Sunday, December 31, 2006

Itzamna, Mictlantecuhtli, Tezcatlipoca, Tlaloc

Itzamna is the god of medicine (he just looks like a guy with a staff); Mictlantecuhtli is god of death (looks like a skeleton; he/she/it showed up in an issue of the Invisibles, I think); Tezcatlipoca is the sun god (looks like a jaguar); and Tlaloc is the rain god (he looks like an evil frog/lizard thing).

The date on this drawing is several days after the previous one because I had trouble with it, and it took me several days to do. I was happy with the way it turned out though. I think this is the first drawing in which I used some solid black areas (or as solid black as you can get with ballpoint pen, which isn't very.)

The text says, "I am taking my grandma now." I think that's a reference to my mom; my wife's mother is always "Granny."

Luke's suggested we all label our posts with our names; I'm not going to bother at the moment since all my posts are named after obscure deities, and should be able to follow if anyone wants to do so.....

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My working space

Okay, here be my own workspace, I just took a picture of exactly how it looked when I saw Aeron's post.
Oh I forgot to post a proper introduction to myself so here it is now:
I love fantasy art and I'm obsessed with painting lord of the rings fan art, generic unicorns and dragons.


Yet another war god; also, for unclear reasons, a picture of a hawk.

The text says, "Do you know the difference between wanting yogurt and not wanting yogurt?" My suspicion was that he did not.

My workspace is just a dining-room table. There's not even anything interesting on it.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Art Desk ---- A.A

detail of the right side
detail of the left side

Here's an example of the messy space I do a lot of artwork on. It's usually completely free of clutter when I'm drawing the creature features, but I've been doing some painting and that stuff gets everywhere. Ok, I tossed a few of the demon paintings I've been working on across the center. There's a few painting doodles on the left and right, just screwing around with paint. In the upper left you'll see a few toys that keep me company, an Alice In Wonderland related insect, a fire monster and a freshly opened and put together Modulok.

If anyone else can post the areas they do their artwork on, I'd like to see it.

E.B.D ---- L.P

"E.B.D" is an acronymn for "Emotional/Behavioral Disorder", a sham ( completely made-up) diagnosis often given to children who "act-out" in anti-social ways. Then they dope them up via State Pharma and wonder why they end up addicts 15 years later...


Huhueteotl is the fire god; he looks like a reptile demon.

The text says "The doggie and the shoggoth can be friends." Siah had a stuffed doggie (called Favorite Doggie) and also a stuffed Shoggoth (yes, from Lovecraft). They were getting along. He still has the doggie; not sure where the shoggoth has gotten to (perhaps it slipped into another, more hideous, dimension?)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Thing In The WIndow ---- A.A

One of my many projects is a horror anthology based on tales my father told me as a child. Some of the stories involve a blood thirsty ape that transforms out of a knot in a tree, a man made entirely of knuckles who haunts a forrest in search of human victims, a man in search of immortality through a chinese drink that turns out to be through a straw in a hole in a wall which he finds out to be connected to human remains, and other odd tales. It's going to be fun.

Central American Mythos

According to the D&D folks, the Aztek and Mayan gods were similar and so can be grouped together under "Central American". True or not? You decide....

In any case, this page features Quetzalcoatl (god of the air) and a winged snake, which is his symbol.

The text says "Bye bye juice."

Boogaloo Down Broadway

Funky, Funky Broadway

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wild Hunt

This is the Master of the Wild Hunt with his dogs. Anyone who sees the hunt must run along with it, and hunt whatever it hunts "even if it goes against their alignment!" Or so the book says.

The text says, "After I touch it, I sit in it."

Middle-Manager LP

--The black-tentacled boss man .As matter is supreme in this scientistic false-conciousness, an ‘efficient’ manager of human behavior should possess the ubermenschen ability to manipulate , disseminate and re-organize within his bureau at will, re-configuring his control-grid while his loyal underlings chalk-up ( some will make graphs) all apparent changes to the vagaries of a “dynamic” system.
This is his patron demon.

