Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The new 52...

So I guess it's not so "New" anymore. DC Comics relaunched their line back in Sept 2011. One of the titles I've enjoyed the most has been the new Nightwing. I've drawn him a couple times on the blog already, but not specifically the new costume. This was a sketch done for MegaCon. There were a few sketches I did down there that I forgot to scan, I wish I had images of all of them. I might find them pop up on the internet down the road. If I do I'll share them on the blog.

About a year ago I got a hand held scanner to take with me to conventions for my sketches. It has become invaluable...well as long as I remember to use it.

Nightwing 52 - 240

Original art 
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board, Copic marker and multiliner pens.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flint quick sketch...

When it comes to a GI Joe leading man, I'm with Flint on this one. Duke had his place, and in the cartoon he was really projected as the atypical GI JOE, but I always found Flint to be a more interesting character.

Just a quick headsketch today. I'm going to have some doozies coming up soon. I just need to find a way to work them into my schedule.

Flint - 239

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Cobra Playmat...

A little bit of a change of pace for today's sketch. I got this commission a little while back at a convention. I was asked to draw something Cobra related on this mat. The mat itself is used for card games, typically role playing games like Magic the gathering and the like. It's very much like a giant mouse pad measuring 24 inches wide by about 14 inches tall.  I quickly found out that if my pencil lines on the surface of the mat wouldnt erase, and I was limited to using a SHARPIE for any inking. I had one shot at it, any mistakes would need covered up with more lines and made to not look like a mistake in the first place. I just had the one mat with pressure. I don't know how long it took, I did it in stages as I had 10-15 min. from day to to day. But definitely one of the bigger drawings I've done in a while.

To date though the largest commission I've done was a diptych that when combined was 18 x 48 and had 10 GI Joe figures across it. That took awhile.

Cobra Playmat - 238

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quick Scarlett...

Just like yesterday's post, I've been blazing away with work and other obligations this last week. So we've got another quick sketch. Scarlett for today's post.

Scarlett - 237

Original art about 5x7 ink on paper
30 min. sketch

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

This is a job for....

Just a very quick post today. Man, what a busy day. Here is a sketch done back for Mega Con. It was nice to do more of a quick sketch. I had gotten away from doing these, not on purpose, but I keep getting sucked into the details. Still, this was very fun to do. The sketch is about 5x7 inches. It was drawn in someone's sketchbook, which what those weird marks are to the left, the binding got in the way of the scan.

Clark Kent - Superman - 236

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snake Eyes AND Storm Shadow new IDW title!

There are a few cool things happening with this issue. #13 which comes out later this spring. First off, it's a two part cover, the second half of this cover is with Snake Eyes as a single figure facing off against the Storm Shadow from this cover. So I got to both Cover A and Cover B this time. It also marks my 50th and 51st consecutive GI JOE cover since IDW relaunched the title back in 2009! It's a very cool thing to be a part of, and something I am really proud to have been a part of.  I had never drawn many covers before working for IDW. There has really been a learning curve to what makes a good cover, or possibly a great cover stand out. I'm not gonna say  I nailed it, I know I have a lot to learn still. But I have learned along the way, and for me it's good chronicle to see where I was as an artist 3 years ago, and hopefully an indication of where I still have to improve.

Also this will be the issue that Im back on interiors and Im excited for that as well. Chuck Dixon has a really great hook to get the book going right from the first pages. It's a close examination of the Snake Eyes/ Storm Shadow brotherhood/friendship/rivalry that hasn't been shown in the IDW books yet. This is really what I was hoping to get to be a part of when Chuck and I were first talking to IDW about it nearly 2 years ago.

For this cover in particular IDW specifically asked that I didn't draw a background because they were doing a theme across all their GI JOE books this month of a single character against white. Depending on the cover stock, it might make for cool sketch opportunities to fill in around the characters...hmmm.

Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #13 - 235

Final cover read for print!

Pencils/ Layout for IDW approval
Inks over pencils, Using a Brush, and Copic Multiliner pens

Final Colors by Simon Gough, and for approval to IDW and Hasbro.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

HULK Smash....again!

