Monday, January 30, 2012

But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean

Another Excerpt from my Short Stories.

She never told me what her name was, or perhaps I just don’t remember that part of the encounter. So many of the details of that day have become hazy with time, but the lesson I learned that day I still keep with me. I sat on the old wooden bench my feet in the warm sand, a thin ribbon of blood flowing from my nose. Strangely, bleeding was nothing new for me. I was a smart child, too smart for my own good most of the time. My raw intellect was not tempered with the wisdom of when it was a good idea to keep my mouth shut and my ideas to myself, especially when faced with three larger boys who needed very little in the way of excuses to lash out at a small wide eyed child with a noticeable disability.

While floating in the shallow end of the public pool during one of the mandatory deep end evacuation breaks that were called whenever the lifeguards needed to go flirt with the teen-age girls who worked at the snack stand, I was corned by three large teen-age boys. They were all dressed in darker colored swim trunks and their haircuts gave away the fact they were enrolled in ROTC. I was addressed by the shorter and more pig-like of the three boys. His thin lips curled over his crooked teeth as he spat out the question

“What the hell happened to your legs?” As was the traditional response when people asked me questions of that nature I calmly explained that I had no idea what he was talking about and then, because I did not have the good sense to know I was outnumbered, I added a comment about the lack of white in his teeth. This of course angered the large pig-child. The flash of crimson in Pig-Boy's cheeks brought joy to his two lackeys were overcome with anticipation of the savage beating that was about to be handed to me. Pig-boy grinned a jagged smile as he moved closer to me and informed me

“That’s pretty smart-ass talk fer a boy with railroad tracks on his legs.” This was of course a nod to the fact that my legs are lined with many surgical scars. Once more my inexperience with the battlefield showed when I proceeded to brighten up and inform him that my legs and his mother share a key characteristic as both of them have qualities of something ridden by many people. Looking back this was not the best course of action because my arms were quickly pulled behind my back by Pig-boys two accomplishes and he proceeded to punch me rather clumsily in the face. As I reacted to the pain in much the same way a polar bear reacts to the snow, Pig-Boy grew more irritated. He grabbed me by the back of the head, pushed me under water, and held me there. It was calm underwater, the burning sensation of the chlorine had long stopped irritating my eyes, and the sunlight casting the strange net-like patterns on the bottom of the pool was always one of my favorite things to look at. So much so that, after reading a book entitled the “The Black Pearl” I began to use the strange methods of controlled breathing that were contained within its pages to give myself a larger lung capacity so I could stay under longer just to be able to float in the deep silence of the water and watch the patterns shift. About thirty seconds passed and I decided to let my body go limp. I could hold my breath for about four minutes, so I let a few bubbles pass out of my mouth to add to the effect that I was drowning. I felt the two boys who were holding my arms loosen. I remanded motionless, twenty seconds passed and they had completely let go. Pig-Boy pulled my head out of the water but I just let my mouth sag open, my breath still held my chest not moving. My eyes were a dead gaze. It was at that point they began to panic. They shook me trying to get me to show any sings of life, but I had perfected the art of pretending to be asleep to avoid conversations with my grandmother about whatever random church-related insanity she wanted to babble on about, so hanging limp with a mask of death washed over my face was second nature. They let my body go and darted away from me, moving towards the opposite side of the pool, not screaming out that something was wrong for fear of alerting their overly orange-skinned mothers, or worse their mothers' younger overly-orange boyfriends, of the fact they may have just killed the small disabled child.

As they moved swiftly away I let out a small chuckle and pulled myself out of the pool making my way to the fence gate that separated the pool from the beach. As I moved onto the beach I could hear the lifeguard yelling at the boys for pulling him away from the snack shack and how he had had enough of their behavior and how they would be banded from the pool.

I found a particularly empty part of the beach and flopped down on the wind worn wooden bench. From behind me a small voice that I can only describe as lyrical said “You’re supposed to have a red band on your wrist, not on your face.”

I turned around and was face to face with a girl a little older than me. She was pale and her dark hair hung in curls past her shoulders. Her sun bleached orange T-Shirt had a well-distressed batman logo on it and her arms were laced with various bracelets, ribbons, bangles, cuffs, and charms.

“Excuse me?” I responded not sure what she was talking about, nor if she was actually talking to me. It was not normal for a girl, especially one who looked like they had been drawn by Mark Schultz, to randomly start a conversation with me.

