Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Plane! The Plane!

I had some fun designing the Reindeer Mark II - my degree is in Industrial Design, and I spent a number of years drawing conceptual and real aircraft at one of my jobs, so I got to put some thought into this. Fans of Jimmy Stewart will recognize the basic design. Even though it might need the tail replaced every now and then, I'd love to see airplanes looking like this flying overhead.

The last panel is a bit of character establishment at reality's expense. Jeffrey was a big movie fan, although I don't recall his being so fond of Mr. Lucas's work. He definitely knew R2 D2, though.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You want fries with that?

If there was one food that Jeffrey was fond of (and to be honest he was fond of a lot of food) it was French fries. He was a product of Pittsburgh, the city famous for the french-fry sandwich (whatever the official name is, that's what I call it) at Primanti Brothers. I haven't really checked into it, but I would not be surprised if its origin included something like "...I was making a reuben sandwich and I looked up from the line, and there was this little guy eating his reuben in one hand and his French fries with the other. He said to me, you'd save me some time if you just put the French fries in the sandwich."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

And away we go

You'll notice that I've been making style changes along the way - I'm also changing the backgrounds from plain white. If this ever get's printed, I'll probably regret that decision, but I like how it pops the other colors (as if that red car needed any help.)

I used to have a problem with waiting until things were perfect to publish or show them. The end result was that so many things were never good enough and lay dormant for years. I promised myself that I would stick to my schedule of updates if at all possible, and so far I have. Of course, there have been some minor disasters, and I still cringe at some of the errors I made in the name of making my deadline, but all-in-all, I think the good outweighs the bad.

So often I hear from people that they have an idea, or partially completed piece, and just want to get it perfect before they let it out. I always tell them the same thing: "just do it! Show it! Get it done! If it isn't perfect you can change it later... otherwise, it'll sit in that drawer forever."

Do you agree?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

End of Chapter one!

Well, there were times I didn't think I'd make it this far. Now I have to get the next chapter done, and work out the details of the rest of the story arc, and get some reference material, all while getting my other projects done.

I was reminded recently that I would benefit from focusing my attention to fewer projects. Honestly, I don't know why I can't...maybe because I don't know which one I like the best. I know I get something out of everything I do, and this book helps me keep Jeffrey alive in my mind, which is something I can't set aside right now.

Let me know what you think - either comment here or email me at - and thanks for reading this far!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

About Dirt

The traditional earth drilling mechanism of comic book villains has always been the auger - big and pointy and menacing. My question, as it drills through the floor of the bank or the ceiling of Zylon is always, "where did the dirt go?"

Oh, I guess there are a couple of possibilities, like heated cores melting the dirt into gas, or closing in around after the 'drillmobile' like a mole, but that wouldn't work for me. So, I came up with this handy device, and even have a backstory for it, titled "How They Wound Up There" which I will draw some day, assuming Mike Rhode doesn't kill me first.

Monday, October 21, 2013

This week marks the end...

...of the first chapter! I wasn't sure I would make it this far (or that anyone would notice.) I finished writing the next chapter last week, and I'm busy drawing away. Email or comment to let me know how you think I'm doing!

I like to think Jeffrey would be pleased with what's happened so far in the story... perhaps he would add in "Did you have to make me look so fat?" Sometimes I start to worry if it seems I'm making fun of him, but I smile and see his face so clearly with every panel that I draw. Hopefully you're starting to get a picture of the kind of guy he was, not just what he looked like. With any luck, by the end of this story Jeffrey will be as real to you as he is to me. Thanks for reading this far - keep going! Kool stuff coming up!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A little early....

An Internet provider in our area who shall remain nameless, except the name starts with V and ends with zon, hired what I can only guess was a sub, sub SUB contractor to dig a hole in our neighborhood. They did a bad thing with a shovel, and as far as I can tell, only ONE house lost their phone, cable and Internet access until sometime tomorrow or possible Saturday. So, I sit here in a Starbucks uploading files and communicating to you, gentle readers, while visions of voodoo dolls and satellite dishes dance in my head.

Jeffrey would call me and tell me sometimes that it seemed everyone was out to get him, while describing the most improbable chain of events seemingly designed solely for his displeasure. Jeff, I'm beginning to see your point of view.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My daughter is just a little annoyed with me

You see, it was HER bunny. It was her special toy and she loved it, but Emily is not my daughter. She and her father, Professor Sparks, are based on the real Chris Sparks and his daughter Emily, who graciously gave me their permission to use them as models for this story.

I like using real people for my characters - it makes them easier to visualize. Master Jeffrey is VERY easy for me to draw - I'm still working on the other characters. Keep checking the blog - an opportunity may come up for YOU to be a character.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mailbox is up!

There's a link on the site to, or you can just cut and paste the address into your email system. Drop me a line! I want to know what you think. Those of you who were at Baltimore Comic-Con have a few more days to enter the you-know-what for you-know-what. If you weren't there, don't worry. there will be more you-know-whats.

If you noticed that the mailbox link is not on all the pages yet, well. yeah. I have to do them all by hand still and for it to be worth it, I want to see some mail first. It's not like you've been flooding me with comments so far.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Of course she's okay

Everyone should understand that this is a family friendly comic - I won't be putting small child characters in danger without getting them out safely. I know that isn't the current trend, vis-a-vis "Walking Dead", but I never liked the idea of intruding on a reader's comfort zones in that way. There's lots of ways to develop tension and build suspense without killing people off (at least, I THINK there is.)

Jeffrey liked comedy, and this strip will be about fantasy and adventure, but there will be humor too. Please bear with my while I find the balance in all this - and feel free to offer suggestions as well. Don't be shy - if I don't like it, I'll ignore it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Now Don't Try this at Home

Jeffrey was a very cautious person by nature - he avoided danger and risk whenever possible. That being said, I once saw him leap out of a car in mid traffic and run across a four lane open intersection to get to me. It was not a life or death situation, but it was clear to me that if Jeffrey decided he had to do something, even if it was outrageously dangerous, he would not hesitate.

In looking back at his many suggestions to problems (Jeffrey was a man of many ideas) I've begun to realize how many of his plans involved risk and even danger. I'm sorry now that I didn't commend him often enough on his courage, because I'm sure he didn't consider himself a brave man.