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Here's some screen capture video of me drawing digitally. Photoshop and a Wacom Cintiq 21UX. The results of these two videos have been printed for old-school inking. Total "real" time: 2 hours 55 mintues. Time for you to watch: roughly 10 minutes. :-) 

Started with a sketch I did on paper, which sucked, so I scanned it and then drew on top of it. You'll see it pop up now and again. 

  • Listening to: score for EDGE OF TOMORROW
  • Reading: The Massive
  • Watching: Venture Bros & Arrested Development
  • Playing: with my daughter
  • Eating: less
  • Drinking: iced tea (always always always)
It's been a while since I was really active here. Too long. I'll get back to it, I just happen to have been doing lots of work lately that I've been unable to share. Hopefully that will change soon. I HAVE posted a few things on my blog and on my facebook page. Snippets of things that aren't really the kinds of stuff I want to be shared here - panels of pages, pencil roughs, that kind of thing.

Hope everyone has had a great year so far. Not much left. Hope everybody has a safe and happy holiday season. Cheers!
  • Listening to: score for EDGE OF TOMORROW
  • Reading: The Massive
  • Watching: Venture Bros & Arrested Development
  • Playing: with my daughter
  • Eating: less
  • Drinking: iced tea (always always always)
So I finally got a smart phone a few months ago. What that means is that I can finally start to do silly things like take snapshots of stuff I'm working on each day and share them on Twitter. They're all going to be in-progress type things I'm working on that day, stuff I won't post anywhere else, so feel free to follow along if you like seeing works in progress with no explanations to go with them (because 1) there's never enough characters in a twitter post and 2) because a lot of them will be for jobs I'm currently working on and therefore can't share any info on anyways - sorry).  :-)

My feed:

  • Listening to: score for H/T TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
  • Reading: book on being a good spouse
  • Watching: my knee wiggle because I need to hit the Lou
  • Playing: with my daughter
  • Eating: Something yummy for sure
  • Drinking: iced tea (always always always)
In fact, it's the last day of the first month of 2014. Jeez, where did that month go? The days just go faster and faster as you get older. We try our best to slow the days down, treasure each one of them, but they fly by nonetheless. Still, I'm lucky to be able to appreciate each day as it happens. I hope you get to do that as well. Cheers!
  • Listening to: score to CONTACT
  • Reading: several things at once
  • Watching: my computer screen accept my inputs
  • Playing: with my daughter
  • Eating: chinese food
  • Drinking: iced tea
Yup. Red. Pop culture enthusiasts: dig it. Planet Pulp. Hero Complex Gallery. Real, live, bonafide gallery show. Theme: Red. 



At the bottom of that promo banner: a teaser of my piece. For sale: limited run of 15 numbered 12x16 prints on high quality cold press paper stock (if you're not familiar with cold press, think nice, rough watercolor paper). 15 prints. That's it. Never to see print again. I've seen most of the other pieces that will be part of the show. It's going to be a good one. 
  • Listening to: the fan blowing in my face
  • Reading: app manuals
  • Watching: Weeds
  • Playing: catch up
  • Eating: whatever
  • Drinking: apple juice
So, yeah, I've been away for a bit. I wanted to avoid posting non-Troy art until the Troy poster was finished, but unfortunately I've been unable to get to it for quite awhile. I've either been working on paying gigs, finding paying gigs, or helping to raise my baby girl (who just turned 1 last week).

As much as I love realistic illustration, the market for it is small. I will continue to do realistic stuff for myself, but when it comes to getting paid for work I've turned towards a more energetic, cartoony style. Or styles, really. I love working this way but basically sucked at it for most of my life. It's taken a lot of practice and growth of my drawing ability to get moderately decent at it. Something finally clicked a few months ago though, and I've been sketching/drawing cartoony stuff every day for the last few months.

To that end, 2013 will be filled with those sketches/drawings/portfolio pieces. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the Troy piece this year, but making a living is my first priority, so I'll get to it when I have the time. Meanwhile, hopefully everyone likes this new stuff as well.

For anyone who likes my comic strip, Business As UnUsual, I'll be doing a lot more of those this year since it fits in perfectly with the cartoony style.

