Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SEASON'S GREETINGS

On vacation next week so this card for our (climate) changing times will have to suffice...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

JUNGLE BOOGIE

 
 
 
 
MINNEAPOLIS.  BACK IN MY AD DAYS (when 'X' was just a letter in the alphabet and a box was something you kept stuff in and the X-Box was still a long ways off) I designed the cover for the MATTERHORN SCREAMER computer game, but I also did a rough cover for another Disney theme park ride adaptation for THE JUNGLE CRUISE.  For whatever reason it was initially entitled JEWEL OF THE JUNGLE (probably because the goal was to get the sizable diamond hidden somewhere... I dunno -- we never got past the box cover.)  Anyway, I did my rough and it was sent to Disney and the artist there Disne-fied it -- and made it 110% better.  But he/she did retain my design... and the cool bamboo typeface I did.  I did wonder why they gave the jungle-guy such a big nose though...

Friday, November 30, 2012

THE SAGA OF JIM J., NE'ER DO WELL

This originally appeared on the back page of CRITTER COMICS.  One of those, limited panel "how will I end this strip" situations.  Originally done in marker and colored post-publication with the trusty Corel.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A TEEN WOLF NEVER-WAS


In the first season of TEEN WOLF, the big reveal was to be – after discounting the impotent, burn-scarred and vegetative Peter Hale as a suspect, we see the big bad Alpha werewolf – and HIS FACE IS BURNED TOO!  The logic: As a human, he’s comatose by day… but a rampaging monster by full moonlight.  This angle was abandoned but not before I did a production illio of Hale’s night-time version.  No denying it -- heavy Berni Wrightson influence at work here.


Friday, November 9, 2012

EVER SEEN KEEN EDDIE? LOG ONTO NETFLIX, NOW


 
KEEN EDDIE was one of the best shows I worked on.  Shot and cut in the Guy Ritchie LOCK,STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS style, our show followed a NYC cop working with Scotland Yard -- a fish-out-of-water premise actually shot on location in London.  Mark Valley played the title character -- he was great-- and it was Sienna Miller's first foray into acting (also great.)  They were backed up by the inimitable Julian Rhind-Tutt and the super-cool Colin Salmon as Eddie's detective partner and SY superior, respectively.
 
The series was created by Joel Wyman and the editing was fast-paced, the locations and guest casts rocked and the music was fantastic.  But don't just take my word for it -- all 13 episodes are available on disc.
 
I wrote two of the episodes but like a lot of the shows I work on, I also did some production sketches in the the writer's room.  The one above is of Eddie calling on a gangster whose daughter is having her portrait painted.  As for the tea kettle, I guess it was influenced by the fact the show took place in London, England.  Tea time and all that. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BIGGEST MONTH YET!



 
 
Congratulations all you ardent followers from around this big ol' world -- October 2012 has been the biggest month yet for Vlam-Ink!   678 people checked out the blog!  Subtract the people looking for stuff on Maurice de Vlaminck (the French painter (1876 – 1958) and that still leaves an impressive number.   

To celebrate I had fun with Corel Painter 11.  The beauty of a quick little doodle is you can spend the time festooning him with colors and vines and all the cool Painter details I'm still uncovering.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CRITTER COMICS


 
 
Critter Comics was my first stab at a comic book that actually involved spending TIME... penciling panels first, using big ol' sheets of artboard, etc.  Admitedly, the world is, and was at the time, not remotely original -- a world populated with bipedal, world weary animals that gambled and smoked cigarettes.  In my defense, I was at the time hugely influenced by R. Crumb's early FRITZ THE CAT strips, the ones drawn with rapidograph pen that had Fritz as a government/James Bond kinda guy.  The big difference --  Steve Critter was a dog.
 
Critter comics only appeared once and I photocopied and stapled all copies myself.  Funny story -- somehow an issue made its way to California (how, I dunno... I was in Minneapolis) and a guy there sent me a check for a year's subscription to the comic.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE GREATEST MOVIE YOU MAY NEVER HAVE SEEN

Before THE INCREDIBLES, before RATATOUILLE,  and way before the live-action MI:GHOST PROTOCOL, Brad Bird adpated the novel The Iron Man (by British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes) and made THE IRON GIANT, arguably the best animated feature released in the last fifteen years.  One of the last 2-D animated features (though the Giant was totally computer drafted) the movie bombed -- Warner Bros didn't know how to promote it, CGI was catching on and word-of-mouth on the movie wasn't hot enough to make it a grass-roots sensation. 
 
After the movie closed at thatres, the above postcard was released to promote an IRON GIANT memorabilia sale at the local mall's Warner Bros. Store featuring Bird and the other creative minds behind the film.  There the group lugubriously signed autographs and lamented the fizzle of what should have been.   

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More Yeah Right? Yeah, right.

