Monday, January 19, 2009

Leo & Usagi by Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo was a book that I always wanted to get into, thanks to his many crossovers with the TMNT. Sometime last year, I finally decided to purchase the first three collected volumes. I was instantly hooked. Stan Sakai made such an impression on me with his story telling and his art that when he began accepting commissions for SDCC via his website, I just had to get something from him. Like the other artists I featured on the blog, I asked him to draw his favorite turtle, but I also requested for Usagi to be in the piece. No real surprise to TMNT fans: Stan chose Leo.

People always blog about how Stan Sakai is one of the nicest people in the comic books business. I met Stan for the first time last year during SDCC, and now I can understand why the fans love him. He was a pleasure to talk to, and extremely patient with everyone who came up to his booth. Stan genuinely enjoyed talking to his fans, and he even took the time to answer a few of my n00bish questions. It was one of my personal highlights from comic con.

For more on Stan and all things UY, check out his official website:

Usagi Yojimbo Dojo

And to see what Stan is currently up to, here's his blog:


Coming Up Next: TMNT & Splinter art prints by Rak
Coming Up Soon: Hawkman by Ramona Fradon
Coming Up Later: Mikey by Ryan Brown

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, it's the beginning of a brand new year, and one of my New Year resolutions was to dedicate more time to my blog. I initially started this blog to post about TMNT news, but Roseangelo is already doing an incredible job with that (click here for her blog). Then I decided to start posting TMNT art that I have collected, and I think I'll start that up again for 2 main reasons: 1) I'd like to share my TMNT stuff with my fellow fans, and 2) I'd like to document what I actually have. I tend to lose track of what I have (I'm really disorganized), so I figure blogging about it will help me remember.

I'll continue posting more TMNT artwork according to the old schedule I had listed in my last post. That means a commission I received from the one and only Stan Sakai will be up next. That will be posted sometime this weekend, and I'll continue updating about once every two weeks until I run out of artwork to show (which may actually last me until the next SDCC, so hopefully I'll have even more to share afterwards).

I do want to sprinkle in a few other things I've gotten, like TMNT prints (ie. the ones by Rak) as well as a few non-TMNT sketches (ie. an indredible Hawkman sketch I got from hall of famer, Ramona Fradon).

We'll see how this goes. If I stick to my New Year plans, I should have a nice, deep archive of posts that I can look at by the time 2010 rolls around.

Best of luck to everyone on their plans for 2009!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kevin Eastman & Simon Bisley

Sorry for the lag in posts. I initially tried to post something new every week, but life's been keeping me pretty busy lately. Anyway, on to more artwork!

During SDCC '08, I rushed to the Heavy Metal booth to pick up the Bodycount hardcover reprint. Kevin was there Thursday afternoon, and he was giving free sketches to all those that purchased Bodycount. I already got a Mikey sketch from him last year on my copy of his artobiography, so I ended up with Leo this year:

Kevin may not be heavily involved with the TMNT any more, but he's still incredibly kind to all of the turtle fans that were lining up at his booth. He told me that he'd be playing a role in the TMNT's 25th anniversary, but he didn't (or perhaps couldn't) elaborate on what he'll be contributing. I certainly hope it'll be more than a pin-up.

I caught up with Simon Bisley the next day, and I can honestly say that the man scares me a bit. He was cracking a lot of crude jokes (which I found hilarious), but he also enjoyed drilling the people asking him for sketches. One poor guy made the mistake of questioning Simon on his marker choices, telling the crazed Brit that black ink turns brown over time. Simon, who was rightfully irritated, gave him a hell of a hard time before finishing a sketch. When my turn came up, I was horrified that he'd sketch something obscene for me because I saw him write something pretty bad (the "c" word) on someone's sketchbook earlier. Fortunately, he didn't do much except try to sell me a painting, LOL. He gave me this funny sketch of "Biz Man", an obvious play on a certain caped crusader:

Meeting Simon was definitely an adventure in its own right. To see more of his artwork, check out his official website:

(WARNING: May not be work safe!)
The Simon Bisley Gallery

And for more of what Kevin Eastman is up to nowadays:

(WARNING: May also not be work safe!)
Heavy Metal

Coming Up Next: Leo & Usagi by Stan Sakai
Coming Up Soon: TMNT & Splinter by Rak
Coming Up Later: Hawkman by Ramona Fradon

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Poll

I know I don't have many visitors to this blog, but if you happen to stumble into my cave, please participate in the poll to the right. I'm curious to know which "turtleverse" fans love the most. So vote away! Thanks.

