Dead End Art, Volume 1

The main purpose of ArtValt is to air out all the stuff in my archives that never got to see the light of day. This batch comes from my time working on staff at Malibu Comics (1992-94). Sometimes a special project would come from editorial that required full-up illustration work. It got really interesting when sample art was needed for a project the company wanted to license.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Book collection: Mobile Suit Gundam

Gundam is the Star Wars of Japan. Once you watch a Gundam show, it's very likely you'll pick up some merch. Once you do that, it's very likely you'll start a collection. Then one day you'll move to a new address and you'll suddenly realize what you've gotten yourself into. I'm a book hound, so that's what I lug from home to home. Once you start down this dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will.

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Posted in: Anime World

Astroblast, 1979

By the end of the 1970s, I knew for sure I wanted to somehow draw comics for a living one day. It was much more satisfying than watching TV, reading a comic book, or playing with toys. In fact, I didn't even need the toys themselves. Just the sight of one would fill my head with ideas and a story would come spilling out. This was one of my first original SF action stories, a wild, corny ride using a bunch of 1979 artifacts as inspiration.

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Posted in: Kids Comics

MECHA, 1988/89

I entered the comics industry exactly the same way I entered the animation industry. I showed up with a project to pitch and someone said, "Your thing is pretty cool. Now come over here and work on my thing." In this case, that project was the continuation of one of Dark Horse's early success stories: an anime-inspired series called MECHA.

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Posted in: Pro Comics

Star Wars: Han Solo and the Corporate Sector, 1993

My sixth assignment from West End Games was a modest one, but exciting. Once in a while, they'd come out with a sourcebook tie-in to a separate Star Wars project. This one adapted and expanded material from the Han Solo novels by Brian Daley. I finally got to draw everyone's favorite piece'a junk and visualize some of the things that previously existed only as words in those baffling noves.

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Posted in: Game Days

Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated, 2012-13

When I was a kid, Scooby Doo was my Saturday morning anchor. When I grew up and discovered anime, it made everything I watched as a kid look like junk with Scooby Doo as its chief representative. When I entered the animation industry, I couldn't imagine myself ever stooping so low as to work on a Scooby Doo cartoon. Fate, of course, had other plans.

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Posted in: TV Cartoons

Comic book logos, 1990-91

Logos for comic books are a vital component, since they are the first thing that identifies what you're looking at on a shelf. But very little attention is given to the craft of designing comic book logos, and the unique demands of working with letters. Here's a collection of logos I created back before the digital world came along to take the handcrafted look off the table.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Secret Comics: Godmoney, 1997

I will not be at all surprised if you never heard of an independent film called Godmoney. It's a teen crime drama in which, according to the official logline, "A former New York drug dealer's past catches up with him as he tries unsuccessfully to build a new life in California." When the director hired me to create a prequel to his film, it became my first and only crime drama. It was an experiment in style and color never seen by anyone until now.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Series profile: Galaxy Drifter Vifam, 1983-1998

Thirteen children, refugees of an alien invasion on an Earth colony planet, are adrift in hostile enemy space. In their struggle to survive on board the training ship Janus, they learn to pilot the powerful Round Vernian robots and fight back as they search for their missing parents. Drama, comedy, action, tragedy; this engaging anime series has it all! Even an impossibly catchy English theme song! Open this profile up and say Hello, Vifam!

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Posted in: Anime World

The Shoguns part 2, 1978

The second round of my Shogun Warriors comics (issues 4-7) in which I continued to ransack the world of anime giant robots without even knowing it. Two more warriors join the fold, crazy plot points give no warning before they smack you upside the head, and the ground shakes from the battle of the Mecha Dinosaurs! Enter the mind of a 13-year-old boy who wanted nothing more than to capture the pictures in his head and share them with the world.

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Posted in: Kids Comics

BROID #4, August 1990

Aaron Broid leads his team into another city to look for potential allies. Their enemy isn't just an oppressive system, it is the indifference of those being oppressed. The masses have never known another way of life and lack the imagination to build one. It will take someone from outside the bubble to ignite them. And he can't do it alone. Meanwhile, in the real world, the comic book industry broke my heart for the first time.

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Posted in: Pro Comics

Star Wars: Twin Stars of Kira, 1993

The illustrations that appeared in this volume were originally drawn for The Politics of Contraband. My guess is that the content for that book was overproduced, and some of it got diverted into this one. The environment is a trader/smuggler route called the Kira Run, and the book contains seven different playable adventures. My work was used for two of them.

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Posted in: Game Days

Star Wars: The Politics of Contraband, 1992

This adventure was about smugglers taking jobs that got them in over their head, which apparently happens all the time in the Star Wars galaxy. I was the solo artist on the book (nyuk nyuk), so I got to design a gang of reprobates and put them through their paces.

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Posted in: Game Days

Newspaper cartoons, 1984

From 1984-86, I was Cadence newspaper's own version of Sergio Aragones, whipping up little jokes and cartoons for the margins. No reader ever commented and I don't know if they were actually noticed, but hopefully they brightened what could otherwise be a pretty standard routine of high school sports, local tempests, and that week's grocery bargains.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Secret Comics: Mountain Bike magazine, June 1994

Once you cross the line into drawing comics professionally, assignments can come from places you never expected. This is one of those cases. It came from a fella named Dan Koeppel, an editor on Mountain Bike magazine. He wanted to create an article that reviewed tires, and he thought a 6-page comic strip would be a good way to catch some eyeballs.

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Posted in: Mystery Grab-bag

Book collection: Leiji Matsumoto

Leiji Matsumoto is a legend in his own time, known for a huge range of genres from everyday drama to elevated science-fiction. His began his manga career as a teenager in 1953 and is still going in his 80s. This collection encompasses books on Matsumoto's anime and manga projects, art collections, retrospectives, biography, and other odds and ends. It is by no means the complete catalog, but it's definitely extensive.

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Posted in: Anime World

The Shoguns part 1, 1977

Looking back now, it’s like my head was secretly invaded and conditioned for everything yet to come. Today, I’m a huge anime and manga fan. Back in 1977, I didn’t know they existed. But evidence was closing in around me. I thought it was my plaything. But I was the one being played. And my strings were pulled by an amazing line of toys called The Shogun Warriors

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Posted in: Kids Comics

BROID #3, July 1990

In this chapter of the story, the heroes (if we can call them that) have just taken their first lumps, and Broid himself is beginning to see what an impossible task it is to upend a system of government. I wanted to demonstrate how arrogant he could be, wielding his intellect like a cudgel against Sef just as the younger man is beginning to invest in their crusade.

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Posted in: Pro Comics