Saturday, December 10, 2011


A movie called Moneyball opened today. I tried to convince my co-workers that it should have been called Monkeyball. To prove the potential of this concept I drew this quick, demonstrative sketch. Come on, who wouldn't go see that?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hey bub...

Wolverine is one of my favorite characters to draw. I could just about draw him in my sleep by now. In fact, that would explain why I've been sleeping so poorly lately. Hmm.

Anyway, the claws should be longer here though and the anatomy's a little iffy but hey, it's just a quick sketch for fun so I'm not gonna bother. Not to mention that the pencils were so light it was hard getting a good scan without turning the contrast way the hell up, which means you can see every stray line and every speck of dirt too. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


"Don't you wonder sometimes if there shouldn't be more to life than this?"
"Um whattaya mean?"
I drew this a while ago. This is kind of where my head's been at lately.
It could be that there are three kinds of people in the world. There are those who just pick a destination and head for it, then the rest of the world seems to align around them. There are those who find joy in modest goals, who go to work every day and come home every evening and they are satisfied with that. Then there are those like me, like the fish in that picture, who dare to dream big but are too well aware of their own limitations to achieve it. I dunno.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A very special FCBD haiku!

get out of your house
run down to the comics shop
free comic book day

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Haiku for the hell of it

the first step is the hardest
all roads lead somewhere

Monday, January 3, 2011

New resolutions

Maybe it's silly, a bit delusional even, but this past New Year's Eve felt like a fresh start. I celebrated with some very good friends, and maybe that's part of it - but I feel hopeful about 2011, I really do. Lately, I just haven't enjoyed drawing at all (which my lack of blog posts will attest to), so my new year's resolution was either going to be to draw more, or to quit drawing completely.

I've decided to let doubt be a thing I leave behind in 2010. If and when I draw, it's going to be because I want to. 2011 is going to be the year I take my artwork to new places, creatively and even geographically. On the other hand, if I do decide to quit drawing, I'll find a new pursuit and I won't look back. Whatever I decide to do, I will do it wholeheartedly. I'm barrelling full speed ahead towards an unknown goal, and I quite like it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


P and JB
One of my pals, Johan B, is getting married next summer and he asked me to illustrate the wedding invitations. Considering that this is a day that will hopefully live in their memories "till death do them part," it was very flattering to be associated with this in some small way. Johan and Pia had a very clear idea of what they wanted, which was very liberating for me in a way, because that meant I could focus completely on making their vision a reality, to the best of my abilities.

Friday, November 12, 2010


One of my favorite drawing tools is Sakura's Pigma Brush. It's a pen with a flexible brush-like tip that allows for a nice varied line with a high quality fade-resistant ink. The only thing that bothers me is that the tip pretty quickly frays, making the line fuzzy. On the other hand, once the tip becomes frayed you can use it to get a cool dry-brush effect (like you see above - I probably went a little overboard there actually), much easier than you could with an real brush.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


To be honest, I like the idea of blaxploitation movies more than I like most of the actual blaxploitation movies I've seen. After the racial strife of America's civil rights movement, I think it was an awesome idea to do movies for a black audience, with black protagonists, but too often, the black people were portrayed as pimps, drug dealers or monsters (Blacula or Blackenstein, anyone?) - hardly any more empowering than the butlers and mammys of Old Hollywood. Most blaxploitation movies were really low-budget which meant a pretty cool anything-goes, "underground" kind of attitude, but also poor production values and often subpar writing and acting. There are some good ones, like Shaft, but frankly most of them are just trash.
Having said that, I wouldn't mind drawing a blaxploitation graphic novel some day. A good one.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


(click to embiggify)
I guess this deserves an explanation. Looker vs. Solarr?!? These characters are obscure by anyone's standards, so what's going on here?

Back in the 1980s, Marvel and DC Comics both published these encyclopedia-style series about their respective characters, The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Who's Who in the DC Universe. One day last month, I knew I would have some time to kill after work, so I had this wild idea. Since it was October 13, I brought Marvel Universe #10 (for October) and Who's Who #13 (for the 13th) with me. Without telling them why, I asked two of my friends to pick a number between 1 and 32 (the number of pages in the books, natch). My pal Ida A. picked 17, which was Solarr (Marvel), and my pal Sophia J. picked 28, which was Looker (DC).