Another sketch from my delirious state that is sometimes referred to as "Mega Con". I was working on this up to the last minute I had to leave before catching my flight home and some necessary ZZZZZ's

So another take on the Hulk. The more I draw him, Im getting a better sense of his bulk. Im sure it would take hundreds of sketches to really nail down a look for him that I like, but I think in general Im getting there slowly.

HULK - 234

As a quick side note, in case you missed my THUNDERCATS theme week very early on in my blog. I reposted the images on another sketch blog Im a part of called 

Be sure to check out some of the recent work that's been posted. Loads of awesome sketches and art from a variety of styles!

For Questions and Comments email me at:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I actually met Wesley Snipes in San Diego for the comic con a couple of years ago. He was nice enough to stop by my table in Artist Alley and check out my work on Snake Eyes. I had this sketch request while I was in Orlando. I tend to stay away from work that has to be a likeness of an actual person or actor. I dont have much fun with it. But this actually went pretty quick. I forgot to get a scan of it, so this file is a little bitmapped, or washed out. But you can get the idea. I did this sketch along with 5 others one of the nights at Mega Con. I slept 8 hours from Thurs. morning until I fell asleep on the plane on the way home Sun. evening. I didnt even sleep Sat. night just trying to get all of these done. whew...

Blade - 233

Actually one of my favorite appearance of Blade in a comic book was in a Black Panther trade. It had Black Panther, Luke Cage, the Falcon, Blade, Brother Voodoo, and Monica Rambeau or the female Captain Marvel.  The book is called "Black Panter: Bad Mutha". It's actually really, really good.

But if you're looking for a more traditional version of Blade: Vampire Hunter, you have to go back to the Marvel Comics run on the classic Tomb of Dracula!
You can grab it here for 45% off on INSTOCK TRADES

For Questions or comments email me at:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sketch Cover - Round 2 - Walking Dead 2

This was a cover recreation request. I really respect Tony Moore's work, I started reading his stuff back with Fear Agent.

Nearly done with the sketch covers, but the craziest are yet to come!

Sketch Cover - Rick Grimes Walking Dead - 232

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Sketch Cover - Round 2 - Blonde Phantom...

I can't say that I know who this character is, but I still think it was fun. The reference I got was a pulp magazine picture of a blond woman holding a pistol in an evening gown. I didn't know when I was drawing it that the character was an old Marvel comic heroine.

If I'd have known I would have put the mask on her.  Still I wanted to establish some drama in the piece with the background shadows to give it that pulp cover feel.

Sketch Cover - Blonde Phantom - 231

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Snake Eyes ....smooth as a ninja

Another commission this last weekend at Mega Con. I've never seen these together as a couple...Im guessing brainwashed Snake Eyes. But it was fun to do for the guy and his newlywed wife that asked for it. They were doing a Snake Eyes and Baroness costume for the conventions, which makes this sketch more appropriate when you think of it that way....kind of.

Snake Eyes Baroness - 230

Original art 11x17 on Bristol board
Pencils and inks

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Avengers Assemble!!!!

Another sketch cover, this one I finished while I've been here in Orlando, FL. this weekend. I'm at a comic show called Mega Con. I try to crank out as many sketches as I can possibly fit in 3 days, it's a drawing marathon everytime I go to these conventions. Atleast it will give me plenty of content for the blog!

Sketch Cover - Avengers Assemble - 229

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sketch Cover - Round 2 - X-23

I remember when I first heard about this character, I admit I rolled my eyes a bit. Seriously did we need a clone of Wolverine, with the not so subtle twist that this should be interesting because it's a teenage girl instead. Turns out, I guess we did need it. X-23 is surprisingly refreshing and has been handled pretty well by the writers giving her a pretty distinct voice and storyline over the last couple of years. This is the first chance I've had to draw her, and it was loads of fun. Well...that and I added ninjas, that always makes the fun-o-meter go up!

Sketch Cover - X-23 - 228

For Questions and Comments you can email me at:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Batch of JLA colors!!!

Just a few weeks ago I finished up my JLA in January, I've had Kyle Ritter (DC comics and Hi-Fi colorist) take on the project of coloring them all up for me. Here are the first few...


