The making of “Skully”!

Recently (and by recently I mean February) I started working on an award design for the first annual Alternative press Music Awards that happened July 21 at the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.  Here’s a article detailing the different steps we went through including brainstorming sessions, designs (including a lot of scrapped ideas), and the actual sculpting process that brought my drawings to  life.  So check it out…..

Also here’s a video showing one of my illustrations turned into a huge backdrop as well as Brendan Urie of Panic at the Disc receiving the first award….

Speedy the Turtle!

Hey everybody…been a long time since I’ve updated, mostly because I’ve been up to my eyeballs in projects – one such project was  Speedy the Turtle that I provided illustrations for.  Now available on Amazon, Speedy features 26 illustrations by yours truly and is great for boys and girls alike….so go grab a copy (or two)…..



Here’s another small painting I worked on the other day…I mostly did it because I miss seeing the classic blue Batman…..I printed out pics of the Mego versions of Batman and Joker and besides that purple on the Joker’s jacket, matched the colors pretty closely….as I’ve gotten older I’ve really been able to pinpoint the imagery and even colors that I associate with my childhood and Batman was a big part of it….I had action figures, vehicles, Colorforms sets, Prestomagix, the whole shebang…..and use to draw wonderful characters like these all the time…so it’s kind of interesting to come back to these characters I knew and loved with 30+ years of improved drawing ability backing me up… some day Im going to raid the stash of childhood drawings my mom has locked away and revisit some of my old subjects……it’s kind of funny because when I first went off to college, my intention was to become a comic book artist because I loved the art form so much, but all it took was one semester of comic book drawing to realize that wasn’t what I wanted to do.  I’m a real stickler for consistency and I remember the thing that aggravated me the most was seeing the artwork in a comic start out strong and go downhill as the story went on / the artist either ran out of steam or ran out of time….and I think I realized in that class one of my main weaknesses – losing interest quickly.  I think that’s why I tend to jump around in the different niches I have over the years whether it’s rock posters, skateboards, toys, paintings, etc… day I hope to figure out where I really fit in as an artist and throw myself into it fully and completely…..

Happy New Year!

Hey everybody, just wanted to wish you a happy new year and all that jazz…I’m not really sure what the new year holds for me, but I’m going to just go with the vague goal to do better work and most importantly MORE work, which means getting back into keeping a regular sketchbook as well as a wide variety of art prints.

Here’s some recent pieces I’ve done.  This year I got back into using Dr. Martin’s watercolors which I forgot how much I loved to use….mostly after years and years of doing a lot of work digitally it felt good to get back to doing a lot of work by hand…I’ll still continue to use the computer when the job requires it, but if I can get away with doing it physically I’m gonna choose that……



Hey everybody!

I’m cleaning out some of my flat files and putting together 12 Mystery gigposter/art print tubes….
$50 (+ shipping and handling) gets you 5 randomly chosen gigposters or art prints from my last 12 years as well as assorted swag like buttons and handbills.  One out of the 12 tubes will have a bonus original drawing thrown in, so who feels lucky?
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Also a couple other things:
I just put up an auction for one of my Star Wars Galactic Files sketch card artist proofs  This one features everyone’s favorite breathing challenged half robot / half human Sith Lord……for those who aren’t familiar with sketch cards I worked with Topps in 2012 on their Star Wars and Mars Attacks properties.  I was given a certain amount of blank cards and produced an original sketch on each one. After being sent back to Topps they were then randomly inserted into packs of cards.  “Artist proofs” are cards specifically chosen by me and sent back from Topps as part of my fee and from time to time I’ll put them up on Ebay.  This particular card is the last Star Wars one I have available for sale…….
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Also this past fall saw the release of a series of Universal Monsters Hot Wheels I worked on for Mattel featuring Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, and The Wolfman.  These were available at stores across the country (Krogers, Wal-mart, and Meijer to name a few) but finding them is getting tougher and tougher.  I’ve put two signed sets up in my store so grab ‘em while you can.
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Annnnnnnd finally, I still have a selection of small reasonably priced paintings and art prints left over from my recent solo show, so please browse around my Bonanza shop and see if anything catches your eye….
That’s all for now! Be on the look out in the coming year for announcements on more art releases, exhibitions, and contests……

