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Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Welcome!  Welcome!  Welcome!  It's time for another round of CRAZY here at the 'Stuff!  You see that image above?  It's from the rack at Phone Booth Comics in Lebanon, OR!  That's right!  My books are now available at an honest-to-God comics shop!  This is one of the greatest feelings ever.  After five years, three Cons and two books, I finally feel like a real cartoonist!  Big thanks to Jeremy Rowan, one of the shop's owners, for making it happen.  He's given a lot of indie artists a chance to shine at his store, and we're all in debt to him.  So if you're in Oregon, take a trek over to Lebanon and get CRAZY at Phone Booth Comics!

It's Fan Art week here, and I got a pair of 'toons from a couple of young fans from across the globe!  So let's kick this show into high gear!

 First up is Noah Carolan from England!  Looks like he's strip hopping.  Good thing he got out of there before those two grabbed their infamous helium tank!  Noah does his own comic series called Nerdy Cartoons and is quite the talent!  He's no doubt somebody we'll all be keeping an eye out for in the future!  Thanks again Noah!

 Next up, my little buddy Alex Connor from West Virginia!  Alex has sent in Fan Art before and has become one of Mike and Mindy's biggest fans!  According to his mom, Chandra, he even decorated his Easter Eggs as Mike and Mindy and drew a shot-for-shot remake of M&M's first comic!  Nice work Alex!  keep 'em coming!

And now for something very special.  In recent months, many of you have asked about my creative process and how I go about doing my comics.  Truth be told, there's really nothing special that I do as opposed to others.  I have no secret techniques or methods.  But I do have a process and here it is, courtesy of the art I'm doing for an upcoming kids story by my good pal Warren Frantz called The Green Three...


 Here's where it all begins.  As an artist, there's really nothing more exciting or scary as a blank page as it can go in ANY direction.  I tend to write my stories out in a composition book and then move onto a rough drawing to get an idea of what I want.  Lately I've been free-handing a lot of comics as I feel the roughs are more fluid than the final pieces.  This is one of those cases.


 Next up is the penciling of the piece.  While I didn't do a rough of this, I had a really good idea based off of Warren's script. (This is why writing the stories out is such an important step!)  Here, I have a lot of freedom and can add or subtract as I please.  I use a light Non-Photo Blue Sketcher pencil because it erases well and won't show up on scans even if colored over.


Now here's the tricky part.  Inking can be a lot of fun but requires a LOT of patience and this is where mistakes tend to happen the most.  Even the best cartoonists make mistakes, so try to be relaxed when reaching this stage.  If you need a break, TAKE ONE!!!  I used to use Sharpie pens but switched last year to PITT Pens by Faber-Castell.  My pen sizes vary but I tend to use "S" and "XS" the most.  Bear in mind those are just the pens I use.  There are MANY different types and varieties.  Feel free to experiment!


My favorite part!  Like inks, this one requires patience as mistakes are inevitable.  I use PrismaColor Markers simply because I had a coupon and that was all that Michaels carried!  Be wary though because they do spread!  I usually pinpoint it while coloring, which is very carefully and softly coloring in the characters/objects.  Copic and Sharpie also make good art markers with many color varieties.  Copics aren't cheap though so be ready to pay.  If a surface is large and needs an even color or a piece requires touch-ups and corrections, I simply use Photoshop.  In fact, you can color the whole thing digitally if you want to, but that's kinda cheating!

And there you have it!  The CRAZY Creative Process!  I hope you all enjoyed some insight into what goes into putting out comics like Mike and Mindy and Mushrooms.  It's not always easy, but it's still some the most fun I have!  Be on the look out for me and Warren's Green Three collaboration sometime in early Fall!

And that's all for now folks!  I'll be back next time with more CRAZY fun! Until then, have a fun and safe Memorial Day and I'll catch y'all later!

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