Monday, March 21, 2011

Joe Smith

I got my professional Star Wars gig, doing a card for the first Star Wars Galaxy card set in 1993. (what happened then, Grandpa?)  At a local show, Topps had many of the artists involved there to promote the set.  I was there with my friend Jerome Moore and we met the Joe Smith.  Joe was 80 then, and spry as a man half his age.  Joe is one of the coolest guys I've ever known; he and his wife lived in this groovy house up in the valley with his pet hawk.  Yes I said hawk.  The hawk wasn't caged, he simply chose to live in Joe's backyard.  When Joe called, the hawk would fly over, say hello and then go back to his business.  Joe taught me how to think around problems by truly understanding the fundamentals of whatever you were dealing with.  He taught me to understand exposure in photography in a way I've never heard before or since.
Perhaps Joe's best known work is his poster for Ben Hur; y'know the big, stone letters with the chariots going around them.  He did art of the cast, but it was never used prominently, too bad because Charlton Heston was his favorite actor to draw (like Struzan's is Harrison Ford, and mine is Nathan Fillion) 50 years later, Ben Hur is being released on Blu Ray, and I was asked to produce artwork of Heston that would counterpoint Joe's original art which would be preserved.   I was very excited about this; my artwork being combined with Joe's art, 50 years apart. I think my old friend would get a kick out of this.  So I produced the art, Heston is an interesting subject, and all involved seemed quite pleased.  But in the end as they always do, they used a photograph. 'cue the dying pac-man sound: Beoweoweowoop*'

Monday, March 14, 2011


Whoa Monday is almost over and I haven't posted.  Well I'm currently doing art for the new Wonder Woman show, and I can't show a thing from that or I'd be tasered until I was medium rare.  So I'll show this failure from a few weeks back.  There was a show in Dallas that featured 8 actresses from Sci Fi.  I thought it would be fun to put these women in characters that spanned generations, all in the same context. Alas there wasn't enough time to paint it once it was drawn, but it was fun.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back from The Emerald City

The Emerald City Comic Con is just about my favorite convention.  Jim Demonikos and his crew do a fine job, they look out for everybody and take pride in the show they put on.  This was the 3rd year where I did an exclusive print featuring the media guests at the show.  I wanted to make sure that I got this year's print done early. ..this was not to be, as there was one thing after another held me up.  Once all 14 guests and the background were drawn, I had just hours to paint it.  Somehow, I did it; I miracled it is all I can think.  It came out just fine.
At the show, all of the actors in the piece personally thanked me*, which is very gratifying.  Even more so was the reception it got from the convention goers, many of whom got the print signed by all 14 of the guests.  Pictured below is the 2nd person to get them all signed; the first was Lorri, who has gotten every signature, all 3 years!  Yelena and I work very hard at these shows but the reception from all involved makes it worthwhile.

That's Jasika Nicole with Yelena and me.  She's one of the cutest human beings I've ever met -except maybe Amy Okuda.  Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus are as cool as they come.  Man, do I look like a dweeb between these two!

*except Shatner, -but he's kept under guard by his handler