Friday, December 29, 2006

Ruff Stuff...

This is a rough drawing of my buddy Johnny's character "Dr. Monster". I occassionally draw Doc's strip in "Silver Comics", with loose layouts supplied by John. It's a great way of experimenting with different storytelling techniques, and a taste of what it might have been like working with Harvey Kurtzman. Although Johnny isn't as neurotic about following his roughs as Harvey was.

If you'd like to see some of my work in this genre, along with stellar artwork by Scott Seeto, Bryan Mon, Dan Beltran, Ruben Procopio, Mark Prudeaux and, of course Johnny Ortiz - pay a visit to: And hit the Silver Comics link to order a few copies.
You won't be dissappointed.

'Nuff Said!

(Dr. Monster is TM & (C) 2007 by Juan Ortiz)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dwight meets Bjorn...

Another post containing an image of my friend Dwight. I did warn you that it was going to be a "Dwight Christmas", so here I am, keeping my word. This time out I've included my little buddy Bjorn. I don't remember how it happened, but my original concept for Bjorn was that he'd be a buddy of Dwight's. I remember asking Dwight if he'd mind and he said "Oh, not at all. I'd be tickled to death!" That's how Dwight talks. Anyway the idea was "Bjorn and the Big Guy". For whatever reason, I decided to change gears. But I thought you guys who have been following this nonsense might get a kick out of seeing this visual.

I really feel like I "nailed" Dwight in this one...

So, my friends, please enjoy "Bjorn meets the Big Guy".

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A "Dwight" Christmas!

Ralph Kramden had: "Bang Zoom!", little Arnold asked:"Whut'chu talkin' bout, Willis?", Fonzie exclaimed:"Ayyyyyyy!" and JJ bellowed:"Dy-no-mite!"

For Dwight it's always been: "Hello There!", barked enthusiastically to everyone he meets.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


This is my buddy Dwight. This big mazuma stands about six foot four in his climbing shoes, but appears to be much taller. I rarely do caricatures, but Dwight has always been one of my favorite models. When producing art a few years ago for "Scooby-Doo" children's books Dwight was my right hand man, handling all production and working side-by-side with me on color rendering. He's one of the best collaborators I've ever had the pleasure to have worked with. And he's a great friend.

We met ten years ago, when Dwight was hired as a Sr. Illustrator at the WB Stores. This sketch is from the time we were located in the Dalt's Building in Burbank.

Nowadays Dwight is an Illustrator at The Disney Stores, in their Pasadena offices.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Golden Book that didn't pan out...

These cover roughs were created for a "Lift-a-Flap" Activity Book that was cancelled when Golden Books was sold a few years ago. I was in the process of creating two books for them at the time they closed their doors. The other one was a Coloring Book, and I'm still hoping they publish it some day.

I always try to create clean, easy to read layouts for covers and story art so my contact can present them without a lot of explainations and misinterpretation. It also gives their digital colorists & designers the chance to start laying in colors and type. I'll work looser if I'm doing the pitch in person, but this client was 3,000 miles away.

Working a little tighter on layouts saves me plenty of hours when I'm creating the final approved art.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Light & Dark

These days I like warming up by sketching the little guy, it's very relaxing.

I don't remember what inspired me to make this ink sketch of "Terror" in '93, but it spooks me a little.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jack Davis!

Jack Davis is the "World's Greatest Cartoonist", and I'm one out of millions of his fans who feel this way. First time I saw his art was on Topps Bubble Gum Cards. The theme was monsters and I was hooked at first glance. He is now, and will always be my favorite artist.

As Creative Director of The Honeymooners Comic Book in the late '80s I had the opportunity to work with Mr. Davis when he illustrated the wrap-around cover art for our Coney Island issue. It was a simple collaboration, the only direction he was given was: The Honeymooners cast in Coney Island, and try to work Nathan's Famous Restaurant into the visual. When the art arrived it was Golden Age in size, a massive ink and watercolor masterpiece that I stared at for hours, amazed at every detail in the piece.
I actually got to make a minor revision on it. Jack the consummate professional was protecting us from copyright infringement by changing the logo to read: "Nathon's" instead of "Nathan's". We had an aggreement with the restaurant to use their logo, so I got the opportunity, with Jack's permission to change the "o" to an "a".
I can still remember how nervous I was as I laid down the first few strokes of red gouache paint.
Speaking of copyright infringements, none are implied in this post, so every jpeg has been labeled to its respective holder. with the exception of the "Get Smart" artwork, which I'm assuming is (c) NBC.

I'm not aware of any current books dedicated to Jack's art, but Fantagraphics just released "The Comics Journal Library of Harvey Kurtzman" and it's chock full of Jack Davis art and interviews. Only $19.99 Cheap! Run out and get a copy today!

Mr. Jack Davis is 82 years young today, and hopefully playing Golf right now.