Want to buy my art prints?

My Society6 store

My online store account for art prints.

LINKS FOR CREATIVES:

Society6- Online gallery and store for artists

AIGA - American Institute of Graphic Arts

Jakprints - Print & Apparel company in Cleveland, OH

The Artist's Road blog-Patrick Ross

Creative Commons

Society of Digital Artists

Manga Studio- Manga creation app

Wacom, Inc.-Tablet manufacturer

Sketchbook Pro-Awesome application

Moleskine-Sketchbook company

INSPIRATION:

Phoenix Tree Publishing-Cullen Nolan

Hi Fructose magazine

Shawn Barber - Artist

The Marquis by Guy Davis

Audrey Kawasaki - Illustrator

Katsuhiro Otomo - Illustrator

Katsuya Terada - Illustrator

Jean "Moebius" Giraud - Illustrator

Roberto Ferri - Fine artist

Yoshitaka Amano - Illustrator

Tomer Hanuka - Illustrator

Back to Frank Black- Millennium fan site

FENCING:

Vermont Fencing Alliance- Fencing club site

United States Fencing Association-National HQ

Wednesday
Mar042015

New Fencing Shirt Printed

The latest piece I did while juggling between projects was this shirt for the Vermont Fencing Alliance's annual tournament. I did this image on Manga Studio and Adobe Illustrator entirely in black and white on 600 DPI. Depsite some of the white colors they used in the actual print, it diluted some of the lines but the entire composition came out fine. The shirt looks great in person, though, utilizing the inspired theme of Game of Thrones.

Actual illustration done on Manga StudioActual shirt based on the image I createdI was surprised that some of the toner effect on the mask was preserved, even though some of the white coating that diluted it as well. That's the challenging part of t-shirt design when it comes to having a balance between black and white ink to a certain minimum to be translatable to the eye. I could have added color to the title but considering the club's limited budget of this year, it would've been a bit more expensive. When the club's finances increase next year or so, I can consider adding more color options.

 

 Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday
Feb212015

Millennium and Mouse Guard review

When I mentioned about the return of Frank Black, I was serious about picking up the first issue at the comic shop which took about a few weeks of waiting. Last Friday, I visited Earth Prime Comics in Burlington, VT prior to heading out to a Death concert ( which is a great band, by the way ) and waited until the manager was done talking to a customer. As the guy was leaving, the manager tossed the comic to my direction with enthusiastic glee stating that it has arrived. 

And while I was there, I decided to pick up a hardcover copy of Mouse Guard: The Black Axe which I've been meaning to read for ages which I'll get to momentarily.

The poor weather actually forced me to stay in at home over that weekend which allowed me the time to catch up and read. Millennium, as I've mentioned, is one of my favorite shows of all time from the late 1990s before its cancellation which bummed me out for years. It was not until recently that IDW Publishing let the cat out of the bag that Frank Black would return. I was so ecstatic about the show's return in print format as I've almost come close to producing my own comic fan fiction of Millennium earlier on. It was such a good thing that they got the license to do it. 

After reading it, I thought it was off to a good start, despite other reviewers thinking it was slow or boring. In fact, it was appropos. I won't reveal too much about it but the way it begins in the X-Files universe was a good starting point in order for Frank Black to make an appearance, thanks to Mulder's presence and insistence in following up on a certain case. In this new 'season', Frank and his daughter are estranged and I suspect she's much older, probably at the same age of the same actress Brittany Tiplady who was in that role in the show. 

The sense of darkness and dread is there which is helped by the art of Colin Lorimer's use of shadows and noir. Especially the latter in which the cinematography of the show is honored in this comic. It is also noted by the fact that Joe Harris is writing it. If what I read is indeed a return to the flavor of Millennium's second season, then I'm a happy camper because it's exactly what the third season should've been, relating to the supernatural. 

It's a nice slow burn and I can't help but think this story is a vehicle to introduce Mulder right off the bat and rope Frank back into the darkness, and thanks to the dark machinations of The Millennium Group's scheme that set things off in motion. Then, eventually the X-Files-verse will exit and all the focus will be on Frank. I think it's a good idea and hope they manage to pull this off. It's actually appropriate considering the way they met before in a crossover storyline in an X-Files episode that concluded the Millennium series, some time after it got cancelled. 

For those who are fans of Millennium, I highly recommend it.  

This Is Who We Are.  

Millennium #1 IDW Publishing

Now, on to Mouse Guard: The Black Axe. . .

Mouse Guard: The Black AxeThis hardcover edition is actually a collection of single issues of " The Black Axe " which is a prequel and origin of the character Celenawe. It is published by Archaia Entertainment and created by David Petersen who continues to amaze me with the longevity of this series. In order to understand The Black Axe, one would have to read the first two volumes " Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 " and " Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 " in which Celenawe appears. The Black Axe has been a mystery at the time until the particular title was released.

Petersen also published " Legends of the Guard " Volume One which I have, although I'm missing the second.