The Old Man Who Had An Alcohol Problem And Began Growing Rapidly

That pretty much sums up this story that's on my table at the moment.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Silvanus, Torc of the Gods, Wild dog

Silvanus is god of the forests and nature (I bet you knew that); the Torc of the Gods allows you to polymorph or shape change others; the thing in the upper right is a dog who wandered away from the Wild Hunt (and now look what's happened to him.)

The text says, "Run through the puddle and after that run through the puddle and after that run through the puddle and after that...."

Monday, December 25, 2006

Morrigan and Nuada

Morrigan's the evilgoddess of war; Nuada's the good god of war. The page also features a disembodied scroll.

The text says, "What have you done with Mommy's shoe?"

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Goibhnie and Manannan Mac Lir

Goibhnie is the blacksmith of the gods; Manannan Mac Lir is the god of the sea. Of both it can be said; those old Irish spellings are murder.

The text says, "I have a complicated relationship with water." Still true for Siah; he's stopped screaming the entire time you give him a bath, but it still can't be said that he really enjoys it....

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Comic Panel Experiments

I was tweaking some comic panels I did earlier this year, this is the result.

Spreading Sadness and Ill-will

As some of you know, I'm a part-time critic, and so I sort of see spreading sadness and ill-will as my duty. And I think disagreement is often actually helpful for art in all kinds of ways. So here goes:

First of all, I quite like the pictures you posted, Robert. They're trippy and creepy and highly detailed, all things I very much enjoy in art. And I love Steve Ditko and Berni Wrightson too.

I also agree that the comics scene at the moment has a lot of problems. I'm not sure I agree about what they are, though. I don't think that the problem with comics is that there's too much conceptual innovation. As far as I can tell, there's hardly any. Most American alternative cartoonists don't even vary page layout outside of a grid; mainstream comics are trapped in a super-hero rut from which there seems to be no escape (and I'm speaking as someone with a lot of affection for super-hero comics.) I do think American comics tend to be boring, but I think that's because they're conceptually barren, not because they are too innovative.

Now to a couple of things I disagree with:

As someone with a child, I don't think you're quite right when you assume that having a kid decimates your creative output. It's certainly a huge sink of time and energy (I'm trying to get my son to take a nap even as we speak.) But as far as art goes, it can also be an inspiration and a goad. Siah's a big part of the project I'm currently posting on here (which may be good or may be bad, but there's certainly a lot of it.) And I only started getting gigs writing criticism *after* he came on the scene. Not that you (or anyone) should have a kid if you don't want one; I just don't think that having one spells disaster for an artist.

And, probably the biggie: I find your attitude towards women off-putting. It's not the breast-fetish — most guys have some sort of fetish, and breasts is fairly standard (I've had the odd crush on Jayne Mansfield and Cristy Canyon myself.) But when you talk about woman (or "females") you seem to present them mostly as sexual objects, rather than as human beings. (You say you don't want a woman "to look after" for example; a woman's a person, not a dog — she'll look after herself, y'know?)

Your views are pretty standard, of course. But part of the reason I think this is worth discussing is because I think it points out some of the limitations of this blog, and of this group in general as a force for revamping comics as we know it. I like the art on this blog, and I'm happy to be a part of it. But I think it fits pretty easily into the sort of thing underground cartoonists were doing 30 or 40 years ago — the clubby, virtually all-male atmosphere included. I just don't think that this is where change in comics is going to come from; it's been done before, it's appeal has been shown to be limited; it isn't likely to have a huge audience outside of the small world in which comics is already ensconced. (Where I do think change is going to come from is shoujo and comics for girls, which are incredibly inventive, phenomenally popular, and hugely inspiring to a whole new crop of cartoonists, who will start being old enough to create some serious shit in the next decade or so.)

And, finally, I disagree with the thinking behind this paragraph:

"I would also hope that I would pave the way for more artists to draw anything they want (and I do mean ANYTHING) without being afraid of what people think of them, without being judged as a terrorist for getting disturbing images out of their heads and onto the page, without being looked as less than human for drawing things other people don’t understand. Without being accused as a criminal for lines on paper that make people think about things they would rather not."

