Sunday, December 27, 2015


Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest:
Well my friends here we are again looking at the year previously. 

A number of momentous occasions have taken place this year along with several "Awakens " an realizations as well. 

We'll do a countdown month by month with an overall overview.

JANUARY: Only one entry here outlaying the next few months of shows to attend and hopefully be a part of.

FEBRUARY: Only a major move of location here in PDX from place to another. 
Lots of plans laid down for this year.

MARCH: Lots of talk about Richard Parker and a story for him being laid out.
Another  issue was getting a new smart phone for the business. Everything really depended on moble phone for both emails and running the Square apt. A third to half of my business this year has been due to Square.

APRIL: First disappointment of the year but not the last either not being able to get into the Line work NW show. Still not accepting that my work wasn't enough for them. I still BS on this but their loss because I know how good my work is.
The only thing to come out of the Line work show was a noticig that a number of individuals had most of their books bound as a hardbound. This made rethink how was going to compete with that with only individual issues? Rethinking the whole damn comic book thing and graphic novelization.
The name "Nostalgic Bad Ass" coined as a phrase to describe the work I do.
Prepping for DIVE IN art show.

MAY: Making first series of prints for Crypticon 2015.
Show was a let down even though everything else one preparation was spot on for sales.
A lot if pros and cons for this show.
A serious emphasis on  "Cry"in Crypticon. Making that nail in the show coffin that I might never do another retail show like that again.

JUNE: Last Monster on EARTH! Being worked not only as a staff alone piece but the continued stories of the Ro-Man being retooled like a Frankenstein Monster. And working on the 88 STRONG art show.
Only four out of the 8 completed due a loss in the family.

JULY: Blank month for the kid.

AUGUST: Final preparation for the DIVE IN art show at NWIPA. Finishing touches being placed and show details being worked out with Curator.

SEPTEMBER: DIVE IN art show begins but official opening not till two weeks later. Scheduling issues with previous artist and commitment. 
ABSOLUTELY THE BEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL SHOW.  I can't say anymore than that. It would drive me to make the best I could do for The BIG 500.

OCTOBER: Setting up new line of products for mass production -tee shirts!

NOVEMBER: EUCON show. Another great and successful show for the kid and a triumphant return home. Many friends to see and re connect with. So fun.

DECEMBER: BIG 500. New approach to prints and work. A surprise to see how quickly art disappeared at show. And what was a worry about new technique being used to make work affirms itself that I can do better and not stress about the end of the year show.
Some small issues with commissions. 

So over all things learned and accomplished:
Themed shows are still hit and miss for me. You still can't tell what going to work for you and what won't but I will still continue to a few year. I will still continue to make comics but not to the point where I was at say 15 years ago. Square is the way to go and keep up on the technology that is within your grasp. 
Diversify your work into different groups. You don't have to sell an original all the time and value your work and your time.
Commissions need to be spelled out clearly especially when dealing with friend. 
Now onto the next year and a new show where a lot of things began for the kid.

And that's it for the kid till next year.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

One Show down, One Show to go

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest:
Well the BIG 500 show opened with a huge explosion of both creativity and innovation as well as the public turning out to buy and purchase a huge amount of work.
It was unlike anything I had seen before. Normally there are three galleries that are involved in selling this work and as art is bought and dwindles on the walls the work is collected and condensed into one galley by the end of the night. 
But the gathering of work was shrunk into one gallery 3 hours before the show closed!
Now that might not sound like a big deal but I can say this that has never happened before in all the time I have been part of the show. A lot of my art buddies who were also showing said the same thing. 
It was a tell sign that the economy is doing better to me. A good gauge. I hope and keep my fingers crossed that this will carry over into the new year.
Because there is a solo show coming up for the kid! 


First Slingshot Show 2013

Second Slingshot Lounge Show for 2016
Now as I might have mentioned before this will be like traveling full circle for me since the Slingshot Lounge was my very first solo art show back in late 2013 in October. Before then I had always been part of a group show in one fashion or another. But since then I have had a couple solo show at least one solo show a year.

