Friday, July 4, 2014

SCOOBY-DOO #48 Cover Cover

Here's the cover to Scooby #48 that I did. I think it's a strong cover and was quite happy with it with the inking job I did for it. The original art has a new home as I sold that a while ago and Candace Bell did a superb job coloring it based on some notes I gave her. This issue also features a story I wrote and drew as well. I also think the backup reprint story in it is one of mine as well, so it's a full Scott Neely issue. It should be out in August.

Monday, June 9, 2014

SCOOBY-DOO #47 Comic Cover + San Diego Comic-Con Variant Cover Exclusive

Here's both covers to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #47! An exciting moment for Scooby comic fans as this is also the first time that Scooby has ever gotten a variant cover! The first cover is the main cover for the book that you would get if you bought it anywhere and then the second cover with Scooby dressed as Batman is a Diamond Previews Exclusive that will be on sale at this year's San Diego Comic-Con! I have no idea what they are charging for it though being that it's an exclusive. I can only hope I get one for free since I drew it. There's a LOT going on in both of these covers and I kept the background details similar so that they looked like two scenarios at the same show. Eagle-eye fans will see that I put another Scooby comic cover I drew into the design. The girl is putting a copy of Scooby #44 in her bag. This variant cover was a bit harder as more people had a say over it, so it went through a few revisions before Scooby colorist, Candace Bell, went and colored both of these based on my notes. Once she was done I dropped the logos on to finalize. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

SCOOBY-DOO #44 Cover Cover


Here's the final cover art I did for Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #44. I posted a pic on the blog of me finishing the art back in January. This first image is a scan of the actual printed cover that came out. Some highlights from the paper it was printed on were picked up by the scanner though. I hate that glossy paper. Anyway...
Here's the original thumbnail that WB chose to go with as a design. I did four designs for this cover on 8.5 x 11 paper. Even at this small size it read really clear. Again I used a 40% Warm Gray marker to make the thumbnail pop.
This is a scan of the final art that was done on DC Comics art board. It came out super clean with little to no white touch up paint to fix any errors on it. Even in black and white this is a strong layout that works.
Then Candace Bell, who was at Heroic Age at the time, did the coloring for it based on the script and any notes I had. Once final approval from DC and WB and it was off to the printers with the rest of the final art for the book!
I included this cover version also as this was the final cover for the digital release of the comic. The store bought one had the UPC symbol on it. All in all, I like this cover a lot! A great shot of the Gang with an air of mystery!

Writing Scooby Is Easier Than Drawing Scooby

I just got back from the dentist and I should be hitting the board inking Scooby final art but I decided to post this pic instead. It was taken back in late February (around the 21st I think) at around 6:30pm. It had a spooky feel with the lighting which is always great when writing Scooby-Doo. Actually, mysteries are always written better when the light are low. I didn't have any music though. I need silence when I do the dialogue.

I sold three story ideas to DC Comics for Scooby and Warner Bros approved them all. So I was tasked to write the first one, which took me a week. Actually, if I just cranked it out instead of taking time to step away to do art, it would have been like three days. It took a full day in my mind of where it went and how it ended. The next two days were working out the panel to panel storytelling and typing it into a script format and then adding the dialogue, which went fast. Actually this one fell into place quite quickly and practically wrote itself and a nice tag at the end that fell into place at the last moment.

I submitted the final script and heard back a week later that it was approved by WB with no changes! Yowza! I guess after 14 years of drawing Scooby, they knew I probably could write it as well. It was a shock when the editor asked if I wanted to draw the story I turned in too. "Really?", I asked. So when it was said to be OK, I said yes. Originally, with DC Comics, you couldn't write and draw your own stories unless you were incorporated as a business. Apparently things have changed in the last few years with the move to California for DC as you now just needed permission from both parties to do it (DC and WB). I know most people think one owns the other and they're really just one company but they aren't. They are working together more now than ever to milk the intellectual properties that DC owns. With Marvel and Disney riding hard off of every success they have, you can see why DC moved from New York to Burbank to be closer to Warner Bros.

Anyway, I'm quite happy with how my story turned out and I have to say that writing it was way easier than drawing it. When I started drawing it, I knew the exact visuals I wanted as I worked it all out in the writing and planning, but when I got to a page with nine panels I fumed, "who's the asshole who wrote nine panels a page???"

