Wednesday, October 31, 2007


JAMES - another month, another Bold Life cover. this time focusing on the upcoming Asheville Film Festival (get it? 'focusing', haha). it was easy to sink into this one - film and movies brings up alot of imagery, so away i go with some sketches.

i think the second one woulda been really cool, but REALLY hard. the idea was that each film strip would show a sequence of three types of films - like romance, action, & western, or something like that. it woulda been fun since i coulda taken actual scenes from actual movies and altered them slightly. but the first one is the one they chose. and for impact, it's probably the best option.

since the cover was basically a landscape with no figures in it, i decided to try some new tricks with the original drawing so that i can do neat tricks in photoshop. so i drew it out loose, and lightboxed it to a fresh sheet with clean lines (especially for the many folds of film). i decided to only ink the "Asheville" sign, the camera, and the reels on the bottom. otherwise the clouds, film strips, and light beams would remain pencil. for the film, i wanted to keep the lines soft (i used mostly a 6B pencil) so that the outlines would remain somewhat translucent, like real film. for the clouds and light beams, i didn't want actual outlines in the final illustration, so they acted as guides for future photoshop effects (those were with a light, hard lead - 2H i think).

i took as much advantage of shadows within the film and the shadow casting from the camera to create depth. and the clouds were really fun to do - mostly airbrush and motion blur effects. and to keep it as closely authentic as possible to the real "Hollywood" sign, i created a vector image of the 'fence' behind each letter holding it up, and added it in there. the issues were just delivered, but it looks like the printer rushed it and didn't set the levels correctly - there's a tiny green tint to the whole issue. oh well.
next month: bagpipes.
by the way, my latest B&W and Halloween posters are up on my site, if you haven't seen them:

Saturday, October 27, 2007


JAMES - recently cleaning up some old files, and digging up even older ones, i found the original sketches i used to design my tatoos. it's funny how primitive they are (the sketches not the concepts), and how differently i would approach such a project today. i figure they're almost 7 years old by now, and the ink in my left arm is about 6 years old. kinda cool finding these now, as i'm (finally!) planning on finishing the damn thing.
so i think the final drawing used to stencil my actual ink is lost forever - i left it with the tatoo artist, and god knows where she is. but the top sketch was the accompanying color map i gave her so she'd know the basic colors i wanted to fill within the lines. pretty crude marker and crayon on notebook paper.

most of the different parts and themes of the sleeve were drawn separately over a two year period, in various notebooks and sketch pads. once i chose the best parts, i tied them all into one concept and traced them together.

of course it all started with the flames, and this is the actual drawing that's on the bottom of the sleeve. james FLAMES forever, baby.

the gears were done in illustrator, since drawing a ton of circles freehand, or even with a protrator, at the time freaked me out. i originally made the gears about a year earlier for the tattoo around my right arm, and just expanded on it to fill in spaces underneath the phoenix and lightening bolt dude on my left arm.
i can't wait to eventually get started finishing the left arm, and i'm starting to come up with some embellishments to add to it. hopefully around January.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


TOM - Here's a quick one for the Shelton Diagram Factory Correspondence Club. When I was a kid (or a younger kid than I am now) I used to love reading Generation X comics. Chris Bachalo completely blew my mind with his tripped out page designs and super cute chicks. Looking back on some of those old issues, they're just as impressive. This is my take on Jubilee, one of my favorite characters on the team. Yeah, it's fan art, but who cares, it's fun.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


TOM- This weekend was the opening of the Box Social show at the Secret Robot Project in Brooklyn, which I was fortunate enough to be a part of. The turn out was really great, and Jason Estrin and everyone else who put the show together did a really great job.

There was a really great variety of stuff up on the wall. I liked the clothes line look.

There's my two page Archie spoof.

The more people that showed up, the hotter it got in there, so...
...the party moved outside. Thanks to global warming, we had a beautiful summer night in October.
The whole outside of the building is decorated with some really cool art. There's Duffy being zapped, along with Neil and Mike.
I really started to like those lightning clouds, so I made a plan to take photos of people underneath them. There's Stephanie and Duffy.

Here's me and fellow cartoonist Hilary.
My lightning bolt plan fell through due to getting drunk and forgetting about it. Here's to openings!

By the way, the show is up 'till November 8 for more info on location and other stuff click right here.