Sunday, July 29, 2007

Faces of ComicCon

For anyone interested, I put some more shots up in my “Pics” on Myspace. I left out the embaarssing ones...mostly.

ComicCon Friday

Home now. I left San Diego on Saturday for my brother's wedding. (Congrats, Dave and Sara!) Now I am looking forward to a Sunday with nothing to do but nap, sleep, and rest.

A quick show and tell of my Friday.

Skeletal Cheerleaders -- who could resist. ComicCon crowds. Shelley Wan showing off her purchase of a Justin Sweet painting.

Donato Giancola doing a quick watercolor study at his booth.The (much too) late night drinking crowd. Dave Palumbo.

I had a really nice dinner with David Apatoff, author of my favorite blog, Illustration Art, and his wife, Nell Minow. They are as gracious as you would expect from reading Illustration Art. (Thanks again, guys, for a great evening.) Nell is a film critic for Yahoo, among other places. She's given the nod to Stardust, making me even more excited to see it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

ComicCon Thursday: Booth Hopping

It was only Thursday and it felt as crowded as a Saturday. I'm bumming I'll miss hanging out with the artists over the weekend but I wont miss these crowds.


Jon Foster and Dan Dos Santos.

Justin Sweet had a great display, bringing in at least a half dozen large scale oil paintings and a portfolio full of his watercolors. He brought a Tor cover painting...It's great to come across these paintings well after the books are out. It gives me a chance to rediscover them as paintings rather than answers to a problem. Justin recently updated his website. Check it out if you enjoy bold painting.

Stephan Martiniere.

Dinning: Todd Lockwood, Arlo Burnett, Dan Dos Santos, Arnie Fenner, Cathy Fenner, Jon Foster, Me!, Greg Manchess. (Thanks again, Arnie and Cathy!)


Eric Fortune kindly brought in a painting he did for our upcoming Starscape edition of The Red Magician. He already sent me a scan but it was such a pleasure to see the original and see the details that reproduction and scaling down will loose.

Brom signing the Spectrum "Call for Entries" poster he did. The Fenners are asking all the artists in Spectrum 14 to sign it so they can donate it to the Comic Book Defense League auction.

Jon Foster created a fully oil-painted version of his digital cover for our Starscape edition of Orvis. Both of us felt that, while an excellent painting, the original version lost a little something between sketch and final. Now ,five years later, it was great to see him re-address the piece and make a tangible painting of it.

ComicCon Thursday: Smiley Things

Giant ugly dolls! The perennial Elvis Trooper sightining. And Lego Batman.

ComicCon Thursday: A Trio of Tor Authors

Cory Doctorow, Kevin Anderson, and Robert Salvatore.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

ComicCon Wednesday: Flattery

Walking around the convention hall just before opening, Greg Manchess and I spotted this very familiar looking polar bear sculpture at the Golden Compass movie display...The painting is Greg's Hamilton King award-winning piece from his 1998 children's book, Nanuk.

ComicCon Wednesday: Things that Make Me Happy

I got to see the Ark of the Covenant. Should I actually admit to having seen the movie at least a dozen times in the theatre? Based on the two sequels I have no hope that the fourth movie will be any good but I'm excited anyway....if for no other reason than I get to see the Ark of the Covenant and that makes me want to watch the first movie yet again.

And heres a bad photo of a great Bernie Fuchs. Any day with a Bernie Fuchs painting is a good day.

ComicCon Wednesday: Booth Hopping

Wednesday's set up is always a bit frantic but things seem to move very smoothly today. Most everyone was a bit bleary eyed from taking early morning flights. (I'm so glad to have come in a few days early.) Still, it's amazing how the buzz in the room will kick in a second wind.

After helping a few friends set up their booth I was able to run around and say a few "hellos" before having to settle into the Tor booth. Pictured here:

Charles Vess showed me some stunning paintings for an upcoming picture book of Neil Gaiman's poem, "Blueberry Girl." The paintings are a bit of a stylistic shift for Charles - a bit softer and more ethereal, less line work and more interaction in the inks. They really are drop-dead gorgeous. (For more info and better pictures click here.) No less stunning are his new paintings for a new edition of Stardust. There are banners for the Stardust movie all over the city -- it must be an exciting time for Charles.

Spectrum has a a booth for the first time. Here are the editors, Arnie and Cathy Fenner, and Arlo Burnett, Spectrum's webmaster. They have some photos from the day up on their website.

Rebecca Guay at her booth. I did not intend to give her wings...but now that they are there, I kinda like them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Three Recent Grads

I saw quiet a few of the art schools' senior exhibits this past spring. Here are three recent grads whose work I just loved.

