Thursday, March 31, 2011

Messin' With Miis

I bought a Nintendo 3DS and I'm loving it. The experience of playing 3D games is hard to describe in a way that does them any justice, so you'll just have to try it. Unfortunately I've been so busy lately that I've only had to time play after I've climbed into bed. Last night as I enjoyed the two or so hours I get each day where I'm not drawing or sleeping I made a collection of Scott Pilgrim Miis which you see here. If only you could see this photo in its native 3D!

The 3DS has some amazing features hidden inside it, and one is the ability to create and scan QR codes of your Miis. If you have a 3DS you can use the QR option in your Mii Maker application to take a picture of the codes above and transfer the Miis I've made onto your system. Let me know if you try it out!

A Study of Bears

Earlier this week I posted about a magazine spread where I had to rework some illustrations quite a bit, and a friend of mine asked if I still had the original unused sketches, so here's an example.

This is a comparison of the first sketch I did and the one that was finally accepted. The bear and squirrel are acting out a scene from True Blood. My original sketch is on the left, and the final one is on the right.
I think what I liked most about the original was the pose. I needed to draw a bear pretending to be a human vampire, and I feel like I did a good job of portraying a bear's anatomy within that criteria. You can imagine a human doing this same pose yet the limbs bend like a bear's would. Agian, looking at the final piece now I don't feel that it's bad, it's just not "me." I arrived at the final drawing after reworking the entire set of illustrations four times.

These were some supplemental drawings I did for this project. At one point I was given the instruction to make the bear look more like the Cleveland Show bear, more dopey, and more like a real bear all at once. I did these three drawings to try and show them that those are three very different things and that I was at a bit of a loss as to what they were looking for.

So this is just a post for the curious, and I want to emphasize that reworking drawings is a very necessary part of this line of work. Front is amazing to work for and I have sung their praises many times in the past; they always give me a ton of freedom to do what I want with a drawing while still giving me plenty of specifics to work with. If you ever hire an illustrator or graphic designer remember that the key is to strike a good balance of give and take: Be specific enough that the designer knows what they're supposed to be making (this will cut down drastically on the back-and-forth and revisions) but also be open to deferring to their expertise and opinions since they are the expert, after all. Front has this relationship down and I always look forward to working with them. Right now I'm doing a pirate themed spread for them, so more on that when the time comes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

500 Fans!

My Facebook fanpage just passed 500 fans! Thanks everybody!

Also, this seems like a good time to mention that my Winners Don't Use Drugs shirt recently made Geek Apparel of the Week over on

Monday, March 28, 2011

Survive Winter piece for Front Magazine

I have a stack of Front Magazines sitting here that I haven't written about yet, so here's the first post towards remedying that!

These drawings were for an article about "hibernating" for the winter by staying inside with DVD box sets. The idea was to have a bear and squirrel act out popular TV shows.
This assignment was really the only time I've had any sort of creative disagreement with Front. They wanted the characters to be very simple looking, whereas in my original drawings I made the animals look somewhat more realistic. My reason for this was sort of the Matt Groening principal that making cartoon animals behave realistically is much funnier than having them do typical cartoony animal things.
My original drawing of the bear dressed as Frank from 30 Rock struck me as particularly hilarious because he really looked like he had no idea why he was wearing a hat a glasses.

At the time I just really felt that these drawings didn't represent my ability to create effective and funny pieces of art, but it wasn't until I got a look at the finished article that I realized that I was mostly suffering from a case of being too hard on myself. I just needed to spend some time away from the drawings before I could realize that they looked just fine.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dum Dum

This is the design I did for Dum Dum, the newest puppet for our show Seth Martin & Friends. Our first female character, Dum Dum was the idea of Brainwrap member Nicole Lawrence. I tried to make the drawing easy to follow and informative in hopes that the final product would be as close as possible to what was in my head.

This is the puppet in its final stages after lots of hard work and love from our puppet builder Kyle Quinn, who always does an amazing job. To check out a process gallery of her construction you can visit the Seth Martin & Friends Facebook page.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bottled Fairy shirt design

A new shirt design that you can vote on here at

I've been playing through the Super Nintendo classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which inspired me to create this drawing based on the fairies who help Link on his quest despite the fact that he abducts them and keeps them in bottles. I thought a fairy in a bottle seemed like cool imagery all by itself (sort of reminds me of keeping fireflies in a jar,) so I just took the idea and gave it a stylized look. I mostly drew from the design of the great fairy in the Zelda game Twilight Princess.

If you like it please give it a vote!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Uncle O'Grimacey!

A repost from last year, but really, when else am I going to get to use this drawing? I've had my shamrock shake this year, have you?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strange Kid Comics

That's right! I will be doing a comic strip for the Strange Kids Club. I was really excited to create a comic for the anthology but this should prove to be even cooler. This St. Patricks Day strip is the first one, so SKC proprietor Rondal Scott and I will be getting a feel for the project as we go along.

You can see the official post here on the Strange Kids Club website, and be sure to pre-order the upcoming anthology for only seven bucks. From the official pre-order page:

"This first anthology features over 20 indie artists who have contributed both pin-ups and short comics featuring our blue-pompadoured mascot, as well as a comic by upcoming Strange Kid webcomic artist by Glen Brogan.

