Thursday, December 29, 2011


On the road in Minnesota for the holidays, I didn't forget to pack a page of doodles for this week's offering. 

Someone pointed out that I have a lot of werewolf drawings in this blog.  Guilty as charged, I guess... but at least the one here is happy and full of youthful exuberance.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Back in the late nineties, the cop drama NYPD BLUE, while popular, was constantly adding and losing actors.  I drew this holiday card reflecting what cast additions the yuletide season might bring about.  As I recall the inside of the card read: "Don't make me bring in Sergeant Rudolph... 'he's not half as pleasant as I am..."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


At long last, a complete page from the opus.  But jeez, putting a comic together via computer IS NOT easy. 

When I was a kid, I'd grab typing paper (or buy some -- my mom charged me half a penny for each sheet as we had plenty of scratch paper and typing paper cost money)and off I'd go, careful not to use markers that bled through the page.  

Flash forward to now and, hey, computers are fun to do comics with but there is lots of grunt work involved.  For this single page, I drew the pictures and colored them (the fun part) and then I used Word to size 'em and add the word balloons and dialogue.  THEN I had to save the panels individually as PDFs so that I could use Photoshop Elements to collect and arrange each of the panels on a page, drop in a black background and publish it.


I admit I am not the most computer savvy, especially in using my PC for this sorta thing, so if you have any tips as how I can remove a step or two from the above process, your advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Waiting around for
meetings to begin (or end)
offer more than ample time
to doodle. 

Here are a few such Ds
done while at THIRTEEN GRAVES.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A PUZZLE (and classic art) FOR TURKEY DAY

Arnold Roth was one of the 60's great illustrators and the author of my favorite book as a kid, PICK A PECK OF PUZZLES.  for Thanksgiving Day I submit a puzzle from that book -- and thanks for his trmendous artisitic influence on me as a seven year old.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The X-FILES... something to cry about

In HELL MONEY, one of the X-FILES epsiodes I wrote, there was this sequence where a guy loses an eye in a game of chance and likewise doesn't get the cash to treat his daughter's (Lucy Liu -- yes, that Lucy Liu) lukemia. So he weeps and I had this GREAT idea -- tears stream out of his remaining eye but BLOODY TEARS come out of the orbless socket.

I was so sure the shot would be overlooked or misinterpreted that I drew the accompanying sketch, replete with color. As it turned out, the scene was shot just as I'd drawn it -- but the director incorporated a moody, dramatic sidelight so you see tears on one side and... while the other half of the man's face is in complete shadow.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Hindsight is 20/20, even for humanoid eggs.

Little-known info on the subject: "The theory that Humpty Dumpty was a "tortoise" siege engine, used unsuccessfully to approach the walls of the city of Gloucester in 1643 during the Siege of Gloucester in the English Civil War, was put forward in 1956 by Professor David Daube in The Oxford Magazine, 1956.

Another theory posits that Humpty Dumpty is King Richard III of England, depicted in Tudor histories, and particularly in Shakespeare's play, as humpbacked and who was defeated, despite his armies at Bosworth Field in 1485."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Originally this was a storyboard panel in a series of boardsI did to pitch MONSTER RALLY.  Later when after I embarked on the always-enjoyable yet never-ending TWELVE O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE project I comandeered this and various other storyboard panels, colored 'em and used them for that. 

Originally this was done in B&W in India ink with a pen and brush.  Colored with Corel Painter 11.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Okay, with a headline like that you can fill in your own joke. 

This mash-up of ideas came about back when David E. Kelley's uber popular ALLY MCBEAL was on TV and a feature Kelley wrote, LAKE PLACCID, had just hit movie theaters -- a feature that featured, yes, a giant gator.  Kelley's work was so amazingly hot at the time I figured I should be the one to combine the airwave and box office power of both! 

This was the result.

NOTE TO INTERESTED PARTIES: This was colored, like almost everything else on his blog, with Corel Painter 11.  I've never worked with Photoshop but have been told the programs are similar.  I don't work with photos or illustrations other than my own so as an artist PAINTER works great for me.  It's intuitive, it has lots to offer (I discover new cool things all the time) and, if recent research still stands, it's FREE if you buy a a Wacom drawing tablet (also very cool) -- even a little bitty tablet.  Okay.  That's it.  End of unsolicited plug. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Vestiges from my advertising days.  One of the more prestigious (which is to say the only prestigious) clients we had at my first agency job was a software company with a contract to do video arcade games based on Disney theme park rides.  Rudimentary stuff, very Pac Man-esque, back in the day of APPLE IIs, when Donkey Kong was king of the arcades.  As seen above my design for the Matterhorn game was pretty close to the final product sold in stores.  The JUNGLE CRUISE game however, that one never saw the light of a cathode ray tube.  Old timers may recall the basis for my illustration -- from the original version of the ride... where the jungle boatmaster actually shot the hippo in its gaping maw, much to the horror of the kiddies aboard.

