Oct 30, 2007


I had some tea at some place in Piedmont the other day. Licee. No. Lackee. Leekee. The name of the tea was something like that. It had those scary balls at the bottom that look like rat eyeballs or large fish eggs. Whatever the case it was excellent. I even ended up liking those insect eggs or whatever the fuck those things are.

I drew this picture of some dude sitting like a foot and a half to the side of me. Luckily he left so I didn't have to explain how I stole his soul and put it on paper. Remember this is a tea place. A few miles from Berkeley. They'll think shit like that. Anyway it was done with acrylic ink, ink, and white charcoal pencil on gray tinted paper.

The other night I hit on a beer wench(that's what she called herself, I told her never to let anyone call her a wench). Mendoza was convinced I'd chicken out since she was the cutest there. The singer of a band I was watching cracked his head open. My friend Taylor said he heard Mendoza on a video tape later say, "Come on keep playing, it's just a little blood, thats what we came for". Mendoza is so evil sometimes I think we must bow to him. I drank 151 proof. That was pretty much my halloween in Berkeley.


Oct 27, 2007

Of Mud Sharks and Zeppelins

The title is a reference to a crazy story that supposedly happened involving some famous people, a big fish, and a groupie. On drawing Jam over at the Drawing Board:
(not work safe)
The picture is all right. Once you do something on this kind of paper it's really hard to fix it. The face didn't capture the the girls face and I drew the whole thing while watching Hostel 2. Acrylic paint and white charcoal on cardboard paper(just brown construction paper). My next one is way better. This girl is laying in mud, hence part of the name.

I'll get into Hostel 2 later. The main girl is Fantasticus. In other news, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is not going to be Wonder Woman. Cobie Smulders(one of the better names on the planet earth) isn't either. Why do I care? Because I have a vested interest in any girl who looks like Wonder Woman or is smoking hot(or in the case of Cobie, smuldering hot...sorry).

I have to get my Blade Runner paintings ready for the DVD coming out. It's my all time favorite movie.

Maybe this is lame, but I went and saw a Weezer cover band that was actually note perfect. That was after the Cure cover band who was pretty good. And a wierd Duran Duran cover band. It was fun. I'm a sucker for cute girls in costumes(thank you, kittens of SF, Dorothy from Kansas, Qouthe Keon:"I'm never seen a Dorothy who wasn't hot" ). Good sushi boat food. Clement street, SF.


Oct 23, 2007

Iron Fist/Book Reviews/Mac

Mendoza requested I draw Iron fist and I did. I think it is a good drawing, although it is weak in several respects. I obviously tried to cover up some weaknesses in effects and details. But, at a visceral level I like it a lot. I'm thinking of painting the original sketch I drew in my sketch book. It's a little different and maybe it can give me the chance to draw a simpler more powerful design. I have a Vampirella sketch fully pencilled and ready to be inked.

My days have been increasingly dull and uneventful. The ladies have all but disappeared from my life. Tv is actually getting boring for me(I find good stuff, ask anyone). The books have been all right.

Marcelo Frusin drew an amazingly cool annual of Wolverine that he colored himself. It is stunning with an original, yet realistic pallette. J.H. Williams(who I still need some original art from) drew three issues of Batman that were the best that comic has seen in decades(aside from the wonderful Batman Black And White series). Tomm Coker finally came back and drew an issue of the Ride that kicked ass and has an issue of Moon Knight coming out that is rad. After the Western he did a while back this is a good year for him. So comics have been good this last half a year.

I finished Steven King's the Dark Tower. The first four books were inspired madness. The last three, even when they got violent were okay at best, and sometimes flat out filler(the violence was the only thing keeping me awake because the plot was useless). In the last few pages he makes a good point that the end of the story isn't the important part. It's getting there. The journey. Unfortunately he fucked that up. And luckily the last twoo closing chapters were great. Otherwise all that made up languige stuff was super irritating.

Reading Last Call by Tim Powers right now. It is fucking great so far. It's like a magical realism take on poker playing useing tarot cards(he even made up really cool way of playing called Assumption). And people are embodiments of ancient gods and figures. Bugsy Siegel is the Fisher King. Another dude is the Green Knight. Not literally, just in a sense. And all kinds of things can be divined by poker, cards, tarot cards, astrology, luck, and chaos physics. It's really cool and crazy and smart. Like a comprehensible Gravities Rainbow. I read it because I thought tarot cards were cool as clues to very old archetypes and meanings that have lasted for centuries(I'm not into them for all the mystical crystal bullshit new spirituality). I always thought that Joseph Campbell(scholar on achetypes and myths) really missed something by skipping the meaning of the cards and why they have lasted so long(hell I can see parallels to even Star Wars in cards[the Old Man, the Magician, the Fool, The Knights]).

