Wednesday, December 28

Thanos for Christmas

Maybe you know of the Loika.

Pat Loika is a tireless advocate for comics and a host of a comics-centered podcast with creator interviews and a participant on another for pro wrestling. He loves comics above all, and he's one of the best cheerleaders for the medium and comics community. He does the con circuit. He makes his own comics.  He has nurtured a reputation among fans and creators.

And he draws cards for Christmas. Here's the 2011 set. I'm counting 75 images. That's madness. it's incredible kindness. That's Pat.

Once I got on his card list, I decided the least I could do is return the favor. This year's card features Thanos, one of the characters he regularly requests for commissions.

I took a reference picture after my hand sketches looked, well, sketchy. I knew I wanted an image close to this cover:

But it was gonna be a close-up.

The pencils and original inks on the left, and the cleaner ink version on the right.

I used color markers (badly, weakly) and sent the image off to Pat last week. I didn't wanna post it until he got it in the mail.

Here's to Pat.

Monday, December 19

The Women of 80TEAM80

Yeah, I blanked on female members for the team during that podcast. I should have veered in that direction before I considered Turbo Teen, for crying out loud. 

So here are the ladies.

I knew I would be asked about Cheetara's absence, and I can only say that I have no attachment to Thundercats. I would have added Teela first anyway, but we already had He-Man. That knocked out She-Ra too.

You may be interested to see that Diana was originally going to be Sheila, the redheaded thief from the same cartoon. In fact, she was my first choice before I did some research and remembered that she had very little to add aside from her cloak of invisibility, and the ninja skills of Snake-Eyes takes care of stealthiness. Also, the pose I was giving her was headed into Adam Hughes cheesecake territory, and that also made me question why I was adding her to the team.

Because Diana is an Olympic-class gymnast, she needed to be the smaller of the group, and that changed the camera placement for the image. Here are the full-size pencils, before I traced the image to ink. I never got a handle on Firestar's right foot. It taunts me.

Friday, December 16


The annual Sarcastic Voyage year-end specials are called Clusterflonks (named after an online collaborator) and feature questions supplied by listeners. I submitted a high-falutin' art history question, thus obliging me to field someone else's question. I was not-so-randomly given a question based on a mental exercise from a few months back: Who should comprise 1970s League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen? I think I picked The Bandit, Sybil, Regan from The Exorcist, Michael Corleone, and the Six Million Dollar Man. It's been a while, and Twitter won't show me tweets from that far back.

Because of that notion, I was assigned this question for the podcast: assemble a 1980s cartoon supergroup.

The dog, of course, is the leader. Snake Eyes is his enforcer, and He-Man is the party monster.
I couldn't come up with any women at the time, and the drawing represents my answer for the show. Now, I'd add either Firestar (Spider-Man's amazing friend), Jem, or Sheila the thief from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon.

Monday, December 12

The Process of Podunk

As I noodled through ideas for the t-shirt shop, I dusted off some art from my college days, including a doodle of a '50s giant-monster movie. My monster would be an entire town, not as individual zombie/mutants on the shuffling prowl, but as a collective creature: Podunk, The Town That Walked Like A Man.

When the Wide Awake folks asked me to contribute for a horror anthology, I made a four-part Podunk story.

It was over-thought and under-drawn, and I always wanted to revisit it. But hero comics bumped it to the bench. The idea of the Podunk movie poster stuck with me as a viable image, however, and I thought it could work for the t-shirt, especially given our many small towns.

Using the basic image I drew years ago (and seem to have misplaced), I kept in mind the screenprint color limits and simplified the colors. I played with color separations and foreground design to sell Podunk's size.

And then I thought I could make it simpler and better sell the menace and scale. As I strolled through Barnes & Noble on a lunch break, I saw this cover.

This is a loving homage to Saul Bass, a design genius who made some of the best movie posters in the '60s. I Googled a batch sample to keep in my peripheral vision as I drew. I had swiped the basic design of the second poster on the top row for a MetroBEAT cover years back.

I sketched a basic design in Illustrator.

