Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tack till Stockholm

A huge thank you to everyone that helped me out while I was in Sweden, especially Johannes Klenell, Mats Jonsson, and Fredrik Stromberg... there's a lot more to add to that list, but despite feeling much less jetlagged back home today than when I arrived over there, my brain is still a little mushy. If you'd like to see what my mushy brain looked like in Sweden, you can watch this interview I did the day I arrived.
I came home with a ton of great books, most of which I can't read. Fortunately Top Shelf will be putting out translations of several of these books next year, including Mats Jonsson's "Hey Princess" and Kolbeinn Karlsson's "Trollkungen". In the meantime, you'll already be able to read Niklas Asker's Second Thoughts in English.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Tomorrow I'll be headed to Sweden for the Swedish Small Press Expo , and the release of Fumlig (the Swedish translation of Clumsy). Meanwhile back in the US, the NHL playoffs have started, and my favorite team the Red Wings happen to have a large number of Swedish players, so somehow it all seems to fit. I also entered the Red Wings'
Beardathon for charity.

Last season, fellow cartoonist and hockey fan Rob Ullman and I made a bet on whose team would win the Stanley Cup, and when his Penguins lost Rob was forced to suffer the shame of wearing a Chris Osgood jersey at Heroescon last June. Rob was a good sport, as you can see here.

Friday, April 17, 2009


If you're in Chicago this weekend, check out the CHIRP Record Fair. They'll have a limited number of shirts and signed posters with my design for sale, as well as records, CD's, show posters, books, zines, and lots of other good stuff.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Music and Comics

When "Little Things" came out, I wrote out a playlist at Largehearted Boy. Now there's a second playlist up for "Funny Misshapen Body", so you can see some of what I used to listen to back in high school and college. Missing from the list is the New Radicals, whose lone album was a source of comfort in those troubled adolescent times.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rabbit Fever Part Two

And here's a better look at the final poster, and the mix of final elements used...

Rabbit Fever

I don't do a lot of illustration work, but this year I've done more. Most recently, I worked on artwork for a documentary film by Amy Do called Rabbit Fever. After talking to Amy, I came up with these four basic ideas, and thumbnailed them for her to think about it.

We narrowed it down to two favorites, which I sketched out in slightly more finished versions.

Amy liked the rabbit with the crown more, and did a few photo mockups to get a feel for how a finished poster might look.

Based on that, I did a more finished pencil version, using actual rabbit breeds, and at a larger size - not quite the 27"x40" of a film poster, though.

That version turned out a little too cute and cuddly though - maybe a little too realistic, and lacked the spontaneity of the earlier sketch version, which Amy really liked. So I went back and did new rough pencils, trying to match the sketch more closely.

Amy liked that version better, so I went ahead and did final inks for it.

We were both pretty happy with this version, except Amy still liked the more unfinished and taller/thinner lettering of the sketch version. She also still liked the sketchy rabbit the most, and worked with all the elements to put together for the final poster. Here's three versions she came up with.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I keep forgetting

that my website is finally up and running. Many thanks to Dan Rydholm for programming the site. I met Dan at the Olympia Comics Festival last year, if you're in the area, check out the festival. I'm not sure when it is this year, but I'll try to update this post when I know.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cover Art

Here's how the artwork for the cover of 'Funny Misshapen Body' was drawn in its original state, which was then taken by designer Cherlynne Li to create the final cover. I figured I'd just draw the different elements for her to use, because of the text on the back of the book would make it easier for her to arrange than for me to try and figure out.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today Is The Day

that "Funny Misshapen Body" comes out. USA Today's Whitney Matheson has a short preview over on her blog Pop Candy.

Monday, April 6, 2009


My scripting process is too gather up elements/moments/stories I want to include and make those into an outline, which is then refined further and further, until I get a more detailed script - either panel by panel or page by page. This is script from 'Funny Misshapen Body' before I restarted it with a re-written script. Usually I just have enough notes to myself for what's going on, with final dialogue not written until I'm sitting down to draw the page. I'm usually composing panels/imagery in my head as I'm scripting, so there usually isn't anything visual written down for the scripts either.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cover development

After talking with the editors and designer at Touchstone, we settled on the standing-on-the-scale image for the cover, and the next step was to develop that further, and here are those drawings. These were drawn at the final trim size of the book to give a better sense of how it would look.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cover Ideas

Here's some of the initial brainstorming for the 'Funny Misshapen Body' cover. There were about a dozen more ideas, but these were the strongest ones. All the ideas were passed along to the editors at Touchstone, who then looked at them and decided which parts and aspects of the concepts they liked most.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cover Designs

Here's an early cover design for Funny Misshapen Body. Since the book is about becoming an artist, I tried to draw a cover that captured that struggle. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to show nipple on the cover, and so this idea had to be scrapped.