Every time Monster Month comes along, I make sure to include at least one version of one of the most enduring and interesting movie monsters – the one Dr. Frankenstein cobbled together from used parts.
Last year I had just started a new sketchbook while sitting in an airport. The guy sitting next to me struck up a conversation, and after a while, he nodded towards the sketchbook and asked what I did. Told him I was an artist. He asked to see the book, into which I had only done about three rough pencil sketches so far. These variations on Frankenstein’s monster were the first page, but keep in mind, they were super rough pencil lines without much detail. They were not intended for anyone’s eyes but my own at that point. He took one look at them and kind of slowly said, “Oh.” Ha! I’m sure in his mind he was like, “suuuuure, this guy draws for a living.”
Later when sitting comfortably at a drafting table, I inked these up properly, and added a little hint of color digitally. Frankie’s monster really is just a misunderstood zombie, so it was fun to play around with head shapes and looks that weren’t entirely the stereotypical thing to find the soul of the creature, and to prove to that airport stranger that I really can draw.
It’s been a few minutes since I last did a series of Monster Month posts here on the ol’ blog. Just been too busy with actual work the past couple of years to take the time to post a monster each day in October.
That being said, I didn’t want to let October 31st to go by without at least one monster post. And who better to depict than that granddaddy of all monsters, Frankenstein’s monster. (I’ve drawn him more than once in the past.)
So, here’s an ink and gouache sketch I did this week in my sketchbook. Don’t eat too much candy tonight.
I hate to disappoint, but I decided that this year I won’t be doing my usual Monster Month series through the month of October. Typically I post a new monster drawing each weekday during this month, but things have been just a little too busy with some freelance projects, and being full-time on a new series for Warner Bros. based on Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham book. (Oh yeah, I haven’t really announced that in a big way yet. So, guess what I’ve been working on lately?)
ANYway… I may post the occasional monster here and there this month, but it won’t be an onslaught this year. That being said, let’s kick off October 1st with a new version of my favorite creature that goes bump in the night, Dr. Frankenstein’s monster!
I recently attended the birthday party of a grown-up friend of mine who is quite the collector of things. What do you get such a person who probably already has most of the cool stuff out there? You make them their own custom birthday card, with added extra credit for making it monstrous.
So, here’s a card starring Frankenstein’s monster and his irrational fear of flame.
It’s always slightly uncomfortable talking about oneself in this context. I love what I do for a living, and look forward to each new opportunity that comes my way to dissect the visual need, and come up with ideas and art to make those needs just right for clients. But to talk about oneself? You have to apply the brakes to sit here and contemplate who you are as an artist and put that into words.
Still, it is fun to show some art, and to reminisce about moments like the one below from my childhood.
Last year my Hipster Frankenstein debuted on the ol’ blog. (CLICK HEREif you need a reminder.) When a drawing like that is born, it comes from reflective study. One does not often just spit out a sketch and there it is. Several sketches are explored to find the perfect look for what the artist is trying to achieve. Thus was the case with ol’ Frankie.
So, here is a page from the sketchbook where Frankenstein’s monster was sketched in a variety of ways looking for that perfect hipster persona to apply to the creature. A whole page of Frankies, each unique in their own way, and none exactly like the final one from last year. These were necessary to inspire the final look.
Okay, today’s monster has a little bit of a personal angle to it. My sister Tori married a man by the name of Frank a while back. When my family refers to them, it usually comes out as “Frank and Tori.” However, we have become so used to saying it, that it ends up sounding like one word, “Frankentori.”
If you put THAT word into the mind of a cartoonist, particularly if that cartoonist is the mischievous brother of the bride, then something like THIS two-headed monster comes from it…
I rarely promote other people’s Kickstarter projects here on my blog, but boy howdy, I’m excited about this one!
My friend Greg Preston is a photographer. Over many years he has been taking photographs of cartoonists, illustrators, and animators in their home studios. His first collection of them was published in a beautiful coffee table book by Dark Horse Comics a few years ago called The Artist Within, and was a huge hit at San Diego Comic Con where it had its debut.
Well, Greg is ready with his second batch of photos and has decided to self-publish them in a second volume called The Artist Within 2! I am excited because I love Greg’s work, and can’t wait to see more friends and colleagues portrayed in this way.
The second big reason I am excited is because I will be in this book, too! Yep, a few years back, Greg came to my place and took my photo for his collection – the SAME DAY that he took a photo of famous illustrator Drew Struzan!
Other such great folks in the book are Ollie Johnston (one of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men), character designer Stephen Silver, fantasy illustrator Donato Giancola, The Family Circus‘ Jeff Keane, his brother and former Disney animator Glen Keane, John Lasseter, Disney animation director John Musker, comic book guys Steve Rude, Carmine Infantino, animation director Chris Sanders, and the list goes on. He even has the world record holder for longest working cartoonist, the 96 year old Al Jaffee who continues to do the fold-ins for MAD Magazine. I feel very honored to be in such company.
Here’s the Kickstarter video describing the book:
So, the book itself is a real prize, but there are also extra special things you can pick up through this Kickstarter that the artists have been donating – things such as this one-of-a-kind original art I created with ink, watercolor, and colored pencil!
Or perhaps you’d like the opportunity to acquire one of three prints of my Frankenlisa painting, prints that have never before been offered for sale. I chronicled the step-by-step making of this painting here on the ol’ blog back in 2009 (CLICK HERE for a refresher), and it just so happens to be the painting sitting on my drafting table in my photographic portrait that will be in The Artist Within 2!
So, please consider pre-ordering a book through Kickstarter so this amazing tome can be published. I plan to order a few myself! You only have until April 27, 2017, to do so! Here is the handy-dandy link: The Artist Within 2!