Thursday, December 31, 2009

Me & My 3 friends







Yeah, I need a haircut and a shave and a diet, but Happy New Years to all of you out there.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Moonstone Sketch cards



Here are some of the cards I recently did for Moonstone and 5finity productions. I did some kick-ass versions of Watson (from Sherlock Holmes) that Moonstone canned afterward, but overall it was a pretty fun project.

As always, click for full size. I'll be back on Thursday to liveblog my annual New Years/Birthday tradition of downing as many Irish Car Bombs as possible before falling asleep. Good times!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

Just wanted to say a quick thanks to all of you out there who have supported me this year by either picking up one of my books or getting a commission or even just offering words of support. It means a lot and Happy Holidays to everyone that celebrates.

$30 9x12 commissions will continue through January, so send me a message if you are interested.

Thanks again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Recap

Thursday and Friday was spent camping with my son's 6th grade class in southern Arizona. I had a great time hiking and spending time with him. Here is a shot from our hike in the Chiracua mountains.



Then on Saturday morning I hightailed it back to Mesa to take part in the Atomic Comics/HERO Initiative Wolverine 100 signing and book release.




Mike Malve, owner of Atomic Comics and HERO Initiative board member, Patrick Sherberger, Tony Parker and Scott Godlweski all holding down the fort and kicking ass.



Ben Glendenning, Tone Rodriguez, Patrick and Tony all sketching and having a good time. We moved a bunch of hardcovers and had a great time sketching in them and talking to all the people who showed up. It was a win/win for us and HERO.

My Atomic Comics HERO signing photo gallery - lots of insanely cool Wolverine sketches.
HERO Initiative

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Art! & UFC 107 picks




click for full size.

The top piece is a sketch inside one of the Wolverine 100 hardcovers I did for the HERO Initiative. I will be signing for them this Saturday as well as the flier shows. The character work is some work I just finished for a program that Shawn at Spazdog comics is gearing up for. It's for a school presentation series that's he starting up to talk to pre-teens about empowering themselves. I think the art is pretty self-explanatory and it was a lot of fun to do. "Be your own hero" I think is the basic gist of it. I've been keeping fairly busy but I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities and I'm also doing $30 commissions this month, so hit me up if you're interested or know anyone that is.

I'll be offline the next couple days so here are my UFC107 picks.

BJ PENN vs. DIEGO SANCHEZ (UFC Lightweight Championship)
It's no secret BJ is my favorite fighter right now. I've picked him in his last two fights and while he didn't take out GSP, he defended his lightweight belt against Kenny Florian. He toyed with Kenny for a few rounds but once he decided to finish it, he did it and made it look easy. Sanchez has never fought anyone of BJ's caliber and in his two 155lb matches so far he failed to finish Joe Stevenson (who BJ brutalized) or Clay Guida (a 155lb gatekeeper who will probably never get to a title shot). BJ has finished everyone in the last 5 years except Matt Hughes, GSP and Lyoto Machida, all elite level fighters and champions. I think Diego will be a tough test, but I don't see him winning this fight. My prediction is BJ via submission in round 3.

Frank Mir vs. Cheik Kongo - I hate Frank Mir, so I hope Kongo wins but I can see Mir taking him out with his more rounded skills. Still, I'll take the underdog and predict Kongo by KO in round 2.

John Fitch will beat Mike Pierce because he has the awesome beard.

Kenny Florian
vs. Clay Guida - I think the Carpenter is fun to watch, but can't compete at the same level as the top lightweights in the UFC. Even with his new camp at Greg Jacksons I don't think he'll edge it out, but I don't know if Kenny will finish him. I predict a razor-thin split decision by Florian.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Updates!

I know it's been a while since I've had anything I could post about here. I just finished one freelance job and now I have to wrap up some cards featuring Moonstone Publishing characters. I spent the holiday break catching up on some reading and television. Invincible Vol.11 was good, Ottley's art always continues to impress me. I also picked up Inside Straight, a Wild Cards novel that came out last year. Through the first 100 pages I still have some reservations, but it's starting to pick up. I loved the Wild Cards novels when I was a teenager so I though I would give it a try. I also got caught up on this season of Sons of Anarchy and it didn't disappoint, I absolutely love this show. Shame this season is starting to wind down. Also watched season 3 of The Tudors, and I'm sad to say it did disappoint. Only 8 episodes and nothing to keep me glued to the screen. I don't know if I've just grown tired of it, or if the writing switched up this year. Maybe they'll rebound next year. My WOLVERINE cover that I did for the Hero Initiative is up for bid on eBay right now and would make a good gift for a Wolverine fan this Christmas and especially considering the wonderful cause it would be supporting. Check it out here and please pass it along to any interested parties. Here are a couple sneak peeks at my 3 favorite card so far this set.

