Monday, April 30, 2007

Amy Winehouse Tix

Note to anyone--
If you or a friend you know has a ticket for Amy Winehouse at the Varsity Theater and you or a friend don't care either way if you go or not, please consider bringing them to me. I would appreciate it immensely X 100. Just one ticket. I'll offer cash and or art. I'll barter. Trade. Whatever. If you have a ticket to offer, name any piece of comic art of mine you want and it's yours. I'll do a custom drawing.
Yeah, that's the sound of desperation in me.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Microcon on Sunday-April 29,2007

Note to Minnesotans--I'll be present at Sunday's one-day Microcon. I'll be at my artist table selling copies of Giant Robot Warriors, Local, Lucifer, and others. I'll have original art and prints for sale and I'll do original sketches for $20.

Hope to see ya there.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

FUNRAMA-Forever Searching For a Place That Is Neverending

Monday, April 23, 2007

Giant Robot Warriors-The Sketches

This will be the last Buy-my-book blog on this subject. Here's a bunch of preliminary skeches for Giant Robot Warriors, seen here for the absolutely very first time in technocolor vision. These never before seen sketches were to foretell the amazing giant robot mayhem and carnage that would transpire in this masterpiece of literary robot visual splendor.

Look, I don't know what else to say anymore. This is one of the greatest robot graphic novels created in the last 600 years. They're Giant. They're Robots. They're Warriors. I'll add another adjective if you want.
Buy it here or at Amazon and witness the robot excellence for yourself, please. Take it the beach with you, The new dust cover will protect it from the sand and kelp. GIANT ROBOT WARRIORS. The time is now.

Negamon. Don't know what I was going for here, Danny Devito maybe, but I like it.

McManus. I love these sketches of her, but I didn't draw her as well in the first few pages of the book, and I don't know why because these sketches are so good in my opinion.

Killamon! I wanted my robots to look more animal-like as I was mainly influenced by 60's Japanese monster movies. So Killamon was a little like a turtle (like Gamera) and a beetle. I also intended Killamon to symbolize very American traits in his battle appearance: sleek, state-of-the-art, expensive, and way overloaded with the most advanced weopons, like he could tip over any second.
Sandy. Described early on as being made up of old Cold war-era Soviet and American parts, haphazardly put together with camel pelts and sand dripping from the robot. I slapped on some old sherman tanks on his back with duct tape and stuff. I really wanted him to look like a giant ant with two mouths, one on the top of his head. One of my best sketches ever.

Rufus. These were gawd-awful.

Rufus. A little better.


Gina and Davy. My favorite characters in the book immediately after this sketch.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Light Table-Ikea style

Are you sick of your lightbox/table taking up all your valuable table space? Well, you don't have to suffer this hellish injustice any longer. Here's a hot tip for any local comic artists/ Ikea shoppers.

Now that my 4-year old has reached the height requirements for untamed playland independence, I can drop him off with wage-earning strangers and roam, childless, in the lighting section at Ikea.

I found this NIAN wall-shelf with built in-lighting.. Ikea has the shelf in sizes 11X17 inch and 11X22 inch. It's suplied with a small flourescent tube unit and it lights from the top and bottom. You can't buy it on the website, and I don't know about other Ikeas around the world but the store here, over by the Mall, has it on sale for 24.99, marked down from $70.00, RIGHT NOW. Tht's quite a discount. Check it out.

For comics, I've switched to blue-lining, but I still have to do the occasional light-transfer. It's a just a wee-bit small (I bought the 11X17) for full comic pages, but for small, quick transfer jobs, it's just fine. For me, this wall light is perfect. It's out of the way, and when i'm not using it transfer, I can use it display Star Wars toys!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Miss Masque

A remake/remodel character for a thread on The Engine.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Magical Funhouse of Inking Horrors

Last week, Hope Larson talked about her inking tools during her presentation at the school. I got a buzz when I found out she uses the same tools as me, and I always love to hear tool and technique talk by other artists. The tools are of the comic artist are pretty common and inexpensive. I spend a lot more on materials when I'm painting.

