The Comics Train Keeps Chugging

So I forgot to update this blog sooner. I’m very sorry! Things have been pretty manic in my studio.

I’ve been finishing up work on a new series of comic strips K. Ferrin asked me to make. Here’s a peek at one of them.

K Ferrin Comics
Click to enlarge.

Of course, Johnson & Sir and Validation are still updating regularly. I love the conversations my readers are having and the comments they’re leaving! Seriously, I read the comments. All of them. And I love you (but not in a creeper way).

Charlie & Clow will be up online soon! The goal is to have it online October 29! Here’s a peek at the cover:

charlie and clow cover for webcomic
Click to enlarge.

It’ll be available to read at (don’t try to go there yet. I’ll be building the site over the next week).

I’ve also been working on a short story penned by the fabulous Kristen Kellner. Here’s a peek at one of the panels in progress:

short story sneak peek for comics anthology
Click to enlarge.

I’m on my last few pages of this short story, and hopefully you can read it all online soon!

Also! There’s another new comic in the works. I’ve been keeping it relatively hush-hush because the writer is still writing it, but they want me to provide the art for it. We’ll be doing a KickStarter for the project in November. (Like, three-weeks-from-now November. Holy banana pants!) Here’s a color and style test I did for it…

color and style test for new comic
Click to enlarge.

And here’s a look at one of the possible designs of the logo (it’s still a work in progress)…

seeing him webcomic logo work in progress
Click to enlarge.

Like I said, the writer and I will be doing a KickStarter to fund this upcoming webcomic in November. I’ll hopefully post more art for it as I make it!

So…yeah. I’ve been making comics like a madwoman. Gotta’ remember to take a day off.

Be on the lookout for Charlie & Clow launching on October 29th! I talk more about the details of the story in this post.

Thank you so much for reading and putting up with my tardiness. I’ll see you on Friday when I talk about the Superhero Ladies series.

Art, Art, and More Art: An Update

I had nothing planned to be written for today, so instead I’m going to share some of the sketches I’ve made and finished within the last few weeks. (Please click to enlarge them.)

Agents Sinclair and Galileya
Agents Sinclair and Galileya
Acrudon the Demon Lord
Acrudon the Demon Lord
Johnson & Sir extras have a chat.
Johnson & Sir extras have a chat.
Gestures and character concepts for new projects.
Gestures and character concepts for new projects.
Sketches I made at work in my spare time. Yes, they are drawn on the back of a coupon.
Sketches I made at work in my spare time. Yes, they are drawn on the back of a coupon.
Character designs I drew for a developing story.
Character designs I drew today for a developing story.

Plus, I’ve included some snapshots of current works in progress.

The comics are inked. Now for the color!
The comics are inked. Now for the color!

Oh! And I forgot to mention an illustration series I have on hold, called “Superhero Ladies.” I have at least this one finished, but the rest are sketches.

Number 1 in the series.
Number 1 in the series.

I’ll talk more about the series next week.

Also! I took the time to update the Commissioned Work if you would like to see some comics and other art I made for really swell folks recently.

What do you think? Plus, what do you like to sketch? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on Tuesday.

An Open Letter to My New Tablet


Dear Tablet,

When I went to upgrade my phone the other day, I saw you sitting on the shelf, covered in fingerprints and possibly biohazardous germs. Initially, I was unsure if I wanted to own you or anything like you.

Sure, a lot of people I knew had one like you. From what I saw, though, tablets like you did the same function as my phone, only larger and more cumbersome.

How wrong I was to judge you.

I decided to get you, at first, to have something to show off my art at conventions: you had a larger screen than my phone, but were more compact and easier to wield than my laptop. Plus, you didn’t sound like a jet engine in take-off or overheat so much you could bake my knees off.

But then I got some apps on you…

And then I started writing my comic scripts on you….

And then I discovered you were the perfect device to read digital comics on. Comixology, webcomics, it didn’t matter! Your high resolution screen and fast internet connection meant I could read as many of my beloved comics as I wanted.

You have done wonders for my reading and writing time. And I look forward to spending more time with you, you lovely slab of technological wizardry.


Thank you for putting up with my open letter. As a reward, here’s a warm-up sketch I made recently.

claire the zombie hunter lady

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on Tuesday.

Review Day Tuesday: Shadowbinders, Book 1

shadowbinders headerShadowbinders, Book 1 is one of the few books I picked up at Intervention Con over a month ago. Before I go into my review, let me talk about what the story is.

The book I got is actually a collection of the first four chapters of the webcomic Shadowbinders. The story follows Mia, a 17-year-old high school girl with average teen girl problems… until she receives a gift from her grandmother. The gift is an old book full of drawings and a ring, both of which belonged to her late grandfather. However, when she tries on the magic ring, she’s whisked away to a fantasy world – the same world shown in the drawings of the book!

Now, before I read this, I did not know what to expect, really. I didn’t even know who the target audience was. I mean, the art looked relatively friendly to everybody, but I didn’t want to make assumptions – I’ve seen relatively child-friendly art illustrate blood and gore (thanks Hunter x Hunter).

With that said, Shadowbinders is actually pretty safe for everyone to read. This is what I would call an all-ages series, even with one or two innuendos and one scene with someone getting stabbed. It’s not even all that graphic.

Anyway, the set-up is sort of cliched, but the world is at least imaginative. It has a steampunk aesthetic with crazy types of animals and fun magic that is easy to understand. Even the action scenes are fun, and thankfully they’re easy to follow. So many artists can make an action scene unreadable in comics, but thankfully that is not the case in Shadowbinders.