Also read The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. One of the coolest main characters I've read in a while who only wants one thing: Revenge. He lives in future where people can teleport by will so prisons are underground and in the dark. He has this huge tattoo on his face that makes him look like a tiger. One character is so irradiated that no one can be in a room with him for more than five minutes. And the novel has a Dues Ex Machina that actually is good. Excellent and it still holds up after fifty years.

The abduction drama from the BBC and now on HBO called Five Days is very well written. Just when I thinnk its going to be lazy and cliche it goes somewhere completely different and uncharted. Only five episodes. Recommended.

I apparently have an unhealthy obsession with Mac(the make up company) counter girls. My sister has figured it out and uses it as an excuse to make me go there and buy her make up all the time. I'm a sucker for women who know hot to wear make up. I went out with a girl once who all the counter girls just loved(because she was one of their own, a hot semi-goth girl).

The cat is my cat Bean. I did it with Gesso on the black cover of my old sketchbook. I intended to color the eyes but never did. She use to belong to an ex girlfriend but now the cat loves me more than anything else in the world.


Oct 19, 2007

A couple of airport sketches

Still haven't kept up with posting here or on my other blog. Haven' even drawn all that much thanks to work, reading, and watching some movies here at home.

These were done in Denver, I think, while we waited for our delayed flight. Relatives told me that there was a bomb scare at Oakland (where I was flying to), but I didn't know that as my cousin drove me to the airport.

The two bald heads that you see here are obviously two different people at the same gate, so I was surprised at how shiny both of them were. I didn't really make that clear with the five minute PS coloring job on these, but believe me, you'd want to have a pair of sunglasses around these two gentlemen. I didn't realize how still some people sit while waiting for their flight while others fidget a lot, and move around like a sugared four year old.

I also noticed that ever since I downloaded the latest driver for my scanner, the shadow in the gutter of the sketchbook is more pronounced. My sketchbooks aren't any thicker, so I don't know why this is happening. If you look at my drawing from inside the plane, a lot of info is actually lost. I'll figure it out when I have the time.

Again with the shiny, bald head. Wouldn't you guys just shave it all off at this point?? I would if I were that bald. I'd look funny, but I'd rather have no hair than have a comb over or something like these two guys.


....I feel like I should have written more to fill up this space here...

...nothing else really...Oh, that podcast called Word Balloon is interesting. There's a lot of time at my job for music and podcasts, so I've heard a few interviews with different comics creators.

Oct 15, 2007

Weird Paper

Finished inking a 9 page story for my own anthology. Unfortunately it is not the story I am sending in for approval(it's too weird and sick). I am working on an 11 page story on 14x21 size. My usual size is the standard 10x15, so this may take a while. Although there technically shouldn't be more stuff, it should just look clearer since I am more comfortable drawing big. This is not an excuse to fill the panels with more information although it is hard not to.

I drew this picture in pencil inside of Peet's, but they were closing so Mendoza and I got Pizza. I painted it there. Mendoza was about to pound the guy behind the counter for not knowing what the fuck anchovies were. He was pissed(and I was pretty pissed too because the guy was obviously a rapist) but I soothed Mendoza by explaining the guy was just a harmless idiot(even though his personality dictates he has a beautiful woman waiting for him at home who he treats like shit). The pizza wasn't worth it but I did finish this picture there. Done with pencil, white charcoal, and acrylic ink(which is too thin for this paper which soaks up at least 50% of it. I should have used real acrylic with low viscosity. Oh well, you learn something new everyday. ). I didn't know whether to darken the paper or lighten it to either bring out the highlights or show shadow. It is very confusing just the concept of what to do on this paper. It's called Kraft Pad(or Kraft paper I assume). It isn't a great picture but it is my first on that paper. Next time I'll do better.