Friday, November 13, 2009

King's Hollow



This is the first page of my King's Hollow short that was published in Popgun Vol.3. You can check out the rest of the pages here - Page 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08. I think I may have mentioned the genesis of the character Nissa the Fairy Hunter before, but she basically started out as a sketch of a goth type girl that I thought I could sell a lot of books of. Because the kids like goth type girls who kick ass. It quickly became my tribute to the fantasy genre that I loved as a kid and still enjoy somewhat today. Nissa is on a quest to kill her grandfather, the King of Fairies, for his failure to save her Mother. The story takes place in the first half of the 20th century around the edges of WW2. The first appearance of Nissa took place in the short story Hollow, which you can order here for cover price, or if you want a personalized copy and a sketch you can paypal $20 (shipping included in the US) to super75press(at)gmail(dot)com. In that story she goes searching for any info on the King's Hollow and ends up in a fight with ogres, elves, etc. She meets Emir the elf at the end of the story and he agrees to take her to the Hollow. King's Hollow is the follow up that takes Emir and Nissa to retrieve a mysterious box from the Trader, while on their way to her Grandfather's home. King's Hollow also introduces us to Cara Fantasma, the masked adventurer. At the urging of the editors of Popgun I did a Cara Fantasma short story for Popgun Vol.4 but after asking me to do it (and to rush it) to meet their deadline, they decided not to publish it.

There are so many politics that go into a large anthology like Popgun and while I was happy to have a story in issue #3, I will not be pursuing it anymore. I'm not saying I won't contribute to it in the future, but I will not be going out of my way to pitch stories to them. On the positive front though, it looks like I may be continuing the King's Hollow short stories, probably in Mysterious Adventure Magazine, if they'll have me, and if I ever get the time to work on them.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Doodles & oodles

I am currently probably busier than I ever have been on the freelance front. I have 1 big OGN project I'm chipping away at, a small comic project that just popped up as well as a card set for Moonstone. Deadlines loom! I'm also still working on my next creator owned book ICARUS and plan to have the preview book ready by March. Add that to a full time job and part time kids, and I am one busy bee. I am glad for the work though, after always fretting about and angling for freelance work, I'm finally up to my knees in it. I just wish I knew if I could count on it being steady. That said, everything I'm working on is stuff that I'm not allowed to post. So my art posts are almost non-existent even though I'm working harder than ever. Here are some samples of the layout work I did last night, all pencils done in Painter which is great for realistic pencils. Also there is a screen shot some blogger made at last month's Long Beach Con. I saw it on the Gelatometti blog and noticed a nice shot of my books. So thanks to Beach News and Gelatometti.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Three the Hard Way


Click for full size.

So last night I wanted to just sketch something fun that wasn't part of a job. I went to my twitter account and asked the legions want they wanted and the first 3 responses were, Captain Ahab, The Beastie Boys and Eddie Riggs of Brutal Legend. Evan Shaner also suggested The Thing, but I have never been able to do him any justice. So here is Mike D leading Eddie Riggs and Captain Ahab on a quest for adventure and mystery. All Aboard!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More things I recommend

On the web - checking out the Wolverine 100 covers on Newsarama, CBR & Marvel.com The Wolverine 100 book will be out in December, more info can be found here. It features me and about 99 other amazing artists.

On the TV - ROME, the HBO series. I will wrap it up tonight and be sad, like I was when I finished Deadwood and the Wire. For my money, these 3 shows may be the best television I have ever seen. I love the characters on Rome, not as much as the Wire, but the scope and epic nature of the show make up for that. Do yourself a favor one weekend. Get rid of the kids if you have them, put aside work, and just watch both seasons back to back. Also, fellas, it's like an aphrodisiac for the ladies, trust me.

On the reading table - Umbrella Academy vol.2 that I got from khepri.com. I really liked the first volume and this one just continues that, the characters remind me of why I really liked The X-men originally, dysfunctional and super-powered. I also recently got Cora Vol.1 & 2, Ted Mathot's follow up to the two Rose and Isabel books. Really great stuff chronicling a family of women with powerful abilities from the civil war south to the western frontier. My only complaint would be that the Cora books seem short with lots of build up and I'm eagerly awaiting volume 3 for the payoff.

On my drawing table - Lots of stuff I can't show, I just picked some more really rushed freelance work to go along with some sketchcards and comic work. I'll try to post new art when I can, I put up a small sketch of a panel in progress last night at the Sketchjam blog.


So what are you guys reading, watching and working on?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Streamline

I've always disliked my original design for my Super75comics site so I re-did it yesterday and kept it very simple. It's a place for me to host a gallery for editors and art directors as well as a hub for my published work and a link to my blog and to my "exclusives" dealer @ Khepri comics. My next personal, self-published book will be a full-color sketchbook that will also serve as a preview book for my next project, Icarus, that I will be debuting at The Emerald City Con. Until then, I'm still working on an OGN for Outlaw Entertainment. Here are a couple pictures I just found on my friend Ben's Myspace. I think it was the first time I've logged into that horrible site in about a year.




Here is me signing at the Hero Initiative Booth alongside Andy Kuhn, Terry Moore and Tony Parker. We also did a fun little panel on the hardships of indie comics and self-publishing. Also, way in the back there is Tim Seeley.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Long Beach Comic-Con 2009 report!


click for full size.

I got back from Long Beach Sunday night around 10:30 and I'm still feeling the effects of the weekend. I've had weird stomach pains on and off since Sunday morning. Maybe there's a little chest-burster in there, who knows. If you study the above photo you will see me, in the bottom left hand corner in the green shirt. All those other people on the other side of the booth are the people that didn't buy any of my stuff.

As part of our agreement with the wonderful Atomic Comics fellas and the con organizers, the Arizona-based artists agreed to do free sketches for kids under 12. A safe estimate would be that between myself, Scott Godlewski, Ben Glendenning, Terry Tibke, Jim Hanna and Matt Bennet we probably did 250 sketches over the two and a half days. I think I did about 45 or so on Saturday alone. It wasn't bad as they were mostly simple head shots, but the problem was that I think everyone thought we were employees and there only to provide free sketches and they did not bother to look at or purchase any product. Financially it was not a very good con personally. I know the guys over in artist alley did much better and I was glad to hear about several of my friends selling out of their convention stock including Matt and Scott's Mysterious Adventure Magazine #2 (which I did the back cover for).

