Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TEUTON Vol.2, pages 46-51


The big, bad brawl of the gods told in full!

As always, catch up on the full epic saga @ BIG SEXY COMICS!

Monday, March 26, 2012

TDKR: Breaking The Bat

"When Gotham is ashes... you have my permission to die."

More on this story as it develops, kiddies...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The new Batman is out today, and that's something to get excited about.

Since the series relaunch I've been increasingly impressed at how fun and compelling Scott Snyder's Court of Owls tale is. I'm not sure how anything can top issue No. 5, which was the kind of through-the-roof awesome that left me reeling, but I am hearing quite a buzzing over No. 7. Exciting!

Naturally, it influenced my morning warm-up drawing:

Monday, March 19, 2012


I'm super, super pumped about the upcoming film Prometheus. Since seeing the new trailer over the weekend my anticipation has only heightened. At this point I believe it is the movie I'm most looking forward to all year, which is saying something when you factor in The Dark Knight Rises and Django Unchained.

Hence today's warm-up drawing.

I'm trying to make better use of my Wacom Intuos, as well as get the hang of colouring.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The God Emperor of Dune

Caesar was cool and all, but on this Ides of March I decided to celebrate an emperor who is a personal favourite of mine: Leto Atreides II, God Emperor of Dune!

You guys, Leto II is seriously epic. Sure he's fictional--science fictional no less, but that doesn't stop me from tipping my hat to one serious baller.

First off, he gets serious points for being from outer space. Who do you know has ruled anything from outer space? No one. Don't even lie! Newt Gingrich may blab about potential U.S. moon colonies in 2020, but that's peanuts compared to Leto II who ruled the entire known galaxy for over five thousand years!

Secondly, he's a horrific hybrid of a man and sandworm! His grotesque form has given him immense strength and has made him seemingly immortal, hence his god-like status.

Thirdly, his sandworm form means he's constantly ingesting the Spice, giving him oracular precognition that allows him to see thousands of years into the future!

With all these awesome attributes combined, Leto II put all of humankind onto his "Golden Path", a strategy that involved monopolizing the all-important Spice and ruling with an iron fist for thousands of years. Everyone thought he was a huge dick. In fact, he even looked like a huge, Lovecraftian, monster penis from hell. But he was totally doing humanity a big favour, you guys!

In his wisdom, Leto II knew humanity's total dependance of one single resource meant our inevitable extinction. So he made civilization go cold turkey, forcing humanity to adapt and sustain itself in new ways despite his tyrannical reign. Epic!

His enemies were powerless to defeat him. Oh how they tried! Of course, Leto II foresaw his undoing, and could perhaps have stopped it. However, once Leto II felt certain the course of humanity's progress was safely on his Golden Path, he accepted his fate and went willingly into a body of water--water, the sandworm's Achille's heel!

Still, a pearl of Leto II's being lived on in each and every sandworm created from his demise; an infinite Fuck you! to the whole species.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spider-Man Reads!

Last night I missed out on the fancy TIFF Lightbox Q&A with A Game Of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, so I plan on seeing him tonight at his Indigo book signing.

Maybe he'd love Teuton as much we all love his books? Just something I was pondering while drawing this:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Toronto Comicon In Review

For me personally, the Toronto Comicon was easily one of the better shows in my past couple years of experience. No hiccups, no bad traffic, no forgetting things at home, no last minute dashes to DeSerres on Spadina Avenue.

Our Big Sexy Comics table, A-94, was a stones throw away from the legendary George Perez. Even from a distance he is visibly one of the kindliest men I've ever seen.

Across from us sat an impeccably wonderful collection of folks that included Gibson Quarter, David Cutler, Keiren Smith, Ty Templeton (constantly surrounded by a corona of adoring fans as always), and Leonard Kirk.

Good company was in no short supply. I had a blast palling around with writer Phil McClorey and artist Brian Evniou. I also had the great pleasure of chatting with Phil Jimenez, who is as skilled as he is charming. My good friends Doug and Steph returned from PEI and paid me a very warm visit.

