Friday, October 31, 2008

Joshua Hoffine

Halloween goodness, via Arnie Fenner:
Joshua Hoffine
These get more and more scary as you see more of them together.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rocket Town

I've only seen four pages of Bob Logan's Rocket Town, but I'm ready to pack my bags and move in.

Spectrum 16 Call for Entries has begun.

The power of Twitter: I heard about this from @richardsolomon before anywhere else.

Spectrum has been teasing the Peter de Seve poster for a while and, like everything Peter does, it's a beaut. Spectrum 16 is now pen to accept entries. I enjoy a number of the various annuals but to my mind, this is he one I couldn't live without.

Spectrum 16 Call for Entries
Deadline: January 23rd.

Pablo Defendini and I speak!

Dragon Page has a podcast with Pablo Defendini and me, talkin‘bout, what else, Kudos to them for putting together something coherent. While Pablo was in NY, I was freezing out on a balcony off a barn in the middle of a valley. It was the only place I could almost get reception. After three or four dropped calls we finally got into a grove. Despite that, it was really fun to do. The Dragon Page crew were super gracious. I was nervous at first but they and made us feel at ease in no time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Greg Ruth Interview, over there

I think Greg Ruth is the only artist I ever bought more than one drawing from. In fact, whenever I here his name, I think of standing in front of his portfolios at MoCCA Art Fest with Dan Dos Santos and Greg Manchess, each of us saying, "I want this, that one, wait...."

You can see the attraction - bold brush strokes, mysterious shadows, dripping mood and emotion. He creates dark worlds that are somehow comforting in their solemnity.

It also turns out that he's incredibly articulate. Go over to and read the full interview.

What was the hardest part about establishing yourself in the field?
...just trusting my own vision for the kind of comics I want to do, and believing in myself enough to go forward with it is an ongoing task. It really is an act of hubris to stand up above the throngs and state that you know what’s best and are worth investing in and taking a chance on. I’m not much good at self-promotion, so this kind of thing has been tough to grapple with. But you gotta do it. You gotta risk seeming like a bloviating ass, or an overly earnest goofball in this business if you expect the gatekeepers to take notice. Find your weak points and work ’em until they’re strong.
Read the full interview on He talks about his process, how he established himself, and a bit about the recent movie announcement for Freaks of the Heartland.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New York Nights

Last night I met up with Rick Berry at the Met. He mentioned he was bringing Brandon Kitkouski. The name sounded familiar but I couldn't place it. When I got there, they also had Thom Tenery with them. I had just done an interview with Thom recently and, even more recently, he finished a book cover for us. It was real treat to meet both of them. After the Met, it was off to a wonderfully long and relaxed Brazilian dinner. It wasn't until I got home, with Google at my disposal, that realized I knew Brandon from, except I knew him as BKStudios.

I have to say, after living here for 20 years, I still love that I can be at work one moment, standing in front of a a Sargeant the next, and talking about where to take a Hawaiian a Texan, and a Bostonian out to eat the following moment.

Safe travels, boys! Rick, it's always a treasure to see you. Thom and Brandon, great to meet you...I hope we can repeat dinner in San Diego.

Crappy cell pictures, because the idea of recharging a battery seems to be beyond me:
Brandon Kitkouski, Thom Tenery, and Madame X.
At Dinner: Brandon, Thom, Rick Berry, and Greg Manchess.

Saturday Morning Cartoons Episode 5, Halloween Edition

This week on Saturday Morning Cartoons we have three for Halloween:

A beautifully drawn "Tell-Tale Heart" narrated by James Mason.

"The End", a sad and scary scarecrow story.

And, not for the squeamish, "Chainsaw Maid" Zombies, chainsaw, maid outfit, 'nough said.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Now I want a Sony Reader.

LinkBoat loads of Salinger.

(Thank you, anonymous commenter from here.)

Bill Carman and Altoid Tins, together at last.

Sorry, I had to do two Bill Carman posts in a row because, well, Altoid tins. Provoking minty freshness.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bill Carman on

There's an interview with Bill Carman on

I have always enjoyed seeing Bill Carman's work in Spectrum throughout the years. His images suggest some kind of odd narrative but they are never spelled out. Instead, the viewer is left wonder what on earth is going on in there. About a year ago I had the true pleasure of seeing a few of his paintings and drawings in the flesh He had a number of them included in the Society of Illustrator's Annual exhibit, including a medal. I was surprised how tiny they were, often not much than 5x7. It forced the viewer to come up close and focus carefully, increasing the desire to fall right into the wonderfully weird worlds depicted.

"I rarely start with a specific story in mind unless one is given to me as an assignment. Rather a story develops as I work or is revealed when a piece is finished. The figures and images can come from stories, usually autobiographical, but take on a life of their own. Certain images repeat themselves because of my history."

Go check out the rest of what he has to say.

Spaceman Blues is now free!