While I did not get alot of sketch commissions or move alot of product, I did have fun sketching for the kids overall and I had a wonderful time hanging out with all my creator friends. I still fully plan to go back next year and with my hopes of squeeking out a visit to Heroes Con next year, I'm looking forward to doing four conventions in total in 2010. I should have a graphic novel out by next summer as well as my other, superhero project as well. If I met you in Long Beach please feel free to visit the blog often and post comments as well. I'll get some art up for you guys soon, I didn't have a scanner there so I will probably never see most of those sketches ever again, but I hope the people enjoy them, but here is a Kilowog sketch I did the first night, and one of only two drawings I have copies of.



click for full size madness.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On my way to the LBC!



This weekend I will be in Long Beach for the Long Beach Comic-con hanging out with my pals at the Atomic Comics booth, #555, it will be the big gigantic one right near the entrance. I'll have copies of Hurricane Kids and the Fata Obstant 24-hour comic available as well as a couple copies of Villains left over. I will also be doing sketches and full blown commissions for anyone who is interested. Prices for original art will range from $10 to $50 depending on what you want. Email me @ hurricanekids(at)gmail(dot)com if you want to get on the list early. I don't know how much time I'll be allowed at the booth, but if you're looking for me, you should be able to find me. My pal Ben Glendenning will be there promoting his upcoming book Tin Star Tex with a set of limited edition Tex' postcards. One of which I drew. Check it out, and I hope to see you all there. This piece is actually the first I have ever doen 100% digitally. Pencilled, inked and colors were all done in Manga Studio, with some tweaks in photoshop. I'd love to hear any thoughts on how the inks held up compared to my regular work.



Also, my good friends Scott Godlewski and Matt Bennet are premiering the newest issue of Mysterious Adventure Magazine at the convention. It is a fantastic book of adventurey pulpy goodness, and features a pin-up by me as well. They will be at table #96.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's a young man's game.

I had a long post typed out and ready to publish about the rigors and demands of freelancing on top of everyday work and responsibilities, but once I re-read it, I realized that nobody wants to read that. We all have our ups and downs and in the end, hard work will be rewarded. Anyway, here is a character design I did last night for an independent film that's currently in pre-production.


Sort of a cool Han Solo Wolf-type character. I added the boots and gloves on the second image for budgetary reasons, it's probably cheaper to not have to costume wolf feet and hands. I also posted a cover layout over on the Sketchjam.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My pal Brian

I've written in the past about my affiliation and friendships with several retailers and how those friendships have helped my "career". I put career in quotations because it isn't much of one and I think I still have along way to go. There's Mike Malve of Atomic Comics who has supported me and gotten me involved with the Hero Initiative, which has gotten me as much or more recognition than anything else I have done in the past and he's the man responsible for my appearance at the Long Beach-Comic Con next month. There's Mike Banks from Samurai Comics who I have done classes with and done signings at. There's Shawn at Spazdog Comics who carries my Super75comics titles. I have done classes at Spazdog as well as being my 24-hour comics home. Shawn is a great supporter of local comic artists. Brian Meredith is a small press creator and also runs The Comic Stop in the Seattle area as well as being part of the Emerald City con. Today's post though is about my friend Brian who runs online comic specialty shop www.khepri.com.

I'm not sure if I remeber how I met Brian, but he has been supporting my work for years. I always run into him at cons and we would chat and lately he has been a regular at the AZ Drink & Draws. He's a great guy to talk to and his appreciation for comic creators always is apparent. He's not just about the books, or the hype, he is about the Creators, and as a creator you could not ask for anything more. His site specializes in indie comics and creator exclusives. Big name creators like Brian Wood, Becky Cloonan and Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba' give him exclusive items and trust his work. I recently shared with him my desire to do MY book, the type of book I want to do with no intereference. His support and enthusiasm for that really means alot to me and helps keep me fired up. He recently added my rather small body of work to his site under his Creator Boutique section and I am humbled that he believes in me enough to put me alongside the other creators on there. In the future I hope to do exclusives through him as well. So go check out his site and pick up some gems and support not only Brian, but also the hard work that creators put into their work. If you see him at a convention, be sure to say hi, he might look like a skeletal Viking, but he's really a nice guy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Through a Building



Here is another character design for a super-hero story I plan on doing next year. I may have touched on this before, but in small press comics, it is incredibly hard to get any publisher interested in a super-hero story. I have even had a couple publishers tell me they liked a certain pitch or loved the art (on a pitch I did with Scott Godlewski on art) but because it involved someone with super powers, they passed. I guess I really don't see the difference between a robot who fights scientists and nazis and other robots (the fantastic Atomic Robo) and some guy in tights who fights scientists and robots and other guys in tights (like the fantastic Invincible). I'm no Cory Walker or Ryan Ottley, but if Invincible is consistently one of Image's top selling titles and there are books like Savage Dragon, Jersey Gods and Firebreather (all books I really enjoy), I can't help but wonder if maybe it's me and not the fear of superheroes after all.