The rules I set for myself was that the whole thing had to be done that evening, meaning I had somewhere between 1 to 1 1/2 hours to do it and both characters should be properly identifiable, i.e. neither one should have his/her back to the camera.

Looker was surprisingly fun to draw, and Solarr was unsurprisingly... not. I've held onto this for almost a month now, thinking about whether or not I should spruce this up before posting it online... ink it... fix the somewhat iffy anatomy... draw a background, maybe? But ultimately, it's not worth it. I post it now because I decided to put it behind me. So here it is, warts and all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I dunno. Just drew this to kill some time. I think the folds in the robe turned out fairly well.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review: The Nobody

One day, in a rural fishing village where nothing much usually happens, a drifter covered in bandages walks into town. He rents a room at the local inn, while the other residents of Large Mouth keep a suspicious eye on him. There's a rumor that the he's a wanted man - or maybe a victim of a horrible accident. Only the stranger himself knows the truth, and he's not telling anyone. This is the story of The Nobody.
The Nobody is written and drawn by Jeff Lemire, relatively new to the graphic novel scene. Prior to this, he produced the Essex County Trilogy, which was published by Top Shelf Productions and nominated for both a Harvey Award and two Eisner Awards (very prestigous comics awards, for those of you who don't know). The Nobody was published last year by Vertigo, who also publish his current ongoing series, Sweet Tooth.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Review: Crossed

Crossed is a graphic novel set in a post-apocalyptic world, where a mysterious plague causes its victims to pursue their foulest desires - like rape, murder and cannibalism (and not necessarily in that order). Carriers of the virus are known as The Crossed due to a cross-like rash that appears on their faces. The story follows a group of survivors on the way to Alaska, where they hope they'll be relatively safe.
Crossed is written by Garth Ennis, who you may be familiar with from Preacher, The Punisher and The Boys. Many of Ennis' usual themes show up here, mostly bodily mutilation and sexual depravity, occasionally tempered with dark humor. We also see moments of male friendship and criticism of religion, which is par for the course with Ennis. Crossed is certainly not his best work, but probably his darkest and most unrestrained. The artist, Jacen Burrows, I admit I'm less familiar with. He has worked on various series for Avatar Press, perhaps most notably Alan Moore's The Courtyard. Burrows' style can be compared to another of Ennis' frequent collaborators, Steve Dillon. It is clear, competent storytelling, but not very dynamic. Burrows draws meticulous backgrounds, though.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pinin' for the fjords?!?

Hey there. I just noticed today that Blogspot has a statistics feature now. I can keep track of how many hits per day I get, and what search terms have brought me visitors, that kind of thing. I've missed this function ever since I started this blog, and it surprised me a bit that there wasn't even a "new function" blurb or anything to make me aware of it. I'm reasonably sure I'm not dense enough to just not notice this for three years, so I guess it's brand new.

So that is partly why I'm writing this... I found out that I have a lot more readers than I thought! Therefore, I just thought I'd drop a quick note about what's going on. For those of you visiting more or less frequently, I haven't abandoned this blog. Life has been pulling me in about two dozen different directions lately, and blogging has been low on my list of priorities. But this blog is not dead, it's just resting. It's "pining for the fjords," to quote Monty Python.

Hopefully, I'll get my life in working order again soon, and post some new artwork up here. From what I can tell, the "Artists I Like" articles and the Scott Pilgrim review seem to be pretty popular posts, so there's going to be more of that kind of thing too.