 
Aother pen-and-ink flyer for one of our gigs, this one at the famed Seventh Street entry, the side bar of Minneapolis's
First Avenue club made famous by Prince (among others).  Lots of now famous bands played 7th St. including LOUD FAST RULES (later to be named SOUL ASYLUM -- a less interesting name), THE REPLACEMENTS and TRIP SHAKESPEARE.  We even warmed up for TETE NOIRES there, an all-girl quintet who were years-ahead-of-their-time and helped make Minneapolis THE 80's music scene.
 
As for First Ave., my brother and I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers there long enough ago that we went to a Thanksgiving show on a whim and managed to get right up to the stage.  I recall that we kept shouting to the band members -- possibly Flea himself -- that they should do a tune in 3/4 time. 
 
As for the smoking dog adorning the flyer, that's Steve Critter the title character of CRITTER COMICS, a b&w comic book about a former secret agent who happens to be a dog who smoked cigarettes.  More on CRITTER in future posts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

BARBARIC BUCKET LIST

BEHIND THE SCENES AT REAPER.  In the late great series the character of Ben (brilliantly played by Rick Gonzalez) was stricken with a decidely premature concern over an early death (I suppose helping your friend return escapees from hell every week could do that to a guy.) One episode found Ben obsessing on the many things he still hadn't done in life and above is an early list of what those things might be.  What the pupil-less barabarian sketch has to do with the list I don't know.  Or why Ben's missing nut is mentioned. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"AIR OUT, STOMACH IN!!"

Yes, I know -- this blog usually features artwork and anecdotes about comics and movies and TV and such but it's also about funny stuff. 
 
Years ago my friend Lisa Roy sent me a photo-a-day calendar that I suspect was published in Germany, where she was living at the time.  Unlike most calenders that have twelve pictures, this one had 365 to be exact -- black and white photos that were laugh-out-loud funny or bizarre or absurd.  And I saved a lot of them.  The above shot of (Italian?  Czech?) soldiers diligently following orders  to blow up balloons fits any or all of the save-worthy criteria.
 
Turns out Lisa and Nancy Jones (another longtime friend) have checked out this site and even left comments... a section of the blog that, I apologize, I never check because... well, no one hardly ever leaves comments.
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SHADOW ASSASSIN

Working on FRINGE I pitched the notion of a shadow going around killing people.  As opposed to the X-FILES episode with Tony Shaloub where, if people stepped into his shadow they sorta got sucked in, this was about a detached, sentient shadow that lumbered around knocking people off.  I wrote the finished episode with Joel Wyman and it turned out great, but - as with every show -- along the way various ideas were tossed out and then... tossed out.  One idea being the Shadow killer being delivered by a Renfield-like assistant via a seemingly empty overnight suitcase left open...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

KICKING BUTTS AND TAKING FAME

On the TV show WEIRD SCIENCE big brother Chett (Lee Tergesen (HOMICIDE, and the upcoming RED WIDOW) was inspired to set aside his bullying ways and become a masked crime fighter.  The writers came up with various monikers, one of which was BUTT KICKER -- years before the comic or movie KICK ASS ever saw print or screen. Dunno what we finally agreed on but these were  some insignias I did for Butt Kicker. 
 
Personally, I prefer the anthropomorphized letters... more along the lines of Superman's 'S'. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

ROBOT PARADE


Some design sketches for a screenplay idea all about NY gangsters and Nazis and, of course, robots.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

THE PORTRAIT OF THE LETTERMAN AS A YOUNG MAN

Apologies up front to James Joyce.  This is a celebrity caricature from way back, before David Letterman  A) moved to CBS  B) wore glasses  C) saw an orthodonist and D) went grey.  A similar comparative drawing of Jay Leno is not available. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

DEAD TO RIGHTS

 More concept stuff for the ongoing MONSTER RALLY saga... the first is an ink and watercolor of an undead lawyer who finds a loophole in the century-old contract that keeps monsters etc. literally undeground. 

The other is a marker/india ink panel of a hapless zombie who doesn't even make it out of his grave before...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

BARD DOG, BARD DOG....

On the road, I doodled this... can't believe the joke hasn't been done a zillion times before... but I've never seen it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

30's DAMSEL (SOON TO BE IN DISTRESS)



Currently on vacation, so I offer these ones from the recent files -- the original drawing of the luckless "Miss McGinty" from Twelve O'Clock Somewhere, as rendered on copy paper in india ink... and her full color doppleganger, compliments of the always reliable Corel PAINTER 11

Thursday, July 12, 2012

AND THE AUDUBON SOCIETY AWARD DOES NOT GO TO...

                                                                                     So it's 1929 and you're a stockbroker on the top of your NYC office building, ready to resolve your predicament once and for all when this pigeon has the AUDACITY to light on your perch... 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

ON THIS 4th OF JULY LET'S GIVE A NOD TO A 17th CENTUREY ENGLISH NOVELIST...