The story and characters are…slow to develop. I didn’t really get invested in the characters until the end of Chapter 2. I do, however, want to stick around with this series to see how it goes.

I did have the chance to talk to the artist of the series at Intervention Con (the writer was out at a panel). I remember when I picked up this book, he expressed what I like to call, “The Artist’s First Book Lament.” I suffer from this, as well: it’s when an artist looks at the first book and goes, “AUGH, the art looks so awful! I’m glad I improved, but geez!”

Since he said that, I’m actually pretty excited to read the rest of the series. I want to see where it goes and see the progression of the art style. As fun as it is, I can see it only getting better.

So have you read Shadowbinders? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you have any suggestions for comics or books to read, please leave them in comments as well.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on Friday.

New Comics In Progress

I do enough talking of other people’s work on my blog. Weirdly enough, I don’t talk about my own work that often anymore (except for my post about recent personal projects).

Let’s remedy that.

I won’t lie, though: part of the reason I haven’t written that much about my work is because I’ve been drawing nonstop.

There are a few comics I’ve been working on, like…

Comic 1: Claire and The Hoard

claire comic ClaireandTracy 001

In Claire and The Hoard (which, that is just the working title), a young woman named Claire makes a living fighting The Hoard across what is left of the world. On her trek, Claire has to stop in a small town named Citadel to resupply. However, the small town is growing more paranoid, and one lone girl named Tracy is the only one who notices that something is wrong.

This is still being scripted. Actually, I’ll be doing a massive re-write of the second chapter.

I am, however, satisfied with the character designs for this project. Next I’ll be doing some location sketches. That should be easy, since I’m basing the town of Citadel on a small town I grew up in.

Comic 2: The Uthers

nautilus and riley TheUthers 002

This story is about a young lady named Riley, who’s out searching for a cyborg named Nautilus. Nautilus is a creation she made with her father, but Nautilus up and killed Riley’s father. Riley treks through a world where humans have been colonized by a race of aliens they call The Uthers, to find Nautilus herself.

Developing the alien race in this story is proving to be really fun, even if I’m not done coming up with designs for the Uthers themselves. Here are some concepts I whipped up recently.

the uthers character design TheUthers 003

I’m not sold yet, but they’re close to what I hope will be the final design.

As for Nautilus and Riley, both of these characters are fascinating to me. Riley is an engineer, and a smart one at that, who actually knows how to manipulate people for her best interest. If she weren’t a hero, I could see her being a Bond villain.

Nautilus, even though he killed a man, is actually relatively sweet. He’s mute, but his gestures and his facial expressions will be fun to play around with. And he loves hanging out with kids. Who knew?

Comic 3: Auxaton

auxaton elf sketch

Auxaton is the story of a Mountain Ridge elf who lost his village to a band of thieves. He’s on a quest to travel the world and reunite with his lost brethren and settle a new land. Along the way he’ll come across half-orcs, thieves, and hopefully more of his kinsmen.

To tell the truth, I haven’t written this yet. I just really enjoy the concept and drawing the characters. I’ve written blog posts about this story before, but I’m just now getting back to it. I look forward to seeing the direction this story will take.

Comic 4: Rosetta and the White Swan

rosetta and the white swan

The simplest way to describe this is “It’s a gender-bent Swan Lake.” The princess Rosetta is a huntress who encounters a swan, who reveals himself to be a cursed prince.

Honestly, I don’t know if I want to make this a comic. I imagine this as a childrens or young adult novel. But who knows?

This is the newest concept on this list. I only came up with this idea a few days ago, after having watched Nostalgia Critic do a review of Swan Princess and reading some of the comments there. I thought to myself, “You know, it would be great to have Swan Lake told as a story with a tomboyish princess.”

Combine that with my fondly remembering Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons series and The Paper Bag Princess, and I went, “I know what I must do!”

I still need to do research (my favorite part of writing) and develop the characters. Otherwise, this project is really exciting to me!

Comic 5: The Legend of Jamie Roberts


According to legend, a trio of pirates, lead by the genderqueer pirate Jamie Roberts, abandon their old ways and search for treasure in the country of Corith. On their journey, they meet dangerous creatures called Mocktaw, a band of women warriors, and Dragons. One dragon, Raguna Ranki, seeks to take over the country of Corith and place himself as emperor. It’s up to the pirates, the women warriors, and their allies to stop him.

I’ve written about this story before, and I’ve posted many sketches for this work. I even have a section devoted to this project on my Sketches page. I’ve been working on this for years.

So what’s happening?

Right now it’s on hold. I have too many projects on my plate and I want to finish a few of them before I return to this.

The rough draft of the script is finished. It’s just a matter of making edits and rewriting bits I don’t like.

Comic 6: Wahid

wahid comic clip

This is actually a short story I’m illustrating with Kristen Kellner for a comics anthology. It’s about a young lady with severe depression, who finds new purpose in life when she adopts a one-eyed cat.

Fun fact: “Wahid” is the Arabic word for “one.” The title of the short story was decided on by Kristen, who learned to speak Arabic in the Air Force.

I’m still making pages for this. It’s taking a while. Sorry!

That’s all the comics I’m making right now (and that’s not counting the soon-to-be-released Charlie & Clow).

However, here’s an extra sketch I did recently.

pennsylvania trees

This is one I made on my way to Intervention Con. Along Interstate 70/76, in Pennsylvania, there was a long stretch of forest with a line of dead white trees. And this line of dead white trees was perfectly straight, running parallel to the highway. It was one of the creepiest things I saw in my life.

And on that note, thanks for reading! I’ll see you on Friday.