“Your nose, it’s bleeding.” She said as she sat down next to me on the bench.

“Oh” I wiped it with the back of my hand and saw the crimson stain, “Thanks.”

Her green eyes were like something I had never seen before, they looked like the ocean, they were deep and, in one glance, I was sure they held many secrets. It was almost impossible to keep looking at them, and yet, I could not tear my eyes away from her gaze. That was until she told me to look up to slow the bleeding. I did as I was instructed. I felt the bench shift slightly as she sat down next to me, and out of the corner of my eye I could see her looking up as well. We sat in silence for what seemed like forever but it may have been a matter of moments when I found my voice. “What would I need a ribbon on my wrist for?” I asked hesitantly.

She chuckled “To protect you from the fairies.” She responded with the same level candor that someone would say, “Because water is wet” or “Because ice cream has no bones”. I turned to look at her to see if she was serious but her hands redirected my head skywards.

“Like, Tinkerbelle?” This time she more than chuckled, she laughed a deep full laugh

“No, not like Tinkerbelle. Sometimes I wonder how you people survive with all you don’t know. Tinkerbelle is as far from a real fairy as you can get."

“So what is a real fairy?” I asked my curiosity piqued.

“Well there are all sorts of fairy, there are and Faun’s and and Nix’s. There are Imps and Brownies and Gnomes.” The only thing I could think was that this girl was clearly insane, or trying to trap me in some sort of embarrassing moment, so I sat silently as she went on about the Redcaps and how they would wash there knit caps in pools of blood to mask there scent in the woods; or their ability to shape-shift to look like small animals so they could observe humans for some one she called the King of the Fay. She explained that mermaids and even banshees, the dead ladies that had horrible screams not the Irish man from the X-Men comic books, were types of fairies.

“Well, while it's interesting that there are so many different types of fairies and all, I don’t understand what any of this has to do with a ribbon?”

She chuckled once more. “Well, fairies, all of them, regardless of if they are large or small, love to play tricks on humans. Tie there shoe strings together, hide one of there socks - some of the more devious fairies go as far as switching medication around or cutting the brakes of someone’s car just to see what type of chaos will come out of it.”

“Cutting the brake lines.” I asked, reading my fair share of crime novels and knowing that a cut brake line was a recipe for disaster. “That’s not a joke, that’s attempted murder.”

“Fairies don’t think about things like humans do, they see humans as stuck up and way to serious, so they think any elements of disorder they can add to their lives helps give them perspective.”

“And the ribbon does what exactly?”

“Well, it shows that your not so uptight, the brighter the better, if a Fay thinks you already have an element of fun in your life, they are not going to try and insert elements of what they may think fun is into your world.”

“I see.” It did not make a whole lot of since to me, but this was the first time in my life a beautiful girl other than a nurse or someone who worked at a restaurant had talked to me, so I was not going to try and logic my way around the conversation. As far as I knew, with all that I had seen in my life, she might very well be right. I had not dealt much with fairies as far as I knew and I was not about to tell her she was wrong. We sat in silence for a while and about the time my neck started to hurt I turned to ask her how she knew this hoping to launch into another conversation where I could get her name and perhaps a way to hang out with her more but she was gone.

I looked around for her but did not see anyone on the beach. There were a few people in the surf, but none had that orange shirt on. I was going to chalk it up to some sort of head trauma-based delusion when I noticed that around my wrist was a string of red yarn tied in a little bow.

That was a long one. Well friend, I am off for the night, and until next time all I ask is that you believe in everything.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Excerpt from : Unrepressed Memories : My childhood was far from normal.

I sat in the back seat of my parents' car, what make and model it was are lost to me, but at that age, or this for that matter, things like car manufacturers and model types held little interest. I do however remember the way that the sunlight cascaded into the back seat from the driver side of the car, it was tawny and amber like honey mead and it seemed to cut deep valleys of light into the shadows of the back seat. I giggled while talking to my grandfather my fingers letting the thick tendrils of dusk light twist around them. My pink cheeks, small frame, and long black hair, a contrast to his large frame and almost smoke gray wisps of hair that seemed to ebb and flow in and out of the shadowed valleys of the passenger side back seat.

