December 13, 2012

lonely loner

Dinogeddon page 16

December 3, 2012

warrior vs. mage

another commission down.

November 27, 2012

too real

i think trying to help other artistic people i care about to find motivation is one of my least favorite things. i hate seeing people i care about unhappy, and on top of that, i feel like i’m all thumbs, hopelessly inadequate, especially because i have a hard time finding motivation myself. i know what it’s like to work full time and suffer from depression to the point where you only have a couple hours to yourself after work every week, and you’re so exhausted and sad that you can’t bring yourself to do anything but eat, shower and maybe watch some tv before bed. i came the closest to ending my life i’ve ever come because of my state of mind at that time; because my mental well-being was actually withering up and dying because i wasn’t able to create art, among other things. and i don’t know what to tell other people in similar situations because the only solution i was able to come to was quitting my job, even though i couldn’t really afford to. thankfully i have a supportive partner who was willing and able to support me, and if he wasn’t willing or able to, i would have been able to go back to my home state and live with my parents or other family…i wouldn’t have liked having to do that at all, but i had that option. a lot of people don’t have those options at all.

the best advice i can give anyone is just do it. one of my biggest pet peeves is when people see other people doing something cool, like knitting, drawing, making music, whatever, and say “that’s so cool! i wish i could do that.” i’m guilty of this myself, but it makes me want to say “then just do it.” because i realized that the only thing we’re born knowing how to do is eat and poop…you gotta learn everything else. maybe someone is more predisposed to being good at something, or making it look easy, but they had to learn too, the same as you do. i realized i can get rid of the majority of my bad feelings about not being productive enough if i just be productive. my productivity still isn’t as good as others’; i’m probably quite slow by comic artist standards, and i still kick myself a bit for it, but i’m still creating. because i remember how bad and dark being at a complete stop felt. i might slow down, but i never want to let myself stop, ever again.

but i also know there are plenty of artists who are working a day job to survive like i was (and most likely will again), who have mental health problems like i do, who get worn down by the daily grind and feel less than human, like they can’t think, much less work on the things that are beneficial for their mental health and well-being anymore. i know because i was there. and they ask me what they can do, and i want to tell them “just do it,” but i know that doesn’t work when you’re in that state of mind. so i don’t know what to tell them. i wish i did.

November 26, 2012

after all

i'm working on many things, actually, contrary to what my inactivity on this blog would suggest...for now, sketches of Fenris from Dragon Age 2.

October 19, 2012

tell me if you like it

page 15.

September 27, 2012


thinking about deleting this blog. i dunno.

the idea for this sketch popped into my head mysteriously while i was waiting at a UPS store. i might develope it for a cover, or a poster, or a print or something; i'm not sure what to do with it.

September 12, 2012

date with the night

Dinogeddon page 14 now up at

September 7, 2012

you party?

page 13!

this is one of my favorite pages so far.

i think i'm going to challenge myself by trying to stick to a weekly update schedule. i'm thinking wednesdays. we'll see how that goes; if i can easily do it, maybe i'll work my way up to two pages a week, and so on. still working on side projects and commission stuff. we'll see!

since i live at my desk now, i've spilled honey all over my workspace, and yesterday it was silver nail polish. maybe i really am as messy as everyone says.

August 29, 2012


i'm currently open for commissions (you can e-mail me at if interested!). here's a few i've done recently.

a client's oc. he kept telling me she was a "tsundere" to explain to me how to convey her personality; i had no idea what that was and had to look it up, haha.

this was a commission for Kelly Thompson, who is a fellow sometimes-guest on the Audioshocker's A Podcast With Ross and Nick. it's the two main characters Bonnie and Lola from her amazing upcoming YA novel The Girl Who Would Be King, which just enjoyed a very successful Kickstarter campaign.

and finally, this was for a client who wanted to incorporate some elements from my comic Dinogeddon, but with more of a Frazetta type of feeling. i got the feeling he wanted something more realistic than my style, but i think it still turned out pretty well. i really liked his idea of the gender role reversal for the fantasy trope.

August 28, 2012

i'm gonna do the best i can

more old cartoon stuff. i really love the Cab Calloway Bettie Boop cartoons.

