Friday, July 28, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Did Someone Say It's "List Your Loot Day"?

I got some Bud Sagendorf "Popeye" comics, some Marge's "Tubby" comics, a bunch of "Adventures of The Fly" comics, a Gumby comic by Bob Burden and Rick Geary, two Mark Schulz books of drawing, the Dok Whitson sketchbook, a Moebius book, and a Howard Pyle book of drawings and paintings, from which I take my inspirational quote of the day: "Throw your heart into the picture and then jump in after it."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

HellBoy Animated Slide Show Translation

All these things will probably be on the DVD of the animated show eventually. So this could be looked at as kind of pointless. I got a lot out of it because by the time I strained my eyes to both transcribe and then type it, I had digested the content. Especially having to reconstuct sentences almost like a crossword puzzle. I had to skew the images to "correct" them from the awkward angle. I used a lot of guesswork on the text that goes with the "KEEP THINGS CONFINED" Imagery. I've included the photo I worked with to see if you guys were better at digital correction/enhancement. Check it out.

Keep Things Confined


"Untranslatable. Here are fragments..."
1.Mignola _ _in claustrophic to heighten the tension of our stories
_ _ _ _ narrow _ _ through _ are not _ more than
_ _ _ _ crowded_ _ _ _

"The one I can't translate is found at the bottom in original form. Try your digital wizard skills on it. Here is the rest of the captions that I can make out for these illos..."

2.We will not use the same techniques of using pattern to change the shape of the screen but instead use scenic elements to suggest a different frame shape.

3. Here the corner of the hall pushes the characters to the right, packing them into a smaller space

4.Scenes of tight locations or crowded spaces also give our explosive scenes more impact

5.The narrow hallway can show only asHellboy enters the narrow access having conditioned the audience with a series of confined areas. The reveal of the major area is stronger to the contrast.

"The last sentence is also largely guesswork. Take a stab at it yourself"



1. In the comics, little insert panels are used to focus attention, emphasize a theme, slow the pace and any number of other reasons. Although we're dealing in film, a similar technique can be used.

A woman needs to burn an herb to drive back an ectoplasmic monster. She's startled as a tentacle reaches for Hellboy. Insert a snuffed match falling in slow motion. The viewer knows she dropped the match without seeing it. He has time to anticipate horrific consequences and he's frustrated because the reveal is momentarily held off. After the quiet of this shot, the action of the next scene of Hellboy trapped in thrashing tentacles is more powerful by contrast.

Earlier in the sequence before Hellboy enters the room we get a glimpse of ectoplasmic tentacles and a withered hand. The VO dialogue must connect with the scene. Girl " It all went crazy on him." Hellboy "Could you be more specific."

We know exactly what Hellboy is concentrating on as a fan coyly drops down revealing a smile with way too many teeth.

This is often used in comics when an insert shows statuary or a close up of a painting. Specific sculptures are used because of their history. The mythology depicted or their pose comments on the action. Don't just make up statues to include.



1.Mike Mignola often chooses a symbolic or poetic juxtaposition of images to create mood defying the usual mundane logic and realism of graphic storytelling. Creating mood horrific or otherwise, is one of the key challenges of the scenes.

2.Sometimes it's what you don't see that sets a mood. There are times why we don't want to see the final moments of a vampire or a werewolf center stage. But in this case , watching the hand dissolve to bones as leaves fall and the bird begins to sing says that the monster's death affects the life of the village in general. Beauty and life have returned to their world.

3.When dealing with the mythological entities Hellboy sometimes slips from our reality into a dramatic place of symbols and icons.

Here statues fill the background as Hectate talks to Hellboy about his destiny.

View Bram Stoker's Dracula by Coppola to study the film makers stylistic approach to the depiction of horror.

4. Sometimes a flashback is used during exposition to put the current situation in perspective. Instead of cutting to a seperate scene, the images can play out behind the speaker like a green screen matte. Or this sort of scene can be used as a transition to a longer sequence.

Although the techniques must be used wisely, being clear does not necessarily mean literal.

The Claustrophobic Close Up


1. Close ups in Mignola Comics often crop off part of the head. This increases tension and almost makes the audience a coconspirator as if they are leaning in close to hear what the characters have to say.

2. Refer to the comics and observe how sometimes the top of the head is gone and other times the chin. It's not just a matter of cutting close. What is left in and what is left out causes a different effect.

3. Cutting off the back of the old astronauts head while including the instruments that crowd in on him gives a greater feeling of discomfort. Putting him to the side also weights the left side of the frame, creating interest.