Martian Manhunter


Dr. Fate




Green Lantern


Black Lightning 

Captain Marvel

For Questions and Comments Email me at

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sketch Cover - Round 2 - Mr. Fantastic

Mr. Fantastic. ah if only I had the nerve to give myself a similar moniker. Now that I think of it there are a few other superheroes that take it a bit far, Mr. Terrific, Mr. Miracle....I wonder if Captain Awesome is taken? hmm.

I've only had the chance to draw Reed Richards once or twice before as a commission. I drew an issue of Ultimate Fantasic Four and of course he's more of a teenager version in that book. There is a trick though to drawing a stretchy character that takes some getting used to. You have to figure out what areas of the body to stretch and when so that it doesn't just look like a misproportioned person.  Still it's fun to play around with the "stretchiness" and see how far you can manipulate it.

Sketch Cover - Mr. Fantastic - 226

For Questions or Comments Email me at:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sketch Cover - Round 2 - Rick Grimes Walking Dead

Okay, anyone who knows me KNOWS I hate Zombies. I'm telling you, I need to watch a Zombie movie like I need a hole in the head.

SO when I started sketching ideas for this cover, that's about all I could think of.

Sketch Cover - Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead - 225

I think what really gives me the heebie jeebies when it comes to Zombies is the decomposition and the eating people...besides that I think it could be cool.

For questions and comments email me at:

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Batch of X-Men Colors

Back in Sept. I did a whole month of X-Men sketches, much like the JLA sketches I did in Jan. Throughout the last few months, Simon Gough, my colorist on Snake Eyes and GI JOE comics has been plugging away at coloring all 30 of them! Here is a group of the most recent:

X-Men Colors - 224



Omega Red

Mr. Sinister

Prof. Xavier with his First Students

Sentinel and an itty bitty Cyclops

Apocalypse - revised since the last time I posted him.

I've posted numerous other sketches that have been colored. You can check out those posts here:

As always, if you want to see more of Simon's amazing colors, check out his 
art gallery

For Questions and Comments you can email me at:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sketch Cover - Round 2 - Jean Grey "Marvel Girl"

This was a fun sketch to do, I don't think I've ever had the chance to draw Jean Grey in her Marvel Girl costume from the early X-Men days. I thought this blog header was appropriate with Scott in his early costume as well. I have the most fun on these sketch covers coming up with scenarios to place the heroes. I remember always being captivated by the concept of the danger room. Even in it's elementary stages of obstacles, giant robots and turreted guns from the walls. Now it's much more complex and is basically a Star Trek holodeck. But however complex, one of the cool things about X-Men is they take the time to show you that these super heroes have to train. They aren't just born skilled fighters or have even a competent grasp of their powers. They are taught and mentored to finally be considered ready for the "field" and get that chance to fight the villains they come across.

For the sketches, these X-Men and Avengers covers throw me off sometimes because Im so used to leaving room at the top of these due to where the title usually is. I'll have to keep that in mind in the future.

Sketch Cover - Jean Grey - 223

Copic Multiliner Pens and Markers Ink on sketch cover. If you click on this image and enlarge it, it's the actual size of the drawing.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cobra Commander Contest...WINNER!!!

First off, Thanks again to all those who participated in the contest. I really appreciate the amount of time and effort that went into these figures. It was a very cool experience on my part to see the design I worked on come to life so to speak. I think across the board hobbyists and fans enjoyed seeing the various entries. As proof I've had more visitors to this blog per day in the last week, than ever before in the last 6 months since I started this up! I think thats a testament to the appreciation of the craftsmanship and interest in the work these contestants did.

After the week long poll, the voting was closed Fri. at midnight. The results were as follows:

Winner - 1st Place - "Dream" Troy McKie - 275 Votes (31%)
Runner Up- 2nd Place - Joe Ryan - 240 votes (27%)

Honorable Mentions :
"Sidewinder" Christopher Giles - 123 Votes (13%)
"1of3Knights" David Knight - 90 Votes (10%)

Each Contestant will receive an "Atkins: Declassified" 50 page, full color art book, and an 11x17 print of the cover to GI Joe: Cobra Annual that started this whole thing!

To give a little more detail on the entries. Troy McKie posted a few other "making of" images on his site:

Also Joe Ryan sent me his information on how he put his figure together!

