Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mr. Moon, Sr.

Tommy, I think this guy looks like your dad. Spotted at the Getty.

I hope you are enjoying your travels. I am in Rochester, NY. There were complications on the way out; seems we'd bought a ticket for Rochester...Minnesota. I discovered this in the Chicago O'Hare terminal, about to board the Minnesota bound flight.

But it all worked out.

Cap and Neck

Tuesday Drawing

Look at that... it's Tuesday and there's a drawing there!

This is an old drawing that I've just "vectorized".

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Prince Valiant Page Layouts

Prince Valiant Art

Click the title or the link above. Nothing special. Just the page layout solution they used for laying out the sunday strips in a different proportion.

pRince Valiant

More good links




Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Links to Game Design





A Book About Living and Sketching in Paris?

What do you guys think of this sort of thing? It's my current project, and it's just what the title says. The "copy" on this page is horrible--it's just filler to get a sense of composition, layout, format, marketability, what-have-you. Putting my inks to use.

I am soliciting opinions and suggestions--please help

Rick Says:

Well, I'm a complete sucker for this sort of presentation... this drips of the sort of classic illustration that I just adore. So, my first impression is that I think this is extremely cool.

As far as feedback is concerned, I think what you need to do is take your artist hat off and put your designer hat on. When text enters into the equation you are creating something that is a new piece of art rather just framing an existing piece of art, if that makes any sense.

I would encourage you to integrate the drawings and the text more fully. I’ve posted one idea… I’ve broken up the drawing so that there is space for the text within the image so that the whole package is more unified. I was forced to flip the drawing so that the text would flow in the proper left-to-right, top-to-bottom fashion. As the artist and the designer, you are in a unique position to be able to manipulate your images as much as you like (or are willing) to create a pleasing reading/aesthetic experience for your reader.

I probably don’t need to say this, but I would also encourage you to make a dummy of the book… which is to say, print it out and staple it together. Seeing the pages side by side as they will be viewed by the reader with create new compositional ideas in your head that seeing the pages on their own would not present to you.

I expect that Maurie would know a lot more about this sort of thing than anyone else who posts on here. In fact, children’s books in general can inform you as to the compositional avenues that are open to you. Also, if you look as some Flash Gordon strips (the later ones where Raymond abandoned word balloons) you will also find some great combinations of line drawings and text that might inspire you. Good luck!

Monday, April 21, 2008

New "Pie in the Sky" video (for MoveOn.org competition)


As many of you know I am learning After Effects and seeking out contests that give me deadlines for creating small movies … The latest of these movies is now entered in the “Obama in 30 Seconds” ad competition sponsored by MoveOn.org.

The first round of voting began today. One set of five finalists will be selected based on total number of unique hits (views); another by tabulating the ten highest ratings. The ads are all 26 seconds in length (leaving four seconds at the end for a MoveOn.org disclaimer).
My entry is called “Pie In The Sky” and it can be found here: PIE IN THE SKY. It stars a pie, and that alone should be why you click on it to view it. I'm going to guarantee that no one else's ad has a pie in it. Neener neener.

When you follow the above link and watch "Pie in the Sky," it will count toward the total viewers for the ad only if you enter your email address; this prevents fraud and makes sure that one person isn’t just hitting refresh over and over. The site will send a confirmation email to your email addy to close the loop. It’s all fairly standard stuff.

Of course, while I’d like you to simply watch my ad and revel in its elegant simplicity and “from left field” humor (did I mention it has a pie in it?), you’re also welcome you to check out other people’s ads … by going here.

Email me at tcarroll at rockstarsd.com if you have questions. Voting will continue until 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, April 27. Have fun!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Hellboy Trailer

Click on the headline... Looks like fun to me!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Have a Balloon

The scanner has been idle of late

Can you name the actor with the 300 obscured face .

I think the movie is called BREAKIN'

Ranjo Ripoff

I was doodling recently and I sketched out one of Jeff's hovering robots... I thought I would take it all the way in Flash to see what would happen...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Something of interest

1/2 off comic fonts!