4. Even if the character on the right is talking, cropping his head turns him into a framing element . Focusing our attention on the other guy in an interesting way.

5. Comic staging usually has to leave room for word balloons. We want to use some of that staging even without the dialogue blimps.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Caption Contest

Winner gets a Benefiel original. Loser gets 2 originals. Just kidding. I'm not authorized to give away Scott's art. I can mock him though.

Hey. That message about going to my other Blog. Forget it. Heres the same data on Mignola dispensed in a nice clean way. Halfway down the page (plus a smidge)

TAG GRoup Shots

The ravages of age have only skipped one guy. Must be diet. It's a shame to move the SWEET LAD OF LIBERTY off the top slot for this but I guess it had to be done.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sweet Lad of Liberty, Issue No. 1, Page One

Just for fun.

It's a bad page for a variety of reasons, like the confusion of the panels, the way everything's too crowded, and the color. I was experimenting with color. I started with felt-tip markers, but the last panel was done on computer.

I think I have a lot to learn. Please help!

(This was drawn on big 18X24 paper--that let's me use my whole arm.)

Friday Lunch Details

So here is what I know so far:

Friday Lunch

time: 1:00pm-?

place: The park behind the convention center (Ellis could you please edit this to the proper park and add a link to a Google map?)

FROM ELLIS See that park on the map . Meet there at 1pm. We'll sort it out. MARINA PARK not Petco park, whatever that is. That's the Ballpark isn't it? Marina Park, by the Charthouse Steakhouse.

Who and food order:

davischino: Pepperoni Pizza
Book Artists:
skribbl:Pizza-pepperoni buffalo wings or whatever
scottybuncake: sausage or pepperoni/Ellis' head on a platter of some sort.
rickart: Brown Bag
mrgoodson: Half Veggy, half Hawaiian
tom_moon: Brown Bag
TopCat: Haggis- on vacation (have fun Tom!)

Did I miss anybody?

We will mob Scott's table in artist alley (EE-04) around 12:45 leaving at 1:00 and walking down to the park

Krayonzilla will order the pizza's/drinks using his wonderfully donated coupons after we get all of the information. I was thinking Ellis would handle the money but after some thought I will pick up the tab. Okay?

Please edit this and add the proper information. Cool.

PS Rickart, MrGoodson, Scottybuncake, Podboy and Krayonzilla have my cell number. If you other guys want to contact me (, e-mail your number and I wll call you back or get it from the other guys.


This is Creeves. No backstory. Just a name and a pic-chah. Have fun at the Comic Con, everyone. I'll hoist one to you all over in the land of bagpipes, haggis and single malts. Look for more postings on Aug. 7th.

Shel Dorf, bad meat, and censorship.

Here's an interesting sidenote to that last story about Shel. I was the one who got his picture put up at the Palm Restaurant. I know the guy who paints the images on the wall at most all of the Palm's around the world and he sometimes hires me to help out. They were trying to find more celebrity portraits to put on the wall and asked me if I had any ideas. I told them they had to include Shel Dorf the founder of the biggest Comic-Con in the world. It brings in millions of dollars to SD each year etc. I'm glad to see they got him up.

Also, if you look above the door in the entrance foyer you'll see a re-creation of a big mural I designed for the Los Angeles Palm. I also created a new design for San Diego, but the a**hole in charge painted over it because he didn't like the words "under-cooked meat" in the image. It was a tongue-in-cheek rendition of a superhero character (in honor of the Con) named "Under-Cooked Meat Lad" who saves victims from purchasing bad steak and steers them towards the Palm instead. It turned out pretty cool... but no dice. I'll try to include a picture of it here before it got obliterated.

PhotoShop at work better than the version at home

I was really digging painting with photshop during some down time at work. When I tried to duplicate the fun at home I discovered I can't duplicate my Smear tool's settings on the home computer. My "smooth" setting is grayed out. To get close to the feel of smear at work I have to use a soft brush at about 45 % strength. Otherwise it does fingerpainting smudging. The blending was the big fun I was having. This piece was done at home where I managed to get something like I was getting at work. Just more effort involved in getting there.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My colorizing. Another Lockdown Painting

This shows a painting the way I start. Getting all the values. Then I start colorizing. I'm not done here. Lots of contrasting to be pushed around.

I added another Leg and played with contrast and color

Shapely Girl

I was trying to do a "Sailor Moon" type comic con character for the StoryBoredom blog and this is what came out. Oops.

