Thursday, December 13, 2007

Crowd scene illustration step-by-step

Here's a step-by-step explanation on how (and why) I made this:

It appeared in Wizard Magazine #195.

It starts off when the editors at Wizard email me with the general concept of the piece. In their exact words: "We'd like to see all of these characters in an airport-type situation with the dead characters sitting in the waiting area talking, listening to iPods, playing video games, typing on laptops, etc and the resurrected pouring in from the gate as if they just got off the plane." , followed with a long list of characters to include and some gag suggestions. I'm always encouraged to "plus" the jokes and make the piece even funnier, which is one of the best parts of these jobs.

This was my tightest deadline ever for Wizard - they needed a sketch in 2 days, and the final art in a week. And as luck would have it, I was attending the Small Press Expo during the production time, so I had to work on it at night in the hotel room after show hours. Then when I got home on monday, my computer's hard drive crashed and was going to require a full data recovery to get it back up to speed. Luckily I have an older computer I keep around for just such emergencies - it's a little slow but it runs photoshop just fine so I was back up and running in less than an hour.

Enough excuses - time to get crackin'!

STEP ONE - Research!

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and the DC Encyclopedia have saved my behind many, many times over with these assignments. I'm a lifelong reader of superhero comics so I know the a-list and b-list characters pretty well, but these books come in very handy for when I have to draw someone really obscure or for details like, say, the pattern on Black Bolt's costume or something. I find the Marvel book much more usefull, even though it's in black and white and not as comprehensive, but it's got nice full-body pictures of all the characters one to a page so it's easy to browse. The DC book has the advantage of being in color, but it's an awkwardly oversized hardcover and there's usually 5 or 6 characters listed on a single page, so it's not easy to flip through when you need to look up a ton of characters at once. What's worse, the pictures they pick for the entries are just lifted from the comics themselves and often just head shots that cut out the costume details I need, like this entry for Terra (a character I had to draw for this assignment):

Thanks for nothing DC Encylopedia. Glad I bought you at a discount.

Ah well, there's always the internet. Wikipedia is my main go-to visual reference point, and the Micro-heroes site is a great resource for looking up costume colors and such, both are INSANELY comprehensive - it's rare I have to look beyond those two sites. There were more than a few characters that I had never heard of in this one and didn't show up in either book, so I hit the interweb and I hit it HARD. Any internet reference I find I download into iPhoto so it's always there - I even synch it to my iPod and use that as a portable mini reference library. (nerd alert!)

For the background, I did a google image search for airport waiting areas and found a really nice picture taken at LAX that was just perfect - good composition, interesting architecture and the columns created a natural visual divide that I needed for this assignment, yet it was still generic enough to be any old airport. Idealy I would have gathered my own reference or made something up from my head, but this was a rush assignment and airports aren't exactly an easy thing to get to these days. Stupid terrorists.

STEP TWO - Rough sketch.

Okay, time to really dive and do this thing. In art school I learned that if you're drawing a crowd scene you need to vary the sizes of the people - big in the foreground, small in the background. It makes for a more pleasing composition AND it's easier to draw than if they were all drawn at the same size. My philosophy with these "do one of everything" pieces is to put the most recognizable characters (Thor, the Flash) or the ones I like (Madman, The Question) in the foreground, fill in the mid-ground with as many jokes as I can, then use up all the other characters that I've either never heard of (Grayven) or I hate (Jericho) as filler. Hey , it's my art - I'll draw it my way!

I draw the rough sketch at the size it will be printed at, 11 x 17 inches, leaving room at the top for editorial copy and making sure there are no characters faces or other important visual info that falls on the center line - which would just look weird when it was printed. Not all the details are there, but it's enough for the editors to give feedback on. I also make a character key so they know who's who, 'cause a lot of time I do loose interpretations of the characters rather than slavish reproductions:

STEP THREE - Revised pencils.

So after they saw my first sketch the editors wanted some changes: they thought the joke with the two Flashes didn't make sense and there wasn't a clear division between the dead and resurrected sides, so I expanded the rope and staffed it with grim reaper type airport personnel. They also wanted Captain America's to be in a death pose from the comics. Finally, right after I sent in the sketch the editors got the inside scoop that Green Arrow wasn't actually dead, so I pulled him out entirely. On a completely unrelated note - superhero comics sure can be stupid sometimes.

