Toothstitch

ToothstitchI keep data! Lots of data. Every time we finish at a convention I carefully note down what was popular and what’s not so popular anymore. I have spreadsheets. With graphs! I am not kidding.

I like to experiment and branch out and try new things. The new artbook is the start of that, and also I’m moving into stickers and buttons. That means smaller, tighter designs, like this one!

Does this mean the end of Doctor Who magnets? Maybe. Not right away. We’ll see how it goes at Toronto Fan Expo this weekend!

#ScienceBros

Science Bros“They’re science friends!” said my wife in an excited stage whisper as we watched the first Avengers (not to be confused with The First Avenger) and Bruce Banner and Tony Stark hung out and did science and left together at the end.

Of course they’re science friends. Tony and Bruce are the two guys who actually did the reading.

I Survived The Battle Of Canary Worf

Canary Worf“It’s a Torchwood reference!” I explained to my doubtful wife, while sketching this during the last Calgary Expo. “Okay, actually it’s a Doctor Who reference, because it was a Doctor Who episode where the Daleks were fighting the Cybermen at Torchwood One which was located at Canary Wharf…”

“And do you think people are going to get that?” she asked.

I showed the pencil sketch to two of my table visitors. They frowned at it. “It’s Canary Worf!” I told them happily. They dutifully tittered.

I was triumphant. “Seeee?”

Mike Rieger Draws Dumb Jokes And He Must Be Stopped

Dumb JokesIt was decided that I should do another art book, since I haven’t done one in forever–forever, in this case, meaning “since 2008.”

The theme was immediately obvious: the dumb joke prints I refuse to stop doing even though how much would a person want a dumb joke hanging on their wall forever really. Forever, in this case, meaning “until their girlfriend makes them take it down.”

So there’s a new artbook, featuring all the art you’ve already seen reformatted to new squarishness!

Find it at my table at conventions, or here at Lulu!

Maybe He’s Born With It. Maybe It’s Wolverine.

Wolverine-01Answer: He was born with it.

This came to me while we were watching commercials, because I can only assume we’d used up all the PVR queue?  I guess?  We were living like desperate, feral cannibals.  It was a dark time, and the only way I could get through it was to make dumb jokes, and then prints and t-shirts of the dumb jokes that nobody ever buys but what the hell I love them.

Pwee

Canary-01My friend Michael considers wolves to be his totem animal.

“No, not a wolf,” my wife told him. “You sing constantly. And randomly. With songs you make up on the spot. You love sunshine and shiny things and the colour yellow. You are a canary. You are the most canary!”

Michael agrees that this is true, and this Christmas commissioned me to draw him as a canary character from Gatchaman, an anime about ninja teenagers with bird powers. Michael’s powers include the sonic tweet, a grappling-hook iPod, a small mirror with which to reflect devastating solar ray attacks, and a small dish of water to take baths in. And something involving cuttlebones.

I am told I am, for the curious, a large long-haired calico housecat, the type who are fastidious, take up a lot of space around the house, and are alternately aloof or giddy on our own mysterious schedules.

But That All Changed When The Time Nation Attacked!

Time Nation-01I was at the Edmonton Expo with Jeremy Thew (and the rest of the usual gang) and he didn’t know what to draw. “Do the Fire Nation Attacked meme from Avatar,” I said, “but with the Human Torch and Firestorm and Fire from DC Comics and… Pyro… and…”

He didn’t want to do it. And as I sat there trying to look cute and sell things to people, I thought about doing it myself. And then I thought about drawing the Ice Nation with Mr. Freeze and Captain Cold and Killer Frost (it’s been done) and then I thought about Timebenders.

And then I decided to skip the boring preamble!

For the benefit of young people, the Timebenders are Phineas Bogg from Voyagers!, Doc Brown from Back to the Future, the Twelfth Doctor, Mr. Peabody, and Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap. Want to learn more? Take a voyage to your local library–which  was a building people used to go to where there were books containing printouts of Wikipedia and you had to be quiet.

Available on shirts and everything else!

Riddle of the Mummy’s Dusty Shaft

Gargy Boys-01When I was a kid I loved my dad’s old Hardy Boys books, which had been left at my grandparents’ house. They didn’t look like the covers you see when you Google for Hardy Boys covers, which probably means that they were the pre-1959-revised editions  and I didn’t realize at the time.  Too bad I read the spines right the heck off of them.