To start things off I'm posting a piece I just did for the current Planet-Pulp theme: Hanna-Barbera. HannaBarberaMATRIX01w by PENICKart

There are several different styles that can be associated with Hanna-Barbera, but the Flintstones / Jetsons look is the one I most associate with the brand, so that's what I went with. It also happens to make for the best contrast between the live action subject matter and their cartoon equivalent. There are some things I like about the Hanna-Barbera style, and I've learned some from working in the style, but there are a lot of things I would never do with my own work. The way they do/did male feet, for example. Ugh. Still, I had a blast doing this piece and I've got several Star Wars pieces to follow this one up, so keep an eye out for those.
  • Listening to: My little girl laughing
  • Reading: My own handwriting
  • Watching: almost nothing
  • Playing: with my little girl
  • Eating: nothing at this second
  • Drinking: apple juice
That's the term I use when an intellectual property moves from one medium to another. So yeah, it seems that INSURRECTION v3.6 was optioned in hollywood. Here's the blurb from the Hollywood Reporter:

www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat…

Pretty cool. It doesn't really mean much at this point - there are a lot of hurdles between something being optioned and actually getting up on the big screen. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed though! I DO think it could make for a cool movie.
  • Listening to: the sound of one hand clapping
  • Reading: WIRED and the Complete Idiot\\\'s Guide to Zen Liv
  • Watching: my little baby girl learning to crawl
  • Playing: Texas holdem poker
  • Eating: halloween candy (yeah, I know, it\\\'s early)
  • Drinking: OJ
WTF!? I started to type a title and stuff popped up that wasn't even remotely associated with DA. Weird, but I ran with it, hence the crap in the large font up there.

Okay, that's it. I didn't really have anything to say but seeing your same journal entry for months on end gets annoying, so here's a new, highly stupid one to replace that last one.

I've been rebuilding my website for the past month. God do I hate CSS and Javascript coding. I'm an artist, not a coder!!! That sh!t is for the birds!!! I'm too stupid and/or stubborn to pay anyone else to do it though, so this drudgery is of my own making.

There, I said something with a bare minimum of substance. It's scraping the bottom, I know, but that's what I got.

I haven't forgotten commissions that I owe people, I've just got a couple of things to finish first, like my stupid website (so I can promote myself properly to the illustration and sequential storytelling world - in other words: drum up business so I can put some food on the table), the short for the Image thing, and maybe a job or two. And the TROY poster; gotta finish that beast (it's part of the new portfolio). Oh, and a vacation, which I haven't had in 5 years. It's me and the wife's 10th anniversary in a couple of weeks, so we're off to the rockies. With baby in tow. Should be fun!

Hast lasagna, don't get any onya!
  • Listening to: Rolf Kent scores
  • Reading: God Emperor of DUNE & WIRED magazine
  • Watching: my little baby girl smile and laugh
  • Playing: the game of life
  • Eating: CHEE-Kahn!!!
  • Drinking: filtered urine (NOT!)
I just got my Bob Peak book in the mail yesterday and it is a monstrous square of awesomeness. There's a ton of stuff I haven't seen online, and even the ones I have I've never seen this big, clear, and in such good quality. If you love illustration and want to school yourself on one of the greats, check this book out. It's worth the money, believe me.  www.bobpeak.com/

Now if they'd just do a similar book on Bernie Fuchs.

Meanwhile, I've been super busy. It's strange after things being so slow for the last two and a half years. I've also had the time to work on a few commissions and an updated illustration portfolio, all of which I'll be sharing soon. I've got at least 15 pieces going at once and three jobs on the table as well, one of which is the short western for the Image Comics anthology (jeez I've got to get that finished). I'm thankful and happy to have all the work I can get.  :-)  And I WILL be doing more Business As UnUsual this year. Got to. I've got about another month's worth of random strips - well, probably a month and a half - and then a month's worth of one storyline involving a vacation. Plus all the other creator-owned stuff I'm pecking away at. I'll spill the lowdown on Recovery Incorporated soon; that's been one enormously frustrating journey, but that's life in creator-owned comics.

Hope everyone's had a good summer, or winter if you live in the southern hemisphere.

Somehow, during all of this, I've got to squeeze in a showing of The Dark Knight Rises. And then there's Skyfall. And The Hobbit is going to be a trilogy! What's next? Cows jumping over the moon?
  • Listening to: Scores from TROY and GLADIATOR
  • Reading: God Emperor of DUNE & WIRED magazine
  • Watching: my little baby girl smile and laugh
  • Playing: the game of life
  • Eating: French Toast
  • Drinking: Arnold Palmers
I took a little time off today to write a pretty extensive blog post about the visual storytelling in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. It's pretty easy to make quick tutorials about using a program or drawing a foot, but delving into the complex world of visual storytelling takes effort. I spent 4 years in college learning all about it and 15 years since doing it day in and day out, both as an artist AND a writer. I've wanted to do this for over a year though, so I was really happy to get it off my chest. Check it out if you're passionate about storytelling, want to learn, or school me on how wrong I am.  :-)  

penickart.blogspot.com/2012/05…

And if you like it? And want more? Let me know. And follow my blog!  ;-)
  • Listening to: Bee Gees (No! YES!! - the disco stuff)
  • Reading: Children of DUNE
  • Watching: my little baby girl
  • Playing: retool and reboot myself
  • Eating: turkey burgers
  • Drinking: malted secret elixir
My friend Mark Andrew Smith has successfully funded another Kickstarter project: Sullivan's Sluggers. It will be funded in another 28 days and is the only place to get your copy of the book. It's good, trust me. He let me look at it a few months ago. It's fun, as all of Mark's stuff is. Please be sure to check it out and get yourself a copy if you're interested.

www.kickstarter.com/projects/1…

It's Baseball and monsters. What else needs to be said!?
  • Listening to: David Bowie
  • Reading: Children of DUNE
  • Watching: my little baby girl
  • Playing: retool and reboot myself
  • Eating: PB&J
  • Drinking: malted secret elixir
So where do people go to get flatting done? I've got some stuff I'm coloring myself and I've learned (finally) that more than half the time is spent flatting when I do it myself. I'm also building a new illustration portfolio and might want some covers flatted. So! Any help here would be awesome. If it's super secret or something you can send me a note instead of replying here. Thanks!

New work coming soon. Lots of it hopefully.
  • Listening to: David Bowie
  • Reading: Children of DUNE
  • Watching: my little baby girl
  • Playing: retool and reboot myself
  • Eating: PB&J
  • Drinking: malted secret elixir
... are better than others.
  • Listening to: Dark Knight score
  • Reading: nothing at the moment
  • Watching: my worthless career go nowhere
  • Playing: keep-my-head-above-water
  • Eating: pot pie
  • Drinking: tainted secret elixir
I spent my teenaged years in Texas, so I'm allowed to say "howdy". Just for the record. So Howdy to all the new followers. I'm not sure where you're all coming from but I'm thankful and appreciative to every one of you.

For anyone curious, I'm currently writing/drawing Recovery Incorporated for the UK market, as a part of STRIP Magazine UK. I'm also working on an 8 page short for the next volume of OUTLAW TERRITORY (IMAGE Comics), due out later this year (in time for SDCC maybe?). I do some freelance illustration and whatnot on the side and have a new series of stuff about to go up on my Society 6 page society6.com/Penickart , and on top of all that I'm hunkering down to do a slew of commissions. Yippie.

I have some prints and original art left over from C2E2 as well (it's really the only show I do each year) so I'll start putting those up on ebay or something soon. I'll be doing some more tutorials in the near future as well and hope to clear away my schedule enough to start on the massive sci-fi epic my buddy and I have been writing for the past few months. We'll be fishing around for a US publisher on that one and Recovery Incorporated as well, hopefully later this year. Depends on how busy my schedule stays.

Feel free to drop me a comment or note if you have any questions, suggestions for tutorials, or are interested in potential commissions.

Cheers!
  • Listening to: Indiana Jones score
  • Reading: The Fifth Floor
  • Watching: my baby girl
  • Playing: catch up
  • Eating: pudding
  • Drinking: secret elixir
Okay, so there were a few hiccups, but NOW it's finally LIVE and available for sale. A measly $1.99 for 24 pages of European sized comic book art. My first creator-owned comic book. It's part 1 of 4 and I'm hard at work on issue two already. Here's the direct link:  graphicly.com/lux-comics/recov…

