Friday, May 29, 2009

Objet ancien psychedelia...

Here's a ballpoint sketch from 1969.

I never
throw anything away.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New book...

If you're a fan of great paperback cover painters
this is the art book for you.

(Published by Dark Horse Books, softcover)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

rough stuff...

Concept rough for a comic book I'm working on --
I'm trying to get a Neal Adams 1969 DC Comics feeling for this cover.

Here are a couple of examples of Neal's cover artwork from the late '60s...

As you can see, I've got a rough road ahead of me.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Joe Blangiardo 1942-2009

Received some sad news this morning from Ken Bald- Gem Studio founder and CEO Joe Blangiardo passed away yesterday at the very young age of 66.

If you were a storyboard artist in NYC from the late '70s through the late '90s Gem Studio was where you wanted to be. Especially if you were just starting out in the field, as I was in '78. Joe and his partner Mel Schlossberg treated everyone like family, with all of the emotional ups and downs that came along with that type of setting. Some of us hung in for a long haul, while others drifted in and out within a few months.
Gem Studio wasn't an easy place to work at, Joe and Mel could be very demanding, Joe especially. But if they liked you and your work they treated you very well. I became an illustrator at Gem after doing production work for a year or so. It was a wonderful opportunity for a young professional to work alongside seasoned sketch men like Ken Bald, John Moody and Bob Tremaine. My good friend Vic Spadoni was also promoted from production to illustrator and I remember us being thrilled at having the opportunity to finally get the chance to create storyboards and comp art. If Joe and Mel believed in you they would also foot the bill for classes at The Art Student's League, as they did for me.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all peaches and cream, but if you were willing to work long and hard you could make a helluva living. Due to the tight deadlines of the ad agencies we worked for overtime was necessary a few nights a week, and we'd be asked to work weekends once in a while. But the overtime pay and weekend bonuses were very much appreciated.

Some of my fondest memories of Joe are with a few of us sitting in his beautiful wood-paneled office in the glow of his huge, immaculate aquarium, shooting the breeze with Sinatra playing in the background. I haven't seen Joe in fifteen years, but I did get to speak with him about a year ago, and now I'm glad I made the call.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"good morning little schoolgirl"...

Here's an after-work jam with some colleagues from Disney.
That's John Quinn on slide, Paul Spiegel on guitar and vocal,
Joe Arena on bass and I'm on drums.

Film by Dan Beltran, our lead vocalist.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The sketch was made during a meeting at work,
the silly situation came later.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A gift from Dwight Wanhala...

It was my birthday a few days ago,
and my good friend Dwight
sent me this sketch.
Thanks, Big Guy!

Here's a sketch I made of Dwight with Bjorn in '98, while we worked for Warner Bros.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Don't Ask--Just BUY It!!!

That was Jack Kirby's proclamation on his DC Comics covers in the early '70s. Nine times out of ten you were happy with your 25 cent purchase because no one ever made a comic book like Jack Kirby.
Except for his partner Joe Simon, and this collection is a wide-ranging look into the world's they created in their two decades together.

It's a perfect starting point for the new Simon & Kirby fan, or the longtime reader. It's an oversize edition chock full of the different genres they invented in beautifully faithful reproduction. The well written chapter intros by Kirby historian Mark Evanier help to inform and set the tone.

Published by Titan Books, UK. And available now at fine comic book shops, like 'The House of Secrets' in Burbank, or from Amazon.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

everyday people...

Spotted in the 'hood---
He began pacing back and forth on the sidewalk and circling cars before slipping into an alleyway between buildings that I don't remember seeing before.

Maybe the alley was a portal to his Mothership--