Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alright, just a quick one while I'm here, so as to blow a few cobwebs from the corners.
I'm busy as all get out at the moment illustrating 2 and a half books, Legion, SOAR and a pitch for something larger. The first Issue of SOAR is completely finished and on its way through the mill, Legion #1 is being colored by the great Jason Mullikin as we speak, and the pitch, titled Red Summer, by Dan Fleming, is sitting in my notebook in the form of deeply coded squiggles of ink, otherwise known as Rahb's Thumbnails for a Better Tomorrow.
It's October and I'll be expatriating in 5 weeks, so I need to get crackalackin' on these so as to have the resources necessary to make it all the way to Vienna, and not be forced to join the ranks of paper robed men & women in the airports halfway hrough.
I'll report more later,
Until then,


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Waiter, there's a head in my soup!

Just a quick one while I'm away. I'm currently working like a god, I mean dog, on funnybook projects. After a long drought, then a steady increase of attention and proposals I am now absolutely buried in 11x17" sheets of paper begging for more lead, more ink and more time. The money has yet to flow like spice, but it is in the pipe and heading my way to make these moments of illustrating ecstasy last longer than one should expect it to. One project is the aforementioned S.O.A.R., with Patrick Sessoms, due out this August through an as-yet-undisclosed publisher, then "Dawn", with Dan Fleming, for Dan's own premier seasonal comic anthology publication "Warrior Twenty-Seven", and finally a page for IDW's upcoming "Beast Wars" story. Then there's all the prospective opportunities brewing in th wings, which I'l refrain from commenting on until they've been tasted for quality dispersal among the people. So there's that.
In other news, I'm gearing up for yet another move at the end of the month. Heading out to Berlin, Maryland to hang tough with my sisters for a couple of months before expatriating to the land of cheese and stationary drifters: Austria. More specifically: Vienna. How, you may ask?
A good question to be sure. Glad you brought it up. I think about it and get back to you.
Oh also, kidbits on what the hell I'm doing as an artist being an artist:
Here's what Ive found to help me do what I'm doing with maximum bad-assedness.
I have effectively left my mechanical pencil in the drawer to rust in lieu of Cretacolor's Monolith woodless pencils. I was always one to naysay the 'specialized' tools of artists, denouncing them as profit-making trickery, that an artist should tune themselves to work their best with whatever they may have at hand, and I still do for the most part, but sometimes an accoutrement will rise above mere nicety. Such as these pencils. I recommend the HB, the 2B and the 6B for all yer graphite needs. I'm still sticking with the Blue Line Pro art boards for comic pages. Even the cheap, single ply boards hold the ink and ink wash with integrity befitting a pulpy samurai. And simple India ink is my vice for laying down such lines. Windsor Newton brushes, though I can't really comment on those since I'm not terribly experienced in any other kind of brush. And lastly: the Staedtler Lumocolor permanent black pens in "F" and "B". The F is a fine tip and the B is a wedge. The black is frackin' black black. A serial killer's soul kina black. I've actually dropped my addiction to Sharpies over these pens. And they cover a suprising amount of space with ink. I have yet to run one dry, and being a huge fan of heavy shadows, and inking about 7 pages with them with no thinness in the coverage so far, I think they're worth the money.
So there's all that.
I'll get back to this again soon once there's more to report from the bunker.
Until then,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Gagurgle Cometh

Oh wow,
Some time has passed indeed. Much has transpired, and the details that have already been forgotten will more than likely outweigh the details that will make it into this post.
The Skinny: I'm a professional comic book illustrator, full-time, all or nothing. Which is the dream, right?
So there's that. Here's a detail. I was working at a tutoring center. I was tutoring the phone at the desk. Admittedly I wasn't particularly good at it. Stuffing myself into a strict, formatted environment with papers to be filed, phone calls to be answered, formalities to be respected. A great time for some. Me, however? I believe history will be my judge, and the verdict on this case is a resounding "Nay".
So it goes. Rambling across the continents, carving stories out of graphite, ink and paper, saying really clever things, crafting really amazing concepts and Earth shaking theories straight from the ether with nothing but my keen intellect and finely tuned brainworks. That's more my speed, give or take an elaboration or two. It was fun while it...hmm, it was something...of time...spent.
No matter, for as I've already announced, I got a gig drawing a funny book just as the tutoring center's subscription to Rahb Weekly was canceled.
Oh, the name of the book is S.O.A.R. It'll be on the shelves in mid to late August. It's written by Patrick Sessoms. And it rocks. The PR is fermenting at the moment, as we're not sure which publisher will be gracing the comic book community with our gift yet. It'll wither be a big one, or a small one, but rest assured, it'll be there waiting for you in yer local comic shop come August.
And I have just finished the cover to another book I was asked to draw for a guy across the drink, a Mr. Daniel Bowen. A book called the Astral Projecting Assassin. The interiors are smooth, and the cover is one of my best. I'll stick 'em on here somewhere, once I'm done feeding me ego with this epistle.
So there's that now.
And one other detail. Our lease is up at the end of July. I'm not sure what the hell's gonna happen then. I guess that's about all I can say worth hearing at the moment. I'll report more later. What I can say is I have a solid plan of being an Austrian in hiding in the next four months.
And that's all realy. I'm sore there's more, but distractions are slipping into the stream and I'm finding it harder to stay focused on the past while the present is asking for some attention.
So, until next time,


Monday, February 23, 2009

Drug-Crazed Mutant Elbows Chewed On My Face While the Princess Slept It Off

Indeed, it has been a while.

I understand that the world at large has been waiting with baited breath for my re-emergence on the radar, and here I am. The last time I posted my rambling brain slippage it was under darker clouds that threatened to come down from the heavens and fill my throat with thick, viscous rain. Well, the clouds have thinned, and details of the world around me present themselves as they are, rather than how I thought the might be through the blinding condensation of stress. Which is nice sometimes, but only in retrospect. Comforting is the thought, "Well, I'll never have to go through that again."

It was all simple enough. Money, time, expectations. The triumvirate bane of artists worldwide. And while all three have not been vanquished from the forest, they have been cast out of the city.

I have an earning job now, one that suits my needs as an artist rather well. It is not an artistic job in itself, but it affords me the energy and time to be what I want for more time than I have to be something else. I work three or four days a week behind a desk at a tutoring center, from 4:30pm to 10pm, thus giving me free reign to work on my profession till the sun rises to ask me exactly what I'm doing while everyone's traipsing through dreamland. I catch a few hours sleep, get up, work on some more pages, head to the office, listen to music, eat candy, greet teenagers and talk with teachers, come home, etc. etc.

A fine break indeed. I was quite fortunate to find such an accommodating gig at the last financially stressful moment.

And as for what I'm doing with my graphite and ink stained fingers: I am currently drawing a 6 page sample of a story for a guy in the UK. I was firing links of my work to writers all over and he was one of them. He dug what he saw and now I draw some of his funny book for him. There are also a small handful of my own malformed brain-children littering my desk. "Quietus" being one of them. I've only laid down the first 6 pages (minus page 2- due to technical reasons {I'm thickheadedly determined to figure out how to do a Tracking Shot with the images needed for page 2, the obvious problem being it's images, plural, as in a series of consecutive static drawings thus defying any kind of motion, such as, say, a Tracking Shot}). Another is "Critical Theory", which has no images yet immortalized on paper. Just words, lots and lots of words. I'm writing, and will subsequently draw it, with my brother Benjimonkey, from Austria. It's a relatively complex story, so I'll spare everyone the pain of having to wade through it before getting back to the the news of a world that does not exist exclusively in my skull.

