Toronto Comic Con is a great Informa Canada show, with Kevin Boyd and his team running things spectacularly. I had great neighbors with Ian Flynn and Aleah Baker (writers on Sonic The Hedge Hog) to my right and Greg Hyland (of Lego fame) and Ken Wheaton (of Simpsons fame) to my left. It was my first Canadian show of the year and I’m always happy to see everyone that I hadn’t seen since Fan Expo in September. I got a good hall of comic books at the show as well; Sonic The Hedge Hog (Ian Flynn), 4th Planet (Fred Kennedy) Gladiasaurs (A Shay Hahn), Kronk (Marvin Law and Phil McClorey) Bridge Builders Creed (Shawn Daley) Neon Black (Kevin Briones) as well as a few others. Check them out if you get a chance.
I launched the Kickstarter for Polybius Dreams at this show with a special black and white Ashcan of the first 17 pages of the 1st 32 page issue of the 4 part series. Ben Grisanti, the writer, came up on Saturday and schmoozed the hell out of everyone to let them know about this great story of horror, murder and arcade games, all set in upstate New York in the mid 80s. Ester Saguero is doing a fantastic job of colouring the book. We’ll be running the KS until mid May so the next show where you’ll be able to grab these limited edition ashcans for Polybius Dreams will be at Indiana Comic Con, April 14-16.
Here are some various process shots of the pages from Saltwater Issue 2, written by Mitch Cook and illustrated by me. We’ll be premiering the 2nd issue in September at Fan Expo 2017 in Toronto and Rose City 2017 in Portland Oregon.
Fan Expo is one of the first shows I ever tabled out, and arguably the biggest I go to, so I’ve always premiered new art at this show. This year is no different with new monster prints and my new comic book SALTWATER. Created by KikaMika Comics and written by Mitch Cook, my partner in crime with the 2 part comic book Concrete Martians, Saltwater is a new ongoing series that takes place on a Mars Colony in the modern era. The twist with this book is that the colony has been cut off from the Earth since the early sixties, so they are stylistically, socially and technologically stuck in that era. With the premiere issue, we start off with a mystery, when young Meg discovers a signal from Earth for the first time in 50 years. This shocking discovery sends the denizens of the base in a tail spin that will unravel as the issues continue. Be the first to pick up a copy and get it signed by me! I’ll be at table A254 in artist alley.
It’s that time of year for me to create a new series of Monster Prints for Fan Expo. This year I wanted to go for something different then classic monsters, so I opted for classic fairy tales.
The criteria for these illustrations were that they would be closer to the originals in it’s dark themes and not adhere to the more child oriented stories created in the last century. In choosing the specific fairy tales, I thought of how each one could be different from each other, while maintaining what I consider to be the look of my monster prints. I always thing about the characters being archetypal, while adding a personal flare to each one to make it unique from the original. This helps me tell the story in my style. Color schemes also plays an important role. And of course the story itself has to be interesting to me. All of these elements dicate the fairy tale to use so that while all three are separate from each other in look as well as in theme, as a whole they have a nice unified look to adorn your wall.
I’ll post each one separately in the coming weeks. to give each one room to stand on its own and then I plan on putting them all together so you can see how they would look as a unit. This will all lead up to you being able to purchase them at Fan Expo, and then eventually on my website.
So as not to leave you in the lurch, I’ve posted last years three prints from Series 5. Next week will be Jack and the Beanstalk.
I’m opening up a couple of slots on my commission list. These commissions, or what I like to call Personalized Illustrations, are one of a kind and unique to you and are great for gifts or special events.
So what are they? Really, they can be anything you want. It could be you and your loved one as characters from your favorite movie, or a superhero team from a popular comic book. They’re not limited to just comic books or movies. They can be from video games, tv shows or even made up. I’ve done mash-ups like Doctor Who meets Willy Wonka. It can be an imagined meet up with Tiger Woods on the golf green, giving your dad a winner’s jacket, while you and your family are in the background holding up a banner which celebrates his 60th birthday. Or it can just be you and your fiance, on a romantic date, sitting in your living room in front of the fire imagining your futures together. It really is anything.
