Thursday, December 27, 2012

Well ... I Already Let the Cat Out of the BAG!!


Some idiot scooped his own blog by posting it on Facebook last night.
However, I'm still excited. I'm going to get to draw BATMAN again. For the first time in 20 years. Nice.

I mentioned one other project for sure yesterday.

I'll be working with the SUPER-TALENTED Cyril Guichard (spouse of the super terrific SCAD Professor and ever nice person, Celeste Guichard) to develop a video game. I'll be doing concept and storytelling work for him in the spring and summer. I won't release details until he says I can.

So, all the people who know me are thinking, "Tom? Doing a video game? He HATES video games!"

No. I don't. I resent the time that they take away from your life. VERY different.

And the third project? The potential one. It's a writing gig. I won't tell you anything yet. The proposal is in. They're looking at it. They'll let me know soon and I'll be screaming from the mountain top.

All three are worth some screaming.

I'll post some BATMAN pencils as soon as I can. I can only put up some panels, but I'll definitely do that.

More to come.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Where Do I Go? Why Do I Have Trouble Blogging?

I've been gone off my Blog-o-sphere since summer and it's a pretty long layoff. I just am not one of those people who thinks that you should hear EVERYTHING I think ... or do ... or where I go to eat. Come on.

I'm not on Twitter. Probably won't ever be. (Never say never, but I have a HUGE aversion to it at this time.)

I have a forum in my classrooms to pontificate and be a raconteur so my need to entertain here is less pressing.

By the way, the photo above is from my whirlwind trip to Madrid, Spain (what a lovely trip and a great convention) and it offers a hint of something from below.

I've got two projects (and maybe a third ... and it will be a huge step in my career) that I'll want to be promoting for this next year. Two of the potential three will be a surprise and be new territory. The other is revisiting an old friend -- but what a friend.

I'm going to be drawing thirty pages for DC Digital First of ...

oh, I've got to have SOMETHING to put up next time as I try to actually keep a blog.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and good luck for the New Year -- everyone.


Friday, July 6, 2012


I've had a loaner computer from SCAD since the end of Spring Quarter. My hard drive crashed.

I have an older MacBook Pro here and it's not got a whole bunch of software on it that I was determined to work with over the summer. So, I'm just biding my time.

I DO want to learn to paint in Photoshop, but also in Painter. I haven't got Painter on this one.

But, in the mean time, I got a book on digital painting in Photoshop and started messing around on a drawing that I did in Paris in the spring of 2011. Here's the results so far (far from finished.)

So, it's okay so far. A bit more Impressionistic than I hoped, but I won't fight that.

I've got to set this aside and work on some story pages next week. I'm going to have to tell you all about those later.

HEROES CON was AWESOME, by the way. Come next year if you didn't make it this year. SCAD's Sequential Workshops were worth the price of admission.

Take care.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Hi all-
I'll be at HEROES CON this year for the first time in three years. I missed 2010 because of eye surgery (no, not lasik.) I missed 2011 because of Sue's MFA graduation. So, I'll be on hand this year.

I'm still working on sorting out what to do for my style of finishes, but I'm about to change again. I'm still trying stuff. I tried a single weight "brush" that had no thick or thin (my face ... yet again) and ignored the night time for now thinking of tones or colors for the future. And then I tried a more traditional style with a thicker brush so that I can't get all detailed. I'm "keeping it simple, stupid."

Feedback?? This is the all one weight line drawing.

I want to figure this stuff out. It may be that I take a student's advice: "Just draw it and by page 100 you'll have it all figured out."

So true.

Wisdom from others. It happens sometimes!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

INKS! (Well, Digital Inks!)

There's something really cool and really "off" about working digitally. I miss the feeling of the paper. I am still working out how to "see" the correct size so that I don't zoom in and do too much rendering. Also, I'm working on layers to accommodate whatever means of "toning" or "coloring" that I head towards. So, there's a foreground, midground and background layer on every page.

This is page six in progress. I started on page three.  I'm still working on being messier with my line work. I can't help myself. I try to clean up my lines too much.

