Rugg and Maruca's Street Angel - new printing

A few months ago, during a conversation about his book "Street Angel" with author Jim Rugg, I mentioned my frustration with using fluorescent inks on my covers; Like silver ink, fluorescent ink requires a double print to register as truly fluorescent and this second pass at the printer is what makes it too expensive for most projects. Rugg talked about the emotional impact of color and discussed adding a tint to the original black and white art of the book.

Recently he got in touch to share the ink swatches for the second printing of "Street Angel"; it features a light pink paper with purple ink, and the cover and spine is now using a two-pass, truly fluorescent pink. He included swatches of the colors to give me an early look at how the book would look (see images, above). These colors work on multiple levels. First of all the story is about a very atypical little girl, and so the use of pink as a traditional girl's color subverts the meaning of it, reinforcing the impact of her role as a powerful, aggressive fighter (i.e. traditionally non-girly). Then from a design history standpoint, the combination of pink and purple echoes the old mimeographs so many of us remember from elementary school letters and announcements. Obviously in this instance the quality of the printing is pristine, unlike the crumbly old mimeographs, but the emotional impact of childhood and the implication of taking the reader back to a time of childhood fantasies is strong.

In addition, the new color treatment of "Street Angel" is now being serialized on Boing Boing, and the book is available as a two-pack (along with his "Afrodisiac" book) in a custom designed sleeve published by AdHouse Books (see image, above left). All of this make "Street Angel" a definite must-own, for both readers and designers.

The Bounce - collection cover

My cover for the collection of all 12 issues of The Bounce is now up online and so I can finally share it with you! (Click on the image to view a larger version.)

To create this image I designed a collage of David Messina's gorgeous interior artwork, choosing elements which would be representative of the journey of the story. The trade paperback will be available from Image Publishing, in stores this November but you can pre-order it using the code here.

Advertising icon exhibition

If you find yourself at San Francisco International Airport, check out the fantastic exhibition of advertising icons (from Warren Dotz' collection, on display until January 15th). I only had my phone to record the joy, but you get a good idea of how rich and varied this colorful collection of vintage international characters is.

The beauty of an ebullient exhibition like this, is that by placing it right opposite the "departures" area, you are provided with a distraction from the sadness of saying goodbye to loved ones. It is an emotionally considerate arrangement and I enjoyed it immensely. (Click on the thumbnails to view larger pics.)

Photographing William Wray

When I went to meet William Wray to discuss his exhibition of oil paintings at LAunch Gallery, I took a lot more photos than I could use in my article (which you can read, if you're interested) so I'm posting them here. Click the images to enlarge.

The Bounce #12: Art

In the climax to the 12 issue comic book series I co-plotted with Joe Casey, we wanted to find a way to visually express the idea that the universe was dying and simultaneously being reborn. Casey suggested that I create the art for these pages, and wrote the script for artist David Messina to work around that. Over the next month, while Messina drew the comic book he and his team of inker and colorists had to trust that my art would mesh with theirs. It was daunting, since I'm so in love with the way Messina has been drawing the book, but I understood that my ideas about symbolism would be impossible to communicate otherwise.

Taking my cue from the Crowley Thoth deck of tarot cards (with art by Frieda Harris, no relation but I very much appreciate sharing my last name with such a talented woman) and classic symbols from Western art history I compiled the elements which I wanted to use as visual cues for the metaphysical changes I was depicting. I combined my photos with a number of illustrative elements created in Photoshop and Illustrator into the finished digital collage.

When the official art was ready the colorist, ScarletGothica allowed me to work with her layered colors for the sky and Messina's drawing of a reborn earth to fold my 4 pages of art seamlessly into the flow of their pages on either end. Below are the 6 pages of story presented as one long panorama (click to view larger):

Designing this comic book each month was a genuine pleasure which I will miss, but as in the story, every ending is also a beginning and next I'm on to designing the collection.

Disposable Business Cards?

Recently I threw out about ten years of business cards which had been cluttering up my office. At the very bottom of the massive stack of cards was this little gem, drawn by the always funny Joey Sayers (and you know it's old because "Joe" Sayers doesn't even exist anymore!)

I hope she still uses the same art on her cards because it was funny enough to make me keep it, even though I absolutely don't need it.

Review: Sex #11

The cover of issue #11 of my Image Comics book, "Sex" got a nice little nod from this reviewer who wrote;

"This color just pops unbelievably. Love the tidbits of passionate moments converging on our hero's uncomfortable eyes, and the lettering on the title (which is unique to each issue) that just feels plump and a little dirty, like smeared lipstick."

From GeekRex

My favorite aspect of this review is that everyone's work is noted, from Casey's art direction on the elements depicted, to Kowalski's way of drawing them, to Simpson's coloring, and even my color, layout and type choices. Every comic book is a new kind of alchemy through team effort and I love it when people notice that.

Drew Struzman at work

Incredible, era-defining artist Drew Struzman was the focus in my weekly "Committed" column over on Comics Should Be Good. In the course of my research I took a couple of screen grabs of him at work in the highly enjoyable documentary “Drew: The Man Behind the Poster”. The documentary whet my appetite for more process-oriented film about the man, watching him paint and draw even just a little bit was very exciting.


It was a lot of fun to research his work and discover that every single movie poster I loved growing up could be attributed to him. As many people have noted, he had a knack for capturing the kind of intimacy and humanity which is usually reserved for the moving image. You can read the article here.