I then created color segments. I wanted the buildings to be asymmetric and wonky to suggest anxiety. Also the colors would be uncomfortably bright in this context instead of happy and sunny. The white lines in the red blocks would underscore the tension and help break up the giant white monster silhouette. I got rid of the mountains behind him, leaving him the largest item.

Then there was the question of how the text and where to run it. That big building block seemed like a good fit. I added black to lock the buildings in the foreground and help the text jump out.

I decided to stretch the arms higher to make as fearsome a profile as practical.


And that's when I thought I should full vertical with the design to REALLY push the size of Podunk.
I squeezed the white lines to mirror Podunk's profile in perspective, made the name equally as towering, and changed up the building layout. That seemed pretty good for an experiment of style.

And then I considered a scene away from the city and how a change of color might affect the poster's tone.

Our guy now became contemplative of his place in the world, reminding me of DC Comics' Swamp Thing, a man-monster who doesn't seem to fit anywhere. What if this guy is the backwoods Godzilla, a spirit of the mountains who balances the egregious threats to the area? Not an eco-warrior but a monster fighter and a way to play with mountain legends and myths. That story might have a poster like these:

I like the distinctions, even as they stay within the same style inspiration. And when I finally put his story down, I'll have a choice as to which tact to take. I like the idea now of a flipbook with both stories getting some play.

Now let's see if the t-shirt shop will bite.

Friday, December 9

Skate Girl

Still making t-shirt art proposals (even though that shop has yet to respond to my emails and calls), and I'm at a resting place with this one.

Might add some text, might add some motion lines. I dunno. But it's at a point where I'm gonna let it sit for now.

I took some reference pictures for the pose and drew it in Illustrator and colored it in Photoshop. I've had the idea of a luchadora skater ever since I heard Beck's "Qué Onda Guero." I wanted her to have the late '70s relaxed skate posture and clothing instead of a current style. I think the wheel color helps sell that.

UPDATE: I realized I needed to sell the '70s vibe more and decided to give it a title. This gal is my cloudy memory of the quintessential late '70s tomboy, the kinda gal who rejected the page haircut and Farrah makeup. I picked out Cooper, the popular iron-on font that was all over that decade, and angled it with a customized O design. I colored the rest, giving me a new resting point for the art.

Tuesday, November 29

Jesse Helms

I recently signed a contract with a local t-shirt shop, and it sent me scrambling.

I wanted to submit material immediately to, if nothing else, show them what I had in mind. They signed my contract without seeing as much as a doddle, so I need to prove I'm serious about this. I dug through my old newspaper art to see what I could rework into a shirt design, and I found something that sparked an idea. But for that idea, I needed to make a new piece, and I decided it would be of longtime North Carolina Jesse Helms. I found an image and recreated it, Shepard Fairey style, in Adobe Illustrator.

Now, yes, Illustrator's Live Trace can accomplish much the same thing, but I find its results to be flat. And it feels like a cheat. I was doing this kind of spot-color recreation years before Illustrator provided the same style of artwork. I like making art this way -- color field by color field -- and I think the result is stronger than what Illustrator hands you when you click the mouse. 

And here he is:

When I hear from the shirt shop (yea or nay), I'll post the final design that includes this work.

Friday, November 11

Finishing Spider-Girl

I traced the original foreground and background layers onto one artboard with a lightbox and held my breath for a week, waiting for the mindless mistake that would make me start the final version all over again.

It came more than halfway through the inking. See that tallest building behind Spider-Girl? See the section under her left arm? I inked that full black. It was a flat block of black. As soon as I held the page at arm's length and looked at it, I knew I screwed up. And I had only two options: Start over or salvage in as efficient and clean a manner as I could imagine.

Instead of starting a new artboard, I decided to draw lines in white using acrylic paint. Because it would cover black ink, I knew it wouldn't be as bright a white as the uninked paper. But I could layer that paint, even though it might get bulky. It would accumulate like a stalagmite off the page, and that would be tricky for whatever framing her parents wanted. 