Leo by LeSean Thomas

Sorry for the late post, but whenever things at work get busy, I tend to disappear from the internet. Anyway, the following sketch of Leonardo is from LeSean Thomas, former artist on the TMNT Animated comics from Dreamwave. LeSean was hard to find during SDCC, and I visited the booth he was at twice on Thursday and Friday with no luck. A lady working there told me to keep dropping in because I seemed to keep missing LeSean by just a few minutes. On Saturday, I finally got the chance to meet him. He's a really nice guy and extremely gracious. I spoke to him briefly about his work as a storyboard artist, and I got to hear his views about art in general when an art student came up and asked him questions.

I made sure to pick up a copy of his volume 2 artbook, Midnight Maurader, which he signed. He also signed my copy of the volume 2 TPB of the Dreamwave TMNT and expressed his disappointment that the series didn't last longer. I agree. He and Peter David were just about to spin the book in a brand new direction (a la Archie's TMNT Adventures in the 90's) before things went sour at Dreamwave. It's a real shame; LeSean's art is so kickass, and I felt that it fit the TMNT like a glove. Check out his Leo sketch:

LeSean is currently a storyboard artist for the show Ben 10: Alien Force, as well as a character designer and director for the wildly popular Boondocks animated series. To see more of LeSean's work and to find out what he's been up to, check out the following links:

LeSean on deviantART

LeSean's official blog: Nervous Breakdowns

Coming up Next: Sketches from Eastman and Bisley
Coming up Soon: Leo & Usagi by Stan Sakai
Coming up Later: TMNT & Splinter by Rak

Friday, August 15, 2008

More From Todd Nauck

I wanted to share more awesome artwork that I got from Todd at SDCC '07. First up, is a sketch of Todd's original character, Red Rover, from the Wildguard series. RR is my favorite Wildguard character because of his simple powers, cool costume, and strong will to overcome the odds and become a hero. Coincidentally, RR was one of Todd's first characters that he ever created, way back in elementary school (a story that his wonderful wife, Dawn, shared with me). I voted for RR to make the team, though as it turned out, he was already one of the members Todd had chosen. The readers got to choose one member, with Todd forming the rest of the squad. The overall vote-receiver was a character named Freezer Burn, who has fire and ice powers.

The last bit I wanted to share was a limited print (#94/100) featuring the characters from the Teen Titans Go! animated series and comic books. Todd graciously signed it for me, and I now have it framed and hanging on my wall. Thanks again, Todd!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Leo by Todd Nauck

I first discovered Todd Nauck's work from an article that was published in Wizard years ago. They were spot-lighting his project called Wildguard, which was the first comicbook series that used reality TV as it's inspiration. Many characters, probably close to 50 or so and all created by Todd, were showcased over the span of 6 issues. Readers got to decide via an online vote which ones they wanted to see make the Wildguard team, which was similar to the American Idol format. I loved the series, as it often poked fun at the absurdity of reality TV as well as superhero stereotypes. It was a great series, and I've been a fan of Todd's work ever since then.

I met Todd for the second time at this year's SDCC, and I didn't know if he'd be willing to sketch a ninja turtle. Most of his work has focused on superheroes. Much to my amazement, it turned out that Todd was a huge fan of the TMNT prior to the cartoon hitting the airwaves. He told me that he drew them in his notebooks so often in high school, that when the cartoon show became a hit, his friends thought that he created the turtles! He seemed really excited to draw a ninja turtle again, and he said that he couldn't remember the last time someone requested one. I asked him to draw his favorite turtle, and Todd cranked out this incredible Leo sketch:

Todd is a very nice guy, easy to approach and talk to. If you see him sitting in artist's alley at any comic con, make sure to go and pay him a visit! Aside from Wildguard, Todd's most recent work includes runs on Young Justice, Teen Titans Go!, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, and American Dream. Please visit the links below to see more of his amazing artwork:

WildGuard: The Art of Todd Nauck

Todd on deviantArt

Coming up Next: Leo by LeSean Thomas
Coming up Soon: Kevin Eastman & Simon Bisley
Coming up Later: Leo & Usagi by Stan Sakai