You can check out actual MATTERHORN SCREAMER game play at:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Before the KIDSPACE MUSEUM moved to their new and current location in Pasadena, it was located in the gymnasium of a former grade school.  Every October volunteers converted the place into a big, snazzy haunted house and busloads (literally) of kids from all around LA would come to see it. 

Each year had a different theme and one October -- after the HARRY POTTER book series had started but before the first film had been released -- the theme was Harry Potter... sorta. No one wanted to risk copyright infringement so Harry became Henry, Dumbledore became Stumblemore, etc.  They asked me to do the haunted house poster but I had no clue what the books were about (my own kids were pre-HP).  I figured it's about kids in a magic private school, right?  I worked off a cool fortress/castle in a HELLBOY comic and drew the accompanying students with the requisite magicical hats.  I never clarified but while it might be assumed Henry is the boy with the glasses, I always thought he was the pudgy Asian kid.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Coming up with an original superhero is never easy.  Muscles are free, but inevitably a suit, a cowl or a logo are copyright protected somewhere.  So when we had to devise  a comic book hero for an episode of the WEIRD SCIENCE tv show -- CAPTAIN  INVINCIBLE -- I devised a few options.  This isn't what the showrunners finally chose  but I thought it was kind of funny -- especially a big muscled guy waxing philosphical with a big ol' ice cream cone in his hand.  What the headphones were for -- or what the insignia stood for, I have no recollection.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Okay, maybe not Banksy exactly, but when I was four I drew Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on my bedroom wall.  Not his whole body -- just his head peering around the dresser.  Still, I caught hell for it.

I didn't pull that stunt again until I was at THE X-FILES.  I was on the third season staff (known to some as the beloved, golden, Darin Morgan season) and the writers' offices were in a little building on the FOX lot.  I would sit at my desk and stare at the wall across from me as I pondered what I would write next.  The ceilings were pretty high and there was a lot of empty wall to stare at -- so one day I grabbed a marker and drew an alien head peering over the door in the wall (the series overarching story dealt with extra-terrestrials).  A week later I drew another head, one that pertained to the second episode of our unfolding season.  Then I drew a third -- and soon I was on a season-long mission, drawing an alien to reflect each new episode as it was written.  Late in the year the creator of the show Chris Carter came by the offices and saw the graffitied wall and after a long moment remarked, "Cool."   Way better than, "Drawing on the walls?  Your fired."

If you're familiar with the season it's fun to see which drawing represents which episode.  Sadly this photo was taken before the last couple episodes were written, hence their absence.  (FYI: The camera flash sorta obscures the one alien reading an X-Files comic as he's being struck by lightning.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Years ago I wrote a feature script about a kid at summer camp who sees an alien spacecraft land nearby and (of course) no one believes him.  The alien pilot is on the lam and (conveniently) looks like a kid, sans hair.  He has, among other world-dominating skills, the ability to re-jigger a household toaster into a dangerous shape-altering, ally-recruitment device (see picture).  Not to worry, there was a good alien kid that also infiltrated the summer camp, intent on re-capturing the bad one.  Hilarity ensued, our human protagonist was exonerated and lessons were learned.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


As part of my craze over the film RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK I bought The Illustrated Screenplay of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.  The illustrated parts were mostly storyboard panels of the action sequences in the film.  Pretty interesting stuff -- but then Craig McNamara (of our STAR WARS parodies fame - I went on to storyboard our own panels for scenes that never quite made it to the finished film.  Very much in the SCENES WE'D LIKE TO SEE series found in old MAD magazines.  Here are a few examples: 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Before Kathy and I moved to California (and way, WAY before RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) I was noodling with DANGER & X.I.MENT.  The story (originally conceived as a comic strip -- a newspaper strip (!?)) followed a government agent who was teamed with a lab chimp who, thanks to various experiments, was vastly smarter than he was (hence the glasses and bowtie).  The agent's name was gonna be 'Dangerfield' or something and the chimp of course was 'X.I' 0r X.I.Ment for short.  I thought it would be kind of fun if the story broke through fairy tales and ancient mythology and incorporated other such charcters in procedural roles, hence Agent Humpty Dumpty and Cerebus the three headed dog giving his field report.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

12 Midnight... Cocktail Hour


A rough draft-to-final page from 12 o'Clock Somewhere.  Between the sketch and the final version I realized -- nothing speaks blood lust better than a cool pupil dialation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


As our cross-country roadtrip continues, I thought this painting seemed appropriate.