i love the live action footage of Calloway and his orchestra at the beginning of this one. it's such a treat. the guy must have been amazing to see on stage in a smokey, hip club back in the day. he moves like a human cartoon! i have a soft spot and fascination with rotoscope animation, and this stuff is some of the best. even though he gets transformed seemlessly into some weird creature within this bizarre cartoon world, it still perfectly captures Calloway's spirit and charisma. another thing i like about this one is the dark nature of the trippy cave scene; "Minnie the Moocher" is, pretty obviously, a song about a prostitute who starts dating a druggie/drug dealer who gets her hooked on opium. some people have said the animators/studio wasn't aware of the subtext of the song when it was used, but the crazy visuals in the background relating to drug paraphernalia suggest otherwise. there's just such a delicious, dark, seedy element to this cartoon i can't easily describe, but i really like it.
this one is considered by many to be one of the greatest cartoons of all time, and i'm inclined to agree. it's astounding that it was animated entirely by a single person, Roland C. Crandall, as a sort of pet project. the animation is so lively in this one. and Cab Calloway gives another incredible performance, this time performing his standard that he was famous for, "St. James Infirmary Blues," which also happens to be one of my favorite songs. Calloway's version is quite good, which i suppose it should be. again we have the great rotoscope work, this time with Koko being possessed by Calloway, crazily dark and trippy background images in a cave, and an ending that can only be described as "wacky." good stuff.
this is the last Bettie Boop cartoon to feature Calloway, and he pretty much carries it from beginning to end. the story doesn't make much sense, and isn't as good as the first two, but it has its moments. i like the song in this one, as Calloway's rotoscoped dancing as the Old Man of the Mountain is entertaining as always. it's also notable for having inspired Tim Burton and Danny Elfman in the production of the Nightmare before Christmas. Tim Burton cited the Cab Colloway characters as inspiration for the character Oogie Boogie, and wanted Elfman to specifically base him on the character in Minnie the Moocher. but Elfman was more inspired by the Old Man of the Mountain character, even borrowing a line of dialogue for Oogie's musical number: "whatcha gonna do now?" "i'm gonna do the best i can."

i find the world of 20's-40's cartoons so fascinating. it's given me an idea about doing a comic in the style, set in the 20's or 30's, and has all the dark shit and vice that is represented in cartoons of the era, like these. maybe even seriously deal with issues like racism, sexism, homophobia and stuff that was rampant in cartoons and in the attitudes of the day. i need to ferment it some more.

August 14, 2012

story of my life.

August 13, 2012


i've been watching a lot of Flip the Frog cartoons lately, as they happen to be in a volume on netflix streaming called "forgotten cartoons," or something like that. the title is, sadly, appropriate. the volume i've been watching is all Ub Iwerks cartoons, mostly Flip the Frog and Willy Whopper. if you're like me, you probably never heard of Ub Iwerks or these characters, so i ended up looking him up, and i'm so glad i did.

Ub was a very talented artist, and was one of Walt Disney's oldest friends and collaborators. Iwerks came up with and animated the character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which Disney eventually lost to Universal and has been in news recently for being traded back to Disney. he also created lots of early Disney characters like Clairabelle Cow, and co-created Micky Mouse, as well as animating most early Disney cartoons himself.

eventually he and Disney had a falling out, mostly over his feeling overworked and receiving little credit, and he went on to start his own studio, and employed fresh young animators such as Chuck Jones. after his own studio folded, Iwerks went back to working for Disney where he animated, pioneered special effects such as the combination of live-action and animation in Song of the South, and even designed theme park attractions for Disney theme parks. he was also the animator behind one of my favorite cartoons of all time, The Skeleton Dance. i was amazed i had never known about this guy, or Flip the Frog.

Flip cartoons have a certain charm and punkish nature i find endearing, especially compared to Disney cartoons, or even Looney Tunes at the time. for example, in the cartoon pictured above, Flip takes refuge in a spooky old house in a storm, only to find it inhabited by a scary animate skeleton, who tries to force feed him chicken bones, watches him dance with a skeletal lady, then decides Flip's skeleton would be the perfect size to add to his collection of assorted sized skeletons, and goes about trying to extract it with a large knife. in another, Flip tries to sneak out on his hotel bill in the middle of night, and in the ensuing chase with the hotel owner and a policeman, he keeps catching peeps at a shapely lady getting out of the shower (awesomely, when she catches the policeman peeping in her keyhole, she stabs him in the eye with a hat pin!). i'm a little sad that Flip was slid under the rug for so long, but glad that collections like this are bringing him back to a wide audience (including me!).

as i started watching these classic cartoons, i began to wonder what shaped them; as animation is an almost limitless medium, and these people were pioneering new frontier here, why were they so similar and formulaic? i understand that there was probably some meddling going on here from the top, like this is what sold and what people wanted to see, so make more of this, type of thing. but who started it all? why do inanimate objects suddenly spring to life? why is everything so round, jolly, bug-eyed and prone to whistling? why does everyone have noodly appendages and a penchant for sight gags? i was surprised to learn that it was all almost completely because of Iwerks. his style was what pretty much all animation aspired to be afterward.

i also find it interesting that Iwerks' cartoons were an influence for Osamu Tezuka, who saw them soon after World War II. so, in a way, Iwerks also had a hand in shaping the style of anime!

i know Iwerks is well known in many circles, but he and his work were new to me as an amateur animation enthusiast, so i thought i'd share how this little discovery has blown my mind.