“Jane Ink, Max Eyre”

I’d like to tell you about this piece of art I did that was a part of a much larger work of art.

I drew a picture (I do that a lot). It was a picture of two characters, Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester... perhaps you’ve heard of them? They’re the main protagonists in the classic novel by Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre. I wouldn’t normally draw a picture with characters from a 166 year old novel, but I did. Why? Because my friends at the Available Light Theatre company asked me to. Well, they asked if I’d like to draw one of their posters for their 2012-13 season. Each season, AVLT comes up with a bold and unique visual theme which runs through all the promotional materials for their shows. This time around, they chose a comic book theme (there are a number of comic book lovers in the company). Being as Columbus is “poised to be the next big hub for comic books,” Matt Slaybaugh (AVLT’s Artistic Director and chief comic book lover) asked a number of local artists to create posters based on classic comic book covers.

For example:

Art by Jeremy Sorrell

Art by Jeremy Sorrell


Art by Drew Jones

Art by Drew Jones

Art by Michael Neno

Art by Michael Neno

Art by Clinton Reno

Art by Clinto Reno

(I’ll let you figure out what original comic book covers these fine posters emulate.)

The artists created the images and the astoundingly multi-talented Michelle Whited composed all the text in order to thoroughly emulate the original publications.

And so, here I come, bringing up the rear (as it were) with my poster for JANE EYRE: A Memory, A Fever, A Dream. I chose John Byre’s classic X-Men #137 as my source material. It seemed fitting to feature Jane and Edward standing in for Jean and Scott. (If you’re familiar with both books, you’ll “see” the irony (it was purely coincidental) of the Scott/Edward pairing.)

JANE EYRE: A Memory, A Fever, A Dream

I saw the play on Saturday and was totally blown away by its brilliance. The adaptation by playwright Daniel Elihu Kramer is superb. Acacia Duncan's direction as excellent. The four actors-- Jeff Horst, Elena Perantoni, Michelle G. Schroeder, and Robyn Rae Stype embody their characters as fully as I’ve ever experienced (and each actor plays multiple roles—kinda like Monty Python—so that’s really saying something!)..

I could gush about it plenty more, but these reviews say it all.

So, Jane Eyre: A Memory, A Fever, A Dream is running for the next three weeks, until June 8. I strongly suggest that you set an evening aside between now, reserve your tickets now (they have a limited number of Pay-What-You-Want tickets at the door, but that’s on a first come, first served basis), get yourself to the Riffe Center, Studio One and see this fabulous event.

Fighting the Good Fight (with snowballs)

“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts- such is the duty of the artist.”
-Robert Schumann

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Wednesday, January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  For the past few years, Lora Innes and Crystal Yates have organized the Comic Creators for Freedom project which helps raise funds to fight human trafficking.  You may not know it, but there are currently 27 million enslaved people worldwide- more than double the number of enslaved Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million children every year are sold into slavery, most of it sexual. The US Department of Justice estimates 16,000 victims of human trafficking are brought into the United States every year. Unlike slavery in the past, what is happening today is happening in secret. It won’t end until awareness is raised, and people like you and me take a stand.

The Comic Creators for Freedom (CCFF) is a group of over 100 comic book creators who volunteered our artistic talents to raise money and awareness for this cause. Each creator contributed an original drawing of one of our own female characters, and Lora & Crystal then combined them into a single wallpaper image which is available for download when people donate to the cause.

The hope is that readers will be excited to participate in the donations drive (there's a PayPal button on th Comics Creators for Freedom site), and that the wallpaper will be used to generate interest in the project. The wallpaper features characters from all over the web, including Girls with Slingshots, Heart of A Colt, Dressed For Success, Next Year’s Girl, Earthsong Saga, Greg The Megabeaver’s Prehistoric Sideshow, Plus One, The Dreamer, and tons more (as you can plainly see)! 

There will be a Donations Drive that will last for two weeks, from Monday January 9th – 20th and everyone who donates gets a copy of the wallpaper. All proceeds will be split evenly between Love 146 and Gracehaven House- two organizations working on rehabilitation of victims and prevention of this crime.