It's one of several acrylics I did to help pitch a movie idea about monsters in a cross-country road race. Inspired by the style of the classic “Odd Rod” trading cards from the sixties and seventies, the pictures all featured the monster at the wheel, not the car they were in. Who wants to look at a car, right? I showed them to my (then) manager who was impressed, but worried, “Are all their cars going to be so tiny?”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yeah? Right.

Years ago, back in Minneapolis, my brother Jonathan and I were part of an alternative band. Our four man rock band had the dismissive, cynical name of YEAH RIGHT, though the music we played were hardly cries for anarchy or slams against The Man. Nothing proved this contradiction better than this flyer I drew for one of our local concerts. For anyone visiting the Twin Cities, 7th Street Entry is still there, adjacent to First Avenue, home to many a great TC band. 

Our one and only video is now on YouTube:

Monday, August 8, 2011

America's Deadbasket

Missed last Wednesday's blog as we were driving across the country on a road trip to Minnesota.  On the day I was to post we were at 8300 feet in the Colorado rockies with no wifi signal in sight.  From there we returned to sea level where we passed many a Nebraskan cornfield.  As a tribute to that I present a storyboard panel from my super 8 opus 'GOOD LUCK' whose shocking climax occurs in, yes, a cornfield.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

12 O'Clock Somewhere BAT BAM

Three panels from an intro to the book featuring main character "Car-door" Farrabee as he explains how his motto went from the drinking man's eternal excuse,"It's five o'clock somewhere" to the book title...

...and squashes a vampire bat at the same time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Going through old files I came across these drawings I did during production of a friend of mine's pilot.  Five years ago, Joel Wyman of THE MEXICAN and more recently FRINGE fame, wrote and sold a pilot for FOX entitled 13 GRAVES.  The series was to follow a disparate band of treasure hunters as they pursued the legenary "13 graves" where Conquistador Francisco Pizzarro had buried his fortunes in stolen Inca gold. 

I had written for Joel's previous series KEEN EDDIE and though only the 13G pilot had been sold, Fox wanted additional scripts and Joel asked me aboard to assist in writing those.  13G never went to series but the pilot turned out great.  Shot in LA, Miami and Bulgaria (!) it had an amazing cast: Matthew Lillard (THE DESCENDENTS, SLC PUNK, SCOOBY DOO) Robert Forster(THE DESCENDENTS, JACKIE BROWN), Norman Reedus (THE WALKING DEAD), Billy Drago (UNTOUCHABLES, lower right) and star-to-be Eric Stonestreet (upper right) now stealing scenes in ABC's MODERN FAMILY. 

Monday, July 11, 2011


 The monster first appeared onscreen in a film version by Thomas Edison in 1910

but ever since Boris Karloff portrayed the famous monster in the 1931 film we have this ingrained image of the creature as this big green guy with a flat head.  Evidentally he was green because that color looked better on B&W film than yellow did.  Yellow?  See, when M.S. wrote the book she described the monster as having yellow skin (she also described his features as "beautiful" but how is that supposed to scare movie audiences?) 

As for the flat head I heard that Jack Pearce, the make-up artist on the film rationalized that taking out the brain of a cadaver would require taking the top of the skull off.  Makes sense.  Likewise, putting that brain into another skull would require topping THAT skull too... therefore the recipient of said brain, the monster, would have a topless head -- or a flat topped head.  Never mind that presumably to keep dust and bugs out, Dr. Frankenstein would have had the werewithal to REPLACE the removed skull cap, thus returning to his creation that normal "round -headed" look.

If you know of any other explanations, I'm curious to hear them.    

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Whenever my good friend Scott Nimerfro and I get together for dinner we either A) grouse about how crazy/unfair/ass-backwards the TV business is, or B) pitch series ideas to one another and fawn over each other's brilliance.  The former occurs when one or both of us are between jobs and the latter when we're employed and, for the moment, content.  Scott had this one great series idea that I won't present here but it takes place in the model for Suburbia, USA -- Burbank California in the late fifties.  Revolving around the lives of aerospace designers and their homemaker wives, you throw in the local top secret flight design lab, Russian spies and you have a based-on-a-true-scenario series idea.  Laughs and drama, romance and culture clash against Cold War nostalgia.

 I thought, "What if it was a cartoon series?"  Hence the sketches...

