Archive for December, 2006



It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. The old idiom about the older one gets the faster time seems to fly by is absolutely true. As a kid, time seemed to just crawl by– days seemed to stretch on almost indefinitely… and years seemed like eternities. Now that I’m a middle-aged, grey-haired man, time seems to flow by like mercury. Time has especially become rather oppressive for me in that I’m always battling against it to meet deadlines. I find myself looking at the calendar constantly and fretting over how quickly the days seems to slip by as my deadlines loom ever larger. I don’t remember feeling that overwhelming sense of dread that hits me on occasion back early in my pro comics career. I was always cognizent of when assignments needed to be finished, but I never stressed out over them as I have over the past several years. I always feel as though time has become my enemy lately– it’s an odd feeling.

2006 was an strange year for me. After 3 years of relative security in my assignment working on FANTASTIC FOUR with Mark Waid (I’ll just ignore the whole ‘firing of Mark Waid’ fiasco entirely), this year has been a bit more tumultuous. Some of it is my own doing. While I was more than a bit dissatisfied with the creative aspects of working on the FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN title– I certainly couldn’t argue with the sales success of the book launching a major SPIDER-MAN crossover– and the lucrative repercussions of that crossover. I really haven’t spoken much about why I left the title in the past year– but some times a creative team really clicks… and some times they don’t. I just never felt comfortable with the kinds of stories that I was having to draw with the book– even after the OTHER crossover ended– and so I moved on. The last half of the year was an odd smorgasbord of assignments. I had the opportunity to work on a Stan Lee plot with the STAN LEE MEETS THE SILVER SURFER comic. Beyond the novelty of being able to say I drew something written by “The Man” himself– it was also, without a doubt, the briefest sketch of a plot I’d ever had to work with. It gave me a minute idea of the kind of loose creative process that must have been the norm back in the birth of the Marvel Universe (I’ve heard stories of entire issues being drawn by Kirby, Ditko, et al after only a quick phone conversation with Stan). That book was followed up by two issues of MS. MARVEL– a character that I’ve never had the opportunity to work on– and so I can add her to the litany of creations I’ve had the experience of drawing in the length of my career to this point. It has become quite a lengthy list. And probably the oddest– and least expected–of that list would be THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-HAM. Not only did I get the chance to draw that anthropomorphic analogy of SPIDER-MAN on one of the dozen cover variants I did during the OTHER crossover event– but I got to draw the cover and a chunk of pages for the ULTIMATE CIVIL WAR SPIDER-HAM CRISIS (FEATURING WOLVER-HAM) #1. It’s the kind of thing that if you’d told me I’d one day be working on back when I first got in the business, I’d have thought you were nuts. But that’s the thing about this industry– and really, life in general– you never know what’s around the next corner.

It’ll be interesting to see what 2007 has in store.

I hope you all have a wonderful NEW YEARS celebration. And be safe, most of all.

This is Entry 319.




I’m leaving this weekend for my parent’s’ house for the Christmas Holiday. Whatever holiday you celebrate… or even if you DON’T do holidays… I hope you have a great weekend and I’ll be back next week some time. The posts might be pretty light. I might not be back until Wednesday night or Thursday morning… so I might not get another post up ’til Friday. I suspect you’ll all be recovering from whatever festivities you engage in… so there’ll be no harm done.

See you next week…!

This is Entry 318.




Over on my forum (that’s right…. don’t forget I also have a message board if any of you’d like to communicate/chat about stuff other than this blog) someone suggested I draw a sketch LINK and/or any other characters or settings from the wonderful LEGEND OF ZELDA video game series. I was grasping for ideas this morning, so I thought I’d go ahead and draw LINK, even though I usually don’t take on suggestions very often for sketch ideas. I’ve always wanted to own a newer generation NINTENDO system– mainly to get some of the updated ZELDA games. I used to play ZELDA all the time when I was in college… it was very addicting. I also thought that for the sketch today, I do it all in blue line… I like just drawing with the Sanford COL-ERASE blue pencils… they’re kind of waxy (but not TOO waxy) and it makes it fun to do shading and rendering with that slightly waxy feel.

OK… that’s it for today. I’ve gotta keep it brief.

Have a great day.

This is Entry 317.




I couldn’t think of anything topical to draw today, so I thought I’d just warm up with a good ol’ fallback with SPIDER-MAN jumping off a rooftop that, now that I look at it, is very, very similar to the cover I did for FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #1. Well, when it doubt, repeat yourself.

Well, yesterday’s experience was a lot of fun… very TIRING… but very fun. We arrived in Charlotte a little later than we should have, I think…. because I had no idea how huge the tailgating atmosphere was in the city before a game. We had to park about 5-6 blocks from the stadium because every lot nearby was absolutely filled with folks grilling, drinking, and partying. As it turns out, many of these folks don’t even go into the stadium…. they’re just there for the festive football tailgating experience. And there were some very experienced, professional tailgaters there, believe me. I saw some very impressive setups on the walk to and back from the game. For our part, we had one little old grill that we sat on the ground– and we sat on coolers and the back of my KIA’s hatch (although I did a nice fold-out chair with me that I relaxed in on and off). It’s a very friendly climate, with people sharing food and drink back and forth… and it was all very cool. I was the designated driver, so I stayed away from the alcohol except for a beer during the game– but it was one of those little beers in the plastic bottle that sports stadiums are selling these days.

As for the game itself– there were as many Steelers fans there as there were Panthers fans… and I THOUGHT that the Panthers would play up to the playoff atmosphere that was permeating the area since if they lost this game, any chance of them making it to the post-season would be gone. Unfortunately, the Panthers played in a very sluggish manner– almost like they didn’t care. Maybe without the injured Jake Delhomme in to play quarterback they just gave up. I dunno. But they certainly didn’t play with any urgency, so they were soundly trounce by the Steelers 37-3. Oh, well… it was still great to watch my first pro football game, even if it wasn’t much of a competitive affair.

So– I loved the experience… but I was very happy to get back home last night. I got up at 5:30 AM to get the day started… and I got back home right before 10 PM. I went to bed as soon as I got in.. I was numb. I was really feeling my middle-age by the end of the day yesterday.

OK.. that’s it for today.

This is Entry 316.



I’d like to thank Royce Thrower for sending me a nice scan of the sketch I did for him at the PARTS UNKNOWN one-day show back on the 9th of this month. I was only able to do two sketches that day– and both of them were for the Thrower bros. I liked the way this SERRA sketch came out (and thanks for asking for one of my favorite characters to draw, Royce)– so I asked for the scan– and thought I’d share it here with you.

I’m pretty excited about this upcoming weekend. I told you about going to see my first pro baseball game back during the BALTIMORE COMICON thanks to the generous John Higashi buying an entire block of tickets for the pros attending the show to go to the game where the Orioles took on the Yankees. Well, this weekend, I’m going to be attending my first pro FOOTBALL game. Joe Oaks, a guy I work out with at the gym, got a bunch of tickets for this weekend’s home game between the Carolina Panthers taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Someone that Joe works with is a Panthers season ticket holder– and isn’t planning on attending this game, so Joe, me and a couple other buddies will be heading down to Charlotte on Sunday to catch the game. I’m really excited about this. I’ve always wanted to go to a pro football game… and now I’m going!

OK… I’m gonna keep it brief for today. Have a great weekend, all.

This is Entry 315.