Anyways, in the big picture (ha ha) these changes are pretty minor, so doing another sketch at the small size would just be a waste of time since I would mostly be re-drawing characters that were already approved at a size I couldn't use for the final art. So I skip to the next step - I enlarge the scan of the sketch by 150%, change the lines to 10% cyan and print that out onto two pieces of 11 x 14 inch bristol board using an oversize inkjet printer. I tape those two pieces together - the full size of the art is 22 x 14 inches. I draw the revised pencils on top of that, starting with all the stuff the editors wanted changed, then just re-drawing the rest essentially just tracing the printed light blue lines but with more detail:

STEP FOUR - Inking
The revised pencils were approved with one small change - the ticket taker was changed from a stewardess into a more traditional Grim Reaper type. For most assignments I usually just do finished colors after the pencils are approved - but the deadline was very tight and I wanted the editors to know that I was making progress, so I sent them the inks after I scanned them, which were approved quickly:

STEP FIVE - Flat colors
Coloring is a whole tutorial unto itself, but I always start out with very basic, solid colors (sometimes called "flats") before adding shadows and highlights and stuff. I keep the inks on the top layer, and the color flats below that.
I don't pump in a lot of creativity at this stage - for my Wizard assignments it's more important that the characters are correctly identifiable rather than coming up with a unique or imaginative color scheme. I keep the backgrounds mostly monotone, since the focus is on the characters, not the setting. I sent a high-res version of this to the magazine so that the graphic designers could start working on the layout without waiting for me to finish the fully renered colors.

STEP SIX - Color rendering and special effects
I add the shadows on a layer between the line art and the colors, and the highlights on a layer above that. I try not to get too complex with the rendering - at the most I'll give a color area 3 values (outline, shadow, midtone). Having a drawing tablet is absolutely essential for this stage - with the tablet the work goes pretty quickly and is a lot of fun.

>> Click here to download a layered sample of the final file to see how I set up my coloring file. 410k, Adobe Photoshop required!


My favorite part!

So that's it. No big secrets really, just a lot of hard work. I hope I explained everything clearly, if you've got any questions please post them in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Death Airport for Wizard Magazine

(click to enlarge)
Seems like every superhero comic these days is about this character or that character either dying or coming back to life. This is for an article in Wizard #195 about that - recently resurected characters coming in through arrival gate on left, and the recently deceased waiting for resurection on the right. I could probably do a new one of these every month and it would look completely different.
UPDATE: The original art for this is now available for sale!.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Commissioned artwork!

Here's some privately commissioned art I did recently, pen and ink drawings with a little bit of pencil on letter sized bristol board.


A retirement age ex-boxer who wears a cat suit to fight crime. The comedy possibilities are endless, but from what I can see he's portrayed as a serious character in the DC Universe. Only in comics.

Stanley and his Monster

I've never read this comic, but it seems kinda Calvin and Hobbes-ish, except the Monster isn't imaginary and the kid is a real jerk.

Nick Fury

World War 2 era of course!

Doctor Bong

He's got the munchies.

The Creeper

I took some liberties with the costume, so I added color so he'd still be recognizable. I only know this character from the Batman cartoon - never read any of his comics appearances.

I'm always available for commissions like this - let me draw your favorite comic book or cartoon character too!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Comic Book Comics #1!

COMIC BOOK COMICS is the follow-up project Fred Van Lente and I are doing now that we've finished Action Philosophers. This is the cover to the first issue, which hits comic stores March 2008. Each issue will be 40 pages long, bi-monthly, $3.95. The first Comic Book Comics story was in AWESOME: THE INDIE SPINNER RACK ANTHOLOGY (available now!), and there will be a preview chapter from the first issue in the THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #50. I am having an absolute BLAST drawing it.

Here's the solicitation copy for the first issue:

You only THINK you know comics history! The epic -- and insane! -- story of comic books, manga, and graphic novels, told as a comic, in the inimitable, irreverent, and award-winning Action Philosophers style, begins here! In this hilarious first issue: Before there could be comics, there had to be newspaper strips, animated cartoons, and pulp magazines. Thrill to publishing giants William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer duking it out over The Yellow Kid! Tremble at the war between Walt Disney and Max Fleischer for animation domination! Follow the bizarre trail of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's first superhero from sci-fi pulp to comic strip to the birth of a new medium! Plus: The early years of Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Winsor McCay and Joe Simon!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Little Orphan Ani

Another comic strip parody for Toyfare - not sure if it got printed yet.
Annie was a tough style to emulate, I'm not a fan of the comic strip (or the new Star Wars movies) and the look of it evolved so many times over the decades which made it really hard to nail down the correct style. Drawing is always fun of course, but not every assignment is a party. Hopefully it came out OK.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This book is AWESOME - no really!

