These are hand drawn bookmarks of Niniri, Bast, Galahad and Kovar. I love doing these, they are a lot of fun.
Also, this gives me a chance to post an important message! YAY!
I thought you’d find this interesting. Around 1997, as a back up in A DISTANT SOIL 25, I did a pen and ink version of the Neil Gaiman short story “Troll Bridge”. I’d been hoping Neil would let me do something like “Murder Mysteries” or “Chivalry”, but Neil said he wanted to see what I would do with “Troll Bridge” instead, since he thought it would be more of a stretch.
I did the short story, but was never very happy with it, and it haunted me for years after. When Neil said he’d be willing to let me give it a go as a graphic novel, I jumped at the chance. So, for those who are wondering how different my approach is, on the left is art from my original 8 page short, and on the right, the same scene which will appear in the graphic novel from Dark Horse Comics in September this year.
A couple of rather surly people attempted to buzzkill the announcement of the release of the GN by complaining that they didn’t see any point in buying some reprint of a story I’d drawn in A DISTANT SOIL 25. As you can see, the approach to the work is completely different, and it’s not 8 pages of story with extra pictures added to pad it into a graphic novel. It’s 60 pages of fully painted art.
I have not looked at the old art in years, so seeing these two side by side is rather mind boggling. There is nearly 20 years of development between these pictures. Click on the image for a closer look.
Goings on in my kitchen and in the orchard. Lots of deer in the orchard.
Deer have made a meal of almost everything I planted in my garden this year, but as you can see, I got some potatoes, cabbages, garlic, leeks, and dill.
With all the rain this year, the mushroom foraging is terrific. There are lot of wild Chanterelles at our place, all we could ever need to eat.
This week I made dill pickles, and focaccia with heirloom tomatoes and Chanterelles. I also made a really wonderful filet mignon with lobster tails, fried green tomatoes, roasted cabbage, roasted potatoes and onions, and sauteed Chanterelles.
I’m on the road right now, and I just realized the site was not updating with new pages. I put the wrong month on them (DUR) will try to fix.
Meanwhile, here’s a detail of a commission of OBERON AND TITANIA in progress. This is one of my largest commissions at 16″x20″, and it is way overdue, but I think it will be my best piece to date when completed and worth waiting for. I’m going to have most of July to work on commissions after all as one project I am waiting on is getting a rewrite.
I also have several other major A DISTANT SOIL commissions, including a Kovar to complete. Kovar is so important to me I can’t seem to get beyond the sketch stage!
Hotel wifi sucks, BTW.
Off I go! This weekend it’s Derby City Comic Con, and next weekend it’s Florida Super Con. In another month, Tampa.
I finished all of my most recent work on time and in some cases early. I bet my editors about peed. My docket is completely clear to work on long-delayed commissions for awhile, and on some concept sketches I keep putting off.
Many contracts have come through, deals have been made, but it will be awhile before scripts are in and things get moving. I’m very happy to be working on these commissions, I am way behind. And it is very satisfying to complete a series of small projects in quick succession, as opposed to working on a book for years! It’s instant gratification, almost.
There is also time to work on A DISTANT SOIL, I’m doing some script fixes right now, and look forward to quiet evenings in my hotel doing some tweaks.
Anyway, I’ll have lots of books and art for sale at the upcoming shows, so hope to see you there!
I used to be very fit, worked out two hours a day and watched what I ate. A few people who shall remain unmourned if they get hit by a bus took this to mean I was obsessed by my appearance and – in the words of one semi-obsessed whackadoo – desperate to be the “skinniest person in the room”.
Setting aside the fact that this person doesn’t know me and has no mind reading skills, the fact is I like being in good physical condition. It feels great. It is in every way worth the time and energy investment.
Moreover, I get more work done as an artist when I am healthy and fit, because spending long hours at the drawing board is terrible for you. It wrecks your health. It wrecks your back. It wrecks your knees. It wrecks your wrists and elbows.
It causes spinal disorders, and housemaid’s knee, and carpal tunnel, and tennis elbow, even if you never played tennis. It causes you to have a hunchback-type lump from long hours of bad posture leaning over, and it causes a gut from the stress which puts strain on your back. It causes ulcers, and GERD.
I don’t see a lot of male creators getting shit for getting exercise, but women creators get crap (just as often from women) for taking exercise.
Clearly, exercise has to do with nothing but vanity.
The same people are the first ones to step up and make nasty remarks if you gain ten pounds. If they get up and take a jog and blog about it, they expect praise, you can be sure.
After years of poor health exacerbated by an endocrine disorder, I am happy to be able to get up, exercise again, see the scale drop, see my struggle with GERD fade away, and have more energy and focus every single day. I am happy that I am not sleeping hours more than I need to because every day I feel exhausted.
Good health is a great gift, and it is one I don’t intend to waste. I am going to take care of this vessel. And if cerebral narcissists (and not a damned one of them deserves to feel all that about their brains,) want to believe that makes me a somatic narcissist, so be it.
If you do not have the great advantage of being in a place where you can be fit, I know how bad that is. I do not like it one bit.
Which is why I intend to do everything in my power to make sure I never get back in that position.
A few days ago, after about a week of not getting enough exercise because I was working a tough deadline, I threw my back out just putting on a shirt, because my entire body was so tight from stress and overwork.
I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE THE REST OF MY LIFE LIKE THAT.
It’s not about being a size 2, it’s about not ending up in a box 6 feet under decades before my time. And feeling like I’d rather be there as quickly as possible because of chronic pain and ill health.
It’s not about weight or personal appearance. It’s about fitness.
We could be here all day listing the cartoonists who’ve had strokes and heart attacks.
I’ll get more comics done in the long run, even if I put hours a day into taking care of my health. See if I don’t.