Fletcher Hanks

I’m avoiding doing some chores by posting these excellent images by Fletcher Hanks:



wild and primitive




flying head fanta09


Wes Crum

If you are a fan of the old Judge’s Guild products like I am, you may have noticed that some of the art on those early products was by Wes Crum.  Crum was my favorite artist of the Judge’s Guild newsprint era, and, I think, probably the most talented of the people to illustrate for Judge’s Guild.  His pictureas have a real ‘pulp-horror-comics’ flair that I like (and that I think Sembieda, who also worked for JG at this time, lacks).  Take a look at this typical Crum cover:

That art just looks straight out of the pre-code days of comics. Crude, and Wes was capable of better work, but I love it).
Crum went on to do some pornographic comics (which I won’t link here because I am not on my own computer — search “B.J. Betty” and “Anal Intruders from Uranus” published by, I think, Last Gasp Comix if you are interested).  He was/is also involved in some conspiracy/UFO stuff (you can try to buy his art here if interested; I’m not sure how old that page is). I’m interested in the UFO/Conspiracy theory stuff, but strictly as a tourist — I am not a believer but don’t want to wind up or bullshit people who are serious about it in order to gain their confidence simply because I think that’s a douchebag thing to do.  For the same reason, I’m curious about what goes on inside a Mormon church, but I’m not going to lie to them to get in there.
I don’t know what the extent of his (Crum’s) work with RPG or Fantasy stuff was or if he worked for any of the old D&D/RPG publishers other than Judge’s Guild.  I used to trade emails with Bob Bledsaw years ago (a really nice guy, but an erratic correspondent; I think his health was failing at the time — he stopped responding and later I heard he had died).  When we were corresponding, I asked him about Crum but never got an answer. I also, stupidly, asked him about Sembieda, not realizing, at the time, that there might have been some bad blood between Bledsaw and Sembieda.  Unfortunately, I had no idea that Sembieda had gone on to form his own game company and apparently made a lot of enemies in the process.  So, Bob, if you are reading this from wherever you are, I was just being clueless; I wasn’t trying to get you to dish on things you didn’t want to talk about.

Not ready for the New Yorker.

 I did a doodle of the world serpent today as a part of ‘drawing a day’:

Drawing-a-Day 2012

Like most good ideas, I stole this one from someone else (Theo Ellsworth at Thoughtcloud Factory News).  Like Theo, I will be making a drawing (or trying to remember to make at least 1 drawing) per day in my “sketchbook diary.”  I’ve been doing a lot of drawings for other people lately and the emphasis for this sketchbook will just be on drawing whatever I want, keeping the eye and brain entertained and doodling out my stray thoughts and daydreams. I’ve always wanted to keep a journal but never managed to stick with it; hopefully this one will stick.

For the 1st day of 2012, I drew a space-man on the moon (top half of page) and for the 2nd day of 2012 I drew the aliens that lived underground and are rolling their eyes at the earthman who claims to have ‘discovered’ their planet/moon I guess:

For days 3, 4 and 5 I did the following:

Beneath the guy getting shot through the chest will go the drawing for 1/6/2012 and so on.  I’d like to try for at least a 1/2 page per day — or more — and give myself the option of either continuing the drawing from an adjoining space (like the man from today is getting shot by the Voltaman I drew on 1/3/2012) or starting something new or just doodling randomly.

Hunt Bowman

I recently found this old Planet Comic, Lost World, reproduced on one of my favorite Blogs (Pappy’s Golden Age of Comics).  The hero bears the improbable name of ‘Hunt Bowman,’ and, by coincidence, he hunts with a bow.  Accompanied by his sexy girlfriend, Lyssa, and his comrade-in-arms, Bruce, they wander post-apocalypse Earth and try to help the savage wandering tribes of Earthlings throw off the oppressive shackles of the invaders from Volta.  It is worth noting that although Bruce looks like a Voltaman, he was originally a human whose brain was transplanted into a Voltaman body.

The Voltamen come from planet Volta and have wrinkled faces, no noses and wear Pikelhauben like World War 1 German soldiers.  The have an almost Yoda-like speech pattern where they say things like, “Surrender you must!” and “Prisoners kill we will!

Planet Comics was apparently published in the 1940s and 50s.  It kind of follows the ‘savage man in a post apocalyptic world’ thing that somewhat resembles the early Buck Rogers stuff from the 1930s with Hunt Bowman standing in for Buck and the Voltamen standing in for the Mongols, but the Bowman comic is constantly referencing the ruins of North America by having the characters hide in a ruined department store, go hunting in an overgrown Central Park in NYC, jury rig a futuristic electrical generator to fire up a subway train and use it to escape from tadpole men, etc. Great stuff!

EDIT: Amazon sells a “Lost World” archive.  Unfortunately, it is only via Kindle Edition.  The good thing, however, is that Amazon now offers a Kindle Reader for the PC with late model OS (no Mac yet, though, as far as I know)… so if you buy the Kindle you are not limited to the Kindle’s tiny screen.