The highlight by far was seeing my daughter Rosalind Belle strut down the aisle in her Batman t-shirt. She was awe-struck by the sights and sounds. Just recently we watched The Empire Strikes Back together, so at the age of 2 she is already Star Wars crazed. Seeing the very impressive R2-D2, the Stormtroopers, and Darth Vader left her jazzed. Sitting with me at my table she played pretend lightsabers and belted out an inventive rendition of the Empire theme music. Suck on that, John Williams.

The show was otherwise successful. We sold some books and met great people. Big thanks to my table-mates Fred, Jeff, and Andre.

Yes, I do have Batman prints left. I've been contacted by several curious people who couldn't make it to the show. There are 38 left to be precise. However, as I stated over the weekend, I will not be selling them at future conventions. They will be available to purchase @ my Etsy store, or you may contact me to buy from me personally: adam.gorham@live.ca

P'Tweet, Tweet!

I've joined Twitter!

Slowly but surely I am catching up to society.

Follow me: @AdamTGorham

Friday, March 9, 2012


One more sleep until the Toronto Comicon, boys and girls!

I'll be there with Fearless Fred, Andre Fernandes (artist of Big Sexy Comics' HELOS), and Jeff Brown (writer of Flag of Tears and editor of Dorkshelf.com). Stop by and give us love and money!

We will of course be selling copies of TEUTON Vol.1 for $10 each!

Pick up a commission from Andre or myself!

I'll be selling a limited print run (50 signed and numbered) of my Dark Knight Rises illustration! Get 'em before they're gone!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

TEUTON vol.2, pages 46-48

The mighty thunder god Perkunas has set out to console his brother, Bangputys, over the death of his son Vakaris.

He expects to find his brother rapt with grief, but instead finds himself in a ambush!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Toronto Comicon

I'll be attending the Toronto Comicon this weekend (March 10th & 11th) at the Metro-Toronto Convention Center!

With me as always will be Fearless Fred, writer/creator of TEUTON!

Come see us and the rest of the Big Sexy Comics team! There'll be comics and sketches and oodles of fun to be had!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Stepping Stones: Freelance Art Jobs From My Miscellaneous Folder

For almost three years now I've been working almost exclusively on Teuton for Big Sexy Comics. I'm thankful for the work, am grateful to Fred for partnering up with me, and am incredibly relieved to be working on a project I truly enjoy.

Before landing Teuton, and even afterward, I got my hands dirty with numerous freelance gigs to gain experience and pay the bills. So here is a collection of art from my misc. file folder, in not-quite chronological order, that remind me of lessons learned working freelance.

DECALS: A lot of prospects that come my way are referrals. A friend has another friend in need of an artist and they suggest me. God bless you people! In this particular case, a former art teacher had a friend who needed a series of decals designed for some product aimed at kids. I was relatively fresh out of high school at the time, coasting aimlessly through a sea of beer and pizza in my parents' basement. I remember taking it seriously at first, because it was a paid job, but I soon slacked off. My biggest problem, I would say, was that I had no notion of professional standards. All I ever did was draw on paper with markers, and not even all that well. Furthermore, I didn't know what self-respecting artists charged for their work. So when the client asked what my services would cost there was a long and awkward pause on my end while I frantically pulled a figure out of my ass. To my astonishment he agreed, and I got to work. Here is what I produced, which I believe he was profoundly unsatisfied with...

Lesson Learned: Act as if. You have to take yourself seriously and present yourself professionally. A client is someone who is putting their faith and money in your ability to deliver something they need. That said, a decent portfolio doesn't always speak for itself. A client also needs to believe you're a competent individual who can follow instructions and meet a deadline. The work above isn't very good and I acted like a amateur with no self confidence. This job helped me realize what a loser I was, and that needed to change. Being professional isn't just a resume or CV, it's projecting the right attitude.

WINDOW PAINTING: My volunteer hours in high school were spent painting murals at the daycare where my mother worked. They were all ugly as sin, made with dollar store tempera paints as thin as water. Every single one was a literal pain in the neck and back. Years later I got offered some work from a travel agency in Toronto that needed new displays for new destinations. The front of the store was all glass and the space that needed filling was low to the ground. It was usually a days work, and I spent that time on my ass, chilled to the bone by winter air that blew in from the glass door. Otherwise it was alright, since the ladies were all super nice. They took these photos and were pleased for what it was...

