Monday, February 18, 2013

Catching Up

Sooo... been a while since we've posted here and just wanted to make a quick update with a few things:

• Our New Years was fun. Had some friends over and actually had two "New Years" - one on New Years Eve proper and one the previous weekend due to work schedule conflicts. Good times.

• Then, just post New Years, we had some oh-so-fun issues with the shower leaking and the drain in the basement backing up... Thankfully the owner of the house we're renting got that taken care of relatively quickly. Just not fun while it lasted.

• Around the same time we both got super-sick - first Jenny and then me. There's been a couple of nasty bugs circulating the area, and undoubtedly she picked up what we had from work. Took some time to fully recover, and greatly diminished productivity for a while, but at least we didn't get the actual flu that was also going around...

• The Emerald City ComiCon is very soon (March 1-3) and we'll be headed there for a mini-vacation. We haven't been the last 2 years, and the last time we were there I was tabling in Artist Alley and barely saw the rest of the show. So this time we're looking forward to just being free to be fans and see as much as possible, and also catch up with a lot of people we haven't seen in a long time. While I'm not exhibiting this year, a lot of my friends from this area are - check out the list over on the Comicsmiths' Guild site: CSG at ECCC!

• However we will be exhibiting at the Spokane ComiCon, which this year falls on June 1st (my birthday!). We're splitting an Artist Alley table, so I can show off my art and comic stuff and Jenny can sell her crafty stuff. We've even got some ideas for collaborating on a project, but we'll keep mum on the specifics 'til we're a bit further along with that...

• Recently I did a guest strip for my buddy Matt Nelson's webcomic Catbeard the Pirate, while he was taking a short break after finishing up a long storyline. Catbeard's a great all-ages comic that's a mix of comedy and adventure - it's been going for nearly 2 years now, with one collected book out so far. You can see my contribution here: Catbeard Guest Strip!

• I'm starting to post more on my Tumblr blog, as it's a good place to quickly throw up sketches and works-in-progress along side finished works and other things. I'd recommend following me there for more frequent updates for now: Peter on Tumblr

• This site probably won't see a lot of updating, as it was originally meant more for personal blogging and updates, and a lot of that is covered by things like Facebook and Twitter now. But we'll try to post when anything relevant or important comes up... I'm planning on sprucing up my personal site relatively soon, as well as get a proper site set up for Jenny, but I don't know how quickly that will actually happen...

• And finally, for any local artist types, this coming Saturday (the 23rd) is the first Spokane Drink & Draw of 2013. It'll be at the Saranac Public House downtown, from 6-10, and is an all-ages event. It's being organized by Nathan O'Brien, who runs the Spokane ComiCon, and he's hoping to make them a regular thing. You can RSVP for the event here: Drink & Draw Social Club February Spectacular!

Thanks for visiting our somewhat neglected blog - hopefully we'll have some more to share with you soon!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Sketching

Just wanted to give a heads up that I'll be at Lightning Comics in Coeur d'Alene, ID this Saturday (the 27th). I'll be there from 10:30 to around 2, drawing free sketches for kids as part of their Hallowe'en ComicFest activities.

This is a new event, sponsored by Diamond Comics, that's a bit like Free Comic Book Day. They provide a variety of free mini-comics for shops to give out to kids in the spirit of trick-or-treating, as well as having costume contests and other things happening depending on the location.

I'll be with a few of my Comicsmiths' Guild friends - other local artists and comic creators - so swing by and say Hi if you get a chance. And if you're not local, be sure to check your local shops for participating retailers: Comic Shop Locator

Monday, August 27, 2012


Settling into our new place has been a rather slow affair. We're "moved in", but we're still compiling our "move-in" list of all the various issues in the house, and there's still work that needs to be done before we can finish unpacking and really get situated.

We've been taking copious amounts of photos as we go, as we keep finding things that need to be fixed. This weekend we went through the basement and looked for problems and "pre-existing conditions". The basement is also a haven for (in some cases, very large) spiders, and we spent some time trying to clean out as many 8 legged inhabitants and cobwebs as possible.

Here's an example of one that appeared in the kitchen, next to the back door, that Jenny nearly walked into. I know that spiders are supposed to be beneficial since they eat other insects, but the ones in our house seem unusually industrious. And fearless, feeling quite content to drop down directly into our faces as we're walking. This will not stand...

We're going to get out and pick up some spider glue traps, on the recommendation of one of Jenny's co-workers. We were at Fred Meyer the other night grocery shopping, and looked there, but they were completely sold out of (just) spider traps. So apparently we're not the only ones dealing with an infestation.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Status - House: Achieved!

We've been in this apartment for almost 7 years, which seems insane now that I really think about it. Not sure how we've lasted this long, considering some of the things (and neighbors) we've put up with...