Wesley Allsbrook: I met Wesley very briefly in Jon Foster's RISD class last year. This year she was up in the RISD senior show. I have no doubt we'll be seeing her work out in the world and winning awards very soon.

Brian Elig: Another of Jon Foster's RISD students. Brian had a giant double-sided hinged canvas in the hall....taking up the entire hall. Great work and a very impressive guy.

Wan-Yun Chen
I never met Wan-Yun but I saw these drawings in the SVA halls and came very near to stealing them. I so much want to see whatever story is behind this series of drawings bound up into a children's book.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

ComicCon Bound

I'm off to ComicCon a few days early -- attempting to take in a little more of San Diego than the convention center before the madness begins. Wednesday through Friday I will be splitting my time between the Tor booth, #1116, and the book artist conglomeration at booth #5001.

Tor will be hosting a number of author signings, including Orson Scott Card, Cory Doctorow, Vernor Vinge. We'll also be doing a "What's New From Tor" panel, Thursday 11:00 - 12:00, room 10. For full list click here.

Booth 5001 will be home to:
Donato Giancola,
Stephan Martiniere, Jon Foster, Dan Dos Santos, Rebecca Guay, and Cathy and Arnie Fenner of Spectrum. Greg Manchess, Scot Fischer, and Todd Lockwood will be around 5001 a lot as well.

Kinuko Craft is at 5112, Charles Vess is
4821, Justin Sweet is at 829

MicroVisions Raises $4,000.00

The MicroVisions auction ended a few hours ago. Eleven wee works of art raised $4,000.00 for the Society of Illustrators' Student Scholarship Fund. Individual works went from $100.00 - $700.00. I was lucky enough to walk off with one myself: Eric Fortune's exquisitely painted and very funny robot assassin. (Note: that's not a sword she's wielding...)

The SI Scholarships are among the industry's thoughest awards. Only about 100 students are chosen to be in the exhibit from over 5,000 entrees -- about half of them are given cash awards. Not only do these awards help subsidize students financially (and possibly allows them to dine on something other than ramen noodles for a time or two) but they also go a long way to boost the confidence of young artists by proving that their voice stands out amongst thousands of others. Many past winners have become the field's biggest names -- John Jude Palencar, James Jean, Tomer Hanuka and hundreds of others since the Scholarship's inception in 1981.

All of which is a very long winded way to say: Thanks to all the artists for giving up their time (a few of which had been past scholarship winners) and thanks to all those that bid. Even though you may not get to see it, next year some student will have a large grin on their face because of you.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Micro Rebecca

Just two days left for the MicroVisons auction. Prices are starting to creep up but there are still some amazing deals.

Here is a step-by-step progression of Rebecca Guay’s painting. She very bravely showed up to a demo with a blank board and no idea what she was going to paint. Students threw words into a hat and she picked out “sphinx” and “neck rings.” (I think “cowboy” was also in there but, considering the other two topics, that one was wisely swept under the rug.)

Rebecca Guay will be at ComicCon next week, booth 5001.

Related: Micro Bruce, Micro Eric

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The New Greek and Roman Galleries at the Met are... a word: Freakin' Awesome! For what is beautiful and pristine, for what is creepy and in decay, and for the occasional goat.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Holy Cow, We're One Today!

The Art Department turned one year old. Actually, it's one and one day - yesterday kinda escaped me.

Thanks to all reading. I have no idea how many of you guys are out there but I keep running into people that say they are enjoying it so there must be one or two people besides my mom dropping in. I started this as a place to hold a couple of posts I made on about portfolio preparation – mainly so that I could use them as a lecture outline – and had no idea I’d keep it up this long. It’s been fun....Maybe we’ll turn two.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

MicroVisions 2: Bid Early, Bid Often!

Last year, Dan Dos Santos and I asked a group of artists to dedicate their time and talent to help raise money for the Society of Illustrators' student scholarship fund. Each artist created a 5x7 painting that was exhibited at the Society for a month and then auctioned on eBay. That auction raised $5,700.00 for art students.

We are very excited to announce this year's auction is now up and running on eBay. Ten paintings and one sculpture. All were on display at the Society throughout June. All proceeds will go to help the next generation of illustrators.

Auction deadline: July 21
Click here. Or search "MicroVisions" on eBAy.

This year's participants are:

Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Tristan Elwell
Eric Fortune
Donato Giancola
Rebecca Guay
John Harris
Steve Hickman
Bruce Jensen
Tom Kidd
Red Nose Studio
Dave Seeley

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Spectrum 14 sneak peak

Arnie Fenner sent me a tease of Spectrum 14, due out this fall. At 248 pages, this will be the biggest edition yet, and Arnie, who tends to be fairly low key, is stated that it just might be the best looking one. Here are a few of the front matter pages.

Shelley Wan’s winning Last Man Standing competition piece is on the contents page. (As well as in the exhibit section of the book, of course.)

SECOND: Syd Mead fitting receives the Grand Master award – one, because he’s been a big influence on anyone attempting to picture the future and, two, because this will be the first edition of Spectrum with a specific category for concept art.

Brom’s Call for Entries poster backing up Arnie’s “Year in Review”.

By the way, the Spectrum website “news” section has been active and interesting. Definitely worth checking out.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Exposé 5

Expose 5, the all-digital annual, has been released. They have awarded John Berkey their Grand Master Award. Although Berkey has never used a computer, he is a clear influence on many of today’s digital artists. He is one of illustration’s finest regardless of genre or tools....but it is truly amazing that he was able to create the paintings he did with the relatively inert media of acrylics.

“In truth, fear is an element of every picture I have ever painted,” says Berkey. “Being fearful of failure or having little confidence just becomes something to climb over.”

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Long Island Game Farm

We went to meet Gentle Gerry the Giraffe but it was a gaggle of baby goats and their satanic eyes that stole my heart away.

Dark Harvest

The final covers for Dark Harvest came in from the printer on Friday. Jon Foster did the cool and creepy artwork. This was one of those heartbreaking situations where I wish we could have chosen every sketch. Actually, what I really wished was that we could have done a series of interior paintings. In fact, I wanted to go with the sketch we did because the other drawings had a narrative to them more appropriate for interior illustrations not because they were any less interesting. Plus the corn fields are an important image in the book and it was nice to be able to show that. Jamie Stafford-Hill did the design. He mentioned that he enjoyed working on the cover as a whole — letting the reader flip from front to back of the book as a continuous experience.

Looking back on these sketches now, many months after we first needed the cover image for the solicitation comp, and I’m still sad we had to choose one. Wouldn’t these make great panels for a graphic novel. Or storyboards for some kick-ass animation.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

John Scalzi compares sheep.

John and Stephan

Via SFSignal

SFRevue has an interview with John Jude Palencar and Stephan Martiniere.

Happy 4th from the Flatiron

So the ugly apartment building across the way crowds the fireworks -- better them than me, I say. Instead of fighting the throng of people heading to the East River, up the Tor offices we went. Our gray skies lent a particularly cool "Bladrunner" atmosphere to our Independence Day.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Art Out Loud 5: Comics

On Saturday the Society hosted an all-comics edition of Art Out Loud. Klaus Janson, Mike Oeming, and Paolo Rivera did simultaneous demonstrations while Chris Allo, from Marvel, and Mark Chiarello, from DC, gave portfolio reviews to the attendees. A huge thanks to all five of them for giving up what was a spectacular Saturday afternoon to come indoors and help out some aspiring artists.

Klaus, Mike, and Paolo worked facing each other in a triangle. There was a lot of camaraderie between them and that set the mood for the audience -- lots of questions were being asked and followed up on in a very conversational manor. Each artist worked on a current job, giving fans a sneak peak at a page or two of upcoming issues. Klaus Janson was inking
World War Hulk. Mike Oeming very bravely showed up with a Powers manuscript and blank sheets of paper. He conceptualized, penciled, and inked a few pages right on the spot. Paolo Rivera was painting character studies and a few panels from Mythos: Fantastic Four. He also did a quick digital demo towards the end, showing how he does color studies.

Mark Chiarello and Chris Allo were real troopers with the portfolio reviews. Truth be told, I assumed they would be done in about 2 hours. Didn't happen. They took a lot of time going through each persons' portfolio and gave very careful critiques. Even when I was trying to gently remind them that time was running out, they stayed late rather then rush through anyone.

Many of the attendees made a point to let us know they appreciated the opportunity to have such in-depth exposure to the artists and comic publishing houses. So, once again, a huge thanks to all five guests for giving up so much of their time and being so open about their process.


First set:
Klaus Janson, MIDDLE: Mike Oeming, BOTTOM Paolo Rivera

Second set:
Chris Allo, BOTTOM: Mark Chiarello

Third set:
Models built by Paolo for character studies. Paolo digital demo, MIDDLE: Klaus and Mike, Paolo, Klaus, BOTTOM: The eating and the drinking afterwards. Big thanks to James Keegan ( here with Tiffany Prothero) and Arkady Roytman ( here with yours truly) for all their help over all five Art Out Loud events.