Lesson Learned: Know your materials. Jobs like this taught me that a tool is only as good as the craftsman using it. I hated all my window paintings because I couldn't work the tempera like oils or acrylic. Because I focused on what it wasn't, I failed to work within its limitations. If I had been smarter I would have taken the time to draft a design that considered the materials I was using and the surface I was working on. I didn't, and I constantly worked myself into corners. I would also advise my young self to better estimate the time needed to complete a project properly. In my mind, I need to get things done fast; probably because I've lived as a procrastinator and so much of my work was done in the 11th hour.

CARICATURE: I have very little experience with caricatures. I've only seriously attempted it once before with unremarkable results. Unlike a portrait where you're trying to render the best possible likeness of your subject, a caricature emphasizes and exaggerates physical features to create a likeness both surreal and unmistakable. A while ago I agreed to do a caricature of a former co-worker and their spouse. Because we were acquaintances and it was for their wedding I charged a ridiculously low fee. Everything was agreed upon before starting, but communication stopped once the time came to exchange the piece for payment. I haven't heard from them since, nor have I really hounded them. I have to assume they didn't care for it. So now I have this piece buried in my office.

Lesson Learned: Friends and acquaintances don't make the best clients*. It's always flattering when someone comes directly to me for a piece they're seemingly passionate about getting done. Unfortunately, even people you know and respect can undervalue your work. It's that employee discount mentality, I think, where it's perceived that I can break them off a deal on my time and ability. In some cases it's because people unfamiliar with the creative field can't quantify the time and effort it takes to create something. I don't have a steadfast rule on how to handle these situations. More like a better calibrated compass to navigate these waters. Sometimes I'll do a piece for very little because I like the person or the concept. Other times I just can't. In the end you hope they understand.

* Conversely, an artist can be fairly shitty to the friend that hired them. I've been guilty of this and I'm not proud of it. Things come up in your personal life and you put off your duties assuming your friend/client will understand. To this I say: never allow the lines of communication to break down. Own up to your mistakes. It may be the only way of salvaging the bridge you burned.

Of all the jobs in this post, it is this one I most revile. It went against all the lessons listed above as well as being an act of trademark infringement. This is how it happened: during a job interview, the HR lady reviewing my resume pointed out a large space of time unaccounted for and asked what I did between job X and job Y. I explained that time was spent working as a freelance artist on a lengthy comic book, and that I continue to work as a freelance artist. The HR lady called to say I didn't get the job, but said another position may soon be opening up, and would I be interested? Sure. She then inquired whether I could make a personalized comic book for her husband much like a popular sitcom wife did for her husband at the time. She was a perfectly nice woman and said she would understand if I couldn't, but she offered to pay and I really needed this other job she mentioned. I agreed to do the comic believing it would guarantee me the position. It didn't. The job went to someone else. However I was still on the hook for this comic. The criteria she specified included Spider-Man, her husband's place of employment, and their children. I put together what little plot it needed. Being extremely busy with Teuton, I couldn't start it right away. The more time passed the more I loathed the idea of following through with it. I liked nothing about it. It had no merit, no integrity, no legal right to exist. Yet I made a promise to a reasonable human being and some sentimental part of me fought tooth and nail to keep me from breaking my word. I drew it, lettered it, and coloured it with as much enthusiasm as one marches to meet a firing squad. I printed and stapled it after much trial error. The payment I received went straight to replacing the inks I used printing the damned thing and the gas used to deliver it. Now you can see my freak baby I keep chained under the floorboards...

Lesson Learned: Learn to say no. It's difficult providing for a family on a artist's modest income. I feel stress, anxiety, desperation--terrible things that leave me wondering in panic where the next paycheque will come from. Before I went snapping at anything that promised pay, I should have evaluated my situation and weighed it against the requirements of the job. In the end, it wasn't worth my time. I hated the experience and I didn't end up with a piece I can proudly use in my portfolio. It's not always easy turning something down when you're hungry, but I believe that in order to maintain a high value of yourself there must be standards. I regret this particular gig because I compromised mine.

I posted these against my better judgement. I'm about to start work on a new page and went looking for inspiring material to get me excited for the new story beat--a fist fight between gods. Instead I found images that recalled hard learned lessons and memories I'd almost rather forget; memories of times when my struggle was worse than it is now. Now is what really matters though, so it's high time to get back to the drawing board.

See ya soon!