What I also didn’t realize at the time was that it’s fun to look at the social conventions of nearly a century ago through the search engine of today.  Why, back then one would never hesitate to refer to a small, squarish air vent as a dusty shaft.  What else could it mean?

Lisa wanted me to do a serious print of the Gargoyles Trio to match Goliath and Elisa. I compromised: I restricted the silliness to separate Illustrator layers that I can click on and off.  And on and off and on. While tittering to myself because I am eight years old.

The Hardy Boys books first came out in 1929; the revised cover I’m parodying here was printed in 1959.  Gargoyles premiered twenty years ago. Why, then, does Lexington have a modern hand-held GPS instead of a more reasonable paper map? To answer: tthhhpppbbpthhh.

Five Minutes In The Box For High-Sticking

motherpuckers-01We had just the best time at CONvergence last weekend. Just the absolute greatest.

Calgarians will remember our succession of local, fan-run conventions. They were fun! They served their purpose. For the most part they predated the Internet, so they were a place for like-minded individuals to meet other like-minded individuals and talk about books and movies and learn Klingon and whatnot. Back in the days before we could do that with our phones.

Unfortunately the local fan-run conventions were run by volunteers and shared a certain lack of organizational skill. Which is my tactful way of saying they were uniformly terrible. When you compare them to the well-oiled trade-show machine that is San Diego, and the smaller shows like Calgary and Seattle that are built on the same model, the fan-run conventions have fallen by the wayside, at least for me.

But. But. It was announced that the Gathering of the Gargoyles convention was going to reconvene at CONvergence for the 20th anniversary of the show. So we were there, you guys.

And I sort of expected the poorly-run fan convention I was used to, so I was extreeeeemely proactive in my e-mails arranging an Artist’s Alley table. At any moment I expected the organizer to lose my table application, give my table to someone else, forget I existed, forget how many applications they’d received, et cetera et cetera, and so I planned and planned and planned and planned.

None of that happened. Every interaction with J.P. and with the convention in general was completely professional. Also, it became clear that the folks who go to that convention love that convention, and feel a real ownership and pride in it. It really took us back to the old days. Thanks for the awesome show, CONvergence!

Of course, hanging out with the Gargoyles fans would be a complete blast even if it were in an alley. Next to a dumpster. Behind a Hooters. We have to make this a regular thing, you guys, I am dead serious. You guys are inspiring and awesome and I came away with a powerful need to draw Gargoyles art, and so did all of you, even the ones who don’t draw, and that is the amazing part! That’s what it is to be part of a fandom. You get a lot from trade-show conventions but you don’t get that.

I told you all that to tell you this: Michael asked for Puck on a round sticker that he could stick to actual pucks for Twogargs tables. I let that notion roll around in the back of my head like a plinko game while we drove back to Thunder Bay from Saint Paul (lovely drive!) and here’s what rolled out.

I miss you guys already.

Freeze Out

Freeze OutThe internet is in agreement: Queen Elsa from Frozen should be paired with Jack Frost. It does make sense. Apart from the cryokinesis, they both have pretty strong isolation issues. Those crazy kids could make it work, I think.

Of course, where’s the fun in doing what everyone else is doing?  Let’s pair Elsa with a creepy old German scientist! Now it’s your turn to float in your cryogenic stasis tube, Mr. Freeze–the queen’s got your ice gun!

“Why would Elsa need a freeze gun,” you ask, “she’s actually the last person who–” and to you I say, go draw your own awesome Frozen mashups.  With my freeze ray I will stop the backtalk!

Did You Wish Really Hard?

Amy-PondThere, see?  Shonna isn’t the only one who can do slightly dirty prints of Calgary Expo guests.

This started out as a fun idea to draw Amy Pond in one of the TARDIS dresses you see at conventions a lot, but it went somewhere else pretty quick.  Public Call Box?  Pull to Open?  What is the key for?

I’m so very sorry, Karen Gillan.

Copperstone

CopperstoneUsually I like to write about where I get my ideas from, especially when it’s a idea for a joke!  But this time I just don’t remember.  Guess I just wanted to draw Angela’s tushie! And technically also Bronx’s tushie.

Are young people still aware of the iconic 1953 Coppertone ad campaign? I didn’t realize, before doing research for this print, that the tagline had been “don’t be a paleface!”  Wow.  It was a different time.

Hey, two Gargoyles pics in the same weekend!

*Note: I was not alive in 1953.  I’m not that old.