I think that there's plenty of validation as it is for artists to draw "anything they want". Sure, there's a lot of puritans about, in lots of different contexts. But people think R. Crumb's a genius precisely because he has used his comics as dumping grounds for his id. In general, I prefer art in which the artist has exercised some critical faculty and thought about what they want to say, rather than just "getting disturbing images out of their heads". (Don't get me wrong; disturbing images can be great (I love David Cronenberg and Johnny Ryan). But they can also be boring or tiresome — as is the case with a lot of racial caricatue stuff, which is just disturbing because its racist, not because it's inventive or interesting (and yes, you can be both racist and inventive...but just because you're the first doesn't mean you're the second.) (And as long as I'm annoying people, I really didn't like the blackface cannibal in Paleo's strip from a while back -- it just seemed gratuitous and boring (though I like Paleo's drawing in general.))

So there you are. I do mean to prompt discussion rather than give offense, and I can promise not to do this sort of thing again if people would prefer I didn't....

Cu Chulainn

Great Celtic hero. The spear is made from the bones of a sea-serpent apparently.

The text reads, "Though you're not here, I can still read your name on last year's sugar skull." (Sugar skulls are given on the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico. We got ours when we visited the Mexican Museum of Fine Arts, which all Chicagoans should visit; it's one of the best museums in the city.)

Friday, December 22, 2006


Maybe six moths ago, I happened upon a huge school of art that I had no idea existed. It was meaningful to me , because a) a huge amount of the material was amazingly similar to what I was after in my own artwork in terms of tone, style and subject matter (only much more succesful) and, b) they are all Poles, as am I.
It seemed like a really meaningful synchronicity. It still does. It made it seem for a little bit that I was a part of something much bigger than myself- this connected me to a tradition of sorts, which is important to me ( not for the sake of it though- maybe I'll post about it someday.It's complicated..)
A number- maybe the majority, even, tend to depict the bizarre and fanastic ( or presnt the mundane in a fantastic light , like the dog playing soccer image below, by Zakowska.) but they tend to do so in an earthy way- sometimes it's humourous, even. They'll apply near cartoon quality; soft or bulbous shapes to depict what in more classical forms would show up as heroic or exalted or in early modern art as ultra-serious, existential; plenty of skulls, images of war, monsters, etc.
Before I start dropping links, I want to let you know that I gathered almost all of them from our own Aeron Alfrey's MONSTER BRAINS, an awesome resource. He discovered all of this stuff during the same period. You can find his list Polish poster Artists HERE.
The artists I'm posting here are but a few of the many, many odd and cool Polish Poster Artists from the 50's-80's ( maybe they're still going?)
Jakub Erol-
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Danuta Zakowska-

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-( I own a copy of this one.)

Mieczyslaw Gorowski-

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Look into it. It's good stuff.

A painting I just finished

I'll introduce myself when I have time.

-click to enlarge (LP)

Dagda and Arawn

From the Celtic Mythos, it's Dagda, the dozen kind (he can turn himself into "12 distinct and powerful entities") and Arawn, god of the dead. Ther'es also a Celtic design thingee at the bottom which I've thoroughly defaced.

The quote says "Everything must be put somewhere else."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pig Inferno

I stumbled across this amazing lithograph by Ehrgott & Krebs Lith. of a pig slaughterhouse. The panel arrangement reminded me of a comic page and it's inspired me to do something like it. I'm thinking of reinterpreting this with a David Cronenberg "ExistenZ" type of slaughterhouse with really weird imaginary creatures being butchered.

Now a bit of warning with the following file link, this image is 220 megabytes as an uncompressed tiff file but it is HUGE and you can really admire all the fine details of this incredibly detailed color lithograph. This next link will take you to a 175 megabyte tiff file of the black and white version of the same image with the two lower panels reversed.

Nergal, God of the Underworld

Nergal uses his evil black shield to waste some unfortunate player-characters.

