Ashby posts text and images,

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oldies but Goodies

Heeeeey internet...

Mozis, the wilder.  He travels the universe to devour pure primordial essences in order to unleash his inner dragon.  He can teleport too.
This is Cratz.  He's a silly primate.  Don't ever call him a monkey or you'll get this face.

This I did for a Reflection City flier.

J-scribe cover design.

Yeah, I don't know about this  next one, but we have four of these in different colors hanging in my hall way.

Little shot from Bzzzz Bzz.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Comics Coming Out!

In like, 113 days or something (check the cool javascript ticker on the right that I stole from the mcad intranet site).

Hey internet!

I should have three titles coming out this summer.

One of them is the second arc for Grotto in collaboration with Andrew Herbst.  I just got the script two weeks ago and I am well into thumbnails.  The second issue will be TWICE AS LONG!  There will be a giant BAR FIGHT!  Sol will take off his hat and KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS!

ps-you can read Grotto by clicking the link on the right hand side.
Official announcements out some time in february. Or March.  Or April.  Sweet.  Cool.  Sweet. Sweet.  Sweet.  Cool.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Education and Instruction through Visual Graphic Narrative Storytelling using Panels and Cute Characters, oh and Quotes and Links and Stuff

Hey Internet,

I don't know if any of you know this, but in addition to adventure and science fiction comics, I have ambitions and passions in instructional comics.  Comics enthusiasts will be quick to remember both Will Eisner and Scott McCloud.  But have you heard of Gene Yang, Big Time Attic, or the 1944 Journal of Educational Sociology studies?  Hmmm....  Fascinating!

Below is an instructional comics I completed in MCAD(fullscreen mode may provide a more comfortable reading experience):

Ashby Utting Instructo Comic

And here, a zine, with quotes:


Also, links!

Gene Yang's Comics in Education.
Big Time Attic  Browse the several nonfiction historical and scientific comics titles.  Quality.

It is my goal to one day assist on a large comics and design orientated text book and web presence.  I believe narrative and visual stimulation improves education and cognitive development.  Comics just seems like a natural fit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For the Kids!

Hey internet!

First off I wanted to thank everyone who has visited and revisited this little blog I've got.  I check out the stats occasionally, and I know a few of you who are keeping up.  Here's a shout out to John and Jo-Z in Japan, Maayan in Israel, Phi and Alex and Andrew here in the twin cities, Alice over there in San Francisco and my awesome soon-to-be-brother-in-law Paul.  Thanks to all you other visitors whom I can't yet distinguish through stats or facebook comments.

I though I'd post some things I worked on over the break, which are sorta comic related.  I did a couple of kid oriented pieces for my son and my sons best friend.  The first was a christmas gift for family members.  Below are the inks and finished colors.

I like the end result, but on a second try I think I would try a fully rendered pencil drawing (but I knew I can do that- I had never tried this).   Live and learn right?  I'm still grasping for that free flowing gestural line.  He's cute though.  He's incredibly polite too, and can recognize himself in this picture.  So, success!

This following image was a request from one of CarrieAnn's friends from work.  Her little son, Lucas, had a Batman party and I agreed- yes it would be incredibly awesome drawing Lucas and Batman together.  Emily and Xavvi have really come through for us, and it was a blast working on this.

I still have yet to give them the print, so if anyone sees something obviously weird with this one, let me know!

I've decided to re-approach this later and see if anything shouts out at me.  Already I'm noticing that the hand blast needs a little more work, and maybe I could desaturate Batman a bit to push him into the background.

Oh, and I thought I'd post pictures of them together.  Cause they're buddies.  Maybe this summer I can work out a hero image with both of them...

Cute, right?
Ki Bae (and Frank Quitely) helped me deal with my lengthy dislike of Robin.  Robin, your ok.  


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Internships Finished.

Hey Internet.

I don't know if you knew this but for the last eight months I've been deep in professional territory interning with two different Minnesotan comics artists.  This is the final week of my internship experiences, and next tuesday I start my last semester at MCAD.

I just wanted to write a little about my experience and show some of the amazing projects I've been lucky enough to work on!

My first internship started this last summer.  Ryan Kelly and I met about once to twice a week and I was happy to help him with three projects: The Unwritten #17, Batman 80-Page Giant 2010, and The New York Five.  A link to Ryan Kelly's blog is here.

The Unwritten #17 took up the bulk of my interning hours.  This comic is published by Vertigo and was nominated for two Eisner awards: Best Continuing Series and Best New Series.  It is writtin by Mike Carey, drawn by Peter Gross and on this particular issue, Ryan Kelly did the finishes.  Below is the cover:
I helped do black spotting and panel borders with this project, as well as assisting with some background inking in some of the panels.  On one splash page I was even lucky enough to ink a demon monster!  It was a pretty amazing experience that taught me much about craft and process.  Below is the title page I helped work.  I think I actually inked a lot of the background in that second panel.

The second project was Batman 80-Page Giant 2010.  I can't tell you how excited I was to help out with a Batman comic!  I did a lot of black spotting for this piece, a few backgrounds, and also inked a couple police officers in one small panel.  Below is the cover:
And below is a page I helped work on.  I think I helped ink a bit of the Gotham background.  I really love how Ryan Kelly draws Catwoman.
I also helped a little bit with the The New York Five, but not enough to post pictures and highlight the small portions where my pen hit the page.  The artwork in both The New York Four and The New York Five is amazing.  I feel really lucky to have worked with Ryan Kelly on these amazing projects.  Not only is he a super talented and hyper-fast comics illustrator, but he's also a really nice guy and an appreciator of Mexican Cuisine (which is always a plus in my book).

Just this week I am finishing up my internship with Zak Sally at La Mano 21.  To see Zak's Minnesota Original feature click here.  Zak Sally has been sorta instrumental in guiding me as a cartoonist.  He has been the instructor at MCAD responsible for most of my storytelling training and was gracious to take me on as an intern.  

With Zak Sally, I helped him collate and organize The Kim Deitch Files(this link will also take you to Zak's La Mano 21 website).
These files are prints of some rare penciled Kim Deitch pages printed on Zak Sally's A.B. Dick Offset Lithgraph Press.  I got to see Zak work with this crazy machine.  My job was to look at each print for quality and then organize them all in their correct sets.  I think every single print in both the deluxe and regular edition have ran under my eyes, somewhere along the lines of 13,000 prints.  Kim Deitch is an amazing artist and Zak Sally is a talented and unique printmaker.  You will not find a product like this anywhere else.  For me it is an appreciation of the transitional, the transitory nature of comics process and printmaking.  Quality.

Zak Sally's whole operation is a standard of integrity and I am a huge fan of Sammy the Mouse.  I'm actually really sad that our student/instructor/internship correspondence is ending.  He's taught me a lot about what it means to be a cartoonist: both the futility and glory of it all.  Scholars will quote Zak Sally's musings on cartooning one day.  

I will follow the careers of both of these comics artists until the bitter end.  And if you, reading this, happen to be one of these artists, then thank you, from the bottom of my heart!