Arkham Sessions T-Shirt

Arkham Sessions T-Shirt

My friends Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward do the excellent The Arkham Sessions podcast, reviewing Batman villains from a psychological point of view. They’re going to be part of the new Imzy community, a new social media platform, centered on a positive community, in beta now.Arkham Sessions t-shirt

To promote the site, and because I designed the header for their podcast site, they asked me to design a t-shirt to promote it. The design will be available as a shirt and a sticker (the sticker being able to be in full color).

More details as they become available, but follow @imzyhq on Twitter for more updates.


So I Got My Apple Pencil

My Apple Pencil finally arrived last week. I’ve been experimenting with it in whatever free time I have.

Overall, I like it quite a bit. It paired easily and charges quickly. It’s got a great feel to it. Mostly, I’ve been drawing in Procreate, which I like quite a bit. It does a lot of the things that Photoshop does and has a pretty quick learning curve. I do wish it had a straight-up magic wand tool to select an area.

I adore the different brushes, especially the pencil, graphite and chalk ones that create a really natural tool. They’re better than anything in Photoshop and at least on par with Painter.

The problem I’ve had so far is line fidelity. The iPad Pro is almost too good. I’d like to be able to tweak it so there’s a little more smoothness to my line, the way that I’ve done with my Cintiq and Manga Studio. I can make a pretty crisp line with a brush, but the Apple Pencil isn’t a brush and doesn’t have the same feel.

I’m following the same learning process I did with the Cintiq, Manga Studio and my Nostromo where I forced myself to do a drawing a day using that tool. That’s been helping a lot. The Captain Cold sketch below took almost two hours to do. The Wonder Woman one took less than an episode of Castle. That’s improvement.

The iPad Pro is doing what I expected it to do. Ultimately, I wanted what I call an Eighty Percent Device. Something where I could get 80% of the way to finished. With my current setup, I’d be able to at least create tight pencils for projects. I’m working on getting my inks where I want them. And I’m finally going to be able to sit on the couch and color comics pages! That will work well for me. Ultimately, I’ll still need to take it over to the desktop and tweak and finish those files off, but being able to do 80% of the work on the iPad when I need to makes my convention travel schedule a lot more manageable, so I’m definitely happy with my purchase.

Cartooning Summer Camp Wrap-Up

So, sometimes I teach.

It’s not in a credentialed capacity. I teach an afterschool program at Hawken Lower School, and then for the last few years I teach a week of cartooning at summer camp.

I don’t think I could teach regularly. I sometimes come off as having a lot of patience, but some of that is just storing it up all year to use it for that one week.

This was the biggest class I’ve had yet. I started out with eleven and then gained another two that transferred from the cupcake class. Five girls, eight boys total. They were also the best class I’ve had yet.

On a side note, I love that the girls in my class all asked for superheroes when I drew their end-of-class sketchcards. And when they got to name their Pictionary team, they named it “Hydra”. I love any time I see that gender line in comics coming down

Some of the kids have taken my classes for years. One of them actually graduated from taking my classes to being my teaching assistant. That’s the kind of thing that makes you realize you’re not just teaching some cartooning stuff to kill some time, but you’re actually becoming part of the fabric of their lives. I don’t think I’m a great teacher in any way, but when they keep taking my class, I know there’s something that they’re responding to.

We played dodgeball at recess every day. Everyone played and it was great. And we drew a ton. Basic stuff, advanced stuff. And, like I said above, we even played Pictionary.

Here’s the thing: It’s an honor to be part of these young people’s lives. Some of them I’ve been with for two years or more. And when we wrapped up, and Jake headed off to move to California and Riley to Australia and Eliza asked if she could be my assistant next year… look, I’m an easy touch. I cry my Dean Winchester tears all the time. But I wasn’t expecting this to affect me as much as it did. And it did.

If you’ve got a skill, like drawing, you owe it to pass it on. You’re a link in the chain and it shouldn’t stop with you. Teaching forces you to articulate and clarify what you think you know. Some of their questions make you better, too. You get as much as they do.

I’m so glad I said “yes” the first time I was asked to teach there. It was outside my comfort zone, but I’m so happy I went there.

My Free Comic Book Day 2015 at Hazel’s Heroes Comics

This past weekend I was a guest at Hazel’s Heroes Comics in North Canton, Ohio. Their Free Comic Book Day festivities ran from 9:00-600 and it was a full day of fun!

There was a line out front before the store even opened, and a steady stream of customers flowed in the entire day. I spent the day selling books and doing commissions. I even got to add to the ceiling tile art gallery with a Wonder Woman piece (because female heroes were dreadfully underrepresented… so I fixed it).

I had a great time and encourage you all to visit their shop!

I’m looking forward to next year’s FCBD, too. Who knows where I’ll be next time?

Amazing Arizona Comic-Con

This weekend I’ll be attending Amazing Arizona Comic Con for the first time. I’m really looking forward to it! It’ll be my first time in Arizona for anything more than driving through the corner of it or stopping in an airport. I’m looking forward to seeing the actual city for once.

And, new city means a new con print. They’re limited to 25, like all the rest of the set. Hope you like it.

It also kicks off another crazy con season for me. Here we go again!