Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Early tomorrow morning we're in for convention #2 by flying to Vegas for Rollercon.

I'll be taking my skates, Sharpies, and these lil' babies:



Here's a quick and by no means complete sampling of Comic Con photos:

Sonambulo creator Rafael Navarro and I getting all excited about the Whip It! movie:


Nerd Rage from Slaughter County Derby up in Washington state. True story: I was working the GirlsDrawinGirls booth and happened to look up and saw Nerd Rage in the crowd. Our eyes locked and we each instantly thought to ourselves: ROLLER DERBY!

So she came over and said hello:


Maude Lebowski has a new husband:

Mrs. Mia Wallace and amazing artist Danni Luo:

The look on the masked woman's face is a little creepy:


Rafael has a warped idea of who makes a good Booth Babe at his Sonambulo booth:

Monday, July 27, 2009


Am back from Comic Con.

Am getting ready for Rollercon.

Am overwhelmed.

Am tired.

Am not getting enough sleep due to the noisy world.

Am surprised that out of my merchandise for sale at Comic Con, this little lady was by far the best-seller of my offerings:

I may have to resurrect her for more fun in the next year.

In other surprising Comic Con news...

I'm either out of touch or the average Comic Con attendee is a fucking moron. Friday I dressed as post-adrenaline shot Mrs. Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction. A classic, right? Um, apparently not. Most people were baffled.

Saturday I debuted a re-made Big Lebowski Maude-from-Gutterballs outfit. Most folk thought I was a valkyrie. A valkyrie with bowling balls on her torso!?!??!


And I thought Comic Con was supposed to be full of nerds who knew about such things?!

Ah well.

When do I get a vacation? Oh right, I don't.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This will probably be the last chance I get to post before wandering down to San Diego Thursday morning, so here's my shill for what I'll be doing there:


That's against the back wall, next to our buddies ACME Filmworks. I'll be at the booth Thursday thru Saturday in the afternoons. Friday and Saturday will be my Booth Babe work shifts, so come on by to point and laugh in my general direction.

After you've done that, BUY SOME OF OUR RAD STUFF. I'm in the art pin-up calendar and I'll have magnets and buttons for sale. BUY THEM ALLLLLLL, I need spending money for Vega$ the following weekend!!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Easily Amused

Last night the Art Department was supposed to have a meeting. But then it didn't. So some of us got together anyway to discuss everything BUT art. We succeeded mightily. One of the things that got brought up were these internet "commercials". They funny!

PS: I DO win at yelling.

PPS: on a vaguely related note, do NOT fall asleep and start snoring loudly when I'm present. Things will happen to you. Things that will be photographed. And posted online. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just So You Know...

See this? It's the trailer for the movie, Whip It! which is based on a book called, Derby Girl, written by a former Derby Doll skater:

I HAVE to say this: THIS IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT ROLLER DERBY!! Not even close! Derby chicks all over the place are alread commenting about the inaccuracies game-wise in the trailer. SO WHAT?! That's what Hollywood takes a subject and warps it to its own uses. It's OK, derby will survive this. Really.

And skaters? Bitching about the punches thrown when it was just a couple of short years ago when ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAMN LEAGUE had fights, penalty wheels, and a more exploitative overall feel to the proceedings is stupid and shows ignorance from where this crazy sport came from. Stop it. Now.

I don't know why I'm so annoyed by the comments, but I am. So take that. This is an opportunity for leagues to capitalize on the attention. So stop snarking and get planning, bitches!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

GDG Calendar Girl Process Thread

As promised, I'm going to do a process thread on the Miss June I did for the GirlsDrawinGirls calendar that's gonna be for sale at this year's Comic Con. I've never done a process thread before, and heaven-fucking-forbid I do any research on what other people write up, so bear with me. If you have any questions on how or why I do things the way I do, please ask. I'll make up some artsy-fartsy bullshit answer. I promise.

So when first told about the calendar, I had no idea what I was going to do for it. Of course. After choosing my month(I basically chose one of the few months that didn't have a major holiday in it to theme around), I sat and pondered. A garden babe? Alice Cooper's School's Out? Something beach-themed?

