Category Archives: blog

Satan’s Soldier 2: Now Available

Satan’s Soldier 2 is now available for purchase. The comic is 58 pages, full color, and is signed by the author.

Here’s the front cover:

Here’s the back cover:

The scope of the story widens in this issue.
New characters are introduced.
Breathtaking vistas are explored.
The story goes in strange, unexpected directions, culminating in a violent jaw-dropping climax.

Click the button below to purchase Satan’s Soldier 2.

The Making of Godland Finale Page 61


For this page I left ample head room for dialogue. This page features two of our most popular and outspoken characters, so I expect Joe Casey to really go to town with their final conversation. The third character is new to the series, making his debut and final appearance in the same issue. Poor fellow.

At this point in the drawing process, I’m finding the forms. My previously described practice of flipping the page over and drawing on each side of the paper is useful to me because sometimes I get so caught up in the creative moment that my figures lose their structural integrity. This is a way of seeing and re-seeing the same image so I can shepherd it closer and closer to perfection.


Plastic People. Joe has described this descendent of the Archer family as having a plastic coating, a glossy second skin. This is not something we talked about when we were plotting this story, so I’m wondering if it’s his way of tricking me into going into all-out Kirby squiggle mode (something I’ve been trying to do less of in recent years). In any event, for the past few months I’ve found myself gravitically pulled back into a Kirbyesque orbit, so I’m more than happy to oblige.

Comics collaboration is war. It’s a play war between friends, but it’s a war nonetheless. Each side employs every trick in their arsenal. In many cases (Claremont/Byrne springs to mind) this creative tension enhances the work.

The closeups of _____ Archer are probably not the best way to depict a character in the glamorous world of superhero comics, but I imagine that space helmet gets your hair all sweaty and greasy, so I’ve depicted him with slick, flattened hair.

That giant broken statue head in the background of panel two is a pencil stage ad-lib. I’m not sure who’s statue the head fell from, Adam Archer seems the most obvious candidate, but it could be anybody. It felt like an appropriate touch to the sci-fi ruins, vaguely reminiscent of Beneath the Planet of the Apes.


Here’s the finished inked piece, inked on the first side of the page, after I erased the inital layout. The pencil lines from the other side are shined through via lightbox and I ink it. I had a couple of accidental smudges. Ink bled onto my hand, then smeared on the page as I continued drawing. I “fixed” some of these mistakes by making them into compositional elements, like some of the ink areas around Basil’s floating skull in panel one. Those that I couldn’t “correct” I covered up with opaquing white.

Before sending the file to the colorist, I do a little digital cleanup and adjust the threshold level to the point where I get a high contrast black and white image.

This original piece of art is available for sale at the following link:

Process: Superman Illustration for Akron Comicon

The theme for November 9th’s Akron Comicon will be 75 Years of Superman. For that occasion I’ve created this color illustration.


Here’s the genesis of the piece:


At this year’s Phoenix Comicon I overheard two artists talking about the difficulty of depicting Superman. The problem is that he has a sky blue costume and is constantly flying against a blue sky background. This idea for this illustration immediately revealed itself to me. I’d use that element as a strength, rather than a weakness.

I began this drawing as I’ve described these other process drawings, rough sketch, flip the paper over to do a tighter pencil on a lightbox, then flip it back over to ink.


I gave everything a contour line except for his costume to really make it blend into the background. Note the missing eyes, like a painted religious icon where a conqueror gouged out the eyes.


On a separate sheet of typing paper I lightboxed a line drawing to indicate areas of color to make the color-flatting process easier in photoshop. This saves me from having to click-click-click an outline around every shape.


The end result presents Superman as an aspirational sky god. The “painted on” eyes hint at similar flourishes in Hindu statuary. The absence of the costume suggests a universality, but maybe also an emptiness to the character.

I keep trying to stifle my fannish impulse. I strive to be an iconoclast, not a pious delineator of illuminated manuscripts.

I can’t stop myself. I love comics, and superhero comics most of all.

As with previous process posts, I’m selling the original artwork on my Etsy page. Click here to purchase:


The fictional character Superman is tm and copyright DC Comics

Process: Finishing Godland

I’m finishing Godland, with just a few pages to go. This project represents a big chunk of my life and I’m finding it difficult to finish. With less than 10 pages to go, why is it taking so long? There are multiple reasons. I think I don’t want to let go of my last remaining connection to that nostalgic world of old-school, serialized, wednesday crowd comic-book-comics. A more pressing reason is that sales of Godland reached a point where I was no longer earning a royalty check. As of issue #16 I was making the comic for free.

I continued making the comic out of love, but I soon found other projects that I loved more: American Barbarian, Final Frontier, Satan’s Soldier and Mystery Object. Godland was exactly the kind of comic I wanted to make in 2005 (Kirby-esque pop art with as close to a “mainstream appeal” as I was comfortable with), but it isn’t 2005 any more.

In many ways, Godland had become a hobby not a job. For me a job takes precedence over a hobby. Here’s my solution, how to get myself to finish these last few pages: make Godland into a job. Make a schedule and something to sell at the end that’s worth my time and effort.

I’m breaking my policy of not selling Godland original art. You can view my progress here. I’ll post updates for the progress of the art. When I finish the page, it will be available for sale.

Here’s the rough layout:


Here’s the pencilled version:


What I did was flip the rough layout over, put it on a lightbox, and do the tight pencil on the other side of the bristol board, changing and editing as much as I feel is necessary. Since I ink Godland myself, I don’t need to make the pencils as tight and refined as I would if someone else had to ink it. At this stage I’m basically giving myself instructions in my own particular visual shorthand.

Next up: Inking.

For this phase, I turn the page over again and erase the layout that I started with. I then start inking on the frontside, with the pencils on the back side of the page, that way I’m more free to interpret the pencils rather than merely tracing them. So on the back of the board is a pencil drawing, on the front is the inked. I have a friend who displays pieces like this in a frame with a glass back so either side can be viewed. Here’s the finished art:


It’s on 14″ x 17″ bristol board. If you want to purchase the original art, here’s the Etsy link for it: