Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post Turkey day Blues

 Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest: 
"Happy Thanksgiving" from Corvis Corrax
copyright 2011 Alan Bennett

HAPPY BELATED THANKSGIVING FOLKES!  I hope you al had a great one.  I know Corvis did.  And now on to the News from the Box!
"WORLD ON FIRE" 8"x8" scratchboard
copyright 2011 Alan Bennett

Everything is still on target for this December Art Show at the Peoples Art of Portland Gallery.  Check out the phenomenal scratchboard illustrations done by yours truly.  10 pieces in all.  And they could be yours for only $40 bucks a pop!  The location is the gallery is here 

People's Art of Portland at Pioneer Square Mall 

700 SW 5th, Suite 4005 
PortlandOR     Map
For other previous art shows still going on that involve Black Box Comix  check out here for details 
If that special piece of work that you want is still available for your place.  

Now last week I told you that the Half Way mark was hit with pencil transfers.  Currently Page 31 is being worked on.  Since I started working in tandem with the NEOtrash Comix guys (Jason, Dan and Ben) I have been having  regularized meetings with them as well as our countdown for Emerald City ComiCon for 2012 this up coming March.  Click here for more details.

These regular meetings do much more than the plan of attack of setting up our booth which can be hashed out in one meeting but other details that come up are brought up everybody that we might have missed initially.
This covers a lot mundane issues like gas, transportation, lodging. And the almighty need for food.
But it also helps to booster a team effort on every bodies part.  Making potential issues a whole lot easy to deal with when they come up.

   I should add that if you want to see a larger version of the postits, just hoover your cursor over the page.
Where are we now with Johnny Vega and childhood exploits?  Starting with Page 9.
    Previously in Johnny Vega, Man. of the Future:  Captured!  Young Johnny and his adopted brother Bran had witnessed a Group of Cainarious Raiders who had infiltrated the planet Vega.  But trying to relay what they had seen the two boys are taken the Raiders encampment.  There they now stand defiant in front of Raider's leader.  And now...
Page 9 "Humble Beginnings"

Page 10 Humble Beginnings

Page 11 Humble Beginnings

Page 11 Humble Beginnings

 I do apologize now since most of the Postit Adventures have not been properly edited.  That will happen later.  


Now one interesting tid bit and could be a big thing for the art being produced here at the Box, giclées.  In the fine art world there are originals, there are prints, and then there are giclées.  Without going to heavy in the terminology of these things 
1) A original.  Just as the word implies a one of a kind.
2) A print.  A reproduction of a original using a plate or plates.  
3) A giclées.  A reproduction of a original made on ink-jet printers.
The reason for the difference is this a original  has a limited size in proportion to the size a artists studio, like a goldfish.  A print was a good way for a artist to get their art out there but it has a built in problem - collectablity.  Prints have a limited reproduction value here in the US.  It's so an artist doesn't flood the market with a lot of product and devalue the prints already purchased.  These can be reproduced up 200 and no more.
However with a giclée, the work can be printed up for any amount but at a lower cost than a print.  The cool thing about giclées currently is the fact that this reproduction process can be printed on a canvas or archival paper.
This is my extent of my knowledge on the subject so I could be woefully wrong but I think I have a pretty grasp of information on the giclée.
  Let just hope that the situation that just happened to me allows me to follow up on this.
  The pieces I have selected for a large scale image would be the following:
  1) Cosmic Space Monkey
   2) Lift Off!
   3) Onto the Future
   4) Brain Cage2 
   5) Dead Gods Rise- Alternate
The List of Images intended to be used for the giclées. 

What a lot people I believe don't realize is "Tales from the Scratch Pad" are the new Black Box Comix Updates. IN the unfortunate game of Identity Theft I can long access that particular blog.  For that I apologize.    Check here if you want to see those old blogs.  That is of you want to read up on old stuff.
And so there you go.  A lot of things going on at Scratch Pad.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Half Way Point

  Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest: 

"Cosmic Space Monkey" 8"x 8" Scratchboard
copyright 2011 Alan Bennett
The December Show for The BIG 200 is soon approaching.  And what a better gift for Christmas OR Hanukkah than a piece of art that keeps giving through the holidays?  And guess what, it last longer than Fruit Cake!  I bet you can't say fruit cake is archival no matter how much sugar has crystallized in it!  
For other previous art shows still going on  check out here for details
If that special piece of work that you want is still available for your place.  

