Oct 30, 2009

Cicada Magazine

John Sandford and Pamela Bonesteel (BONESTEEL) are two of my favorite people. Immediately after getting the job to do the Muse cover (here), they asked me to do a cover and some interior work for the November/December issue of another Carus magazine, Cicada. Not only that, but the topic was hugely open: transformation. That's it. The above illustration is the result.

There were quite a few hiccups trying to get this image to print. For whatever reason, the editor was unsure if the image was "safe" enough to be the cover of a young adult magazine (14 years old is the younger side of the scale). I don't want to get into the whole story (words like "predator," "scary," "testosterone," and "Jacob from Twilight" were thrown around), but there was a meeting involved with the owners of the magazine who, after some back and forth, gave it the go-ahead. John and Pamela went to bat for me the whole way. The best!

This second image was printed with a short biography that Kali wrote about me and states that I am, indeed, the spot artist for this particular issue of Cicada.

Again, a totally open page for me to play with. MYSTERY. LITTLE PEOPLE. You know me by now, of course. The spots were all older sketchbook things which I won't bother posting.

Both images are ink, pencil, and digital.

And Kali's biography, painstakingly researched and offered to you now for the first time ever:

As his longtime researcher and cataloger, I must first warn you that Sam Bosma is not for the faint of heart. Luckily, it is not likely you will meet him, for he is elusive and not easily photographed. Though he has no identifying marks, he possesses a particularly determined demeanor and uses great dexterity in the handling of tools. In fact, it was his skillful zoological engravings that first drew the attention of the scientific community, later culminating in the discovery of a cache of mysterious renderings that are yet to be deciphered. For those who may seek him out on the barren moors and pine forests of his homeland, his presence may be detected by the sounds of wistful humming and badly disguised birdcalls.

Have a good Halloween!


The website has also been updated.

Oct 27, 2009

Collars up

With regards to Corto Maltese.

Oct 26, 2009


A small thing for Alyssa Nassner's Harry Potter zine. I always liked that graveyard part of book 4.

Oct 23, 2009

Seattle Weekly Cover

Sometime last week I got a phone call from Darrick Rainey from Seattle Weekly with an interesting assignment for me. The project was the cover for their upcoming issue whose main headline was about a girl who had been denied food and water from her parents as some sort of bizarre punishment. The article goes on to talk about how this is not all that uncommon a practice and details several situations where a child has died because of this sort of active negligence. In this case, the girl survived, but was only 48 pounds when her parents were arrested.

This was a relatively short turnaround --especially in the sketch phase. Call on Monday night, sketches by Tuesday, final by Friday.

The first round of sketches I sent in didn't hit right where the AD wanted them to, so I went at it again with a few notes in hand.

The AD wanted some sort of tension between the girl and her mother (or both parents). He wanted the piece to be more about that relationship than about the effects on the girl (which was where I was leaning earlier). With a difficult story like this one, it was great to have the AD actively know in what direction to push the final. We ended up going with number 1, but I was asked to put the parents in the background in some way. Another round of sketches later...

...and it still wasn't quite right. We went with a mix of 4 and 5, but with the parents facing away from the girl and the cup tilted upside down.

All in all this was a really challenging assignment that I'm pretty pleased with in the end. Every once in awhile it's good to really hammer away at an idea with as many sketches as possible until you chisel it down to exactly what's needed. I should have taken a photo of the drawing table with all of my paper laid out on it while I worked -- I redrew the piece (to a finished level) three or four times and sketched it out a whole lot more than that.

Also, it's always strange to do a portrait-style piece of an existing person when you don't know what that person looks like.

Final in ink, graphite, and Photoshop. AD Darrick Rainey.

Story and layout can be seen here: http://www.seattleweekly.com

Oct 19, 2009


I always thought Wolverine should be casually ugly and probably one who would fight dirty. Less ninja assassin and more Solid Snake with a bunch of knives coming out of his hands.

Oct 15, 2009

Head and shoulders

Another iteration of the man in the last post for the current project. I toyed briefly with having these ink drawings in the final but it looks like it'll be a little incongruous with the rest of the image. Shoot! I'll get it someday.

Oct 14, 2009


No time for an ink drawing today, but this is part of a rejected sketch for a freelance piece I'm working in.

Oct 13, 2009


I'm surprised I didn't make a dick joke.

Oct 9, 2009

Man with DS

Somebody just lost a pokemon battle.

Have a good weekend!

Oct 7, 2009

Girl with backpack

Nobody's gonna steal your Jansport, honey.

Oct 6, 2009

Man with book and soda

Kali said he looked like a stalker.

Oct 5, 2009


I don't know how Spider-Man gets by with such awful villains.

Happy Marvel Monday everybody!

Oct 2, 2009

Bleeding Heart Show

Man, things have been crazy this week, which have largely kept me from sketching. Luckily the dates lined up and on a day like today, when I don't have a sketch to post, I can post this:

Awhile back John Sandford of Carus publishing sent an email to both the transcendent Kali Ciesemier and myself asking if we could do a joint cover for their Halloween issue of Muse. The cover story was about bleeding heart transplants -- basically a body is brain-dead (the legal definition of dead) but the organs work just fine, so they have a bunch of doctors come in a take organs out while the body is still pumping.

The art director wanted a really visual, really richly hued heart to be the focal point, but wasn't sure of the right context. Kali came up with this idea of having the heart branch off into very lively foliage, going with the concept of these cadavers giving new life to someone else.

If you know our drawing styles, you can probably guess which parts I had a larger influence on and which parts Kali took care of, but in truth, this process was more collaborative than that. After we got my parts of the drawing scanned (as Kali works exclusively digitally), one person would do a chunk of it and then hand off the file and it would go on like that. While Kali and I were both in charge of different areas, I'm not sure there's a pixel there that both of us didn't touch.

After you send a piece in to an art director, there's often a little tweaking that has to happen before you can both agree on it. Our art director had an unusual request for us: "Can you cover the hands in blood?" he asked? Of course, John. Of course.

Did I mention Muse is primarily a kids magazine?

Oct 1, 2009

Old Man Kappa

The stuff at the top is where I dropped the excess ink off the brush, but I thought it looked nice.