Friday, April 13, 2012

Jam Session for SpongeBob #8

In comic stores now: SpongeBob Comics #8! My bud David DeGrand also has a comic on the back cover. It's the first time we've been published together outside of Heeby Jeeby (huge reason to celebrate!). Issue #8 also includes comics by cartoonists Graham Annable, Corey Barba, R. Sikoryak, Andy Rementer, and James Kochalka, to name a few. I contributed a 'Squidward' comic. He's just as much fun to draw as the little yellow guy. Even on our best days we can all identify with Squidward, right? Ha.

(click image above to view comic much larger)

You can also view this comic and more SpongeBob comics over at my website.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Nursery Rhyme Comics: Little Boy Blue

I received great news from Chris Duffy the other day that Nursery Rhyme Comics has been nominated for Eisner Awards in two categories: Best Publication for Kids (age 7 and under) and Best Anthology. Wow! This is surely exciting news for everyone at First Second Books, and all of the 50 cartoonists whose comics are featured in the book.

A lot of you in the comics community should be eligible to vote. And congratulations to all of the nominees this year!

You may recall an earlier post from last fall, but this announcement reminded me that I never shared my full comic online. As mentioned, editor Chris Duffy assigned me the nursery rhyme "Little Boy Blue". Here is my initial pencil rough. (click both images to view much larger)

Chris always gives fantastic notes, and encouraged me to open the title panel and add a third image to the sleep sequence showing the little blue bird tucking the boy in to sleep.

I broke away from my typical color palette to try something a little more storybook comics vintage. It was definitely a fun assignment and an enormous honor to be invited into this book. My parents (being the BEST parents), purchased several copies to give out to the children they take care of as Christmas gifts. They were a huge hit—some of the kids still insist on having them read each night before they go to bed (several months later!). And one of the parents, a first grade teacher, said that a lot of her students aren't familiar with nursery rhymes. So, what a great way to introduce these stories to children for the first time.

It's fun to finally share my comic, and if for some reason you still haven't gotten your hands on this treasure of a book, you can find copies online and at your local book store.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


We rarely see art on the web at really high resolutions. Everything looks sharp and perfect, but relatively small. Even when we work on paper, we eventually scan and process our work via the computer. The impulse is to clean things up—to remove what appear to be imperfections in the digital realm. Make whites white— blacks black. Get rid of all the dust and scratches.

With this snow scene (posted at the end of 2011), I purposefully didn’t clean up the scan (inked on paper, by the way, with a Pentel pocket brush pen). I experimented with my coloring and layering on top of the ‘dirty’ scan to make the image look like it was silkscreened or letterpressed. It was fun!

These are all screenshots at a zoom of 100%, from a 600 dpi image in Photoshop.

I like that you can see the tooth of the paper and the jagged edge of the ink. Which is somewhat interesting to preserve on a screen, but entirely unnecessary in print.

As the web slowly becomes HD, I wonder if more artists will reject the impulse to clean things up. Or if we’ll become even more hyper-perfect.

The content of this post originally appeared on my tumblr.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Zoop! for Heeby Jeeby Comix

'Zoop!' is a new 3-pager for Heeby Jeeby Comix. You can read it in full, here!