Either way, next year I am doing a project just for me, a lot of action, some spy intrigue and with a little big government thrown in for good measure. I'm doing the project I want to do. If a publisher likes it and wants to publish it, great. If not, I will put a couple chapters on the web and then self-publish. I'm very excited right now and can't wait to get started in a few months. I'll keep posting tidbits about it when I have time. Also, I've reached 100 posts on the Sketchjam even though only 90 are labeled, but check them out if you have time.

Thanks for reading, all I want to do is draw some guy getting slammed through a building.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Long Beach Comic-Con

I'm going to be a guest at The Long Beach Comic-Con October 2nd-4th. If anyone is interested in getting a commission or a sketch I am always open for doing them beforehand as I get to spend more time on them and hopefully make them look a little nicer. So email me hurricanekids(at)gmail(dot)com if you are interested. I should be sitting at the Atomic Comics/Golden Apple booth, people in the know say it's right by the entrance. I'm really excited to squeeze in another con this year.

I didn't do a lick of drawing this weekend as I spent the weekend taking a little vacation with my girlfriend. We spent two days up in Flagstaff at the wonderfully charming Grand Canyon Hostel and spent one day bar hopping and the next sight-seeing. I have lived in Arizona for 14 years and have never been to the Grand Canyon
so we saw that and also hiked the Lava River Cave. I highly recommend the Lava River Cave for anyone who is not claustrophobic or scared of the dark. It was a blast. Here are a couple shots from my cell phone, I think I was only person at the Canyon that day without a proper camera.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Best Helicopter Pilot Ever.

Instead of drawing funny books last night, I watched two movies. Have no fear though as I woke up 3 hours early this morning to work on some pages, deadlines have to be met. There will be spoilers but both movies are pretty old at this point. 28 Weeks Later was first up, and while I knew it probably would not be as good as it's predecessor, I have to say how disappointed I was. Robert Carlyle had an amazing opening scene and was brilliant until he became roid-raged. The way the military was portrayed was really my biggest problem. I don't have a problem with them laying waste to the whole city, because that is believable. But that fact that they had a patient they knew was infected and they didn't even have a guard watching her so that she could then infect her husband. Then they herd hundreds of people into "safe areas" and lock them inside, with no military guards? Ridiculous. Then it just gets worse when the dude from Lost uses the blades of helicopter to chop up a couple dozen infected. He must be the world's greatest helicopter pilot to be able to get his blades within a few feet of the ground and not crash. The worst part was how they made Robert Carlyle the villain. After becoming enraged he hunts down his family? Really? Where in either movie did they explain that the infected are capable of thoughts like that? It was a lame way to create an emotional scene when the daughter has to kill the father. I can already predict 28 Months Later will focus on the infected making their way across the pond and into the US. A quick IMDB check shows the movie as "in-development".

After that we watched A Guide to Recognizing your Saints. A coming of age story based on the writer/director's biography of the same name. This movie was very well acted and the story was heartbreaking. As someone who grew up in a relatively safe environment and as a pretty happy kid, I have a hard time with movies that show the hardships of growing up in the inner-city. They really make me think about how shitty a life that would be, and how powerful it must be to break free from that. Channing Tatum was fantastic in it, leading a wonderful cast. I recommend it highly, I can't really say anything other than that. Here is character design I just did...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Jump Week

Take a look at this flier.


It's a great idea, working in conjunction with your local store to have some new product on the shelf that week. Buying comics, for many, is a ritual. Some guys just have to go to the shop every Wednesday and get their fix, it's what they do. The idea is great, although I have a huge problem with this flier. I don't know who created it, or how well circulated the image is, but let's examine the middle paragraph. "It doesn't need to be great, just better than nothing." Really? Is that what we want to show to a new potential customer? Is that how we want to bring in new fans? Is that how we want to try to reward a local retailer who generously gives us shelf space for that week? "..better than nothing."

How about we try for something better? How about you try to get a Marvel or DC zombie into trying something new. How about putting out something that looks professional and is interesting enough that maybe the store owner asks you about what's next? When will the next issue be ready. I have done work for a couple publishers who distribute through Diamond and it's hard enough getting those books on the shelves, don't perpetuate the myth of self-publishers being amateurs by putting out amateurish work. I'm not saying my self-published work is perfect, but I try my best to make it look and feel professional. I am lucky enough that I have great relationships with with 3 or 4 retailers here in the Phoenix market, and I will see if any of them would be interested in filling some shelf space that week with copies of Hurricane Kids or Fata Obstant, or even extra trades of Villains if my publisher does not mind. If they decline though, I will completely understand because that week may be the only time a potential new customer walks through their doors, and if the new release wall looks like a high school art project, that customer will not be coming back. So instead of "better than nothing" why not do "the best that you can."

One only need to take one look at this thread on the image comics board to see how many "creators" out there think they deserve a shot. How they are just as good as anything else on the racks. Except that most have not actually done the work, put in the hours and produced a quality book. Well, you have about 3 months before your book would need to head out to get printed and back to you in time for December 30th. Here's your chance, don't waste it by putting out something that otherwise could not compete for and deserve space on that shelf any other Wednesday of the week.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Art!


I think next year I am going to do a solo superhero book, get it out of my system I suppose so I am slowly writing it and doing character designs. This is one of them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The secret to my success?

I recently got an email from a guy who asked how I was successful in freelancing full-time. As readers of this blog know, I am not, but it did give me a chance to put some thoughts down in writing. Here is the gist of it, at least in my experience.

