Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oz on the Bayou

I'll be at the second annual Oz on the Bayou, a Wizard of Oz convention taking place Saturday, April 1,  2017, from 11 am to 4 pm at the Terrebonne Parish Library, 151 Library Dr, Houma, Louisiana 70360.

I'll  be speaking about my Oz comics, writing, and illustration, and showing plenty of examples of my work. I'll also be on a panel discussing L. Frank Baum's The Lost Princess of Oz, the Oz book celebrating its centennial this year. You're welcome to bring any comics and books for me to sign during the autograph session, too.

For details click the Facbook link here: https://www.facebook.com/events/394281480919184/

The Online Store is Open Again!

The move is complete! The online store is open for business once more!

Perhaps you tried to order Age of Bronze items from the webstore in the past several months and saw the announcements that it was closed. Well, no longer! We're taking orders and filling them regularly once again. I apologize for any inconvenience during the recent move of the warehouse.

For your convenience, here's the link to the store: http://www.shop.hungrytigerpress.com/main.sc

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cinderella

Ashraf Sewailam as Alidoro
As they've done the past several years, San Diego Opera invited me to sketch at the dress rehearsal of their current production. The 2016-17 season started last week with Giochino Rossini's Cinderella (Cenerentola). For a look at what I drew, check out the latest entry on San Diego Opera's blog Aria Serious by clicking here. You can also check out the work of other artists who sketched at the dress rehearsal, too, by clicking on the blog title and scrolling through recent posts.

Lauren McNeese as Cinderella









Looks as though Cinderella will be the final opera I sketch at San Diego, since I'm in the process of relocating. It's been a fun run--twenty-two operas in six years. I've enjoyed sketching performers that I know and getting to know performers that I've sketched. I've stretched my drawing muscles in ways that I often don't while drawing at my studio table. I even participated in a Little Fish Comics Studio gallery showing of opera sketches by several artists in 2014. I've been glad to see the group of us at "Artist Night at the Opera" grow from just me at Turandot in January 2011 to more than a dozen artists through the years, some of whom have come and gone. Now that I'm the one going I want to thank Edward Wilensky of San Diego Opera for continuing to invite me to this project.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New Posters at San Diego Comic-Con

One of the brand new Age of Bronze posters.
I'll be at booth BB1 in Artist Alley at San Diego Comic-Con starting Wednesday evening, July 20, and running through Sunday afternoon, July 24.

Six new Age of Bronze posters will be for sale at my booth. Each of the posters is based on a cover for an issue of the Age of Bronze comic book series, including the image at left, originally drawn for issue #23.

Also available are all four graphic novels in the Age of Bronze series so far, A Thousand Ships, Sacrifice, Betrayal Part One, and Betrayal Part Two. In addition, we'll have Oz posters, the recent Welcome to Oz coloring book, the new large deluxe edition of Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, and more.

Come see me and my partner David Maxine at booth BB1 at the San Diego Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center on Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego, California. For more info about SDCC, here's the link.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Long Time Coming

The character on the right returns in Age of Bronze #34.
Age of Bronze issue #34 will feature the reappearance of a character long unseen in the story. Unseen, in fact, since issue #3.

Recently while doing some research for a completely different project, I serendipitously came across a poem printed in the May 29, 1904, issue of The Chicago Tribune. The poem's viewpoint character is the one returning in the next issue of Age of Bronze. So I thought I'd offer that poem here, along with a penciled panel featuring the character.

The Chicago Tribune failed to credit the author of this poem. But a little research showed that it was written by Ethel Clifford.
Oenone's Song
Here in the dark I sit and dream your face,
   And in the burning darkness say your name;
And wish my life once more was void of you,
   And knew again the days before you came.

So small my kingdom was, and set about
   With walls of limit; but the sun shone in,
That never shines now through the mists of rain
   With which the days end and the days begin.

So short my little singing space in time,
   But very glad the songs that were my part--
My tree of happiness stands brown and dead,
   The birds are flown that sang within my heart.

You knocked a little while at my heart's gate
   Till, fain to give, I opened it in haste,
And through the door so joyously set wide
   You entered in and laid my kingdom waste.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Priam as Proto-Superhero?

Chris Gavaler's recent book On the Origin of Superheroes delves into centuries of western civilization and American pop culture to bring to light the concepts, questions, and coincidences that gave rise to the comic book superhero as we've known it since Superman's first appearance in 1938.

Gavaler's references range far and wide. As proof of the immense net he casts, he includes early in the book a short discussion of Age of Bronze, focused to some extent on my version of Herakles.

I'm happy to be included in this dense-yet-reader-friendly book. I met Gavaler several years ago when I spoke to the Classics Department at Washington and Lee University. He's a professor there and teaches a popular course on Superheroes. If his book is anything like his class, I envy his students. Imagine a university course where you're required to discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tarzan, Clarence Darrow, Neal Adams, and how they might all converge.

Gaveler includes some info that I must have mentioned directly to him--about my experience inking Curt Swan's pencil art in the 1980s. It was actually an Aquaman comic, not a Superman comic as Gavaler writes. But the part about me correcting Swan's perspective is accurate.

On the Origin of Superheroes is published by the University of Iowa Press and is available here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hot Alien Flexes

Today I made a presentation at the Comics Event of the Gay-Straight Alliance/Equality Club at James Madison High School in San Diego, CA. I spoke to a group of students gathered from several high schools in the area about my cartooning career. I showed examples of many of my projects with an emphasis on Age of Bronze. The second half of my presentation was about creating comics, and I asked the students to help me create a two-page comics story as part of my presentation.

I gave them a general outline of what the story would be about:

Character 1 is being chased by Character 2 in a specific environment. Character 1 ducks into hiding as Character 2 runs past. In the final panel Character 1 turns around to see something surprising. (This is actually a variation on a project that Joe Kubert used to assign at the Kubert School.)

I used a document camera so everyone could watch as I wrote and drew following the suggestions the students came up with. It seemed like they were all having a great time. I know that I was having fun.

First we designed the characters.


Character 1: Nelson, an immense musclebound figure with both female and male attributes, jewelry, gloves, and a tiny alien head.




Character 2: Baab, a sheep with a top hat and six legs.

After we decided the story would take place in a supermarket, we wrote the script.

PAGE 1

PANEL 1 (Nelson flexes. Baab sees Nelson from a distance. They’re in a supermarket.)

Title: Hot Alien Flexes

Nelson: Noice!

PANEL 2 (Medium close-up on Baab, glaring.)

Baab: How dare they!

PANEL 3 (Baab chasing Nelson.)

Baab: Notice me, Senpai!

Nelson: Never—I’m getting out of here!

PAGE 2

PANEL 1 (Nelson ducks into a Women’s Restroom.)

Nelson (thought): The CIA has found me.

PANEL 2 (Baab runs by the restroom.)

Baab: I love you, my muscular plankton!

PANEL 3 (Inside the restroom, Nelson turns to see a huge herd of sheep dressed as CIA agents.)

Nelson: Oh, no—the queers!

Finally I drew these two comics pages, following the script, with some further input from the students. I was racing against the clock to get these pages drawn, since the group was scheduled to Skype with Georgia Congressman John Lewis about his graphic novel series March, published by Top Shelf Productions. So my artwork is a bit rushed.



Make of that what you will. I disavow responsibility.

In the interests of privacy I haven’t posted the students’ names, but they were true collaborators on this comics story and I acknowledge their creative contributions. I'd like to give a big thank you to Mick Rabin for inviting me to make this presentation. It was a blast!