Brian Francis Slattery's Spaceman Blues, my favorite Tor book, like evar, is now free. Go download it and read. Now. No, really. I'd take off from work, if I were you.

And by the bye, his sophomore book, Liberation, is also most excellent....and, unfortunately, timely.

(Hmmm...I wonder what it would take to make Graham Joyce's Tooth Fairy

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Storm King Art Center

I spent about two hours last Sunday at Storm King Art Center. Immediately I knew the visit would be about 364 days and 22 hours too short. It was the most idyllic Fall day and stepping out onto the five hundred acres of lawns, woods, sculpture, and sunlight was...perfect.

With its rolling hills and large expanses it was easy to forget that anything of the outside world existed at all. I know the lawns must be painstakingly groomed but the landscaping is designed to feel just slightly nudged by man. Its calm and reclusive atmosphere magnified every interaction between the art and nature -- birds flying around the sculpture, wind in the trees scattering sunlight across man made forms, the smell and textures of various grasses under your feet -- this collaboration of so many senses and ever changing conditions becomes the work of art rather than the individual pieces.

If there was a star of the day, it was the sunlight. We stood at Andy Goldsworthy's "Wall" for ages with each passing minute altering the experience as the light changed. This was my first trip and we only had time for a fraction of the collection -- I'm eager to see the place in its entirety and in every weather condition.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons Episode 4

This week on's Saturday Morning Cartons:

Over Time: A dark but lovely tribute to Jim Henson.

The Raftman's Razor: A man's nostalgic rememberance of his 15yr old existenstail self and an un-superhero. Think "The Wonder Years", only...not.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don’t go to the bookstore hungry.

Being an impatient and multitasking New Yorker, I ran into Barnes and Nobel to grab a copy of ImagineFX magazine while my take-away lunch was being prepared. I discovered that being in a bookstore with dropping blood sugar incurs pretty much the same result as being in a grocery store hungry — heavy bags and light pockets.

Without thinking I grabbed Watching the Watchman (Yes, I only just read The Watchman and you know what? All those people that have been telling me its brilliant for the past twenty years, they were right.) The Dark Knight Returns, in a feigned attempt to understand my co-workers better (Don't get your hopes up, Pablo. Adam West is the one only Batman, there shall be no others before him.) Exit Wounds, which I know nothing about except the cover has made me pick it up the last five times I stopped into a bookstore. The aforementioned Imagine FX magazine. And, Harry and David peanut butter pretzels, emmmmm...

Now, back in the office with my head clear and my belly full, I’m in a quandary: What do I read first? I already have Sandman (I know, I know, I am so lame) 2666, and Pretty Monsters in mind. I hate having a “to read” pile. It feels too much like a class reading list. I much rather stumble from book to book....Curses to the gods of impulse buying!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

2009 Illustration Master Class registration now open.

I will write about this more in depth on in the upcoming week but I have a feeling it will sell out fast -- in fact, it's already half filled by from last year's alumni -- so I wanted to mention it quickly here first. Illustration Master Class is a one week intensive class that is i-n-t-e-n-s-e!

Illustration Master Class
June 15-21, 2009
Amherst, MA
$1,850.00 - includes studio class, lectures, room and board.

Full and guest faculty:
Julei Bell
Dan Dos Santos
Scott Fischer
Jon Foster
Irene Gallo
Donato Giancola
Rebecca Guay
Greg Manchess
Boris Vallejo
Charles Vess

Some notes from this year's class here, here,and here.

Message Board.

Flickr set here is the Halloweeniest

Last night, the gears of creativity were fueled by Bridget McGovern’s Halloween enthusiasm and greased with beer. We ran out and bought knives and pumpkins (and beer) and with no other planning (yes, Christmas lights, wax vampire teeth, and black silk-screening paint just happened to be in the office) everyone dug in and created these squashy personalities. I had much more fun than I should admit.

Read Bridget’s much funnier account of the evening here. And then add your own pumpkins, costumes, lawn decorations... Pumpkin Carving Flickr set here.

Sketch Theater

A fun site found via Drawn. Sketch Theater, true to its name, displays time-lapse videos of artists sketching. Shown here: Travis Louie

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October is the new August

I's an aunt! Welcome aboard, August V. Gallo!!

Race Brook Lodge, 2008

Vacation, the first part, was spent with great friends hanging around (and in some cases working in) the Race Brook Lodge barn. Great paintings, water falls, hiking, lots and lots of food, dangerously hot campfires, too little time in hammocks, one sucky morning of going back into the city for a near useless Sales meeting (made up for by the fact that I was on top Race Brook Falls mere hours later) more food, good times, and food.
Vacation, the second part: lovely dinner with friends in Amherst followed by just as lovely brekkies, Eric Carle Museum, pumpkins, stumbling into dino tracks, a return to Berkshire area for more food, more great scenery (including an Obama field), intentions of Storm King pleasantly thwarted by a traffic jam of a dozen carriages drawn by teams of horses, and one quick Aerodrome show in Rhinebeck.