He was a man who appeared to be cut from stone. His face was blocky and veined with deep lines. You could almost pick out the cobalt grays that lay just beneath their surfaces. But regardless of his stone-like features his laugh was warm and he seemed to radiate a strange sense of calm. This calm was helpful as I had been sitting in the back seat for quite some time. The old man told me all sorts of stories about wars he had fought in using his bolder-like fists against the seat to imitate tanks crossing over imaginary battle fields. He told me about Russia and Germany, and my father and his brothers and sisters when they were children. We laughed and talked about gophers, and swimming, and all those things only a grandfather and grandson can talk about. The dusk light faded into night and the stars shown in the sky above. At some point I recall my mother waking from her slumber. She leaned back over the seat and asked me what I was talking about and I told her. Her face became a strange mask of concern and confusion, the same kind of face she made the first time I brought up the existence of multiple gods. She cocked her head to one side and asked me where I had heard such things and I pointed to my grandfather. She cast a glance into the empty back seat next to me and said, "sweetheart, your grandfather just passed away. Your father was at his funeral, how can he be sitting in the backseat talking to you?" I remember looking at my grandfather, and his eyes twinkled like deep pin pricks of star light in black pools. He smiled at me, and placed one of his cold hands on my shoulder and said.

“They may never understand boy.” I just shrugged at my mother and watched my grandfather fade into the shadows and starlight.

Childhood had an interesting way of making the adults in my life question what I knew to be real, and they would only allow themselves to accept as fits of fancy or figments of imagination. I have found in my years on this earth that sometimes something as simple as the truth, if presented in a way that may not be accepted as normal or mundane, often gets written off as a lie (or at the least a delusion). In a world where strange people make their livings filming old houses with night vision cameras, is it so unbelievable that a small child had a conversation with his grandfather who was still between worlds?

How many unexplainable events have you dismissed as fits of fancy? Perhaps next time a child tells you there is a monster under their bed, or a ghost in the attic you should check. Even if you see nothing there, that does not necessarily mean it does not lurk just on the edge of your perception.

Until next time, all I ask is that you believe in everything


Hollywood Swinging

I remember... Not too long ago... I went to the city... And I saw the Kool and the Gang show!

Is that song stuck in your head now? That was my goal, just so everybody is aware of that.

At any rate... SIX days!? We've gone six days without a post, people. That's no good. Luckily, I'm here to save the day with a post so incredible that it's sure to be talked about for at least a few minutes by, y'know... somebody or other. Right!?

Anyway, I'm working on this story (and by working on, I mean I'm waiting for the art to be finished so I can beg a colorist to do it on the cheap -- hint hint, colorists!) featuring an original creation of mine called Megastar. Megastar is one of the dozens of characters featured in the very cool War of the Independents series being put out by Dave Ryan (plug!). In fact, if you look closely at one of the pictures in that second link you'll spot Megastar amidst a gaggle of other independent heroes. Megastar is an idea I had way back in the early 2000s that went something like this:

"What if an established, wildly successful celebrity woke up with super powers?"

Eventually the idea morphed into a play on the Milestone Universe created by Dwayne McDuffie. If you're unfamiliar with the Milestone Universe, shame on you! Click that link and start reading! But if you absolutely refuse to do that, it basically consisted of a "big bang" going off that gave a bunch of people in an urban, socially and politically unequal environment super powers. But seriously, that description does not do the concept any justice whatsoever. Click the link! For Megastar, I decided to have a "big bang" go off in a Hollywood-type of environment that gave a bunch of privileged, shallow people super powers.

Hey, I never said it was the BEST idea I ever had... it's a parody, people!

The main character is Michael Whitman, also known as Megastar. He doesn't keep his identity secret. He operates in Crescent City (Hollywood, basically), in full view of the public, because that's the best way for him to gain more fame and notoriety from his exploits. The more famous he is, the more products he can endorse, the more movies he can star in, and oh, yeah! The more people he can save! Mmm hmm, yep... he cares about that stuff too. Honest!

Because there was a big bang that resulted in Megastar gaining his powers, other people in Crescent City were impacted as well. I created an entire Rouge's Gallery for Megastar featuring villains based on how I thought a mutagenic event would affect various types of entertainers or musicians or what have you.

Anyway, the story I'm trying to get finished was written quite a while ago, way back in 2006 (yikes!), and originally the art for all 14 pages was completed by an artist named Jake Bilbao. Jake is a fantastic artist, and I've worked with him on a few things over the years we've known one another. He has an incredibly realistic style that reminds me a bit of Bryan Hitch.

