Monday, June 29, 2015

GRASP EXPO recap at other stuff!

Hey everyone! I'm back from my first major comic show appearance at the GRASP COMIC EXPO in Grand Rapids, MI. I had to share all some pics and tales of my experiences this weekend. So here we go!

Friday night my pals Dean and Mjit came over and we got our drink on and we played "Cards Against Humanity." Lots of fun! Dean slept over so we could just leave right out in the morning. We left and loaded in the rain and got there around 9:10. I ran into my old pals Dan Hogan, Kevin Leen, Brett Pinson and Connie Pinson. Joe from migeekscene.com was there covering the event and it was good to see him again. I let him store his camera and other stuff behind my booth.

Ugh, I'm tired!

I always do a warm up sketch when I arrive at shows. This time it was a Slave Leia. Necessary.

I don't take pics that often with costumers but the 501st are a special case that I sometimes make time for. This pic was snapped at a weird time, and thus I look stoned. I assure, not the case. But still, I don't want that pain stick rammed in my ass by the Emperor's Guard. Hopefully he doesn't know I support the rebellion (Liberal!).

There was a running joke all weekend about "If I cosplayed, what would I wear?" I have an affection for the Ghostbusters and their proton packs. I want one! So my Girlfriend said she'd come home one day to see me playing Ghostbusters in the nude. I had to sketch the moment of what it would look like if she came in the door and caught me doing that.

I did a panel on "THE WORLD OF SKETCH CARDS." How to collect them, how to get into doing them for yourself. I think it went well. I had about 15-20 people in the room. Pretty much every panel was attended like that. I tried to go through my outline I wrote and I showed examples of my work and others like Katie Cook and Grant Gould to help illustrate my points. But when I got back to my table, I realized a couple points I could have expanded on. I recorded the audio so maybe I'll share it if I can get it to sound good.

It was Misty's first true comic con experience. She had fun, and I kept her busy.
Saturday went well. It was slower than anticipated, but I made decent sales. After the show, Dean, Misty and I went to Five Guys and then grabbed a few things and then hit the hotel. We took a dip in the hot tub and then tried to see if there was a con party. There wasn't, so we ended up just drinking in our room and watching boxing/UFC. Kinda a bummer, but it made for a nice relaxing night. I kinda needed that after the hell week of work I had.

I picked up a few things. An old MAD Magazine from the 80s, some INVINCIBLE comics I am behind on, some STRIP adult comics (reference), "Pins and Needles" by Jack Gonzalez, and "Teacher Strips" by Stu Rase. Some nice reading to catch up on!

Sunday was slow but I made more sales and I finally, finally, FINALLY sold off the last of the old matted 8x11 prints that I had in stock. They are gone, never to return. I sold mostly print cards, prints and some original art. The folks who put on GRASP EXPO, as well as GRAND RAPIDS COMIC CON treated us artists very well and they gave me rock star treatment. I haven't had that before. I really felt welcome and I was grateful to them for their support. I don't have one bad thing to say about the show at all. I think some might have went into the show thinking it would pull in regular comic con numbers, but its a small press show. We were the focus. Our names can only do so much, and thats understandable. But the ones who did show up, truly wanted to be there and truly wanted to check out the indie folks and their work. Its a nice break from those comic show that make you pay $65 per person, per day to go to the show and you pre-pay for your autographs and photos. I think with some small amount of retooling, they will come back strong with it next year. Thanks to GRASP, thier staff and crew, and all who came out and had a good time with us.

------

In the week leading up to GRASP, I worked a ton of hours at both jobs. My two days off I had my boys overnight for the first time. The day I dropped them off (when I was supposed to be sleeping) I took my girl to a pizza place here in Grand Ledge, my new home. Its called Cuginos. We had their pizza and breadstix. Very good! (although my stomach hurt for a bit after it. I just cant handle certain foods anymore. Boooo!!!!!)



_____

This week, a MAJOR event happened. The Supreme Court of the United States passed a law that its is now 100% legal for gay couples to get married. This is something I've supported and voted on for years. Very time the law in specific states would get banned, I would voice my outrage. The whole debate was beyond dumb. Now gay marriage (Now referred to as simply: MARRIAGE) is approved and hey, the world didn't blow up. Armageddon didn't happen. We're still here and nothing has changed! Just that those who are in love can now join in the same unions as straight people can. Oh no! How dare they want happiness!! Of course, the loudmouths came out and bitched, but nothing can stop it now. Not without years of changes. And we're not gonna let that happen. We're one more step closer in our evolution of thoughts and being the way we should be as one race, one species of humans. While horrid things are happening in the South that brings up years of racial issues, we're also crossing the finish line on other things. We're trying to get it all together. We're trying. We have hope. And it was my hope that was rewarded this week. This effects people in my family and friends of mine that I've seen had to struggle through this for a long time. I share their smiles this week. This was big time, man. And its about time!