I pick up work on a somewhat regular basis, but not a lot of it, I'm usually just working on one job at a time, and it's all different stuff. Last year I did a lot of freelance flash illustration, this year it's some comic work. All of my jobs I get are done through networking. I routinely send friendly emails to people I know that are in position to hire me, recommend me or at least keep me in mind. Sometimes it works, most of the time I get no response. It's a constant struggle and even projects I work on that are just pitches often go nowhere, even when I work with an established professional with a known name. Publishers are pinching their pennies and it's harder for everyone. Also, every so often I get a random email from other professionals who have seen my stuff, or were recommended to me by a friend. There is no right way to go about it, I wish I knew the secret so I could freelance full-time myself. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful, but I would suggest to just network as much as possible and don't hesitate to send out emails to anyone, I've cold-emailed lots of people, and sometimes they get back to me.

Now, in my case, it's important to note that I also have an extremely low self-image about my work. It's flattering when writer A, who has books out with Image or Boom or another publisher emails me about working with them, but I always think they assume I work for free (which is sometimes the case) and they want me because of that and not because they like my stuff. In reality I assume it's a mix of the two, the work is good enough, and I work for free, or at least it seems that way.


- Ryan

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Update

I finally installed a trial version of Manga Studio over the weekend, I wanted to finally see if it was worth the hype and if I could use it effectively. I know several artists whose work I admire who use it, and I was hoping it would speed up my process. I do work fast because of the style I work in, but when you take into account that I still work a full-time job, I take care of my kids 50% of the time and I try not to alienate my girlfriend too much, finding 4 uninterrupted hours to work on pages can be trying at times. So needless to say, anyway I can speed up the process I am very interested in. I only have a 4-inch Wacom, bottom of the run tablet, but I am thinking of buying the Cintiq if I think it's worth it. I really enjoy "pencilling" in Painter, much better than Photoshop, and I am starting to like it in MS as well. I did ink a pin-up in MS and the difference between those and my normal inks are not very noticeable, but until I get faster, it's still the best option for me to print the redline pages out and ink traditionally. I think once I get more comfortable with the program, purchase a full version and upgrade my tablet, I can see doing the majority of my personal, self-published work digitally, but I think it might be a while before I ink work-for-hire pages this way.

Over the weekend we finished up Mad Men season 2 on DVD, now I have to wait a while until season 3 wraps and gets put out, and it's going to be a long wait as I love the show. I think Peggy Olson is my favorite character right now. I also saw Inglourious Basterds over the weekend. It was a fun movie but I didn't think it was amazing or anything, nothing I am dying to re-watch. Even the script, for me, lacked the punch of some of Tarantino's better scripts such as True Romance, Resovoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. I've never understood all the hype he gets, but he is still a level above most fimlmakers, but still not on a level of Scorcese or Ridley Scott, at least to me. Then last night we started on Dexter season 2. (Can you tell by now I am missing having cable?) It's a fun show, nothing too special but I do like his potty-mouth sister.


Two pages and a pin-up done over the weekend that I can't post yet, but over on the sketchjam I posted a real quick sketch I did in Manga Studio.
I'll try to do something more finished tonight.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday recommendations

Sorry there has not bee a lot of updates here on the blog or up @ the sketchjam from me. Most everything I have been doing right now has been stuff that I cannot show. My buddy Wynn is really keeping the sketchJam alive though, so hop over there and show him some love. Last night was another AZ Drink and Draw Social Club meeting, where I mostly socialized and did very little drawing, but fair to middlin' drinking. Other than an insult or two by my waitress about my beer choices, it was a great night with good friends which ended with me and my friend Rory trying to convert retailer extraordinairre, Brian @ Khepri, into an MMA fan. I don't know if he bought in though. So without any new art today, I think I will post some of the more recent things I have been digging on, and feel free to educate me on what I have been missing.

TV - I don't really watch anything that's current, but I am tearing through Seasons 1 & 2 of Mad Men right now. I love the look and writing, everything has a place and is there for a reason.

Movies - um........... nothing recent.

Comics - nothing recent, but I can't wait for BOOM's Unthinkable trade or Phil Hester & Brian Churillo's new ANCHOR book.

Music - I have just been listening to old Sidebar podcasts, alot of Lily Allen and I fell in love with Different Class by Pulp all over again this morning.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meet Ethan Ellis

This is a page from my story I'm doing for Mysterious Adventure Magazine, it should be out in a couple months. MAM is a great little book featuring wonderful tales in the pulp/adventure arena and put together by a great bunch of guys. I highly recommend picking up the first issue and jumping on-board before I show up in the pages and derail the entire project. Click for full size.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Weekend Suggestions

I'm going to be out of town this weekend, but I thought I would drop some knowledge on you all in case you were bored and looking for things to do.

1. Watch UFC 101, go find a bar that is showing it, for my money there are two of the world's elite fighters featured on Saturday night's show, it should not disappoint.

2. Rent a movie; Most of the John Hughes films will be rented I'm sure, but don't forget about twio gems of his the general public don't really talk about much. Career Opportunities is fantastic, fun and wonderfully cast, and it introduced me to my life long love of a woman in a white tank top. Probably my favorite John Hughes film is Some Kind of Wonderful. I can't really pinpoint what it is about this one, but I love it and the cast is great as well. It's a little more mature than some of his other films, but it's great, and the soundtrack might be my favorite of all time.

