Cartoon and Illustration

Now accepting commissions!

Okay, that is a little odd for a headline–at least it is for me, because up until recently I simply assumed that people knew “commissioned” artwork was a big part of what gets done around here.  But some friends pointed out that if you don’t keep mentioning stuff like that, then people tend to forget.

And, what with the holidays coming up this is probably a great time to remind people of just what they might be able to purchase for someone as a really nifty gift.

So, for those of you who didn’t know (and those of you who knew for just forgot), here’s a quick overview of the sort of thing you can get, and how much it will cost you to get it (from me).

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This is a “quickie” sketch from me, the sort of thing you may pick up at a convention (when  these sell at a discount price to get more traffic).  Not every such drawing is strictly “cartoony” but often they are like this.  It will set you back $60-80 for full color 8.5 x 11″ index stock, like this sketch of Zatanna.

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Similarly, if you have a particular “sketch cover” variant comic book you’d like to have customized–I’ll ask you for $60-80 (more if I have to locate the sketch cover variant book you are looking for).  This is Tiger Lilly based on the book “Tales of Neverland #2” I drew for Zenescope several years back.  (Notice that this is less “cartoony” than the previous example).

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Want to get a little more fancy?  These are my pencils.  Still just a small piece, drawn about 7 x 10″ on ordinary bond paper.  But it will cost you $100+ simply due to the details and number of figures involved.  And if you’ve never heard of this obscure character, you may want to do a little research.  Your nephew might even like to have one of these–you know?

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For $200+ you could have me enlarge (to 10 x 15″) and ink a faux cover like this one, with logo and all right on the bristol board–just like the big boys used to do (and some still do).  You’d also get the pencil version included, so right there you’ve got two originals–one to keep and one for a friend, for just $100 each (if you’re inclined to think that way).  (Seriously?  Never heard of this guy?  I tell you, he used to be very popular when I was  kid.)

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But wait!  The Best is Yet to Come!  If you really want the full treatment, $300+ would get you a full color treatment.  You’d get the original pencil version, the inked version, AND a digital color version.  I can supply you the file for your favorite print shop, or–for an additional fee–send you the print out, in practically any size you want.  I could even have something like this output onto a huge piece of PVC and you could attach it to the wall of your rumpus room!  (Again, the price on that will be additional, but it CAN be accomplished, no problem.)

All kidding aside, this may look like it was published by DC, but that’s the point of a really superior commission piece, now isn’t it?  To make it look like something that should have seen publication.  Happy to have fooled a few people over the years.

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Finally, you could even commission a piece like this one.  This one is approximately 10 x 15″ drawn in color pencil front and back, on UC-4 polyester drafting media. (Yes, I draw it twice–once backward, then flip it and do it the right way round…because I’ve been seduced by art.)   Something like this will cost you $600-1500.

Ideas like this don’t grow on trees folks.  There’s a lot of preparation work before finally getting down to the hand-drawing phase.  That portion of production alone will take several days from my schedule.  For that price though, you’ll get the original permanently varnished color pencil art on UC-4 media, attached to illustration board, and ready for framing.  (This option has actually been pretty popular, with many pieces sold at auction, and purchased outright by big name comic artists and TV personalities who shall remain nameless–but who really DO exist and will hopefully come to my defense if neccessary).

My point being, if you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind gift for that special fan on your list this year (or any year, except those already past), get in touch. Let’s talk.  While the schedule is filling up fast this fall, another client is always appreciated.

Visit http://www.jameslyle.net and look under “commissions” and “hand colored pieces” for more samples and ideas for subjects.  Or you can make contact directly:  doodle at jameslyle.net

 

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Cartoon and Illustration

Struggles in Art

I have not posted in a very long time.  My apologies for this, but I have been very busy trying to get caught up on all the artwork that went by the wayside while I was ill.

I’m feeling a lot better now, thanks.  Still not 100% but much better.