Oh... that's right. It was me.

I've said for years that it's easier to write this stuff than draw it. A scene that takes place down by the docks on the seedy side of town with the mist coming in, a ship's horn going off, with a solitary light above a dockside storefront that was lit is a cool scene to see in your mind's eye. Drawing it though is another thing entirely! There's a million ways to interpret the visual.

Writing the Mystery Machine in the middle of a chase scene is exciting, but drawing the Mystery Machine itself over the course of three pages and a lot of panels can be a pain in the ass.

Anyway, in the end, it turned out cool and I was pleased with how it turned out. I'm hoping the coloring turned out ok as well, as the cover I drew for the comic turned out very nice indeed.

I turned in the final art which was approved with no changes the beginning of May and it should be out in August, as it got pushed back a month (due to a comic convention-style story that was squeezed in last minute).

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SCOOBY'S Lost Cover!

Scooby's lost cover that I did back in....hmmm, January? It was in early 2014 sometime. It was done quick and Heroic Age did the coloring on it. It was meant for issue #42 of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and there were some problems with the artist getting the interior art getting done on time and WB was rough with approvals and so the issue got pushed back, and then pushed back, and then became an inventory story that will run at some point. I've no idea when though. It's a ghost story that takes place down south. I don't even remember the title of the story now either. Thought I'd post it for you to see.

LOONEY TUNES #219 Cover Cover

I did this Looney Tunes cover a several months ago. I just got five comp copies from DC Comics the other day so I guess it will be in stores this week.
I read the story and it seemed to me that since the Road Runner and Coyote don't get many covers that it might be better to draw an iconic image of them instead of drawing an image from some situation that happens in the actual script. I did these four tight thumbnails and on second look they are pretty damn solid in terms of selling the concepts in a small scale. They are really completely readable, which sometimes thumbnails aren't. They hit all the right notes from the abstract desert setting, the signs the Coyote holds, and to the backfiring traps. I used a 40% Warm Gray marker to do some light tones to make them pop. They were done on 8.5 x 11 paper. I have the grids on the page already set up to comic specs so I can print out the grids easily to work faster.
I then did a rough, which looks a lot like this one, on 11 x17 paper and sent it in for final penciled approval. Then I did the final art on DC art board and scanned it. I added the word balloon and text on the Coyote's sign after the fact digitally for my blog as my original thumbnail had it but as you can see from the final printed cover they didn't use the "Meep! Meep!"
And then the final color file. I don't know who did it but I like the warm tones to it. They missed coloring the little patch of grass on the side above my name though. Once it's out of my hands I normally have no control. Anyway, it came out cool and the Interior story drawn by Robert Pope came out superb.

I'm Still Here.....

Yes, I know it's been a while. Life has been busy for sure and I'm running two businesses now and for art, it got real busy around mid-March! Life slowed down a bit on Memorial Day weekend and it was nice. This past weekend I put together a new barbeque out of the box! Woo!

What's been going on? I'm currently working on Capstone's Scooby-Doo "You Choose" books series and doing Books 7 & 8. I started Book 7 as I was finishing up a Scooby comic that I was writing and drawing for DC Comics (yes, I said writing) when I got a new email from the non-fiction side of Capstone Publishing as they had a new Scooby-Doo series that were doing and I then signed on to do the first two books of "Unmasked: The Truth Behind..." series! Being the first artist they contacted (they didn't know I was already doing Scooby for the fiction side, go figure), I got to pick the subject matter that I wanted to do so I picked Mummies (Book 1) and Zombies (Book 2)! The other books will be drawn by two other artists who will do two each. I've got one book roughed and approved so I'm doing finals inks this week and I turned in the Mummy book roughs today so that's routing for approvals. These four books all have to be done by August.

I've done around 7 or eight covers as well now for these series and for DC Comics. I'll be posting them ASAP as some people have emailed me asking if I'm still alive. Yes, I say but when I go to add something to the blog, I'd rather go do something else. It feels like "Time to make the donuts" sometimes so I keep putting it off.

Monday, January 27, 2014

On A Dark And Snowy Saturday Night...

