Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day!

Avast! We be admittin' to bein' lax in our drawin' an' paintin' o' pirates, but here be a not-so-jolly Roger we slapped paint to a few trips 'round the Horn ago, for the bindings of Grim Lands.



Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Stuff!

We've recently completed another new dust jacket painting for the REH Foundation. This time it's Spicy Adventures!

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Here's how it will look on the cover of the finished book:

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We painted the picture in M. Graham Oils on an 18 × 24" piece of Ampersand GessoBord primed with acrylic ultramarine-tinted Floetrol. For those interested in this sort of thing, we took a few pictures as we went along, showing a little of the process on the painting.

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We'd like to thank our great model, Lizz—who also posed for our Weird Menace cover. Check out her work on Facebook. She's amazing!

Model Lizz
Comic Con was a madhouse (what else is new). It turned out that, unfortunately, Ruth wasn't able to make it to San Diego this year, so I did the show all by my lonesome (well, except for Gary Gianni and the great guys from Madefire, who joined me at the booth).

I saw lots of brilliant art—including about a dozen original Frank Frazetta paintings that were on display for only 4 hours at a nearby Hard Rock Cafe. It was awesome ... and very weird to find them there, in the dark, at the back of a bar. I also met a lot of cool people, but without a doubt the highlight of the show for me was meeting one of my artist heroes—Jordi Bernet, who stopped by the booth! Yes, I gushed like the fan I am!

left: Jim, right: Jordi Bernet
If you're not familiar with Mr. Bernet's work, give yourself a treat and check out one of the new Torpedo collections that IDW is publishing. The best of the best! —Jim

Torpedo by Jordi Bernet

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

San Diego!

If you're in San Diego next weekend, and can somehow force your way through the crowded aisles at the convention center, please stop by and see us (and our booth-mate, Gary Gianni) at booth #4902!
SDCC 2010 (left to right): Mike Mignola, Mark Schultz, Ruth Keegan, Jim Keegan, Gary Gianni.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Rankin

Each Year in Cross Plains, the Robert E. Howard Foundation presents awards for the best contribution to Howard studies. In past years, illustration wasn't among the categories eligible for a specific award, but that changed this year with the addition of "The Rankin." The award is named for Weird Tales illustrator Hugh Rankin (1878-1956). Howard himself cited Rankin as among his favorite illustrators, and actually collected some of his original art.

In 2009, one of our Adventures of Two-Gun Bob strips was devoted to Rankin — and, except for the hand in panel 2, it was entirely composed of Rankin's own illustrations from Howard's stories.
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We weren't able to be in Cross Plains for the awards presentation this year, but we received a pleasant surprise package last week from the Foundation. Along with several wonderful new books, the box included ... the first Rankin Award. We were both really flattered to have won — especially with such amazing artists as Tim Bradstreet and Tom├ís Giorello also in nomination.

Another great Rankin nominee, "Indiana" Bill Cavalier, designed the handsome award plaque. He tells us that it's laser engraved into bamboo!

Very cool. Thanks to all involved.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hammer Time

Mark Finn and Chris Gruber, members of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association (REHupa), have edited a collection of stories and verse written by other current and former members of REHupa (which includes novelists James Reasoner and Charles Gramlich). The book will be available through Lulu.com, with proceeds benefiting Project Pride—the community organization which bought, restored, and continues to maintain the Robert E. Howard home in Cross Plains, Texas.

We're former members of REHupa, having joined back in the late '90s, so they asked us to create the cover.

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The book will also be available at REH Days (June 10th & 11th).

Below is our pencil drawing for this picture:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Secret Agent, Man

A publisher recently commissioned us to do a comic illustration based on the following Secret Agent Corrigan daily strip by Al Williamson.

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We're big fans of Al Williamson, and happy to do the job, but we made sure to explain that we don't draw anything like Al, and weren't even going to try to mimic his beautiful line work. Our resulting piece doesn't have much of an Al vibe, but it does kinda have a fun Jonny Quest thing going on!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One!

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  We just realized today marks one whole year since we launched this blog. We found this doodle in one of our old sketchbooks, so we colored it up for the occasion. Dale, at least, is having a good time. Poor Flash.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Stuff!


HEY KIDS, COMICS:
Philip Simon at Dark Horse asked us to do a pin-up for the first issue of their new Solomon Kane: Red Shadows series. We’d done a few painted illustrations of Kane for the two Best of REH books, but this isn’t based on an actual story — just us having fun doing a comic book version of the character.

We knew that we wanted the ghosts to be pulled out as color holds, so we drew the picture with that in mind. Below is what the ink drawing looked like before we colored it.


NEW BOOK:
We received a wonderful present in the mail a couple of weeks ago — a fabulous new art book titled Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West. Published by Flesk Publications, with fascinating text supplied by Walt Reed, this book is in all ways stunning. Gorgeous color reproductions of this Golden Age master's sublime work fill every page with a clarity that will leave you gob-smacked by the brushstrokes, the color choices, the design, the flawless everything that is the work of Harvey Dunn. 


Along with his classmate, N.C. Wyeth, Dunn studied under the "Father of American Illustration," Howard Pyle, and later went on to teach students of his own — including such future masters as Dean Cornwell, Mead Schaeffer, Arnold Friberg, and many others.

Looking through the book, we feel enriched by the soulful stories his paintings tell of lonely cowboys, brave pioneer women, and staunch soldiers of the Great War (of which Dunn was one). Each page is filled with scenes of romance, adventure, and simple prairie living. Every line is a tribute to the robust spirit of the American West. This is a really great book, which we can't recommend highly enough. If you’re familiar with any of John Fleskes’ previous books, you know that this publisher takes no prisoners when it comes to quality — lavishing meticulous care on every aspect of production. Flesk continues to raise the bar in the art-book publishing field with every new release. If you haven't already bought any Flesk books, you should definitely start here.


OTHER NEW BOOKS:
In other book news, we received our copies of Tales of Weird Menace and Steve Harrison’s Casebook from The Robert E. Howard Foundation this week. We painted the dust jackets, and Rob Roehm did an outstanding job on the editing and production of these books, which are both available through the REH Foundation website.

Front
Back
Printed book next to original painting.