Saturday, December 29, 2007

Season of Angels

Still see a lot of angels this time of year, which reminded me of this drawing I did a couple years back, and later modified to use as a sign in a piece of concept art. Seemed somehow an appropriate image to ring out the old year for a new... Wishing a wonderful 2008 to all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Wishing all a happy holiday season! 'Nuff said!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Duo Damsel

Nostalgia for old characters that I loved in my youth has brought me to some of the Legion of Superheroes from the 70s, along with the way out fashions they were famous for, mostly the work of Dave Cockrum.

I loved these stories as a kid, and the costumes seemed so modern, so NOW! at the time... Now of course, they serve as a great time capsule. But then, so does anything from a certain time period that hopes to envision the future. Who know? Maybe the kids really will dress like this in the 30th century.

Here, of course, is the Delightful Duo Damsel, gossiping with herself, probably about Bouncing Boy's weight or some such... you can fill in the gaps, yes, you.

The first of many I've got planned... we'll see how many come into fruition.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Crazy Jane

Been a while since I posted... busy times have kept me away, but am determined to post more frequently now that its December. Here's a recent Crazy Jane I worked up for my buddy Craig before he took off in pursuit of his dream storyboarding films... I gotta confess, working on some of these old characters made me wax nostalgic, so I may well be doing more revisits. Yee-ha!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Bats in the belfry, courtesy of Kaitlin. Halloween's less than a week away!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Crashin' concepts

Concepts for the Crash Site map from GRAW2. By this time I'd started working straight into Photoshop, no pencil underdrawing, with some photo manipulation. Looking back on them now, I wish I'd have given them a more painterly treatment, but that's always part and parcel of looking back on one's own work, seeing what you would do different now.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Taking a break from showing concept work to post some more personal stuff... as I try to flesh out a story...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Conceptin' pt. 5

Two more, the common element in these being the crazy curves in the architecture. Thank goodness for shipping curves.

The Hydro Dam appeared in GRAW2, the airport/parking garage on the cutting room floor.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Conceptin' pt.4

Another concept for a map that didn't make it, but this was one of the first ones that I remember stretching the canvas from my original drawing to change the composition. The whole right third was added later in Photoshop, because I wanted to show where the bridge led to. By this time I'd learned to start making custom leaf brushes to quickly create jungle foliage.

Slightly older sketch where I was trying to show a bit of the diversity of color in what some of the buildings in an old Mexican town might have, along with some of the stuff you'd find on the streets that help instill life into it, without actually having to put people in.

Normal turnaround time on concepts like these are 1-2 days.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Conceptin' pt. 3

Details to be used for a monument that was to be the central point of a multiplayer map that ended up being used for GRAW 2, though again, the final design varied from some of these initial sketches. I'll try to show the composite I put together tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Conceptin' continued

More GRAW concepts... these ones were used for Downloadable Content. I'm pretty sure it changed in the final design, but note how the top portion of the second drawing resembles a certain iconic mouse...

Monday, September 24, 2007


Thought I'd finally get around to posting a few concept pieces that have been my bread-and-butter for these last few years. I'll post a few throughout the next week or so. These first couple are from the Multi-play Temple map for Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, or more commonly known as GRAW. These were done before I really started working in Photoshop to establish mood... later pieces will show more of what I speak of.

Friday, September 21, 2007

More Belle

Putting together more pieces on building a new character... this is the fun part.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Beginning to feel out some ideas for some new stories and characters... Here's the first, fresh from my sketchbook. More details as I flesh them out!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Beautiful Dreamer

The artist (of the previous post) dreams...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Horsin' around

I haven't been sure how I would try to get back to posting stuff that wasn't Mike related; none of my drawings seemed to be the appropriate place to start back. Then the idea came to me while looking at one of Kaitlin's recent drawings that our kids literally are our future, and what better way to look into my future than by posting one of her drawings that brings a smile to my face. For those that can't tell, she's riding on a horse (or is it a unicorn?), while bending over to take a look out at us. I love the foreshortening, and the way she captured her hair, and her happy expression that she captured with just a few lines. It makes it easier to find hope again... at least for me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Flashback Friday (Todd Sauce)

Portrait of Todd by Mike- circa '99.