In stores today is AWESOME: THE INDIE SPINNER RACK ANTHOLOGY, a 208 page book that I edited and contributed a 6 page story to (previously blogged about here). All profits from the book are being split between the Indie Spinner Rack podcast and a scholarship for a student at the Center for Cartoon Studies. I'm just as proud of this book as I am exhausted from putting it together.

The cover was designed and illustrated by Jon Adams, one of my favorite cartoonists (he also contributed some comics). The inside of the book is just as kick-ass, and has over 200 pages of all-new original comics by Al Columbia (yes, THAT Al Columbia), Alec Longstreth, Andy Runton, Bernie Mireault, Dave Roman, Fred Chao, Fred Van Lente, GB Tran, J Chris Campbell, Jamie Tanner, Josh Cotter, Kazimir Strzepek, Liz Baillie, Liz Prince, Matt Kindt, Matthew Bernier, Neil Swaab, Nick Bertozzi, Raina Telgemeier, Renee French, Robert Goodin, Roger Langridge, Sam Hiti, Sarah Oleksyk, Steve Hamaker and loads more.

The book debuted at the Small Press Expo this past weekend was a raging success and we sold a lot of copies (Jeff Smith bought one!). It will be in comic stores tomorrow (if they ordered it) and we're having a launch party with free beer at Rocketship in Brooklyn on October 19th, which will be attended by about 20 contributors. Come on down, have a drink, buy the book and get it signed by a bunch of people - you won't be disappointed.

If your store didn't carry it or you can't make the party, the book can also be ordered here.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Things are looking up!

Not really.

Done for this week's Illustration Friday assignment: "The Blues".

I shouldn't make fun - freelance work has suddenly come to a screeching halt and I might be wearing one of those blue smocks soon…

Saturday, September 22, 2007 logo

My friend Stacy's brother, Bruce, was diagnosed with a brain tumor about a year ago. She decided to start a blog to document his battle, connect with other people going through the same thing, and solicit donations to help Bruce through the greulling recovery process. Mostly, she just wanted to help her brother. I was more than happy to help out by illustrating the site's logo, and my wife designed the website itself.

Bruce was initially hesitant about the idea of having his very personal ordeal discussed publicly, but the blog has allowed him to connect with other people in similar situations and has helped his recovery a lot, as well as raised some money for his family as he's been unable to work during the entire recovery process.

This started as a pencil drawing that I scanned in and manually created a vector version with Adobe Illustrator. A little different than my usual work, but still fun.

For more info about Bruce (who has just started to go back to work part-time) visit

Sunday, September 16, 2007

CBR Interview

I did an interview with Comic Book Resources about the end of Action Philosophers. Jon the interviewer asked a lot of great questions and I wish I could have given better answers, but I was exhausted from housework that day and our phone connection kept cutting out so I couldn't get into a comfortable rhythym and I sound like a complete simpleton. I know, way to sell things Ryan. I stink at this publicity stuff.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Blast from the Past

I found this monstrosity in my parent's basement during a visit last week. I drew it almost 20 years ago when I was 16 years old and I didn't have a clue - it was drawn with ballpoint pen and crayola markers on 24 x 18 inch glossy paper. According to the signature it took me THREE MONTHS to draw. I used to do this thing where I would copy poses out of comics but change the costume into a different character so it would be an "original" drawing and not a copy. Sub-Marriner is definately copied from a Captain Brittain drawing, and I'm pretty sure Moon Knight is a copied pose too - the rest of them are probably legitimately original.

Believe it or not, this actually won an award at a comic art competition at Books Galore in Erie, Pennsylvania (the store is still around the last time I checked). It got first place in the 15 - 18 year old category. It was displayed in the store all summer, but then when I went to go pick it up they said that all winning entries became property of the store, because I had recieved a prize for winning (I think it was a 20 dollar giftcertificate and a free movie pass). I told them that if I had known that I would have to give up the artwork I never would have entered the competition in the first place. So they decided to give the art back to me which was nice of them. Maybe they just didn't want to see a 16-year-old cry. It was a windy day and as soon as I stepped outside this artwork was ripped out of my hands and blew into traffic, (the store is located on a 4-lane road) where it got run over by a truck and dragged through a few puddles. I ran out into the road and grabbed it, but the damage had already been done and the colors had run all over the place. I kind of like it better this way.

