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September 28th, 2012

Self-Portrait

Filed under: Artwork — Tags: — William Cardini @ 7:22 am

Here’s a large version of my self-portrait for the Digestate contributing artists section of the revamped Birdcage Bottom Books site:

William Cardini self-portrait

There were a couple years in high school when almost every piece of art I made was a self-portrait.

September 25th, 2012

More “The Miizzzard of the Year One Million ATTACKS the Moon Base of the Floating Crystal Witch” Process Shots

Filed under: Print Comics — Tags: — William Cardini @ 7:13 am

I’m still working on a six-page comic for Future Shock #2 so I thought I’d show y’all more screenshots of my process:


In this screenshot I’m selecting a fill so that all of the detail lines I draw are contained in it even if I draw right to the edge. This saves me a lot of time erasing the lines that extend past the edge later. I should’ve done this from the beginning!


Scribbling out all of these stars takes a while but hopefully the effect will be worth it.

September 21st, 2012

Five-Eyed Office-Dwelling Cat-Demon #4

Filed under: Artwork — Tags: , — William Cardini @ 7:55 am

Here’s a drawing:

Five-Eyed Cat Demon #4

You can see all of my five-eyed office-dwelling cat demon drawings here.

September 18th, 2012

“The Miizzzard of the Year One Million ATTACKS the Moon Base of the Floating Crystal Witch” Process Shots

Filed under: Print Comics — Tags: , , , — William Cardini @ 10:27 pm

I’m focused on finishing a six-page full-color comic for the second issue of the Josh Burggraf-edited sf anthology Future Shock.

Here are some process shots in MangaStudio. First I draw color outlines and rough shapes with the pencil tool. Then I draw black containing lines for shapes with the marker and pen nib tools. I give the black lines different transparencies so that I can see where they overlap.

William Cardini process shot

I draw detail lines outside of containing shapes and then erase them later.

William Cardini process shot

The page in this final shot is almost done. After I’m finished with a page in MangaStudio, I transfer it to Photoshop and fill in the black shapes and lines with different colors.

William Cardini process shot

I’m working on a couple different projects. I’m not sure how much in-depth posting I’ll be doing over the next few months.

September 14th, 2012

Digestate Anthology and Kid Space Heater 2 at SPX 2012

Filed under: Events,Print Comics — Tags: , , , , , , , — William Cardini @ 7:52 am

This weekend is the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. I’m not going to be there but JT Yost will be debuting the Digestate anthology there. Here’s the cover:


Cover by Cha.

I’ve got a four-page comic in Digestate called “The Miizzzard ATTACKS the Munchies.” Here’s the first page to whet your appetite:

JT Yost is exhibiting at Table H13 as his small press, Birdcage Bottom Books. He’s put together a handy map here that shows his table and the tables of all Digestate contributors who’ll be at the festival.

Also, from 1:30 to 2:30pm on Sunday Victor Kerlow and Josh Burggraf will be signing at the Birdcage Bottom Books table. Josh will have copies of his newest comic Kid Space Heater #2.


From Josh’s tumblr.

I’ve read a draft of KSH#2 and I can vouch that it takes the greatness of #1 and levels it up.

September 11th, 2012

“Nature Club” by Melinda Tracy Boyce at Paper Party

Filed under: Inspiration — Tags: , , , , , — William Cardini @ 7:05 am

My wife Glade had the first art opening at her shop-within-a-shop Paper Party this past weekend. The show, called “Nature Club,” is a collection of paintings of cacti, produce, and whales by local cartoonist Melinda Tracy Boyce.

Each piece is a beautiful watercolor with great details. Here are some of my faves:

Cactus Club by Melinda Tracy Boyce
Cactus Club.

Whale Sandwich by Melinda Tracy Boyce
Whale Sandwich.

Crystal Cactus by Melinda Tracy Boyce
Crystal Cactus.

Check out this detail shot of that one (which is the largest at 22.25×30″):

Detail of Crystal Cactus by Melinda Tracy Boyce
Detail of Crystal Cactus.

You can see a full image list with prices and online purchasing buttons here.

September 7th, 2012

Character Design Process for the Miizzzard of the Year One Million

Filed under: Artwork,Sketchbook Pages — Tags: , — William Cardini @ 10:10 am

This past week I’ve been working on a new character design, for the Miizzzard of the Year One Million. I’m cracking the lid open on my creative process a little by showing you the incarnations of this character, from oldest to newest.