The way I remember it, Mike, Chuck, Dave Johnson and myself were flying up to a con in Chicago when for reasons beyond our comprehension, we had an unscheduled landing in Indianapolis (I think we later found out there was snow coming down in Chicago and a huge holding pattern and we didn't want to run out of fuel.) We sat on the tarmac in Indy for well over an hour, not allowed to exit the plane, knowing that we were going to be late for the opening of the show. I started sketching in my sketchbook while waiting (planes are great places to sketch btw) and Mike and I started joking about how Todd was already there at the show, waiting for us to show, bored out of his skull. Because, you know, there was no way Todd could be enjoying himself without us there... :)

Now, I believe this was just after Tellos first shipped, and I think maybe Mike had a bunch of copies he was bringing along to sell, (Todd- help me here...) which would explain why there aren't any copies of the book sitting there in the drawing. Anyway, Mike bummed my sketchbook, and while sitting there in the back of the plane, whipped this drawing up, complete with Todd's little buddies waiting for him at home. Mike even captured the way Todd drew his pets himself (not many know that Todd is a talented artist in his own right).

The explanation of the Todd Sauce is harder to explain. Somewhere along the line Mike and I started this stupid bit when Todd called that went something like "Still talking 'bout the Todd Sauce..." I don't know how we started that one, but like so many ridiculous expressions, Mike and I ran it into the ground. So, when Mike drew the drool in this pic, naturally it got the Todd Sauce label.

Todd's memory of this might be a tad different than mine...

The one other memorable part of this trip (I think it was the same trip) was that we met Sonny Shroyer, who played Enos on the Dukes of Hazzard show, in the back of the shuttle bus on the way back to the airport after the show. He told us some great stories about the show and Roscoe P. Coltrane (James Best) and we all got our picture taken with him before running off to catch our respective planes. Dave's got the picture to prove it, if we're lucky...

Such is the strangeness of comics shows.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Some Mike pics

Was originally going to post these last week, but they just didn't seem to match with the things I was writing, my memories of Mike and how great a guy he was. I did bring them to his memorial though, and afterwards, sharing stories in the pub, passed them around. We all got a good laugh out of them. Mike was such a character anyway, and here he is in character, posing as a bum for me to use for the Preacher Special starring Arseface, along with Casey Jones. Note that Mike's using a lead pointer as a crack pipe here...

Monday, August 20, 2007

More Memoirs of Mike

These are the last two images I inked of Mike's pencils, done a couple of years back now. The latter one with Supergirl is my favorite of anything I ever inked of his, the one where I most closely got to "nailing" it, at least in my mind.

It had been a few years since I 'd inked some of his work when I worked on these, and it quickly came back as to what a pleasure inking Mike's stuff was. His pencils were so tight and fluid, and had so much character to them. I wish I had copies of the pencils themselves to post alongside the inks.

These were done for our friend Wally who we'd played softball with years ago, and who would still come out to visit us in the waning days of the studio to see what we'd been up to, and to go enjoy some awesome jambal-AYAHHH! with at Tupelo's in Hillsborough. Memories we both shared at Mike's memorial service last Friday.

Speaking of... it was great to see everyone who could make it to the memorial. It seemed to help, getting together to remember Mike, and to share some of the ridiculous and moving stories that we all had of him. My thoughts and prayers continue to turn toward his parents, Matt, Suzanne, and to Todd.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Remembering Mike

I'm one of the lucky ones. I had the great opportunity to work with Mike day after day for nearly 10 years, to see him grow into the great artist he became, and to become the best of friends.

He was always so encouraging, always giving other artists a boost, or giving the kind of great constructive criticism that made you want to make it work. Because he loved the art of comics so much, and really appreciated when the efforts paid off. Here's a sample email from Mike, after I started working at Red Storm but was still finishing comics commitments by night, and we were like ships passing at the studio, checking out what we'd done during the other's shift...

I checked out the page you did yesterday--

Man, it's really awesome...! I know you already had the layout done, but
did you trace that entire thing up in the brief time you were here
yesterday? If so, that's really impressive. I love all the added texture
and lighting you added from the simple layout you had.

I'm starting to really enjoy -- (although I still don't LOVE the work I'm
producing I don't HATE it like a lot of the stuff I've done in past)--
working really quickly. Not laboring over things and drawing them in a
quick and gestural manner seems to help bring out stuff that I never did

That's what I see in what you're doing too. Is it because we're older and
wiser...? Or we just don't give as much of a shit anymore...?


We used to talk about stuff like this all the time. Talked at length about artists work we'd just discovered who embodied the energy and comprehension that really made a comics page sing.

I was lucky too, to have had the opportunity to ink Mike on his run of Sensational Spidey, and to meet and befriend Todd along the way. Mike made inking a pure joy, every line made for a reason, full of energy and character. To capture such personality with so few lines is deceptively tough, but Mike made it seem so easy. I think largely due to the fact that he was so empathetic, so compassionate, and had such a great feeling for the dramatic.

His compassion for animals is well known, by any that read his blog. His love and dedication to his cats. But also to all animals. The reason he chose to stop eating meat, was more a decision about why no animal should suffer for him to sustain himself, than it was about health reasons. In the last couple of years at Artamus, one of the other tenants would sometimes bring her dog Moe upstairs. This quickly became a highlight to our day, when we heard the tippy-tap of dog feet on wood flooring, and we'd yell out "Moe-bus!" as he stuck his head in our door. Mike always had a bag of treats for him, and he'd hang out with us for part of the day. And when my dog Nugget died, you'd have thought it was Mike's dog that died that day.

I know its a cliche, and I've heard many people say this this past week, but he was like a brother to me. We had our own short-hand language, catch phrases we'd repeat ad infinitum that just got funnier with each repetition (at least to us it did). We would listen to books on tape together, our stories, and sure enough there'd be another expression that would become part of our repertoire. If we were working on Sunday we'd listen to the Panthers games, and I'm glad he finally made it down to Charlotte to see one live. I watched Super Bowl 38 with him at his house, thinking it would be just another boring Super Bowl except for the commercials, and wound up watching the most exciting one as the Panthers and Patriots bounced back and forth in the 2nd half before Vinatiri ended our dreams of a Carolina win.

Its amazing how many brothers Mike had in this way, and its a true testament to him.

Mike was there to see my kids when they were a few days old, to see them grow up and was always happy to see and joke around with them.

He was the one that called me at the studio the morning of 9/11, and we watched the towers fall on my little b/w tv, filled with disbelief, anger and shock.

Which is how I've felt most of this past week. Still can't process that he's gone. Angry because I want to understand how it could happen, but it doesn't change the fact that he's not just a phone call or drive down the road away.

We're all gonna miss you, Mike.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mike Wieringo, 1963-2007

I can't even believe I'm typing the above words. Doesn't seem possible that Mike's no longer with us. He was like the art brother I never had, working side by side each other for nearly 10 years, someone who could give me honest feedback, and be so encouraging. There are few people that I've been as close to, that we had our own short-hand language and catch phrases that would start us down a whole line of tangents before bringing a conversation back 'round to what we were talking about in the first place. Few people could make me laugh like Mike could, and I'm sorry that more people couldn't have known that side of him. He was one of the most generous and compassionate souls that I've ever met.

Godspeed, Mites! We'll miss you buddy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Sketch started while waiting for midnight at the countdown for the Deadly Hallows at the local Barnes and Noble that I took my son Brendan to. Was quite fun watching all the hoopla over the release of a book. This particular fellow looked a bit out of place with plastic Potter glasses on and his frappaccino, which was good enough a reason for me to draw him. The owls were there too, though under much tighter supervision than I depict them.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Summertime Fun!

Haven't posted much lately as I've been trying to enjoy some of this summer the good ol' fashioned way, with trips to the beach and playing in pools. And so, here's a sketch of Kaitlin entertaining herself with trying to balance on her beachball on a hot summer day.

Hope everyone's having a great summer!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Endless commission

A couple of preparatory sketches for a large Endless piece I've been working on for... oh, some time now. Eventually will have all seven of the Endless represented, along with the finished version.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Post-Heroes post

First chance I've had to post after the fun that was Heroes Con this year, as I took the family to Atlanta to check out the World's Largest Aquarium in the form of the Georgia Aquarium. Definitely worth the trip! Whale sharks(the only ones in the States), Beluga whales, hammerheads, cow-nosed rays, loggerhead turtles... we saw 'em all and about a million more.

Anyway, thanks to all those who purhcased a copy of Rhomble at the show. Was great fun hanging out with everyone, and catching up with old friends. Had some great down-home cookin' with me old studio-mates Jeff Parker, Casey Jones, Scott Hampton and Chris Kemple. Good times. Caught up with old pal and Doom Patrol inker Mark McKenna as well. It was Mark that encouraged me all those years ago to start trying out inking other pencillers to see if it would take while he was working on a Kelley Jones fill-in for DP. Looking forward to next year's show already!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Putting together my first sketchbook for public consumption, to try and peddle at Heroes Con this weekend. If you're coming, come on by and pick up a copy. Free sketches for each copy purchased! How's that for salesmanship?

Some of the sketches in the book will be familiar to those who frequent this site, but chock full of goodies never seen elsewhere before. If I have some left after the show, I may well take orders online for those that can't make it to Charlotte. Time will tell!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Melancholic Dream

Watercolor study I worked up last week of Sandman. He kind of reminds me of a goth rocker who began to question what it was all about after the band broke up... but that's just me. Maybe I shouldn't psychoanalyze my own work.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Rise of the Silver Surfer

Getting prepped and ready for Heroes Con in just two weeks, and in so doing worked up this sketch for the program book. Went as far as inking it all up and adding some touches in photoshop, I figured I may as well color it up too.

Looking forward to seeing everyone who can make it to Charlotte this year for the show. Always a great time, thanks to people like Shelton Drum and the whole crew at Heroes Aren't Hard to Find, and Casey Jones, artist extrodinaire, former studio mate, and all-around great guy, who's coordinating the artists this year.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Angels on the Wing

Some recent concept work, which is actually the first of my concepts I've posted.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Dr. Strange ('s) Love

I figured after drawing Doc Strange that it'd be fun to sketch up his lady love Clea. Now, should I follow these up with Doc's trusty man-servant Wong, or his arch-enemy Dormammu? Hmmm...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Strange 20 years

I realized the other day that this spring marks the 20th year anniversary of me landing my first professional comics gig, pencilling a story of one of my favorite characters, Dr. Strange. One of those moments that I'll always remember, painting the bedroom of the house my girlfriend (and future wife) was renting when the phone rang. Carl Potts was on the line, and wondering if I'd be interested in pencilling an 11 page fill-in featuring the good Doctor for an issue of Stange Tales. I tried to keep my cool, and sound professional in my response, but as soon as I was off the phone I couldn't contain my excitement and call friends to let them know I got this awesome gig.

So, in remembrance of that moment, here's a new rendition of the Doctor. It's been a strange 20 years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Girl and her Dragon

Another sketch I did a while back in my sketchbook, and recently painted up in Photoshop. Created a custom "scale" brush for the dragon's scales that saved lots 'o inking time.

Not totally happy with the composition, largely the result of it being just a sketch and running out of room, so the cropping seems awkward to me, but it is what it is in the end, a sketch.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Recently finished commission piece of Tarzan and Jane. Also throwing up the original sketch I started with.

Hope to work up a color version real soon as well.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Was asked recently to do a sketch of Spider-Man for a friend who works with Clubs in the City and Building Together Ministries- Christian, non-profit organizations that serve in Raleigh's inner city. Their After School Academy provides after school care for children in grades k-5th. In this cool program the kids get to participate in various arts activities- visual arts, dance, and music in addition to getting help with homework & tutoring. It turns out her most disruptive student is a big comics fan, so hopefully Spidey here can help in keeping the peace.

For more information check out

For me it was a nice opportunity to revisit drawing Spidey for the first time in quite a while. I had think back for a bit on just how that darn webbing of his works on his costume, but it came back eventually. Might have to do some more now that I've gotten bitten by the bug. uh--sorry...

Monday, April 09, 2007

I was...Trying to Think.

Even doing an illo about a creative block can lead to a creative block...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Just 'cuz

Haven't posted in a bit thanks to a busy busy month, so I've got to post something just to flex my bloggin' muscles. You know how it is... you don't use it you lose it. And so, I present TurnipBoy.

Now, that I've got that over with, maybe I can get back on the blog train easier next time!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Groundhog's Day

My buddy Dean started the time-honored tradition of sending Groundhog Day cards some 20 years ago, as either a rebuttal to the Xmas card fad that just won't go away, or as a way to buy himself a little extra time to get greeting cards out to all his friends. Anyway, I thought I'd finally give it a shot... with apologies to him for stealing his idea.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More studies of Bim

some fresh studies of Bim I did this past weekend to re-familiarize how I draw him,

...along with this wonderful sketch by my daughter Kaitlin...Pretty impressive for a six-year old I think! She was particularly proud of the curved line of Bim's belly that she made. Also, Easter eggs are really in with her right now, so Easter eggs we shall have!