Anyone at C2E2 this weekend in Chicago, stop by and say hello. I'm in artist's alley, table D9. I've got all kinds of silly things going on. Bad hair, toilet humor, a ball with pencils in it, two contests (where you could win a free copy, through graphicly.com, of  Recovery Inc - all 4 issues - and a commission of your choice), and lots of stuff for sale (if you've seen it here it's probably for sale). Yippie!
  • Listening to: Indiana Jones score
  • Reading: The Fifth Floor
  • Watching: my baby girl
  • Playing: catch up
  • Eating: pudding
  • Drinking: secret elixir
My first creator-owned comic, RECOVERY INCORPORATED, is finally coming out through graphicly.com this Wednesday. graphicly.com/store Look for it by title, by my name (Michael Penick), or by publisher (LUX Comics, my new imprint). Check it out if you dare (or even if you don't). And if you like it? Tell your friends. Spread the word. I would greatly appreciate it.

And for anyone wondering, as far as I know it's still going to be published through STRIP Magazine UK, starting next month. It's a great magazine but they've had their share of growing pains. I have all the rights to the comic and wanted to go ahead and start getting it out to comic readers here in the States and to those pioneers who have embraced the digital distribution of comics.

We're hard at work on issue 2, have the first 4 issues plotted, and plenty of ideas for future stories. We hope to have a second comic coming out through LUX Comics later this year. Keep your fingers crossed (and can only draw so fast). Remember that Samurais in Outer Space concept I created a poll about? I can't wait to start drawing that one. Then there's Simon Brizdale. And the slew of other ideas. So many stories, so little time...
  • Listening to: An eclectic mix
  • Reading: The Fifth Floor
  • Watching: my baby girl
  • Playing: catch up
  • Eating: chocolate bunny
  • Drinking: secret elixir
Some of you know this already, but Elena and I just had our first baby, a beautiful little girl born on Valentine's Day! We're very tired right now but very happy and Siena is doing great. If you're interested in pictures, head over to my facebook album: www.facebook.com/media/set/?se…

Now, somehow, I've got tons of work to do. I guess that's what I'll be doing with all those hours I won't be sleeping.
  • Listening to: Great Waltzes
  • Reading: Becoming a Dad
  • Watching: my baby girl
  • Eating: anything put in front of my face
  • Drinking: anything put in front of my face
Ugh. Okay, here's the lowdown. Due to business issues, Recovery Incorporated is going to be restarting in issue 7 (also to be known as Vol. 2, Issue 1). Issue 7 will have chapters 1 and 2, then issue 8 will have chapter 3, plus my cover PENICKart.deviantart.com/art/R… which I'll post in color closer to the date.

The reason for the "relaunch" is that the magazine will be more available as of that issue. They will be available in bookstores and other mass market locations, so that's a good thing.

Let me tell you, it's difficult starting a new business. The guys publishing STRIP Magazine UK have worked their asses off to get this magazine out. I know; I've been with them throughout the entire journey. It really is a good magazine though, despite their growing pains. Please support them if you live in the UK! And I promise you, Recovery Incorporated will be worth the wait.
  • Listening to: Largo Winch score
  • Reading: the Steve Job biography
  • Watching: NFL
  • Eating: lots of cereal
  • Drinking: Throwback Pepsi
I just finished chapter 2 of the Steve Jobs bio and as interesting as Steve Jobs is, I have to say, I find Steve Wozniak endlessly more interesting. And funny. I guess I just identify with Woz more; I laughed so much during this chapter, reading about some of their pranks.

I love pranks. I grew up in Alabama and didn't have any of the tech type skills that Jobs and Wozniak had, but I had the same penchant for pranks.

I remember that a friend and I figured out one time that you could call a flower shop and order flowers for one person and have the bill sent to another person's address. I find it hard to believe that it could work but I remember specifically picking a delivery address on my street and we were floored when the flower truck actually showed up!! We laughed ourselves silly because we knew that 1) the person receiving the flowers would have no idea why they were being delivered, 2) they wouldn't know the person they were from (most likely), and 3) the person getting billed would be so confused and pissed when the bill showed up. Hahahaha, that was fun. We did it a few more times but it got boring because we never really got to see, firsthand, the results.

Then there was the X-Lax gum incident, where a girl in our class dared my friend Lewis and I to replace the gum in a Chick-lets package with X-Lax gum. They looked exactly the same. We were dared so we had to go through with it (no 'man' could shy away from a real dare). We were so gleeful, meticulously opening the Chick-lets gum package, discovering that the X-Lax gum really did look exactly like the Chick-lets gum, and then replacing them and resealing the package.