Today I’m going to post about struggling with art, because I am.  Not with ART, but with art–the “material cause” and “efficient cause” (in philosophical terms).  What I’ve been struggling with lately is coloring an entire 18 page story.

I’ve been doing comics art professionally since 1983 and have never colored a project of this scope on my own before (cover images have been the bulk of my coloring work).  The main thrust has always been about storytelling, expressed through the black and white linework that defines comics.

Admittedly, I came close on the children’s book Abraham’s Journey a few years back.  Before that I did a promotional packaging project for Jones Soda and the Seattle Seahawks.  More recently I’ve been working on a huge program for Schiele Museum of Natural History (more on that soon).  But in every case I have relied on help in getting the colors either started or finished.

But this time, I decided I wanted to do the whole thing myself.  I just finished page 13 colors a few minutes ago and wanted to take a short break before going on to page 14.  Because it drives me a little nuts going straight from one to the other–like I did all of last week!  To the point that I simply had to take the whole weekend off and get away from the project.

This is the sort of struggles people wish they had, right?

To quote The Dire Straits:  “Maybe get a blister on your little finger, maybe get a blister on your thumb.”

I’ll admit that is is not back-breaking work.  It’s not digging ditches, nor even doing yard work (which, due to the impending deadline, I’ve been letting go to the point that the yard is a veritable jungle).  Nevertheless, this is a challenging task.  I want to keep things fresh and lively in the artwork and the colors are a very important part of that process.  I want to use the colors to help drive the emotional content of the story.  Add to that the fact that this is 19 sequential pages of artwork featuring the same characters in various situations which have to flow logically from one scene to the next.

I didn’t imagine it was going to be this complicated going in.   The job I’ve been doing for Schiele Museum gave me the courage to attempt this full story–but the Schiele job is a series of vignettes–moving the characters from place to place over decades of time.  Whereas this present job (did I mention it is the third issue of a comic called Spark for a public service group out of Nashville?)–anyway, this present job has a story that takes place over a period of about 36 hours.  So I feel like I need to be tighter in my color/storytelling.

I fully realize this dilemma is primarily in my own head.  But this is the sort of thing that sequential artists have to deal with–at least this one does.

This situation is not unlike the one I found myself in back in 1983 when I drew my very first professional comic, Escape to the Stars.  (“Professional” defined here as actually getting paid for the artwork–the results were pretty amateur by most standards, but I got better!)

Back in the early 1980s my whole focus had been on “getting a job in comics”.  So when I signed on to do ETTS it was a big accomplishment for me.  One goal down, then the paradigm shift to “Oh no!  Now I have to draw this whole book!”  Spring of ’83 turned to Summer as I struggled to learn all the stuff that I needed to make this book happen.  By the time August rolled around (and I had slogged through 20 pages of pencils and a dozen or so pages of inks) I was about ready to give up.

What I actually did was call in a friend to help out on the inks for the last few pages.  The results were not exactly what I’d imagined, but then again, the results of my own inks on the previous pages fell far short of what I’d envisioned.  So the book was “put to bed” and then I realized, “Oh no!  Now I have to draw issue 2!”

That same feeling is back.  So I’m slogging through the last few pages of colors for Spark #3, trying really hard to keep it fresh.  I’m determined to succeed, but it’s going to take some hard mental work to make it happen.

So, back to work.

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Cartoon and Illustration

The first thing you need to know about Leukemia…

…is that a wide range of illnesses fall under that umbrella description.  Basically it’s a blood illness–and after 16 months of trying to nail down what I’ve been suffering from, the doctors have finally decided to put me into the “Leukemia” category.

Not to panic.  Apparently mine is a mild form, non-agressive, and can be treated with an oral chemo normally prescribed for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or acute psoriasis.  This form of Leukemia often goes into remission for decades at a time, and so the doctors are encouraging me to be of good cheer.