To learn more about the CCFF visit www.comiccreatorsforfreedom. To learn more about the problem, visit http://love146.org/slavery. (Note: contains adult themes and actual accounts of sex slavery.)

START the year by giving BLINK a KICK!

Hello!

I hope your Holidays were Happy & Merry. Have you made your resolutions for the New Year? I have. I resolve to keep making new Blink books--lots more than I have in the past. And I also resolve to get more people reading them (and buying them).

I've been doing a pretty good job on the former by giving myself clear and managable goals every week and over the past few months I've managed to stay on schedule. I have every intention of keeping up the pace through the new year (and many years to come!).  

As for latter, one way that I am going to accomplish that is by running a Kickstarter Campaign to help boost the sales (and the awareness) of the first chapter (Wonka Wonka Kochalka) of the second graphic novel of Blink (So It Goes).  

If you've never heard of or participated in a Kickstarter Campaign, here's the deal: Kickstarter is a website that helps artistic types raise the funds needed in order to make their creative projects realities. There are all kinds of creative projects that they offer fundraising for-- Art,  Comics,  Dance,  Design,  Fashion,  Film & Video,  Food,  Games,  Music,  Photography,  Publishing,  Technology  and  Theater.  All the projects have clear objectives and the fundraing is "All or Nothing." People pledge money--however much they want--and receive rewards (payments are credit card based and processed through Amazon).  If the project isn't fully funded by the deadline, then no one is charged anything (and no one gets anything). 

My objective is raising funds ($1,500) to help pay for the printing of Wonka Wonka Kochalka and to offset the costs involved in putting on a Blink comic art show at the Wild Goose Creative gallery space.  I've got all sorts of various pledge amounts (from as little as $1 all the way up to $150) and lots of cool rewards. Even if you don't want to pledge any money (I know some people are wary of spending money online), you can help by sharing the project on Facebook, Twitter (or your social network of choice).  The campaign ends on January 31. 

 

Graphic Novel Writers' Roundtable

On October 5, local comics writers Ken Eppstein,  Dara Naraghi and myself were interviewed by Doug Dangler for the WRITERS TALK program.  If I understand this correctly, WT is put together by the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing (which is an interdisciplinary support and research unit in The Ohio State University's College of Arts and Sciences, Division of Art and Humanities).  >whew<

The interview is available in audio as well as video.  If you want to jump straightaway to "the egomaniac's" segment, click on the video below.  But please watch the entire 29 minute show; I mean--c'mon-- how often do you see Columbus comics creators (whose initials aren't J.S.) interviewed?  It's all pretty keen and I'm grateful to have been asked to participate.

Seriously…

With all that’s gone on during the past few days, what IS so damned funny?

Excerpt 4 (Rosie)

 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

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The Holidays weren’t all so ho-ho-ho for me.  These things happen.  So it goes.  I am grateful for what I do have and after a few choice conversations and revelations over the past few days, I have recovered and will continue on.  I’ve many many more robots to draw and funny stuff to write.

Rise of the Robotoids!

I’m up to choreographing the first “battle” (such as it is) in my “Robot Story.”  Kevin’s RPG character, Kwan-Ji, goes toe-to-toe with Robbie the Robot (Forbidden Planet) and B-9 (Lost In Space) and doing a sh*t-ton of research (because that’s what I do). 

I can honestly say that I never knew (or really cared about) the history of these two 50’s/60’s robots.  But being as they’re gracing a page (well, part of a page) in my story and I want to make they’re appearance authentic and enjoyable for those of you who do have fond memories of these guys, well—I’m trying my best.

Here are my (very quick) sketches of the robots in question…

 

B-9 SketchRobbie Sketch

 

…and here are a few funny videos of these mechanical muttonheads.

 

Oh, the 50’s future… how things have changed!

 

I bet this was the first time I saw the “live” Robbie”

 

 

Daleks!!!

 

So there you have it—a tiny robotoid preview.  Beware-- the Robot Skelton Army is on the rise!