The wife thought it was awesome that I used to draw giant crowd scenes of superheroes for fun when I was in high school, and now it's my job and I complain about it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

One for the road - ELF DANCE!

I forgot about this one - don't know if it got published in Inquest or not:

my last Inquest Magazine illustrations

This was a rush job I did the beginning of July for an article on Magic: The Gathering, a game I've never played. Got the assignment at 430 in the afternoon and had to pencil it that night - about 6 or 7 hours work - got approval of the pencils early the next morning then spent the rest of the day doing inks and colors (about 14 hours).

Then I did 3 full color spot illustrations for the same article the day after that. I get tired just thinking about it.

I actually kind of like doing rush jobs - it keeps me from getting too pretentious about things, and the art usually ends up being a lot looser and livelier.

Shortly after I posted these images online I found out that Inquest's last issue will be published this month. Oh well, it had a good run.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Last Action Philosophers

Action Philosophers #9 is finally at the printers and will hit comix stores on September 5th.

What took me so long? Well…

The last trade paperback, collecting issues 7 - 9, will be out sometime in November.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

All My Secrets Revealed

I did a big general email interview with Canadian comic book site Jazma Online about a week ago - since I was only asked basic boilerplate questions with absolutely no follow-up I ended up doing 99.9999% of the writing, so I'm posting it here in its entirety instead of just linking to it. I also added in some pictures. Enjoy!


Jazma Online interview with RYAN DUNLAVEY, Co-creator/Artist of Action Philosophers

What is "Action Philosophers" about?

Action Philosophers is a comic book about the lives and thoughts of the greatest thinkers in human history but told with a lot of jokes. Every issue we cover three different figures linked together by a common theme – like our "Hate the French" issue which was all French dudes: Sartre, Descartes and Derrida - or "The People’s Choice" issue which was made up of figures people voted for online. Even with the theme issues, each short is a stand-alone story, so you don’t have to read the Plato comic in order to understand the Aristotle comic.

A lot of people see the title and at first they think it’s about philosophers stopping bank robbers and stuff but in fact they are historically accurate history comics where we make fun of everything and also place them in a modern context in order to make it entertaining and easy to understand. Our tagline is "All the philosophy is real, all the jokes are fake!"

Do you and Fred Van Lente work well together?

Pretty well actually – we were friends for a long time and had worked on comics separately before we ever collaborated, we respect each other a great deal and give each other a lot of creative freedom. I trust Fred will write a great script, he trusts me to draw nice artwork. We’re both pretty hands-off with each other - we talk pretty broadly about what we’re going to do in each issue before we get started, then Fred writes a full script for me, I pencil and ink everything, scan and shoot it off to Fred, he letters it and shoots it back to me, I do some visual and compositional tweaks to the lettering, then I send it to the printer.

The only real control we have over each other is if I draw something that goes against factual history Fred will ask me to correct it. That happens about once per issue. And if Fred writes something I don’t think is funny or worded awkwardly I let him know, sometimes he changes it, sometimes not. I think that’s happened maybe 3 or 4 times total. The only downside to our partnership is that Fred wishes I could draw faster, but then again so do I!

Can you tell us a few of the philosophers that are featured?

All the big names: Plato, Kant, Rand, Aristotle, Neitzsche, Sartre, Descartes, Jung, Rousseau, Hobbes, Francis Bacon, St Thomas Aquinus, St. Augustine, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, etc, etc, and a good number lesser-knows we found interesting like Bodhidharma, The Pre-Socratics and Epicitus the Stoic. We also did a number of people that don’t really fit the traditional definition of a Philosopher but we thought were worth including since their ideas were so important: Freud, Marx, Machiavelli, Joseph Campbell, Thomas Jefferson. Pretty much everyone from the history of philosophy who had something new or interesting to say or whose life made a great story, usually both. In nine issues we covered 37 different philosophers, plus several more were discussed within other’s stories – like how Socrates’ played a big part in Plato’s story.

We could have continued the series with more philosophers or gone into greater detail as many of our fans and critics have suggested, but Fred and I both agreed that it would have sucked all the fun out of it – both reading it and making it. Our goal has always been for our comic to be a lighthearted and easy to understand introduction to philosophy, not an all-encompassing work.

Do you have certain types of drawings you prefer doing over others?

