Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Witch Hound

Here's an in progress beast of some kind.

The Residents in Oslo.

Here's a link to fantastic Residents performance
I wanted to post it like Aeron's done with the youtube clips, but couldn't figure out how to do it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I haven't done a post this week and I need to keep on this EBD thing so here are some recent sketchbook scans. I was happier with them when I was drawing them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cross Culture e.p. by Lem.

Here's the cover to the Cross Culture e.p. by Lem and two versions of the logo for Non-Sanctioned Sounds, the label the e.p.'s released on.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Tonight I was cleaning out my studio and I found a bunch of pages from a sketchbook I was keeping in 2004 when we lived in Buffalo NY. It was filled to the brim with personal thoughts and comic strips done in a block style I no longer use. I am amazed however at how cool some of that stuff still reads. I was doing auto bio diary stuff as well as interpretations of poems in experimental layouts and all kinds of crap. It was really good. Something in me puckers tight as a drum though wehn I sit down to make a "book". I need to just make drawings in comic forms and use what works. I love how our sketchbooks can teach us more than anything or anyone if we give them a little time.

studies for ink's from "inos" sketchbook

Here are some small inks from my sketchbook. "Architect" and "Satrap of Babylon" are gonna be developed as larger inks. Babylon still fascinates me and I would like to devote an entire ink piece to it, especially the gardens. However, I can't seem to get close to the city, it has been eluding me. It is strange when one cannot cross the river of one's own imagination.

Death Head

Here's something I was goofing around with in photoshop. Probably 100 some small layers meshed together. I'm trying to approach some of this digital stuff in a more painterly style.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

El Pato Mickey

Baba Yaga's Hut

Sorry i haven't been posting more on here, everything i've been working on is for print projects so i don't want to get it out there until they've been published!

Anyhow, here's a public project, a new mural my wife designed & i painted in our front hallway. It's Baba Yaga's chicken legged hut. I'm feeling a bit mural crazy right now.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Ok, so I wanted to pick your brains a little. When you are writing zines or stories, how do you all go about it? I am not looking for "the one way" just curious as to how people work. How much rewriting? Do any of you do any non fiction or autobiography? details. thanks

Friday, July 25, 2008

Parade In Progress

Here's one of the colored pencil drawings I'm working on. This is the left half of a drawing. The centerpiece of the composition is a giant t-rex sort of character that you can just barely see in sketch form on the right. The idea is to inject an insane amount of color across the scene thru multi layered dash marks. I set the darkest area in the lower left corner which I'll emulate in the darker areas of the rest of the image once everything is colored. And I decided to make the ground difficult to make out as either an actual surface or space in which these things are all floating so it could pass as either. Also, you can't see it in the scan but the paper has a really thick watercolor paper tooth to it which gives the dash marks an interesting texture from underneath.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Sacred, Secret Heart

Thought I'd review and post a few pics from a favorite art book of mine: The Sacred Heart: An Atlas of the Body Seen Through Invasive Surgery, a collection of photographs by Max Aguilera-Hellweg. The book was published in 1997 and now appears to be out-of-print -- and selling for outrageous prices. However, you should be able to find a copy at your library or through interlibrary loan (which is what I had to do, since some swine stole my local library's copy).


Like most artists I've always been fascinated by the human body -- how it's made and how it works. Aside from natural curiosity, I also sort of assumed it was my duty to study anatomy if I wanted to really be an artist. I really enjoy reading about the history of medicine, and it's especially interesting to note the shared developments in the sciences and art -- the best example of this is, obviously, the Renaissance. It's inspiring and infuriating to discover the ridiculous troubles and risks da Vinci and others went through to thoroughly and objectively examine cadavers -- an opportunity I imagine medical students take for granted today, but the kind of first-hand knowledge most art students no longer seem interested in procuring, unfortunately. I suppose there are still a few schools that emphasize figurative art and provide students with the chance to observe (or even participate) in dissections, but my art school didn't, and I know no other artists whose schools did.