The story featured a villain called SFX (above, courtesy of Mr. Bilbao), who was formerly a special effects developer or coordinator (whatever you call them), that was transformed into an actual magician. So instead of creating movie magic, now he creates actual magic (gasp!). He has a mad-on for Megastar for reasons that are made apparent in the story, and basically uses his abilities to shunt Megastar into a cartoon pilot created by Michael Whitman's no account brother, Sammy. A whole lotta hilarity and hijinks ensue from there...

As I said before, Jake originally did the entire story, including the part where Megastar was placed into a cartoon. And he did an excellent job. But I wanted a style that was a bit more recognizable as a cartoon, and also one that really contrasted with Jake's detailed, realistic lines. So I recently turned to my good friend, and an incredible artist to boot, Dario Carrasco to re-create the "animated" pages. Here's a blueline sketch he did of both SFX and Megastar's brother, Sammy Whitman.

The styles are so different, that when Megastar is transported into the cartoon, it actually seems like he's in an entirely different world where anything can happen. Anyway, I'll talk more about Megastar as the story gets closer to completion... and publication! In the meantime, here's another sketch by Dario Carrasco of the "animated" Megastar, with inks by the equally talented Mark Stegbauer.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lets talk: Diagonals

Okay today we are going to talk diagonals and how they are used in sequential art to inject energy and movement into your story.  In the thumbnail below I have used diagonals in my panel compositions to make this page more energetic.  I also used the rule of thirds in each panel.
Hulk 30.1 Marvel sample
By using lines diagonal to the panel borders helps create movement and makes it easier to direct the readers eye to desired locations.  When trying to make more energy driven panels I try to avoid lines parallel to the borders.  Lines that are parallel to the borders are for more static compositions or moments, iconic scenes or maybe moments that require a pause or slow down in your story.  This scene however is movement laden.
    In panel one the diagonal can be easily seen by the smoke trail left by the Hulk's descending body.  Panel 2 is a little harder, The turn of the Hulks head, the angle of the Hulks torso and the angles created by the Hulks shoulders and hips are my diagonals here.  Panel 3 is kind of easy too.  the diagonals are used to point out what is creating most interest for the Hulk, The plane.  The Hulk line sight creates a diagonal as well as the trees in the background.  There is also a plume of smoke that goes in an opposite diagonal to counter balance the panel with the Hulk on the right of the panel.  Panel 4 is another easy one.  The Hulks shoulders, leg, hand placement and the environment.  Panel 5 uses diagonals ultimately to point you the object of Hulks desires, the plane but to help create the sense of movement and drastic change in energy.  I use a trail of rocks, the treeline and speed lines following hulk along the same diagonal to the vanishing point that sits on the hulk and The Hulk,of course, sits on a diagonal line that ends at the plane.  Okay,  Now this panel the whole scene is at and angle to create the off balance feel it needs.  The diagonal is used to create an unsteady feel and and the the diagonal shadow is used to conceal the figure in the background (in the script) but also to help bring out the foreground element, the guy at the communications desk saying "oh crap, the Hulk is coming!!!!".
   Using diagonal lines in our compositions is an effective method of creating a little energy and visual excitement in some if not most boring layout choices.  


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Current Experiment: Markers

So, as my first post here, I'd like to share with everyone my current experiment. Because of my lack of exposure as a freelance illustrator (working on that, btw), I've just been trying to build up my portfolio with work. Since a recent incident in my life which had me part ways with my Intuos 4 tablet, I've gone back to traditional media. I can safely say, I've never used markers before December, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I picked up a set of warm and cool gray Prismacolor Markers (really wanted Copic markers, but I'll acquire those soon enough) to try out. The subject of choice: women from X-Men. I started this series of illustrations with Storm, of whom I did not color with the markers (started this subject before they were purchased). Since then, each one has been used as a model to test my ability to effectively generate color in shades of gray. So far I've been pleased with the results, but I know I can push things farther. Any type of critique or advice would be appreciated.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who's a Demon? You is a Demon.