Page 25 ToTJ
copyright 2011 Alan Bennett
& Jason Zachary Pott

The crossover is at the half way point folkes!  This is a good sign that the books are looking good and not rushed.  This is something I stressed to Jason about when I took on this project.
   As you can see the image is not completely done there is still a lot room for finished inking to take place and some digital background work to be done but this does give a insight into the process of how I work on comic pages as opposed to other of my cohorts in the field.   
   With rough pencils completed I try to outline the first pass with a ink pen and outline "my coloring book."   This gives the page the feel of a nearly completed page.  Blocking the large areas of black also adds to the weight of the page helps me to ballance the values of black and white (including the the white of the word and thought balloons).  Trust me, those word balloons will be fixed before printing begins.
   That's why it's important to me to have that step figured out long before any of the real penciling can be done.
   I should be posting some more new jpegs of the pages here pretty soon as the crossover continues.
   And many thanks to Dan De Paulo for helping out with the project.  If you wanta see some cool artwork check out this .
  ALSO I should also a special thanks to Julie Eggers for lending me her scanner for a short time.  At a time when a project like W.A.T.-Tale of Two Jo(h)nnys needs to have the pages completed and scanned in for digitizing she out of the kindness of her heart let me barrow hers.  Thanks Julie!
Julie is a great artist and designer here in Portland.   Check out some of the projects that she has worked on here at her website.  
   For some of us comic book geeks out there just the mention of working with Mike Mignola of Hellboy brings a mix of jealousy and awe mixed together all in one swoop!  Of course I have to remind myself that he is just a dude that has worked in the comics business a bit longer than myself and thats it.  It was fun meeting him for a short time in Eugene with Mike Allred and Art Adams.  That was a fun time at the Art Store for me.
  But now with that in mind I gotta bust out the pages fast because I am working on barrowed time!  

Where are we now with Johnny Vega and childhood exploits and later?  Starting with Page 5 of course.  We have found that Johnny is an orphan and is adopted by a family of Molluskiods on the planet Vega.  The planet had been under siege by organized group of Cainarious Raiders.  And now continuing with Johnny Vega in "Humble Beginnings"

Page 5
Page 6 

Page 7

Page 8

  I do apologize now since most of the Postit Adventures have not been properly edited.  That will happen later.  This I can promise you.

Old Blogger Site for Black Box Comix circa 2011
What a lot people I believe don't realize is "Tales from the Scratch Pad" are the new Black Box Comix Updates. IN the unfortunate game of Identity Theft I can no longer access that particular blog.  For that, I apologize.    Check here if you want to see those old blogs.  That is of you want to read up on old stuff.

And so there you go.  A lot of things going on at Scratch Pad.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A New Process

  Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest: 

For the current work being shown at the Goodfoot Lounge check here for details on your favorite artist and see if that special piece of work that you want is still available for your place.  

A selection of Art to be presented at the BIG 200
this year.  Art Copyrighted 2011 Alan Bennett

  Now one of the more unique parts about working on scratchboard other than fixing mars on the surface of the plate is "How do you present scratchboard?"
Since I started working with this medium almost exclusively (with the exceptions of the crossover and the quicky postit adventures ) this has been a issue.  
  With the invites to many shows around the city of Portland the good folkes at Po'Boy have issued out wood panels for the artist to work on.  This doesn't quite work for a pre made inked panels however.  So most artists have to become a handyman by default for presenting their work.  We can't all be divas. So here is the fix for dilemma: 

A 9 Step Process. 
1). First by cutting a flat square piece of wood that covers the piece of artwork and the Mounting board.
2). Taking the wood glue and applying it with a squeegee or brayer to spread the wood glue evenly.  In this case I used a discard movie poster tube.
3).  Positioning the artwork of scratchboard onto the backing board.
4). Placing a barrier sheet over the artwork. (in this case I used the transfer sheet).
5). Place the flat "vise board" on top of the artwork.
6). Clamp it with large wood clamps.
7) Wait for about 10 hours dry time.
8) Keeping my fingers crossed.
9). The delivery to the Gallery.
Gallery Prep

The Glue Roll
Applying the Art

Surface Prep


Light box pencil transfers to the bristol paper and outlining with ink and blocking large area of black when needed.  Over this week 3 pages have been completed.  Its looking good.


