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Poppa Culture

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Olaf

I've been drawing a lotta Snowboy lately, so it's not a huge leap to do a snowman. Here's Olaf, done with marker and colored pencil, a sketch I did at our MN comic con last weekend. I'll do more of these - I have a nice stack of chip board.

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My Fanboy Letter to Jack Kirby and Devil Dinosaur

Oh...how embarrassing.

I wrote a few fan letters for some of my favorite comics in my day, including an impassioned plea to Marvel not to cancel Skull the Slayer, to Scott McCloud's ZOT!, Bill Loebs' Journey, among others. But this one to Jack Kirby and his Devil Dinosaur was spotted by a good friend some time back and has now surfaced online. The letters pages are even reprinted in the hardcover omnibus! I wish I could say I was younger than I was when I wrote this...

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There's only way to say it?!?! Gosh, I was trying so hard to impress. What a doofus. I'd say my letter is very much stupid.

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Issue 6, where my letter appeared, and #1, which I was writing about.

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Moon-Boy really did make an impression on me, as I fashioned my own character, Demon Boy after Moon-Boy and Kirby's Demon. But that's another post for another day...

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Incredibly Small

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Just had to draw this today. A study in contrast of style and policy.

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Broken Arrow Stills

Some stills I captured from one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart westerns, Broken Arrow. This one happens not to be directed by Anthony Mann. These feature some angles, compositions and lighting, and take good advantage of the surroundings.

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As was typical of Hollywood at the time, parts for Native Americans went to white folks like Debra Paget and Jeff Chandler. They do a decent job, but this casting mars the film, much like Natalie Wood in the The Searchers, as gorgeous as she is.

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Check this nice write-up for more stills and some Jonny Quest history.

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C'mon and Shine On with the Holy Rocka Rollaz!

Just released is a new album from The Holy Rocka Rollaz, and it sounds great! I did the art and design for the entire CD package, a six-panel fold out affair, which houses some fine '50s-style pop/rock inspired by the music of Buddy Holly, and others. It also features a couple hilarious novelty numbers, One Ball Daddy and Cindy Lee is a 38D (I'm working now on art for a music video for the latter - more on that at this blog, later).

Listen to song samples and order C'mon and Shine On from CD Baby, and check out the art, below. I'll post tomorrow about my creative process on this project.

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Front cover

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Lift the CD from the case, and see...

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Four panels from the interior comic book-style liner notes (sans text), which chronicles the origins and evolution of the band and album:

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The full cover spread

Rip the plastic wrap and it all looks like this:

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Click image for short instagram video

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Music Video Art: Creative Process

Here's one way I create my art and comics:

HRR_CLee_garage_process For this series, I did all the roughs and layouts in Photoshop. I move those into Manga Studio, where I tighten the pencils (if need be - this one didn't) and jump into the line art. Inking in Manga Studio allows me to work quickly and loosely - I just undo strokes I don't like, and try again. I export the line to Illustrator, Live Trace it and color away! Doing the final art as vector allows me to re-size as needed without any loss in resolution - if I want to do a large poster of any of these at a later date, it'll be no sweat.

Maybe that seems like a lot of bouncing around from program to program, but many times I'll pencil in Manga Studio, and color in Photoshop. Whatever the needs of the project, I'll do, and this process is still much faster than the time consumimg process I've used for traditional pencils and inks.

This one of about fifty pieces needed for a music video I'm working on. Some frames are less involved, some more. I'm more than half-way through, and I can't wait for you to watch the video!

In the meantime, check out song samples, or maybe pick up the Holy Rocka Rollaz CD pack - C'mon And Shine On!

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R.I.P. Dutch

Elmore Leonard

Mr. Leonard’s Writing Advice:

• Never open a book with weather • Avoid prologues • Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue • Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” • Keep your exclamation points ­under control • Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose” • Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly • Avoid detailed descriptions of characters • Don’t go into great detail describing places and things • Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip

In his name, go forth and write.

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Hitchcock: Ladies Man

Hitch had a way with the ladies. Truly, he was one sick puppy on this score. He had a history of mildly humiliating his leading ladies since his earliest movies, and as he got older crushes on some of his actresses developed into obsession. Sure, he was married most of his life, and had a child (Patricia, who acted in a few of his movies), but was probably celibate most of his adult life. One repressed dude. And all that bottled up for so long manifested itself in increasingly strange ways as one actress after another moved on, gave up movies altogether, until the controlling, Svengali complex he divulged in his Vertigo was most fully realized with Tippi Hedren. For all his genius, the man had problems. But that doesn't mean we can't love his movies. I sure do. Someday soon I'll list my favorites...

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Hitchcock Poster


I mentioned yesterday I'd drawn Hitchcock before, a long time ago when I did this poster illustration for a novelty company in Chicago. This was 1984, about a year before we began work in earnest on the first issue of Trollords. I was 20-21 at the time, and drew using pencil and pastels more back then. Most of this holds up pretty well, although it's stiff in a couple places. I used an Ebony woodless graphite pencil to achieve really dark darks, no doubt rubbing it with my finger or stump, a trusty kneaded rubber eraser at the ready. This is a photo of the original artwork, executed on 18 x 24 illustration board.

I was/am quite the Hitchcock devotee, having attended seminars/showings of his work and read plenty of books. For the poster, although I included a few references to specific movies (The Birds, Psycho, Rear Window and Dial M For Murder), I tried to incorporate as many of Hitch's themes and motifs: birds, voyeurism, mirror images (twins), train tracks and the wine bottle from Notorious. I faltered in my execution of the quintessential Hitchcock heroine, an amalgam of Kelly, Leigh, Novak, Miles, Saint, Carroll, Hedrin, Day. As in Vertigo, Hitch tailored his leading ladies to be a certain type, what became known as the Hitchcock Blonde.

I've just discovered a handful of these posters in the Blue Moon archives, so email me if you have interest in purchasing one. I'll update here if I make them available at on online shop.

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Chained!

Who wants this more - you, me, or the White House?

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