The whole process of creating this personalized illustration is really quite easy and effortless for you. All I need is some moments of your time to go over any ideas you might have and from that I hope to create a composition that will blow you and your loved one’s socks off! Once the composition is taken care of, then I go through my process, from rough sketch to finished drawing. This part of the process still involves you and so you get to see the illustration develop before your eyes.
So if this sounds like something you’re interested in, and would like a booking, please contact me soon at firstname.lastname@example.org as slots are limited.
Seems like a lot of things are coming to fruition as we enter into the month of June. I’ve got projects wrapping up and getting ready for print. I also am half way through con season, but since it’s a bit overwhelming to think of all of the shows I’m going to, and all the prep work required for each one, I break up my year into two parts. And this first part is coming to an end with the Florida Supercon during the first week of July. But before that I’ve got one of my new favourite shows, The Niagara Comic Con. You’ll be able to find me at table A17 in the Guest section of Artist Alley. I’ll also be doing a fun panel, my first flying solo, on Saturday at 3pm. This one I’ll be doing some drawing for kids and families, creating characters from the imagination that can become creations for stories. It’ll require lots of participation, so if you want to draw with me, come on and join in.
The first issue of Saltwaterput out by Kika Mika comics is in the home stretch. I wanted to have the last page finished this week, but due to some neck issues, I’ve gotten a bit behind. Next week, I’ll be finishing up and getting it ready for the proof the following week. It should be ready for the next part of the con season, with Fan Expo in September and then Rose City Comic Con a week after with Mitch Cook, the writer of Saltwater.
Concurrently, I’ve finished up the next children’s book I worked on, Lost Hallway. Written by Peter Reynolds, it’s a fun whimsical modern fairy tale that asks the question “Where do lost things go when they don’t want to be found? The answer is in the Lost Hallway!” It’s in the middle of an Indiegogo Campaign that is more of a pre-order of the book, as the book is finished. But this way if you want to get yourself a copy, you can get all sorts of fun rewards, like your name in the book!
While it’s been amazing to have all of this fun work, and to draw for a living, I’m due for a bit of a break as I’ve been putting in lots of long hours to get everything done. Once the books are sent off, I plan on doing some commissions, working on my own children’s book, and possibly drawing for a comic book pitch. I have a couple of ideas for some new prints to premiere at Fan Expo, as well. Once that’s done, I’ll start work on Salt Water #2 and gear up for the next wave of cons!
I’ll be at Hamilton Comic Con this weekend (Oct2-3) You can find me at table A7 on the third floor in Artist’s Alley. I’ll be selling my children’s book series Up-In-The-Sky, my comic book series Concrete Martians as well as monster prints (just in time for Halloween). And of course I’ll be doing commissions! Come by and say hi if you plan on going!
When one door closes another opens. So it looks like we are going to be doing Wizard World Portland 2016 in lieu of Emerald City Comic Con next year. For all of our fans in Seattle we feel we owe you an explanation as to why we will no longer be going to that show. Emerald City, under new management, has decided to create a lottery system for which they decide whom gets an artist’s table at the con every year. This is what they do with their New York Comic Con show. While we understand they are doing this because they have grown to the point where they can’t let every applicant into the show and have to give others a fair shot, it also means there are casualties to this method. Meaning many artists who have established themselves at their show, invested money and time into building a fan base are now left in the lurch. Continue reading →
In a few weeks, the next book in the Up-In-The-Sky series will be out, “What Does Slog Do?”. Slog the Slerpent is minding his own business when he inadvertently causes problems for Never-Behaves and his friends. Braver-Than-Brave jumps in and helps her brother to see that Slog may not be the bad guy that he seems to be. It’s a story about acceptance and not judging someone who is different then you or making accusations without knowing the whole story. The book will be available for purchase at the Miami Book Fair in late November, as well as through the website kgrachow.com. Or you can contact us at email@example.com. And of course you can get still order our first book, “On a Planet Named Up-In-The-Sky“!