I have to say, I hate leaving places like the Berkshires, but I never mind coming back to NY. Work, on the other hand...I could use a few more days away from.

I don't heart Flickr but occasionally I succumb.

Boris and Julie at the barn (including place mat art) here, here, here, and here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons Episode 3

This week, on's Saturday Morning Cartoons: "Doll Face" and "One Self: Fish/Girl" - two very different takes on young women attempting to find their place.

"One Self" was created by Emily Hubley, daughter of Faith and John Hubey. The Hubleys are, in large part, responsible for my love of animation. The style of "One Self" will look familiar to anyone that saw the movie version of Hedwig -- Emily Hubley did the animation for "Origins of love" and the title sequences.

Earlier post on Faith and John Hubley here.

On Away

Still on part two of vacation. Boris and Julie have some scenes from part one on their blog.

FYI: Berkshires in October, freakin' awesome.

Monday, October 06, 2008


The Art Department is on vacation. Hurray. I may post occasionally...maybe...but for the moment it's all babbling brooks, the smell of fire places, and all manner of Fall goodliness.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Love at first sight. Frank Godwin. Or, Why I love museums.

Art dealer Mitch Itkowitz, from Graphic Collectibles, was sweet to send me this Frank Godwin scan as a condolence. I saw the painting from across an isle or two at ComicCon and was immediately and inexplicably drawn to it. I see tons of great artwork and I'm happy to live with them briefly -- in a museum for a few minutes or in my office for a few weeks -- but there was something about this painting, which grabbed me from a distance too far to have appreciated it and didn't let go once I was directly in front of it, that made me deeply regret I would never see it again.

I wish I could express why.

Mitch warned me that a number of people were having the same reaction, it would likely be sold very quickly, but it was out of my price range. (Despite the fact that I work in publishing solely for it' s massive paychecks.) When I went back the next day, just to get another look, it was gone -- nothing but a hole in the fuax
convention walls. I'm sure whoever owns it now will enjoy it for a life time, and I hope that they decide to leave the painting to a museum some day where the public can appreciate it for decades to come.

Saturday Morning Cartoons Episode 2

This week on's Saturday Morning Cartoons:

"One Rat Short": a more traditionally plotted movie than a lot of what will be shown throughout the weeks. A scifi love and adventure story with rats.

"Tyger": live action, animation, and puppets -- all good things.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Empire State

A quick caffeine run has me standing with a dozen tourists, mesmerized by September's wonderful low light shinning on the Empire State Building.

Free Kelly Link

Exposing myself for your benefit:

I am truly ashamed that I have not read more Kelly Link stories. The few I have read, I’ve loved. So, I'm outing myself to tell you, yes you – smarter and more ambitious than I — that she is offering her stories from Magic for Beginners online.

But wait, it gets better...The giveaway is to promote her new book, Pretty Monsters. When I saw it I thought, "nice cover", and then I read that it has Shaun Tan drawings within. Shaun Tan is awesome. Shaun Tan rocks. All things good, are Shaun Tan. So, download Magic for free and then go buy Pretty Monsters. That’s my big plan for the evening.

Visiting Hours: Erik and Meadow Gist

Erik Gist and his wife, Meadow, were visiting NY and stopped by the office a few days ago. A lovely dinner ensued. (I can't tell you how many times this week I've said, "I'll never eat again!") Safe travels home, guys, see you in CA.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

What's This From?

Hey Guys - Many apologies but, one of you good folks tipped me off to a webcomic. I forget if you contacted me through here or my way-too-backed-up email and now I can't find the message. Somehow I didn't bookmark the comic but kept this one image. Anyone know what it's from?

Boris Vallejo, early advertising

Boris Vallejo shows off his early advertising work on his blog, and can I just say, I love that someone of Boris' stature in the field is willing to show that everyone spends time in the trenches.

How Much of a Woman

I've been having a blast watching tons of animation for's Saturday Morning Cartoons. Not being SFnal, this one doesn't fall in our science fiction and fantasy mission to play over there, but it softly packs a surprising emotional wallop, so...

How Much of a Woman
Liron Kroll

How much of a Woman from liron kroll on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Radio Update

Joe Williams. I went to a Joe Williams concert at the Blue Note years ago -- sat at the front center table and Mr. Williams sang two songs in a row right to me. *sigh*

.....ah man, now it's Peggy Lee's version of "How Long Has This Been Going On." One of The. Best. Songs. Ever!

Graveyard Book Nonpost

A few of us were going to listen to Neil Gaiman read tonight and we kinda/sorta got distracted. (Although we will get to his Nov 9th event at the 92Street Y.) So, I'm posting this here mainly to remind myself I have something to listen to while at work tomorrow: