Friday, June 27, 2008

BRON the Mercenary

Concept spec sheet of an upcoming new character...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Concept sketches

A couple of little doodles. I finally came up with the universale monetary symbol for coinage in ATLAND -- and a desert arachnid called a SkuttleSkull...

ELF `n TROLL # 196

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Temple of West

So looking back on it I find that I’m a selfish, arrogant, and disagreeable artist. I like to draw only what pleases me. I hate being made to draw anything.

A little kid says “Can you draw me a clown?” The selfish prick in me wants to get in the kid’s face and say “Screw your clown! Stick that clown up your ass!” But the nice guy in me wants to say “Sure thing, little guy!”

What actually comes out is a sort of smile and nod of acceptance then, at some point, I grudgingly sit down to draw the clown wondering why I agreed to do it in the first place.

I know. It’s just not cool. But I’m not an art gumball machine. You can’t put a nickel in and get something sweet to chew on. I jam up, my gumballs are weird, and I often display myself in the back corner where nobody goes.

Drawing comics for my own pleasure means there are no little kiddies to appeal to the nice guy inside. That leaves Mr. Meanie to make all the decisions. He often refuses to draw for himself as well as others.

In practical terms, this means I have to be very careful what sorts of projects I take on. If I don’t love the material I won’t follow through with it. Drawing comics is hard work. I need to LOVE what I’m drawing on each and every page or I get burnt out pretty fast.

Maybe that’s why I love to draw girls so much. Never get tired of drawing boobs, as they say.

There’s an argument to be made that I’m simply lazy about it all. I could feel the burn and fire up the stubborn side of me and get shit done. Maybe. But again, I’m not a machine. I have to love what I’m doing. Once the love gets overtaken by the feeling that I’m locked on, committed, obligated…I find it much harder to trudge onward. In fact I find the idea of trudging to be somehow sacrilegious. Art is my religion, comics are my temples.

Just some random thoughts. Have a good one.

Monday, June 23, 2008

AP. Furtado Interview on Deviant Art

I recently did an interview with Jeri "Kitty" Weaver for Deviant Art's Comic Week where i reveal all. No more more lies! I dish the dirt, baby and sometimes...just sometimes...I almost make sense. You be the judge. Check it out here.
Ok. Actually...Kitty had me under her spell the whole time and I melted like butter on a piece of toast. What can I say!?

Play Nice.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Animation Backgrounds Rock

When I watch a cartoon I always pay a lot of attention to the backgrounds. Snow White, Fire and Ice, even some old Tom and Jerry toons always inspire me to build worlds of my own.

Animation Backgrounds is a great blog exploring the world behind the toons. Very inspiring stuff.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just Doodling 2.

Just Doodling.

I doodled this little ditty while talking on the phone the other day. While talking, I'm so distracted that I never really notice what's happening down on the paper. After the conversation, I'm usually amused and surprised by the outcome. I thought this guy had a certain character to him so I thought that I would share. As a side note...ELF `n TROLL came from years of phone doodles. For some reason, my distracted brain would always lay those characters down on paper, phone books, name it. So, apologies to the many who have suffered at the other end of a phone conversation with me. Seriously, I am listening.

Play Nice.

And so Gnobert Wilson and Gnome Chomsky ride off into the sunset, leaving Gnoman Mailer to face the music. Gnome Chomsky and Gnoman Mailer are easy enough names to get, but we named Gnobert Wilson after Robert Wilson, a famed avant-garde theatrical director. Not long ago, I was talking to a fellow parent at my son's annual pre-school picnic and he mentioned something about Robert Wilson the theatrical director, so I told him about my comic. He seemed to find it incredibly hilarious that I had named a small blue gnome in a beret after Robert Wilson and kept going on about it. I'm not quite sure why he found it so funny, and didn't want to burst his bubble by admitting that name had been a bit of a desperate stab in the dark as far as Adam & I were concerned. If you know anything about the real Robert Wilson and why it might be funny that he is being depicted as a gnome we'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ELF `n TROLL # 194

On going machinations at the Ritzkrakker Theater. I had a lot of fun doing the new large establishing shot for this 'redux' edition -- definitely a lot of Gilbert Shelton influence went into that one. I loved how Adam wrote Gnome Chomsky and Gnobert Wilson in these scenes, by this point I really felt we were working well together. Naturally they're terrified for their lives, while Gnoma is supremely confident and ready to take advantage of her opportunity to make it to the top.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ahmry of Uth!

Ok, here's another character calling to me from this strange place called "Uth". This is a funky project because unlike most of my stuff I can't put my finger on where it came from. I do have a sketch of Ugtu (the fugly barbarian) and I'm sure I scrawled the word "Uth" somewhere in my sketchbook. But basically it's a subnugget edging it's way to the surface of my brain.

We'll see what happens.

This is a new cover image I just finished for my reduxed version of Pewfell Volume 1, issue 1. I've re-organized a bunch of my earlier material and re-introduced some of my earliest strips to the official cannon. Adam & I have written some new stories to round the whole thing out, and my next task is to finish drawing those.