So I put down the lines using my smallest acrylic brush and my beloved rolling ruler, making the lines as slim and straight as possible. When they dried (and they do quickly, even on day-old ink), I used the ruler and my thickest Micron pen on either side of the paint lines to cover it with ink, leaving white lines approximately as thin as the original black lines. That paint takes on a bluish hue over the black ink, but the lines are so small that the slight color helps sell the illusion of distance. I also used the paint to thicken the white border separating Spider-Girl from the background, making her pop forward more.

There are still some things I'd like to change, but I think it came out well. It's clean, and I like the variety and arrangement of the buildings. I think I managed to use her requested spider-pose well. I tilted the background intentionally to balance the pose and create a sense of movement, and I left the space over the buildings blank as a negative-space balance. Had I drawn clouds, I would have reached for my .005 Micron, a pen whose nib could split atoms.

I hope they like it.

And now onto the next piece.

Monday, November 7

Starting Spider-Girl

A couple of friends requested artwork of their oldest daughter in a tweaked Spider-Man costume. "Does she want one of the Spider-Woman/Girl costumes?" No, they said. Spider-Man. She even has her own Spider-Man pose.

I made some reference images as I played with composition, but they didn't work well on the page.

After a couple of false starts, I drew a full image on one piece of board, and then split the foreground and background onto separate pieces.

 This let me finesse each component and find my mistakes before making a final drawing. The building reflections worked better in the pencil sketch. When I played loose with them on the background ink, the illusion failed. When I'm ready to move to the final artboard, I can move around the figure for the best placement over the buildings and then add black reflections based on the figure's black areas. I want the background to be noticeable but stay back; it shouldn't compete with the figure.

I've also, since these scans, fixed the torso webs and redrawn her curly hair.

I showed them the figure image a few weekends back, and they seemed happy with it. I can move forward with a scoash more confidence.

Monday, October 31


God bless British horror.

I read a lot of Clive Barker alongside my Stephen King and Lovecraft, and I was a fan of the Books of Blood anthologies. I was slightly obsessed with Cabal, later adapted as Nightbreed, and its parade of outcast monsters. It was the horror version of X-Men, guaranteeing I would be all over it.

Hellrasier was a fine horror franchise alongside Nightmare On Elm Street or Phantasm. The Cenobites were fascinating as a subclass of demons, middle managers of Hell, slightly bored with the jobs at which they excel. The first two films remain nice dark horror films with as much atmosphere and suspense as gore. Marvel published a fine spin-off series about the Cenobites and those who stumble upon the puzzle box that summons them.

Saturday, October 29

The Mist

I waited more than 20 years to see this film.

I first read Stephen King's Skeleton Crew, an anthology that lead off with 'The Mist,' when I was at most a high-school freshman. My Mom got me stared on his works when handed me a copy of Night Shift from the library; she didn't care for it. She must have noticed my interest in UFOs and ghosts and "real" monsters and figured the King stories couldn't be any worse than the same three books I religiously borrowed from the school library.

'The Mist' is the longest work in Crew, benefiting from the extended format but eliminating tangents to stick with the premise: a fog enshrouds a small Maine town, trapping our characters in a grocery store, and monstrous things are emerge. Great story, great ending, ill-fitting sex scene seemingly tossed in to attract publishers. I avoided the audiobook (advertised in a 3D audio format) because I assumed it wouldn't match my internal version of the novella.

But when I heard of the movie, I was immediately curious, and I happily followed the vague backstage diaries posted at Ain't It Cool News. Matt Drudge, ever the dick, ruined the ending on his website, but I went anyway, curious how the film story would go where the novella didn't. I like it, I admit, because, without spoiling it the movie, the new ending is scarier for its implications. King himself said he would have used that ending had he thought of it. But I like King's original ending; it was the right kind of ending teenage me could accept.

My favorite mental image from those reads is the encounter with the giant monster, something so big that they people in the car could only see its legs stretching skyward until the fog enveloped them. The movie gives us a slightly different version of that scene, and I decided to mix the two. This image makes the big monster bigger but still visible to the passengers.