So I guess that brings me to the part where I say something about being an artist and staying an artist. Well, hell. I guess the resource I tapped, or learned to accept, through these strange, dark and quiet months is friends. Or 'Chosen Family'. That fits better. If it were not for the small tight circle of people that I have packed myself in I'm not sure how I would have fared through this personal tempest. And looking back at it, it wasn't even that big of a torrent. It was quite compact, making it's density high, and it hit me just right...or wrong, I should say. Ben, Nettie, Nadja, Abe, Michelle, Leon, Mom, Dad, Kol, Elsa, Rachel, Schiemers, a fistful of names that have been mentioned already, or will be mentioned again. These specific people on Earth that I have kept in arm's, or word's, reach. I didn't reach to these people when I was in the thick of the mental turmoil, but there was a marble of recognition in my brain that they were there. And then they reached to me and I dodged it. And then they didn't stop and I finally stopped spinning in place. And nobody died, and nobody lost, and nobody turned away in spite or bitterness, and everything is fine. All the elements that threatened to constitute themselves into the end of the world realized that I'm me, and I have these people next to me, and the elements became very small and got in line. So, after all that sappy spillage I will distill it to the point, sans the heartfelt hullabaloo:

As an artist I think it's almost necessary to have the gumption, strength & ability to stand alone in your self-made world, as well as the mass-construct we live in together. I also see now that a warrior without a tribe is just sort of...well, an asshole on a hill, blinded by their own meat curtains. That's not to say the Ronin is wrong, far from it. But the Ronin travels alone to learn and grow so they can become an even stronger post for their chosen family when they need him or her, when the real war comes. And to put that in relation to being an artist, I say that I stopped drawing and painting and writing, because I was too busy scraping my face across the pavement, until my family came and pushed me into bed, picked up the little pieces of my derma and viscera from the street, told me the real score and sat me down at my desk again. Now I'm on it like Bubonic, and closer to making the art take over payments then I ever was.

So there's that.

I think I go now. I have many messages to tailor to the individual recipient, a task that I look forward to in the build-up, but inherently drag ass in the execution. I'm sure all those expecting word from me are quite used to such selfish behavior from yours truly.

I leave you with some pictures of where I'm calling from,
Till next time,


Monday, January 19, 2009

Mighty Mighty Brainrot & the Adventures of Entropy-Lad

It's been a while since I've sent any communication out as a beacon to my chosen family, letting them know of my well-being/living condition/placement on the spiral. This is because I have not had any news to relate, or more rather, news I want to relate. Even to myself. It's a rough and dry road, and it has shaken me to the chassis. But alas, I almost forgot who I am and how I operate. I became too busy, too concerned with keeping steady in the turbulence, and lost sight of the goal:

To fly through to the other side of the storm!

My resume rests on many desks, in many mailboxes, and the notices from the world outside maintain the same dismal tune. But I have persisted. And I persist still.

As long as my blood fights to keep running, I will fight to keep living. Not existing, like the constructs of this strange society would have artists succumb to, but to take my addiction to storytelling and place it back on its mantle in my core, deposing the cold stone of Slow-death, with its minute hands and penny counters.

So, this being an artist's journal from my own vantage as an artist I felt it necessary to expound upon my travails in this dark moment.

I continue to draw, to write and to paint, even though my mind is tethered fast to the famine of my bank account and hypothetical moment in which a publisher, production company or comic book house will call or email. This is absolutely essential. Keep building your portfolio with things you want to see.
Currently I am painting a full page image of Vincent Price for Blue Water Comics' "Vincent Price Presents:". A paying gig? No, not until the sales are in, and even then there is the chance that they will reject my painting.
Keep sending your resume, CV, online galleries to everyone. Let a week & a half pass, then do it again.
Also, do not let yourself forget who you are. You're not desperate. You're not a cog. You're not groundling. You are an artist. You are a warrior. You are one of the people that can do things that people chose not to, or are even able to do. I lost sight of this for a stint. Now I have it back.
I was reminded of it this morning when I lost my shit after checking out my bank account. I can only take so many hits before I have to find a quiet spot out of sight from any and all spectators and completely meltdown. So that happened.
Then Nadja told me the news: I'm Rahb. This isn't my life, this isn't who I am. Then she checked her email and ound out that, in addition to the penciling gig she already has drawing an entire issue of "Vincent Price Presents:", she got a solid offer from another comic company wanting her inking skills at industry page-rates. And she has a part time job at an art supply store.