I have been looking at some line illustrations by Frank Godwin as an influence for some looser line work and it's been a bit of a help.

I think the tones or colors will make or break these pages. As usual, I'm proud of and confident in my storytelling, but I'm always working on my "finished" look.

Feedback would be appreciated. Where am I making good changes? Where am I not changing enough? Where am I making bad changes?

Your opinions, please.

Thanks-   Tom

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I'm going to go with the newer inking style even though there were some people voting for the older one. I'm okay with that.

HOWEVER ... I'd sure love your feedback on three options for the book:
1) All black with gray tones
2) Black line art with sepia tones and sepia half tones
3) Black line art with a shade of blue for tone and blue half tones

Any of these float your boat more than the other?

I'm listening. I SWEAR!

Here they all are!
I need feedback and discussion.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Before I Go Any Farther...

Here's two versions of the same three panels on Page Three of the graphic novel. I'm bored with Tom Lyle, so the first version is very traditional (and a bit heavy-handed) work by myself over my pencils.

It's serviceable, but I'm just not feeling any real "guts" to this style. It seems safe.

So, in class on Thursday I started trying some other things. My fellow classmate (odd to say that, since he's also a former student and teaching assistant) Phillip Sevy and I talked quite a bit about options that are different, but not TOO different.

Thus, the next version.

It's done with a much smaller "brush" and a scruffier rendering style that I think adds some energy to the piece.

Am I correct? Am I nuts? Did I not push far enough?

Let me know what you think.

I'm really trying to do something a bit different.

Now, just to tell you: gray tones will be added to this page eventually, so the pages are "inked" on layers and some of the background will be all dot screen.

It looks kind of cool. I'm also going to make all of the gray tones (when they get converted to halftone screens) into a sepia tone and the original foreground elements will stay black.

I have a very rough sample of what that might look like here.

This was done using the older version of the "inks", so it would be different on the final.

Also, on panel one I did NOT finish doing the layers that I wanted, so it would NOT be all sepia after the branch in the foreground.

I only took two hours to produce this. It's an exercise for class and it DID convince me that I should seriously consider making this a two-color project. It could work.


Don't hold back (but don't be mean.)


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Last four Thumbnail pages for now!

I've thumbnailed the first 20 pages of my story, but it's time to do some finished art, so here are the next four pages (and last I'll post of the thumbs) for your perusal. We're setting up the hike and the event that is the catalyst for everything that happens. Let me know what you think.

I spent about 2 to 3 hours (or more) on each page. They're more like loose tight roughs, but I wanted to be very clear where I was heading,

I'm having fun working with my writer ... ME!
He listens to all my suggestions and agrees with most of them.

What a guy!


Friday, April 6, 2012


I wanted to make it clear that the pages I am posting are just thumbnails at this point. I am not trying to get faces correct or totally get the bodies correct. It's just setting up the story.

I am hoping to start some finished pencils next week.

I'm attaching pages 2 and three to this post. On page 2, the flashback story ends and then we come back to the present day and it is a scene around the campfire where I have just told this story.

By the way, my class did a critique of all of my pages on Tuesday and it was really hard for them to try and criticize my work. So I started it for them. After that, all went well.

Let me know what you think.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Still Alive (and about to be here regularly!!)

So, starting this quarter I'm officially an MFA student at SCAD in Illustration. I'll get me degree in about 5 years (only one class per quarter while I'm still teaching full time.)

For my first class I'm taking an elective where I'm working on the thumbnails for a graphic novel project that I've been talking about for 6 years (yeah, that one!)

I'll be posting some of the thumbnails, pencils, inks, and tones/letters as I do them.
I'm trying to do 8 pages this quarter so that I can have samples to show to a publisher in France.

Let me know what you think.

The opening scene is a flashback to my youth, playing catch with my older brother.
I'm terrified. I'm not worrying any about consistent faces or characters yet. I'm just trying to get the story down.

Here's the thumbnails to page one:

Feedback/questions are appreciated.