If you get the chance, watch the black/white version of the film. It's better.

I hadn't used hatching to this degree in years. We were discouraged from using it in my university art classes, and this style is a nod to the kind of technique I would have used it had I drew the scene back when I first read the story.

Wednesday, October 26

Prince of Darkness

I consider myself a jaded horror fan. I go into films with a half hope, but only half, that the film is gonna get me. It will unnerve me or jolt me or surprise me. It's that way with all types of movies, right? We don't want the movie to take the safe, predictable path. We want to see something new.

But that in itself isn't the highest measure of success. What I really love is when a scene, no longer new, continues to jolt upon repeated viewings. When you know what's gonna happen, and it still gets you, that's the blue-ribbon moment. And when that happens in a horror film, I think that's the highest mark in cinema, honestly. Those films are constructed to spook you, but 90% of those scares diffuse over time. But the other 100%, we horror fans treasure because of their rarity.

So it is with Prince of Darkness. Now it's not perfect. The film drags in spots. But the story is secondary to the visuals, and it's there that the filmmakers go all in. Essentially, it's a haunted-house movie: The people can't escape, and the danger is growing. In a small church sits a large cylinder, a prison for Satan, and it's weakening. A group of scholars is whittled away as the devil's influence seeps free, and doom with a capital D sets in.

What really gets me are the dream sequences. In the film, the scholars nod off and suffer a shared dream that's actually a time-shunted video from the future: Satan has escaped, and he's about to bring the thunder. It's a simple set piece -- a figure silhouetted in a doorway -- but director John Carpenter makes it work thanks to the "found footage" conceit. This presages quite a bit of modern horror/thrillers like Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity, and the first alien scene in Signs. When Prince of Darkness was released (1987), home video was just starting to became affordable to everyone, and the audiences recognized what a first-person video moment looked like. More than 20 years later, this recurring scene gets me each time. And there's a significant alteration at the film's end that makes it all the creepier.

Monday, October 24

Legion/Exorcist 3

Despite the curse of a roman numeral title, Exorcist 3 is a great horror film.It contains a scene that never fails to spook me.

It should have been titled, at worst, Exorcist 2, but that was used for a studio-penned sequel for the film based on William Peter Blatty's novel. Blatty eventually wrote a true sequel titled Legion, a title that should have followed the book to the screen.

Fans of the original book and film will remember Lt. Kinderman, the detective investigating the death of the drunken director friend of the possessed girl's mother. In Legion, Kinderman is the main character, now pursuing a string of deaths seemingly related to a serial killer killed more than a decade ago. That search takes him to the psychiatric wing of the local hospital, and what he finds in a padded room dramatically alters the investigation and his burgeoning theory of the universe, a cosmology that can make sense of a fallen world.

I won't spoil it for you, but Exorcist fans will recognize the mysterious patient as quickly as Kinderman.

Did you know cartoon "surprise" effects cast shadows? Neither did I.

Thursday, October 20

From Beyond

This one may not be as familiar. I'll explain.

Right after the success of his Re-Animator adaptation, writer/director Stuart Gordon was asked to pursue another HP Lovecraft film. From Beyond was chosen. Unlike the Re-Animator stories, From Beyond is maybe five pages long. The gist makes it to the screen though:

In the story, the unnamed narrator explains how his friend built a machine called the resonator that expands our perception of the spectrum. It also breaks down dimensional barriers, and creatures cross over. People disappear, the inventor dies, and the narrator is driven insane. The end.

In the movie, all that happens before the opening credits: machine, creatures, death, institution. From there we get a story of fetishism, liberation, addiction, and monsters. Turns out the creator wasn't killed despite his head going missing. Instead, he merged with the monster that chomped his brains, and he's developing control of the resonator "from beyond." When it's on, he and his menagerie can cross over to call dibs on a planetwide brain buffet. This goes to the core of Lovecraft mythology: man discovers he's nothing compared to the violent mysteries of the universe.

