Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Dark Day" Teaser for Inbound

I was invited to create a historical comic for the upcoming issue of Inbound, a comics anthology put out by the Boston Comics Roundtable. This is an inked panel from the 2-pager I'm working on. We were all tasked to delve into local history. In my digging, I discovered an event called New England's "Dark Day" of 1780 (a few sources 1, 2). Mid-day the sky turned pitch black and everyone thought the world was coming to an end. I rendered it in a style more realistic than I normally do, but I picked it so I could draw tormented characters (go figure). It's also my first attempt at inking a full comic using a brush pen instead of nibs (though I used them for detail work). The anthology is in black and white, so I'm laying in a bunch of dark grays to make it ominous and frightening. I'll post the full comic after Inbound #4 comes out, so stay tuned.

UPDATE: I finished adding the grays, so here's the final panel.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Creative Juices is on Facebook

We recently passed our 200th post on Creative Juices! Not bad since we started the blog almost 2 years ago. (We're at 208 on Drip!—forgot to celebrate) If you haven't ventured over there yet, it's a group blog run by a bunch of us over at FableVision. We started it as a way to share interesting links with each other, but everyone can tap into the pool of creativity and inspiration. Also, every few weeks we publish the latest WTD? (What The Doodle?)—samples from which you've probably seen here periodically.

There's been some activity going on behind the scenes as we recently launched a Fan Page on Facebook.

If you frequent Facebook--> Join here!

You'll get Creative Juices updates in your news feed and you can leave comments on our wall. This was on a suggestion from CJ contributor Naomi (thanks!).

We're also working on a new branding. Here's a little guy I conjured up.

And some possible logotype treatments.

Stay tuned for more.

In other FableVision-related fun and widgetry, check out this bunny car Keith came up with--> here. Just click around and he'll zoom back and forth. This will soon be part of our huge FV Studio website update.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Box of ARGH! arrives!

Oh happy day! I picked up the box Félix and Jorge sent me this morning from the post office—a box of ARGH! comics. From Spain! The 4 latest issues! I've been planning my assault on Boston for the past month, so I can't wait to get these into Boston comics shops. If you're a local, look from them in a comics hideaway near you soon.

Last I checked, Comicopia in Kemore still had issues stocked. I'll be visiting Hub Comics in Union Sq, and Million Year Picnic in Harvard Sq. over the next week.

For other posts pertaining to ARGH!, click here.
And be sure to visit ARGH! Comic for more info.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Spongy Reflection

I spent the better part of the weekend spongebob-ing. That's right, I did it enough that it deserves to be a verb. When I wasn't inking a SpongeBob comic for Nick Mag (quite possibly my last), I was watching bits of the 50-hour SpongeBob marathon (otherwise known as the "Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash Weekend!"), marking the show's 10th anniversary. I also happened upon the latest issue of Nick Mag on a trip to the drug store—the "Ultimate SpongeBob Issue", which includes a SpongeBob poster featuring every single character from the series (there are A LOT of characters). I even caught the VH1 special "Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob Squarepants" last Tuesday. So, I easily spent the better part of a week soaking it all

Here's a teaser frame from my latest comic. Funny, because this was basically me—drawing and inking away feverishly. I find it hard not to identify with the yellow sponge, and I guess I'm not alone. In an interview with Nick Mag, Vincent Waller (creative director on the show) has a great quote when asked why SpongeBob is so popular:

"Because SpongeBob is a kid at heart—he has all the joy and happiness that you have when you're young. And he also has the freedom of an adult. He has his own house, he goes to work—but he loves his job—and he has a pet. I think kids like that. They think, That's me, but with freedom."

How could you not identify with that? I know...I know...his annoying laugh can be grating. But for me, it's always been about the whole package: great design, great voice, GREAT laugh, and an honest personality. Plus, he's funny!

Here's a drawing I dug up from the papers on my desk that I doodled with a brush pen. It's looser than I normally draw, and not quite on model, but I like to think it captures his simple charm.

I've reflected elsewhere about he who is porous (here), when I was getting ready to pitch my first comics to Nick Mag. And here's a quick link to all my SpongeBob related posts.

Happy 10-year anniversary to everyone who has worked on the show! And keep'em coming!

I'll end on a favorite quote:

"The inner mechanisms of my mind are an enigma." —Patrick Star

UPDATE: For those interested, I just did a related/follow-up post of sorts over at the Creative Juices blog: SpongeBob is Everywhere. It highlights the artwork of Sherm Cohen and Robertryan Cory.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Publicity (stunt)

(be sure to click for the larger image)

We just posted the latest What The Doodle? over at FableVision's Creative Juices blog. The word this week is PUBLICITY. I went with the publicity stunt angle. I like to think that the nose hair connects to another nose at some point, but I leave that up to you.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I've been slow to update the blog this month, as I've been busy working on comics and enjoying the sun (Summer has finally arrived in Boston), so I thought I'd dig up a game from the archives. Magneto-mouse is a Flash game I helped develop at FableVision for Scott Foresman. It's a "science game" in the same vein as Goldisocks, which I posted a few years ago. We decided up front to try to give it an 8-bit feel. We also had a fun time with the game instructions—where we were able to include a lot of the curriculum.

The science principles at work here are force and motion, with an emphasis on magnetism. Your objective is to guide Magneto-mouse through an obstacle course of friction patches and duck crossings, using a hovering magnet to repel or attract him. You can collect "turbo cheese" for boosts, too. If you make it to the end, there's a cute surprise. I think a few people have cracked the 1:00 mark, so I challenge you to see how fast you can do it.

Click the link below to play the game.

--> Play Magneto-mouse

Leave your best times in the comments, too.

Note: the preloader seems to be misbehaving,
so wait a few seconds and the game should appear.