Because she didn't forget to remember.

So there's that.

I'll post again when the new phone number and internet access becomes active at our new flat. I'll also start ommunicating again with those that helped me become who I am now.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And Vitreous Humor Flooded the Streets!

Novelty's still kickin'.

The creativity is still flowing, ordering the cells and matter and viscera of my body to do things I find questionable. Until I see where it's all going, of course.

The wallet is still on a forced diet and looking rather peaked, but hey, every shape has a bottom.

As for artistic pontification for this day: I like Pilot Precise V5 extra fine rolling ball pens. And composition notebooks for 99 cents. They're both cheap and neither one facilitates the expectation of laying down a line worthy of a samurai poet expressing his innermost thought in the sand before a great battle. The 5 for 6 bucks pens from Office Max and the black & white tomes of cheaply pressed pulp offer an anonymity of production, an existence that can be stricken from all existence at a moment's notice with the slightest loss of resources to the owner. A comfortable position over immortalized experimentation indeed.

And, if you can learn to strike the blue lines from the paper with your mind while you're drawing, using it as a virgin canvas regardless of the neon pin-striping on every page, then you'll find you can draw on dern near anything afterward. Another thing, a lot of stores have been cashing in on the retro-vibe and trying to sell these notebooks for upwards of around 2 to 3 bucks. Don't fall for it. Attack your local Target at 'back-to-school-time' and go home with a fistful of them for 99 cents each. Off season they carry them for a whopping 1.10, I think. Just make sure they're made anywhere but China. That goes for anything, really. There's the argument that boycotting China really only hurts the people. That's false. The government is doing everything in its power to annihilate the population of their people already, and buying, or not buying, from Wal-Mart isn't going to save one ragged breath from the sucker-punched lungs of a Chinese peasant. Not buying from China means that another buck fifty isn't going into the government's pocket while they bludgeon the mantle of most F'd up superpower on Earth from the likes of Atlantis, Rome, Persia, England, America and Ohio.

But alas, the clock is reading in single digits and the sky is as dark as a metropolitan sky can get. I'll run away on a ethically flogging rant next time I check my e-mails from Amnesty International. Not now.

Now is a time of celebration! A mingling menagerie of pagan traditions with ol' standards, to clasp hands and clap backs and suck down spirits in the name of...something or other. I've never really gotten into the holiday mindwarp, so I'm pretty comfortable on the outside looking in. I am, however, doing the classic gig of going 'home' for a few days. Seeing the heathens who spawned me and unleashed me upon this unsuspecting world. I am their gift...and their burden. As are most organic productions showing signs of a pulse and a desire to communicate after being discovered.
What do do indeed? Choose wisely the shadowy corners of ill repute to prod, for they are the most tempting and generous with gifts of unspecified expiration dates.

And now I see that some time has passed and it's a larger slip than I thought it would be. There is ink to be spilled and hours yet til the sun comes to leer over my shoulder.

So with that,


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What the Flip?

I'm still in Chicago, and I still love it. I am, however, beginning to feel the crush. The rising pressure that's normally kept at bay by having a balance of resources in the store. The scale is starting to show signs of teetering, the brass needle wavering towards the edge of the zenith.

A job would probably fix that.

The state of employment here is, to say the least, feudal. Those that have managed to retain their place among the commonwealth are tempting arthritis, their knuckles white, the scabbed skin threatening to rip and bare cartilage to the cannibal bureaucrats with labor bloodied teeth.

Enough with the dramatics!

This does not mean I have been sitting idle. Just the opposite. I've been searching, scouring and proffering my skills as an artist like a rabid gambler. Institutions and individuals alike have made their desire for an artist public, and I have brazenly littered their electric landscape with my wares.

