there you have it.  I goofed.  I fixed (mostly) -- and now you have a little something extra to read about on my blog.

 Above: Corrected Phantom Sunday as published.  Below: Oops!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Revenge in Rhodia continues

The new story continues. Sorry to be slow about posting these -- busy, busy, busy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012



I'm currently working long hours to make a rather tight deadline on the MARS ATTACKS POPEYE comic book for IDW.  It'd help if I could skip drawing THE PHANTOM this week.  I'm okay with that, as I'm ahead of schedule on the strip -- but it'll throw my household budget a bit out of whack if I do.  So -- to make up for the lost income, let's see if I can sell a little original artwork, shall we? 

For a limited time, I'm offering these cover paintings for SCARY MONSTERS magazine at lower prices than posted on my website.  I do these covers digitally now -- so these are all from the earlier period when I was working with acrylic on illustration board, and represent almost all that I have left.  In the nearly 19 years that I've been creating these covers, most have found their way into collectors' hands, and I have very few in my files. All acrylic on 15x20 illustration board, unless noted. All discounted $50.00 from my website prices! Details posted below each pic.

Bert I. Gordon tribute.  Back cover images are a paper collage with some overpainting.  Sam Scare head in upper right is a paste-up. $150.00

DARK SHADOWS: Sam Scare face is a paste-up. Photo has glare on the right side, background blue is not actually lighter on the right: $200.00

DEATH RACE 2000, etc. Pic does not show pasted-up Sam Scare head added later -- upper right by ITs horn and Caradine's hood.  Hey -- it's Dick Miller! $200.00

PIEDRAS BLANCAS, etc.: This also has a small Sam face added to the right of the Gila monster, not shown here. Lettering is all done by hand on the board! And a couple of sexy babes among the creepy crawlies! $250.00

LUGOSI and KARLOFF: Sam face is paste-up. $225.00

KONG VS. T-REX: Colored inks on illus. board. No Sam face! $250.00

 KONG! $350.00

MONSTER SQUAD: Game box and Barnabas portrait are paste-ups. $300.00

Add $15.00 to cover shipping/packaging costs.  Additional discounts available for multiple purchases.  Email me at (or message me on Facebook if you're one of my fb friends) to reserve.

"Revenge in Rhodia" begins

A new adventure begins.  The first strip was inked digitally in Manga Studio -- the second, traditionally with ink on bristol board. Interesting events coming up....

Sunday, October 7, 2012

For those who came in late... the unseen Phantom!

Today's Phantom strip has an interesting back story.  Yes, it's a retelling of the character's origin -- something that's been done in the strip many times over the years -- often with the introductory caption "For those who came in late," but today's strip was originally intended to have a very different twist.

October is National Arts and Humanities Month , which King Features thought was something worth noting.  I agreed.  The notion we cartoonists were presented with was to do a Sunday strip without any artwork.  The tagline added to all the strips would be something like "Imagine a world without art" -- followed by some official logo and/or link to more information about Arts and Humanities Month.  No strip would be obligated to participate -- strictly a volunteer thing.

Our writer, Tony DePaul, had originally nixed the idea of taking part, as a new story would be just starting, and visuals were needed for that first page.  But I pointed out that the timing was just right for The Phantom -- The Power House Gang story would have just ended, and we could simply delay the beginning of the new adventure to the next week -- and do our stand-alone "artless" strip this Sunday.  I suggested we do the Phantom origin.

Tony agreed and quickly wrote the new strip. I designed it, and turned it in -- minus the official A&H Month tag, which was still under discussion.  Here's the "artless" strip as intended to be published today.

But this didn't appear in any newspapers today -- and the only place you'll see it is here on my blog.  It seems that not enough other strips decided to take part -- and so the promotion for the event was cancelled.  Of course we couldn't have this be published this way then -- and I'd already drawn the next few strips, all dated and delivered. So I had to add art to this artless comic strip.