So thank you for stopping by, dear readers! Your continuing patronage means a lot to me, so drive safely and please come back soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Artists I Like: Mike Parobeck

Michael J. Parobeck was born in Ohio in 1965, and educated at the Central Academy of Commercial Art in Cincinnati. He began his comics career in 1987, debuting in a charity comic called Quest For Dreams Lost. In 1989, he started picking up work for DC Comics, for example short stories in Secret Origins. His first ongoing assignment was El Diablo, followed by The Fly, Justice Society of America and Elongated Man. However, his most popular work would be a three-year run on Batman Adventures, a Batman title based on the animated TV series. Midway during his Batman run, he was diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes, while also dealing with severe childhood trauma. As a result, he had a hard time with his new medical disorder, instead burying himself deeper into his work and neglecting his insulin injections. He died from complications resulting from his diabetes in July 1996, only 30 years old.
Parobeck’s style was quite unlike a lot of the comic book art of the early 1990s, when the order of the day was beefy exaggerated anatomy and heavy cross-hatching. His fluid animation-inspired drawing style was always coupled with clear, clean layouts, great senses of design and drama, and accessible, attractive characters. You would often see characters with a wide smile on their faces and imagine they were drawn by someone who genuinely loved what he was doing. Among his influences are John Byrne (Parobeck referred to him as being “the reason that I got into this field at all.”), Jaime Hernandez and Alex Toth. And thanks to his distinctive style, Parobeck himself became an inspiration to others. Mike took the time to help other young artists (including David Mack) who he would correspond with letters of advice and encouragement.
Unfortunately, not much of his work remains in print today, which is truly a shame. Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures collects the first six issues of his Batman Adventures run (and it’s a steal at $7.95), but that’s about it. For the rest of his body of work, you’ll have to hit the back issue bins and the online mail order companies. It’s well worth the effort, though.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Drew this a couple of months ago. Originally, I wasn't even going to post this, for two reasons.
One, well, it's just not very good, is it? Kinda sloppy, 10-minute sketch. Meh.
Two, super-heroes are already over-represented in this blog. In the last few months, I've read and enjoyed stuff like The Walking Dead (zombie horror), Scott Pilgrim (romance/alternative), Persepolis (autobiography), The Rocketeer (pulp adventure) and From the Ashes (post-apocalyptic comedy), just to name a few. It's just that super-heroes lend themselves better to this kind of sketchblog. Sure, I could draw Scott Pilgrim, but unless it's drawn in Bryan Lee O'Malley's idiosyncratic style, it probably wouldn't even be recognizable as Scott Pilgrim. Likewise, it doesn't make sense for me to draw Marjane Satrapi (from Persepolis) since I'm not Marjane Satrapi. Hence: super-heroes. Recognizable entities that I can give my own interpretation to.
I guess what I'm really trying to say is, I read a lot of other things too.
Sometimes books without pictures, even.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

I just finished re-reading Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life. It's the first part of a six-volume series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley. I'm really psyched for Edgar Wright's upcoming movie adaptation, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, so I thought I'd better read the books first. I've only read the first one before, but now I've managed to get the entire set and am really eager to get into the rest of it.
The premise is basically this: Scott Pilgrim is a 23-year-old slacker who plays bass guitar in the band "Sex Bob-Omb." He meets and falls in love with delivery girl Ramona Flowers, but must defeat her seven "evil exes" in order to date her. Only the first one shows up in this book, though. Actually, here's the movie trailer, that explains the plot well enough. Go ahead, watch. I'll wait.

Sex Bob-Omb's music is described as "fast, hard, sloppy" and in a way, that also describes Bryan Lee O'Malley's art. It's rough and energetic and looks spontaneous, like he had fun drawing this. Unlike Sex Bob-Omb's music, however, O'Malley's art is not terrible. He manages to convey subtle emotions remarkably well in such seemingly simple artwork. The character of Scott Pilgrim is sort of a clueless dork, but a very endearing one (in other words, perfect casting for Michael Cera). The other characters are also very likable, and the dialogue is both funny and believable. The genius part is the mash-up of romance/comedy graphic novel and 1980s-style video game duel. While the genre change comes quite sudden, you can't help but feel it's awesome when (SPOILER!*) Scott whups the first evil ex and he implodes, dropping $2.10 in coins ("not even enough for the subway back home!" Scott complains). It's a really cool book, and I look forward to seeing what director Edgar Wright does with the movie version. You may remember him as the director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, so this could be a cult comedy hat trick.

And hey, you can even read the first 50 (!) pages for free at the official Scott Pilgrim website! How about that?
Yeah, I thought so.

* Oh come on, this is not a spoiler. Of course he defeats the first evil ex; there wouldn't be six volumes if he lost, would it?