So today's image is of the inventor as he again crosses over. Each time he does, he loses more of his humanity, and his appearance mixes with that of the giant bug that ate him (designed by comics legend Neal Adams and inspired heavily by William Blake's Red Dragon, yes, the same creation used for the Thomas Harris book and films).

Our heroes get the double whammy of seeing his incremental distortions along with their own dissolving sense of reality. It's a fun movie. Very gory, but not so much bloody. Not for kids though. Tuck them in first.

Friday, October 14

Warming Up

As of yesterday, I finished the initial thumbnails for next year's comic. Currently, it will only be one comic but will closely tie in to the previous Focus/eMMA comics. It'll be bigger in size and action, a big blowout episode. The script thumbs out at at least 33 pages, and that might expand as I inflate the fight scenes. The little scenes, I mean; the whole comic is practically a fight scene.

These are the thumbs, sketched on the 7x10 paper, making each page sketch about 2 x 1.5 inches. I want to check panel layout, camera movement, and beats. Make sure my characters hit their marks.

The script will need tweaks, the first of many all the way up until the book is sent to the printer. The recent theme artwork has my drawing brain segment confident I can draw whatever the writer brain segment has cooked up.

The first scene of the book came to me as I mowed my lawn a few weeks after I attended an open house at the local fitness center. It's also dedicated to two longtime friends of mine who teach fitness courses. So I need to get those pages right or they'll make me workout until my joints pop off.

And now that I look at the pages above, the comic doesn't seem that big at all. I think I'll tightly choreograph the fight scenes and stretch them out.

Wednesday, October 12

Jason Voorhees

Admission: I'm really digging this new sketchpad size.

Confession: I have not seen a Friday the 13th film.

Declaration: I'm OK with that.

Still, I thought this turned out really well.

Sunday, October 9

Creature from the Black Lagoon

I don't remember when I saw this guy first. Was it the books on monster movies I read obsessively as a boy or was it when the local NBC affiliate aired it as a 3D movie (and we had to buy glasses at the local convenience stores, and I still couldn't use them because of my bad eyes)? Either way, I was young, and this was one of the first monsters I knew as a movie monster instead of a creation from books that were adapted into films. That seemed to make him distinct, less real. And as I didn't live around big bodies of water, I wasn't afraid of him.

Great design. Not a great boogeyman.

Friday, October 7

The Fly

"Oh sure, being half-man, half-fly has its downside. I mean, lookit my hand. I can't wear proper oven mitts when I bake my cookies. I can't wear that hat my Nana knitted me when I was 14. And I loved that hat. That hat and me have seen some crazy times, you know. Crazy times. I also can hear the neighbors breathe, and that gets old right quick.

But, hey, I can walk on walls. I can eat as much sugar as I want, and I, frankly, never knew poo tasted so good. You should try it. It goes great with this '87 Sangiovese. Remember when you had to only eat certain food with red or white? Listen, Sangiovese goes with e'reythang, let me tell you. But it makes poo sparkle. Sparkle. I'm spoiled. I won't go back to chardonnay. Just won't."

Thursday, October 6

Sharing Is Caring: Kill Bill 2 Deleted Scene

Found this on Grantland, ESPN"s spinoff clubhouse for Bill Simmons and friends. This is from the DVD for Kill Bill Vol. 2, which I don't have as I, along with a lot of the films' fans, am waiting for the ultimate combined cut of the two films. Also, a commentary track would be nice.

I can see why the scene was cut, as it feels slow and never quite achieves the cool for which it strives, but it's validated completely by Uma's face at the very end.

For those of us who never quite bought her attraction to Bill, this scene explains it and does so without words. It's very similar to Rosario Dawson's moment in Death Proof when her character shifts from terrified to calm to delighted in the space of six seconds. One of my favorite moments in film. I always liked Dawson. This made me love her.

Monday, October 3

Sharing Is Caring: Coriolanus

Here's a film I just learned of today, a new Shakespeare adaptation directed by first-timer Ralph Fiennes.