Which wasn't quite that simple, since this had been written for no art -- and the copy was too heavy to leave (much) room for any drawing in several panels.  So Tony did a rewrite to allow room for some imagery -- and, for the first time, I got to draw the origin of The Ghost Who Walks.

So while we didn't get to promote the month long Arts and Humanities event, we did get to do a fun stand-alone strip.  I referenced previous versions of this from various Phantom artists, and paid homage to those (sometimes contradictory) versions with a few of the panels. I had a good time with the color, selecting hues from vintage printed strips to make for a "warmer" look to the flashback panels. I think Phantom fans will consider this one a treat -- and of course, next week, it's a NEW ADVENTURE!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Yes, it sounds crazy -- and perhaps it is.  Maybe that's the whole point.  Martin Powell has written, and I am drawing, a Popeye/Mars Attacks crossover one-shot comic book for IDW.  We're both huge Segar Popeye fans, so are going into this with much love and respect for the original comic strip -- and will attempt to stay as close to the classic version as possible.  We're also both crazy for '50s sci-fi, Wally Wood aliens and the original Mars Attacks trading cards.  Martin's script shows that affection -- and I hope my art (now in progress) will do the same.  The deadline's tight, and there is much left to do -- so excuse me while I hit the drawing board!!!

Going North for FallCon -- and maybe some psychobilly rockin'.....

I'll be back in the Twin Cities this weekend, attending FallCon.  I'll be doing sketches (yes, you read that right!), signing comics and selling art, as usual.  My latest project, MARS ATTACKS POPEYE (yes, you read that right!) has just been announced by IDW, and the writer of that upcoming one-shot comic book, Martin Powell, will be there as well.  Stop by and see us!

I'm very much looking forward to spending some time with my daughter and grandkids while I'm back in my old stomping grounds -- and also considering stopping by Memory Lanes on Friday night, since psychobilly band Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz are playing a gig there. I'm tempted to stop by my old haunt, Lee's Liquor Lounge to see Trailer Trash, too -- but  can't be in two places at once -- darn it!

See you there?

The Power House Gang concludes!

The tale is done.  Next week -- something special -- and then, a new adventure!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"A Criminal's Protest!"

The Power House Gang tale nears its end, with this penultimate page.  I'm working on a super secret ultra-cool project in addition to The Phantom right now -- so not much time for the blog.  Can't reveal the secret project until November -- but will have plenty to say about it then.  In the meantime, I'll post Phantom pages as time allows.

Oh!  I should remind you good folks that I'll be at Fallcon in Minnesota on October 6.  I'm looking forward to seeing some of my old Twin Cities friends -- and spending some time with my daughter and grandkids as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Late night visit

The Phantom visits his "old pal" Hendrik at Boomsby Prison.  I think this may be the first time Hero (the Phantom's horse) has appeared in my run of the strip.  The original art for this one is already in the collection of a Kansas City area Phantom fan and comic shop owner.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Masters of Zowie!"

At long last, here's a blog entry that has nothing to do with The Phantom!  Sorting through stuff in my studio, I came across this article from a 1941 issue of the digest-sized magazine Coronet.  I thought its profiles of cartoonists Chic Young, Ham Fisher, Al Capp, Milt Caniff -- and Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were well worth sharing. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Here's this week's Phantom strip.  Posted on time for once!  Three more weeks of this tale to go -- and then a new adventure.

Had a great time at the Free State Comic Con yesterday -- hanging out with friends Rick Stasi, Steve and Marianne Lightle, Jai Nitz, Ande Parks and more.  Met some great fans and brought home a few fun items for my collections.  Next convention I'll attend will be the one-day FallCon in Minnesota in October.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Two Sunday strips and the Free State Comic Con!

We're nearing the end of the Power House Gang story -- just a few weeks to go!  The 8/29/12 page below has a first for me -- the first woman with a speaking part since I took over drawing the strip in January!  It's been a testosterone fest so far -- but many more female characters are on the way.  