I think I have artistic ADD – everything has to be either full of action, really funny or incredibly cool looking or else I get bored instantly, probably because the act of drawing itself can be very tedious. I’m from the ever-shrinking school of thought that believes that comics should be loud, trashy, visceral and above all else, FUN. I hate boring stuff, boring stories and pretentious crap that’s in most comics nowadays - I don’t like drawing quiet scenes, people sitting around talking and stuff (or worse: explaining continuity) like most mainstream comics nowadays where the superheroes talk about their feelings or look at photographs for four issues – to me that garbage is the antithesis of the spirit of comics. I don’t like reading that crap and I sure as hell would hate drawing it too. Yet I’m best known for drawing a comic about philosophers. Irony. Luckily me, Fred writes damn entertaining scripts with lots of jokes and action because he knows how important it is to entertain people, especially his artist.

I also don’t really like aping other people’s styles though I seem to have a knack for it and it’s gotten me a lot of freelance work. Very time consuming, and towards the ends of some those projects I just want to tear out what little is left of my hair.

What is minimate art? Why do people enjoy minimate drawings?

Minimates are these little blocky action figures that kind of look like Lego men – all the characters are sculpted the same but they paint and color them differently so they look like different characters, they are very cute little toys. I did 2 illustrations for Toyfare magazine of minimates figures in action one of the Marvel and DC characters fighting, the second was an homage to a Power Man and Iron Fist cover – they couldn’t photograph them because they toys didn’t exist yet, so they asked me to draw them instead. I stopped collecting toys years ago so I had to go out and buy some minimates so that I could draw them correctly.

Shortly after that I posted them to an online art site and people went berserk for them and started asking me to post more. Unfortunately they are incredibly hard to draw – it took me about 4 times as long to draw than something I would do in my own style - because the figures have all these little details in the joints and stuff that I had to get right so they would actually look like the toys (which I guess is why people liked the drawing so much), and I was limited by the articulation of the figures themselves, unlike when I draw in a cartoony or realistic style where there are no limits. I’m never going to do another one unless I get paid for it. Toys are fun, drawing is fun, but drawing toys is not fun. Again, irony.

Who is "Tommy Atomic"?

According to my wife, he’s a complete dick.

Tommy Atomic is a series of comics I’ve been doing off and on for years about a reluctant superhero with a bomb stuck in his head that gives him superpowers for 99 seconds per day – if he uses them for any longer than that he will blow up. The only reason he’s a superhero is because his girlfriend Polly wants to be one, and she’s the only person that knows how to operate the remote control that switches his powers on and off.

So Tommy reluctantly agrees to become a superhero with Polly right by his side as his non-powered spunky sidekick just to keep her happy. I came up with the idea as a big "f-you" to mainstream superheroes – Tommy refuses wear a costume, doesn't have a code name or a secret identity and most of his fights take a few seconds. His name isn’t even Atomic – that’s just the name of the strip. I made some mini comics of around 1999/2000, and it appeared in Royal Flush a few times, then earlier this year I took it to the web as a weekly web comic (and used a lot of his earlier print appearances to pad out the archive.) Since I went online I’ve barely done any superhero stories with the characters - all the strips have been about things like board games and food.

Why would someone want to pick up an issue of Royal Flush?

Royal Flush is what would happen if Mad Magazine and Rolling Stone had a love child back when they were both still good (actually I think Mad is still good, I'm just not 11 years old anymore). It's got music, underground comics, wrestling, stupid action films, low brow art and dick jokes - all the things worth living for. It's beautifully illustrated throughout. It has unbelievably offensive comics that no one else is brave enough to publish like "Hispanic Batman", "The Mitzvah Four", and my own strip "Diarrhea Dog". It's got more going on in the first 10 pages than all other magazines have in a year. Like the tagline says, "You can't lose with a Royal Flush"!

When and why was Evil Twin Comics formed?

Evil Twin is brand-name I’ve been using for all my comics pretty much since I started making them – it was the name of my college comic strip, a mini comic series and my website. I came up with it in the early 90’s - I was imitating other indy books like Eightball and Palookaville to sort of invoke a feeling with what my work was like. My first comics were filled with aggression and negativity but in person I’m actually a pretty nice guy so the name seemed appropriate. When it came time to publish Action Philosophers in 2005 we needed a company name and Evil Twin Comics sounded as good as any so that’s what we went with. I didn’t even discuss it with Fred, I just wrote the name in the catalog solicitations and on the cover – at the time I thought we’d only be printing two issues of Action Philosophers and be done, so what did it matter? But the book because a success and the name stuck. In the Diamond catalog we’re placed between Dynamic Forces and Fantagraphics - which is oddly appropriate.

