I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got five new comics.

  • Strange Cerebus –
  • Injection – 15
  • The Divided States of Hysteria – 6
  • Birthright – 28
  • Moon Knight – 188
  • Check them all out here:

    In deciding what to write about this week I dug through a box of old drawings. I’ve got lots of boxes of old drawings. Some of the boxes are store bought and some of them are homemade. My fanciest store bought box is an 11x17x4 inch aluminum box. I don’t remember how much that one cost me but it must have been somewhere near fifty bucks. I can’t fathom now why I even wanted to spend that much money on a box to hold some of my art but I did. I must have made some extra money that month.

    The aluminum one is a great box. It’s easily the best box I have to hold my drawings and it’s tough to describe how cool it looks and feels. The top totally separates from the bottom and it’s a matter of holding the top as the weight of the bottom slides away with tolerances so precise I cam feel a cushion of air between them. I wish all my art boxes were aluminum. That would be really cool.

    The one problem I had with the metal box was that it was nearly an exact 11 inches wide. I had some of my favorite drawings and prints in mylar sleeves that made them slightly larger than 11×17 inches. So I couldn’t keep them in the sleeves if I wanted to put them in that box. A minor annoyance but an annoyance none the less.

    The next type of store bought box that I have is the type that’s made out of archival cardboard. It’s closer to a matte board or a illustration board than the cardboard of a cardboard box. These are usually sold to store photographs and can get pricey but nowhere near aluminum box pricey. I only have a couple of these and I think I have photos in both of them. I remember liking them but thinking they weren’t quite sturdy enough for the price. Not that I was building pyramids out of them but when I spend money on a box I don’t want it to feel flimsy. On a flimsy to sturdy scale of one to ten I’d give these a seven. That means they were sturdy enough but not sturdy enough for the price.

    The third type of store bought box that I have is one made out of a corrugated plastic. These ones are tough but ugly. Both the cardboard and the plastic ones are a clamshell design. One side of the box is hinged and the top and bottom pieces can’t be separated. The hinge is just the plastic or cardboard material compressed so it’s not the fanciest of designs. The tolerances on the plastic one are especially clunky.

    In order to make the hinge work the bottom of the box has no wall on the hinge side. After closing the top it makes the missing wall for the bottom box. This design works fine for the stiff cardboard boxes but the plastic ones have too much give. Every time I try to close a plastic one the top and bottom hit each other and it doesn’t close smoothly. That makes the drawings slide around and block that open side from closing too. It’s not the end of the world and really only means that the box takes an extra four seconds to close but it annoys me every time. That’s the price I pay for the cheap boxes.

    The next type of box that I have is the homemade ones. I’ve always liked making boxes but I usually make small boxes for art projects and such. I’ve made boxes that fit sets of my art cards, I’ve made boxes that fit small paintings, and I’ve made boxes to carry dice in. Whenever I needed a small box I’d make one.

    When I used to play Magic the Gathering in the 1990s I made special boxes that were narrow so I could carry a deck of cards in my art portfolio. A normal box for MTG cards is about two inches thick (or more depending) and my portfolio was thinner than that. So I made boxes at a quarter that thickness but four times the width and height (2.5×3.5 inches). That made them much easier of me to carry. I even decorated those boxes with classical paintings pulled out of old wrecked art textbooks (which I think were from my college days working at a book warehouse). Those were cool little boxes.

    I used to have all my drawings stacked in cabinets on shelves. That worked for a lot of years but eventually the stacks got too high. It was then that I decided to put all my drawings into boxes and it was then (over a period of time) that I bought all my store bought boxes. I eventually decided that none of them were perfect and I would make some boxes of my own.

    I needed three size boxes that corresponded to the size paper that I used. 11×17, 9×12, and 5×11 inches. I’d want them a little bigger than that. I learned my lesson with the aluminum box. I decided I wanted a plan so I measured everything out and built a diagram with measurements on it in Adobe Illustrator. That way there would be no mistakes. I decided to make the boxes out of foam core board because it was sturdy. I could have chosen the cheaper route of matte board but it was too flimsy. I didn’t want to put in all the work for flimsy.

    I measured out and drew one of the designs on a piece of foam core board. Then I cut it out with a straight edge and an X-Acto knife, folded it in the proper places, and taped all the edges. Foam core board is a quarter inch thick so the edges are broad and vulnerable to breaking. Tape helps out with that. I repeated this process about ten times until I had all the boxes I needed. It took a while.

    In the end I think my box design depended too much on tape. I used a white paper tape that lasts a long time and the boxes are solid but they look a little sloppy. They’re not out in the open so no one ever sees them but every time I take them out I notice. I’m still glad I got them made because it makes storage a lot easier. Too bad they couldn’t all be really cool aluminum.