You see almost anything can be deadly if untreated.  Puppies for example.  Sure they’re cute when they’re little tykes, but leave them to their own devices for a couple of years and you’re going to get bitten.

So it’s a good thing that I realized that something was off back before Christmas when my head began to hurt and I became fatigued in a manner similar to what I had back in late 2015.  There was that trip to the ER on New Year’s Eve that was mistaken for a viral infection (and it could have been one on top of the Leukemia) but I’m getting improved treatment due to early detection.

Took my first batch of chemo pills this morning.  The doctors also assure me that they don’t cause hair loss or nausea like so many of these meds can.  The real trick is for me to stay very hydrated, because the medication is metabolized through my kidneys (and liver to a lesser extent) and dehydration can lead to all manner of awful side-effects.

So, lots and lots of water.  If you see me at a show in the future and I’m headed toward the restrooms for the fourth time, you’ll know why–just taking care of my health!

Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t been scared by this change in diagnosis.  When we spoke to the doctor from Duke last week and the word “leukemia” was mentioned I have to admit my mind froze.  It was a good thing that Karin was there to hear all the rest of what he had to say because I got none of it!  Just mumbled some things like, “Well, alright.   That sounds prudent…”

Yesterday the official diagnosis came down after the Duke folks talked to my local Hematologist and he had me in for an office visit.  So in a moment it seems I’m seeing an Oncologist rather than a Hematologist–good thing my doctor is both.

The overall levels are actually pretty good.  My white blood cells are where they would like them, as are my blood platelets, and my blood oxygenation is at 100%–but my hemoglobin levels are off.  That’s apparently what clued them in that this was more than the previously diagnosed “Idiopathic Aplastic Anemia”.  They did another bone marrow biopsy and confirmed their suspicions–and here I am.

Today I’m going to have my blood “typed and crossed” for a transfusion to be done on Friday morning.  Probably no biggie.  I’ve had several of those already back in the last two years.  While I had hoped never to have to have another, it’s gotten to the point that I actually requested this one.  It begins to stress the various organs when hemoglobin levels are off in any form of anemia–and my ability to exercise has been significantly impaired over the last few weeks.

Whereas I normally try to walk two miles several times a week, it’s been difficult for me to do more than a mile at a slow pace more than once or twice a week.  As for doing any sort of gym workout–few exercises can be done before my head pounds.

So, actually looking forward to another transfusion.  Hopefully it goes off without any complications.  There’s always that risk in this sort of thing, but as I’ve got a class scheduled for 3:30 on Friday I’m hoping all goes well.  (Last time I had a transfusion I immediately went out and walked around Lake Junaluska–so good results are not uncommon either).

All the prayers folks have been offering on my behalf–greatly appreciated!  Thank you all.   The power is not in our prayers, but in the power of God to heal.  Keep on praying for me.  Keep praying for Karin–she’s obviously upset by having to deal with all of this, but doing well all things considered.

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Cartoon and Illustration

Days of T.h.u.n.d.e.r. (Part 3)

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THUNDER NO.1 inside cover artwork. Copyright © Works Associates (Michael Sawyer and James E. Lyle). T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents are copyright and trademark of John C. Productions.

Above you should be able to see the inside cover artwork that was used in the first (and only) issue of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. published by Solson Publications way back in 1987.  I’m assuming that you folks can read all the copy that Michael Sawyer wrote to fill these pages–if it looks too small I’ll see what can be done about that later on.

Right now I’d like to talk about the actual process of producing these particular pages–if I can recall.

By the time that Michael and I were ready to do T.H.U.N.D.E.R.  for Solson, we’d been around the block a time or two with printing comics.  When Phil Hwang had run short on funds for Escape to the Stars #3 I had picked up the ball and published that book using part of a small inheritance I’d received from my great-aunt’s estate.  I’d gone completely overboard with the production quality on that book, using white paper, film negatives, blue line proof, offset printing, process color for the cover, and all manner of bells and whistles that cost an arm and a leg without improving a great deal on the final product’s biggest error, my poor lettering.  I will admit that Mountaineer Graphics did a bang-up job with the printing–but still, it was a learning process.

With ETTS #4 Philip had figured out how to come up with some money to produce it, but I had taken over the production end of things, figuring out how to bring in the printing on that particular issue for less than $1000.  That low-budget production was achieved by making our reductions on a photocopy machine and using only two colors on the cover.  I think we may have actually made a small profit on that one–but the artwork suffered for being reproduced in such a slip-shod manner.

ETTS #5 was a bit more ambitious, with a three-color (black, cyan, and a Pantone orange-yellow) cover and photostat reductions (having learned from the mistakes of #4) .  We may have broken even on #5.  But the pressures of trying to make this happen along with keeping up with penciling the book were getting to me.

That pressure contributed to the parting of ways between Phil and myself even though #6 was penciled and in the process of being inked.

Michael had been involved in the production of every issue of ETTS from almost the beginning.  Helping fill in blacks when I got behind, writing inner cover notes, editing letters pages, etc.

So, like I said, we’d been around the block a couple of times with self-publishing.  We knew what our local printer was capable of doing and so when we signed the deal with Solson we had the entire look of the book figured out ahead of time–or so we thought.

I’m pretty sure that must have turned over the production of this inner cover stuff to the folks at Solson, though.  I don’t recall taking the copy to be typeset at Mountaineer Graphics.  I do recall us taking the self-promo shots of one another late one night in the back of the studio we used to share on Montgomery Street in Waynesville (under the dry cleaning / carpet warehouse / tax preparation place we rented from).

We wanted that “contact sheet” look to our self-promo (vanity) shots, and knew that such photos would have to be half-toned to reproduce.  So, as I recall, we took the negatives down to Rudy Bachs at the Mountaineer (except by then it had become GP Graphics) to make half-tone contact sheets with the sprocket holes, frame numbers, and all other such indicia visible.  We mailed those off to Solson for them to do the paste-up.

I figured by this point I was past paste-up.  Let them do it, I was now a big-shot sequential artist. (Ha! Howls of self-derisive laughter.)

Back in those days all of layout was done photo-chemically and manually.  So these are literally the paste-ups, on “galley” sheets.  Once all was pasted onto the sheets they were photographed for printing.  Nobody bothered to wash the photo paper that comprised the items being pasted, because it was all considered disposable.  Which is why the images of Mike are beginning to fade, and the second page of type is beginning to turn brown.

The more astute among you may also notice that the crop marks are not in the same positions on the two pages and it appears that the second page had to be reduced slightly (95%) in order to accommodate the column of type.  Of course, when one considers the empty space in the second column on the inside back cover, it seems kind of confusing why they’d do this.  But as I said, I wasn’t involved with the production beyond sending the vanity shots.

Re-reading Mike’s notes, I realize now that we had spent much of the year, 1986, transitioning from my work on ETTS, to doing T.H.U.N.D.E.R.  He had come up with the idea in February 1986, and wrote the notes reproduced here in November of that year.  The book would not be published until summer of 1987, when a mysterious box of books arrived on our studio doorstep seemingly moments after we had received the word that Solson had gone out of business!  (But more on that later…)

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Cartoon and Illustration, Cartoon and Illustration by James E. Lyle

Days of T.h.u.n.d.e.r. (part 2)

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Artwork copyright © James E. Lyle.  T.h.u.n.d.e.r. Agents property copyright and trademark John C. Productions.

So my last posting was such a big hit (Wow!  Six views in one day) that I have decided to follow up with more postings on what it was like working on T.h.u.n.d.e.r. back in the 80s.

Let me give you some history.  I had been drawing a book for Phil Hwang called “Escape to the Stars” (or ETTS as the fans called it, all 5 of them).  We collaborated on that book from early spring of 1983 until sometime in 1986.

