A few nights ago I was looking at my website and all of a sudden I realized how old my landing page was—almost 6-years-old. I've made changes and tweaks to Jinx the Monkey over the years, but the image of the gramophone on the flat blue landscape had remained intact.
It's an old drawing, and while there's nothing wrong with that, it feels incredibly dated to me now. It's a quality I can't help but attribute to it, even though I still like the drawing. My gramophone character actually takes center stage in the most recent comic I did for ARGH! (issue #6 should be out shortly in Spain). Here is the first panel.
He's basically the same character, but I draw him a little differently now. Anyway, I'm not ready to do a major overhaul of my website, and it didn't feel right to replace the gramophone as the host, so I essentially lifted the drawing from the ARGH! comic (redrawing it in Flash) and created this new landing page.
While the original landing page (which you can still view here) was meant to serve as a "splash page" before you entered the Flash site, the new one provides jumping off points to my website, my comics page (which is also in dire need of a redesign), and my blog. At some point I envision adding animation—so you could crank up the gramophone and wake him before entering the website. But the static image works for now.
This week's "What the Doodle?" was a longish word: Extinguishable. I admit I kind of went off on a tangent to create a pretty bizarre looking creature. The candle has already been extinguished, so what remains that might be extinguishable....hmmm?
Here's my original pencil sketch. And below is the inked version (I did this one in Flash).
As always, be sure to hop on over to Creative Juices to see what everyone at FableVision came up with.
I talk about my work, my infleunces, my job at FableVision, and issues concerning Nick Mag. I'm biased, but I think it came out great. And it features a bunch of my artwork. It's a bit more personal than the more process-focused Q&A recently featured on The Tools Artists Use (also a fun interview if you haven't seen it yet). Phil did a great job presenting me with thoughtful questions, and I did my best to give interesting answers.
Also, I would encourage you to check out the blog itself. The current list of contributors includes Phil, Britt Wilson, Graham Kahler, Kate Beaton, and Vicki Nerino. They're doing a great job digging up inspirational work so far, with a special focus on individual artists.
The other day my car was towed because I parked on the wrong side of the block for street cleaning (it swaps every other week). I went to the closest tow lot, only to find out it wasn't there and likely at another lot a 20 to 30 minute walk away. But it still wasn't positive. Add on a pair of jeans, a backpack, and a sweltering 93 degree day, and I found myself in the shoes of one of my many tortured characters (namely, the dehydrated ones).
It gave me a little more empathy for them, but not much.
What is it with my characters either leaking fluids or needing water?
The What the Doodle? gods were shining down on me this week. Somehow (and I didn't pick it) the random word generator spit out the word STUBBLE. That's right, stubble. I decided not to go with the obvious (draw a hideously gross face, add a pinch of nose warts and a dash of chin stubble), so I came up with this scene. It's actually kind of cute for stubble, I think.
Be sure to stop over at Creative Juices to see what everyone else came up with.
Oh, and just because it was that easy to find in my sketchbook, here's that "obvious" approach. Consider it a WTD? bonus.
The website features a bunch of talents artists who share insight into the methods they use to create their artwork. It's a wonderful resource for anyone interested in process. You should also check out Comic Tools, a blog I also frequent where Matt Bernier and "MK" delve into the tools involved in making comics.