I hope to finish the rough cut of my movie this week with the approved music(as in I don't have to pay for the music). After tht I send it to Paul to edit the little things that I may have messed up on(I'm literally talking less than a second cuts that could be trimmed differently and better by an expert at editing). I am the guy who is cutting the scenes into bits and picking which camera shots to go with. I am also pretty relentless when it comes to cutting my own dialogue(which is the great thing about having also written it, I am the only one who can complain about what was cut, in terms of dialogue). Then it gets sent to Doug to fix any audio problems and smooth the parts where the audio wasn't suffiecient or was lacking. Then I get it back and probably end up editing it a little bit more since I'll have had some time away from it. Then it is ready to send to film festivals.

I saw Eastern Promises yesterday and it was fucking great. It was an excellent follow up to A History Of Violence. And Viggo Mortnesen was super great. He didn't do any hollywood leading man bullshit. He was just awesome and you couldn't believe that he would have a fight scene naked. The movie was very original in its conclusion and you have the feeling it came from a book rather than a screenplay because it doesn't have anywhere near the normal ending for a gangster movie.

Saw Wrong Turn 2 and holey shit was that first scene gross and messed up.

Saw Roger Dodger and wonder how everyone in that movie isn't getting paid to do all the best movies. Cambell Scott gave a performance that I would never have seen coming. The kid was great. Jennifer Beals was facinating as an older romantic lead for the kid(in a way). Elizabeth Berkeley was very sweet and did great. Issabella Rosselini is as always great. The plot was excellent and never took the easy way out. The ending was not what I expected and I am glad for that because I thought it almost had to end in a cliche way. It didn't. The direction was perfect. Part voyeuristic but not too much. It made you feel like you were the kid but also made you feel like you were watching something intimate. Big plus, it had the hottest woman ever in the form of the Wonder Woman girl from Serenity and Firefly. Amazing that this is overlooked and these people are not working enough.


Oct 11, 2007

That's MY trailer

I shouldn't be so snotty when I say "my". I've come to notice that anybody who says "I" or "my" like they contain two syllables has a serious attitude and are high maintenance. "I-ii am gonna have my-yi baby no matter what my momma says", you hear 14 year old girls on Maury say.

Well right now the trailer below is my baby. Well, actually it's the pacifier. But it's proof my baby exists. Yeah, she'll come to disappoint me and make me feel like I should have been a better parent, but I made her and I finally made some mark on this world. Right now the movie clocks in at an hour and twenty five minutes. It could end up being a few minutes shorter since I cannot stand anything that makes me bored about it. There is a lot of killing, and gross stuff. Plus some weird humor by Doug Clarke(co-creator) and I. I am very proud of some lines I wrote for Paul Gordon's(the villian) character. I created a weird ass guy and Paul basically embodied him. I'm really close to the last edit. Very excited.

I drew Pheonix because she has a cool costume and you know she's hot if Wolverine and Cyclops can both lust after her. I know she'd never sleep with Wolvie though(like in that stupid Ult. X-men story) because once you go Wolvie you never go back.


Oct 10, 2007

New Trailer

Adrian will probably write more about this cut of the trailer, but he sent me this new info. The link in the sidebar is updated, too. Enjoy!

Oct 9, 2007

Wasn't away that long

The last post I put up was about taking a break from drawing and posting here. My sketchbook went along on my trip to Austin, Tx last Thursday, and I just had to draw in it. That must be a good sign if I can't completely give up sketching. Can I actually make money with the skills that I have? Still not sure especially when there are people out there who can draw circles around me. There are many people out there who can tell stories, compose interesting paintings, and design amazing characters. On the other hand, there are those who just know how to get their stuff out there, land those jobs even if they don't draw or paint that well. They are getting freelance jobs and working from home, not worrying about a day job that sucks the life out of them. No, I'm not jealous of those artists. Good for them. Where does that leave the rest of us? Those who haven't gotten that first job that gets things going? I honestly don't want to think about all that stuff right now. The actual pleasure I get out of drawing with no intention of promoting pieces and getting published is enough for the time being. If someone wants to pay me so I can quit my day jobs, then I'll be more than happy to give it my best. That's enough for now because, like I said, I just want to do what I like.
The ink drawing above was done with a Faber-Castell PITT pen. The guy was either asleep or reading because he didn't move for the longest time; he definitely wasn't dead because he eventually got up.

Here's a pic of the pen set that I picked up a while ago next to this neat key chain that I found in a used game shop in Austin. The store focused on older games and even had old consoles like Atari and Intellivision. I'll link to them as soon as I ask my brother or Jason what the name of that place was. Game Over? I think that was it.