Like usual, his art in the Black Axe is stunning with beautiful clean black lines and stippling effect, including the coloring.But what sets it apart from other anthropomorphic comics like Mice Templar is the sense of story telling and pacing. Every time I open up a Mouse Guard story to read, it has a sense of quietitude and environs of low fantasy without magic. But also the character development is brilliant. They are as real as you and me without the shallowness. The sense of danger they deal with daily is harrowing as survival is imperative, not too different than what the europeans had to deal with in the times of The Black Death. 

And when you see the pain Celanawe puts up with, it hits you. Especially the one scene in this book when he returns to Lockhaven in secret. Being a Black Axe is such a huge responsibility which I can see why he's put in the situation he's in, but I can't but wonder what would happen if such rules were to be changed and how that could affect the society of guard mice. 

The Black Axe is essentially an origin story of how he came to be and the history of this particular weapon. I loved how he added some maps and cutaway diagrams of buildings near the end of the hardcover as bonuses. But what impressed me was in between chapters, he put in medieval styled tapestries with symbols and inscriptions relating to the stories regarding the black axe's history. The world-building in Mouse Guard was well thought out since the creator knew exactly where he was going telling the story. World building, I think, is an important art form to have in order to make something believable without having it fall apart, the latter which I've seen plenty of times in other books. 

And when I say Mouse Guard is unique, it truly is. I think of it as Game of Thrones mixed with Secret of Nimh. How the guard mice interact with other animals is fascinating with various dialects and cultural backgrounds which is not hard to guess if one were to look carefully. For example, the weasels' kingdom is inspired by the Viking culture in this story which I appreciated. Mice Templar, on the other hand, seemed to be of a different flavor that did'nt seem to click with me as it was high fantasy on that spectrum. 

Seeing they are guard mice, they remind me greatly of the Knights Templar protecting pilgrims and fighting off saracens and infidels. Right now, Petersen's doing " Legends of the Guard Volume " Three as individual issues but I want to wait until it's collected in hardcover for a better reading experience. I also happen to have a copy of the Mouse Guard RPG based on Luke Crane's Burning Wheel System which is a beautiful tome ( a second edition is in the works, I hear ). 

For amusement's sake, in the physical world, the Mouse Guard board game called " Swords and Strongholds " which made an appearance in the stories is becoming a reality through a Kickstarter.

And he did mention doing another storyline with Mouse Guard tentatively titled  " The Weasel War of 1149 " which appears to be another prequel to Volumes One and Two but more epic. It just goes to show how much depth Mouse Guard has these days and I don't think there's any stopping it.

Any fan of Game of Thrones or anthropomorphic stories would love Mouse Guard.

Sunday
Jan252015

Sneak Preview Of My New Project

Earlier this month, I mentioned about working on a two panel piece as a personal project of mine. I've made some progress even though it's still ongoing as other things have taken up most of my attention. Getting back into it, I did some correcting here and there and will proceed to panel two eventually soon. 

Here's the sneak preview of the first panel as I don't want to reveal everything at once, yet. It's a bit challenging due to the layers I've had to deal with on Manga Studio and getting some of my brother's old room down right from memory and other references as much as I could. 

Sneak preview of my project.

Soon, very soon it shall be revealed. 

And lastly, I'm also working on some conceptuals for a t-shirt design for the big annual fencing tournament in Middlebury that occurs in the high school gym every year. I last designed for my club about two years ago since someone else did the design for them. 

This year will be my turn and if I succeed in getting it accepted, I fence for free all weekend in the tournament plus a free shirt. 

Thursday
Jan012015

Happy New Year!

Ever since I got my new phone, I've been quite busy with other things and am currently working on a personal project that deals with my memory of things that influenced me to be an artist today. It's kind of my attempt to take something that is vivid and create a composite image of what I can best remember. Because I don't truly remember every detail, only the ones that got my attention becomes the centerpiece of focus.

It's a two panel comic or sequential image of the past and present and how things are connected which relates to my older brother's room and the rock scene of the late 1970s. I think it's also my way of holding onto my memory before it fades away and somehow 'immortalize' it  in a auto-biographical approach. If it works out, I may do another 'memory piece' in the guise of a short comic in that sense of humor that's borderline sardonic.

I will reveal more once the two panel piece is finished.

Winter has become a quiet time of year for me now so I'm still dealing with some ideas that I want to pursue and figuring out how to go about them. I have'nt stopped fencing, either which I think is great to get me out of my place and exercise. In fact, I do recommend any creative find some form of exercise to get the juices flowing or stay in shape. In 2015, I plan to continue doing that. 

I bought a new moleskine sketchbook for the one thousandth time, or lack thereof, since I was running on the last few pages of the current one. And that would be a good start for the new year to begin with once I finish the last sketchbook. I've always relied on them for the durable paper surface which is resistant to ink and provides great texture for graphite. 

For 2015, I will do whatever I can to eat better, create more art, fence, and stay focused on my path.