    I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got six new comics.

  • Lazarus X+66 – 4
  • Paper Girls – 17
  • Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses – 29
  • Uber: Invasion – 9
  • Usagi Yojimbo – 163
  • The Walking Dead – 173
  • Check them all out here:

    This week I went through a drawing burst. I made nine new working drawings on six by nine inch sheets of paper. They’re all about the same size but don’t all have the same proportions. I was at a creative standstill and couldn’t get anything done. I had some things already started that I could work on if I had wanted to but none of them interested me. So I decided to start over. I grabbed one of my ink books that has all of my marker drawings in them and found a few small drawings that interested me. I took these three small drawings, blew them up on the computer and printed them out on some six by nine inch Bristol board. I repeated this over three days.

    The first drawing is named “Empty World.” It’s a figure drawing but the figure isn’t near the realm of realism. The woman has an impossibly long neck and some teacup hips. That’s what I call those super-curved hips that look like an upside down teacup. And what’s that on her head? It could be hair or it could be a hat. Either way it has lots of stripes for putting color in. This one is sufficiently dreamy enough to become one of my dream-like faux comic book covers.

    The second drawing is named “Trivial Agency.” We have a lot of symmetry going on here. It’s almost perfectly symmetrical except for the eyebrows. I like symmetry but also like things to stop short of perfect symmetry. I can see this one being a large black and white marker drawing. It has good shapes that I can add black too. I think it’ll look best at a large size.

    The third drawing is named “Brow Line.” This one has a lot of negative space in it. The whole thing revolves around the sky in the background. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do with it since so much of it would depend on color. I may even have to add some more elements to it in the color phase. This might be the most “Unfinished” of the drawings.

    The fourth drawing is named “Deployed Bits.” This one is a face without a face. That’s unusual for me. It also has a lot of symmetry. I keep wanting to see a face where there is no face. It’s a bit confusing. I like the composition of this one but it really needs color to give it clarity. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it but it would look best as some sort of painting.

    The fifth drawing is named “Act of Wraith.” Alright, what the hell is going on in this one? I’m not really sure. I remember thinking that about the thumbnail drawings of it too but I liked the shapes and general composition of it. The two one eyed creatures on the bottom are a mystery but the top is even more so. It looks like a head with some sad eyes but it could also be the sun. The repeated oval shape could be a halo for a person or a halo for the sun. I lean towards a person but the shapes are so simplified that I could be wrong. This one cries out for color too.

    The sixth drawing is named “Fair Brains.” This one I can see as one of my large ink drawings. Twenty by thirty inches. We’ve got two faces and a body. One face is the body. I’m not sure exactly how I’d work out all the shapes as a large black and white drawing though. That would take some time. I’d need to find places to put patterns and such. I’m sure I could work it out but this one is far from finished.

    The seventh drawing is named “Lost Banana.” Except for the background sky this one has everything there. Lots of shapes and pattern plus a big face. The neck area is odd. It might need rethinking. Or maybe not. It could be that it’s not a neck solution that I used to. The more I look at it the more it looks okay. The rest of it is settled.

    The eight drawing is named “Stop Now.” I could go in a color or black and white direction with this one. I can see it as a faux cover or as a big black and white drawing. All the shapes and patterns are thoroughly worked out. I think it’s easier to work everything out if the drawing has a big head in it. No matter how weird I make the head it still acts as an anchor of the expected. We all know and expect to see faces. I can distort them a whole lot and they’ll still read a faces. That helps.

    The ninth drawing is named “Soul Hero.” One more big face in this last one and it’s the most realistic face in this series of drawings. It even looks a bit odd. All this weird stuff around a semi-realistic face makes me wonder what is going on? Are all those shapes a look into her mind? A look into her dreams? Just the mention of the word “Dream” makes me think this will make a good “Dreams if Things” faux comic book cover.

    Nine drawings. All in pencil on six by nine inch Bristol board one blue line. It took me a while to get them all done. They vary in the time it takes to draw them but if I had to pick an average I’d say they each took a couple of hours a piece. The symmetrical ones usually take the longest because they don’t always start out symmetrical. I usually decide part way through that I want them to be symmetrical and that means figuring out which half I like, or taking pieces for each half, and then duplicating the half on the other side. I use tracing paper and graphite to do that so it’s not hard but I have to pay attention. Nothing worse than asymmetrical symmetry when that’s not what I’m aiming for.

    I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got seven new comics.

  • Saga – 48
  • Deadly Class -31
  • Kaijumax: Season 3 – 4 (of 6)
  • Southern Cross – 13
  • Wayward – 24
  • Outcast – 31
  • Copperhead – 13
  • Check them all out here: