Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Anybody that knows me.. Already knows that I'm slowly assembling my own scrapbook/binder of Frazetta's old-timey 'Golden Age' comic-book work. And a big chunk of that, was the beautiful "Funny Animal" text illos & stories; that were published by 'Standard Comics' in the mid-to-late 4o's..
Today, was an awfully good day for me.. As I received the last of 3 different "Funny Animal' books that I'd been waiting on, won off eBay. This last one, was entitled: 'BARNYARD COMICS' #20. And not only did it have 3 different (2 of which, are featured here) text illos. But it also had a very nice 7-page "Barney Rooster" story!

If memory serves,-- both the 'Big Ears' and 'Forest Concert' illos were featured in the Kitchen Sink 'Small Wonders' trade paperback; published in '91. But I have a complete Checklist of the entirety of Frazetta's comic-book output.. And it's pretty shocking just how much artwork, is actually still missing from that particular book..
Plus, it was only published in black&white. To truly appreciate how gorgeous this stuff looks, it behooves you to see them in color! There's something about that slightly off-register printing on old yellowing pulp, that really enhances the "warmth" of these Pics!

Featured above, is the custom Christmas Card that I created for my family, in 2005.. It was my own attempt at staging some "Funny Animals" in a similar way. Unfortunately, I recall that the yellows didn't printout all that well; skewing towards a more-greenish tint.
This digital JPEG-version is actually closer to the original intent of the color scheme.

Off-and-on, I've also been developing a 'Pulp'-style crimefighter story, using s'more "Funny Animals".. I hope to get some of that stuff posted on here, later.
'Til next time, see ya!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Mighty THOR!

Okay.. Time again, to "Feed The Blog.." Damn, has it already been a whole week since I last fed this thing?!
Anywayz,-- here's an unfinished THOR sketch I'd been workin' on..

Marvel's THOR Essential Vol. 2 was easily one of my favorite purchases, of last year..
The 1st THOR Essential tpb was okay, too. But Vince Colletta's inking is a little harder to take, in that one. For whatever reason, his stuff just holds up a little better in Volume 2..

I couldn't resist drawing a Kirby-style THOR running along the Rainbow Bridge, with Asgard in the BG.. Lately, I've been doing a whole series of Kirby characters running, for some reason. I think it's probably just an unconscious attempt to try and analyze the dynamics of why I find Kirby's work so powerful? That whole "exploding off the Page" idea..
This sketch is obviously unfinished. And if you look hard enough, you can still spot where I've been second-guessing some of my creative decisions.. I guess I just got tired of fiddling with this one. So, I filed it away..

I thought it'd make a nice Post, just the same.. Enjoy!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Frazetta's 79th Birthday!!

That's right, True Believers.. The mighty Frank Frazetta turns a hearty 79 years old today! So take the time to say a little prayer, for his continued good health & happiness.. After all, the guy deserves a little respect for all of the great artwork he's sent our way, throughout his long & diverse career!
If you've got artist friends that still prefer a Boris Vallejo -- or heaven forbid: a Mike (Rip)Hoffman -- over The Main Man, himself?.. Slap 'em & tell 'em to their face, what dumbasses they be.. And then go out and find yourself a new batch of friends! heh

Just check out this asstastic.. er, I mean.. fantastic example of the man's handiwork.. Painting a selection of foxy Frazetta chicks for Harvey Kurtzman, as only 'The Living Legend' can!

I know most of you are probably much more familiar with Frazetta's fantasy art oil paintings?.. Maybe others of you, prefer his pen & ink illustration work? Yours Truly loves ALL of it, don't get me wrong.. But I do have a particular predeliction for Frazetta's comic-book art!
That's right.. COMIC-BOOK artwork, amigos!!
Many fans aren't even aware that Frank had a career as a comic-book artist.. Let alone, just how much of it, he's actually done!

About a year ago, I noticed some attention on Internet blogs, being focussed on Frazetta's prodigious "Funny Animal" catalog.. But beyond those lovely Text Illos,-- it's a rare day indeed, when I see someone post (or write) about the actual Story Art, found in those old-timey Golden Age books..

As a hardcore Frazetta fan,-- that's one of the things that has always bugged me.. That even the so-called "experts" tend to be completely dismissive of Frank's cartooning skills.. The oil paintings get all the Glory. And I guess, we should expect that. But the guy completely kicks ass when it comes to creating pure "cartoony" goodness, in his comic-book material!

For your perusal.. Check out the Title page, of this LOOIE LAZYBONES story; as it appeared in 'THRILLING COMICS' #68 [October 1948]:

Ain't that splash page, a beautifully designed thing?!.. The staging & composition, work so well together! And all of the character posing, reads exquisitely.. I'm also very impressed by the color work.. Even if the registration of the printing plates is a tad wonky,-- you've gotta admire those color-to-color skylines!
These LOOIE LAZYBONES stories were clearly bald-faced imitations of Al Capp's L'IL ABNER.. But the stories were done in the late 40's. And as far as I know, Frank only began working for Al Capp as a "ghost" artist after the JOHNNY COMET/ACE McCOY strip ran outta gas. That would put Frank's "Start" date at the Capp studio, around late '53 I think?.. Suffice to say,-- quite a bit after these LOOIE storylines originally saw publication!

Here's page 3 of the same story:

For all you Frazetta trivia buffs..
Note the foreground tree in panel 4 of page 3.. You'll see that Frank has depicted a carving into the trunk, which reads: "Fritz Loves Carol". This was the name of a dancer that Frank was dating at the time, before he met & (eventually) married Ellie!
Frazetta confessed that he grew to become obsessed with Female legs & calves, as a result of dating this "Carol" girl.. And you can witness examples of these (somewhat) muscular Female dancers' legs, in his 'PERSONAL LOVE' #28 romance story, entitled: "Empty Heart".

Okay, so this next one isn't an example of Frank's comic-book work.. But I couldn't resist posting it, anyhow. It's a watercolor rough, for Frazetta's memorable 'The High Side' oil painting! This prelim was up for bid, in one of the more-recent 'Heritage Auctions'..
Ain't she a beauty?! If only had the cash!

Thankfully, the lack of a reliable Frazetta comic-book compendium, will soon be addressed.. Arnie Fenner (publisher of the most-recent trilogy of Frazetta art books) made an announcement on the 'Frank Frazetta Art Forum' ..
If things go as planned,-- Underwood Books will be releasing the first 128-page collection of Frank's comic stories in: 'THE COMIC ART OF FRANK FRAZETTA' in the Fall of 2007!
There will be somecolor examples in the book, but the majority of the material, will be printed in black&white.. Much of it, made directly from negatives of the 'Original Art' pages. The current plan, is to do at least one initial Volume. With perhaps two more Volumes, in the future.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Okay, I was gonna keep this hidden from public viewing.. But with Jim Smith's blessing, here it be! Both the pencilled & inked versions of the 1st Pass at CHESTACLESE..

Probably the biggest difference from the 2nd Pass,-- is that my initial take on it, was much more detail-oriented.. I added more muscletone, where there wasn't any featured in Jim's initial sketch. I guess I felt more free to add my own touches with the Battleaxe & the Lower Legs.. As they weren't even featured in Jim's drawing..
I've always enjoyed the way Berni Wrightson would add those bigass Tricep muscles to Arms.. So that's probably why I added that? I don't think the "feathered" inking works quite so well here, though..

I was sorting thru older Drawings.. when I dug up an older 'CHESTACLESE' sketch, that a guy named Marc (from Dorval, Quebec) had commissioned from me at a 2005 Toronto comic-book convention..
It freaks me out a little bit, how savage I drew him.. This is closer to the older model of 'CHESTACLESE' that Jim featured in his sketchbook, a few years back..

More of a crazed CONAN-esque barbarian/brigand? I like the way the Demon turned out here.. I think I must've been calling up imagery from that weird 70's-era Ernest Borgnine horror movie: "The Devil's Rain".. heh

Monday, February 5, 2007


Many moons ago,-- I worked as a Layout Artist on 'The RIPPING FRIENDS' cartoon series.. Overall, the experience was bittersweet. But one of my favorite memories from that show, was working with Spümco art director extraordinaire: Jim Smith; who worked in-house with us for a few short weeks.. Looking over his shoulder, watching him put the "Stinky Butt" episode storyboards together, was a bee-yoot-iful thing!

And if you haven't already heard the Good News: Jim Smith has also joined this here new-fangled Internuts contraption! Lots of terrific artwork to ogle.. And you can learn more about his latest 'CHESTACLESE' animation/comic-book project, by visiting either his Bloggywog or Website

Just recently, I'd helped Jim figger out a few of Blogger's finer Posting details. And he kindly offered to send me a "free" Drawing, as a token of his "Thanks!".. To which I counter-offered: "Hey, send me that Drawing.. And I'll send it back to you Inked!".. Before too long, he'd e-mailed me a 'Chestaclese' rough to work on.. And boy howdy,-- this was gonna be FUN!!

There were a few miscommunications along the way.. Which I blame mainly on trying to talk about Artistic approaches, solely thru e-mail? Sometimes the meaning & subtleties of what you're trying to actually say to someone, can get a bit muddied & skewed..
My initial inking attempts were overly-detailled. And I was beginning to lose the very "guts" of Jim's original sketches. But by my 2nd Pass on it, (I like to think that) I solved most of those shortcomings.

After I finished the inks.. I decided to throw some Color on it, too. It's mostly colored pencils, over a basecoat of light pantone markers. The BG was a definite cheat.. I sampled (what I imagined was) an appropriate/suitable Frazetta painting. Blurring it slightly, to soften the halftone printing dots..
I'll let the Frazetta fanatics, try and guess which painting it was! haha

Thanks for letting me take the old College try on this one, Jim.. I had lotsa fun.. And I hope you're satisfied with the results!