Comic Craft is having a half off sale on their fonts until April 18th. Click on the headline for a link.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some Drawings

These are from a series of drawings that were done one at a time as I conceived them. It was my hope that eventually they would coalesce into some kind of unified story. But I've realized that they should remain simply as they are; individual pieces that merely give the illusion they are part of something larger. That's how they were originally intended to be, and I can't force something artificial onto them. So the mystery of exactly what they mean remains. Maybe it's better that way.

The general direction I want to go is toward a look that shows many traditional fantasy and comic-book influences, but is somewhat apart from the Kirby and Frazetta idiom that dominates so much of the work in the field today. I'm as big a fan as anybody, but I'm just not them, and I never will be, *sigh*. People have remarked at times on the design-y kind of flatness in my work (I like that "paper cutout" style"), and I'm thinking I could just run with that. Besides comics artists, I admire a lot of the contemporary children's book artists like Maurice Sendak and Leo and Dianne Dillon. I enjoy some of the underground comics artists too, like Robert Crumb and Charles Burns, but they frequently come across as really ANGRY in both style and subject matter.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rich Sjoberg Post

Rich managed to find this old Marty Davis drawing from eleven years ago. He still has the original. A real collector's item!

I asked Patty if it looked like me, and she said, "It looks like your evil twin."

My Brother and Me: THE SAME AGE, Again

Here's his "Birthday Image." Remember the 12" doll my friend Pete and I modified to "strongly resemble" my bro?--the "Deputy D.A. Kit Davis Action Figure"? Did I share that one here? Anyhow, that's what this gag is predicated on....

My marker work is rusty. A little ragged. Had to get this done in a rush to ship to his courthouse (I love surprising him at work--they x-ray everything before they let it in).

This is our week of age-confluence; we're both 38 for 7 days. Then I surge ahead again and become...32.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

After the Notes

Now I'll do a better pencil drawing before I start painting

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Those of you who can get up to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve this week, go and bring your wife, kids, family, girlfriend, boyfriend, dog or whomever, and all your camera equipment. We just got back from there a little while ago. It was an especially good year for the wildflowers and this is what it looks like for miles around. Don't miss it. Stunning. Unbelievable. Orange. You can't sit among the poppies in the actual reserve, but you can pull off road outside the park and walk into the fields. We, and hundreds of other professional and amateur photographers were doing the same thing. Go on a weekday if possible and it will probably be a lot less crowded.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Students showed me this last week. I like the simple shapes for the robots..

Creeple ©

Here are a couple of characters from my Creeple© stories that some of you may recall from my old blog that I don't pay any attention to anymore.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Begging the Blog's kind indulgence....

Yesterday in a comment on this blog I invited Tom to visit Ellis and Jeff and I in LA; the incentive I offered (beyond TAG'ish camaraderie) was "WAFFLES AND GUM."

This threw Tom a little. He wrote back, "Waffles and gum?"

But I thought it was funny. Blair came in and I told her.

She was perplexed, too.

When she asked this, her tone of complete bewilderment combined with the image of Tom's terse post and let me see, with fresh eyes, how stupid the phrase "WAFFLES AND GUM" is. I lost it, and for the first time in my life, spit water on not just my keyboard, but my entire laptop. HALF a mouthful was spewed before I could stanch the flow.

I didn't WANT to spit water all over my computer, so I tried to hold in what water was left. But I was still in the grip of hilarity. Racked by convulsions of mirth, the half-a-mouthful of water got sucked down my windpipe.

I was coughing and spluttering like a drowning man. Blair caught my laptop as I seizured myself off the couch. In a few minutes I'd coughed it all out, and, thankfully, there was no (serious) harm done (to my person or my lappy). But I haven't had that happen since I was a wee lad....

Nearly drowned by WAFFLES AND GUM. Click on Title header to this post for link. Sorry MJM, didn't mean to push you down from the top of the page.

Tom, the offer still stands.

Long time no seee

I feel terrible popping in after being gone so long. I need to go back and look at all the posts I've missed. I am so glad to see you all being as talented and prolific as usual!