Playing With Pure Flat Color...

... and an excuse to post. I'm going on a short vacation starting tomorrow, Friday. I'll be back next Tuesday. Marty, I have your Comic-Con papers to get your badge.

I vote for Rick and Ellis's informal pizza/brown bag lunch. See you all at the Con.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mustard (In Color) ...

Here is another hour of Painter practice ...

4 heads...

... and 3 of them have big eyes.

Lock Down Photoshop Painting

I'm not doing much today. I painted into a rough doodle and goofed with layers and alpha channels etc.

I've added the rough sketch that I painted straight into. I did it entirely grayscale first and then colorized it and then played with alpha channel mixing

Picture of Ellis

Jeff is showing me how to upload pictures to this site. This is only a test. A very good rendering of Ellis though...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday doodle now that crunch is done

yay! finished with crunch time!

see you at the con

Wanna Take A Peek?

If you want to see a little sneak peak of what I've been working on go to this event on Thursday:

1:00-2:00 Sony Animation— Join filmmakers and animators to see previews of the first two animated features coming out of the new Sony Pictures Animation division. First up, it’s Open Season, based on the humor of cartoonist Steve Moore (In the Bleachers), who, along with John Carls, serves as executive producer. The film is directed by Roger Allers (director of The Lion King) and Jill Culton (Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 2). Legendary singer-songwriter Paul Westerberg is creating original songs and score. The CG animation is by Sony Pictures Imageworks. The film tells the story of Boog (Martin Lawrence), a grizzly bear with no survival skills, who has his perfect world in the tranquil town of Timberline turned upside down when he meets Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a scrawny, fast-talking wild mule deer. Panel and footage presentation will include Jill Culton, Steve Moore, and Doug Ikeler (visual effects supervisor).

Then it’s Surf’s Up, which goes behind the scenes of the high-octane world of competitive penguin surfing. The film profiles Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf), an up-and-coming surfer as he enters his first pro competition and finds himself facing the legendary Geek (Jeff Bridges). Panel and footage presentation will include producer and Disney veteran Chris Jenkins (Aladdin, Hunchback of Notre Dame).

Plus, here’s your chance to see the new animated film Monster House in 3D! Screenings are Wednesday night at 10:00 PM, and Thursday 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00, 10:00 PM and 12:00 AM at the United Artists Horton Plaza theater. Tickets are available at the Sony booth (#3945) on a first-come, first-served basis. Room 6CDEF

BTW the pic isn't a shot from the film!

TAG Dinner

So I thought it was going to be Saturday and Skib thinks it's going to be Thursday. What day did you think it was? What day should it be? For the record, Friday or Saturday are best for me. Let's nail this down!

Sketch Detritus

My biggest cop out yet

Monday, July 10, 2006

Making more Molds

A guy I work with did a proto action figure in Maya. The character is an actor that's appeared on Mr Show. The maya file was output by 3DArtToPart and then Bob hand sanded the thing. He planned on doing the mold himself but had a bad experience with slow curing. He gave me the rest of the Silicone and said go to it beacuse he knows it's my hobby. It was great having about 100 bucks of silicone to play with that I didn't have to pay for. I hotglued magnets to the parts and placed them on the altoid and pringle tin and this kept the part from moving and getting bouyant. Came out great and I got some good casting before I turned the molds over. Success!

Skrbbl may Sue

I had reference, in my head, for one of these doodles. A portait of a Lemon Grove family

The next image is something handheld above a scanner. I will have a resin copy of this mysterious monster for everybody at our lunch get together.

Friday, July 07, 2006

First Painter Experience (Positive)

Here is the gasmask drawing, now colorized using Painter (and a little Photoshop for more green glow around the eyes ...). More experiments to come.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Big Boy Marty and Me

July 4th with Marty Davis and his wife Blair. They took me to the 2nd built BigBoy in the country. It was vintage alright. Except the chocolate shakes have been downsized. i'd say by half.


Thought you'd get a kick out of this:

  • Supaidaman!

  • Tuesday, July 04, 2006


    This drawing is a few years old now... I was cleaning out a closet and I found it. I'm not sure why I like it, but I do. It's done with a ball point pen on smooth bristol, which worked out pretty well. maybe its all those nasty inverted teeth...

    Monday, July 03, 2006

    Post: No Particular Theme ...

    Did this last weekend during a break between Gnomon seminars... More complete than a doodle, more like a noodle.