Ahhh, a girl in a bikini. Summery and fun and hey! I might actually be able to draw that! a pose. Damn! More pondering. Work gets in the way. Derby distracts me. Then I realize that I had a rad drawing that I could use...or re-use, as it was originally a birthday card:

Originally she was a redhead, as you can probably tell by the freckles. Initially I was going to repeat the ginger motif, but decided against it since I did Puss n' Boots as a redhead last year. Since I didn't want to be BORRRRRRRRINNNNNNG, I decided that it would be more fun to give her a deep '70's mega-tan, damn the skin cancer.

So I scan the drawing into the computer and import it into Illustrator.

First thing I do in Illustrator is use the Brush tool to do a quick and dirty outline of the line art:

As you can see, neatness doesn't necessarily count. I'm just throwing a line down, as I'm going to go back in and finesse the hell out of it later. I can't draw in Illustrator to save my ass. I always follow something that I've scanned in.

  • Sidebar: I've never taken a class in Illustrator. And it shows. The only instruction I've ever gotten was from my friend Troy, who gave me the most useful way of approaching Illustrator. He told me it was less like drawing and more like learning how to build things using Colorforms. That mental approach has made dealing with Illustrator ten thousand times easier, even though I use maybe ten percent of its capabilities.

ANYWAY, so I have my basic line art. Now I go back in and turn all of the lines into objects. That way I can go back in and put the thick and thin on all the linework. I know I could make a brush to do that to a certain extent, but usually when I'm doing crap like this I'm under the gun too much to play with brushes and widths and pressures, etc. It's easier for me to get the approximate thickness I want in the line and then go back in.

Then I add more layers and start in on the color. I do separate layers for the hair, skin, shadows, highlights, eye color, lip outline, etc. I also throw in a quickie background layer just to add any color so that the white doesn't bore me to tears.

See how I've gone in on most of her outline and started making the linework much more pretty. Her feet and face are still in a rough, ugly stage.

For skin, hair, shadows, highlights, etc. I use the pen tool and directly make objects for them from the get-go. I can control how many points each objects has better doing it this way. The more points an object has, the larger the file. I can cut the crap and keep it reasonable to begin with.

She's awfully white for a tan girl, isn't she? Obviously, my color sense is about as acute as Ray Charles'. But her hair is fun. I think it was throwing down the basic shape for that when I decided to go outside the lines for the hair and skin. I originally was going to go back in with Photoshop and throw in a few fun filters to make it look more like it was done with pastels, but didn't.

Just for chuckles, here's the same work as above, just minus the linework layer:

Since I wanted tan lines on her, I decided to give some indication that she had a bathing suit on at some point. I also switched the background color to green, as the yellow was bugging my eyeballs.

Skin shadows, highlights, and bathing suit top added. Everything was built with the pen tool except for the hair highlights, which was done with the brush tool then converted to objects then finessed further.

Closer look on the hair:

By this time I was getting really frustrated with the color. I liked the original drawing, and felt I wasn't doing it justice when it was put in color. I even blogged about it. Now you can see why I was so pissy:

WTF? You're probably asking yourself. Why is her face a different color from the rest of her body?! Just trying to come up with a reasonable color palette. Obviously, I wasn't getting it.

Closer inspection of the damage:


Then I dug out some of my color theory books and got my head out of my ass. I found a vintage Mickey Rooney film ad that was almost exactly what I was looking for, so I managed to borrow heavily from that to get what I wanted. Btw, I was using too much red in almost everything. Once I took it out and added more yellow, things went mucho betterer.

Thank jeebus!

So the color got tweaked for the better, I added a gradient to the background, and I added the bikini bottom and polka dots to the bathing suit.

A reasonable person would've built a pattern in Illustrator, added it on a layer, trimmed it, then to tweak it for the cloth effect would've used the "warp with mesh" option.

Not this dumbass.

I went in and added all those damned polka dots myself. Yeah, I'm that stupid.


Finished product:

The final size of the piece is 11"x17", so I didn't think that importing it into Photoshop to do fun stuff like blending, blurring, etc. would've worked because generally Photoshop doesn't like going beyond legal-sized stuff. Kind of a pisser, but I played with the opaque-ness of some of the layers, especially the skin shadow one, so that it doesn't look too hard and "clean".

And that's my first process thread. Make sense? No? Don't worry, I'm still confused. Just go buy a damned calendar and admire it, will ya?!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

More Bullet Points

  • Fourth of July was fun. Hung out with Myna Threat and Bong Jovi at his place known as Rancho Relaxo. Had bacon-wrapped hot links topped with queso followed by Jack Daniels shots. Then a lovely bicycle ride to Venice where we crashed a lesbian party on a hotel rooftop on the Boardwalk. Saw allllll the fireworks in LA. It rocked.

  • Beavis was uncharacteristically seen wandering around over the weekend, but when darkness fell, so did his activity level. Thank goodness.

  • Had to work the rest of the weekend. FUCK. THAT. NOISE.

  • As a result of overeating this weekend, my Food Baby is becoming a permanent part of my physique. No bueno. Damn Comic Con and its Booth Babe responsibilities.

  • Btw, you going to Comic Con? The GirlsDrawinGirls booth will be in the same place it was last year. Next to the ACME booth. Just look for the tall Maude Lebowski or post-OD Mrs. Mia Wallace booth babes.

  • My cat is very jealous of the cat hanging out in our backyard. Every time I even say hi to Kitty, Lou C comes strutting up, puts his nose against the door screen, and glares at Kitty lounging on the cement. A few times I've opened the screen and held one of the two cats while the other performs a cat scan on him. Get it? Cat scan? Shutup. Predictions that Kitty will move in have been more forthcoming.

  • Even though the Derby Dolls is supposedly on hiatus, I'm getting ready for Rollercon in Vegas at the end of the month. So far I'm on 3 challenge teams and am teaching 2 classes. WOW, I'm getting some skating in this year!

  • I also put a tentative date on my active-team-skating retirement.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bullet Points

  • Last Saturday the LA Derby Dolls team the Aftershockers won. Big. 165-63. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

  • I'm in Freelance Hell for the holiday week. Kill me.

  • Tuesday morning I was on my way to the beach on my skates. I passed a HUGE fuzzy German Shepherd who was dragging his human on a skateboard. The dog, who I found out was named Gus, decided that he wanted to outrun me. He caught up, and ran juuuuuuuust ahead of me. I tried to pet him, but he was too busy concentrating on staying juuuuuuuuust ahead of me for me to be successful.

  • I've been trying to buy all my produce at local farmer's markets. And am mostly winning. Right now peaches are in season. I have never been a big fan of peaches. I remember when I was a kid my mom would make me eat canned peaches in that horrible heavy sugar syrup. Why the hell they ever packed them in that syrup, I don't know, because they sure as hell don't need it. I went a-samplin' at the farmers market and discovered that I do indeed like them after all. Yummmm.

  • For the first time I was invited to hang out with the Derby Dolls refs, The Enforcers, at one of their dinners. They like to eat dinner a lot together. I think it's because they're very entertaining. In this case, it certainly wasn't because the place where we ate had the best service in the world. In fact, it had the worst service and I was so annoyed I didn't even drink. THAT'S SERIOUS, Y'ALL. Anyway, I got cheered for being BORRRRRRRINGG!!!!!!! due to my being with the Dear Husband for 20 fucking years. People who were late showing up got cheered for...being late. A couple of douchey Hollywood twerps tried to sit in our general camp and got pushed away. And we all cheered ourselves after that. I think the Enforcers are one of the more fun groups within the Derby Dolls organization, if not the most vocal.

  • On my way to the Enforcers dinner I walked by Kathy Griffin as she was waiting for a restaurant valet to fetch her car in front of a Hollywood eatery. It took everything I had to not yell, "KATHY GRIFFIN IS FUCKING AWESOME!!!!" But I do regret not saying something.

  • I have no idea what's going on for the 4th of July weekend. Well, other than the whole being in Freelance Hell thing. Beavis has been lurking around lately, so I don't know how far from home I'll want to stray. Ugh.

  • I should probably stay close to home because I have a 6 lb. food baby to lose by Comic Con. Booth babe, here I come.

  • The one good thing that's come out of Michael Jackson's death is that people have rediscovered his album Off The Wall. It's better than Thriller. Yes, I have an opinion about such things.

Alright, back to work.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Mind=really blown

Another way for me to feel old...

Today is the 20th anniversary of me meeting the Dear Husband.

At a science fiction convention.

In Anaheim.


Yeah, I know.