October 27, 2015

Harry Potter at 1, 6, 11 & 16

While digging through my illustration folder recently, I came across these Harry Potter drawings that I did for the Harry Potter Alliance back in 2009, for a project that never really went anywhere.  I never posted them on here, so I figure better late than never!  They depict Harry Potter at ages 1, 6, 11 and 16.

With this post, I'm all caught up on posting old illustration work.  I'm not currently taking on any new projects, so I'm going to take a break for a few months, while I focus on Isle of Elsi, Phase 7 and my first born child, who will be here soon!

October 22, 2015

2015 Highlights Gags

At the end of last year, I did a few gags for a new Highlights Magazine called Pullzemania.  The idea was pretty cool - each gag's punchline had to be in a speech balloon and they would be printed separately, as stickers.  So the reader has to look at a bunch of detached speech balloons and figure out which punchline goes with which gag.  I was proud in the first one that I snuck in a Metamorphosis reference...

It felt good to draw some gags again - like the good old days at Nickelodeon Magazine!  Too bad these were work for hire.  At least this magazine did not switch over to a spec work model, like the picture finds I was doing, so I may consider doing this kind of work again in the future.

October 20, 2015

Last Highlights Picture Finds

Here are my last two picture-find assignments that I drew for Highlights Magazine last year, and which were printed in the Eagle-Eye Hidden Picture series this year.  First up is the Henry Ford Museum, which I drew for issue #38.

And my very last picture-find was of a paddle boat on the Mississippi River.  In the text on the adjoining page, the characters said they couldn't see into the water because it was brown, and then said "Now we know why the Mississippi is also called the Big Muddy."  I looked up some reference and colored the illustration as you see it below, which was approved by my editor.  When the magazine arrived in the mail, Highlights had recolored the water green (!?!)

Sadly, after this assignment, Highlights changed the way these illustrations are commissioned.  Instead of hiring a talented illustrator and agreeing to pay them a fair fee through a contract, they are now requesting that illustrators send them fully formed ideas and then they may select them, or they may not.  For me, that qualifies as spec work, so I will not be working for Highlights any more.  

It was already a work-for-hire assignment, which is a very low priority me these days, but it was fun being in this historic publication that I used to enjoy when I was a kid.  Perhaps someday they'll revert to a more fair contract and I will do some work for them again.

September 4, 2015

My Weezer Pinball T-Shirt is now PLAYABLE!

Back when I designed my EWBAITE Pinball T-Shirt for Weezer I got an email from a game designer named Frederic over at games-mill.com who was also a big Weezer fan.  He pitched the idea of turning my T-Shirt design into a playable virtual pinball machine.  I said YES PLEASE.

For years now, Frederic and his team have been working on Weezle Jump, which is a web-based, Weezer-themed video game, with one mini game per album.  They decided to add my pinball design as the level for Everything Will Be Alright in the End!  It's done and it's pretty amazing:

They made some of the elements 3-D like the flippers, the drop targets, the slingshots, the pop bumpers and the ramps, plus they added some lighting effects on the inlanes, outlanes and lanes at the top.  They let me play an early version to give them feedback, so it's got a pretty solid ruleset at this point.  The player is rewarded for completing tasks like hitting all the drop targets or completing all the lanes.  There are multiballs and everything!

To play the game you need to install Unity 3-D. Then head over to weezergame.com, create a username and then select "Pinball" from the "Games" menu on the home screen.  Have fun and I'll see you on the high score board!

August 27, 2015

Cartozia Tales #7 cover

Okay! Claire and I are pretty well settled in Santa Fe, so it's time to start posting some illustration work again.  Thanks to everyone who bought an original watercolor and for their patience while I got all my shipping stuff set up again.  Those have all been sent out at this point, so everyone should have received them by now.  If not, shoot me an email!

Back when I was running the Basewood Kickstarter, a bunch of my comics friends were also using Kickstarter to launch a cool, new, collaborative, fantasy, all-ages comic series called Cartozia Tales.  We each helped plug each other's projects during our campaigns and I agreed to contribute something to their project at some point in the future.

That future point ended up being at the beginning of this year, when I drew the cover for Cartozia Tales #7, which is now available for ordering.  It was fun to read through the issue and to pick out an exciting moment to turn into the cover image.

If you have not been reading Cartozia Tales, this is a great time to get into the series!  They've got a "New Reader" sale going on now where you can get digital copies of the first three issues (over 125 pages of comics!) for only $2.50.  This deal ends tomorrow (8/28), so jump on it!  There are so many wonderful, talented contributors in this project.

Okay, well, I'm going to keep digging through my file of 2015 illustration work and find a few other things to post in the coming weeks!