What would you like to accomplish next in your career?

I guess I would like to write more of my own comics but Fred writes so damn fast I can’t get out from the mountain of excellent scripts he’s given me. And it would be nice to get hired by a company to draw a comic once in a while instead of having to self-publish all the time. I make my living as freelance illustrator and have a lot of great clients I love working with but it’s doesn’t really scratch the creative itch the same way making comics does.

What do you do with any free time you have?

Drink the pain away.

Which comics besides Action Philosophers would you recommend?

Anyone who digs Action Philosophers should definitely check out Jim Ottavani’s Two-Fisted Science and Jay Holster’s books Clan Apis and The Sandwalk Adventures. Jim and Jay do for science what Fred and I do for philosophy. I would also highly recommend the one-shot comic Dr. Id by Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri, he’s like a Doctor Strange of psychoanalysis – incredibly fun stuff!

As for comics I’m a fan of – there’s way too many! I was a Marvel Zombie when I first got into comix, then a rabid indy fan all through the 90’s and now I like a little bit of everything. My favorite series right now are mostly original American manga: stuff like Sharknife, Scott Pilgrim and King City. I will pick up anything by Kyle Baker, Becky Cloonan, Bernie Mierault, Steve Purcell, Matt Wagner or Jeff Parker. My guilty pleasures are GI Joe, The Avengers and the Marvel Adventures line. I’ve gotten back into mini-comics to some of my current fave mini comics folk are Pat Lewis, Alec Longstreth, Liz Baillie and Chris Schweizer. Oh and Achewood – best web comic EVER. Probably tons more I’m forgetting.

How can someone contact you?

I have an uncommon last name, which makes it incredibly easy for semi-stalker ex-girlfriends, former co-workers, classmates and other human flotsam from my past to track me down. (And to whoever is reading this, of course I’m not referring to YOU).

People can check out my art and comics at my website:

I also have accounts at comicspace, myspace and deviantart, plus a livejournal feed for Tommy Atomic and probably some more. Be my fake internet friend! I am so, so lonely.

Any final words of wisdom?

Hell no!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Royal Flush Book Four!


After a too- long hiatus, ROYAL FLUSH made its triumphant return to newstands this month and I have a comic in it!

Here's the first page of my 4-page contribution: (Click to enlarge)

And it only gets worse from there. My family is so proud.

Royal Flush #4 is a magazine like no other - hillarious, beautiful and worth every penny and includes new art and comics from Danny Hellman, Tara McPhearson, Shannon Wheeler, James Jean, Erik Rodriguez, Brian Ewing, Steve Chanks, Matt Dreany, Gerard Way and tons more. other highlights include "The Manowards", interviews with Bruce Campbell, Weird Al Yankovic and The Rev Horton Heat plus the newest installments of Hispanic Batman, Too Much Coffee man and the Mitzvah Four. I'd love it even if my stuff wasn't in it!


"A subversive mishmash of music, pop culture and underground art, Royal Flush displays more creativity in its first 25 pages than most publications do in a year."

Hot damn!

Royal Flush is available at newstands, record stores, comic stores and Barnes & Nobles and online through and


I promise my next post won't be a plug - honest!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Here's the very first page of COMIC BOOK COMICS - the new series Fred Van Lente and I are doing after ACTION PHILOSOPHERS.

The story will be included in AWESOME: THE INDIE SPINNER RACK ANTHOLOGY this November, with the full series debuting in early 2008.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Drawing for Dollars

Horray, a blog.

My name is Ryan, and I am a freelance illustrator and cartoonist and I'm also sometimes an animator, or a designer or just a general visual jack-of-all-trades. In a nutshell, people pay me to make pictures, hence the title.

Nautrally I will using this blog to pimp stuff going on in my own career - new projects and works in progress and stuff, because people like that stuff. I also want to use this blog to post tutorials on art and comic production. I get asked about how I make stuff a lot, so rather than write individual emails to people every time someone asks me how to draw a crowd scene, color in photoshop, get t-shirts printed or any one of the kazillion other things I know How To Get Done - I'll be post it here so everybody can know how to do it.

I am totally gonna blog this shit out of this place!