3. Hop over to their music page and give a listen to Phoenix local band ROBOT TANK. Good, high energy rock music and very polished for a local act. I saw them last night at Jugheads and it was a great show and the bartender was playing some old-school Bones Brigade videos (Public Domain and Ban This) so it was all around a fantastic couple hours.


See you next week!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

UFC 101 picks.

I will keep up a somewhat recent trend here where I have been posting my MMA picks for fights I am interested in. Looking back over the last 2 months, it looks like I am 3 for 6, so I'm only batting .500 here so take from it what you will. I will start with a little post from a a couple months ago when this fight was announced.

Penn Vs. Florian for the UFC Lightweight Championship (UFC101). I have always been a big BJ Penn fan, even though he rubs some the wrong way and has a bad attitude. His jiu-jitsu is on another level for MMA (he and Demian Maia have the best jiu-jitsu for MMA in my opinion) and he is the most flexible fighter I have ever seen. When his heart is in it, he is an elite level champion. That said, he got HOUSED by GSP in his last fight, but for whatever reason he did not seem to be in the best shape for that fight and he was fighting in a higher weight class as well. I think BJ is still the best lightweight in the world. While I do like Kenny Florian, I think he may be in the same boat as Rich Franklin and be the second best in his weight class. I'd like to see Kenny fight Diego Sanchez again and Sean Sherk again, but I think BJ will win this scrap in a close, tough fight. Kenny has better muay thai, but I think BJ's elite jiu-jitsu puts him over the top along with better boxing and better wrestling. I only hope this doesn't go to the 4th or 5th round where BJ may gas and get overwhelmed by Florian. I am still sticking by this pick, and just to add some more argument to the fire, BJ has faced elite competition in his career with losses to Lyoto Machida (decision), Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes, all current or former champions in heavier weight classes. He has wins over Hughes, several Gracies, Gomi, and the best lightweight fighters the UFC has. Florian's biggest win was over Joe "Daddy" Stevenson who lost also lost to BJ, and lost badly. He has only been knocked out once and that was a TKO and his only loss ever at 155lbs was by decision. Plainly put, Florian is deserving of a title shot but has not faced even close to the same elite level competition as Penn. BJ looks to be focused and in-shape for this fight and I think that is bad news for Kenflo. BJ is the favorite and I think he takes it.



Forrest Griffin vs. Anderson Silva - This should be a great fight because Forrest will force Silva to engage and actually fight, and Forrest can take a beating like the best of them. The biggest loser in this fight may be the UFC itself. Forrest is a big draw and a fan favorite, so setting him up for his 2nd loss in a row might hurt his image as a UFC poster boy. Luckily, Forrest is so great in victory or defeat that I don't think this will happen. I think Forrest has looked great in his last 3 fights, he was looking nice before getting caught by Rashad last time out, and I would still pick him over Rashad again. Anderson Silva looked bored and fought safely in his last 2 fights, and has shown in the Henderson and Lutter fights that he is not perfect. That said, he is brutal and is incredibly well rounded in every aspect. Silva is the favorite and that's the smart pick, Forrest is the perfect underdog and he is the heart's pick. I'm going to be rooting for Forrest, and I'm picking him to win.

Also, Sunday night on Spike is a WEC title fight with Miquel Torres vs. Brain Bowles. I'm picking Torres by badassery and mullet. I honestly do not know enough about Bowles, but I wouldn't pick against Torres.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Hate crime?


click for full size.

Is it considered a hate crime every time Midnighter beats the snot out of someone? This was a commission I did last night and I had so much fun with it. This guy got alot of bang for his buck if I do say so myself. I've always liked the characters of Midnighter and Apollo and it would be a ton of fun to do a "year one" type book with them. The pencils for this piece are here.

Random other thoughts from this morning; I saw an Army recruiter drive by a bus stop and place recruiting pamphlets on the benches. So basically the Army condones littering, wonderful. Up yours lazy Army recruiter. Also, I was breezing through the 5 channels I get this morning and came across the gem known as the 700 Club (it comes on right after Cosby), and watched a former Muslim talk about trying to convert other Muslims to Christianity. How if they only gave it a chance, they too could fall in love with a man named Jesus. Too bad there's not a show with someone on it trying to convert religious folks to Harry Potter. I would support that. He's got many fantastic qualites, a great group of frineds and he can do magic. They are practically identical now that I think of it, except one has a cool British accent.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Villains speaks!

The producer of the hopefully forthcoming VILLAINS movie spoke about his hopes for the movie to MTV's Splashpage blog. Keep your fingers crossed!

VILLAINS was a comic book I co-created and did the black & white artwork for in 2006 & 2007 and was published by Viper comics. A copy can be purchased using the links on the left.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Half-Blood Leatherface

I saw the Half-Blood Prince last weekend, and followers of the blog will know that I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter books and films, so I thought I would drop some knowledge on what I thought of the movie. I still think the child actors in the movies are terrible, although the actor who plays Draco Malfoy (I'm too lazy to look it up) did a fantastic job. I did enjoy the comedic aspects of the movie and thought it played well and true to how these kids probably would behave. Many people criticize the length of the movie (my Mom and girlfriend), but I thought it was fine, but that is probably because I knew what to expect, so I knew how much more had to happen before it ended. If you haven't seen the movie you should stop reading now and just gawk at the artwork below ------------------------------------------------------

I was a little put off by the attack of the Deatheaters on the Burrow as that did not happen in the book and then was a little disappointed in the lack of the battle at Hogwarts. Once I thought about it though it all made sense. There is going to be a huge battle scene that takes place at Hogwarts in the 2nd part of the 7th movie, so it might seem redundant to some viewers who only follow the movies, and Bill Weasely is not a featured character in the movies, so his injuries he sustains in battle with Fenrir do not make sense here. Plus, the movie was already pushing two and half hours, so I totally understand why it was cut-out. So while the movie lacked a little in excitment, it served it primary purpose, it entertained and set-up a killer two-part finale.