Toy Stories – Episode 2 : Help me Beast Man

Growing up, around the time I turned 6 or 7, my mom moved from being stay at home to going to work as an occupational therapist with Grandview Hospital. My dad was the manager of Hauer Music on Far Hills and through that job we really became close with the Hauer family, in particular Ed and Martha Hauer. Around 1980 “Aunt Martha” ,as my brother Todd and I called her, became our babysitter. She would pick us up after school and either watch us at our house on Marshall Rd. or take us to her house in Moraine to hang out with her German Shepard and FIVE poodles – side note: I developed a dislike for poodles as a result, but that’s another story. “Uncle Ed” had recently died so I think my brother and I were a really good distraction for her and she used to take us to the toy store and a lot of movies when she watched us. This one rainy day the plan was as follows, 1. go to Children’s Palace and get a small toy and then 2. go see a movie. One thing I should say is that Aunt Martha took me and my brother to a lot of age inappropriate moves, but for the most part looking back it was a good thing as I got to see stuff like 9 to 5, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Stroker Ace, and Six Pack (which actually was kind of a family film) but sometimes it was a bad thing, as was the case on this day. Now when I was a kid and knew I was going to the toy store I used to get horribly sick to my stomach from the anticipation but it would go away the second I got there. I mean it was almost an immediate thing once we arrived, the stomach ache would quickly dissipate and then I could get down to the business of looking at toys. So this was about the time He-Man and the Masters of the Universe were just coming out and Children’s Palace had a wall of figures to choose from. I’ve always been attracted to the colors orange and red, so I was immediately drawn to the Beast Man figure and after getting him we left to go to the movie theater in the Dayton Mall to see POLTERGEIST. What would follow would be two of the most terrifying hours of my little life. Well actually the first half hour wasn’t that bad, but after the part where the tree crashed through the son’s window and tried to eat him, I spent the rest of the movie clutching my Beastman figure, nervously chewing on multiple pieces of Hubba Bubba, and watching the rest of the movie either with my eyes closed or through the spaces between my fingers.

As if the tree eating part wasn’t bad enough there was that FREAKING CLOWN who came to life and tried to strangle the son. I already had a pretty hefty fear of clowns thanks to a painting of one my great grandmother had done and was given to me. For some reason my mom thought it would be a good idea to prop up in my closet and when I would wake up in the middle of the night he would be there staring back at me.

Needless to say I left the movie pretty shellshocked that day, holding onto my Beastman figure for dear life. As a result, for years I was creeped out by trees. Yes, TREES. Especially climbing on them because I would see these different seams on them where the branches met the trunk and imagine them opening up and swallowing me whole at any given moment. And then I would think about what would happen if you did get eaten by a tree. Would you get digested? Was it a gateway to another dimension? Would you just be trapped inside the tree and suffocate? It’s kind of funny because since then I’ve caught bits and pieces of Poltergeist on tv and laugh at how horrible some of the effects are , especially the part where the guy hallucinates that he’s tearing his face off, but at the time, man oh man, that stuff was terrifying to me. Luckily Beast Man was there to look out for me.

Toy Stories : Episode 1

Growing up, my childhood was awesome. I was and am still surrounded by a loving family and because I was a good kid and almost never got in trouble I was given free reign to lose myself in my toys, my art, and comic books. I have so many great memories associated with these things that I’ve become a very nostalgic person as I’ve gotten older….whether that’s a refusal to let go of my childhood or just holding onto the stuff that made/makes me happy, regardless I have a lot of tales to tell. One such tale took place in the spring of 1983 right on the cusp of the release of Return of the Jedi. This was obviously before the internet and rampant speculation about the plots and characters in movies so it was amazing to go into a film with no idea what was going to happen, except for the little glimpses you saw in trailers and tv commercials….and did I mention action figures? And this is where our tale begins. In Centerville there was a K-mart where Spring Valley and Main street crossed that we used to go to when I was a kid. And this one glorious day, I would have been 9 at the time, my trek into the toy department was met with a huge wall of action figures from Return of the Jedi. I just remember it was like visual overload, that classic Star Wars packaging that upon seeing it would spark the happy part of my brain and probably 90% of them featured characters I had never seen before. I don’t want to speculate as to who all was available because I know ROTJ figures came out in waves and I know someone’s going to call me out and say “that particular figure came out in the second wave so he/she couldnt have been there.” All I know is I gravitated right to the Bib Fortuna figure aka Jabba the Hutt’s right hand man. He had these cool tentacle looking things coming off his head and just looked like a complete badass…in my little Fundip addled brain I imagined he was probably some sort of bounty hunter who knocked people out with his staff and howled over their corpses. My brother decided to play it safe with a Jedi Luke, and I probably bragged and bragged how I made the better decision with my action figure choice and would be vindicated when the movie came out. And came out it did. I think I saw Return of the Jedi about three times that summer. Twice with my parents and a third time with my grandma. The time with my grandma is a whole other story. Let’s just suffice to say I spent the moments after walking out of the theater with my grandma trying to convince her that she NEEDED to take me to Children’s Palace IMMEDIATELY and buy me a Wicket the ewok action figure. No if ands or butts. She was very skilled in negotiations and I ended up losing that particular battle.

But back to Bib Fortuna. The guy for weeks I thought was going to be one of the most bad ass bounty hunter characters in the movies ended up being a creepy pointy tooth droid molester. Moral of the story : don’t judge an action figure by it’s packaging.