Then we gave the devious pack of gum away on the bus, to a kid named Bailey. We offered it up and a few kids declined. We, of course, had real Chick-lets gum to help sell the idea that we had gum to give away. Bailey took the gum and Lewis and I hunkered down in our seat, laughing our asses off. We did it! We would peak our heads up every few minutes to see Bailey chewing, renewing our laughter fest. Then we looked up and he wasn't chewing anymore. That was unexpected. We asked him what he had done with the gum. We were still chewing our own, so we were afraid he had thrown it out. He answered "I swallowed it" and our jaws must have dropped. Oh my god! This was turning out even better than anticipated.

Well, Bailey wasn't on the bus the next morning. We thought that was funny. Not as funny as the day before, but funny. Then, close to lunch time at school, I got called out into the hallway where the principal was standing with Bailey's mother and all the other boys from the bus. My amusement turned to utter fear. I was in big trouble! Bailey didn't really know us so I guess he couldn't name us specifically as the culprits. The other boys were cool enough not to rat us out, so there we all were, standing in the hallway, getting lectured about the dangers of laxatives. Bailey had been shitting his brains out all night. He was going to be okay but what we did was very dangerous. I felt really bad but couldn't believe we had gotten away with it! My parents would have killed me if they had found out.

A couple of days later, on a Saturday morning, I pulled my bike out of the garage in order to ride to a friend's house. I noticed a bunch of older kids hanging out on their own bikes down by my mailbox. That was strange. The mailbox was on the left side of the driveway - the direction I needed to go in. Instinctively I turned right instead. Most of them followed, calling out to me in angry tones. Uh-oh. Luckily I had a ten speed, which was fast. Most of them were on dirt bikes. I liked speed too, so I was comfortable flying around corners on my bike. I took the long way to my friend Ron's house. A couple of the guys had gone another route to try and cut me off but I was going so fast I beat them to the cut-off corner. I flew into the driveway and back yard of Ron's house, my adrenaline pumping hard. I didn't know exactly why, but these older boys were out to give me a beating. From the safety of Ron's back yard I asked why they wanted to beat the snot out of me. They said I had tried to give the X-Lax gum to one of the guy's younger sister. I denied it, big time, but they were right. I had. I had to watch my back for a few months after that. I guess that was my first real lesson in tactical paranoia, hahaha, something the infantry would later teach me much more about.

There were so many other pranks. Relentless calls to radio stations requesting the dumbest songs, ring and runs, firecracker pranks, rotten eggs in mailboxes, flaming poo, etc... We tried to get our school bus to overturn once. That one took coordination but, surprisingly, the kids were game. There was a particular turn on our bus route where the two adjoining streets were both going downhill. It felt, everyday, that the bus was really listing as we turned that corner, so we got all the kids to jump from the uphill side of the bus to the downhill side of the bus right as the bus reached its peak point of listing. It didn't work but to this day I can't believe we actually convinced a busload of kids to actually try this. The bus driver was pissed, obviously, but that was nothing new. My friend James and I rigged my house with fishing wire a couple of times, putting taught lines of it from furniture to furniture, cabinets to cabinets, etc... in the dead of night so that when my parents or sister got up they would walk right into them unexpectedly. I almost got hospitalized from one of the fire cracker pranks, or rather the repercussions of the firecracker prank.

My family eventually moved to Dallas, then I went to college in New York City and now live in Chicago. I'm very comfortable living in more urban environments. I love NYC and Chicago. I fit in wit the more liberal mind set. Looking back, though, I have to say, growing up in Alabama was a lot of fun and I'm really glad that I come from such a different place.
  • Listening to: Hellboy score
  • Reading: the Steve Job biography
  • Watching: NFL
  • Eating: lots of cereal
  • Drinking: Throwback Pepsi
I hope everyone's holidays have been good and that the new years brings fortune and happiness. I plan on 2012 being the turning point for me. Thanks to everyone who has offered me support and follows my humble scribbles here. Cheers to all!
  • Listening to: Conan the Destroyer
  • Reading: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
  • Watching: NFL
  • Eating: lots of cereal
  • Drinking: Throwback Pepsi