Cleanliness Is Magic

Toilet Sparkle-01On the way home from the Edmonton Expo my wife and I were talking, and I mentioned Twilight Sparkle. As you do.

“Oh, I thought you said toilet sparkle,” Lisa said.

“WELL NOW I DID,” I said.

I’ve seen all of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Partially that’s because Lisa watches it, but to be honest she also watches America’s Next Top Model and I have watched as little of that as I can possibly possibly get away with. So I must be fair: it’s a good show!  I would not consider myself a brony, mostly out of a sense of not wanting to be punched.

I do, however, own one of these.

I was disappointed to learn today that I’d been beaten to the Toilet Sparkle gag, but what are you gonna do?

Now available as T-shirts and stickers!

The Doctors Three

I ordered magnets today! They should be here in a week. I was checking out a local printer here in Kelowna but we never got out of the quotation stage. That’s fine, my current printer has been great! But these things take time; I really should have gotten them printed long before now.

A few people at previous shows have asked if I have a Doctor Who print, and it certainly seems silly not to! I could have made a print out of the magnet artwork but that seemed like taking the easy way. (I’m certainly willing to put it on a t-shirt though!)

So, art that’s new! New art.

Doctors Three-01

You may notice that this wasn’t completely done in Illustrator. Yes sir, there’s good old-fashioned pixels at work here!

Here’s this on a t-shirt!

If You Like It Then You Shouldn’t Put A Ring On It

Last night I dreamt that my boss had handed out assignments to me and my co-workers. I didn”t want to do mine, though, instead I was a few pages into drawing a Green Lantern comic book. I don”t remember the book itself–except that there was a willpower-construct wasp-fighter in there somewhere–but as I was waking up the thought in my mind was “Green Lantern Harley Quinn.”

So I did a recolour on my previous Harley Quinn.

Harley-01

It makes no damn sense but I like it a lot better this way.

You know, if you think about it, our girl”s got a lot of willpower and imagination, and not particularly much fear. This is a thing that could happen. Except I”m not the biggest Green Lantern reader so there are probably reasons this wouldn’t happen–come by table H07 at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo next month and tell me all about them! Extra points will be awarded if you bring Keynote slides.

If there”s a dance number you win automatically.

Got To Start Bringing Handcuffs Or Something, Seriously

Here’s a second sketch I drew at the Edmonton Expo: not for a commission, just for my own amusement!

I love Power Girl.  Not because of boobs, although yes, boobs, but because Amanda Conner’s run on the book was just so appealing and fun.

I remembered another picture that was appealing and fun that I saw around 2004: Rod Guen’s Supergirl.  Yep.  Can’t hold a number in my head for more than fifteen seconds, but a funny superhero drawing from nearly a decade ago? That shit is in there.

So, if that’s how Supergirl transports street thugs, how does Power Girl do it?

Probably not like this.

Once again, lots of changes between my pencils and the finished versions. It’s like Slylock Fox; try to find the differences!

“You sure rendered those boobs carefully,” Lisa said.

 

Get Hammered

Harley Quinn is a really popular character for fanart–possibly the most popular.

I was commissioned to draw her at last year’s Edmonton Expo.  Turned out fairly well, except for a couple of issues.

Harley

But of course, that’s what post-production is for! Fixed the face, moved the hammer off her head, added an MC Hammer reference because I am old.

Harley-01

I won’t be able to offer computer-generated commissions any more.  Now that I’m half-freelance, my hourly design rate is such that either I’d have to charge a lot more for them, or stop doing them. So it became kind of obvious which I’d have to do.

It’s a real shame. I’m never as happy with my pen work, since the damn thing still doesn’t have an Undo button. Or nodes I can adjust.  I’ve just gotta be able to fiddle with my lines.

Law & Auror

I’ve just been rereading the Harry Potter series and watching the movies along with them. I always realized that things were left out of the movies, but there was a lot more put in to them that I didn’t realize. Apart from Prisoner of Azkaban. Lord do I hate the shrunken head and singing frogs.

In an interview JK Rowling let us all know that, as adults, Harry and Ron become Aurors and Hermione ends up in the Department of Magical Law. (Spoilers!) Man, I would totally watch a Harry and Ron buddy-cop movie. Or read a book. Or watch a TV show. Somebody must make this happen.

It occurred to me right after that what the title would have to be. Silly puns, I never can resist you.

Of course, to really hold true to the Law & Order format, there should be a second lawyer next to Hermione. My first choice for the second lawyer was Dobby; my second choice was Dumbledore. Naturally they are both dead. (Spoilers!) Screw it, then.