One amazing shift is the opportunity of such...opportunity, as an artist here in Chicago. Seattle was a soggy wasteland of whispers, daydreams and personal testing ground for skills and boundaries thereof, at least for me. Not an actual playground or launch pad for anybody not already 'in the scene'. Chicago is proving itself to be a virtual arena of ink & paint stained warriors, all vying for the attention of an appreciative people bearing just rewards. There's exceptions, of course. I've mentioned one Michelle Knowlen, who's still residing in the American wetlands of Washington and striking a rather impressive chord in this static din of today's day & age. Her artwork is recognized in far off lands, that is, Europa, and beyond.

Contradictions aside, I will now go into what and how I'm holding fast to banishing the Apron from my life, in lieu of late nights and pigment covered fingers.

Craig's List. Out here Craig's List is a wealth of opportunity. A lottery, if you will. Every day there is another post under the art related banners for something, some...thing that somebody can do with their hands and brains that others cannot.

Another is this new conterpart to Craig's List, called Kijiji. Similar, but it's young and still gathering a pool of people to make a community. One supercool thing is: posting an ad for yourself, letting others know what you can do, and that you are indeed available for creative work, is Free. Yeah, that's right. Free. Nice. You can even upload images (up to 8, with a good size alotment) to prove your point.

Also, every bulletin board I've passed in the city has had some sort of creative bent to it. There are ideas there, if not actual propositions of a profitable nature.

And of course, punching keywords followed by the city name (in my case Chicago) into Google, or your favorite search engine (besides the spineless, scabby kneed Yahoo), and seing what rises to the surface first. Example: publishing house Chicago.

What'd I get? Tate Publishing. Are they hiring? I can talk pretty and spell words in language, kinda. No, but they do need illustrators. I send them an email loaded with links to my online galleries. A day later I receive an email telling me they're reviewing my work and will let me know if/when they'll want an interview.


NBC? CBS? Warner Brothers? They aren't run by robots from the future. There's a billion people needed to make the tripe found on any given channel at any given time. And this is America we're talking about. The days of every kid growing up and going to college fell away with the fins on grandad's Buick. Make a resume, upload your work to Picasa, or some other free online image hosting site, and email these fools. Is TV the goal? For some, but if not, what the hell? It's a gig you can divorce yourself from after you get off, a gig that you can learn an incredible amount through sheer speed of process, and it's job secuity because television is the one thing that will always thrive when luxury takes one in the face from our thuggish economy. And you'll still be doing something relatively creative, or at the very least banding together with creative people working that system until they can make their own. And until you can make your own. If you live in a hub of this country, check out their website and take a peek at the jobs available. It's crazy. Really. You'll be shocked.

And one other place: art supply stores. I was in one today and they had a board dedicated to artists and artists only. Selling ther serivces, calling out for partners, like minds, revealing resources to fellow storytellers.

So that's what I've been doing. The pressure is mounting, but looking at it from a pace or two back now, I see that it has only been about a week, week and a half at most, since I got here. It's only been two days since I sent in my work for consideration for an upstart comic book company, one day since the publishing house caontacted me, three days since I emialed the advertizing agency, the other publishing house asking for illustrators. They have things to do too, and unlike me at the moment, they have a punch out time. So I guess this little chunk of words is about patience in the face of anxious talent (if I may be so bold). And I'm currently working on some cover sketches for a magazine that emailed me back with interest in my style and wants to see if I'm right for the job. So, it's all happening.

I actually need to get cracking on those designs because Nadja threw her attention their way as well, and they told her they like what she does too. Which is a real special kind of cool and suck at the same time. And her sketches are looking a lot better than mine.

Damn it.

I leave you now with a few images of where I'm dwelling.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

And Then We Were Here...

It's been a while. Not much can be done about that, so I'll ignore it and move forward.

I'm living again. As appose to voluntarily keeping myself in stasis.

Meaning, I've been holed up in the 'Great' Northwest for the last 5 or 6 years. Now I'm out and hitting the ground running. Footfalls slapping the street and leaving tread all over Chicago, Illinois. It's been a few days since we arrived. The novelty has not worn off and I doubt it ever will. Time will be my judge.

My theory on the last 5 to 6 years is that I was whisked away on a necessary adventure to test my own mettle, find out what I can really do, and do well. I think I have. Again, time will be my judge. This in itself was due to my stunning and impeccable warrior sister Nettie, whom you'll hear about often and at length to a repulsive degree, I'm sure.