_____

On the artwork front, I worked on more STAR WARS sketch cards but also did some STARSLAM 2 pages and a print idea for PLEASANT LIFE 2:

Oh man.... the fight begins...

Mortin: Simply Irresistible?

And now I'm home. Back to the drawing board, literally and figuratively. Thanks all for checking out the site. I'll return soon with more stuff to show. Cheers !

T

Monday, June 22, 2015

Busy Week Before GRASP EXPO!

Hey friends. I just got done working five long 16 hour days in a row, with about 3-4 hours in between the jobs to drive home, nap, get up and ready to go to the other job. By the end I was teetering on madness. Then on Father's Day, I get out of work and go get my boys and have them til 9pm, after being up from noon the PREVIOUS day. I was an absolute zombie. But... when I got back to the apartment I still put in an hour at the table to color a piece I needed for the upcoming GRASP EXPO and do some digital scans of new stuff. So yeah, I'm burning my candle from both ends and the middle. I'm virtually beside myself with exhaustion. But I got applications out for a potential new day job that will pay me decent so I don't have to do this anymore like this. Lets hope, shall we? Cause I can't keep this up forever.

This week, I got two 16 hour days, then I get my boys two days in a row, while still working at the gas station. Then a long 8 hour cashier shift, then GRASP EXPO! Its gonna be a long haul week, and I don't have any spare time to get my stuff done or packed. I'm gonna have to squeeze it in during my potential nap times. So please note what all I am doing to make this show happen for me! HA! But I'm very much looking forward to the show.






I will have a panel on Saturday at 12:45 titled "The World of Sketch Cards." I will be discussing the hobby and how to break into doing them as an artist. You won't want to miss it. :) I will have all my books there (Sans STARSLAM, as they asked me to avoid bringing porn to the very family friendly show. Understandable!) as well as prints, print cards and original art sales. So come on out and check out my new stuff! Its gonna be a lot of fun to get out and do a nice show. This little new piece is making her debut there too:


At the night job, I've been busy on new STAR WARS cards. Here's a peek at the back of them:




The new set is sure to be a doozy!

Despite my utter exhaustion, Father's Day was fun. I got my two boys and I got to skype with Cody. We talked E3 and a ton of video game stuff. Made me really want to get a 360 for the house. Although I pretty much have no time whatsoever to play games, I still would like one so I can play online with him. Would be fun. My Retron 3 is acting up and the boys are starting to want to play more video games. So I should look into investing into something for them too. We'll see. But the desire is certainly there. I'm missing out on a lot by being so busy all the time. Oh well.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this weekend at GRASP. I sure earned it, five times over! Come out and see me at the show!! But I won't be wearing glasses...


Cheers!

--T

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

RIP Art Desk, RUSH and Job Woes

Hey friends. Welcome back. First up, some pics of my old friend who is now gone to that great dumpster in the sky. From around 2004-2015, I had an L shaped desk that I used as my primary art and computer table. It went through lots of hell and several moves across the state to the various places I've lived in the last 11 years. At one point a year ago, I broke it down to just one part and threw the rest away to make room for a new stand up and slanted art table... which later broke cause it was a cheap piece of shit! So I kept the last bit as my art table/computer table. It was loud and squeeky. Those who follow my MORNING SHOW PODCAST will recognize its squeek in the background. But no more. I tossed it in the trash because my GF and I are sharing her desk. Its brand new and will serve me well. But I had to document my final moments with my old faithful. Here's some pics.

Here she is. Last time together.

Among the scratches is some scratched in graffiti! Twisted Sister represent!

A close up of the damage done over the years.
So in the trash it went. Out with the old. Ready for the new. But I will miss her.

This week I had a job interview for a place I REALLY wanted to work. It woulda fit in well with my lifestyle needs and woulda paid me great. I didn't get called back for the second interview. I was very bummed to say the least. I've been running myself ragged working 70 hour weeks at two jobs and I woulda very much enjoyed some stability, along with nice pay and benefits. I got very angry and hurt and I feel trapped by time and my circumstances. But an old friend reached out to me and gave me some much needed words of encouragement. He said that I should use this as more "FUCK YOU FUEL" to fuel my drive to do art and make that my life. He's right. I often lose sight of those things I am truly meant to do. The temptation of wanting a big nice house with big nice things to collect dust just sometimes gets the better of me and I don't realize how great I've got it. I've hit a nice stride in my productivity and my new art and projects are even better than what I've done before. I'm reaching out and hitting the road more, with plans to go even bigger into it with 2016 coming around. I'm finally loose to go get what I've earned. I can't let things like what others THINK I should be doing or earning at my age sway me. I gotta take a shot. Now or never. I'm sorry I lost sight of that. So I shall work my jobs, work my books and be patient. Cause the shot is coming. And I'm going to take it.