I've been wanting to do this for a while as I never felt the beginning was as strong as the rest of the strip. These days I have a very clear idea of whet the strip is and what it's about. When I first started I was just making it up as I went along and as a result the initial material was wildly uneven, much of it just not up to par, or else off on a tangent. Now I think it's going to work much better as a hook for the rest of the series, and be more on a level with the later material in terms of quality.

Let me know what you think!

Atland #190 - The Deed

Ugtu, Warrior of Uth!

This weird guy has been in my head for about 6 months now. I've done a few sketches and written a few scenes and other notes. That means he's a player of some kind...he's going to insinuate himself into my already overburdened slate of projects.

Speaking of which...I'm overdue for an overhaul. Time to clean the desk off and do some project management. Two or three primary ideas are starting to emerge as favorites and others are moving more and more to the back burner. Zoa is going slow, but still going. Aroora at catgirlmojo is going steady and promises to be a lot of fun. The second issue of Land of Hof is three-quarters finished.

I often wish I had the tenacity of my fellow Wizards to pump more energy and time into a single project. But I've never been one to do that. I let my passions run roughshod over my intentions and the result is an array of projects in various states of upkeep.

But I am producing work. There was a time not too long ago that I was in a serious slump from which I didn't know if I could recover. I did recover, and in fact my entire approach to making comics changed. I'm still making comics, still having fun, and still looking forward to making more. So I guess you can say it's all good.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

So begins Chapter 13, and this is the final chapter of Volume 5, Book 2, or whatever I am calling this monstrosity that is the "Drain of Chaos" saga this week.

From now on we'll be seeing a lot more of the Chaos Lords, they've more-or-less just been bit players up to now. With Baron Samedi out of the picture its time for these two even bigger loons to fill the void.

In case you were wondering, the "Two of Clubs" is Bish's card on the deck the Chaos Lords issued showing Baron Samedi's most notorious henchmen. If you were paying attention, you already know that... and if you did then perhaps you can also tell me what Pewfell's card was?

So these first strips round out Volume 5 Chapter 12. Now you're probably thinking "Really? Volume 5, Chapter 12? That sounds like a hell of a lot of strips" and well, you'd be right. You're probably also thinking "Damn that guy must be crazy" and you'd be right again.

This is a big turning point for Gnoma. From here on in, she has full control of the reigns at the Ritzkrakker Theater.

I don't know what to say about all the full frontal nudity, I'm sure the strip could easily be family-friendly, but for some reason I can't help drawing ze boobies. Cripes, it's not even like I draw them all that well. Anyway, if you are shocked and disgusted now, just wait until the end of Chapter 13!

About Page Image

I'd been wanted to make an image like this for my about page for a while now. Now it's done I sort of with I'd been wearing a different shirt, but otherwise it came out kind of how I wanted it to. I might have to get my wife to take another shot after I get a haircut!

ELF `n TROLL # 192

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pimpin' the Boogeyman!

Back in the day, folk like Jack Kirby, George Perez and John Buscema made me love comics. They were the proverbial “first kiss” which you never forget. Not long after I had discovered the dark, underbelly of comics. The ringmaster…the gatekeeper to that secret world was Richard Corben. He showed me a better drug; a sexier, darker drug which I gobbled-up without pause. My world and view of comics had changed. My young, wannabe-comic book-making brain exploded with excitement. I knew that this was the path I had to tread.

I’m happy to see that Mr. Corben has stood the test of time, unlike many of my inspirations. The last few years has seen a resurgence of his career as the mainstream decided to take a peek under the bed. The boogeyman is cranking on all cylinders now and I couldn’t be happier.

Mr. Corben is the main man in Marvel’s HAUNT OF HORROR: LOVECRAFT mini series. This has me excited as Corben goes back to his black and white roots re-exploring some of what made him the enticing boogeyman in the first place. He’ll also be working on another Hellboy story with Mike Mignolla called “THE CROOKED MAN” which I’m jazzed about. I just love Hellboy! If that wasn’t enough, Mr. Corben will also be gracing the pages of Dark Horse’s new CONAN THE CIMMERIAN with a backup feature centered on the adventures of Conan’s grandfather.

Every year I seem to ask myself, “why am I still making comics?”, and every year something rears its ugly head and pulls me back in. This time, that ugly head belongs to the boogeyman. I love it.

Now where’s Moebius!?

Play Nice.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

ELF `n TROLL # 190

Atland - Morning Wood Nymph

This week we have a bonus strip by contest winners, Kennon James and John Kipling. Their episode will also appear in ATLAND book 7. Good stuff!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pewfell for Friday & Monday

More lunacy as things build to a head. By this point I was extremely happy with everything that was going on in the strip and I really felt Adam & I were working very well together. I honestly can't remember who wrote what here. I think a lot of this particular batch were mine, but he might debate me on that. I'm sure it will be the source of much discussion amongst future scholars of the series.