This is a "Demonized" piece for The Baku Kickstarter fund.  This is when I take a picture of a supporter and make him a demon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Once Upon A Time Machine -- Part 1

So one of the scripts I've done that I'm most proud of to date is my contribution to a collection of stories based on fables, fairy tales, myths and legends that was at first tentatively called "Future Fairy Tales" and was finally titled "Once Upon A Time Machine". The premise of the collection was to take a favorite fable, fairy tale or story of that type and give it a futuristic spin. The idea was to keep the fairy tales recognizable, but interpret them in a fresh, unique way. The story I chose to go with was one of my favorite yarns of all time -- "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling.

For those that aren't familiar with the story, it takes place in India. An English couple and their young son move into a bungalow with a beautiful garden. A storm hits that night, and a young mongoose is nearly drowned. The boy finds the mongoose near-death the next morning, and the boy and his parents nurse the animal back to health. They feed it, and the mongoose decides to hang out for a while. Unbeknownst to the humans, a duo of deadly cobras inhabit the garden and spend their time terrorizing the local wildlife. The two cobras are trying to raise a nest of eggs, and they don't want anyone or anything getting in the way. They decide to do away with the family, and it's up to the mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, to stop them.

Despite the fact that the story was a bit dark and serious, it really appealed to me, even as a young child. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi always struck me as a very heroic character, and the odds he was up against as a relatively young mongoose facing off with two fully grown and deadly cobras was right up my alley. It took me a while to craft a script that I felt did any justice to the original story. I'm still not entirely sure that I managed to pull it off, to be honest, but hopefully I won't be judged too harshly when the story eventually goes to print.

I'll talk more about exactly how I decided to interpret the story in future posts on the blog, but for now I thought I'd show off some of the art done by Ricardo Farrula, the artist that came on board and literally saved the story after the artist I had initially chosen was forced to pull out. If you click on his name you can see even more of his work, but these below are the character designs he did concerning the main characters of the story.

Here we have George (the father), Meredith (the mother), Thomas (the boy) and the "mongoose". I feel certain people will notice that the mongoose doesn't look much like an actual mongoose, and they'd be right, but there is a reason for that (I swear!), and I'll reveal more about that as we move along. Ricardo did a wonderful job capturing each of the characters. I tried to craft more of an idyllic family of the future when I was writing the script, and Ricardo keyed in on that magnificently. More to come!
Page 2 of 6 of a sci-fi anthology story written by Ron Fortier.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Agent DFM

I wrote this about 2 years ago when I was taking a creative writing class at a community college.  It was an eight page script but the artist I hired drew the first four pages and vanished, which is a real shame because I really enjoyed his work.
The story is a simple one. It is a tale of two brothers. One a police chief, the other a mayor. The mayor is murdered and the police chief swears revenge. How will the police chief get his revenge? By using his dead brother's soul to power a killer robot. Duh. Here are first four pages. Enjoy...bob...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jason and the Cosmonauts

Something I have been playing with, figured i may as well get some fresh eyes on it.


Page One
1. A half moon hangs low along the tree lines.

2. A long stretch of lonely road flanked by thick trees on both sides. A checkered cab drives along in the darkness the only points of light are the Taxi Sign, the head lights, and the stars above.

Page Two

1.The driver, Jason Ward tries to stay awake as he runs his hand across his two day old stubble. He pulls a cigarette from behind his ear and puts it between his lips. Fishing into his work shirt pocket he produces a lighter.

2. In his exhaustion as he goes to light it he fumbles and drops his lighter between his legs.
Jason Ward: "Shit"

3. Jason reaches down

4. Jason's hand grabbing the lighter.

Page Three

1.Jason Sits up and his eyes make contact with a Deer in the middle of the road.
Jason Ward: "SHIT!"

2. Jason pulls the wheel hard to the left and slams on the breaks running off the road and into the dirt andshort grass sending up a cloud of dust. His driver side tire blows out.

3. Jason Gets out of the car. Hes dressed in a work short sleeve shirt and jeans heavy work boots.

4. He inspects the blown tire, looking up he sees the dear leap jump off into the woods.

5.He lifts the lighter to his now slightly bent cigarette and lights it.

Page Four

1. He takes a deep drag and as he breaths out the smoke a few snow flakes begin to fall.
Jason: "Wonderful"

2. Jason reaches into the cab and produces a long sleeve shirt and a knit drivers cap.

3. Jason moves to the back of the car and pops the trunk.

4. Jason sets to changing the tire.

5. Jason closes the trunk. The snow is still lightly falling as he produces another cigarette and lights it.

Page Five

1. (Small long panel at the top of the page) An up shot of Jason shows a HUGE plane looking ball of fire rocketing over head.