EDIT #2: (This was originally in comments, but I moved it here): I bought the ‘Lost World’ anthology for Kindle earlier but haven’t had time to read it yet. I’m glad Amazon/Kindle made the PC application available; from reading other books I think images look terrible on the Kindle (though type shows up great and I like reading word and pdfs on the kindle more than on my laptop).
The Kindle Reader for PC isn’t very versatile (but it is free). I think it was really made for reading text docs rather than comic books; it won’t allow me to zoom in on a particular part of the page to see a drawing in more detail (although it will allow me to enlarge the document till the image fills the screen on my laptop from top to bottom). Maybe if I look at it on my desktop that has a larger screen than the laptop?
The pages are scanned from old comic books and there is some variation in quality due to the condition of the old comic books (I’ve only looked at the first several chapters). On the other hand, I got about 700 pages of “Lost World” for ~$6.00 US that are, as far as I know, not available elsewhere so it seems like a good deal to me.

Mustek A3 1200 USB Scanner

I ordered a new Mustek A3 1200 scanner a while ago and it just recently arrived.

There was nothing wrong with my Canon brand scanner other than it’s platen (scanning surface) was too small for most artwork, and, as a result, I had to scan things in pieces and then ‘sew’ them together in Photoshop… which is a time consuming pain.  The problem of scanning in pieces is compounded by the fact that you have to keep everything straight… if one of the parts you have scanned is a little off kilter, getting it to match up right is so hard that I discovered it is actually easier to scan the whole thing over again.

The Mustek A3 1200 cost me about $160.00 (I ordered mine from Amazon where the price has also recently gone up (but is still cheaper than Mustek Direct)).  The platen is large enough to accommodate a single sheet of ~17×11 inch paper (the size I have been using for my Shaver Comic book). Although the Mustek has a maximum 300 dpi resolution (much lower than the Canon Scanner I had been using), I usually end up reducing to ~63% of original size for reproduction, so the lower dpi of the Mustek becomes irrelevant since, after interpolation down to reproduction size, the Mustek’s scan is still more dpi than I need.  For higher resolution scans of photographs and similar items, I’ll still have the Canon, anyway.

Looking at the cost of scanners that can accommodate an a3 size artwork, the Mustek is a bargain.  Since it would normally take me at least a half hour to scan and piece together a single page of comic book art using the Canon (and 1/2 and hour assumes nothing goes wrong — other art always takes longer to scan), the Mustek will save me a huge amount of time when you multiply that by many pages.  Tests for color and sharpness look fine so far.

This was my x-mas present.

“The Evil Underground: Chapter 2” (slightly nsfw)

Longtime followers of the blog may remember when I presented chapter 1 of a biographical comic book I was working on about the life of Richard S. Shaver (artist, conspiracy theorist, author, paleo-archeologist, philologist and philosopher).  If you haven’t yet read it, go back and read chapter 1 before you read chapter 2.

You can click on each page, below, to see a bigger version.

I’m writing the chapters as I go (which may or may not be the best way of going about this; I don’t know).  The story is ‘true’ (at least from the narrator’s point of view; objective truth or whether or not Shaver was psycho are not my interest).  The next chapter will probably involve Raymond Arnold Palmer and the famous “Mantong” letter.

At the current rate of production, I should have the whole thing done sometime around 2020 or so (sigh). Actually, I hope to have it done sooner, but every project I currently have on the workbench is unfinished and I’m getting a bit psycho feeling over not getting any single one done.  Evil Underground/Richard Shaver Comic will come out sometime after I finish ‘Exquisite Corpses’ v2… which should be sometime early next year (I hope).

KAMANDI the Last Boy on Oerth!

Look at this picture from O.D&D of a ‘barbarian’:

Barbarian wears boxers, not briefs

Does anyone think that if I had all the back issues of Jack Kirby’s “Kamandi” comic that I wouldn’t eventually find the image of Kamandi that K. Bell used to copy his barbarian drawing?

I love Jack Kirby’s art.  And I don’t think that pointing out that K. Bell, whomever he was, traced or copied a lot of drawings from comic books is a slag on K. Bell or early TSR — K. Bell may not have been a great artist, but at least he chose great artwork to copy.  And I’ll take his scribblings over the airbrushed perfection of late era TSR ‘professional grade’ calendar art illustration any day simply because I find them more entertaining to look at.  If I want to admire a painter’s illusion of reality, I’ll go to the museum and look at a Titian.

Now check out this picture of Kamandi about to get chowed by a purple worm:

Run, Kamandi, run!



Peppersprayer: ink and china white on paper November 2011

Today is black friday when people go batshit crazy with their shopping.

Last night/this morning, some woman standing in line to buy an x-box at Wal-mart got pissed because other people were jumping ahead of her, so she peppersprayed them.

I’m pretty sure that’s not what Jesus would have wanted.

But, in her honor, I drew this peppersprayer dude based on the campus cop who sprayed down the kids at UC Davis 4 days ago.  I took some liberties… but all artists are liars by nature. My model poses below:

Zorion the SwordLord

I was just poking around the internets when I came across Benjamin Marra’s blog.  If that wasn’t good enough, from there I found my way to Zorion, The SwordLord; Space Barbarians of the Ultimate Future Dimensions.  Awesome and I am not kidding.  It’s the 80s D&D on crack; I love it.  Looking forward to more updates.

I hope when it is all done, Marra offers a print version.  I’m not even thinking it needs color (although color cover might be nice).  Sparkling B&W suits me fine.