So I've always kept an eye out (pun intended -- see first pic below) for any books that allow me new or unique glimpses of our body's workings. Most of these texts are pretty basic and will be familiar to any artist: Vesalius' anatomical plates, Gray's Anatomy, etc. -- most which are only secondarily "artful" (In fact, many of my favorite "art" books were never intended as such: Harold Edgerton's Stopping Time, Michael Light's 100 Suns, Ernst Haeckel's Art Forms in Nature. There's something bracing and authentic about the careful, deliberate observation on display in these examples, qualities many artists spend most of their lives trying to emulate only to find they know too much about seeing and must unlearn what they think they know).

I'm not sure when or how I first discovered Aguilera-Hellweg's work or this book -- I believe he also does journalistic photography, so perhaps I saw his stuff in a magazine? Now that I think about it, I suppose some of the photos in this volume likely appeared in Nature or Scientific American or the like. At any rate, it's good work. These pictures night bring to mind other artists' interpretations of medical procedures, such as Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson" or Thomas Eakins' "The Gross Clinic" as well as Stan Brakhage's autopsy film "The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes".

I do feel an uneasiness about the work here, though. I don't think it's exploitative -- it's tastefully done, formally and techincally lovely (not that those attributes alone exclude a work from opportunism or shock) but I wonder if it's too pretty or artful. Despite the horror of what we see, and no matter how simply he presents it, there is a glossy, facile, almost "professional" quality to the prints which must in some way comfort all but the most squeamish viewer. I think all of the artists mentioned are in awe of the human body and the doctors' skills (and bravery -- would you want to open someone's skull?) but Aguilera-Hellweg, Rembrandt and Eakins somehow risk solacing or distracting us with their great skill -- the beautiful compositions and light and careful colors.

Brakhage's film, though, is almost inept its bluntness, and remains the most unpleasant document of its sort that I've seen. Perhaps it's significant that he was filming autopsies rather than restorative surgery; doctors can be noble and heroic -- what of the anonymous, lab-coated morticians? They're almost characters from a horror film. Yet I would never call Brakhage's work exploitative either -- if he's not as admiring or elevating as Aguilera-Hellweg or Rembrandt or Eakins, there is still evident a genuine curiosity or shock or even confusion (is this a human body? what am I seeing?) that is just as valid.

Okay, I've blathered on enough... the photos are below. Please be warned: These might not be to everyone's taste. Apologies if this post troubles anyone.

The Residents interview and crazy flicks

"The Residents get interviewed in Toronto 1986.
One of the Residents shuts off a video camera during the live brodcast at the MUCHMUSIC studio."

Annd.. "
The Residents present a series of very short videos following the adventures of a 9 year old kid named Timmy."... Here's one.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Walking round about

I am sending a drawing and this piece to a show in Chicago. I was going to go but now I am going to replace my roof. Dang. I have been drawing this guy a lot due to my own experiences with walking rather than driving. YAY for feet!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Topp's Ugly Stickers.

I've been researching Topp's Ugly Stickers and stumbled across these scans. How could I not post these beauties?!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Two old drawings that were just sketches on pages filled with other stuff. I decided they would be good tests for digital coloring.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WW2 Portraits at Ventrilville

I posted some found photographs at Ventrilville that I think some of you might find... inspiring. These are not for the faint of heart. I'm planning on doing a series of digital portraits sort of like these sometime down the road. Check it out.

You Are Built

I've been messing around with poetry in comics form lately. This is one I just did today. There are a few more on my Flickr page. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Missing in Action


Sorry Tim and I have been out of commission. Were working on some big pictures for an art show. Pics to follow in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Revelations Of Zob

Ok, a brief summary of what Zob is... Zob is the evil twin brother of the main character Hob Bob and main villian of my in progress illustrated fantasy book, currently without a name but which I simply refer to as Hob Bob. The story will branch out in a lot of different ways but the basic plot is a traditional good vs evil save the world from destruction sort of thing. The following is just a bit of brain storming conceptual text to help me define who Zob is prior to his attempt to rule the world with monsters and magic.