We went through several publishing entities with that series, all of which were created in an effort to make our efforts look more legitimate.  What we didn’t know at that time was that there really isn’t such a thing as a “legitimate comics publisher”.  Even the big guns are basically working on a shoestring most of the time, and so we were just as competent as practically any company out there in the “alternate comics” business.

That’s probably worth mentioning.  Back in the 80s anything that wasn’t DC, Marvel, or Archie was called “alternate press”.  That was done to distinguish us from “underground comix”–a name which had the taint of drugs and pornography all over it.  So we were the “alternative comics” crowd in those days.  But there’s alternate and then there’s Alternate.  The term “small press” had not caught on in those days, and we didn’t really want to be called “small” because it seemed demeaning.

Moving on.  Phil and I had a pretty good run on ETTS.  We’d turned out 5 issues by the spring of 1985.  In the process of doing that book I’d moved into a studio, downtown Waynesville, NC, and begun looking slightly more professional in the process.

Phil and I, however, had our creative differences, and ETTS number 6 never went to print.  We broke up our creative partnership, Phil went his way and I went mine.  QED, because he was going to school in College Station, Texas and I was still living at home in the mountains of NC.

Thing is, Michael Sawyer and I had originally intended to build our careers in comics as a partnership, and Mike had been lurking in the background all along.  So about the time that ETTS came to a halt (limping onto the shoulder of a proverbial comic book highway) he had a concept or two waiting in the wings.

I’ll leave the telling of that to when we get to Mike’s inside cover introduction, which I’ll be reproducing and annotating in a later post.

Today I’m posting the pitch artwork for T.h.u.n.d.e.r. The image above was actually used to pitch the artwork to SOLSON Publications.  If you think it looks like a bad photocopy of some pencils filled in with Dr. Martin’s dyes and color pencil, then I’d say you’re a pretty perceptive person with an eye for art.   But along with the single page type-written pitch (which I’ll be showing soon as well) we managed to convince Gary Brodsky and Rich Buckler that they should do T.h.u.n.d.e.r. as a series.

But it wasn’t as cut-and-dried as all that.  We actually pitched the book to Will Shetterly at SteelDragon Press first.  They were the publishers of the series “Captain Confederacy”, which had something of a following back in that day.  Will passed on it due to the notoriety of the lawsuit that was then raging between John Carbonaro and David Singer over whether the title T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents was in public domain or not.

Long story short, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents was NOT in public domain.  But at the time we began work on our version we assumed it WAS.  As did a lot of other folks.  Will passed on the book with the suggestion that we “change it some” and then resubmit it.  But we were too dogged in our determination to get it done as a T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents spin-off to give that more than a moment’s consideration.

Somewhere in all of this Chuck Wojtkiewicz suggested that we might want to pitch it to SOLSON.  Which we did.  Chuck did warn us that SOLSON seemed “kind of fly-by-night” (perceptive guy that he was and is), but we saw it as a step up from paying to publish our own work, so we submitted.

The providential thing was that Rich Buckler had been working with John Carbonaro just months earlier while they were working in tandem at Red Circle and JC Comics respectively (both imprints of Archie Comics).  So Rich was easily able to reach John, and hammer out a deal for us to do the book.

This is where things get a bit tricky.  Yes, there was a lawsuit going on between John Carbonaro and David Singer’s Deluxe Comics due to the title “Wally Wood’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents”. Because of this situation John wanted to better secure his claim to the copyright of the characters.  Characters he had legally purchased from Tower Publications (at considerable cost to himself) back in the 1970s.

John Carbonaro’s legal council apparently told him that by getting SOLSON to pay a licensing fee for the T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents characters and subsequently getting such a book published would help convince the court of the legitimacy of his claims.  Those basic claims being:  A. that the characters were his to license, and B. the property was worth all this fuss in copyright court.

