Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nearing the End

Hey there sports fans Al here with the latest:

This weekend I will be traveling down the Gallery to drop off my work for the BIG 300 this year.  The funny thing is that at the current time I have been running into several artists at the art store I work at and have them scrambling to get the work done and completed.  This kinda makes me laugh a bit because I know the frustration of working on something that looks awesome in your head but never quiet makes it out onto paper or wood or canvas.  Actually I just had a situation just like that happen as I was working on doing a color piece with our Man-bird of the Future called "Cosmic Flight".
  The piece didn't  come out the way I had hoped with the effect I was looking for but I think I know a way around it currently I'll give it another shot.
Perhaps I will be able to apply the idea to other work as well.
"Cosmic Flight" 8"x10" Clayboard with Markers
2012 copyright Alan Bennett and BBVA

I have been working on the transfers to bristol for issue #4 and have been basic inking and blocking of black on issue #3.  So where does this leave issue #2?  Good question.  Like a tide I have had this tendency to go back and forth between serious drawing and inking and computer color.  This also happens when I am working on a story especially when I have a really strong image already thumbnailed out instead of just working on a script I will continue to keep thumbnailing out a story and fill in the dialogue later.  The idea being (at least to me) is the fact that you should be able to follow what's happening without the words.  
I think that years ago when Marvel was having their Assistant Editors month (I belive.  It was a long time ago for the kid.) going on Larry Hama had a complete issue of G.I. Joe issue 21 "Silent Interlude" without dialogue or narration.  It was a great piece.  And in my mind proved that a book like that could really tell a story well.  

WERID ATOMIC TALES - VOLUME 2?  Say it ain't so.
Well there is a very good idea that it this is in the works.  In the past working with working with NEOtrash Comix Jason Pott and I have formed a fairly good working relationship and just a good friend to have. 
Maybe one day within the next year he and I will work on a Spaghetti Western Comic together.   I know that would be right up his alley.
 I know that he has a plot written for War Ram since he (the character) came out in the last issue of Weird Atomic Tales as the back up story.  Jason really liked that character and the like of Corpse Cop as well. During a break at work he pitched me a story idea with War Ram in it.  Originally this was a Corpse Cop story idea but he just polished off some of the other outside stuff and narrowed it down to War Ram.   I think that the idea of a comic destructive force rolled into one character really appeals to him.
So Jason of has been working on a WAR RAM story recently for me to illustrate.  Now there is a possibility that I might be able to work on this in between redesigning "Dreams of Elysium"  but we'll see how it comes across.  Jason wants a traditional black and white illustration with the computer color like what I have been doing with CTS.  Initially I wanted to do War Ram in scratchboard because of the dark nature of the unstoppable engine of destruction!  But I could see how this would work out art wise but the length of the story in the book might hold it up.  Printers like their comic book projects at a certain page count.  SO I PURPOSED an idea of a back up to War Ram with Doktor Plutarius being the crux of the story and a new character- "DestructO!".
When I showed this one image that I had seen posted by our mutual friend Tim Goodyear on Facebook one of my art store buddies Nicole told me that it reminded her of the Okami.  I didn't understand what she meant by this so after work I looked it up online. There are several entries of a Japanese myths of Tiger Gods in the folklore but most of this was based  mainly on her playing  a video game  called "Okami" and the programs various characters there within called Brush Gods.  I had to start working on a story after looking up artwork  putting my twist on this icon looking figure.  I think that after looking on line at all the things that had to do with legends of white tigers, looking at Japanese myths and folklore I think that I may have a good feeling about how to deal with DestructO.       
Of course I am still playing around with this character and concept but I think that it would be fun to do.  And may be heavily influenced by Kirby like the original War Ram backup.  We'll see.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The November Mid-Point

Hey there sports fans Al here with the latest:
"DEFENDER"  5"X7" Pen and Ink with Colored Marker
2012 copyright Alan Bennett and BBVA