Below is a recent commission, hop over to the Sketchjam! to see the pencils I did for this, and have a good weekend everyone.


Monday, July 20, 2009

No no San Diego

For the second year in a row, I am not going to San Diego Comic-Con. I plan on going next year to promote my Popgun anthology work for Image Comics as well as the graphic novel I am working on for Outlaw Entertainment. I hope those of you that are going have a blast, I just cannot handle the crowds and the expense. Next year though. One thing I do miss during the week of the con is the lack of interactivity on the web. There are plenty of announcements that happen, but I'm talking about the lack of updates on blogs, twitter, deviantart, etc. It gets pretty quiet around here for about a week.

Next con for me is most likely Long Beach Comic-Con in October, then in 2010 I'll have Emerald City, Phoenix and San Diego. Please feel free to check out some of my publishers and friends while you are there;
Viper Comics - Table 1903 (Pick up a copy of Villains!) , Outlaw Entertainment - Table 1802, Khepri.com - Booth 936 (ask about Fata Obstant & The Hurricane Kids!), Image Comics/Popgun Anthology - Table 2729 (Pick up a copy of Popgun Vol.3!)
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

UFC 100 picks.

Let me start off by saying that I am not that excited about UFC 100. I think the card should have at least one more title fight on it. I guess I can blame BJ Penn for taking too long between fights, but I would like to have seen the BJ/Florian fight added to the card.

Lesnar/Mir - I care least about the Heavyweights than any other division, whether UFC or not, and both of these guys come off as dicks in the media and that doesn't help. I know Mir beat Brock once, but I think Brock has learned enough submission defense in the last year to last long enough to land 1 or 2 big punches to Franks dome. I could probably outbox an 8-year-old, but I wouldn't want to fight one that had cinder blocks for fists. I pick Lesnar by 2nd round KO.

GSP/Alves - I don't buy all the hype about GSP. He's beaten an older Hughes (so has Alves), been beaten by Serra, and he's beaten Koschek (so has Alves) who I haven't been 100% impressed by. His win against Fitch was great though. His win against BJ was dominating, but he beat up a lightweight and BJ should have never wanted that fight. I know Alves lost to Fitch, but that was 3 years ago. GSP is great, and many rank him as a top pound for pound guy, but I'm picking Alves in this one. He's just a beast who will probably be able to outmuscle GSP and keep the fight standing. I see this as sort of a Mike Brown/Uriah Faber fight where Faber/GSP may be more well rounded but Brown/Alves are just monsters in their weight classes.

Henderson/Bisbing - I don't see either of these guys beating Maia, Marquart or Anderson Silva, so I think this fight will have no serious repurcussions. Yeah they think they will get a title shot if they win, but they have to get in line behind those other two if you ask me, and with Wanderlei moving down, the title picture gets even murkier. I'll pick Bisbing in an upset though.
Note: I don't see Wanderlei beating any of those top two or 3 guys either.

Fitch/Thiago - Fitch wins by crazy beard.
Akiyama/Belcher - I don't really know much about either guy.
Bonnar/Coleman - Bonnar wins by not being old.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Who's bad?



Thought I would honor MJ in the title, seeing as how the whole world is going overboard for him today. It's a tad ridiculous. You know who's really bad? Scott Godlewski is. Scott is a friend and an insane artist and a super cool guy to boot. He did this Hellboy one night at the last AZ Drink and Draw and then he gave it to me. I am truly humbled to own it. So I finally scanned it and then decided to color it. So here it is. Lineart by Scott, colors by me. Kickassery by both. Click it for full size.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Green Lantern!


click for full size.

This is a recent Hal Jordan commission. I haven't been asked to draw alot of GL's, but I do like Hal and Kilowog. This was a really fun one to do. I cranked out several commissions over the weekend and a page for the OGN I'm working on. It feels good to be back in full comic mode again.
Check out the Sketchjam! for a Batman commission I did as well.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Thanks!

So after only a couple days I'm going to have to cut-off my commission list, at least until I complete what's on my plate. The response through Twitter and message boards was great. Thanks to everyone who re-posted my commission plea, it's all because fellow artists, friends and retailers that I was able to raise some extra money this month for a couple small crisis. Thanks again, to everyone. I should open up again to commissions sometime around September. If you've already contacted me and been put on the list, you should have yours before the end of the month.

Here's some art, a splash page from a potential project still being shopped around, with a fantastic writer I would love to work with.



click for full size.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Commission Drive!

The rule of 3's seems to apply to a lot of things, and it hit me this past week as another car broke down and an A/C unit had to be repaired. I try not to be one to complain too much and I try to make the best of a bad situation. So if any of you had wanted to possibly get a commission from me, or know anybody that might, the timing couldn't be better.