One Man Show Slingshot Lounge 2013

I count myself lucky. But now I find that the work that I am doing far better work than a have before. And a bit more expensive as well prints are new and that has changed the way I work these days. I have found that some my best work sells as a reproduction of the original. The originals still sell mind you but market of buying art work hasn't gotten to a point where everyone wants a original piece of art. 
But as we speak of original art work did I mention..

(At least that is what I'm gonna call it!)

Things are speed up real quick and no rest for the the wicked as say. I know I ain't that wicked but that should have applied to artists as well. You can never do enough work when you are getting out there showcasing your work. 
After watching my girlfriend go through the motions of self promotion and production of her work, she is one of the hardest working artists out there. She has taught me quiet a bit of marketing that I don't think I would have learned easily. If there is one person I'm thankful for, it would be her.
Day 2 of the poster design


There are a number of other things that I need to do. Namely get the comic books done and get tee shirts moving. And prints! Never forget the prints.

Now months ago I was commissioned by a couple I know here in PDX for two very different kind of images one of Bela Lugosi as Dracula and the other was a image of a Full Moon. What makes these different than other commissions of the past is that it was done on spec. 

Now in the past I've been pretty much forward that I won't start a project without some kind of compensation to cover the cost of the materials. But it seems so freakin' hard to get people to pony up cash in something unseen.
So normally I won't do the work. But sometimes friends and circumstances push you as a artist to take on the project(s). Holidays are part of the issue. 

But now that you have a piece done what do you charge? Its that age old question "what do I charge for this? I don't wanta rake ' em over the coals for the piece but...".
I'm sure if you're an artist you have had to deal with this. If anything you can always justify it by saying that you're giving them a "friend discount". 

Again this was brought up recently with my girlfriend about setting that price and size for the piece ahead because you don't want to alienate someone because you wanted to make something bigger and better in your mind.

SO I GUESS word to the wise -set a price and and size so you both are clear about the work.

Well this is slightly embarrassing and just a tad obnoxious that the printing company that had been printing my comic books has yet to place Black Box Visual Arts and it's satellite company Black Box Comix up on their online store. It's kinda bugging me a bit because I have been waiting since Thanksgiving to get this stuff up and running. And it hasn't even got off the starting blocks yet. This is the frustrating part about printing. So nothing has been done to fix this and I know there are people who want the work.

Besides that there are a number of "new" books that have never been made available that I'm looking at printing. Corrax the Seeker is one of them. Corpse Cop is another.

As you can see there is really a lot for me to do an print. There are two other characters that need to be addressed Robot Monster and Richard Parker. And of course there is my adaptations of War of the Worlds 1938 radio broadcast and a musical song from Led Zeppelin "Kashmir".
The last one is a bit strange but after seeing the late great illustrator Gene Day illustrated the Rolling Stones " Sympathy for the Devil"in Heavy Metal.
After reading that I knew I wanted to do this and it's now that I can do this right.

But back to the story board for Richard Parker.

And as always there are places for you to check out as well.

And of course I still have my comics that I have worked on here at Indyplanet.  I am still currently working on getting this link fix.
HOWEVER there are these books that I still need to add to the archive for Black Box Comix. And mind you there is website
and the facebook page 

The Website also has some new stuff added for the comic books featuring Corpse Cop.


 And that's it for the kid for now and I am outta of here.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, December 11, 2015

As Time goes on...

Hey there sport fans, Al here with the latest from the box:
Soon the BIG 500 will be here! Next Week! Sweet.