Prototype Cover for CTS #3
Prototype Cover for CTS # 4
As things begin to move towards that slowly vanishing National Holiday known formally as Thanksgiving work on the CTS issues 2-4 are beginning to really pick up.  Issue #2 has already having the base flat colors applied to it and onto the shadows and highlights.  Issues 3 and 4 have both already had their covers transfered to bristol already and pages 1 though 5 for issue #3.   This means I am keeping on track for my deadlines.  It also gives Jason a completion of this first solo comic featuring Corrax. 
  As a suggestion by my friend Dax he felt that that doing completed small story arcs like what you find on British Television like what they show for a Clive Owen detective series called "Second Sight".  A self contained series without over lapping internal plotlines like you find with traditional American comic book storylines or tv series.
At least it seems to be that way these days.  
"A.I.  Wars" is most definately the follow up to "Cosmic Confrontation".  I am still looking for a common thread to string along together but it should be Corrax all the same.  I continue to keep dropping in bits of Johnny Vega in because he is a central part in the Corrax Universe.  No other character I have created or for the length of time I have worked on means so much to me as the Man of the Future. But so many failed attempts on working on him that he just never quite got off the ground. But even though he is central to Corrax I keep his appearances to a minimum because of the inner turmoil that Vega brings to the story.  I guess in a way he would be like Captain Pike from Star Trek The Original Series to Corvis Corrax being Captain Kirk.  A lot of my closer friends know this about me and how much that character meant to me to work on and for me to walk away from him was really hard to do.   But you never know if Vega or Jd'rel will make future appearance down the road.
And there are some ideas with these two and something to have Corrax deal with.
An interesting situation to say the least for him and anyone he maybe involved with and dealing with the Johnny Vega story called "Tin Man". 

Well of this day I am looking at dropping off the ten images to be placed in the BIG 300 show coming up in December.  It's been a little hard with the weather because of the varnishing  that I have been doing outside.  Not easy to do in cold weather.  Maybe one day they will make a varnish that goes well in cold weather.

As it would happen I happen to work at an art store part time to help defer the amount of money that I spend on art supplies which is a great help for me but every once in a while a person will come in and totally take me by surprise.  This person was an old friend of mine from Eugene that I had lost contact with years ago named Shannon Moxley  aka Partuch now.  Now Miss S (as I like call to call her) has changed into a successful self employed woman here in the City of Portland from the beginnings in Eugene as a young Salad bar attendant at Sizzler so many years ago.  She runs a PR firm here in town and is sometimes associated with Stumptown Comics Fest here.  Well I may get into talks with her for next year as far as dealing with a release party of sorts for the "Dreams of Elysium" Graphic Novel when it is done.  Besides that I need a venue that can house the large panels of scratchboard I plan on using for the story.  Shannon may have a few ideas on that.
If anything it will be nice to reminisce with an old friend over coffee and play catch up.

Well getting up this morning I received and email from Jim Demonakos of  Emerald City Comicon | Convention Director informing me that the submission that I had worked on and turned in on their regular scheduled submission for Monsters and Dames book for 2013 had been turned down.  At first I thought "Man, I busted my ass working on that peice but then I realized that this frees me up to sell the work and prints at the show which really for the show is a bonus because I would actually making money off the print than a free image walking around the show floor amongst 79 other artists.  This work has got to stand out from the rest of them.  Nothing against them but the work is strong and this piece is one my strongest yet.  This was email as it was sent to me....


I want to thank you for submitting a piece to the 2013 Monsters & Dames art book.
 Unfortunately, if you’re receiving this e-mail, your piece was not chosen by our committee to be included in the 2013 book.
 This year saw the highest number of submissions we have ever received, over 145 pieces were submitted for consideration. At 80 pages, that means almost one in two pieces won’t fit in.
 It’s my unenviable job to be the one to have to send out this letter, but I sincerely want to thank you for submitting and encourage you to once again submit for 2014, as the theme is always the same and we do it for a great cause.
 Happy Holidays and see you very soon for the 2013 show, it’s shaping up to be our biggest yet!

All my best,


I am sure that this was a regular form email sent out to a lot of the other artists that were not selected for the book but at least now I know now what I can sell at the show.   Their loss.

And the Kid marches on!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

BBVA UPDATE for 11/11/12

Hey there sports fans Al here with the latest: 


"CLION"  copyright 2012 Alan Bennett and BBVA

    Even though most of the gallery work has been completed for the show this year that doesn't mean you stop.
You always have to keep producing work to prove to others that you are a hard working artist and that you are not just sitting on your laurels.
    And I am not one for just sitting around doing nothing.
    I am always creating something new.  The subject matter maybe be similar but the execution of it is vastly different.
So hopefully this small funk that I am experiencing the last couple of days will be disapating and I can get back on that artistic pony again.
Like all people artist occasionally succumb to being depressed.  It's not a fun thing but it happens and you just deal with it and move on and before you know it its over.  Now of course that may be just me too.  Everybody is different.
  But bigger pieces have yet to be made and ready for the last of the year but when it is done I will be ready for next year for the story of Dreams of Elysium to be worked on.  And there we go.  

