I am a comic artist. I used to do my art the more traditional way, but now I work mostly on computer using various 3D programs.
1965 - Born
1970-71 – Drew first comic book (in full color crayon, on Big Chief tablet paper.)
1982-3 – Clyde the Duck comic strip in High School paper
1983 – Discovers the world of small press comics.
1984 – Dead Frogs on the Ceiling #1 published to horrible reviews.
1989 – Joins United Fanzine Organization (UFO)
1992 – First issue of Burp Boy published
1994 – First Displacements published
1997 – Last issue of Burp Boy published
1997 – Vamp Tramp Back-up story
1998 – Left UFO to pursue pro career
1999 – Cancer
2000 – Started using 3D software with art
2002 – 3D picture wins University of Oklahoma staff art show
2005 – Starts work on 88 page 3D comic, the Join, finished in eight months.
2008 - Art for two "A Sky Full of Stars" stories written by Matthew J. Constantine
2010 -- Displacements:Oasis becomes main project
2013 - First issue of Displacements:Oasis published
My Detailed Comic History
I think I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Saturday morning cartoons were a big early influence, especially Scooby Doo and Bugs Bunny. I made my first “comic” while in Kindergarten. It was about me and two of my friends fighting monsters. It was done in crayon on Big Chief tablet paper.
I continued making small, single copy comics for several years, mostly in pencil on newsprint paper. When I was around ten, I became a fan of real comic books, mostly Marvel. I had always liked comics, but before this I had been more interested in animation. I tried making more professional like comics, but I never seemed to finish anything during this time.
1982-3, my senior year of high school I stared doing a comic strip for the school paper, Clyde the Duck.
It was around the time I graduated from high school that I discovered small press comics. I’d been subscribing to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years, but some time in 1983 I started ordering small press comic out of the classified ads. Most small press books at this time had photocopied pages, off-set printing being too expensive for most creators. One of those books got me to order books from Randy Paske and Bob Pfeffer’s High School Comics. They published a one page Clyde the Duck cartoon in their mini comic anthology, “Mics!”
In 1984 I self published my first comic, “Dead Frogs on the Ceiling and other Incoherent Ramblings.” The first issue was pretty bad, but I kept at it and published seven issues by 1989. The stories were mostly Monty Python-ish stream of conciseness humor stuff. The art went from simple in the early issues to very experimental, issue 7 being a hodge-podge of styles.
During this time Tim Corrigan started publishing “Small Press Comic Explosion” and it helped me get connected to many other comic creators. I started drawing pictures and stories for many of them. I wrote and drew six issues of a humorous super-hero book, “Pizzazz and Frog-Boy,” for Matt Kanaracus’ Synapse Comics. The writing was very bad (except for #5 written by Tom Fellrath), but gave me a chance to work at drawing in a more mainstream style.
I was invited to join the United Fanzine Organization (UFO), but I didn’t think I could publish frequently enough to meet their requirements. I did subscribe to their newsletter, Tetragrammaton Fragments, and even contributed a cover or two. In 1989 I changed my mind and applied for membership. I thought the best way to increase my rate of output was to start an anthology book and get others to contribute to it. I started publishing “Amazing Colossal Saucer-head Adventure Stories.” I did three issues before I realized I wasn’t cut out to be an anthology editor. I then started publishing Burp Boy comics. You can read more about that HERE. After Burp Boy #3 I published three more issues of Pizzazz and Frog-Boy. My writing on it was still bad, but my art was getting much better.
In 1994 I did one issue of a book called "Displacements" written by fellow UFOer Steve Keeter. While it was based on my ideas and characters, and Steve is a great writer, it just didn't feel right to me. A second issue was written but never finished.
I’d started looking for comic penciling work outside photocopier comics. I penciled two books for a small publisher out of Chicago, Anarchy Bridgeworks. Only half of one of the stories was every published, as a back-up feature in a book called “Vamp Tramp.” I was back self publishing with Burp Boy #4, probably the best of all my books. My writing dried up after that.
I quit the UFO in 1998, knowing I wouldn’t be publishing anything soon. I concentrated on my penciling, but I seemed to have hit a wall. My pencils were good, but not good enough to get paid. After years of steady improvement, my art had stopped getting better. I started to burnout.
Then in the fall of 1999 I found out I had cancer.
I didn’t draw anything for almost a year. I tried to get back into drawing comics, but my heart wasn’t in it. I bought some 3D computer programs to help me with drawing perspective. After using them to finish a story (that I don’t recall it ever being published) I realized I liked using the 3D software more than drawing. I stopped being a penciler and started becoming a 3D artist.
Working in 3D is very different than traditional comic art. It required learning all new ways of doing things. I learned to model some, when I have to, but buy many of the 3D figures I use. It speeds things up considerably.
In 2002 I did my first comic art in 3D. Using a three day weekend, I made a 3D version of one of my old Burp Boy stories. Only five pages it was okay for a first try, but I still needed improvement. I started reconnecting to my old small press friends doing covers for several books. In 2005 I felt I might be ready to try to do a full length comic. I answered an “artist wanted” post by Ian M. Palmer on an online forum, and soon we were working on an eighty-eight page book called “The Join.” I finished the art in 8 months, but Ian became busy and was never able to finish the dialog.
After that I did more covers and tried working with other writers on other story projects. In 2010 I decided I was finally going to do a Displacements comic again. I did a couple of short stories to test myself. Both were published by Main Enterprises in Jim Main's long running *ppfszt! comic anthology ( issue #29 and Annual #1.) I got some positive feedback and started working on "Displacements:Oasis."