Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year End Reflection 2009

So here I am at the office. It's cold and quiet. I am alone here. Light snow is falling outside matching the mood of the Glory soundtrack playing in the background. It's the last day of the year. My mind, still fresh with the image of my daughter's face as she waves from the window of her preschool I just dropped her off at.

The snow has picked up a bit...and I think about the past year. The losses and the births.

I saw the departures of the YMCA's after school program in Simsbury and the closing of the administrative offices of the Farmington Valley Arts Center. I miss the kids in that program. I miss running around and having fun with them. I remember the feelings of closure and rebirth as I left the driveway of the Y (the same day as the passing of Michael Jackson). I remember the shock of finding out that the Art Center was closing its office doors the night before I had to teach the last class of the session there. I remember going there to teach anyway that next afternoon for the kids. I miss Marty, Chris and Jim. Easily the closest I'd ever been to the office staff in all the years I worked at the art center.

We lost Rusty Haller this year. This hits me hard in a number of different ways. He was a good man. I feel regret because...

...I learned more about Rusty in the last year of his life than I knew in the years that I knew him overall. He was an awesome cartoonist and I am very proud of what we were able to do here at the office for him before he passed. He left behind a caring group of creators that rallied together for him. If you were not here for it, it was quite the sight to see...the room was packed. People threw their money around carelessly for his benefit.

I miss you, Rusty.

I can see the snow starting to accumulate on my Jeep. An indicator of how much I suck at typing. As I look out the window from my desk I scan the room. 2009 saw the birth of this office. Look at this place...if you haven't been here, it's an awesome space. I am surrounded by so many excellent things like: The Great White Board where I do my teaching now, the waiting area/graphic novel library where we host our meetings and our guests relax, the easels and workstations that see our hard work. Yeah, it's a mess right's alright. This place has grown so much...from our first students, Chris, Rachel and Chris to working with local towns and organizations. I want to thank Steve and Peter for allowing me to be here. I want to thank them for helping me take the next logical step. I love it here-and you know what's great? I know other people love it here too. We are going to make this place even better in the coming year.

I look out the window again. It's still snowing. I see the baby seat that's right next to me and the playpen (that's still out) next to my desk. This year saw the addition of little Alaina to our family. The original projected delivery date was going to be October 2nd I think. That date would creep up earlier little by little week by week. By August I was in a full court press to get as much work done as possible before the birth of our new little one. Leigh Ann was put on modified bed rest. September 18th brought Alaina. What a beautiful little girl she turned out to be. She comes to work with me in the mornings every once and a while. Her favorite spot is up here on the desk with me. I wonder what she's going to be like. It's funny how when I look at her she seems so small. I'm very lucky to have my girls.

I want to thank my Mom, Omah and stepmother for all their support over the years. They're support allows me to do so much and keeps the family close. I really can't thank them enough.

Here is to 2010:
I'm not going to have a stupid resolution to eat better or get more exercise...I know that stuff.
My resolutions for me and for you...Chase the dream. Fight for it. Rebound. Take the hit and GET BACK UP. DO. LOVE. BE.

I will see you next year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays to all...

I hope you all can enjoy the holiday this week, I know I will...

No Drawing and Painting classes this Friday or next...but if you can't get enough of me, we will still be hosting our Monday night drop ins...

Year end reflection to be posted soon...

Maybe a web show too...

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Doctor is IN

Greetings all! Here we are at the week of Christmas holiday...I've been giving thought as to what my year end/big blog entry will be.

This time of year brings a lot of craziness... My last day at Raymond Hill School for the year is today. Good buncha people there. I'd love to go back! Just started my cartooning classes at Tootin' Hills last week. What a return that was! What an honor it was to see the teachers and kids that I bonded with when I was there earlier in 2009. They made me feel like a rockstar when they saw me! Steve Kanaras and I will be giving a lecture/workshop Wednesday at Central School in Simsbury too. On top of all that, we're hosting the FLS weekly drop in tonight too! During all this, I still have commissions and jobs to do. Like I said, crazy.

Here's what I'm workin' on of the good Doctor for a project we're workin' on.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Video! Inking with Carlos

No time to shop?!

Free Lunch Studios now has Gift Certificates for the classes and workshops they offer! Wow. I know if there was something like this around when I was a kid...heck, even as an adult...

Give the gift of Cartoon Anatomy, Drawing and Painting for Teens, Creating a Comic Book World or Comic Book Storytelling. Those are just the classes I teach...there's a lot more at

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Continued work on the Black Roses

Worked on King of MM a little today and did a little coloring too. Did some time on Only In Whispers 3 and Beyond the Kuiper Belt 2. Now I'm gonna work on a freelance job and call it a night. Here's Captain Zira and one of her Vargol crew. Art by Norman K and colors by Me! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Work update

Black Roses 2 is almost complete! Just to let you know a little secret...once I'm done with the Roses, I'll will be starting a very cool project with Mr Steve Kanaras! Trust me when I say this...(and I say it to my friends a lot!)...this project will be a game changer! You guys will be the first to know when I am allowed to say more!!! Bigger fans, fear not! The next issue is ready to go and I hoping to release that book in Jan or Feb and the projects will not interfere with each other.

The Champ is HERE!

New contender, Justin "The Deadfool" took over the mini comic marathon to take the honor of being our newest FLS Mini Comic Madness champion. I almost finished mine...I'll put it up here when it's complete...who knows when that'll be! Keep an eye on for the announcement for Mini Comic Madness 3!

Current MCM Champion: Justin "The Deadfool"
MCM1 Champion: "Mad Dog" Maddie

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mini Comic Madness 2!

The five hour mini comic marathon is back! Can you come up with a story and final art for your own mini? Join me at Free Lunch Studios during this fun experience! Record a promo, keep an eye on your opponents and have a blast! The event starts Saturday, December 12th at 11 am and the judging is at 4 pm and is only $5 to enter. Bring your lunch money and your trash talkin'!

Current Champion: "Mad Dog" Maddie

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Black Roses loose pencils video

Thumbnail video for the Black Roses!

I've been bad...

I know, I know...I have not updated in a while. Well, time to play catch up!

I finished both sessions of Cartooning classes last week. Good group. We worked on our finals in both classes and a lot of good work was turned out. Here's what I worked on PLUS a little bit of gold from one of the students!