Page 1 "Humble Beginnings"
2011 copyright Alan Bennett

Page 2 "Humble Beginnings"
2011 copyright Alan Bennett

Page 3 "Humble Beginnings"
2011 copyright Alan Bennett

Page 4 "Humble Beginnings"
2011 copyright Alan Bennett

Now I am sure some people are going to wonder where do these Postit Adventures fit into the Johnny Vega Universe?  Well this is a good question to ask. 
  I had thought about starting a bunch of Postits that come at the end of Johnny's run but that kind of defeated the purpose of exposing the public to Johnny the way most people would read a book (or in this case a comic).   Another question would be how do these fit in with current printed Johnny Vega stories?  At the very beginning, the first Johnny tale to start.   When the stories reach the point of the printed books already out there I'll just post a cover and a image from the story over view.  Sorry guys no free stuff here for ya.
There are other Postit Adventures of other characters that may make an appearance.  So something new is going to be posted one way or another.

In the course of this  writing my scanning bed of 16 years decided to crap out on me making hi res scans of artwork and copies for the crossover difficult at best.  Either it means having to deal with Kinkos or barrow  time on a friends scanner.  Now most people will say scanners aren't all that expensive but a limited budget and a lot of money being earmarked for the dentist makes getting one a little hard..
  But I will work out the best situation possible.

And so there you go.  A lot of things going on at Scratch Pad.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Latest Scratch

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest: 

Well today (Thursday the 3rd) is First Thursday here in Portland and a few friends of mine are getting together to check out the scene for the new art around town.  Black Box Comix is trying to get recognized as a legit comic producing company and free lancer.  Larger pieces are under development currently.  Of these a small list for big Projects.  This list includes the following for a 24"X36" Panels.
1). Godzilla
2). Creature from the Black Lagoon
3). A Skeksis - from the Dark Crystal
4) A Dalek - from Doctor Who

"Creature"  5"X7" Scratchboard
copyright 2011 Alan Bennett

There may be more.
There are smaller 16"X20" that cover a story I have talked about "Dreams of Elysium".  These are all intended for a show at sometime in the near future.  The idea is that with a few recognizable characters from childhood and the way I render in scratchboard should turn a few heads.  
ALSO by heading out to the galleries I might be able to make contact with curators and get the scratchboard into their galleries  Be watching here for details.
Halloween 2011 has come and gone- unfortunately  I rather wish that if there was one day that could stay around forever it would be the this Autumnal day.  Thank goodness for Corpse Cop, zombies,  werewolves, aliens, Angry Gods, robots and non sparkly  vampires.

So currently Black Box Comix is being represented at the Goodfoot Lounge here in Portland.  But I really believe next months show at the BIG 200 will be a blow out!  Here is to keeping my fingers crossed!

All of the images for the BIG 200 this year.
copyright 2011 Alan Bennett

Page 16 of "Tale of Two Jo(h)nnys"
copyright 2011 Jason Z. Pott and Alan Bennett

Here is the latest on the crossover as it stands.  Things are picking up steam with this.  No more gallery shows or commissions to think about.

Logo for Weird Atomic Tales
Now by doing the same ol' crap means your destined to stagnate and become formulaic.  That word is a death knell of many promising artist.  This new idea pertains to WEIRD ATOMIC TALES.  Get this, "The Human VooDoo Doll".  After all the crazy imagery that I have rendered think what that could look like.  It was inspired by a photo of a friend of mine.  She gets credit for this.  
Page 1 of the Posit Adventures for Johnny Vega
copyright 2011 Alan Bennett
PageI will leave with that to think about. This leads me into a new conceptual idea of the old comic strip.  JOHNNY VEGA in The Subterranean: The Postit Adventures!    Well this gonna be a new "feature" featuring Johnny Vega.  Since it is hard for an artist of any comic book caliber to really get out there.  And follow through on idea based upon cash.  I know what I am talking about here because I have seen a lot of great ideas that never get to pan out because the return for publishing sometimes can be a thankless job.   I thought (sometimes a hard thing) about my  breakdowns and layouts and to  release them in the rawest form possible  that of a comIc book thumbnail.  This idea is hardly original but I have had two friends of mine who have thought that this would be a great way of getting my ideas out there.  I figure this is as good as any time to do that.   As most of my layouts are done on Post it's I thought it would be nice for people to see this book and character progress.  It has always been my goal to see this character through from beginning to end of his career.  At least that my hope anyway.
   I hope you enjoy these little bits because as with any busy artist we don't always follow though on projects that we have great enthusiasm for in the beginning of a project but we do get sidetracked from good ideas.  And like so we begin the story of our intrepid space hero in the middle of a story .  This is not unlike the original Johnny Vega story that  appeared in Guilded Edges #6 in 2001.
Enjoy kids!