Thursday, June 30, 2011


That's right.  Upon comments and urgings from friends -- "You should update people as to what you're doing professionally...", "How often do you put stuff up?" -- I've decided to do this on a regular basis.  I can't compete with Scott McCloud and his ilk, so adroit at providing daily writings, samples and tidbits but, once a week?  No prob.  Which day of the week works for you?   Let's say Wednesdays. 

It's a date. 

As this is an announcement and nothing more I've attached an arbitrary selection of a Soviet Robot circa 1957, under fire.  (Actually I think the hammer & sickle ensignia is backwards) 

Friday, June 3, 2011


Set your DVRs -- TEEN WOLF's official premiere is nearly upon us, Sunday, May 5th following the MTV Movie Awards.  The next episode follows the next night on what will be the show's regular time slot.  We recieved a lot of good press and enthusiastic web chatter as well as the cover of the May 21st New York Times Sunday Magazine.  I drew this sketch last August ('10) while our staff was breaking stories.  Watch the series and see which scene it corresponds to!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Some panels from a comic book I started, based
on a screenplay I'd written (free) for some production company. Even though I literally had written the entire story I never got past the first couple of pages of the handdrawn version.


A quick glance at Wikipedia and you learn that the ancient Greeks started tracing subjects's shadows and created the art. Others claim the ancient Egyptians started the art form six thousand years earlier. Regardless of who deserves credit, fact remains -- they're all boring. I thought I'd add a little motion and zip things up.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Another sketch from the ongoing opus 12 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE. I inked it in and then "colored" it with my Corel Painter program. Once I figured out how to use the gradation setting, it turned out pretty cool.

Friday, February 25, 2011


A little background is required on this one. back in the eighties a local Minneapolis attorney started a comic strip featuring a working mom as its main character. Relevent and tapping into the decade's zeitgeist it was entitled SALLY FORTH (get it?). Problem was the artwork was not that great. Now anyone who's ever tried to launch a comic strip is told, it's not the art but the ideas and writing that makes a strip sell. And true, the strip was popular enough but it was always needed an artistic upgrade. It could only help.

So when my best buddy Steve Burbidge's mom, who was friends with Greg Howard who created and drew the strip, informed me he was looking for a "wrist" to do the drawing as he continued to do the writing I jumped at the chance. An established comic strip? Produced right there in the Twin Cities?! I quickly did a bunch of samples, re-drawing panels of his strips and met with the guy... only to learn he WAS NOT, in fact, looking for a "wrist". He was very, very nice and while his art was admittedly sub-par, he figured he'd never get better if he stopped. Ironically enough a half decade later Howard turned the drawing chores over to an editorial artist at the Minneaplois Star Tribune... who employed his own cartooning skills in bodily proportions and movement... but retained the originator's balloon-ish, dot-eyed heads. As years passed I wondered if I had been full of myself, thinking I was a better cartoonist than the creator of a successful strip. Then I came across this in my files...


Sunday, June 5th is the official premiere date.
Immediately following the MTV Movie Awards.
Set your TiVos now (if that's possible. Otherwise just indelibly stamp the date in your brain). The show's gonna be great. Scary, sexy, funny and did I say scary? And funny?
And while I am not allowed to reproduce official images from the show this is a production sketch I did for one of the episodes I wrote.


As anyone who draws will tell you the beauty of doodling is that a drawing can veer off in a hundred thousand different directions. A businessman with briefcase is suddenly in the beak of a pterodactyl lifting him from his bus stop. An air conditioner can suddenly sprout legs and chase a man on a unicycle, wearing hockey gloves.

This drawing began as some smiling guy in a suit but, as anyone who draws will also tell you, from the neck down suits are BORING to draw so I adjusted accordingly as you can see. Then I realized he sorta looked like the American Bandstand host and the idea was complete. In came the pirhanas and the dropped microphone, etc. I had some press type lying around and I added the title to avoid confusion. The thing I always loved about pictures like this is how the subject continues to smile even though what he endured must have been beyond painful. But hey, Dick Clark was nothing if not a pro, under any circumstance.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Long Migration of a Robot Wolf

Back in High School I wrote a fifteen page script (in pencil) called SPARX AMPERAGE, intended to be shot on Super-8 like all our previous motion picture endeavors. In college I rewrote the script as a feature length script and incorporated, among other things, security guards in the form of robot wolves. THEN, after we moved to California and I was looking to make a buck any way I could, I drew sample storyboard panels from feature scripts I'd written. The robot wolves in SPARX seemed like an obvious subject. Never got a job storyboarding for the movies but the drawing turned out well.