Thong: Uprising

I’ve really been on a fanart kick lately.

There’s no real mystery to it: it’s fun and people like it and it provides an excuse to not finish writing my comic book project, which by comparison is not fun and probably won’t get much attention.

The drawing part of the comic is fun, or at least I assume it will be once I get through the writing part of the comic, which is very, very difficult.  There was a time when I felt that writing was something that creative people who couldn’t draw did, which I’ve discovered is a little bit arrogant and condescending of me. Writing is also hard; it doesn’t require the learning of software, but it does require forcing one’s brain to put words in a linear fashion, and my brain doesn’t much hold with linearity.  It’s tough! But I will soldier on.

In the meantime, watch TRON: Uprising. Good show so far.

Korra and Quorra at Cora’s

Along the vein of the classic Starbuck and Starbuck at Starbucks, here’s Korra and Quorra at Cora’s!

This was Lisa’s idea! She said it while we drove through the snowy wastelands of Montana at ridiculousoclock in the morning on the way to Miscon. I drew this at the convention, but of course I needed background reference, so I asked Lisa if we could go to Cora’s for breakfast so I could take surreptitious iPhone pictures of people eating. (Which you can do without it flashing or making noise of any kind. It must be very popular with perverts.)

I can make that happen,” she said, very intensely. She loves Cora’s. Cora’s, for the non-Canadians among you, is a Canadian breakfast chain where they specialize in enormous plates of fruit, regardless of whether you happened to have requested fruit with your asparagus-themed eggs Benedict, and crepes the length of my forearm. It’s like, I don’t know, a gay IHOP.

I imagine Quorra would be much more OMG about melons than Korra would.

You know what’s hard to clone in Photoshop? Plaid.

Rogue Squadron

 

Hello from MisCon in Missoula!

This was a pencil-and-ink commission I did at the Calgary Expo.  I’m always a little envious–if envy is the right word–of artists who can work in natural media, because they can generate finished full-colour art while sitting at a table in a convention centre.  I really can’t, unless there’s power. And a very patient client who doesn’t mind waiting around while I fiddle and fiddle with bezier nodes.

I’m a fiddler.  Even Photoshop’s multiple levels of undo isn’t enough: I need Illustrator’s ability to tiddle around with every single object, all the time.

Anyway, once I finished the Rogue and gave her to the client I decided I wanted to do a Rogue print, fixing all the errors I could see in the inked drawing the second I finished it.  (Sigh.)  And I wanted to play around with the WWII nose art that Kyle’s been doing lately.  And I thought, who would have Rogue painted on the nose of their plane?

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, of course!  In the sense that no, they couldn’t possibly, it’s a completely different galaxy and also in the past.

I don’t care, I amuse myself greatly!

Troimona

2012’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo features Gargoyles voice actors Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, as well as Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, and some other actors from some less-important show they starred in together at some point.

So. I wanted to do a commemorative print for my table and here we have it: Puck has ensorcelled Demona and Xanatos into their Next Generation counterparts’ uniforms. I tried to decide which was the silliest, most Demona-angering Deanna Troi non-uniform uniform, but there’s no way to choose. They’re all ridiculous. So I went with the grey bunny suit, since that’s the one I associate with her.
As to why Puck would magic himself into Data’s uniform, I can’t answer that. Just put it down to Puck being Puckish. He has given himself captain’s pins, at least.

I want to shout out to Jenn on the Gargoyles Reawakening Facebook group who was able to tell me what Demona’s forehead looks like without that metal thing covering it.

Alternate title: Bippity Boppity Boobs.

Baroness: Lady Bits

This is one of the new prints for this year’s Calgary Expo!

I know squat about the world of G.I. Joe, but I am reliably informed that Snake Eyes does not giggle. At least, not audibly. I expect to continue to be reliably informed it by many, many people at table H05 in Artist’s Alley the weekend of April 28! Come be one of those people!

Serenity Two!

Here’s the second set of Serenity magnets–just one more set of four to go!

All twelve will be ready for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, April 27-29 at the Calgary Stampede Roundup Centre. Come find me at table H05 in Artist Alley, right along with Lisa, Shonna and Kyle!

The Expo’s achieved the amazing feat of reuniting Gargoyles voice actors Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, and LeVar Burton, so naturally I’ll be doing a Gargoyles print.  There are also several other actors from some other show that escapes me at this point. I guess it was fairly popular too.