Recently in sketchbook Category

Project Basement: Spider-man (and Psylocke)

It's been a while since I put up a new sketch. But I thought it'd be nice to celebrate my birthday (tomorrow) by linking you to something I did recently, another submission to Nick Marino's Project Basement.

The theme this time around was iconic costumes and powers, so, as I sat at my table at Pittsburgh Comicon (I get all my best sketching done just sitting around at comicon), I decided to play on my Wacom Cintiq tablet and see what I came up with. This quick sketch of Spider-man uses the background that Max had designed for the introduction to Katt & Dawg in the current story arch (I had just finished coloring it, and figured why not?). The Spidey sketch itself was done from start to finish on the tablet. Click the image for my explanation of why I chose Spidey on Nick's site. 

Since I had some more time on my hands, I also did a Psylocke sketch wich you can see and learn my reasons for why on Nick's site as well. 

Hope you like them, and we'll see you back here tomorrow for the next part of Da Kitty Code, featuring an unexpected return. (Or maybe expected if you've REALLY been paying attention)

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Rigellian grunt brought to life by special effects magic

Mav draws for Project Basement (yet again)

maverick-cloak-dagger.jpgRemember when I drew that picture of Cable for Project Basement, my friend Nick's podcast blog feature? Well, do you remember when I drew that picture of Magik for it as well? Well, he's finishing up his second volume of that series so today he published my final drawing for it, Cloak and Dagger. The concept behind Project Basement vol 2 was characters you love and Characters you hate and for me Cloak and Dagger are a little of both, so I guess it's a good way to end his series.

As a bonus, the post also includes the work of another friend of ours, Wayne, as he draws Fixer from the Thunderbolts. So check it out and let me (or us) know what you think. And be sure to come back tomorrow for more Cosmic Hellcats.


Mav draws for Project Basement (again)

magik1.jpgA couple months ago, I was featured on Nick Marino's for his Project Basement project, drawing a character I hate, namely, Cable. Well, Nick's project also features web-comic artists doing characters they love, and my post for that is up today. So if you head over to Audioshocker, you'll see this drawing and my explanation of why I love the character of Illyana Rasputin, aka, Magik, of the New Mutants. 


Mav's draws for Project Basement

maverick-cable.pngFellow indy comic writer/artist Nick Marino of asked me to draw a picture or two for his Project Basement series. Project Basement is a collection of images of popular comic characters drawn by indy creators that Nick knows. For volume 2, Nick asked us to draw our LEAST favorite characters and give an explanation of why we don't like the character. After giving it a bit of thought, I decided that I'd use Cable. 

Check out the post over on AudioShocker to see the full sized image, read my write up and let me (and Nick) know what you think.

Mav's Sketchbook: Katt and Dawg

Katt and DawgDoes anyone read the blog posts that we have under the comic? Hell, does anyone read the blog posts that are under ANYONE'S comic, ours or otherwise?

Well, maybe you should. If you did you might see a special treat or two. If you were paying attention, a while back, you might have seen me mention in passing that Max and I had a couple of ideas for a few Hellcats related projects OUTSIDE of the main comic here. Well, this is the first one. 

One of the most common questions I get at comic book conventions the first time someone picks up a copy of Hellcats is "hmm, this is interesting, but I thought it would be a little more... well, you know, adult oriented? Have anything like that?" Well, the answer was no. WAS. I'm trying to change that. 

Obviously the Hellcats universe is very large. This was intentional. It gives us the opportunity to introduce different types of characters (like the Starfoxes for instance and The T.E.D.D:IJAµ (that's Kennedy and the other Bears from "A Giant Mess" if you don't remember), but also to tell other types of stories, that while still in the same "universe" might be of a different vein.

And that's what Katt and Dawg is going to be. An explicit content comic for mature readers (well, knowing me, it'll be for immature mature readers). Dark, grim, gritty, lots of sex and violence and definitely not safe for work. And yet with much of the same kind of humor you see here. It should be interesting. Yeah, that's a good word for it. Interesting!

I've very much been looking forward to this project, as it'll be the first full length comic that I will be publishing that I drew by myself. By convention I generally write and color the comics while Max pencils and inks them, but it had always been our intention that both of us would get the opportunity to do both. It's something I've been working on since 24-hour comic day. I actually completed the comic as a quick and dirty 24-hour comic back then and I'm now in process of refinishing it to make it nicer for publication. It's not a webcomic, because unlike the main strip here, it's meant to be read in one sitting, straight through, but I hope to have it done before next April (when Pittsburgh Comicon occurs, which typically represents the beginning of our convention year), and of course it will also be available in the Hellcats Bookstore, like our many other fine comics (cheap plug!).

You might have also noticed the current pirate story, "The Curse of the Kommodore's Courtesan," that's been running through some of the Saturday Hellcat Cosmoses for the last couple weeks. That's a solo project of Max's that will be occurring here and there in place of the regular Cosmoses, whenever he has time to work on a longer strip by himself. So keep tuned for more of those as well. 

Anyway, so here you go, the first sketch of Katt & Dawg, that I'll be releasing to the public. Let me know you think. Let me know if you'd be interested in reading such a thing, and if you'd be interested in even more Hellcats Universe expansion stories outside of the webstrip. Once this arc is over, I'd love to do a Starfox story and a TEDDIJAµ story for instance. (Someday. In the future. When we have more time. What I wouldn't give for my own Bullpen of artists. You know if anyone has some artistic talent and always wanted to draw a comic written by yours truly for the great wage of FREE, feel free to drop me a line),

Hmmm, so is anyone still reading? I should offer some sort of prize to people who register and comment. I wish I knew. I guess that's how Marvel came up with the fabled No-Prizes. Hey, if you come up with something feel free to comment about that too!

Make mine McGuffin!

Tuesday Sketch: Summer

I didn't get around to doing the Tuesday Sketch last week since I was so busy with the actual comic and with doing the Cosmos for last weekend (Max was on vacation) plus this weekend was my birthday so i was preparing for that. But I wanted to make sure I got it in this week. 

This week's theme was summer, and for some reason the first thing that came to mind was volleyball for me. Maybe just because I like drawing women better than men. 

Anyway, I decided to do this week's sketch in Manga Studio, much like I did the Cosmos, mostly to practice my digital inking (which is coming along but still definitely needs work. To touch it up I decided to do it in color again, and in fact a more realistic coloring job than I generally do with Cosmic Hellcats itself. I like to keep Hellcats simplified and cartoony (which granted is how I draw anyway) and so I try to minimize shadow unless it really matters.

Anyway, here's what I did. Enjoy.


Three Tuesday Sketches for the Price of One

lit001.jpgThat's right, three sketches for the price of one. And since you get to read Hellcats for free, you have to admit that's a hell of a deal.

Actually, I was planning on not doing the Tuesday sketch this week. I have a lot of work to do on the comics for Thursday and Max is going on vacation so I have to do Saturday's Hellcat Cosmos as well. But after my daily workout today I was in ore of a mood to sketch than I was to color, so I decided to give it a shot.

As always, I'm glad I did. 

I always like to give myself different challenges for the Tuesday Sketch. The first week I did my Wonder Woman sketch entirely on computer. The second week, I decided to draw with graphite sticks. This week, the theme was "Favorite Literary Characters." I couldn't decide which one I wanted to do, so I decided to do three. And I was going to draw three different sketches, I figured I'd have to quick sketch them all. 

It's actually really good practice. When you quick sketch, you have to learn to not care as much about technical precision. I gave myself about 10-15 minutes for each sketch and was watching TV while I did them so as to not pay too much attention. It was all gesture based and just getting the idea down on paper. I used graphite sticks again because I love them so much, even though I didn't do as much blending and such as I did the first time I used them.