Monday, August 2, 2010


A friend of mine who is a photographer told me that a sub-par color photo will almost always look better in black & white. Presumably it looks more thought out and maybe even a little artsy. Interestingly enough, I find that for artwork, the opposite seems to hold true. Even a quick, silly sketch like this looks much more professional and finished with even the most basic of colors applied.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


A few months ago, I had this idea for a comic strip about Bipolar Bear. The basic premise was that it was about a polar bear who had these insane mood swings, hence "bi-polar" bear (I love stupid puns). Anyway, I drew a couple of tryout sketches (like the one you see above). I should have posted this then, because it would have been more topical at the onset of summer, rather than early August. But I felt like I wanted to keep the character to myself for a while, to explore the possibilities of the concept. I even wrote about five pages of script for a Bipolar Bear story...
...but that's a story for another time.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Minor update

As you may notice, I've added labels to all previous posts. When I started this blog, I didn't feel like it was really necessary, but with 100+ posts now, I needed some way to find anything specific I'm looking for, other than clicking through half a dozen pages. Also, I wasn't sure exactly what labels I wanted to use - general ones like "super-heroes" or "landscapes"; art-specific labels like "pencil sketch" or "inked sketch" or character-specific labels. I decided to go with the latter, making it very easy to find any given post. The downside to this is that you end up with an increasingly long list of labels. But I think I can live with that.

So, dear readers - any input? Labels I've missed, maybe?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Artists I Like: Adam Hughes

Okay then, time to do one of those text-based blog posts I promised a couple of days ago. Since I picked up a copy of Cover Run: The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes at the comic book store today, I thought I'd write a little something about one of my favorite artists: Mr. Adam Hughes.
Born in Riverside, New Jersey in 1967, Adam Hughes got started in comics in the late 1980s, drawing a detective comic called Maze Agency, but it didn't take long before he was drawing DC's top super-team book, Justice League America. He also had brief runs of titles like Ghost, Penthouse Comix, Gen13: Ordinary Heroes and the Star Trek: Debt of Honor graphic novel, but his meticulous art style was probably never meant for monthly comics. For the last decade or so, he's been the cover artist for first Wonder Woman (drawing the covers for most issues between #139 and #197), then Catwoman (#45-83).
Hughes' forte is drawing gorgeous women, drawing inspiration from classic good girl artists and painters like Gill Elvgren, Norman Rockwell, Alphonse Mucha and Drew Struzan, as well as his comic book contemporaries such as Dave Stevens, Steve Rude and Jaime Hernandez.
There are many reasons I love his artwork (in addition to the pretty girls, obviously): the graceful and elegant linework, the expressiveness of the characters, his masterful use of color theory and his ability to tell a whole story in a single image.
The book I bought today, Cover Run: The DC Comics Art of Adam Hughes, features almost a hundred of his best covers in an oversized hardcover coffee-table book format. Every cover is accompanied with a "behind the scenes" commentary by Adam and, in most cases, preparatory sketches. The artwork is arranged chronologically, spanning his 20-year career at DC Comics, which means it's also a document of the artist's journey. Along the way, Adam reveals some of the secrets he learned, dropping some helpful art tips for us wannabe artists. Even at $40, this book's totally worth it.
If you want to know more about Adam Hughes, check out his website or his DeviantArt page.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Wolverine sketch that isn't quite 100% of what it should be. Looks more like a hiss than a growl, but ehhhhh. Whatever. Good enough.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


