Thursday, December 13, 2012


Trepidation has this teaser up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The watercolor to digital Method

So while working on , I found that I was being too much of a perfectionist with the value stage of the page. I do a black and white value painting and then paint over that with color adjustments. The problem was that It was taking so long to get through this stage. I decided to give up some control and do this stage in watercolor. I went from having total control to having very little with watercolors. I have been using watercolors for years. Its always been my preferred medium when painting traditionally so I do have a pretty high level of control for a medium that is notoriously hard to control.

The first step in this process was sketching out the page. I don't have the original scan of this but just imagine a really rough bad drawing that is little more than chicken scratch on the page. I take this into Manga Studio and do a really quick inking on the page. Manga Studio is great because I can drop in perspective rulers and get things laid out fairly quick.

I take that inked page to photoshop, drop the value (in HUE/SATURATION>Lightness to maintain the line), Then print it on Bristol. At this point I block in the drawing with a 2h pencil and then start to lay in my values with watercolor. I am constantly trying to refine the drawing and tighten up parts that I want to stand out. 

Once that is done I scan the final watercolor/ink drawing into photoshop at 400dpi. I clean up the paper texture with a few filters to just get the watercolor and the ink in the scan. I then throw in some quick light and shadow to try and bump up the value. The part I enjoy the most in painting is painting people. I spend the bulk of my time on this and it tends to be the focus of my work. I paint out some detail on the figure and try and make it pop. From there I color the piece. My color process is a whole tutorial onto itself. Its totally different than anyone else but it works for me. I will post a color tutorial in the future as well as the Pre-Viz tutorial I promised awhile back.

So there you have a rough look at how a page comes together. The full page can be found at

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

More Bible 2 for Trepidation Comics

More freelance illustration.

Sleepwalker (Marvel Comics) sketch

So over on I wrote a little love letter to how great the comic Sleepwalker from marvel was. Bret Blevins art is amazing in this book. I have issues 1 and 2 and 14. Threw together a sketch this afternoon just for fun.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

CAT-LE Drivers

Some cropped panels from Cat-LE Drivers. This is the new book I am working on. I hope to launch a webcomic of it soon. Print editions to follow.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Scarlet Witch and some figure drawings

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lapse in posting. I have been busy with a bunch of freelance and with my next book Cat-LE Drivers. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Bible 2

Here is a cover I did for Z.M. Thomas's The Bible 2. As you can see its going to be awesome.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Prom Queen Art Test

Hey sorry for the summer slump! I am working on a new book and it is going great. The story is the best thing I have ever written and I am having the most fun I have ever had drawing the pages for it. I will be posting an Ideation Tutorial that shows how I come up with poses layouts and I will get into some nuts and bolts of process.

The prom queen above was done as an art test for a local video game company. I didn't get the job :( But that's fine. I had fun making this little piece of concept art and a little rest cycle animation. I can see why I didn't get the job. Most of my problems are with the animation. I can see how rusty I am with these. I haven't done pixel art in years. It was a lot of fun to do though.

Look forward to my tutorial.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Captain America

So I have been busy but not productive. I feel like I have a pretty firm grasp on Manga Studio for inking now. I have been working on a previz method that has produced some interesting results. I was drawing right on top of the renders from zbrush but I soon got tired of it. I know a lot of artists are doing this method but it is just too rigid for me. The results look fantastic but I kept questioning the validity of the lines I was making. Was this a line that I decided to make or was the 3d mesh making that decision. My proportions were all predetermined based on the base model. The happy medium I have come to is doing previz in 3d, printing it out to size and using it as a reference for the final art. This way I can be looser with my penciling and still have the safety net of the previz to lightbox if something proves too difficult to just freehand in (for example a tank with treads ripping apart all in perfect perspective. I can light box that and not feel guilty).

I have been writing my next book. I am really excited about this book. I have an interesting distribution plan and a really solid marketing plan for it. I think its the best thing I've ever written. Megan is hard at work on the next HWID. I handed over all writing duties to her so I can focus on the new project.

Expect a lot of updating in the next few months. I have broke free of the slump and have been putting together some cool things that I cant wait to show. In the meantime enjoy this pinup of ol' Captain America posing all deliberately. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Still alive....

Sorry for the absence. I have been super swamped with shows and with real life (non-comic book related) things. I have been making work. Just nothing terribly impressive. Here is why- I have been learning Manga Studio EX 4 in order to ink my pages digitally. This is an early page I did. I have a whole bunch of reasons that I have made the switch back to digital for interior pages. Most of these reasons include the increased speed and flexibility that digital provides.