Zob lives in the scattered ruins of an old stinking swamp. The architecture is from long before, a society of lost inhabitants who had a passion for dark magic, as can be seen in the disturbing and grotesque carvings in the black stones and remaining monstrous sculptures largely hidden beneath the swamp muck. Some of the half sunken ruins are used to keep a large zoo of strange animals collected by Zob. Others are a zoo of a different kind, prisons keeping uncontrollable summons and ancient monsters dug out of the marsh lands too dangerous to keep among the average beast. There is a tall column that extends hundreds of feet up at a slightly crooked angle, at the top is a nest of wretched vulture like bats with spider like limbs. They hang their half eaten meals in intricate webs that they stretch across the ancient architecture. A large tower at the center of the swamp contains a long spiral staircase leading up to the giant skull of a monster. Its eye sockets function as large windows and its mouth is like a balcony from which Zob can see his wicked swamplands. At the bottom of the spiral staircase is a large stone structure where Zob keeps his unusual collection of specimens in jars, necromantic literature and related paraphanelia. A unique species of glowing insects that resemble tiny skulls with horns and bat wings, the result of a failed experiment, light up the swamps. They gather in large numbers around Zob's giant monster skull laboratory, making it appear to glow through out the swamplands. A giant black centipede can sometimes be seen coiled around Zob's tower where it is fed still breathing gogits out the window of the laboratory.

A large hideous beast partly resembling a crab has a ferry like boat strapped to its shell which taxies Zob around the various structures in the swamp and to an old wooden pier that connects to a maze like path towards dry land. Another secret path that leads to his lair can be reached from a small island in the swamp where the rare visitors come by boat. There is a large rusty gate entrance on the small island where an unseen gurgling voice asks a question. If correct, the visitor is allowed through the entrance and onto a quick rising bridge of rocks across the swamp. If answered wrong the visitor discovers the origins of the gurgling voice that begins laughing a horrible nightmarish laugh as the small island rises up, revealing it to be the backside of a large spider monster that eats the visitor.

Surrounding the swamp are dozens of incredibly old trees in the shape of hands with fingers positioned to represent different powerful symbols. This creates a dark sphere of evil energies that turn the stinking swamp gas into grotesque illusions to ward off unwanted visitors and is useful for experiments carried out in the monster skull lab. Zob sets traps high in the stormy sky with hot air balloons made from the flesh of rigabecks, a species of flying octopus like animals. The balloons are attached to rusty cages with rotten meat inside. The traps are used to catch giant gogamecks that Zob likes to keep as pets. Each one appears completely unique from the other apart from their distinctive wings and tails.

The swamp is filled with Zob's deformed experiments. Small camps have been built around the surrounding marshlands, places where some of Zob's experiments have taken refuge against the more aggressive things inside the swamps. These groups of bandits go out and steal the raw materials needed for experiments, food and other resources for Zob in exchange for small measures of safety in the marshlands. Some of the bandits use gecko like creatures to travel out of the marshes that allow them to sneak up walls, under carriages and other hard to reach places.

Zob was given a black witches egg in exchange for exterminating unwanted pests in the city of witches. After spending countless hours trying to hatch the egg and feeling cheated, Zob tossed the egg from his laboratory window. But unknown to Zob, his giant centipede pet began sleeping on the egg, providing the needed environment for it to hatch. The egg hatched releasing a giant abomination that was too violent to keep alive. Zob's horde of bandits united to defeat the monster, with the help of Zob's collection of ancient weapons. Its giant remains festered and fed the swamp beasts, the skeleton of the giant adding to the unsettling architectural landscape in the swamplands of Zob.

Sketchbook Scrawl.

These drawings were done recently in a small sketchbook, mostly whilst hanging around with my pals.