But that will all soon be in the past, as we're finally moving!

We found a 2 bedroom house to rent, in what seems to be a nice neighborhood, that's going to cost us about what we're paying now (the rent is actually less than this apartment, but we're expecting our utilities to be higher there). It's also got a full basement with a lot of storage space, and an actual back yard. :)

It's a little farther west from where we're at now, over into what is Spokane proper, but Jenny's work is still about the same distance from the new place as from here. And she's got some friends/co-workers who live in the same area - one only a block away.

It is an older house, which hasn't ever been remodeled as far as we (or the landlord) know, so we won't be surprised if we run into some issues later on... But since neither of us has rented a house before, and we would eventually like to own our own place, we're looking at this as a learning experience of sorts.

But the property manager/landlord also lives just around the corner, so if anything does come up she'll be easy enough to get a hold of. She's getting the place cleaned/fixed up right now (as the previous tenants didn't seem to do any move-out cleaning...) so we won't be able to start moving in till closer to the end of the month. But at least we should have a few days to move instead of it being a mad rush over a day or two.

Still, super excited! More updates, and eventually photos, are sure to follow.

Monday, May 21, 2012


This last weekend (Saturday the 19th to be precise) was the Spokane ComiCon, and I was there exhibiting in Artist Alley, sharing a table with my buddy Matt Nelson. This was the third year I was there as an artist, though the first that I was there specifically promoting myself. The previous times I had been at the Comicsmiths' Guild table, representing both myself and the local artist group I'm a part of.

Sharing a table with Matt was a lot of fun, and I thought we were a great team, talking up each others' products to whoever was at the table and getting even more sales. This was also the first time Jenny was able to attend while I was exhibiting, since her schedule changed and she now has weekends free. We all had a lot of fun, and it was great seeing all our friends from out of town who were there for the convention.

This certainly felt like the best year of this Con so far to me. It seemed like there were more people this time, and it was just generally busier. I definitely did a lot better sales-wise than last year, and I think better than the year before. I was mainly selling prints and sketch commissions while I was there but I also had mini-comics, sketch-cards and copies of The Stars #1 (which I lettered) available for sale.

In addition, I printed up copies of a 20 page sketchbook (a popular choice for artists at cons) and an 8 page ashcan, which collected my 4 page story from the first Comicsmiths' Guild Anthology with a bonus intro page, plus sketches and pin-ups. I want to do more stories soon with the character (Seamus O'Kyte) from that story, so I made it up as a sort of Preview Book for the upcoming comics.

The next convention I'm planning on attending is the Jet City Comic Show in Seattle, on September 22. I'll be there sharing a table in Artist Alley with another buddy, and fellow local artist, Josh Montreuil. I'm intending to have at least one comic featuring Seamus available then, and possibly some more projects started as well.

Unfortunately I fell behind on my "In Geekness..." journal comics, but plan to pick them back up this week. I wanted to be ready for the convention well ahead of time, but that didn't happen - instead I ended up scrambling the past couple of weeks frantically preparing and getting things printed, at the cost of other work I should have been doing. I think time management is my worst weakness and the one I really need to fix this year if I want to be any sort of success as a professional artist.

I also got very little sleep the last week or so, and was generally stressed out from getting ready and worrying about the con, and I was completely exhausted by the time we got home Saturday night (after spending a few hours at an awesome post-Con BBQ party hosted by our friends Heidi & Levi), so Sunday I did virtually nothing beyond rest and running a lot of laundry and dishes.

But now it will be back to work, though. I've got a lot of real work to play catch-up with this week and, exhausting or not, the whole Con experience is a great boost to wanting to make comics!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Free Comic Book Day Wrap-Up

Here's some of the free sketches I drew for customers at Lightning Comics in Coeur d'Alene, ID on Saturday. I was there with my friends in the Comicsmiths' Guild for Free Comic Book Day.

The shop had a really good turnout, and we were busy sketching the whole time, almost non-stop. It was great to talk to so many people who had been there for FCBD the past couple of years, and were looking forward to seeing us again.

There was a small write-up in the local paper about the event - the Guild got a mention, and they even included a picture of me sketching for one of the kids who was there. You can read it here: The Coeur d'Alene Press

 Also, there's a new comic up on the In Geekness page at my website, so be sure to check that out too!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Hey Look, Comics!

I did another journal-type comic a while back - it was fun to do, and got a pretty good reaction from people, so I thought I'd try to do some more along the same lines. I'll be posting these, along with some commentary, over at my website, which I'm hoping to change into a sort of hub for any comic-related content I produce.

I’m tentatively calling these strips “In Geekness and In Health”, and you’ll find them at the In Geekness link on the main menu of the site.