Oct 6, 2007

Comic Book Idol

I lost Comic Book Idol. Hell, I didn't even make a runner up. I will
admit I could see where at least 8 of them were better then me. For
real. 8 People without jobs kicked my ass. Different styles, same
styles, whatever. Better. More complete, more professional, and just
all around cleaner. By that I mean that their art is almost perfectly
pencilled. Not messy at all. And one of the runner's up was clearly
the best of all 14 in the running(I wasn't even a runner up, shit) but
he dropped out(and I know I own a comic of his, it may have been Paper
Museum). The only bummer was where I could see how one or two of them
weren't as good as I was in certain ways they should be(if they beat
me out). I think they were picked because of some style preference
of the judges(and I have a very open mind to different styles, I just
don't like derivative without skill).

None of this means I suck. It just points out that no matter how good
I am I need to be great to be a comic book artist. Good doesn't work
anymore. In the 90's they would almost literally hire anyone. The
80's were filled with artists who could barely draw, but they put the
work in and got stuff on time. The 90's boom changed that. The
founders of Image made a company that started out(Image now is
completely different and I'd love to work there, and it is the first
place I would send my stuff to) as style over substance. They started
hiring anyone who could ape their style. Writing didn't matter. You
hired a high school friend for that. It was all about selling comics
to go into a bag and be kept for future generations college fund.
Even as a young teen I knew there was something wrong with that
mentality. And the comics just fucking sucked.

But the point is they hired anyone with a pulse. Then the industry
collapsed. A bunch of losers were left without a job(and some
talented people too who got lost in the shuffle). The amount of jobs
basically were few and far between. There was no room for new people
unless you were absolutely brilliant. And really there are only a few
who are actually that good. Actually great.

People tell me I am a great artist all the time. This is not
bragging, all artists hear this. It is based on how well non artists
draw or who they know. But when you are in the industry and see
people like Moebius, Mike Mignola, Geof Darrow, Adam Hughes, Travis
Charest, and others, you know deep down you have a very long way to
go. I think I am good. But I know I am not great. But getting to
great and the potential of getting there is what fuels me.

All this just points out how futile it is for me to do anything but my
own comics. It's like a secret backdoor into the industry. It's funny because that was my reasoning for making my own movie(And yes the link doesn't work I hope to get it up very in a week). I can
act, write, direct and I'll be a movie maker no matter who takes
issue. In fact since it's finished I basically am. Now I just need
to get it into a theatre. Then I've really arrived(like making my own
comic, and then getting it published).

So I'm not discouraged. I just know I have to up my game. And doing
that will make me great. It may take a year. It may take five. It may take a lifetime. But
it will happen. I don't give up.

I drew these two pages when Steven Grant let out an open call for
talent on his online column(which has excellent political commentary
and dissection of comic storytelling techniques). I pencilled it on
Canson Blueline Comic Book Paper. The paper is pretty good. A little
rough for my taste since I feel my art doesn't really come together
until it is inked. I mainly use Sakura refillable brush pens after
they have lost their pointiness. They last forever as frayed dry
brushes. I used microns for all the perspective stuff. I've been
told it doesn't match too well with my dry brush(which is an excellent
observation) so I may need to modify my storytelling to exclude
details that would need a pen(at least a normal pen, a croqeul pen may
work since in the past I have used ti for tiny parts of dry brush
drawings. I think I need to also not darken or contrast it so much
because it looks better with more watery or translucent ink. I don't
know how Greg Ruth keeps it so dark. I noticed Mark Shultze and Toby
Cypress use a lot of translucent ink(by that I mean watered down to
get a smoother effect, another reason I like plate finish although I
know that they don't use Plate finish). Whatever, now I'm just


Oct 3, 2007

Vacation Sketches 4

I said everything I want to about Batman. Did this with acrylic ink. This was my first acrylic ink painting. I always used watercolors and guache before. The Cliffhanger post and Green Arrow pic were aslo done in Acrylic ink. It's a lot of fun and much easier for me to use than regular acrylic and maybe even the watercolor mediums.

I'll post some pages tomorrow.


Oct 2, 2007


So after that two day cliffhanger the answer is: I will keep posting on Graphic Apparatus. I'll try to get others in on it. Maybe Taylor or some other friends who draw, but mainly I'll be working on Mendoza. He does all the crazy adventures(like the time he talked to Lee[therapist]) and all the other starnge gambits he always ends up in. For now I'll just keep on keeping on. I have story pages I have to post and still a bunch more sketches(and if I ever get a deal to fucking publish I have a bunch of stuff I have held back because I don't want it stolen that can be shown). Everything is cool between Mendoza and I, he just works like 6 1/2 days a week or more so drawing is pretty tough.