2. Jason Watches as the ball of fire cuts a path of destruction through the trees.

Page Six

1. Jason starts to run towards what he thinks is a plane crash.

2. As he approaches the huge crater created from the crash it becomes clear this is no ordinary plane crash.

3. A small small star ship sits badly damaged in the center of the crater.

4. A body partly covered in debris is silhouetted by the burning wreckage.

Page Seven

1. Jason jumps over a fallen tree and moves towards the body.

2. Jason pulls a chunk of metal off the body.

3. He stands mouth open.

4. Laying on the ground before him is no human but an alien being humanoid in shape but its skin the color of evergreen pine. Its eyes are deep orange slits set above a nose less face, its mouth, winder than a human mouth, has rounded white teeth in a deep tongueless black mouth.

5. The Alien being is clad in a one peace flight suite with various pockets and straps reaches out a four fingered hand towards Jason.

Page Six

1. The Alien Being looks at Jason with strange eyes.
Alien Being: (without opening his mouth) "Help me please..."

2. Jason standing aw struck above the Alien
Jason: "Did you just say help me?"
Alien Being: "Please Jason, help me."

3. Jason takes off his jacket and starts to wrap it around the Alien.
Jason : "How the hell do you know my name, how are you doing that, I can here you, inside
my head... this cant be real."
Alien Being: "They are coming, we must leave or they will kill us."

4. Jason lifting the Alien up in his arms.
Jason: "Us, what us, you fell from the sky, the sky is some place I have never been,
there is no us."

5. Close up on Alien Beings face as he is being carried by Jason.
Alien Being: "They will kill you because you have seen me..."

6. Jason carrying the Alien through the woods back towards his cab.
Jason: "Who is this they? More of you Martians folks? I have heard of you ya know, Ive read Burroughs, I know about you Martians, never thought you were real though."

7. Jason sets the Alien in the passenger seat of his cab.
Jason "I have no idea what I am doing Mars Man, I don't know where I am supposed to take you, I wager taking you to a hospital would cause more than a little bit of a commotion."
Alien: "There coming, we must move quickly, I need to contact my ship."

8. Jason getting into the drivers seat.
Jason: "Ship... right, your Martian friends, how do we do that."

Page Seven

1. Jason starts driving down the road the snow has picked up.

2. View from outside the cab looking into the passenger window, the Alien Being lays his head on the window frame.
Alien: "We must get to a high point, with a clear view of the sky, we must hurry, they are close?"

3. Through the windshield showing Jason with his hands on the wheel and the Alien in the passenger seat.
Jason: "Who is close?"
Alien: "The Watchers in the Dark."
Jason: "Well Friend, I make a living getting people where they need to go, you picked the right part of thesky to fall out of."

4. A black car speeds down the road closing in on Jason's cab its head lights blazing in the falling snow.

5. View from behind Jason as he looks into the review mirror. Jason squints his eyes as the head lights of theclosing car reflects off his rear view mirror.

6. Jason holds his hand out the window and waves the car to pass him
Jason: "Come on buddy, if your in that big a hurry go around me."

Page Eight

1. A gloved hand with a white sleeve under a black suite arm out of the passenger window of the black car pulls the trigger on a pistol.

2. From behind the Cab. The back window shatters

3. View from the front of the cab Jason is slightly ducked down and the Alien Being is now sitting up looking over his shoulder towards the black car.
Jason: "What the hell!"
Alien: "The watchers are here, we must escape, if we do not all is lost."
Jason: "Why are they shooting at us?"

4: Alien being close up on his face.
Alien: "They want me, my technology."

5: From outside the driver window looking in on Jason.
Jason: "Not to be rude Mr. Mars Man, but your technology is scattered across half the county, I don't think it is doing anyone much good."
Alien: "I am not from Mars, and they want my knowledge, they want to use it to further there goals."

6: Car picks up speed from outside the car looking in to the front seat.
Jason: "Well right now there shooting at my cab, so I could give a shit less what they want."

Page Nine

1. A bullet shot pops the driver side tire.

2. The cab skids off the road onto the shoulder of the road smacking into a tree.

3. Jason leaned back his face bloody, The Alien Being slumped over the dash.

4. The Black car slows to a stop behind the Cab.

5. The Door opens and a man in a black suite with a fedora steps out as another man in a black suit andfedora gets out of the passenger side.