 Daniel Defoe, author of ROBINSON CRUSOE and the famous pioneer of the contemporary novel was many things in 17th century England, but a P.I. he was not.  Still, I always thought he should have been, what with his perfect, alliterative "Sam Spade-ish" detective name...  (and while lunch was certainly around in the 17th century, telephones were not)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CHOOSE YOUR WORDS, HAN SOLO...

Remember in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK when that nameless freedom fighter warns Han Solo that it's useless to search for Luke -- and Han snaps at him and blows out of there?  Well, true to Craig McNamara and my many delightful Star Wars Stripz, here's how that conversation plays out in the scene we never saw...

 

Monday, June 18, 2012

SMOKE 'EM IF HE'S GOT 'EM

For any good story you need a good Bad Guy.  An old adage that was never more true than in the CW series REAPER.  From viewers to the writers themselves, everyone's favorite character on the show was the Devil, splendidly played by Ray Wise (TWIN PEAKS, 24, SWAMP THING, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, etc. etc. etc.).  So when the show runners needed a picture to put on water bottles to be given out as gifts to the cast and crew I did this picture of the big D, congenially hawking, what else?  Cigarettes.     

Friday, June 8, 2012

12 o'CS COVERED!

The cover for the book, except this wasn't done with the Corel Painter 11 but with real brushes and acrylic paint.  I was going for that old Gold-Key comic cover look -- Boris Karloff Presents, etc., with cheesy cover paintings that didn't match the artwork inside at all.  I did this before I changed the title to TWELVE o'Clock Somewhere from FIVE, as midnight is the betwitching hour and Five isn't very spooky at all.

And sharp-eyed followers of this blog will recognize the doomed myopic bird from an earlier post shown here as the Comic Co. logo.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

BEWARE ALL HUMBUGS -- IT'S CHRISTMAS IN JUNE!!

Back in the day, DRAW COMICS THE MARVEL WAY was a big deal at the comics shop.  I never bought it but somehow I had access to a copy and I tried my hand at DCMW.  My muscled apeman turned out okay but it really came to life when I added my own Yuletide touch... and created a new holiday character to rival Scrooge, the Grinch and Charlie Brown's pathetic Christmas tree...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BATTLESHIP - THE MOVIE? WHAT TOOK SO LONG?

Forget BATTLESHIP - THE MOVIE, or for that matter any of THE TRANSFORMERS films.  I drew this "movie poster" for the first Hollywood feature film based on a simple, non-story game back in the video arcade game's hey-dey.  All the proof you need is that the star of the picture was to be the then go-to action star, Harrison Ford. 

Ah, what a laugh we had at the Minnesota Daily, at the totally and utterly preposerous idea of launching a Hollywood feature based on a simple two (or, to be fair in BATTLESHIP's case, three) dimensional game.   Could anything be more absurd?  Answer number one: Equally as preposterous is that such a movie would cost over two hundred million dollars to make (BS) and answer number two: Be on the lookout for CHUTES AND LADDERS at a multiplex near you -- in 3D no doubt.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

CIVIC DUTY

When called to serve on a jury, the first part of the day entails crowding in with a hundred-plus other folks, waiting to get called.  During the Big Wait, it's fun to bring paper and pen and draw pictures of fellow jurors-to-be.  I didn't get many sketches off before I was called in to be on a potential jury for some nobody plaintiff named Kareem Abdul Jabar.  Really.  This IS Los Angeles, man. 

Years ago I was actually on a jury presided over by the honorable Lance Ito -- yes, THAT Lance Ito.  Then, after that, I was on a jury presided over by Judge Wopner -- no, not THE Judge Wopner, but the son of  THE Judge Wopner (if you don't know who Judge Wopner is, he preceeded Judge Judy as the official; 'TV Judge'.  if you don't know who judge Judy is, you're not watching nearly enough daytime TV...)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A CAUTIONARY TALE....


The tale of a misguided alien invader who lacked the foresight necessary for happiness.  Rendered in trusty dusty pantone markers in the Minnesota Daily advertising department when I should have been doing work.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

PLATYPUS OF ALL TRADES


Like every cartoonist that ever lived, I thought it would be great to start a daily comic strip.  My brilliant idea, something I hadn't seen before, was to feature a duck-billed platypus as the main character (this was before the invasion of Australian talent here in the US).  With the comic strip friendly name of "Scooter", my paneled protagonist 's thing was that he worked lots of different jobs, hence the name of the strip "SCOOTER FOR HIRE".

In about ten minutes I scribbled thirty two vocations my guy could try out.  You will note that some are not truly paying jobs ('ski bum', 'victim' or, arguably, 'writer') but it I had this stream of consciousness thing going...