Don’t forget our interview with Brent Engstrom, one of the veteran artists behind Topps Garbage Pail Kids trading cards. Plus, there a special surprise that comes with each issue!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Will Jack

Shew! I had a nice little chunk of time where I wasn't insanely busy but it seems I've been launched back into the thick of it. Lots of work to be done and some really amazing things on the horizon.

Anyway, on to this piece! As regular visitors may know I do pretty frequent illustration work for Front Magazine. The guy I worked with the most to complete all of these assignments was Will Jack, who left Front a few months ago. Will's co-workers said that I was his favorite illustrator (an amazing compliment I'm very thankful for) and asked me to do this piece for him as a going away present. I gladly accepted since Will really was a great guy to work with. He always stayed on top of things, was easy to communicate with, and made sure I understood what each piece required. I'm sure he's busy at a new job by now, so I wish him luck on whatever that is!

The funniest part about this drawing was that they told me Will has a trademark pose he uses in every photo: he stares wistfully up and to the side. Sure enough, he was doing that in every single reference photo they sent me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pool Table Room

Here's a piece long leftover from Christmas. My dad has been redoing the house room by room, and this winter he tackled the "pool table room." I bet you can guess why it's called that. The pool table has been there for years and years, but if you own one you know exactly why he decided to get rid of it: after a while it becomes less of a recreational item and more of a place to set stuff.

Seeing as how the pool table was in the biggest room of the house its absence left a lot of free space to be redecorated and re-purposed. The remodel is mostly done at this point, with new furniture, new paint, new wood floor, etc. The room had been decorated with the same gaming theme since I was a kid, so I really felt like I needed to commemorate the old version with this Christmas gift to my parents. Construction was well under way when I started this, so I drew it from memory.

I still don't think we've decided what to call it now that "pool table room" is no longer accurate.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Two New Shirts

New shirts for sale! You can buy them here: George's Secret and Winners Don't Use Drugs. I have many fond memories of 90s arcade machines telling me to stay away from narcotics with this intro screen. I have no fond memories of a hairy George Lucas, however. Only bad ones.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Strange Kid Meets Ernie

Here's my comic for the Strange Kids Club Anthology, a book that will feature art and comics by a slew of amazing artists, all based around the Strange Kids Club's blue-haired mascot. The club is actually a blog that celebrates geeky nostalgia, so you should check it out here.

The Strange Kid character has a great and memorable design, so I thought it was a perfect idea to have artists generate content for him and flesh him out. It's been a long while since I've done any comic work but this was a lot of fun, and I dare say that I may have actually gotten faster at it due to the strict-deadline schedule I've been operating under for a couple years now.

I thought that my character Ernie from the Black Lagoon, who I've featured in comics before, would be a perfect fit to interact with Strange Kid, so I based this short comic around their meeting.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Whew! Big Update

I've been slaving away all week to update the gallery section of my site. As much as I liked the last setup I eventually painted myself into a corner since it was so hard to update and reorganize. I really know nothing about the proper way to make a website so I mostly just guess and fiddle around until I achieve what I want, which usually means taking the long way around.

So! The gallery now has a completely new format that uses fancy effects and is very easy to update and edit. I've been meaning to do this for a while but just didn't have the time until this week. Believe it or not there were 60 some pieces of work that I needed to add, as well as info on my shows, press, and freelance jobs. Plus there was a lot of general housecleaning, including adding more content to the wallpaper page. (Yes, I have a wallpaper page.)

Please check it out and let me know what you think, feedback is appreciated so that I'll be able to work out all the bugs.

And in case anybody is interested in creating their own web gallery, here's some detailed info about what I did to achieve this feat:

I knew that I wanted some sort of automated galley-making program to do all the work for me, because after years of updating an html file manually the inconvenience was starting to keep me from updating regularly.
I had no idea exactly what kind of program I should use, so I started researching. I found that there are hundreds of gallery programs and scripts out there, but I had a very specific set of features in mind, so that made my search a lengthy one.
Finally I settled on Jalbum, a desktop program that basically lets you drag and drop your images and creates a gallery for you. The look of the gallery is based on the "skin" you choose, and after enough research I finally found a skin that made sense for everything I wanted it to do (image captions, doesn't use flash, etc.) The reason picking a skin is so hard is because some of them are very customizable and others are not, and you don't really know which is which until you try them out.
The one I picked was called "Matrix" which has a staggering amount of options. Most of my time this week was spent customizing every last aspect of the gallery. You wouldn't believe all the little things you have to consider when setting up a simple gallery, and how much back-and-forth it takes to make everything look and act how you want it to. Jalbum creates html files based on the options you pick and the predetermined settings of your skin's master control file, so I had to do a lot of custom coding in that file to get it to output html files that looked like the rest of my website.
Once you get past all the initial setup, the program is really amazing. You can change anything and everything you want, add and update as much as you please, and will it generate a directory containing your completed gallery in a minute or two. For someone who has been updating a site the way I have for the last ten years this program is like a magic trick that's too good to be true. It even uploads the gallery to your webspace for you, though I learned the hard way that it HAS to have its own sub-directory on your server to do this. Otherwise it looks at all your vital website files and says "Hmm, that's not part of my gallery...DELETE."
So while it's not for the faint of heart if you want to integrate it into an existing site, (there will be coding) Jalbum goes above and beyond what I expected to find, and it's even free! You can check it out here.