So John cut a sweet deal with Michael and I (through Rich) for our use of the characters for the next four years.  SOLSON paid the licensing fee.  (Keep that “right of use clause” in mind.  It will come up again later).  We (Mike and me) got to keep the rights to our variation of the characters IN PERPETUITY.  So long as we were willing to pay John the licensing fee we could renegotiate in the future.

This is one reason why you have never seen our book reprinted.  We never had the money to pay the licensing fee after that.

Keep in mind that this all went down in winter 1986. I was 21 at the time, and Michael just 23.   At that time 1990 seemed a long way off…

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Cartoon and Illustration

Days of T.h.u.n.d.e.r. (part 1)

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Artwork © James E. Lyle.  T.h.u.n.d.e.r. Agents is a registered trademark of John C. Productions.

First off, sorry, but this blog has nothing to do with NASCAR or any movies inspired by auto racing.  It’s about a book called T.h.u.n.d.e.r. done written by Michael Sawyer and drawn by me in the 1980s, and based on the 1960s series T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS.

Yesterday (8/18/16) I finally scanned this artwork and combined it into (more or less) what it was supposed to look like if it had ever been published by a company called Syncroncity Comics.

If one looks closely at the signature you’ll notice an ’88 as the date.  This is where the tale gets a little complicated.  This is not the original cover for T.h.u.n.d.e.r. #1.  That book WAS published in 1986 by the defunct SOLSON Productions.  This is the replacement cover I did for the book after SOLSON had gone out of business and we’d supposedly been picked up by Syncronicity.

In ’88 Solson was two years past.  I was living in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and looking forward to marrying Karin Guldbeck.  I won’t go into all the details of my housing here and now, but by that time I was living in the attic space above the garage at my fiancées’ family home.

Karin’s dad, Ernie Guldbeck, was a commercial artist and comic and cartoon fan as well, so we were beginning to bond (though he was somewhat resistant to that at the time).  All summer long I had been dying to see his studio upstairs in the house proper.  But Ernie had refused.  That is, until Karin’s step-mother, Eunice, stepped in and told Ernie he couldn’t keep hiding the place from me.  I was, after all, going to be marrying his baby daughter!  (I’m thinking that “baby daughter” thing was what kept Ernie somewhat aloof during that summer.)

So after a couple of weeks of Karin helping her Dad clean up the studio, I was finally allowed in to that sanctum of sanctums.  Not only that, but I was encouraged to do some artwork there!  I had just gotten through attending my first ever Chicago Comic-Con (back before it became Wizard World Chicago) and seeing all sorts of exciting new artwork displayed there (as well as receiving the profuse encouragement of fellow artists and moderate discouragement of many publishers).

In something approaching a fit of creativity I made this artwork.  It’s a combination of pen and ink art on Craftint board (which I’ll explain later in this series), painted with Dr. Martin’s Dyes, and some acrylic paint for highlights.  That design was then attached to a canvas covered board that I had painted with the corresponding purple and magenta streaks.  Then I created the type overlay on a sheet of frosted acetate, with photocopied logo and vinyl rub-down type (Chartpac, I believe).

Now if one ignores that fact that I placed the logo funny (I corrected this in Photoshop), and that the letter spacing on the rub-down type is goofy, AND one ignores that the yellow acrylic paint was not very opaque, AND that the Craftint chemicals have continued to react over the past 28 years with all the other materials–it’s not a bad piece of work.

Obviously, the mixed-media approach was inspired by the work of Bill Sienkewicz.  The light streaked background was copped from Steve Rude’s cover paintings for Nexus.  And it all has a vaguely early Vertigo feel to it, akin to the Black Orchid trade paperback that was among the first books released by that DC imprint.

(The reason for all this borrowing of style being that I wanted to distance the art from the original release.  That cover was a none to subtle homage to Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns.  Being 23 by this time I had “matured” beyond simply swiping from two popular books and now was going for “subtle” homage–swiping from at least three sources!  What was I thinking back when I was 21?)