I find him fascinating. Clearly a thinking actor, he's played a remarkable range of roles including Voldemort (the clear hero of the Harry Potter series), Francis Dolarhyde, Amon Goeth, and John Steed. He's also played opposite Jennifer Lopez and Wallace & Gromit. I cannot help watching him no matter the scene or the co-star. He is magnetic, and I'm not surprised a person of his apparent consideration has tried his hand at directing.


The first of our Spooky Monsters of Spooky Spookiness. And it's the Big Daddy: Dracula. I went with the vampire described in the Stoke novel instead of the Lugosi template.

As with most of what I'm posting here, this was an experiment of design, and it's pretty much what I had in mind. I'm clearly veering away from sketches and into (quasi)polished works, and that's gonna force me to be more exacting in design and execution. Still, this is fun stuff, and it teaches me what to avoid or repeat as I tackle the next comic.

Friday, September 30


This is the last of the short Marvel Ladies theme. This is Tigra, the cat lady hero person, who you have to think influenced the design of DC's Starfire, another orange heroine with green eyes who fights in a bikini.

Next week, we start the October theme: Spooky Monsters of Spooky Spookiness.

Tuesday, September 27

Ms. Marvel

She's an officer in the Air Force. She worked for NASA. She's an Avenger.  Can we drop the "Ms." now? Any reason why she can't be Captain Marvel?

I'm also hoping for an explanation of the stylized S/lightning bolt on her costume? I was prepared for some sort of connection to Sentry to be revealed in Marvel's Seige miniseries.

I first read the character in X-Men when she was depowered after tangling with Rogue. We older readers will remember Rogue was constantly tortured as the Danvers personality fought for dominance. That's why she went running to the X-Men for help, beginning a continuing theme of villain redemption through membership.

I almost cheated here and added stars digitally.

Monday, September 26


A few years back, for my brilliant sister-in-law in med school, I drew a bierfrau for a fundraiser. Originally the image had an agency logo on the pitcher in her right hand. That's why it's so prominent in the artwork. Bier gardens make for popular fundraisers, and this lady has been dusted off a few times. When used a second time, we removed the agency logo, and we e recycled the image again this year, with small tweaks, for a special Tex-Mex Oktoberfest fundraiser.

Come on, chili in October? That's when you need it. And what goes better with chili than German beer or local microbrews?

That's right: Bierfraus.

Friday, September 23

Dark Phoenix

I wanted to avoid what I considered the standard Phoenix poses: pointing at the viewer or hip cocked out like Ke$ha or frenzied with malice. I had an idea for a contained stance. Something to suggest she's less interested in the viewer, focused instead on whatever notions strike the cosmic superpowers.

I was pretty happy with the initial inking.

But on this side of the work, the expression seems flat, and the gloves lack color distinction from the bodysuit. Not thrilled with the sash either.

Still, we learn from sketches. I think the shading has some nice moments, but I'm still struggling with a cohesive inking veneer to the pencils. Small moves, Sparks.

Wednesday, September 21


I'm starting to see dividends in working at a larger size. It even inspires me to try backgrounds. BACKGROUNDS!

Still struggling with inking. The lines softened a bit; that front shoe looked much stronger in penciled form. But I added all the thick black spots on her arms and head and the car's undercarriage in the inking stage, and that didn't come out too badly. I'm encouraged.

Tuesday, September 20


I'm still playing with the larger size of the new sketchpad and drawing styles. You can see how I somewhat flattened the hair for a strong design element. I wanted to better define the fingers but keep the bent leg simple and save myself the aggravation of a realistic contour. That's what I need overall: simpler, surrendering to design and energy.

Wednesday, September 14

Magic WheneverIfeelikeit: Scarlet Witch

Here's the Scarlet Witch, the mentally unstable daughter of Magneto and brother to Quicksilver. She manipulates chaos magic to create unlikely events. She married a robot and magiked up a pair of twin babies she later learned were figments. Then she beset the Avengers, her teammates, with a slew of doomsday situations, destroying their mansion and necessitating a new team formation.