Text reads, "Even I do not like Rottweiler spit." Though sometimes Siah does like to be slobbered on by dogs. Maybe he was just having an off day....

Tomorrow — Celtic mythos!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"I'm losing my hair."

Ishtar, Marduk, Tiamat

Ishtar's the goddess of love and war (must get comfusing); Marduk is god of the city, wind, thunder, storms and rain (which is a mouthful); Tiamat's the multi-headed dragaon who makes a gueest appearance from the Monster Manual in order to battle Marduk.

The text says "Not shy, just falling asleep."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


How much must you drink nightly in order to be considered a "drunk"?

This is my first post and I would like to thank Aeron for inviting me into the fold. I'll try not to let you all down. Or steal your ideas...often.

Druaga, Gilgamesh

Druaga is the ruler of the devil world -- he's the one with the funny foot. Gilgamesh is alone and fighting a bull.

The quote says, "Truck! Round and round and round."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Babylonian priests and Anu too

Yep, we're starting the Babylonian deities. Here we go...

The text for the day says, "You already have friends I don't know about."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Disco Inferno in Hell

Here are two sketchbook drawings I did today.
The first is called Darklight Combat although my lady friend/signother/spousal equivalent/common-law-wife-to-be described it as Disco Dancing in Hell...

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c. 2006 Chad Verrill

The second one is called "Jealousy" only because I think that is what it might illustrate, although the key to the drawing is the pain lines to the back of the Demon in the upper right because I injured myself horsing around yesterday and could barely stand stright today. Drawing was the only thing that made it go away...
drawing maes everything bad go away.

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c. 2006 Chad Verrill

I will not post again until after Christmas.

Go, look at Jason Miles

Jason Miles keeps getting better and better..

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I had him pegged early on as a Panter clone, but he's clearly moved beyond any of that, into his own deal, using a huge variety of drawing methods on the way. I especially like the recent work on his blog, though I've been digging his stuff in ARTHUR MAGAZINE as well as his contributions to the latest Kramers Ergot .
on a related note, Sammy Harkham has opened up a new shop in L.A called FAMILY. The selection is real good, especially the zines.

The Questing Beast (and King Pellinore. and Sir Tristram)

I always liked the Questing Beast. Oddly, they don't give any stats for it in Deities and Demigods; they just say it's impossible to catch. Oh well.

This is one of my favorites of the early ones I did, I think. The cross-hatching around his leg even looks vaguely competent. By my standards, anyway.

I think the quote refers to the fact that I thought Siah was better, and I gave him milk, and he threw up again, Making a mess, and also guilt.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sir Launcelot (portrait and close up); Merlin; Morgan Le Fay

More Arthurian heroes all sort of blurred together into a big scratchy mess....

Not sure how readable the text is; anyway, it says "We're playing dog toss."

Banner a Hit With Toddlers

My three-year-old son, Siah, saw Fufu's banner on-screen and was absolutely fascinated. "Scary ducks!" he declared, and then wanted to stare at it for about 10 minutes (an eternity in toddler time.) I showed him the alternate version (with the more shadowy ducks) and he loved that too.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Old Horrible Crap

As I mentioned in my last post, I often work on quick little strips when I'm pooped-out on trying to draw well ( which is always a huge pain..). I went through some older stuff a few days ago, trying to spark some renewed interest in making comics. Most of it was pretty embarrassing but some of it was kind of interesting. It did renew my interest in making stuff, to a certain extent. Even the bad stuff helped out, making me want to prove I can do better.
Most of the stuff posted below was made during a particularly dreary Winter in Chicago. I'd decided that I'd leave the fancy-pants drawing to those who were especially gifted and focus on making little scrappy comic strips without really caring much about how they looked, more about wether the ideas they contained were interesting. I think I'm getting to the point where I can start synthesizing all of my stuff together, I think.

Sorry if this is too navel-gazey. Click to enlarge-

Another aborted serial. TEREBRO

re-reading these today, I think that ultimately I have a really bad work ethic. I'm just lazy..