Here's my Dollhouse of Inking delight. Behold. My Star Wars figures are normally propped up like that. It's workplace flair to brighten up my day. Some people have pictures of their children or a Gary Larson calendar; I have Han Solo and Admiral Akbar. I also have a complete 1980 Hoth playset from Empire Strikes Back in case you're interested in knowing that.

Here's what I use to ink most all my comics (See photo above, from left to right):

Windsor Newton Series 7 Brush #2
I used this for half the page duty on Lucifer. I switched to using it almost exclusively for the first few issues of Local. Now, I'm back to using it for about %50 of the mark making. The #2 size is superior to the #1 because it has a larger "belly", holds more ink, snaps back perfectly and makes the same point as a #1 while providing a thicker line as well.

The problem is, I go through WAY TO MANY OF THESE. And, I don't know why. Ink gets in the ferrule and the brush is useless forever. I do not overdip. I assume the problem is that I don't clean out my water enough and I'm swishing my brush in inky water way too long. If the brush makers of the Series 7 knew how many of these I go through, they would ring my neck. Every single one of these brushes are MADE BY HAND, very delicately, by experts, maybe 12 people, and no machines involved in the formation of the series 7 pure kolinsky sable hair into the ferrule and black lacquer barrel. It's a time consuming process and that's why the damn thing costs so much I guess.

THE G-PEN (Niko, Tachigawa)
This Japanese nib is my absolute favorite right now, hands down. And I've gone through a TON of nibs by Gillotte, Brause, Hunt, EsterBrook, etc, etc. I did a ton of nibwork in Lucifer, but then I stopped it on Local. Now, I'm back to using nibs because I miss the unique line that it makes, a line that's full at one end and not a cursive line like the brush. This G pen is amazing. It's large enough and flexible enough. and I can go back and forth with , side to side and it makes a nice full line for profiles. And. It's super durable! Love it.

HUNT 102
A standard nib in comics for a long time. The only other nib I seriously use. It's great for hatching and line patterns. It's dazzling on the smooth paper. I don't do back and forth strokes with it. It's a "drawing" nib and I realize every company has a nib equivalent to it but this one is my favorite.


I found out about this pen through Peter Gross. Linda Medley also uses it, I believe.
It's non-water proof ink and it can take UP TO AN HOUR TO DRY ON BRISTOL PAPER. I kid you not. But, it dries instantly on copy paper. Bizarre. It's my secret weapon. Like a lot of Pentel (japanese) products, they're hard to find in the United States.

Faber-Castell PITT PEN

The felt tip sketch pens. Blah. I use them for some things. Some basic outlining. The Pitt Pens seem to last a long time for me.

This is the brush pen that everyone's talking about around town right now. I admit, It's pretty darn nice. A nylon tip, I suppose, but in no way can this replace the natural sable brush. It takes refillable ink cartridges (non-waterproof) but I've heard of inkers pouring their own ink in the empty cartridges. It's very convenient. I don't use it that much on my pages but it's great for traveling around with and sketching. Next to it is the Pump Pen by Ackerman pens. I'm not a big fan of it. and next to that, are my "Japanese Water brushes", one filled with ink, one with pure water. These can be fun and easy to use for sketching and spotting blacks or doing quick gray washes. They're about $6 a pop and they don't dry out. But they can be a little leaky sometimes. You can buy different tips.

I also use a lot of different India Inks. I don't have a clear favorite though.

I've been teaching an Inking class this semester so maybe I'll use this Blog to post some Inking tutorials. Fun!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Lucifer Trade Collection

I REALLY have to stop reading the comments on Newsarama. Many are really flippant. Here, I can do it too.................

I read comics, And I post on comic blogs all day, And I buy your comic, so you better please me with your comic, or I'll totally knee-drop your comic, and I hope this comic fails, because I like to see comics fail because it'll be good for the comic industry if your comic fails, where I buy my comics from, and I hope all comics fail except for the comics by the only 5 creators that I like and so on and so on.