That day of creativity was almost exactly 28 years ago.  I know this because Karin and I celebrate our 28th Anniversary tomorrow!  (This is how comic artists track time, by means of projects completed and other significant events.)

Next to getting married to Karin, I think that day in Ernie’s studio stands out in my mind as one of the watermark events of 1988.  Ernie was working on something over at his drawing table, and would come by from time to time with words of encouragement.  It was great being accepted as a fellow artist by the man I came to call “Pop”.

Karin decided she wanted to be involved as well, and so stayed in the studio with us all that afternoon, doing a truly amazing color pencil drawing–of Cher.  She’s really no slouch when it comes to artwork–though she devotes most of her time to music now.  But she proved that day she had the ability to do almost photo-realistic work when she wanted to.

I knew I was in deep.

Next time, I’ll bring you up to speed on what the original collaboration was like.  I’m planning to post artwork from the original pitch and probably the whole first story (I still have a lot of the pages).  I also have pencils from issues 2 and 3, as well as some pages inked, toned and lettered.  Right up to the point where Syncronicity pulled the plug.  I will annotate those with thoughts about the process.

I’ll also tell you my opinion on why I’m glad that T.h.u.n.d.e.r. wasn’t more of a success.

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Cartoon and Illustration

What’s up with the change on my FB page?

Some of the more astute folks (who actually bother to read this blog) may have noticed that as of this morning (7/25/16) I changed my Facebook banner and image to read differently.

My banner now reads, “Preserving and Promoting the good name of my neighbor and myself.”  My image now says, “Left blank on purpose.”

There are some compelling reasons for this change.  Frankly I’ve been more and more struck by the increasingly antagonistic attitudes on Facebook during this election cycle, and began to be convicted when a friend of mine (Arnie Grieves) posted a note about the same, encouraging people to say more about their own lives and less about the coming election.

But conviction, like drawing is a process.  So Arnie’s words were the beginning the process.  The next step of conviction was a few weeks ago when I encouraged my Sunday School class that we really shouldn’t be calling our political opponents “idiots”, “stupid”, or “morons”.  It doesn’t apply, nor address any of the issues–it’s simply name-calling.

By Friday of last week I had more or less decided that what was needed was to blank out my FB page in a manner such as this, but as providence would have it, our Pastor (Larry Jones) just happened to be teaching on this very point during Sunday Worship Service. (And as I don’t do a lot of internet stuff on the weekends, the “final nail” in this conviction came from the pulpit.)

Specifically he reminded us that the Ninth Commandment, more than simply teaching us to “not lie”, should actually compel us to to look for the good in others–in spite of any differences we may hold.  At the same time we’ll be preserving the good name of ourselves and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So, I would like to apologize for my previous confrontational language during this or any other election cycle toward those I differ with.  I will now endeavor to turn the matter over to God.  Bear with me as this is (like all things) going to be a process.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am still a Christian, a strict-construction Constitutional supporter, and social conservative.  I am still registered as a Republican because I believe that political party (in spite of various faults) best represents my views; those that will protect the needs of family and friends, as well as work to stabilize the nation we grew up in.

In an effort to preserve the good name of those with similar beliefs I will still engage in appropriate correction of those with whom I differ.  (That is I’ll try to convince people with loving reproof–not bludgeon them with sarcastic words).

Right now I’m trying to, “light a single candle rather than cursing the darkness.”

This is not apathy.  It’s a hopeful step in the right direction.

Not trying to lay judgment on any of you out there that feel compelled to continue to politic on FaceBook or in other social media.  (Though I do hope you will extend me the same courtesy and avoid casting epithets upon me and my family, contemporaries, etc.)

But I’m done with that.  I’ve got another calling.

Oh, and this is not surrender to the world.  It’s surrender to the commands of Christ.  “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

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