Anyway, on to some funner things! I saw RUSH this week for possibly the last time. It was a great show and I had a great time! Here are some pics:

Before the show. Our seats were high up, but in the Palace, any seat is good.

The three stooges are ready for some rock and/or roll!

My pics from our location suck balls. So here's the only thing I can share.

My pics sucked so here are some other pics of the show I got from online: 


The master!

I was excited to hear them do "Roll the Bones." A closet favorite tune of mine.






All in all, a great weekend. Some ups and downs, but we're headed upward. I got a 70 hour work week starting in an hour so I am gonna head out. And rest assured at the night job I'll be penciling away at my new shit. I'm making it happen. Just you watch me go.

Cheers, T

Friday, June 12, 2015

New Starslam and Life!

Hey folks! Just a quick touch down to update on a few things. Starslam pages are flowing right along! Here is a sneak peek:

A new foe for the gang to tackle.

The talk before the big battle.

So I'm about at page 72 now. I'm a little more than halfway done with the art pages. Pages 1-69 are scanned into the computer and ready for coloring. I'm rolling things along in time to get the Kickstarter going for it by October. Fingers crossed. 

I'm also going to be busy on another Star Wars related card set. This one is a BIG one! You will definitely want to see what I got cooking this time around. Its time to get "awakened!" ;) Also I'm finally sitting down and enjoying CLONE WARS. Bout time, right? I got Star Wars fever!!

I'm working tons of hours, but luckily got to see my boys a couple days this week. They had fun too! 

Little James loves playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with daddy. But he hoards all the food balls!

The boys playing some old skool Mario Bros. Scotty can beat Level 1 all by himself now! He still has trouble jumping over some of the taller pipes, so I help out. But he's doing great. Hand to eye coordination will definitely help him with his learning skills I would think.

BTW, Scott-bot graduated Kindergarten and is moving on to First Grade! He's kicking autism's ass and I'm quite proud of how things are going. My oldest is entering his Sophomore year of high school. Damn where does the time go!?!? James starts pre-school next year. WOW!

This weekend we are visiting some family and on Sunday I am seeing RUSH in concert! You better believe I'll have pics and audio to share. Maybe some video if I feel like doing that. But I mostly want to take in the experience. It might be the last time they tour for various reasons. So I don't want to miss a second of it all.

Anyway, have a great weekend my friends. The work continues!

T

Sunday, June 07, 2015

New Home/New Office!

Hey all!

Life returns to "normal" after my tiny weekend excursion. I've been working a CRAPLOAD of hours at both my jobs. But hopefully some respite on the horizon. In my downtime, I've been busy moving stuff to my new home in Grand Ledge. Yesterday after work was a big day. We cleaned out the office area and set it all up. Here are some pics:

All my furniture is no more. We're using hers now. No more rickety old art desk. Its all sleek and profressional.

One half the office is mine, the other is hers. Works out nicely!

We both love it! I moved my computer over this morning after work and that is the area I am typing from now. I'm going very minimalist this time around. But still, I gotta display SOME toys am I right? Especially my Gojiras!

For lunch yesterday my girl treated me to a place in North Lansing called MEAT. And I had one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I've ever had! Check it: 


Meat is off of Grand River and they have Star Wars and heavy metal albums on the walls. Iron Maiden was playing when we walked in! Its that kind of place. Highly recommend!

This week its back to hardcore work schedule and a few other things to take care of. Saturday we're taking a make up trip to see some of her family, then Sunday is my RUSH concert. I'm looking forward to all of that! Its gonna be a busy, stressful week to say the least.

In other news, don't forget I will be at the GRASP COMIC EXPO June 27-18th. Its an indie comics show and I will be conducting a panel there about sketch cards. Check out their FACEBOOK page right HERE. I just got Pleasant Life books back in stock so I am coming loaded, baby! I won't have the cash to do a print run of my new prints, unless I get a miracle freelance check. You never know. Times are tight right now though.

I am working out deals to possibly do more shows later this year. I just feel the itch to get back out there and let people know I am alive and making new shit. I've hit a nice stride of productivity and I need to continue to kick ass on things to make this career happen for me again. I also signed up for another sketch card set. This next one is gonna be a doozy! I can't wait to start!!!

I've been rocking on Starslam pages and small pinup pieces for the con season. Busy! Feels good. I'm on NO SLEEP, but things are beginning to line up the way I need them to. 

Anyway, that's my latest. Take care my friends!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

VACATION Recap, Pics, Video and IDIOTHEAD REUNION!

Hey everyone! I'm back from my weekend "vacation" and life is returning to normal. I had great fun and tried to relax as much as possible. It was good to get away from it all for a couple days and enjoy myself a bit. I spent time with family, friends and loved ones. I saw my brother, reunited with Shane and jammed a bit, hung out with Matt & Michelle, hung with my boys, got them some discs, shopped with my girl and ate at a few fancy places. Here are some pics with captions:


First stop was JON'S COUNTRY BURGER in Mt. Pleasant. Necessary.
No visit to Mt. Pleasant is complete for me until I see a bit of my old stomping grounds. Like the WARD theater downtown. Man I miss that job...

After visiting Mt. Pleasant and my family there, I went on to Midland and hung out with Shane, Sara and Evan. We even jammed on some songs. Here's some fun video of the event: 




Artsy!


Neil Peart, I am not.


Like riding a bike.

Future poster Child of Rock and Roll.


Not really playing. But flipping you off.

We had dinner and drinks with Matt and Michelle. They got a bit tipsy! I wouldn't have them any other way!

On Sunday I went to my favorite restaurant in Lansing, GOLDEN HARVEST. An hour and a half wait in the cold but its sooooooooo worth it!

See what I mean? Best Breakfast in town!
All in all, its exactly what I needed. I reconnected with people and places that I've long been meaning to see again. And it all felt fresh and new. They were all happy to see me and how life is for me now. That is what vacations are all about!

And rest assured, Idiothead the band are talking about doing something in the future. Stay tuned!

Great weekend! Back to work. Cheers everyone!

Friday, May 22, 2015

STARSLAM NOW AVAILABLE and MOVING!

Hey folks! I finally, finally, finally took the time to update the ONLINE STORE and added STARSLAM. So you can finally directly order that book by going there or HERE or the link to the right. Only took me 5 months, right? Shows how behind I am. Now I just gotta get that digital sales push thing going.... but thanks for your patience. Don't have STARSLAM yet? Order now!!

I opted to head to my apartment tonight to apply for more jobs. I also scanned in artwork for STARSLAM 2 and did a few other office related things I keep putting off. I also glued together my mom's jewlery box that was broken in the move here back in January. I moved into this apartment in January and celebrated it as my first solo apartment. Free of any relationship or roommate for the first time in my life. I spent a lot of time dealing with things in this place. Many nights up late upset because of everything that happened this year and also just dead tired from working two jobs as I have. Its been a crazy road. Well, back in February, I met my girlfriend and things have progressed. Oh how they've progressed. And the decision had to be made: Do I renew the lease here or do I move in? We were both skeptical for obvious reasons. But the decision came and went and its true: I'm moving in with her in August.

When I made the decision, I was a tiny tiny tiny bit sad because I do sort of like this apartment. I spent some good time here working on myself. Its a transition place. I have a complete space that is "mine" and I like the location. Close to campus and my favorite spots. Also close to my work and nice in the summer. I will miss it. However working here late tonight, I have a different feeling. Its cold and lonely here. It doesn't feel like "home" anymore. More like a place that is a storage for my stuff I haven't sorted through yet. And sort I shall. Because I have to redecide what to put up and how to put it up. She's giving me carte blanche to pretty much do what I want, but I don't want to go in and ruin what is already at her place. We have two very different styles of design. I think she has a better eye for it. Me, I got a bunch of junk I've been hauling around for 37 years. I'm slowly getting my collection back. Its been nice. We're also getting things TOGETHER. Like albums, Blu-Rays, etc. Its been good to share my stuff with her. And she's welcoming me with open arms. All of me. Its a good feeling. She doesn't eye roll at my things, but thinks it is cool and wants to dissect and learn all about them. Wow!

So yeah, I am left with this feeling of "Man I can't wait to get this move going!" And it shall happen. I've already started to slowly move stuff over. Probably starting next month I will get more serious about it. I have a blazer truck now that I can use to haul my things. No need for a uhaul. Some furniture I am parting with and hopefully a few boxes of crap I don't need for the next phase of my life. So there is work to be done. But I am looking forward to it. And so is she. I think she's grown attached to waking up with me there. And me too. Its a great feeling to have. She digs me and I dig her, a lot.

Here's to happiness and hopefully not having to move again for a long damn while!

T