Saturday, November 29, 2008

A few tidbits

For those of you who are waiting. I got approval on my Marvel Masterpieces Proofs and they will be going out in the mail in the next few days. The one I have posted here is a four card set, and IS available. I may toss it up on ebay but am not sure yet.

Also, I am working on Topps upcoming Star Wars Galaxy set. I will be contributing 350 cards to this set, and it marks my first go round with the 6 movies. So I am jazzed!!!!

Hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feed me Seymour!

This piece was done around Halloween. I have been taking a trip down ultra detailed lane lately and straying a bit from cartoon side of the world. Still I am finding that even with that, some of my more cartoonish aspects are peeking through. Perhaps I have finally found a happy medium. Anyway, this piece took me forever to ink. I haven't inked in a while but if I was going to go in, I may as well have gone in full force.
So here is a bit darker look at the wonderful movie and show, Little Shop Of Horrors.

Done on the back of an 11 by 14 bleed sheet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bret The Hitman Hart

So anyone who knows me.....well, knows that I am a big wrestling fan. And Bret hart was always my favorite wrestler. Anyone who knows me even more....well, also knows that I was fortunate enough to become friends with and travel with the Hitman.
Meeting and knowing the best wrestler in the world will always be one of my most treasured memories. I mean not many people can say that they got to hang out with their childhood hero.
Of course as time wore on and life took it's course for both of us, we fell out of contact. But I always followed his career, both the ups and downs of it.
Recently Bret released his autobiography Hitman: My real life in the world of cartoon wrestling. I remember him talking about this book on a few occasions and was happy to finally see it released. After snagging up my copy I got to know Bret more through his book. And I was worried that it might knock my childhood hero off his pedestal, and I guess in some respects it did. But in doing so it made Bret more human. A human who overcame and achieved loads of greatness that most men only dream about.
Bret did a book signing at the Virgin Megastore in Orlando last week, and I was right in line, not only to get my book signed, (and one for a good friend) but to visit an old friend as well.
My ex wife joked that he wouldn't remember me, but I knew better.

On the way into the store I noticed a few other fans dressed as Bret and Shawn Michaels respectively. And for whatever reason they decided to act out the sharpshooter right in the parking lot. It was a bit funny how long it took them to actually get into the move. "Bret" was afraid his pants would tear.
After waiting in line for an hour and a half I got to see Bret. It was funny to watch him do a double take and then smile. "You haven't changed a bit Mike" he said. The moment was brief and he gave me some contact info so we wouldn't lose touch again. And it was good to see him, if only for that moment.

Had I changed? I'm sure we both had, especially after 12 years. So I came home and compared the images, and while the reflection may have changed a little bit. The friendship was still there.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Return of the Duck Part 2.

I have all kinds of blogs and art I am ready to post, and I know I have been gone for a long time. But I am watching all my uber talented buddies update their blogs almost everyday, and I am getting motivated to try the same. It's not that I haven't wanted to update. But I am so embarrassed by how far behind I have fallen with my workload that it would have been weird taking time out to update here.

But I have knocked a bunch of it out of the way. And I have dusted off some of my emotional cobwebs. In the next few days I'll add art, and a few stories for my two readers who may have been concerned. But here is the most recent of stories accompanied by an appropriate illustration.

Yesterday was a good day. I have to admit that I was a little bummed initially when my plans for the way it was supposed to play out fell through. Sometimes surprises can be a tricky thing. But the intent and thought behind it was there and that was what was important.

But Ultimately I ended up having a very unexpectedly and much needed good time. It was a night of release, silliness, enlightenment, irritations, and self discovery and empowerment.

My good buddy Luandra stepped in to help fill the night and I was really glad she did. We got to check out Walking with Dinosaurs, The LIVE experience at the Amway arena. It was crazy cool, and the seats were awesome, albeit a bit scrunchy. But it was really cool to see what these massive beasts might have looked like walking around with us. The show was a tad shorter than expected, but a good time nonetheless.

Needless to say, we had time on our side, and we headed to downtown Orlando. We ate, drank, chatted, drank some more, chatted, moved, drank more. Yeah. Much needed buzz central.

But it wasn't until we got to the I-Bar, or Independent Bar that we got to see some of the nights more interesting characters. I didn't have my sketchbook with me, but I sure registered some of the more amusing of the bunch. From up in one of the corners of the place we could observe all the slices of life that came in through the door.

There was the gal dressed as a nurse, and the Nelson haired fellow with the leather jacket and no shirt. But I think our favorite was the what appeared to be 40 year old guy in the blue polo that was all by himself on the dance floor. He was fascinating and I suppose somewhat disturbing at the same time. Everyone in the place had their own distinctness. Even in a quirky goth way, or outlandish style. But here was this normally dressed polo wearing, jeans and tennis shoes, slightly over weight guy just having the time of his life.

He swayed to the music with purpose. Eyes closed fists often clenched. Like God himself was moving him, saving him with Depeche Mode remixes. I laughed and thought, you'll never see me doing that. Alone out there. But the more Lu and I talked, the more I realized that maybe that guy, maybe Mr. Blue Polo was happier than anyone in the place.

Just maybe he was the most focused and balanced of the lot of us. He was content with his station in life. So happy and enthralled to be himself, that nothing else mattered but life, and the moment, the music that was racing through him. Envy settled in at that point. Lucky Bastard I thought.

Then Lu switched it up and said, that it could be the polar opposite and maybe days before he had his heart broken, lost his job, found out he was dying and ran over his puppy. Maybe he was so depressed with himself and life that this lonely dance and song was all he had. And that's why he was feeling it so powerfully.

Whatever the case was, that was our night. Odd discussions over alcoholic distractions. But you know what, it made me thankful for everything I did have. It made me realize that I had quite a bit going in a positive fashion. There was pleasant distractions in the form of artistic flare, a handful of other minds out there to mingle with as well. Work was good, I had just seen my babies, and here I was with probably one of the coolest women, and friends a guy could ask for. Hell I even cracked wise with my favorite ex in Texas.

So leave it to the buzz, the atmosphere, the dramatic underlying battles within, the art wanting to burst free, the challenges and shooting full of holes of theories on relationships, stolen face collisions both strange, unexpected, funny, meaningless and totally fucking perfect for the moment and to the realization that in Lu I have one of the best damn friends on the planet.

Hell, even the french toast, eggs and coffee afterward were even a little tastier.

Yeah it was a good night. It was a great night. If only they could all be like that right?