Page 9- Basic Flat colors

   CTS #2 is entering into that strange twilight issue (not the books or those movies-uhg!) where almost all the basic coloring is done with a few exceptions that need to be figured out - some backgrounds and the color pallet for the "critters" that Corvis needs to deal with.  The other thing is taking time to look at the over all formate of CTS.  Do I or should I change a few things superficially for the cover- the cornerpost, the issue number least of all the price?  What kind of interior image should I use on the introduction?  All of it, I mean this has to be looked at every time I have a book being put together.  I think that is why when an independent has completed a book it's looked upon by the creator as a milestone really.  For a lot of those creators they only are able to turn out one or two major works in their life times before they realize that what they have been doing is a vanity press and a spendy hobby.  
  I, of course, realize that the love I have for the medium but it is in fact a hobby.  
BUT.... I will say this without that hobby I wouldn't have:
1)  Met some of the coolest supportive groups of guys I know around.  You know who are so pat yourselves on the back guys.  You all deserve it. 
2) Been able to hone my craft of drawing and illustration.
3) Learn the needs of a printer and meet their criteria for getting work out there.
4) Illustrate and branch out into other areas of art such as the gallery work and commissions.  And there you go, enough of the soapbox.
  To the case at hand with CTS #2 being colored what about the issues 3 and 4 being completed?  The rough pencils are being refined (currently page 8 of issue 4 only 4 more pages to do and the transfers begin!) everyday before transfer to bristol and ink.  I am thinking that before Thanksgiving this month I should have started this process to complete it.  And what is defined and redrawn before it even gets to that stage is awesome.

There was a comic book that a few of you know and read the epic story of TALE OF TWO JO(H)NNIES in Weird Atomic Tales.  Well it seems that a certain backup story came up War Ram.  Well with that story being told and drawn in a post  Kirby type of style Jason my friend and comic cohort has began scripting  a War Ram story for moi.
New and Improved and ready for destruction!
HOWEVER the story he has in mind is much more epic than I could have conceived of.  And this is an story that I want to put to the scratchboard format.  That's a mono undertaking as I begin to look towards working on Dreams of Elysium.  But I think that I could work on it dependent after DOE is done.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Greetings for November

Hey there sports fans Al here with the latest: 
As of this posting I will have gone to the first Thursday Art Walk for the Performing Arts Center of Portland

  A much different area of town and not as many contemporary artists to compete with for viewers.
You'll have to forgive but the organizers of the show had a lot of last minute things going on so the poster here dosen't represent your's truely.  But still a fun show.
This is actually really cool to me because it gives the work a lot more breathing space than, say , The BIG 300 show.  

The show like any show I have been apart of has always started off slow but by the second hour it had definitely picked up for the art work.
But one of the things I did notice was the people who happened to linger on the piece.  Some older folkes and some, I guess, eccentric look individuals.
But like so many times before I let the art work do the talking.  If I was selling it up at a show then I might talk it up but not at a show like this.  And I think that I might be invited back for another New Brow show.
So here is to keeping my fingers crossed for that.

CTS#3 pl.2, pg.11

CTS#2 is being colored and prepped for editing by Mister Jason Z. Pott.  As anything Jason Has been working hard -even without a computer recently- on scripts and other.  Now as I was showing last week digital coloring can take a long time and the process can be fairly intensive but the end result is a great piece of work.  If the work was merely good than it becomes great if it's great already then it is fantastic.  Case in point, the submission to the E.C.C.C.'s "Monsters and Dames" book. ()  That was a great example of how a really good looking stark black and white turned into a good color piece.
Transfers for issue #3 of CTS are looking good and tight.  Solid pencils soon to be followed by solid inks.  Good times for Corvis and Company. 
Aother set of stories and images has already set up for Corrax's background as I have also already talked about in previous blogs (Sunday, October 21, 2012 and Sunday, September 2, 2012) That story might take a little longer to make because of one main issue that I had  while working on Johnny Vega.  Too damn much personal introspection.  In a world set up with interlinking places and conections there is a lot lost when you're trying to get across the personal motivation of a person or in this case a big alien bird man.
Now as funny as he is and as funny as I work at it that serious side always wants to slide into the forefront of a good story and somehow mess up the speed of which a story is being presented.  I think that was one of the reason I was getting bogged down with Vega - introspection instead of focusing on the adventure of the story.  So I had a little twist here and there and began adding a little more noir into the story this makes the story for the "A.I. Wars" a lot more interesting and it's presentation as well.  And just as a side note I know that the Corrax The Seeker books have not been offered on line as yet but when all of "Cosmic Confrontation parts 1-4" is completed then there will be a book through  and hopefully thought as well. If you haven't been to either you should and while you are there check out Darkslinger Comics.  Tell 'em Alan sent ya.   But I will keep developing the story with all that in mind until I am done working on the Epic Scratchboard Graphic Novel "Dreams of Elysium".
And that is about it for the kid here, back to your regularly scheduled programing.