Friday, March 4, 2011


TEUTON: Andrus Tamm

My character sketch for Teuton's central protagonist, Andrus Tamm. I've thoroughly enjoyed designing characters for the book overall, but Andrus remains the most fun for me to draw. Although he looks like a fairly standard knight, the little touches in his armour and boots and so forth were all fun to research.

The armour knights wore varied. Things like chainmail were standard, but obviously nothing was mass produced back then--each article of clothing and armor was handmade by a tradesman, and therefore was as unique as the individual who crafted it. So I got to play around and give Andrus neat boots and a bitchin' cape. And of course his helmet, which I loved thinking up. I have to acknowledge a similarity to Magneto's helmet. Maybe it was in the ether, etched into my subconscious after years of reading comic books, but I certainly didn't look to it directly as inspiration. I wanted something sleek and powerful looking. Something that could be medieval, but would stand out in the chaos of a battle scene. There you have it.

More character sketches to come...!


My good friend "Yoroku" is a skilled musician who creates music fueled by high concepts. He's great, one of a kind. His forthcoming album is still gestating. Evolving, he might say. Rest assured, it will come alive like nothing else when he arrives at his destination, where ever it may lay.

The feel we wanted for the cover was retro futuristic. Together we looked at numerous pictures of what people in the 1950's and 60's imagined the 21st Century would possibly look like. As a permanent resident of the 21st Century, looking at those pictures made me feel somewhat bitter. Back then there was optimism for the future, it seemed, judging by the wonderful illustrations I saw. The space race was going, the world was simultaneously growing and shrinking. Now it feels as though it is crumbling. Today our visions of the future cap at 2012, if you're superstitious. If not, the outlook still hits a wall at 50 years time, when scientists estimate our planet will have had enough of us--when the tides will turn and some cataclysm will wipe us off the board. Who knows?

I painted this with the best intentions. For a change I wanted to feel hopeful that a new generation will rise up and reign in the tyrants, the zealots and the politicians who all seemingly work to reach that brink we all fear in our secret heart. Inspired in part by 2001: A Space Odyssey, my favourite science fiction film, I painted this because I was tired of being afraid of whatever waits over the horizon.

How I'd rather walk side by side with friends and loved ones along some beautiful golden path to see the glimmering tip of an emerald city poke over a faraway hill, instead of finding some desolate landscape from a Cormac McCarthy fever dream.

Whether he knows it or not, the piece symbolizes my friend "Yoroku" finding his true potential through music in a future world more wondrous than ours. Good luck to you, my friend!

KILL BILL: The Bride Meets The Wolverine

In an earlier post I spun a yarn detailing my affinity for drawing on envelopes, and how one such envelope was the bi-product of a piece of fan-fiction I dreamed up one nerdy summer. That fan-fiction was a silly action-packed meeting of The Bride from Kill Bill and Wolverine, the most well-known X-Man around. Well, I discovered my attempt to draw that story in sequential panels on an old hard drive. I started drawing the story arbitrarily, with ninjas attacking the duo, and never made it past what you see below. Some things work out for the better. Enjoy!

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