Not sure, but think I'll shoot for at least a couple of these a week - I figure it'll make a good compliment/replacement to real day-to-day blogging and mean some regular comic content on the site.

 A few other important reminders/notes:

 - I'll be at Lightning Comics in Coeur d'Alene this Saturday, from 10:30 to 3, drawing free sketches for customers for Free Comic Book Day.

- The Catbeard Indie-GoGo campaign is still going; this is the fundraising/pre-order campaign for the first print collection of the Catbeard webcomic. You can read all about it here: Catbeard Book One is Go!

 - I'll be at the upcoming Spokane ComiCon (May 19), along side my buddy Matt Nelson, the creator of the aforementioned Catbeard.

 - And I just got confirmation that I'll also be at the Jet City Comic Show in September, sharing a spot in Artist Alley with another friend and local artist Josh Montreuil.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Free Comic Book Day!

It's here once again - the day that's Christmas for comic geeks, and also a great chance to introduce comics to new readers and make a new generation of fans.

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday (May 5), and is a national event that provides retailers a lot of awesome comics, from a variety of publishers, that they can give away for free. All of the comic book stores in the Spokane area will be participating, and I will be at Lightning Comics in Coeur d'Alene on Saturday from 10:30 - 3, drawing free sketches for customers along side my friends in the Comicsmiths' Guild.

If you're not local, be sure to check out the FCBD website for a participating retailer in your area, and I hope to see everyone else this weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Of Movies and Mars

We went to see the movie John Carter yesterday and it was awesome.

I've been a fan of the book series it's based on since high school, and I've always wanted to see a film version made, but honestly never thought it would happen. It's been attempted many, many times over the years, and in fact could've been the first animated feature film, if the first planned production in 1931 had gone forward.

I thought the translation was excellent, even though it was not a straight adaptation of the source material. It actually was based on elements of the first 3 books, with some parts changed and moved around. But the director is a huge fan of the books and did a great job of making an even better story for the screen than the original.

Unfortunately, at this point the film is mostly being called a "flop", as it cost $300 million to make and only had a $30 million opening weekend. Much of the blame for this poor showing at the box office has been leveled at the management (or lack there-of) of the movie's marketing, with poorly designed trailers and shaky ideas of the intended audience. This article does a great job of breaking down much of what went wrong: The Inside Story of How John Carter Was Doomed by Its First Trailer

I've been thinking about this (probably way more than I should) as I really don't understand how it can be so difficult to find viewers for an incredibly well made, special effects laden, sci-fi spectacular, especially with what I can only assume is a huge staff of well paid "experts" who are supposed to figure these things out for the studio.

So here's what I came up with...

The later advertisements tried to play up how much of an influence the books were on other well known sci-fi staples, like Star Wars and Avatar. But they did this in such an obtuse way that it still didn't explain who this "John Carter" guy was, how he was connected to these other movie properties, or what the movie was even about. They also failed to take advantage of the fact that this year, when the movie is released, marks the 100 year anniversary of the first story's publication.

I realized the "movie trailer voice-over" was a good idea, it just needed to say the right thing, like:

"From the mind of author Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of the modern fantasy legend Tarzan... comes the original sci-fi action hero - John Carter.

Witness the epic love story of two worlds, 100 years in the making."

So that's what I would've done. Explain who the title character is, why we should care, and at least a hint of what kind of movie it is. Doesn't seem too hard to me...

But regardless, the movie is really great. If everyone would ignore the nay-saying of the "critics" and just go see it, maybe Disney will realize that as well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Snow Days

We were planning on doing a lot of running around and chore-type stuff this weekend, and visit Jenny's parents as well, but those plans were scuttled when we woke up Saturday morning to the stormfront that moved in and dumped a few inches of snow on us. Roads were a mess, and we were in no hurry to go outside, so we ended up staying in all weekend and catching up on the copious amounts of TV shows we had to watch from the last couple of weeks. Not too exciting, but fun and relaxing nonetheless.

We also watched the first episode of a new show, Awake, which doesn't premiere until this Thursday, but the first episode is already available on Hulu. It's a drama about a police detective who's in a car accident, and afterwards keeps switching between two realities - one where his wife died in the crash and his son survived, and one that's the opposite. Every time he falls asleep, he "wakes up" in the other reality, so it seems like one of them is real and one is a dream - but he doesn't know which one, and they seem to be connected somehow.

Jenny and I really enjoyed the pilot, so we'll keep watching it; hopefully it won't get cancelled like most of our favorite shows seem to. Speaking of which, we're hoping that PanAm gets picked up for a second season, since we're really hooked on it now, but what I've read on-line hasn't been very encouraging....