Archive for March, 2005

MARY JANE

Here’s a first on two counts. One, it’s my first shot at drawing Mary Jane since my last issue of SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN all those years ago (it seems like half-a-lifetime by now…)– and second, it’s my first time trying to color something in Photoshop. I can’t say I’m entirely happy with the results, but as frustrating as it was to do, I’m not going to try to futz with it anymore and possibly make it worse. I’m a very slow, slow learner as a rule anyway– but Photoshop to me just seems like something that’s almost alien in its complexity. My brother was here at my home this past weekend (with his lovely wife as well as my parents– we had a wonderful Easter visit) and he gave me a tutorial on the software. Watching his hands fly over the keys and play with various functions as he showed me everything that PS can do– he made it look so effortless. But of course, when I sit down to try a few things, all that “learnin’” flies right out of my head. I guess I was lucky to just be able to set up the layers properly.

Anyway, I’ll be playing with PS more to try to get better with it, but the frustration factor might keep me from posting too many colored sketches in the future. So for now, here’s my crudely colored Mary Jane……

maryjane.jpg

Mike

Another dose of MR. PARKER…..

Here’s another take on Peter’s look. This time, I tried a look with slightly longer hair– a softer and less rigid look. I always liked the idea of a Peter Parker who is so busy with his photography for the BUGLE, taking care of his Aunt May, his part-time teaching, dating (or marriage) AND TO TOP IT OFF, being SPIDER-MAN whenever the need arises. This wouldn’t leave him a whole lot of time for maintaining an immaculate coif at all times. Something about this look makes Peter more accessible and kinder.

There’s more work to be done on ALL the cast…!

peterparker2.jpg

More later….

Mike

Time to start warming up for SPIDER-MAN…!

Today I started the inevitable warm ups for my stint on the new SPIDER-MAN title that Marvel’s launching some time this fall. I always like to try to get a handle on how I would handle whatever characters I’m asked to work on ahead of time. Tom Brevoort was kind enough to give me some development time before the beginning of our just-ended FANTASTIC FOUR run…. and the characters STILL ended up looking vastly different at the END of the run from what they looked like at the BEGINNING. That’s just the way it is with me. And even though I’ve already HAD one run on a SPIDER-MAN comic (anybody remember SENSATIONAL…?), I’m still going to have to work on it. But it’s fun to get started…. and as luck would have it, I’ve got some down time before the new book starts.

So, here’s my first try at Peter Parker. There will be many more to follow, I assure you. So don’t judge me too harshly on this first crack at Pete.

peterparker.jpg

Mike

STAR POWER

Thanks to a suggestion by Alebrije in the last post’s comments section, I’m going to try to use IMAGESHACK.US to host the images for the blog until my host server gets back to me about whatever the problem is. IMAGESHACK has a wonderful and easy interface– so thanks so much for the tip, Alebrije– let’s hope it works! (By the way– you do some great work! I checked out your link).

In yet another example in the series of “I’ve got my own childhood character just like ‘CHARACTER X’” characters– I present STAR POWER. He was my own version of NOVA. As I stated previously, I was a huge fan of the NOVA character (though not nearly as much as my bro) and so, of course, I had to create my own version. So, here’s the older version followed up by my new sketch of the character.

UPDATE: It works– but apparently you need to click on the thumbnails to see the larger versions. So, click away!

UPDATE 2: I STILL haven’t heard back from my web host (which is rather infuriating…) but my buddy Casey Jones told me about the free web space that comes with a .Mac account, so I’m hosting the images there. So at least for now, all is good.

UPDATE 3: I just got a call from my web host– and as it turns out, it’s my own stupidity that caused all this. I was trying to use the wrong user name to log onto my ftp space. So, the fault is all mine. At least I’ve never been accused of being long in the brains department…..

Mike

My profound apologies, folks….

Hi there– remember me?

It’s been a strange week-and-a-half or so, lemme tell ya. Just as I was coming into the home stretch on my final issue of FANTASTIC FOUR, something went KABLOO-EEE with my computer. It might have been a virus, or it might have been some form of corruption in the system software. I don’t know– I’m certainly no computer expert. However, thanks to the wonderful John Gallagher and Scott Kurtz, who talked me through various ways to get my computer back up and running enough to finish the final issue, get it scanned and off to Karl for inking via email– I was able to squeek through. So at long last, I am officially FINISHED with the (almost) three year run on FANTASTIC FOUR. It’s the longest I’ve ever worked on any book in my career. (I’ve already said my misty, sentimental farewells once– so I won’t go into that again…..)

I had been intending for some time to buy a NEW computer system, but the forced march on the last 9 issues of FF made it impossible for me to take the time that would be needed to decide on exactly what I wanted, purchase the system, set it up, and most of all, get used to using Macs latest operating system PANTHER (aka OSX 10.3). So I’ve spent all of this week doing just that. I’ve got the new system set up and running (and man, it’s a wonder to behold!!!! I’ll post a picture or two of my new setup some time soon when I get the NEXT problem I’m experiencing ironed out– but more on that in a second)– and again thanks to the incredible Scott Kurtz, who researched and talked me through the process, I’ve got my old computer networked into the new one. I even went out and bought a new EPSON Stylus CX4600 3-in-1 printer, copier and scanner for smaller scans to take some of the burden off of my huge, old flatbed scanner. Now I’ll just use the old big-boy for scanning my penciled and inked pages and use the smaller one for sketches and the like. That EPSON is one sweet little machine, I tell ya.

But now I’m experiencing another little road block that prevents me from posting any sketches for you folks to see (I told you I’d get to it…) — for some reason, I’m unable to log into my ftp site to upload sketches that I can then post here. My password doesn’t seem to be working. I’ve got an email into the web hosting company–so hopefully I’ll hear back soon, and things can finally get back to normal.

I’m off to my parents for a long overdue visit this weekend, but hopefully when I get back, I can finally get back into the swing of things, provided there’s anyone left that still comes to visit… ;-)

Again– I apologize for all the delays in getting back to the sketchin’– see you soon,

Mike