This is my first art in the new sketchbook which is supposedly suited for wet media -- heavier paper stock and all that -- but my Sharpie ink bled right through. I was playing around here with the new book dimensions. I didn't sketch out a composition before I started penciling, so the angle shoved her right of the page.

Friday, September 9

A Humble Recommendation

If you feel you will not escape the 9/11 anniversary coverage this weekend, and you want to navigate toward material that will truly encourage and strengthen you -- as opposed to what the majority of media outlets will try to do -- check out Scott Raab's excellent series for Esquire as he delineates the efforts to build a practical and respectful new World Trade Center amid a storm of politics and sentiment.

Go on. 

Thursday, September 8

Thoughts on the Con

So, yes, DragonCon 2011 was a fun time. The missus and I dressed again as GI Joe characters Shipwreck and Lady Jaye (as seen in this fine person's Flickr album). My pictures are here.

This is us in the parade. It was right nice. We couldn't help but smile the whole time.
1) Lots of people. 45,000 people. Once you're in the common areas of the hotels, you shuffle only. You can't stride until you make it to a guest room hallway, connecting airwalk tube, or the street.

2) This makes courtesy and patience mandatory, not just preferred.

3) Which is a lesson the football fans could have used as they were checking out of our hotel Sunday morning. The very definition of white plight is your constant bemoaning of a 10-minute wait time in an air-conditioned lobby while the valets retrieve your car. Compare this to the wait times convention attendees endured for their favorite panels.

4) Speaking of patience, I applaud everyone for not clobbering that jerk street preacher deliberately provoking those headed to the parade Saturday morning. I missed that part of the gospels where Jesus yells at children.

5) And there were a number of children at the convention, which is good and bad. Good in that they get to see their favorite characters walking about. Good in that they made for a great parade audiences; seeing their faces as we yelled the name of their costumes as we walked by was a highlight of the trip. Bad in that the foot traffic was bad enough without adding strollers.

6) And you might argue, well what about people in wheelchairs or scooters? Far be it from me to deny those folks from attending. I complimented a guy in his Han Solo outfit as we headed back to our hotels for the night. Wheelchairs are necessary vehicles. Strollers ain't. I advocate keeping kids who need them out of the high-traffic areas. Take turns sitting with them in the hotel room or escorting them to local attractions with fewer people (by a factor of ten).

7) We left our boy at home with my mom. We thought about taking a 14-month-old to DragonCon before we sobered up.

8) Much thanks to the Hyatt Regency for spoiling those of us relocated to the Omni because of delayed renovations: free shuttle service, free Marta passes, a free night at the new place, and priority confirmation for next year's con. I had rooms for the 2012 convention at the 2011 rate four days before the con started.

9) If you find yourself at that Omni, skip the room service breakfast prices and walk to the CNN food court around the block. Also, consider getting lunch at Pittypat's Porch on the Andrew Young Boulevard. It's not far at all from the con, and the food is great. They were very friendly toward the convention folks.

10) The Android version of Google Maps gets a mite confused in the heart of downtown. But it was better than the scrunched and pixelated map in the official convention booklet. Our hotel gave out a downtown map, and we relied on that to get to the con and the parade.

11) If you haven't gonen to DragonCon, go. Go in costume. It's more fun that way. Join the party; don't just watch it.

Sunday, September 4

DragonCon 2011 Pictures

This is THE picture of the show.

Shipwreck and Shore Leave. Finally.

Thoughts to come later. Now, to bed. See all my pictures here.

Monday, August 29

Magic WheneverIfeelikeit: Deadman

This is a drawing easily ten years old.

I found a site way back when that was devoted to Deadman (a Google search turns up nothing now), and it featured a gallery of artist renditions. I asked to join in, and I tried it as a painting originally. That failed hard. I moved to ink and brush and a lot of white paint. But by the time I submitted the piece, my clumsy efforts at communicating with the site's owner and my delay convinced the owner to pass. I instead posted it to a much earlier version of this website. Like I said, it was years and years ago.

So let's see this again.