In any case, here are the sketches. I have a great love for mythology and folklore. As such the literary characters I chose all came from classical fiction. Let me know what you think. As always, click the any of the images to see a larger version of them.


lit002.jpg lit003.jpg
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Tuesday Sketch: Fairies!

I had so much fun doing the Wonder Woman Tuesday Sketch last week that I figured I'd try it again this week. At the very least, I figured, it'd be good to practice my quick sketching.

Last week's sketch was done entirely on the computer with my Wacom Sketch Tablet, so this week I decided to go a different direction. I used to love freehand sketching, so I got out my graphite drawing sticks (funky, all graphite drawing pencils for those who don't know) and waited for them to announce the Tuesday Sketch on Twitter

Well, it turns out the Tuesday Sketch is normally done by an entirely different website. So after I sorted that out, I took the "secret ingredient" (a nod to Iron Chef) – which was "fairies" this week – and went to work on my sketch for this week.

As I said, I went in a different direction this time. Rather than drawing the whole thing on computer, I did the initial sketch with good old pencil (well graphite stick) and paper. After completing the freehand sketch I scanned it and quickly colored it with the wacom tablet and Adobe Photoshop. And what you see to the right is the results (as always, you can click it to enlarge it).

Another note about the drawing. In my mind magical fairies don't wear clothes. There just really doesn't seem to be any point to it. But, in an effort to keep both this and the Tuesday Sketch website at least somewhat worksafe, I figured I'd make a small concession and so they have tiny little translucent outfits. It's the least I can do.

Let me know what you think. Oh and if you're not following us on Twitter yet, then please add @cosmichellcats and don't forget to add our Facebook page as well.


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Wonder Woman Revamped

So here's a funny story. When I wrote the current strip, I just told Max to draw a succession of sexy and silly outfits for Sarah to be trying on and I would write jokes for whatever he picked later. That's actually pretty common for Hellcats. We sort of collaborate. I write a basic plot, and then often I'll base some of the jokes off of whatever occurs to me with Max's art.

When Max sent me inked artwork, I was surprised to find out that he'd actually drawn her in a Wonder Woman outfit. The funny thing here is that if you've been paying attention to your comic book news, DC Comics actually decided to change Wonder Woman's outfit this week. 

I actually almost made a joke in the strip about Sarah choosing the outfit because Diana Prince wasn't using it anymore, but I opted out and went the way you see in the strip above. But I kept thinking about it.

Then while perusing Twitter this morning I saw that the website Area 51 comics was running a "redesign Wonder Woman" contest. The idea being that since DC was redesigning her outfit this month, it might be fun to see what other artists might do give the chance to do so as well. I thought it might be fun to give it a whirl. And I figured, while I'm at it, why not throw in a bonus Wonder Girl as well. (Cassie is one of my favorite comic book characters.)

I wasn't really thinking about what I was getting myself into. I used to paint and draw a lot. That's even initially what I went to college for (I eventually switched my major to creative writing with an art minor). But, I've more or less gotten out of practice the last few years. I've spent way more time writing than drawing. But as I said a couple weeks ago, I had so much fun picking up the pen again (and by pen, I mean Wacom Sketch Tablet) that I resolved to do it more often. Since I drew that Hellcat Cosmos by hand in Manga Studio I figured this time I'd give it a go painting the entire thing in Photoshop. I didn't really realize that I'd gotten so out of practice that it'd take me all day. 

No matter, I was resolved to do this dammit! It's not quite as good as I wanted, my pen control has definitely suffered due to atrophy, but I am relatively pleased with it. Especially since I did it freehand on the computer rather than drawing it on paper and only coloring on the computer (the way we normally do the comics). While not as technically proficient as I want, that's something I can work on. I'm certainly happy with it stylewise. If I get more time to practice with it and get to where I want to be, both speed and qualitywise, I'd love to maybe do a special edition comic this way. 

Some day maybe.

Anyway, for now, please enjoy some rare (well rare around here) non-Hellcats artwork. Let me know what you think. Oh, and much like the comics, you can see a larget version by clicking on the image.


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