Now for most of you this posting will come a little later than I would have liked. Again it's that real life situation that puts so many dealings with creating artwork far behind schedule.
In this case it's the holidays.
I have had several commissions that have came in resently that require a before Christmas Day kinda dealing.
I don't feel like an elf or feel full if holiday cheer because I can't focus on the people and one person I should be paying attention to ...myself.
Now that might come as a shock to some but when you don't take stock what needs to happen for yourself things don't turn out right. They never do.
So its a matter of stopping for a moment and look at yourself objectively.
So I there has been changes I have to do before the end of the year.
posted from Bloggeroid

Well today (last Sunday) is the final drop off for the BIG 500 show that will be going up next week in downtown PDX. It truely is a great show watching people gather stacks of art of so many different artists. I've been really impressed by the quality of the work for such a small amount of cash for each piece. I do realize that part of the proceeds do go to a good cause. But I hope that artists render their renderings for not being properly compensated for their artistic ability.
The BIG 500 drop off bag of art! Sell!

That has been a hard road to learn but one that I feel will benefit me in the long road.

These changes in thought lead me into the next topic....

 Doing art is one thing, selling your work smarter is something else entirely. 
For several years I thought that I was selling my work ( including the comics I had worked on) making just enough to cover cost of my printing but couldn't figure out why was constantly scraping by when the work was selling?

Simply, perceived value. 

I had heard the words but never understood the real meaning behind them. You can say it but until the individual is ready to really learn what is meant by this they will continue to bang their heads up against that imaginary barrier "Why? Why is it so hard make a living what I love to do? What am I doing wrong?"
That is actually pretty easy, your not doing enough.
There are a number of things but for me in this HUGE learning curve, it comes down to two (2) things- 

    1). Diligence, constantly working on what you love and learning EVERYTHING YOU CAN about marketing yourself. 
    2). Timing. There may be things you can control and then there are things that you can't. If you know that your work is good and sells to more than people you know like friends and family, you're on the right track but you can plan all you want and have great presentation but that doesn't mean spit when it comes to you being able to showing the work.

There are now other shows that are looming on the horizon for the kid and that is coming back to the Slingshot Lounge for another solo art show! I'm very excited about this as this was the first place to have a solo art show for the kid and I know I have a shit ton of work since then to show. It should be really fun for me. I will keep everybody updated as time allows.

There are two commissions that are outstanding for the end of the year and they both belong to a couple that I have known now for about roughly 4 years. One is of a full moon and the other is Bela Lugosi. Those should fun to do for them.

Now I have been debating about the idea of getting back into comics for a long time but having a character to work on for sequential artwork is good and allows me to make images that I can hang for shows later on in the year with other galleries here in town.
I still have yet to really get into places over on the west side of town but by having  a associated comic book that goes along with a group of artwork might draw a few people there. 
Of course it helps to have a recognizable character and in this case Robot Monster is the one. 
And that's what you're looking at the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Robot Monster!

 Here we see the recently invigorated Ro-man takes names and decimates big bulky doors with BIG ASS GUNS!

Cool stuff.

Other than that the kid is out of here.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

New Comics, New Prints, New T-shirts = NEW YEAR

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest,
 Well depending on when I can get back this next month and half is gonna be some of the busiest time of the year for the kid.
Now the BIG 500 is always been a big deal for me because it gave me the chance to get my art work out to an audience that I hadn't had access to for a long time (if ever). Being able to make work and sell it appealed to me like nothing else and getting appreciation for the work that I had done even more so.

SO when this shows comes around I feel obligated to really bring my best work forward. But over the last year things and self perception of my work the art has changed how I look presenting my work now. The biggest difference is that I am mounting prints to the wooden panels rather than original pieces of scratchboard this time. It was pointed out to me that I wasn't thinking big enough to really make any money if I kept selling the original artwork and didn't have anything to show later on when I get another show -solo or otherwise.

With that in mind I took images that I ripped out during this inktober last month and adopted some of the better images I had rendered and put them to scratchboard and clayboard with color.

This way if a piece sold I still would retain that original with a much higher price and the reproduction would sell for the lesser price of what has been selling for the last couple of years. Maximizing the selling potential for me and allowing at the same time to be able to increase my prices for my work without any hangups (even if the pieces are the same size).

I've had a number of friends telling me and saying that I need to up my pricing on the artwork. I agree with most of it but it seemed to me that if I brought it up to fast it would turn off potential buyers. But the sense I have currently is that most art collectors and the way they are buying the work don't seem to have those issues as they once did in years past. The internet and society have changed the landscape how artwork is bought, traded and sold.
A artist has to adapt to this ever changing world.

The color work is something that is new to the work as well. Now I have in the past played around with the idea of adding color to some of the work but this time around I

decided to make it even more predominate in the work. Now some of this new work is mono chromatic in nature but there are shades that when scraping off the top layers of ink.
So I guess when you think about it time will tell.

I have been taking the color images that I have been doing and transposing those images to the t-shirt stuff I have gotten into of late. It's been fun but we'll see if I have a few more images to post before the end of the year. Checkout the tees up for sale here.

AND AS YOU WOULD HAVE IT.. the comics!
As I have now managed to get things worked out with Ka-blam Publishing for releasing my comic books on the web store like they should have instead of holding my books hostage so no one could ever see them.
At least that's the way I saw it. Bogus stuff but if there was going to be legal ramifications for not filling out some paper work I would be the sole individual to deal with it not Ka-blam.
Regardless of that the comics are now making me itch for getting the rest of Corrax the Seeker back out there and make a combination omnibus of Johnny Vega and Corrax the Seeker into one book. And possibly even the newer version of Corrax because he needed a revamping.  I still have a love for that beaked headed hero.

The biggest issue that I have right now is the fact that the holidays cause some real issues with me getting any kind of response from them. The only one that I have had is that they received my w9 form. But nothing else. And of course this came around the time that Thanksgiving rolled around so I should have known better. But it is done and I do hope to have a link here soon for those older comic books and any new ones coming down the road.
My comic book dreams are never far from my mind. I love them dearly and owe so much to the comics that I collected as a child. Though in resent times finding a good comic to get behind and actually collect is a different thing all together.
I just want to give a medium something back that it has given me enjoyment and allowed me to expand my knowledge.

Issued out to me recently by one of my oldest friends about illustrating a wordless story much like Lynd Ward did back in the 1930's with a story I could get behind.  I had a year to plan for this and handing over a manuscript over at the beginning of 2017.
War of the Worlds by Edward Gorey
This image is from a illustrated version of the War of the Worlds by Edward Gorey from 1960.

Darkhorse edition of War of the Worlds
The story has been illustrated numberious times over the years by artists and always the classical version of Well's story.
War Machine by Alan Bennett© 2014
This time around the challenge that was issued to me was to adapt a story that I really liked.
I pick a story, a famous one too War of the Worlds. HOWEVER there would be a twist to this the story illustrated would be based upon the 1938 radio broadcast not 19th century story by H.G. Wells himself.
As far as I know no one has done that before.
SO I WILL BE doing some research on this topic.
Tripod by Alan Bennett ©2015

The tripods near Big Ben  Alan Bennett ©2013

I have downloaded the the CBS Radio recording of the War of the Worlds and listened to Orson Wells and the rest of the cast play out they're fictional alien invasion.

After listening to it I could see why there were so many people freaked out by it. And I can see/ hear the realism in the voices of the players.

It set a presentient that there would be warnings to general public that a faux broadcast would never totally be presented as the real thing. I think that this is where the other adaptions of this story differ.

And as always there are places for you to check out as well.

And of course I still have my comics that I have worked on here at Indyplanet.  I am still currently working on getting this link fix.
HOWEVER there are these books that I still need to add to the archive for Black Box Comix. And mind you there is website
and the facebook page 

The Website also has some new stuff added for the comic books featuring Corpse Cop.

 And with that this kid is outta of here I got work to do. 

 And that's it for the kid for now and I am outta of here.

posted from Bloggeroid