Ashley from "Dead Inspector" is a bit concerned. I'm not sure why, but it's probably that dangerous line of work her boyfriend David is in. Just a quick warm up sketch done on backing board this morning.
In other news, I bought two things during a trip to Best Buy yesterday - a webcam & headset and a copy of Halo 3. First, the webcam. It's a sweet Logitech notebook pro webcam which came with a carrying case and a headset. Pretty easy to set up and it worked well with Yahoo Messenger (supposedly works with AOL and Windows as well but I haven't tried it). The pictures below were taken with the webcam. But they really had me at their "easy to open" packaging. I HATE those plastic electronics packages where you need a circular saw and blowtorch to get the product out. This one just had a label which said "pull at this corner" and when you did it snapped that corner open easily. Genius!
Halo 3 - I enjoyed Halo and Halo 2. Halo 2 dominated many a week night for me and my roommate at the time. Halo forged and nearly ruined friendships during long night frag parties. But my time for video games is limited these days and I've yet to finish the last three games I got so originally I wasn't going to buy Halo 3. But then the talk started. Talk of how awesome it was going to be and X-Box Live get togethers. And dammit I don't want to be left out. So I went out at lunch during the launch day and picked up a copy. The funny thing is there was no huge line or shortage at my local Best Buy. A nice big display up at the front of store, but plenty of copies available. I got the special edition, not because of the extra "bonus" materials but because of the disc that promised to help set up my X-Box with my new HDTV for optimal performance. Which it did. Apparently I had my X-Box set up on the normal TV settings. That alone was worth the money spent because now my graphics look UNREAL. I put in about an hour on the game last night (a sign of maturity that I can pull away from a game in favor of sleep) and so far the graphics and interaction live up to the hype. They are stunning. I haven't noticed any big improvements in the game play itself, but it was a nearly perfect 1st person shooter in that respect to begin with. Some new weapons which are cool, but it's the graphics and story telling where the biggest leap happened. If anyone wants to hook up on XBox Live my handle is "Frutti Di Beppo". That's right. Respect!
I saw "Eastern Promises" over the weekend and thought it was a great movie. After Lord of the Rings I think I'd watch Viggo in just about anything, but the combination of him and director David Cronenberg is incredibly solid. The movie had a number of great visuals including the Russian prison tattoos and mafia "captain stars". Those inspired the sketch below.
I also saw "Shoot Em Up" this weekend. Which was awful. Just plain bad, bad, bad. Why Paul Giamatti? Why?
Sorry... couldn't resist a little juvenile humor on Friday morning. I thought I'd do a fun superhero sketch for the end of the week. The Thing and Hulk are probably two of the characters I've never been able to render in a way that made me happy. For some reason messing with the proportions to get their size and mass down never quite worked for me. Still not completely happy with this take, but it's better than most of my previous attempts.
In other news, if you have any disposable income right I encourage you to go on Ebay and check out the Hero Initiative's Mike Wieringo Tribute auction to raise money for the worthy charity in Mike's name. I donated an original page of Mike's for the auction.
Sorry for the lack of sketch yesterday and this morning, but I'm out of town again! This time I'm in Ann Arbor, Michigan just outside of Detriot visiting Borders. I had a pretty great dinner last night with the buyer and my sales rep over at Diamond Books at a local steak house called "Knights". It was like a country club out of the 70s complete with carpeting on the upper level walls, but the food was pretty awesome. My petite filet was quite tasty and tender. Apparently they own a butcher shop down the road where they butcher their own steaks. Mmmmm... so fresh, still bleeding! Back to your normal sketch update tomorrow AM.
Another prep sketch to warm up for working on a Dead Inspector page. A boy getting his haircut at a barber shop.
D and I watched the season finale of "4400" last night. It rocked. Hard. While it felt like they tried to jam a little too much into the final hour, the team over at 4400 managed to once again advance the larger story and change the status quo of the series for the next season. I love that this show is not afraid to take chances and shake things up. Highly recommended.
I'm also diggin' the new Rilo Kiley album "Under the Blacklight". The single is awesome and the rest of the album seems to live up pretty well.
A good Monday morning to one and all. I thought I'd kick off the week with a sketch for a new project I'm developing and will be writing. Here's one of the main characters and the focus of the initial one shot launching it. More to come...
D and I hit the Carroll County Wine Festival this weekend. It was good fun, but I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that Maryland and Pennsylvania don't so much make the good wines. I'm a wine snob, I know.
After a short absence David from Dead Inspector makes a return to the daily sketch. He's checking out some new case info... or thinking... or sleeping. Your pick.
BTW, shout out to everyone I saw at the Baltimore Comic-Con and Retailer Summit. Awesome to hang out with the Diamond crew, Mark and Joe from ASP, Scott, Jim D, Joe K, Ron, Michael, Kenneth, Matt B, Nicky, Joe R, Alan, and everyone else. It's been a long week but a fun one.
Tonight I'm off to celebrate my two year anniversary with my love D. Our actual anniversary was actually this past Sunday, but in maintaining her title as coolest girlfriend on the face of the planet she let me throw a work related party at the house. People keep telling me I am TOO lucky and I'm inclined to believe them. D, I love you and I can't wait to celebrate.
It's been a crazy busy week with the Baltimore Comic-Con, Retailer Summits, and DBD Sales Conference. I've been in and out of the office all week and it has played havoc with my schedule. But I started to get back into working on Dead Inspector this morning and warmed up with a sketch of an old man sitting on a park bench. It's a bit on the peripheral side but served as a good way to loosen up this morning. In other news, I've now seen a mostly complete page 1 from my new artist on the Forever Man project and I am blown away! More to come...
A friend of mine from the old Diamond days is getting married this Fall and is putting together a very cool program booklet. He asked me to contribute by featuring his favorite childhood superhero and that of his future Mrs. - Superman and Wonder Woman. I thought it'd be fun to play with the composition and create a heart in the negative space between the two characters.
The Baltimore Comic-Con was great! I had a great time and the show went really well for us. Michael and Kenneth were gracious and tireless in their efforts to interact with the fans. Regular sketches will resume tomorrow morning.
I keep getting cool new character designs from the new artist working on my Forever Man project and each one progressively blows me away. It's very exciting to see the characters evolve and go in new directions that I did not envision. It's becoming quite the collaborative process and I'm very excited about it. I'm not ready to show off the his sketches yet, but the process did inspire me to sketch up a new version of Alec. His cowardly aspect shows through a bit more here, I think. More on this as it develops.
Plus as a bonus my Black Diamond story is about to see print and I thought I'd show off the rad colors by my good friend Nick Senior. Here's page 1! Look for it in the back of Black Diamond #4 from Ait/PlanetLar.
Started reading Ultimates2 Volume 2 Trade last night by Mark Millar and Brian Hitch last night. The Ultimates is excellent as always and by reading it in trade format I avoid the frustration of waiting for the next issue when delays hit the series. I've decided that the most creative and badass reimagining Millar and Hitch did was of Hawkeye. They turned him from a quip dropping, Errol Flynn and Green Arrow wannabe into a effective Die Hard military special operative that makes Bullseye look like a girl. Out of weapons and getting tortured? Just use your fingernails as projectile weapons. Take that John McClane. And as a movie side note - "Blades of Glory" was much funnier than I expected. Very entertaining.
No sketch today, off enjoying the long weekend. Happy Labor Day! My long weekend included visiting my baby "nephew" for the first time, eatin' crabs, and remote detonating a jury rigged fireworks display. Fun all around!