OK, a bad speller posted this on Mike Carey's Crossing Midnight Interview:

"of all the vertigo sereis this has the most chance of being seen at a libraries so the trade will defently help this series survive let's not forget that Lusifer had lowest sales of any vertigo title of its day but still saw a satisfactory conclution ."

From what I remember that was not true. To the end, the monthly Lucifer sold better than Swamp Thing, Losers, Exterminators and some others. But who cares, I don't understand the Vertigo death-watch by people with negative attitudes. There's plenty of superhero books out there to pacify people who don't care for super natural horror or thought-provoking, intelligent drama or attempts to do something new and progressive. I can cede that Lucifer may be more satisfying in large paperback chunks rather than monthly pieces, but the trades have been very successful and the singles allowed the series to live a full, complete life.

The point is, here are all the Trade paperbacks collecting the entire Lucifer series. This is what they look like. This is all of them in order from Book 1 to Book 11: Evensong. You can go to your comic shop or Amazon
and purchase this amazing fantasy epic for about $100.00. What a great present for the one you love.


Sunday, April 15, 2007


I did a Batman just for the heck of it. I don't know why. I don't ever expect my phone to be ringing off the hook to draw superhero stuff, but I could see me doing a Batman story (duuhh, typical answer) maybe. But i'd like to do it only if I can make it really filthy, grimey, ink-splattered dirt-scumy all over the page, Like Batman in Detroit.

I also have to learn to color in Photoshop like a normal human being someday.


Friday, April 13, 2007

White Bear Lake Noticed, 1851

"A Picnic party of 14 or 15 ladies and gentlemen went out last week to White Bear Lake, 10 miles north, and a spent a day very delightfully at fishing and hunting."
The Democrat, July 1852


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

They Don't Want Their War Anymore

The surgers who love war and wanted the war so badly, do not want the responsibilty of the war. I think we're in deep trouble.

The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation....

...The idea of someone overseeing the wars has been promoted to the White House by several outside advisers. "It would be definitely a good idea," said Frederick W. Kagan, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "Hope they do it, and hope they do it soon. And I hope they pick the right guy. It's a real problem that we don't have a single individual back here who is really capable of coordinating the effort."

I have an idea. How about the President Of The United States?

©art by Ryan Kelly


Note To Self: Hope Larson, Dogs Day End

Note to self and any other casual readers, Hope Larson is giving a Visiting Artist Lecture at MCAD on Friday. Her work is one of the 5 biggest influences on me this year. And she's the most famous letterer of Local that has ever lived.

Comic art and illustration lecture

Friday, April 13, 1:00pm
Hope Larson

Author of Salamander Dream and Gray Horses, Hope Larson is working on her third graphic novel, Chiggers, for ginee seo books at Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Larson, who graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004, recently launched her own publishing company, Tulip Tree Press.

She lives and works in Nova Scotia.

And on the topic of MCAD, It's good to hear the official news that former MCADer Nikki Cook is drawing DOGS DAY END with Brian Wood for Top Shelf. I'm really excited to see this book now. I've known of her work for a long time but I was a few years above her and we didn't have any classes together. Her work's awesome. It's cool to see Brian Wood dip into the MCAD pool, once again.

I was thinking lately of all the MCAD comic people that have produced really great stuff or have books coming out next year. Our comic program has grown up, and I anticipate the comic art world talking about MCAD the way they've always talked about SVA as a launching pad for genuine creators and sequential storytellers.

Here's a sample I did of one of her characters (the girl jumping rope, center) for the back cover of her anthology book, Tastes like Good. Didn't I used to suck? More old crappy art you only get to see here.

Your home for crappy old art samples, Funrama.blogspot.com, member FDIC Insured, after these messages...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Art For A Donation-Old Art Samples

My Make A Donation And Get My Art program has been going well. I've been getting a lot of customers. Thanks to all who have sent money for art. The Donation service is still open and will continue for the rest of my life (tentatively).

A few details-- Go ahead and make a request. I probably won't be able to always come through, but it doesn't hurt to try. I'm even doing a custom drawing for a gentleman today, but that's pretty rare. Also, keep in mind, when you get art, that I have to pay for the envelope, shipping, and the Paypal fee. The "Make A Donation" button is in the sidebar.