Manga Studio is great and the perspective rulers are amazing. This program has really challenged how I think about laying out my pages. Things that worked before are not working now. My little cheats don't work the way they used to. This is a good thing though since it pushes me to get better. I am working on all sorts of problems and finding dynamic new solutions. I am really excited about this.

HWID will have a new color edition out for Wizard Chicago. I am also working on an unrelated webcomic project that I want to launch as soon as possible. The new project is going to have some of the sci-fi and fantasy elements of The Carriers but will be grounded in a reality that is much closer to our reality. I don't want to get too far into it until I have some finished pages to show but I am super pumped about it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What I am working on this week...

So one of the things that stood out to me at C2E2 was how important color is to my work. Not for me personally. I could care less if it was black and white or full color. The story and the line art are the most important to me. But seeing people pass over HWID because it was a black and white comic just broke my heart. So I am going back into HWID #1 and coloring the first 14 pages and adding a 6 page backup called The Big Scoop. The Big Scoop is a supporting narrative for HWID it offers a glimpse of what's happening outside the safe zone. That's all I feel comfortable saying right now. is a crop from HWID #1 (THE GLORIOUS COLOR EDITION)-

The second issue of HWID is in production as well. I am working with my lovely and talented wife Megan Bandt again and the second issue allows us to see more of Quinney Williamson and how she arrived at the safe zone.

Friday, April 20, 2012

little late night sketching and process design

Right now I am trying to push the color schemes in my work. To do this I have started to use a color underpainting in my digital work. I really should have gone to bed two hours ago but I really wanted to run this test.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ms. Marvel Commission

I got a last second commission at C2E2 that had to be finished up at home. Its this girl as Ms. Marvel (Marvel). Watercolor and Noodlers ink.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

C2E2- a crazy weekend

Favorite moment- Hearing someone say (in front of red carpet backdrop) "I'm Tara Reid!" while pulling his shirt down. Oh yeah that was me...
So much fun. So many people to thank for kindness and support. Andrew Pepoy is the nicest guy in the world! Thanks goes out to Franchesco, Chris Mitten, Dirk Manning, Z. M. Thomas (and his smoking hot wife), Jill Thompson, Samantha LaFountaine (thanks for the hand written thank you note! you're too kind!), Mark Taylor, Greg and Fake, Jon Lennon, Ed Lee (and his brother) and anyone I missed! I feel really bad about not getting to enough people to pick up their work. I only gave myself a 30 minute run around on Sunday and I didn't pick up a quarter of the stuff I wanted to get.

Last but not least- the fans who took a chance on HWID, Zurg, The Carriers, Gross Grandpa, and Steve Schnauzer. I know how many times I have picked up a self published book and been disappointed. I know that every time I buy something weird or obscure that it is a gamble so the fact that you guys gave us a chance means a ton to us. We hope we defied your expectations and that you stick with us. See you at Summit City Con May 12th in Fort Wayne, INDIANA. New books will be out soon. I have some commissions to wrap up after the show then on to HWID #2 (full color! Fully Painted!). Here is a Wonder Woman painting that I wrapped up today. I just wanted to see how it would look if I drew her. That's all.
Hit me up on Facebook and Twitter; I want to hear what you thought of the new books we put out.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

All the cool kids know about this....

So many cool things are going to be coming out in time for C2e2 this year.
Jake Rueth put together an amazing book called Zurg. Basically it is Alice in Wonderland if Wonderland existed inside an off brand Mp3 player. I can't stress this enough- IT IS AWESOME. Check out Jake and Zurg at our booth L16 at C2e2!

Also cool news-
Josh Filer has a short story in Jon M. Lennon's book Product of Society #5 called Moon Shits. If you know Josh's work then I shouldn't really have to describe it. If you don't know Josh's work... What the heck is wrong with you?