Two Phantom pages here, as I've fallen behind in my posts.  I've been quite busy with work and life -- and sometimes it's tough to keep up with all that's on my plate.  I've not posted much but my Phantom strips lately, and I regret that.  I wish I'd had the time to post about my weekend in Metropolis, IL for their Superman Celebration, or something about the unfairly maligned film John Carter, which I adore -- just to mention two examples.  

But the time constraints of work commitments and raising my kids mean I don't post as much as I'd like.  I'll try to post a little more -- and include a bit more variety -- when time allows.  But at least this is better than my website, I haven't updated the news page there since before my daughter was born -- and she's seven months old!

Tomorrow, I'll be a guest at the Free State Comic Con at the Douglas County fairgrounds in Lawrence, KS -- doing sketches and signing comics.   Here is a link to a list of the other comic artist guests at the show.  I'm spending today sorting art, comics and magazines -- getting things ready for the show.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Phantom art sales update! New art added!

In an effort to catch up a little on our finances, I'm offering a batch of Phantom Sunday strip art for sale.  Some of these are what went unsold in my previous listings -- but new pages have been added -- as well as some non-Phantom art.  Details on reserving/buying are at the bottom of the page.  No computer or furnace needing to be bought this time around, just a freelancer looking to get a little ahead of the ever-mounting bills!  Baby needs new shoes and all....

Sunday strip 4-22-12: Story panels one and two are digital "repeats" (somewhat altered from previous week). Moody Phantom close-up in panel 7. Was $250.00 now $225.00.SOLD

Sunday strip 5-13-12: First appearance of the Power House Gang. Phantom lurking in last panel.  Wire fence is digital.  Was $250.00 now $225.00 

 Sunday strip 5-20-12. Phantom in three panels with nice big 3/4 rear head shot.  I printed the blue line pencils way too dark on this one -- and, silly me, went ahead and inked it that way. Unlike the other originals, the blue line really does show on this one, which may be a distraction for some.  Was $250.00 now $200.00 

Sunday page 6-17-12: Phantom in two panels -- nice profile shot. Spatter effect in background of panel 6 is digital. Was $275.00 now $225.00.

Sunday page 6-24-12 -- Logo panel printed a little lighter than usual -- but doesn't seem as obvious in the original as it does in this scan.  Some of the background buildings are digital, but touched up and partially inked by hand. Nice big close-up of Phantom and some tricky panel/balloon placement! Was $300.00 now $275.00.


The following Phantom pages are offered for sale for the first time here -- images are quick cell phone camera shots, so not as clear as the scanned pages above -- but they should serve to show the art well enough. Paper looks a little gray here -- but is clean white bristol board.

7-1-12: Top right panel and circle inset are digital repeats of previous panels.  Phantom in multiple panels. Nice close up bottom left. $275.00

7-8-12: top middle panel is a digital repeat.  Phantom in several panels. $250.00

7-29-12: Phantom with guns blazing! $275.00 SOLD!

8-5-12: Full figure Phantom underwater. $275.00 SOLD.

Two non-Phantom pieces -- Superman and Batman ink and pencil 9x12 -- $100.00 for the pair. SOLD!(Blue cast in the background is from scanner, not on the art! Same for the scratch on the scanner bed's glass!)

Email me directly at to check on availability and to reserve.  I do take Paypal. I will update this listing as pages are sold.  For local buyers (in the KC area), I will gladly hand deliver your pages (or you can pick them up at the Free State Con in a couple weeks). In the US, price includes shipping -- and I'll toss in some surprise "extras" to sweeten the deal. Overseas buyers will need to add extra for shipping (amount to be determined, depending on location).  Thanks for looking -- and my apologies for the blatant hucksterism -- again -- but this seems to he most direct way to raise the bucks I need to keep the work flowing.  See you in the funny papers!