my top 10 comic story lines of the year

albeit a little late, but here is my top 10 comic story lines for 2011!

  1. Uncanny X-Force Dark Angel Saga by Remender & Opena – simply doesn’t get better than this.  a tie in with Age of Apocalyse, fantastic artwork, world-level threat, and my growing like for Fantamex!
  2. Scarlett by Bendis and Maleev – forget what you ever thought comics was about.  this comic got me inspired to do something new.
  3. Wolverine and the X-Men by Aaron & Bachelo – great artwork by Bachelo and back to what makes x-men interesting, learning how to use their powers!
  4. Uncanny X-Men “Breaking Point” by Gillen & Dodson – a throwback to the great Astonishing X-Men storyline by Whedon, Dodson does fantastic work with Kitty.
  5. Mighty Thor by Fraction & Coipel – Thor versus Silver Surfer.  Odin versus Galactus.  ’nuff said!
  6. The Avengers by Bendis & Romita Jr. – although not a fan of Romita’s artwork, i thoroughly enjoyed the story of a ‘normal’ villian when he gets his hand on the infinity gems.
  7. Avengers: The Children’s Crusade by Heinberg & Cheung – a story that touches on plenty of Marvel characters, delivered in fantastic art.
  8. Superior by Miller & Yu – another comic that change what you think the typical comic should be like.
  9. Justice League by Johns & Lee – i can’t help, it’s Jim Lee!
  10. Carnage by Wells & Crain – intense and just great mayhem fun.
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no more planning

for today’s panel breakdown, here are 3 pics showing the steps I took. most notable is how in my blue roughs, I realized the hand was not centered on the panel, especially with the caption making all the “action” happening in the top half of the panel. basically bad composition. hey, I’m still learning!




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my top 10 tv shows of the year

for my next top 10, let’s do tv shows!

1. Game of Thrones – action, awesome characters, fantasy creatures, and Tyrion Lannester!
2. SGU Stargate Universe – a bit of a BSG knockoff, but hey, still great!
3. Young Justice – about time DC animation came back with a regular toon
4. How I Met Your Mother – love Barney
5. Whitney – love the focus on relationship issues and the boyfriend is hilarious
6. Community – Donald Glover, a writer, stand up comic, actor and rapper!
7. Modern Family – great writing every episode
8. Dexter – finally getting into the show. it didn’t hurt Adama was the villain!
9. Walking Dead – zombies!
10. Warehouse 13 – quirky and fun, plus you get some history

and for honorable mention, the new marvel anime shows – Iron Man, X-Men, and Wolverine. just couldn’t quite get into them. but, def looking forward to next year’s return of Games Of Thrones and maybe, just maybe a premiere of a new sci-fi show!

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panel details

more and more, I’m learning background details is where it’s at. i’m slowly overcoming my prejudice that the background is so boring to draw, when in fact, it can be the most challenging and rewarding part of the process. below is an upcoming strip for Finn. sometime I debate in my mind that for a more cartoon like strip like Finn, a more detailed background would cruelly detract from a comic strip. but here, I feel like it adds correctly to the strip. by the way, guess how long it took me to draw this? 🙂



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my top 10 movies of the year

i like year end recaps of the best and worst.  sometimes i agree, sometimes i whole heartedly disagree.  well, here’s my top movies of the year.

  1. The Adjustment Bureau – who wouldn’t do anything for love?  and dang it Matt Damon is charming!
  2. X-Men: First Class – Kevin Bacon made a great villian and this movie put Michael Fassbender on the map
  3. Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocols – i want to be Ethan Hunt.
  4. Crazy Stupid Love – one of three for the Ryan Gosling trifecta
  5. Thor – i’ve really gotten into Thor ever since Oliver Coipel started drawing it.  plus Natalie Portman!
  6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon – i don’t care what you say, it was just good fun.
  7. Ides of March – two of three for Gosling, i love political thrillers.
  8. Hanna – one of the best escape scenes i’ve ever seen.
  9. Limitless – seriously, who wouldn’t take that pill.
  10. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo – shocking murder mystery.

and while i’m at it, here’s my 5 worst of the year, that i actually watched.

  1. The Green Hornet
  2. Hangover Part 2
  3. Midnight in Paris
  4. Drive Angry
  5. Scream 4

ps.  number 11 would’ve been Drive, making that the third Gosling movie.

agree?  disagree?  give me your comments or your top 10 movies of the year!

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panel – step by step

I start each of panel these days using a 0.5 blue pencil lead. I used to use reg pencil lead but found during my scans, it would show up sometimes. (blue doesn’t scan in under b&w settings). I try to rough out the shape and make sure they make sense proportionally. more often than not, I have to do multiple erases before I settle in on what I think looks accurate. next, still using blue pencils, I flush out the details. and it’s great to know I still have inking to do because if I get something wrong here, I don’t redraw it and instead leave it to the inking step to correct. and finally, using a Pentel brush comes the inking. I pay special attention to the amount of pressure I apply, to try and give the picture more personality with line variations.

so, it’s a pretty quick process and I correct as I go with each step. I’d like to think with a more serious piece there would be more steps and I’d work a bit more on getting each step right before moving on. and of course, there’d be more background details.





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flashback to middle school! back then, my art teacher introduced us to something called pointillism, which is basically using a bunch of dots to convey shading, with the spacing of the dots giving that illusion. now, this panel is prob not big enough to exercise this technique or perhaps I need to use a fiber tip pen.


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face this

I don’t know why, but it’s so hard to push my art’s boundary. I start off thinking, “ok, get ready for some really crazy, totally different from my normal artwork!”. and then when I’m done, I see it’s not all that different from my normal stuff. I think a major reason is because I want it to look good! so, from now on in Finn, you might want to prepare yourself if things don’t look so pretty! in order to get better, maybe things need to get ugly for awhile.

which brings me to the art tonight, facial expressions.


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female faces

so, after the last few sketch nights and coming off of jamm week, I realized I am distinctly weak on drawing female faces, or at least making them attractive! so, as I’ve always done when learning, I start by emulating some of the greats. for this exercise, I’ll be imitating Dustin Nguyen, specifically an issue from Superman/Batman. if you’ve never heard of Dustin, do yourself a favor and check out his deviatart page where you’ll find great watercolors of Batman’s rogue gallery.


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