Golden State Warriors: World Champions!

It feels weird typing that. I suppose anything can happen, right? Maybe the SF Giants will win three World Series or something, too. I don't follow basketball anymore, but there was a time when the Warriors games were broadcast on local commercial TV and I was an enthusiastic follower of the team.

My favorite era, of course, was the Run TMC era. No championships, but that team looked like it was having more fun than anyone else and it was great fun watching them. The 2015 edition of the Warriors have that vibe, too, but it looks like they play a meaner brand of defense than Don Nelson's troupe.

I was thinking about personal heroes Jack Davis and Mort Drucker while I was working on this.
Drawn with MangaStudio and Photoshop!

In anticipation of the sports department asking for an illustration to commemorate the impending Warriors' championship, I started this sketch a day or two before it was won, just to get ahead when the inevitable request came.

Well, the request didn't come. They didn't even think about it. But I offered it up, and it was about 1/3 done so it looked a little better than a sloppy rough. They said "cool, finish it." It was needed in a hurry so there were a few hours of sleep sacrificed after midnight to hit the deadline but it was fun!

I wish I could have slipped Tim Hardaway in there, somewhere...

Forgot to mention this was published in a special section of the Bay Area News Group newspapers on Sunday, June 21! That's the SJ Merc, Oak Trib, CC Times, etc., etc.

Baby Steps

Ugh! It's so hard to find time to learn new things. Had to get up at 6 today to in hopes of getting in some Anime Studio practice before the kid woke up. And she woke up at 6:30. Distracted her with cereal and the iPad.

Drew a caricature of my good pal Quincy the other day, and sketched up a quick background last night. Just wanted to have him walk onstage, see a bird and -- so in tune with his jungle instincts -- sit down.

Didn't get to the bird this morn, and his sitting motion isn't what I'd like it to be but DING! The timer went off and I have to take the kid to the park. I'll get it figured out.

It's So Easy...

... to cheat on your significant other by watching episodes of those shows that you're supposed to watch together. I haven't done it, mind you, but I suspect that my wife has finished the latest season of House of Cards, but won't tell me. She didn't seemed shocked or surprised at the latest developments when we watched an episode the other night. She seemed rather bored by it, so suspicion has grown in my heart.

Ah, well. For better or worse, I said.

Drawn and colored in Photoshop

This ran in the Bay Area News Group family of newspapers last weekend. The story is by Chuck Barney and it's much more entertaining that this slop I scribble here on the blog's wall.

Short (Very Short) Animation

I bought Anime Studio 10 a couple of months ago. It looked like it might be a good intro to animation, and it was on sale. Well, I spent a couple of days with it and had no luck whatsoever. Sometimes you can read the instructions, follow them to the letter (at least you think that's what you're doing) and nothing works.

I stopped fiddling with it and spent time watching tutorial videos while doing other things. Weeks passed and I thought I understood things better. Well, wrong again. Frustration still loomed large. Every few days I would review things and try again. Then I'd cuss and quit.

Yesterday, I finally had a small breakthrough. Things are moving like I tell them to move. It's simple, but the first step has been taken. I got up this  morning and made something before my enthusiasm cooled.

This isn't the 3 minute video with musical accompaniment that I envisioned, but after so much fist pounding and teeth grinding, I'll accept it as it is and claim progress.

Evolution of an App

I  made this comic for the paper last week. You can see the comic in the wild and read the story by Patrick May on the Bay Area News Group website by clicking here! Mr. May always does great work and it's a pleasure to have my pictures in the paper and on the web, next to his words.

Open in a new window for a MUCH larger image.

A couple of weeks ago Pat gave me a long list -- broken down into 10 steps -- of the process the app creators went through on their project from the moment of inspiration until it was approved by the Apple app approval nazis. I took his list, his writing, his research, put it a cocoon and this wobbly, wrinkly-winged thing struggled free. I wonder if it will fly?

I was told to have fun with it, which I always do, but I don't always feel the fun while I'm actually doing it. This one was fun. I only had one very dark period while making this comic and that was at the beginning, facing that list of 10 steps. And it wasn't the issue of fear of the blank canvas, rather getting it all to fit on the canvas.

There were almost enough words to fill up all of the panels without room for pictures. Much cutting, pasting, scribbling and tearing out hair occurred while trying to break things down. Coming up with one image or "joke" for each step was also perplexing, but that's the really fun part of comics.

Open in a new window for a huge, readable image.

It was strange and exciting to work on this. There are many reasons why I wanted to be an artist, but comics were a big, big part of that, and getting the chance to do this kind of work strikes a bell for me. Ding! I hear it, I feel it. Is it any good? I can look at it objectively and rattle off a list of flaws and I can entertain the argument against its value as journalism; but even if it weren't my work, and I didn't care for the look of it, I certainly would stop and read it and enjoy it and think "Gosh, I wish I could draw comics, too." I do that all the time.

I won't do much of this for my job, but I will do more work like this because there is a joy in it. I haven't drawn comics in a decade or more; well, I've dabbled but never completed anything. I'm out of the habit and I've replaced that habit with other things for reasons that I won't list because they likely sound like excuses. I should just quit worrying about silly things and start doing silly things and enjoy myself.

The End