Josh just wrapped up Gross Grandpa #2 and is on a mad dash to get it printed in time for me to bring copies to C2E2. He wont be there because for some reason he thinks that being there for the birth of his first born son is more important. But don't fret... I will be there selling his offensive materials as if they were my own.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

HWID #1 preview 5pgs

Zero's Heroes

Hey everybody! Just wanted to show some work I did for . I was working on a new coloring style that I actually really like. I am working on combining more traditional medium into my work. Here I used Yarka watercolor on a separate piece of bristol after finishing the inks. This served as an underpainting for the final pages. In the future I will be making two changes. 1. More digital work to flesh out the work (for cover work that means more digital painting ala The Carrier; interiors will need more layers of flat colors to break up space). 2. I am going to use these watercolor pencils that I got from my brother for Christmas. I always thought watercolor pencils were crap, but these are actually really nice and do a good job on detail work.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


This started as a sketch on board then scanned and cleaned up then printed back to the board watercolor then ink scanned again then digital painting on top. Wow busy day. Hopefully I can get the BLACK AND WHITE convention edition (signed and numbered) out in time for C2E2. A color edition will be available soon after through Graphicly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Figure Drawing

Finally got back to figure drawing last night. I felt very rusty! But it was really nice to get back into the swing of it. I got the chance to see old friends and chat it up about what I am working on these days.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Carriers and Steve the Schnauzer on Graphicly!

Hey everyone! I wanted to get the link out that my comics The Carriers and Steve the Schnauzer are now available for download on Graphicly. I am super pumped to see these books become available on a much larger scale.
The first issue of The Carriers is completely FREE. If you like that then check out the rest of the issues for a totally reasonable price. The print version costs $5 but the digital version is under $2!

This is a project that I have been working on in my spare time for over 3 years. Some of you have supported me the entire time and I am totally grateful. Please help me spread the word about these books being available for download.

Click here for a FREE COMIC-------------->

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A bit of a rant.

So I am in the early stages of production of my next book HWID (short for HOW WILL I DIE). I am about five pages into pencils and inks and I am finding that I have so much to learn! I see where my strengths and weaknesses are. One of the things that I have found that needs to change as I am working is my inking style. I am finding that the things that I like in other people's work are not things that I like in my own. I am moving away from digital painting for HWID to really push my drawing skills to the next level. I cant smudge out a bad line like I used to. Every line I put on the paper ends up in the final page.

I have been playing with a new inking style that is more angular and fractal. Elements of the fractalization can be seen in the last issue of The Carriers. As I am doing the inks on HWID I am noticing that using a brush for my lines and then also using the hard edge shapes can really clash. I started using just chisel tip nibs for the hard calligraphic lines that will do a better job of merging the two types of lines that I am using. The result has been eye opening. I haven't mastered it but by the end of HWID I should have it down pat. I find myself inking more playfully but also retaining the quality of the line that I am looking for.

The hard part of this change over has been the voice in the back of my head going- "That's not how Paul Pope would ink that line."
That voice is a pain in the ass to deal with. Hey voice... I am not Paul Pope! Paul Pope has enough people trying to draw like him!

Really hunkering down and keeping at this new technique has really quieted that voice down. I am starting to see that its an original voice that I am using now. The line doesn't seem like I am trying to be someone else. I would post some of the work I have been doing in this style but it's all been in my sketchbook and none of it is really all that impressive unless you know what you're looking for. I am going to wrap up the opening scene in HWID and really delve deep into the new approach for the rest of the book. I don't think that the change will be all that jarring from one page to the next.

Also a love letter to zip tone. I love zip tone. I love it a lot. A LOT. Your itty bitty dots make things seem way more detailed than they are and they cover up some of my screw ups. P. S. I love zip tones.

So if you suffered through that bit of literature then #1- You must be awesome. #2. You're probably wondering when I will post some new stuff up.
I will post two pages of HWID up in two weeks. These two pages will feature the new approach to inking. They will be in full color and lettered. Promise.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Carriers #4 is donezo = Happy Birthday to me!

So yeah here is the last page of Volume 1 of The Carriers. This took forever to do! Not just this page but the entire book! I have learned so much though that it was all worth it. The next book will seem like a departure from The Carriers but in actuality it will just be introducing some of the changes to my style that I thought would be too jarring to implement in the middle of a book. These changes should help me go faster and push my art in the direction that seems most natural. HWID's plot is done and I am moving on to scripting. I really want to get the thing done for C2E2... Oh yeah hey! I got into C2E2! Yay me! Josh wont be able to attend this year but Gross Grandpa #2 should be ready in time. Jake will be boothing up with me. I get to get all jealous over all the girls he sells his art to. This guy kills at shows. He owes me a Carriers pin up too! I've been wanting one for like forever!
Carriers #4 goes to print this Friday! Steve Schnauzer should be back from the printers this week.