Hopefully this(what I hope is a) sabatical will be of the sexual type. After all it's hard to draw when you're doing it(said in an unsavory voice).

For now, the readers will have to put up with a bunch more of my rambling, introspective, long rants that will never mean anything until I'm famous or dead. Wonderful.

This is a picture of my biggest crush this summer(which compared to last summer's draught is actually pretty amazing, I was doing something both right and absoletely wrong this summer) who I will never see again in anything other than what will surely be an awkward situation. Yeah, she was mentioned in a previous post. And yes, Lee is keeping her warm. And yes, I am creepy and alone.

If it gives me any points I didn't draw her until I never saw her again.

Shit, I just thought of a funny story. Once she sat with me and asked to see my drawings. I showed her a bunch(careful to flip quickly past my Batman fetish) and she liked them. Suddenly the flipping stops on a picture of someone that looks a bunch like her. I stutteringly explain that I'm bad at likenesses before I realize it totally looks like her and have to backtrack and explain of course I was just drawing someone who looked like her but not her(but if I am so bad you woulnd't be able to tell the difference anyway, arghh, headache).

And no this picture isn't the one she saw. This is an obscured pic of her(to keep her identity secret, "but Adrian I thought you were bad at likenesses?", you say, okay I did it like this so I don't have to try to make it look like her, jeez)


Oct 1, 2007

Looking back and looking ahead

First of all, I should apologize to Rivero because I asked him to go out tonight and draw at a cafe, and I didn't even draw (not uncommon). He completed a sketch, but I just wasn't contributing anything to the creative atmosphere in any way, so for this post I'm making an announcement for this blog and its growing number of viewers (just basing it on the counter in the sidebar). Before I say what I have to, I'll tell you a little bit about how Graphic Apparatus came about just because we've never done so.

Sometime in August of 2006, I asked Adrian what he thought about the idea of doing a team blog where we could push each other to draw on a more regular basis with some kind of regular posting schedule. I think I had started a sketch blog of my own but wasn't doing much with it. I also was enjoying some art blogs created by different groups of artists and seeing all the potential of online sketch journals where people were focusing on process and not necessarily just finished work. He agreed to it and we talked about what to name it, and he came up with the title we have now. Looking back to the end of August 2006, we just started posting without ever really explaining our intent or the purpose of creating a team blog. It was just an experiment anyway, and we never really specified how much or IF we would promote the site. Graphic Apparatus would just be a push for us to do more work, and I really wanted to focus on being more consistent--something I could never quite achieve with my college work because I was a shitty art student with no direction and declining motivation. Five years after school, I'm not that much different save for a brief time prior to this year's Comic-Con. So, here we are over a year after starting, and Adrian's been good about producing more work and getting input from others who check out drawing forums.

So why this long-winded explanation with no sketch or any images? Tonight, I said something to Adrian about setting aside my artistic endeavors to make some changes to my life, and I also said this was not some way of baiting him into saying something nice about my ability to draw. It wasn't some sneaky way of getting compliments from a fellow artist in order to feel good about myself. It was an honest thought on my part that I wanted to say out loud. He was nice enough to say I was good at what I do, so should just stick with it to keep improving. It was a nice thing to say, but I was still thinking about my overall lack of identity and body of work as an "illustrator" or "artist" or whatever I've tried to label myself as. In short, I was grumpy and fed up my lack of effort over the past year[s].

Where does all this leave Graphic Apparatus now? Well, I say that Adrian keeps posting all the stuff he cranks out on a daily basis. I step away from posting to do a lot of thinking about what it is I'm looking to achieve now that I'm 30. Is it comic book work or some other niche in illustration? Maybe Rivero will decide to focus on Art Dump (the other site he started but put on hold since we were focusing our efforts here) or he could start something new. I'll talk to him about it soon, but it's really up to him, and whatever it is, anyone who comes here to browse should keep checking on what he has to share. He has plenty of ideas on the drawing table, so you won't be disappointed. His next post here should let you know where he's going to be posting.

Even after writing this, I'm not sure it was even necessary, but it's rather therapeutic to get it off my chest. I could be back as soon as next week, but who knows.

Thanks to all those who continue to check out this blog! AND thanks to anyone who took the time to read all of the above.


ps: just to be sure we're all clear, this is NOT the last post for GA, so check back!