"I was finally able to finish him after a couple SNAFUs I had arm trouble and had to do some surgery one one. In the end, I'm happy with the results. I might go back to him later and used some sculpting compound and make the cape mesh better with the top part, but for now, I'm happy. I've also included a picture before all the paint, to show a before and after. "

Customizer's name: J. Ryan
Parts list:
Helmet- 25th Viper, dremeled hollow, sculpted back and sides.
Faceplate- PoC Viper, sculpted on chin and teeth.
Cape- top part, Resolute Commander, modded, trimmed and sculpted/bottom part, vinyl material.
Shoulder pads- 25th Wraith, trimmed down.
Shoulder straps- Marvel Universe Rogers & Indiana Jones pouch strap
Holster & straps- Marvel Universe Rogers w/ Spy Troops holsters modded
Upper Arms- Star Wars Rum Sleg, sculpted arm pouch & strap.
Lower Arms- Resolute Alley Viper
Torso- Star Wars Imperial Knight attached to Marvel Showdown Logan stomach, sculpted over to match armor.
Crotch and ball socket joints- Marvel Showdown Logan.
Upper legs- Resolute Alley Viper, modded to fit marvel joints, sculpted leg straps.
Knees & Lower legs- Resolute Cobra Commander.

And here are his final photos again with a pre-painted production photo as well.

A very special Thanks to Joe Customs and

for supporting the contest and my blog! I couldn't have run this contest without your support 

Also Thanks to General's JoesHisstank, and 
For spotlighting the contest! Im sure I wouldn't have had near the traffic or votes for these contestants without you guys!

For all you collectors that enjoy displaying your obsessions! Seriously you need to check out the other fantastic displays at  4 Corner Concepts
the Awesome will make your head explode!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Snake Eyes #10 Cover...

Storm Shadow...a.k.a. Awesomesauce gets another of Snake Eyes' covers. It's all leading up to some big changes and a great jumping on point for when I come back on the Snake Eyes title with issue #13.

Again, here is the process from sketches to final colors.

Snake Eyes #10 - Cover Process - 221

Sketch B is the one we went with in the final. Since this was technically the first issue Storm Shadow grabs the spotlight

You might recognize option A, which we ended up using for the cover to SE #11.

You can see that I added some buildings, mostly to frame the figure with something dark. Kind of an after thought. 
Again colors by Simon Gough

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Snake Eyes #9 Cover...

Starting with the cover to issue #9 I got to start doing images based on the interior story. Previously the covers were more "iconic" or a stand alone shot of SnakeEyes looking cool, or posing cool. Finally I got to draw him actually DOING something cool. Like taking on a 10 foot mech with just a sword and a knife.

Now look, I know it's a bit ridiculous, but for me I revel in it! I'm not saying I want Snake Eyes to be indestructible or infallible, but I think it's a common consensus that he's the most skilled and deadly GI JOE. For the cover, not only do I get to draw a flippin' awesome ninja, but I get to draw big robots! For me it doesn't get better.

I've often wondered what it would have been like to work on Transformers instead of GI JOE, and while I think I would enjoy it, I would need to do a few test pages first. I like to draw a lot of detail, but page after page of it takes a very specific kind of artist. At least with this cover, I got to draw the big robot, but what really makes it stand out is that it's framed with the jungle and all kinds of organic textures. I liked the idea of the cover from the begining, a classic David vs. Goliath, Ninja vs. Robot, Machine vs. goes on and on!

Snake Eyes #9 Cover Process - 220

Options A and B that I sent to the Editors John and Carlos. We all liked A, but I wanted to change SE's pose.

I didn't really have a penciled stage here. I sketched in the basic shapes then just started inking. I needed to save time.

Once again Simon does a bang up job on the colors and really makes this come to life!

If you haven't had the chance, Vote on the poll to the left of the blog for your favorite entry in the
Click on the link to see the Cobra Commander entries to vote on!

Thanks to you Contestants for participating!!!

Also a very special Thanks to Joe Customs and 
for supporting the contest and my blog! 

Also Thanks to General's JoesHisstank, and 
For spotlighting the contest!

Check out the other fantastic displays at  4 Corner Concepts
the Awesome will make your head explode!!!