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.