Once again it snowed and the surrounding areas of Philly were deluged yet again. I'm sick of snow officially now. I'm tired of shoveling and this snow wasn't enough to pull the snow blower out. The weather was so bad that I didn't bother to go out as the roads were slippery and why risk my car to go get something to eat. So I stayed in and did the final artwork for a new Scooby-Doo cover for DC Comics. It was to be due on Tuesday, but now it was done early for a Monday morning digital delivery so I could then go back to the Capstone Scooby art.

I like the eerie lightning that my art lamp gave to the photo. It has a creepy mystery feel to it which works great for Scooby. Actually, there was more actual light but my camera just doesn't pick it up the soft white bulb that well. I have the same problem with my HD Flip video camera. I snapped the pic as I was adding some Pro White during the final touch ups before I went to scan it.

SCOOBY Capstone Books Are Out!

I got my comps from Capstone the other day of the four Scooby "You Choose" books I worked on all last year! They are now out (at least on Amazon.com! I've set up a sidebar on my blog that will lead you right to them!) They are $6.95 each in the stores. Amazon sells them right now for $6.25 each. Not a big discount but these books are NICE! Beautifully printed on heavy glossy paper and they have a great binding to them.

I also got the hardcover versions of them as well, which are the Library Editions that libraries would order so that they would hold up over time from kids borrowing them. These hardcovers are pricey but well worth the price! Beautifully done! The cover art really pops and looks just like they did on my computer screen.

I'm currently working on Books 5 and 6 right now and they should be going to the printer in March.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

ALFIE In The Sun

Every morning, if the sun is poking in, Alfie jumps off the bed and lays in the sun patches on the carpet. He'll lay there for about 10-20 minutes and then turn over or move into the shade to cool off for a bit before getting back into the main heated area. These were taken back in early October. These last few weeks he's been under the covers with me and doesn't want to get out as it's been really cold of late! He is spoiled I know.

SCOOBY-DOO Capstone 4-Book Series Covers!

Here's the final cover art as they will appear in spring of 2014!  I don't know how much they'll be in the stores but they are slightly thicker books as they are mostly text. I really like the title designs for each book!



SCOOBY-DOO Original Final Cover Art For Capstone!

On April 1st, I started working on Book 1 of Scooby for Capstone Publishing. This is a series of "Choose Your Own Adventure" Books so I did the cover art and 10 interior illustrations for each book. They came out exceedingly cool as I had complete control of the art and had a great designer from the publisher who designed some great title logos. All in all, I think these will be a hit! Warner Brothers was really thrilled with them and they loved the sample copy that was on exhibit at San Diego Comic Con this past summer. It's nice to see this type of book make a return as I remember reading "Choose Your Own Adventure" books growing up. I still have a mint set of the Indiana Jones ones that were done in the early 80s and I have a Batman and Superman one here as well.

I'm posting the original final full cover art as you'll see the final art as I submitted it since it would wind up being really tight in the final layout and some parts were covered up. They were tough to design as I didn't want any key art to be covered up and so they took a while longer to design than the interior pages. When I colored these I did do some line holds for color and kept the background paints fairly simple as I knew some parts would get covered up. I did do some color overlays on the Book 2 cover as the Gang is out in the woods and for the sake of it being a cover I lightened it up so that it didn't look as dark as it would be. For Book 3 with the Minotaur I created a separate file for a bush pattern that I made. It took me several tries to get it to look like a bush you'd see in an outdoor maze. As I say, I was quite happy with how it all came out and I made the final deadline about two weeks early! Enjoy!

SCOOBY-DOO #39 Comic Cover

Here's the printed cover version for Scooby-Doo #39 which was done in early fall. It had gone through several changes but came out all right in the end. Candace Bell at Heroic Age did the colors. Thanks to Captain Blue Hen Comics for getting me copies of the final printed books as it seems DC Comics stopped giving out comp copies to the talent so we now have to fend for ourselves to see how the work turned out. Ah, comics...

SCOOBY-DOO #38 Comic Cover

 Here is a Scooby-Doo comic cover I fit in this year for issue #38. It's a Elvira parody that had Daphne dressed up as Elvira. I think this was done in late summer. Candace Bell at Heroic Age did the colors. Unfortunately, DC Comics covered up my name on the bottom and then also gave the credit for the cover on the inside to someone else. Ah, comics...