6. Inside the cab Jason reaches over to help the Alien.
Jason: "Hey, you alright?"

Page Eight

1. The Alien Being is bloody and holding a crazy Jack Kirby looking Disc in his hand.
Alien: "They cant have this, you cant let them have this."

2. Jason Holding the Alien in his arms.
Jason: "Come on, we have to move, there going to be on us soon."
Alien : "I am called Tarn."
: "Nice to meet you Tarn, my name is Jason now come on."
: "To late for me now, You have to take it."

3. Jason is jerked out of the car by one of the Men in Black.

4. View from the ground as Jason is tossed into the gravel on the shoulder of the road, the snow is falling andone of the men in black is looking down on him gun in hand.
Man in Black 1: "Do not move sir."

5. The second man in black drags the Aline Being out of the cab and drops his body to the ground.
Man in Black 2: "It appears to be expired."

6. Man in Black 1 jerks Jason to his knees and holds a gun to the back of his head.
Man in Black 1 : "What did it say to you."

7. Jason with a bloody face smiles his face bloody.
Jason: "He asked me where he could find a nice stiff drink."

8. Man in Black 1 puts the barrel of the gun to the back of Jason's head.
Man in Black 1: "We are not fellows to be trifled with."
Jason: "I was just trying to get the man to where he wanted to go."

Page Nine

1. Man in Black 1 hits Jason harder than it seems a normal man would be able to, it sends him sprawling head over heals into the dirt.

2. Jason props himself up on his arms looking up at the Men in Black.
Man in Black 2: "He knows nothing"
Man in Black 1: "Then he is of no use to us, kill him burn the corps."

3. Jason looks down at his front pants pocket a strange green glow with Kirby Dots growing around it pulses.
Jason: "Uhhh"

4. The Men in Black move towards him.
Man in Black 1: "He has the device."

5. Jason's body bursts with Kirby Dots.

Page Ten

1. The Men in black stand over a chard patch of earth where Jason once was.

2. Man in Black 1 holds up his arm reveling a Dick Tracy style video communicator watch.
Man in Black 1: "The Device is in play."

3. The watch screen is grainy displaying a shadowy humanoid figure.
Shadow : "Who activated it?"

4. The Man in Black 1 speaks into the watch as Man in Black 2 pores gas on the cab.
Man in Black 1: "A cab driver."
Shadow: "Destroy the evidence, return to base."

5. Jason opens his eyes looking up into a large furry face with four small spider like eyes and a huge toothsome scowl.

6. Wide shot of Jason laying on the floor of the deck of a star ship around him sits a crew of aliens the large furry one stands at least eight feet tall looks down on at him a ray gun in its outstretched hand.
Jason : "Uhhh... hello?"

Below are a few things I've worked on recently. I'll try and upload more "in progress" works in the future. Anyway, officially my first post as a Munkey :)

A recent portrait commission.

A recent portrait commission I turned in to a sort of vintage looking movie poster. But I actually really like the black and white line work before I did all the finishes and text.

Page 1/6 of a short story I'm working on with writer, Ron Fortier.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kuretake No. 8 Fountain Hair Brush Pen

This is my go to drawing utensil.. I have used other brush pens in the past made by other manufacturers (Pentel, Micron) and none have the control that I desired.

I find this pen very responsive and ink flow control is amazing.  I believe that the metal ball in the cartridge really helps maintain a consistent flow and, unlike other comparable pocket brush pens, this brush maintains a constant flow throughout the ink cartridge's life.   Other brush pens tend to get overloaded in the middle of the cartridge's life and tends to bleed or create undesired line widths.  Drawing feathering strokes are also a breeze and do not bleed together.  The brush also maintains its spring and has not frayed with heavy use.  I have inked many comic pages measuring 11X17 inches on smooth and vellum bristol board and this pen has proven its longevity.

Some may find the length of the pen to be a negative trait but I like the size and balance of the pen but for those used to a standard pen size this may take a little getting used to.
All in all I would recommend this pen to the hobbyist and all the way to the professional illustrator.  Its ease of use and responsiveness make it a great pen for all skill levels.
The Gene Colan piece below was inked with the No. 8 Brush pen.

Now go get one!!!