(click to enlarge)
Another quick sketch I drew at work when I had nothing to do. Might explain why he looks so miserable.
So I've been thinking about repurposing this blog a bit. I started this thing as a way to exercise my drawing hand and to advertise my artwork. Now, I'm gonna try updating a little more often, but unfortunately I haven't drawn much lately. So, I figure, I'm going to give it a shot supplementing the occasional sketch or artwork with regular text posts without artwork. Revolutionary, I know.
So there it is. If you have any input, don't be shy, post a comment. Whether you think "this is great news, can't wait to read more" or "just shut the hell up and show us more purty pictures", now's the time to let me know.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Okay, so I was out drinking with some friends tonight and I decided to draw something, as an experiment. Trouble is, by the time I got home I was no longer drunk but just slightly buzzed. So this is what I ended up with. It looks sufficiently different from my usual stuff that I thought it was interesting but I don't feel like it's completely successful. I was hoping for spontaneous and inventive but it just feels more sloppy than anything else. Next time I try this, I'm gonna be falling-off-the-chair-drunk. We're talking serious lack of hand-to-eye coordination; that ought to look interesting...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I can scarcely believe we live in a world without Dennis Hopper now. Not that he had any deep personal significance to me (though I enjoyed Easy Rider and whatever else I'd seen him in) but it seemed to me like he was some kind of force of nature, like he always existed and always would. People age and die. Brando and Newman are gone; Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine won't live forever, but Dennis Hopper seemed timeless in some way. Rest in peace, mr. Hopper.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


These last few months I've been drawing a lot of this kind of stuff... cartoony faces, as goofy as possible. A lot of these were drawn on envelopes, work schedules, movie tickets and basically whatever scrap of paper I happened to have in front of me at the time. Alas, that also means that a lot of them are lost in the waste paper basket of life. But I saved some of my favorites, as seen above. I think in this age of information where everything is constantly archived and catalogued, it's probably a good idea to throw some crap away now and then...

Saturday, March 20, 2010


So... post #100! Should be something special, to celebrate, right? Well, this is in color... that's pretty cool, right? And what could be more special than... Santa Claus... oh, just go with it...
This was a last-minute idea - drawing my own little adress tag for my Christmas presents last year. Colored with color pencils (instead of markers or computer colors) to give it a little bit of that appropriate, old-timey feel.
And speaking of color, scroll down to post #86 for a special update.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


My pal Ida asked me to draw her something for christmas last year. So I did this little thing for her on the inside of a gift certificate envelope. I was going for kind of a fish-eye lens effect with the peace sign there, which I didn't quite pull off, but that's okay. She said it was "AWEsome", so what more could you ask?
As for the comics story I'm working on, I've now got three pages roughed out and fully scripted. Still a lot of work to be done, but it's progressing nicely so far, I must say. Hope to have the whole story roughed out by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!
Next post will be post #100!!! This should probably be celebrated somehow... Hmmm.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


(click to enlarge)
My blog... neglected to an embarrassing degree. Oh well...
I'm working right now on a short comics story for this year's application to the Comics School of Malmö. I got almost two pages roughed out so far, and I expect it to clock in around seven pages total. I guess I'll post them here eventually. Hopefully sooner, rather than later. For now, though, I hope this will tide you over...
The above picture is the kitchen/break room at work, drawn over a series of evenings when I had next to nothing to do. Originally I was going to ink it and "color" it in greytones, but frankly I got bored with it. So this is as complete as it's gonna get.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Sorry, I'm not translating this one. Not worth it. But you can click the pic to see it in a readable size, as usual.
This one was also a sample for the Comics School. I decided to do a really text-heavy strip for some reason; I probably overdid it. Part of it was the ambition to do something very different from the Mystery Man pages. Part of it might have been that I'd just read about a year's worth of Martin Kellerman's Rocky strips, which are often pretty text-intensive.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


(click the image to see it in a readable size)
"Where am I?"
"This is your stop, sonny. If you're getting off, get off."
"I stumble into town"
"You told me to make sure you get off at this stop."
"Oh. Okay."
"like a drunken clown"
"Sorry, but we're behind schedule as it is."
"(Why am I here?)"

Here's the second page of Mystery Man. I had the script done for another four pages, but with the artist's block I mentioned yesterday, I only managed to get these two done in time to send off as samples to the Comics School. I'd like to think I would've gotten in if I'd just had a few more pages in my portfolio. Three story pages was probably just not enough (Yes, there's another page coming tomorrow, but not part of Mystery Man).
Admittedly, there are some iffy parts here... The faces are kind of inconsistent, and I probably should've inked this with a brush instead of a pen. I can also see how people would find the captions a little mystifying. They're meant as a counterpoint to the main story, almost like the soundtrack to a movie. It was an unusual experiment, and with a few more pages to get used to it, I think it would've made more sense and been pretty cool. As it is, it just confuses things. Oh well. Better luck next year, right?