Also, to meet a few much needed comrades in this, the strangest of times. My personal friend, and co-discoverer of the Post-Nada movement: Michelle Knowlen. Check out her dark little playground of mental aversions to the right, at Eggman Studios. Then there's the novelist Elsa Watson ( and her partner in crimes against the status quo, Kol Medina. Amy Spleen, who'll show up more to the right once I find out where she might be hiding on this world wide web. An artist to be reckoned with, to be sure. Charley Pavlosky, with whom many cinematic adventures have been met and mastered. Christina Marie, Suzy Redfern, others and others. They 'll pop up sooner or later.

Another reason: from the saftey of the land the Hopi deserted for lack of challenges, I was able to veture to India, Austria, here, there, back again. All of it, and everyone that has become integral to who I've become, are tangled in my intrepid armor of mental thread. You'll come to know them as brothers and sisters soon enough. Ben, Abe, Nettie, Ari, all of them.

And, lest I impale myself on my own sword, I must reveal the true puissance, the sinew and tendon weaver of my constant creation engine: Nadja Smith (the 3rd co-founder of Post-Nada). Like a newly minted Replicant, I drive on with little to no regard for expiration or injury in my forays with art and the world in general.

Enough! Enough! Enough about me and mine, let's get back to just me.

Below you will also notice a few new paintings. These are my latest spear thrusts into my mission of living by my own means as a professional artist. I have been painting comic book covers in acrylic. I love it. I paint it right on the BlueLine art board (3 ply). I'm thinking of painting everything on art board from here on out. The way it the paint slips right across the paper, exactly where you want it to go. The layering and mixing. The drying and blending. It's all too perfect. For me anyway. I can see how someone can fall in love with the atavistic rough hewn canvas, even addicted to it, snubbing such things as paper and all its slick contemporaties, but not me. I'm in the pulp for the long haul now.

Ecologically unsound, you say?

Well yes, that's true. If any of you find 11"x17" art board that's been recycled to a planet friendly level, let me know and I'll drop what I'm doing.

I'm waiting for the returns on the comic covers. Copies of which are sitting on editor's desks, in their computers or molding at the bottom of their trash cans.

No news is good news with Gary Gnus, is what I say. Or rather, what Gary said.

When I know you will too. And with that sentiment I will leave. The times ahead are strange and kinetic indeed. Moving, paths crossing, shadows, smoke and mirrors. Who knows what's what until we hit something. Well, I guess we will.

So till then


Friday, July 4, 2008

We Slept Too Long...

So here we are.

An unfettered outlet for my ink-stained fingers to relay whatever I find worth saying about my own creative gauntlet and all that entails, for good or ill.
Being one of the tree founding members of Post-Nadaism I would expect minimal explanations and maximum tomfoolery, driving rants about music, friends and their artistic exploits and influence, movies, socio/political headbutting and whatever other text based throat yogurt I want to splash all over your screen in regards to what I'm doing in my grinding night-drive through the unpredictable streets of experience in this day and age.

Tell me if I hit something!

So there's that. The paintings scattered around the screen at the moment are my own acrylic swipes at my normally monochromatic world. I'm still a babe in the street as far working with color goes. I'm running with influences, observations and dusty old instructions on form/function learned long ago in a condemned brick classroom in Florida. As I push & pull the brush along the canvas more and more a style that might just be my own swells under my current mode of painting. Some day it'll emerge and we'll see if it's really a creature that will earn its room to breathe or a trip to the lake in a sack. That day of judgment is still a ways away yet. For the time being I'm simply going to do what I do.
The influences, if you're interested are:

Nadja Smith
Michelle Knowlen
Bill Sienkiewicz
Ashley Wood
Lynn Varley

And others. I'm sure I'll ramble about those named and unnamed sooner or later. Check out the names on a PicLens search. Those that have obviously had no visual influence have a theory/practice influence.

It's 5:24am and I don't feel like going on at the moment.

So, till next time