$30 for a 9x12 b/w character.
$15 for a color sketchcard (1-figure)

Please pass this along to anyone you think may be interested.

thanks,
Ryan

Friday, June 19, 2009

Style + Mood


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Last night I was coloring up some pages and realized while they were just fine, they were missing something. They told a clear story and hopefully look nice to the viewer, but they seemed to be missing something, in my eyes at least. A few years back I was going back and forth with a publisher about a book that I was going to do with a writer. The publisher liked my work but suggested I add some more shadows and heavy blacks. I did and I've loved the result ever since. That project never went anywhere, but I think my style lends itself very well to the heavy black shadow look. While my stuff doesn't really look anything like Mignola or Miller, I do use their influence heavily when spotting blacks.

So I was thinking about how much I love working like this and decided to just sketch up a new promo piece for a very old concept of mine. Meet Ethan Ellis is something I came up with even before The Hurricane Kids, so probably around 2000, or very early 2001. I've recently been thinking of a new direction to take the story in that I think will be a lot of fun. We'll see, nothing is going to happen anytime soon with it I don't think. Or maybe....?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

All over the map!

So I thought I would take an opportunity to let anyone who cares know where they can follow me online. I tend to do this every so often but I think it's a good way to keep things current.

My self-publishing website - Super75Comics - This is the home to all of my self-published comics, including The Hurricane Kids and Fata Obstant. All of which are available through the site. I also host a gallery here for Art Directors and Editors -

My blog - Facebook - Twitter

DeviantArt Gallery - A wonderful community of artists and a great place to get feedback and shop new sketches and artwork.

The Sketchjam is an invite-only blog where myself and some of my friends post sketches and sometimes finished work as well.

The Artjumble blog is comprised mostly of non-comicbook illustrators and sometimes serves as a way for me to try new things. It has dozens of members from all over the world.

My Linkedin.com profile is something I don't really use, but may come in handy someday, a social networking site for work.

The Arizona branch of the Drink and Draw Social Club
is something I started a couple years back with the blessing of the original DDSC. It's a good time for the local professional comic artist community to get together. I usually shoot some pics and post them.

I still use Myspace and Livejournal, but only as a way to leave comments about things, I don't usually update there. If you a regular reader of the blog, and I'm not connected to you on any of the sites, let me know.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rasputin.


Click for full size.

Here is a recent Colossus commission. As for this weekend's UFC 99, I don't really care about the main event, I guess I will go Silva because he got badly knocked out in his last fight, but it should be a good fight no matter what. I really want to see Cain Velasquez versus Cheick Congo (I'm buying the hype and picking Cain, a former ASU wrestler), and Ben "Killa B" Saunders against Mike "Quick" Swick. I'm all for Killa B on this one. His last fight he decimated some poor bastard with about 30 knees to the face. My other picks to win are Hardy, Fisher and Cro-Cop. I don't really care much for the undercard, except little Roli Delgado is going to get murdered. Poor guy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Charitable Me.

Recent contributions to the HERO Initiative and March of Dimes, the Wolverine cover and Archie card will be auctioned off, the Hero cards will be given to people who sign up for membership to the Initiative. It's a great cause, they both are and I'm happy to help out. I did a total of 40 Archie cards, I'll post more when they go live. Click them for bigger sizes.



Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Project Updates

So I know I have not been posting a lot lately, sorry about that. For the first time this year I actually have projects lined up but still not everything can be talked about.

Short of a couple lettering issues, I just wrapped an 11-page short story that should be coming out in Image Comic's POPGUN Vol.4 anthology later this year. It features my Cara del Fantasma character that made a brief appearance in my Vol.3 story.

I also just finished a batch of ARCHIE sketch cards for March of Dimes. All the proceeds go the charity, I'll post more info when I know they will be up for sale.

I also am finishing up this years HERO Initiative/Marvel Comics sketch-cover. This year's book is Wolverine, so I will try and do it justice. I've also done a couple HERO sketch-cards that they will be randomly giving away for new membership sign-up. I've said it before and I'll say it again, HERO is a wonderful charity, I choose to donate my art to their cause since I can't usually afford to donate any money.

I'm also starting two new comic projects, the first is the return of Lola Lilly (from my 24 hour comic, Fata Obstant) in a short story for Mysterious Adventure Magazine #3, and a long form, graphic novel for a publisher that I can't really talk about yet. That's just starting but should take me through the first month or two of next year. I'm really excited about getting new stuff out there for people to see. I'll keep trying to fit new short stories here and there as well. Thanks to everyone for checking out my blog, deviantart and the follows on twitter. I appreciate it all and really enjoy comments and feedback. New art soon, promise!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Drink & Draw!

A good group came out last night, I hope everyone had fun.
Check out some pics from the night!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Atomic!

Sorry I have neglected the blog here. I have been working on finishing up my story for Image Comic's Popgun Vol.4 as well as working on some sketch cards, going back and forth with publishers on projectA and picking up something brand new with projectB, a graphic novel that will take me into 2010. The bad part is that all of these projects are early in development or stuff that I really can't post. Either way, I don't know what else I will have coming out this year other than the 11-page Popgun story and a 12-page Fata Obstant story in the fall issue of Mysterious AdventureMagazine. 2010 is looking to be a bit more promising though. I'll always try to squeeze in some pin-ups or sketches for the blog here and at the Sketchjam. Here is a sketch I did of Atomic Robo, it's a bit wonky, but there it is.



*Also, in reference to my last post, Lyoto Machida destroyed Rashad Evans. Can't wait to see him take on and beat Rampage.