Here's some examples of the type of stuff I send away. I have a vault, It's filled with stacks and stacks of old art samples, drawings, sketches, comic pages. Not many eyes have seen this stuff. There's no reason to. There's a TON more.

A Hipflask piece for Richard Starking's Christmas card. Long-gone now.

A sample over Becky Cloonan's pencils.

Guess what it is, It's fun!


I'll post more oddities and anomolies for shits and giggles down the line, but a lot of it isn't worth showing.


Monday, April 09, 2007

A Wall Of Work. Last Week, This Week, And All The Weeks Beyond.

Last week was completely unacceptable on all fronts. I got absolutaly nothing done last week no matter how hard I tried. I don't even think I got a single panel done, and I woke up every morning with an overwhelming urge to complete quite a bit more than one panel.

I don't ever recall having a more pathetic work week. The pillars of my life that held up the frameworks of fairness, decency, and cooperation came tumbling down scattering its particles everywhere and they lay they at this moment , staring up at me , mocking.

I've been in a terrible mood all week, and everybody close to me knows it. I never want to return to that period of my life again (again, last week, to reiterate). I have to do twice the usual workload this week, as last week was so completely deplorable for work. Completely appalling in every sense of the word.

Don't ever bring up last week to me again, please. Nothing went right. Everything was wrong last week. This week is already off to a bad start, but here's to a better week anyway.

How was your week?


Friday, April 06, 2007

Taxcuts and Tipjars

©art by Ryan Kelly

On Wednesday I had to do every annoying task apart from actual drawing. Yesterday, I had to teach. And today, I have to do my taxes. So no work is getting done for three days and if you work in comics, that's a mountain of pain. I'm a little nervous of what my outcome will be today. That "Self-Employment" tax can be especially unkind.

I'll save my usual rant on taxes for some other day when I'm not swimming through a pile of receipts. What a disgusting mess, why couldn't I stay organized this year??! It's not very punk rock to talk about this, I know.

Atleast I have 3 kids now. 3 tax deductions. God Bless America!


Monday, April 02, 2007


©art Ryan Kelly

Ok, I can do this right? I can edit. It's the internets, I can do anything, right? Ok, I had a really bad today. It was a reallreallyREALLY bad day today. That hating-your-life type of day that comes once or twice a year for me. And then I lash out against Republicans. It's not fair. They're responsible for most of the bad things in life but not everything, right? Everything's better now. The Twins won. Back-to-back homers. Opening day. No more rants. They won. The bad day is over.


A Gary Gaetti autographed 1984 Topps. Looking at Baseball cards is always calming and comforting for me. Everything's good now.

Looking at pictures of the long-deceased, great Nicollet Park comforts me. This is between 31st and Lake Street on Nicollet. A bank and a parking lot are now there. Isn't that beautiful? Isn't it good and right?

Look at it. Isn't it wonderful? Isn't it grand?

Nicollet Park, Opening Day, 1925. Doesn't that make you happy? Don't think about the war. That's a beautiful urban ballpark right in the heart of the city.

I love baseball, I really do. Can you tell?

But I’m listening to Bob Davis, the junior Sean Hannity-in-training, on KSTP1500 right now and he just said, “I can’t ever remember a time I ever actually watched a baseball game! Ha!”


Twins announcer Herb Carneal died yesterday. Listening to the Twins is just not going to feel the same. No Carneal. No WCCO. Just a hollow broadcast sandwiched in between very angry and emotional radio talkers on an inferior signal alongside commercials for limousine services, wealth management, and hair transplants. To Herb Carneal, it was always about the game, not increased revenue streams.

Listen to the game,maybe it will have a little of the same magic-Dan Gladden and that cheesy 80's Opening soundtrack, but if you don’t like being called a Socialist because you think that maybe global warming exists, then turn it off after the ninth inning.

Play ball. put on your smiles, it's time to be happy now. The bad day is over.

©art Ryan Kelly

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