This design is a variation on a character I came up with for a comic back in 2010 that I never ended up making. I drew this in full color with no outlines in Photoshop:

I decided to follow this basic design but come up with a female version that also incorporates elements from the Miizzzard of the Year 2978. I started doing sketches like this one I posted a little over a month ago:

I did a couple of sketches on my lunch break this past Wednesday and liked this one:

Wednesday night I did a drawing with the fills and outlines how I want them in MangaStudio:

I wasn’t too happy with the proportions. I asked some friends what they thought. They said she looked like a half-naked cave-woman. Since that isn’t quite what I’m going for I did some more sketches on my lunch break. This is my favorite (I riffed on how Jonny Negron draws hands):

Here’s the final color version:

It’s always been my plan to have multiple Miizzzards in my comics.

September 4th, 2012

Jim Starlin’s “Metamorphosis Odyssey” in Epic Illustrated

Filed under: Comics Criticism,SF Reviews — Tags: — William Cardini @ 7:42 am

This past weekend I was flipping through some issues of Epic Illustrated that I bought a while ago on a trip but never got to reading. Epic Illustrated was an attempt by Marvel to cash in on the popularity of Heavy Metal. It was an opportunity for mainstream creators like John Buscema, Neal Adams, and Jim Starlin to draw fantasy and sf stories outside the restrictions of the comics code.

Metamorphic Odyssey by Jim Starlin
A page from the chapter of Jim Starlin’s “Metamorphic Odyssey” in the October 1981 issue of Epic Illustrated. This page has all of the protagonists: a warrior, a nude fairy woman with butterfly wings, an Earth woman, the wizard Aknaton, and the alien cannibal Za. From this blog post.

The first nine issues of Epic Illustrated serialized an epic sf comic by Jim Starlin called “Metamorphosis Odyssey.” I’ve only read two issues but, from what I’ve seen, the story draws on Egyptian mythology to describe a battle for the fate of the galaxy. There’s a quest for a powerful artifact called the Infinity Horn, which seems familiar to me after reading Starlin’s Thanos-centric miniseries, but Starlin uses the freedom of Epic Illustrated to tell a story that has greater consequences than any cosmic battle in a Marvel comic.

Metamorphic Odyssey by Jim Starlin
The splash page for Chapter IX of “Metamorphic Odyssey” in the June 1981 issue of Epic Illustrated. The humanoid on the left, Aknaton, is talking to the god Ra. Aknaton is from the planet Orsirus. These are the Egyptian elements of the story. I like how this page and the previous one I selected incorporate geometric elements. From this blog post.

Starlin continues the story of “Metamorphosis Odyssey” in other graphic novels and his creator-owned series Dreadstar. Despite being a big fan of Starlin’s work in Warlock and Silver Surfer, I haven’t read Dreadstar, but “Metamorphosis Odyssey” makes me want to buy the recently released Dreadstar Omnibus.

Jim Starlin paintings for Dreadstar
I scanned this page of paintings from a Jim Starlin interview in the December 1981 issue of Epic Illustrated. I think they’re supposed to illustrate scenes from the sequels.

What’s interesting about “Metamorphosis Odyssey” is that Starlin paints, rather than draws, the comic. In the first issue the paintings are grayscale but they switch to full color in the second. There’s an interview with Jim Starlin in the December 1981 issue where Starlin talks about his process. He used “blue or reddish-orange” matte boards as the substrate (depending on “the overall tone” he wanted) and then painted in highlights, shadows, and containing lines. He got this technique from looking at Frazetta. This is the only full-color story that I’ve seen Starlin do this way. He says that “the texture of the board kind of threw [him] off in the printing.” I wonder if the paintings could be reproduced more accurately with contemporary printing techniques.

Jim Starlin Metamorphosis Odyssey
I scanned this page from Chapter X of “Metamorphosis Odyssey” in the August 1981 issue of Epic Illustrated. I love how this page is designed, it’s got movement and bold colors. There’s a pretty extensive article on “Metamorphosis Odyssey” and its sequels on Wikipedia if you want to know more.

I also learned some biographical facts about Starlin from the interview. He served in Vietnam War, which was a primary inspiration for “Metamorphosis Odyssey,” but was kicked out for his attitude. One thing that Starlin did to get discharged was to draw and distribute an anti-war comic called The Eagle. I’d like to see that!