Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Power House Gang: Week Eight

The Power House Gang begin their run-through of their intended robbery -- but the Phantom is interfering with their plans!  I'm almost done drawing this story, as I try to get ahead of schedule on the strip.  Getting ready for my appearance at the Metropolis IL Superman Celebration soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Power House Gang: Week Seven

Just had a great weekend at SpringCon in Minnesota.  Saw a lot of old friends and met many great new fans.  Had the pleasure of meeting Golden Age comic book artist, Allen Bellman, as well as long-time pros Pablo Marcos and Jose Delbo.  I'd inked Jose's pencils back in the Tekno-Comix days, and was thrilled to finally meet him.  Learned that he ghost penciled The Phantom for Sy Barry back in the '70s!

The Power House Gang continues.  This week's installment below.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Power House Gang: Week 6

The Power House Gang story continues -- and we finally meet the "PHG."  My character sketches for the trio can be seen below the published strip.

We're getting ready for a trip back to the Twin Cities for SpringCon and a visit with my daughter and grandsons.  Hoping to see many old friends, too.  Finishing up a Scary Monsters cover and starting another Phantom strip today.

Monday, May 7, 2012

THE PHANTOM "Power House Gang": Week Five

The tale of the Power House Gang continues.  A few extras can be seen below.
 I "pencil" the strip in Manga Studio.  Below is a very early rough -- I'm just figuring out the storytelling and composition at this stage.
 After shooting some quick reference photos using Photobooth (with me as the model -- hey, I work cheap!) -- to check pose, drapery and lighting -- the drawing continues. I'm concerning myself with the characters here, knowing the backgrounds in this strip will be fairly simple.
 Here, ready for me to print on bristol board for inking, are the finished pencils -- backgrounds added and drawing tightened and revised.  Lettering and borders finished as well -- all digital.
After inking, this is scanned, the blue dropped out, and then colored in Photoshop.  See the first image up top for the finished results.  Hope you're enjoying the "extras" I post here -- if so, please leave a comment.  Thanks!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Free Comic Book Day report

Had a great time at the Free Comic Book Day celebration at Kansas City's Clint's Comics.  The store has been in business since 1967 (!) -- amazingly early for a comic book shop.  I wish I'd taken my camera along, so as to get some pics.  I was especially taken with the displays of owner Jim Cavanaugh's Western toy collection.  A glass cabinet chock full of Hartland figures of TV Western characters, complete with tags and boxes, knocked me for a loop!  

There was a great turn out -- and the store was busy for hours.  I enjoyed hanging around with my old pals Steve Lightle and Rick Stasi, both of whom were very popular with the crowd.  We met a lot of interesting folks, including Rudy Reyes of HBO's Generation Kill -- a very enthusiastic comic book fan.

Turns out store owner Jim is a big Phantom fan, and wanted some Phantom original art for his collection.  We made a trade, and I came home with the batch of books shown in the picture below.  I'd given up thinking I'd ever get a copy of 75 Years of DC Comics -- as it has a rather hefty price tag -- heck, it's rather hefty in every sense!  Anyhow -- I'm thrilled to add it to my "big book" collection.

 But the biggest thrill for me, is shown below.  I saw this boxed Roy Rogers toy on a shelf in the back room and remarked to Jim that this toy had ben a particular childhood favorite of mine -- but that, except for the figures, which I'd somehow managed to hold on to (and were missing from this set), it was long gone.  Jim took it off the shelf and handed it to me and told me to take it home!  I told him that was too generous, and I wasn't sure I could do that.  He then showed me his complete near mint version on display in a glass case in the store!  This was a lesser condition extra -- so, okay, it came home with me.

Here are the Pat Brady and Roy Rogers figures from my childhood version of this toy.  They've been sitting atop some books on my "cowboy" shelf for some time....

And here they are, reunited with Nellybelle the jeep!  Now to find a replacement steering wheel and Trigger!  Thanks, Jim!  Pat and Roy look mighty happy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Free Comic Book Day!


Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day -- and I'll be appearing at Clint's Comics in Kansas City.  Fellow cartoonists (and friends) Rick Stasi and Steve Lightle will be there, too.  Clint's will be giving away some of the FCBD selections (special issues from assorted comics publishers, produced specifically for this now annual event), and I'll have art, prints, books and such on display and available for sale.  I should be set up by 11:00 AM and will hang around as long as people are interested in having me there.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Power House Gang -- Week Four

The latest in-print Phantom Sunday strip.  Again, I'm taking advantage of the new format to draw some big panels. I liked the central Phantom figure enough to use it on the banner I recently had made for convention appearances.  For the banner, I reworked the face a little.  Smiling Phantom worked in context -- but for a promo image, I think he needed the serious face.

And yes, the image got squeezed a little for the banner.  I'm not a fan of how some papers disproportionately squeeze the strip art for publication (ugh!) -- but here the banner format forced the issue.  I tried to keep the distortion to a minimum -- and I think the end result looks fine.  The background is made up of assorted Sunday strips drawn by me -- color and black scaled way back so as to let the foreground image and copy dominate.  If you see me at a comics or collectors' show, I'll have this thing set up behind me -- it's HUGE!

And for those who like to see such things, I'm including the reference photo of me posing for that shot.  Much of the strip is drawn out of my head -- but for the sake of accuracy and expediency, I often shoot a quick photo (hurray for "Photo Booth") to check the pose, lighting, etc.  As you can see, the Phantom has broader shoulders and a stronger jaw than the unshaven fellow who draws him. 

Come back soon for more!  And if you're in the Kansas City area, please stop by Clint's Comics this Saturday for Free Comic Book Day.  I'll be there with fellow artists Rick Stasi and Steve Lightle.  I'll have original Phantom art (among other stuff) on display, and for sale. I should note that once the pages see print, the original art is available for sale to collectors.  Feel free to contact me if interested.