I dunno how long ago it was -- way far back, when I posted a quick sketch of a couple dancing from the book I was writing -- KITCHEN DANCE. Here it is all finished, on the cover of the Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fall '08 Catalogue. (The book isn't actually out until October.) Now I'm working on a second book for Clarion which is going to be sort of like a 32 page graphic novel for preschoolers. Will probably be asking for all your expert comics advice on that.

I see there's been some Cintiq talk -- I got mine in January and am loving it. I don't know if I'd honestly say I draw better, or draw more quickly, or that the ergonomics are better than the Wacom tablet, but in addition to the thrill of drawing directly on the screen, it makes an excellent primary monitor. (You can see my setup on my blog: http://www.thedigitalpencil.blogspot.com/ )


Tuesday Sketch: TibetanBasketballAllergic Samurai

Quick post lunch sketch. Inspired by the table discussion about Tibet/Basketball/Allergies.

In Progress

You may remember the earlier thumbnails I did of this scenario. It would go a lot quicker if I did a finish pencil and then did a painting . But I'm enjoying the cintiq It will eventually be full color. Maybe not for a few days.

Next weekend is for flash so I want to finish this before then.

Marty sent some GREAT notes to me. making points I had made just a week before about the ideal perspective to INVOLVE the viewer. Nice improved posing. Marty hasd truly gone to Frazetta school

Monday, April 07, 2008

Visitating Right

Who knew??

Thanks, Jeff--it was a lotta laffs.

Scrap from Sony Story table

A mound of scrap paper doodles from story discussion round table.

This is just one of the many.

Jeff presiding.

Thanks for the hosting me and Marty, Jeff.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Flashing Ape

So this is a drawing that I did with Flash... I've been using Flash at work lately and I've been dieing to try it at home... this is my first effort on my own.

Interesting view of Comic Book history

Click on the headline to a story on the subject of Wertham and Seduction of the Innocent. Discuss.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Playing With After Effects on 30 Second Genius Rocket Spot ...

Well, you'll either love this or hate it ...


My friend Frank Silas pointed me toward this Genius Rocket site that has contests on behalf of sponsoring companies and organizations to create content. Frank said I might find a home for some of my political songwriting on one of the contests for a site called Lunatics & Liars. They're sponsoring a $10K video contest.

I was learning After Effects at home anyway, so I cut down my song "Bake Sale" to just the last verse and put together a humorous video to run with it. 30 seconds, one video, done in a day or so, and it turned out okay. And it running well on the site, too.

So, if you're a bit Bush/McCain backer and can't laugh a little, then don't click ...

Anyone else, comments welcome.

Tom Carroll

PS: I'll post a piece of original artwork / drawing tomorrow.

First Cintiq Doodle

Nothing much. Went through the usual amount of weird tech ignorant turmoil to get it to work.

But then when it worked, I really liked it.

It's about half again bigger widthwize than an etch a sketch.

I'm going to do something that starts as a nice pencil sketch.

It's gonna be a fun weekend.

Alos need to check how it behaves with Flash.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Went to the "new" LACMA yesterday. Bastards still haven't rehung their best painting, (it's my favorite of theirs, anyway). Even more infuriating, all their cool 19th Century big outdoor sculpture is in storage. In my outrage I can only sputter, "LACMA, you suck."

But I did some inks of their little Rodins.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Giant Swede Bowler

Click title to see my new exercise invention.
Bicycle pedals welded onto channel iron that I then attach to my pull up apparatus

Side trip

First of all, thanks Tom for the visit with the SOE folks and to you and Rich for joining Tommy, Belinda and I for dinner!
Secondly, I want to let you guys know that we missed our bus for house building, so to console ourselves we spent some time at the “Disney Resort”. While at California Adventures I saw a display of Disney concept art… at the bottom of the display is a guide of who created what drawings… and guess who I see there! I snapped these pictures of Jeff’s immortalization and I also saw one drawn by his buddy Ricky, which I have included here as well.