Saturday, June 28, 2008


Here's what is typically the first stage of work for me - the extremely rough doodle on whatever paper and pen are laying nearby. Now I'll work on it in photoshop. The main thing I want to do is push Batman's head WAY back, so it's three-quarters upside down and facing the upper left corner. Make Robin's arms a little longer, bla bla bla.

This is going to be an Everything post when it's finished. Probably a more finished painting than most other posts. Most other Everythings are quick and dirty, and I just paint right over the original sketch. But I'm tinkering with the idea of doing larger more finished paintings, and collecting them for a gallery show someday.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Recent Sketches

Hey, everybody. Here are some recent sketches I just scanned:

Click here to see a few more pages worth, or here to see all the stuff on my sketch blog. So long!


post HERO HAPPY HOUR, i have a new project lined up for release next year. here's a peek at one of the new characters. sketched in pencil, colored in photoshop:


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My first post, and I think it's rather important

I've never used Blogspot before, so I don't really know it's basic in and outs. I don't have a new and awesome picture to post at the moment, I don't know if it uses cuts like LJ does, hey, maybe someone can teach me later.
The point is, since everyone who's gonna be reading this is going to be an Alabama artist, I want to make sure the word gets out as much as possible to those who might not have already known. I sure as heck didn't.
This is mostly a copy/paste from what I wrote in my own LiveJournal, except I'll edit it some for language since I don't really know Chris feels about so many obscenities in his Jam blog.

There are many things in this world I love.
I love my wife, Brandi.
I love wrestling.
I love music.

But those are all things... Brandi's not gonna leave me, and even if she ever did, she still will have been my wife. The WWE is always (presumably) going to be here, and even after I quit wrestling, I'm gonna have the memories of doing it and no one else will ever go and be my character I played in the ring. Who'd want to be? I don't have any actual songs of my own and unless someone punctures my eardrums, there's no way to take music away from me. I know who sings these songs... you can't claim they're yours.

But if someone were to take my art away from me? What I've been creating with my own mind and hands since I was just a baby? Maybe the one... maybe the only possible thing that I can create and use to possibly make a living? And the government is trying to pass a bill which would make it possible so that someone would be able to take those creations of mine, take them and do whatever they want to with them, call them their own, make money off of MY creation?!? What the hell is going on?!?

It's the Orphan Works Act of 2006 (which is too damn long to read, but take a look eventually), and it's still not passed. The problem is that it might. If you're an artist, of ANY type, if you know any artists of any type, meaning photographer, painter, musician, etc, you need to pay attention. This is SERIOUS news and I feel STUPID (stupider than usual) for not knowing about it earlier.
If you read the webcomic PVP by Scott Kurtz, then you might have already seen this. If you don't, then you need to start. They talk mostly about what'll happen to comics and cartoonists in this podcast, for a few details, you can click here to hear his take on the ordeal.
If you don't wanna listen right now, the long and short of it is: The bill was created for the simple fact that too many pieces of historical art exist. Museums and whatnot want them, but there are no people who own legal copyrights and shit like that. It might as well be Public Domain. SO, this bill was created, the problem was that it's too broadly written, and it states that if you find a piece of work and you make an effort to find it's rightful owner and you cannot, then you can GO AHEAD AND USE IT.

That's not all. If the true owner steps forward and says, "Hey, this is my work, my property, I own it, here's proof." Well, that's fine, right? You get your work back? WRONG!!! They pay you for use of your property ONCE. And it's theirs. They don't have to give you any money for the time they had it, no statutory damages, they don't have to pay over and over for recurring changes or anything else. One license and it's theirs to use however they want FOR-EV-ER.
This would all be better if it would have been passed as the Public Domain Enhancement Act which was brought up in 2003 and 2005 but shot down. What would've happened would've simply been all those old works which no one could find proper owners? Would simply pass into an "enhanced" version of the Public Domain and from there could be bought outright. Instead, two new bills have been brought forth (one before the House and one before the Senate) and could feasibly RUIN the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of American citizens who try and earn a living with their creative properties.

I don't own Akira, or Tetsuo or Kanaeda. Hell, this drawing isn't even original, I saw one like it in Wizard Magazine by Joe Madureria. The point is I drew this one. I don't claim the work as mine.
I don't own Carrie, or any of the other girls I've ever made art models or ever will make art models for that matter. She just gave me permission to use the photo and the subsequent art how I choose. That picture is mine forever, and it's also hers because it's of her. That's an instance where people could be co-owners and therefore, I suppose, co-copyright holders if need be.
However, I OWN Sunrise Studios. I own WeezeL, WeezeL Brand Comics, and all the characters that will eventually go into WeezeL Brand Comics. The names and logos aren't registered yet, but the fact remains that the way current copyright law works, the very SECOND you finish a fixed work, whether you register it with the Library of Congress for $35 or not, you own that intellectual property. It is yours forever and to keep it safe, date it, seal it up, mail it to yourself, it has a post date on it (you have no idea how many times I've done this).

If you've read all that other shit and any of the links I gave you, then one has to wonder if this bill is passed, how could anyone keep their own work to themselves anymore? Get this: The bill calls for two separate registries to run as privately run databases... like on the internet. You will be charged... and you will have to register EVERYTHING you've EVER created and ever WILL create to keep them safe. And if you think for a second they won't be commercial properties? Keep dreamin'. Just imagine if you have to pay the same thirty five dollars per upload at YouTube or PhotoBucket like you do to register a copyright with the Library of Congress. Interesting sidenote: within two weeks of the bill being brought before congress, all the domain names having to do with "Orphan Works" were bought up by commercial properties.

I've been working all day on trying to find all the right words to put into this rant. To be honest, I'm not sure what else I can do, but as I told another friend today, sitting here and bitching isn't going to help anything. This is just the first step, I have to be proactive about this, moreso than anything else ever before and do whatever I possibly can to make sure this bill is not passed. If it weren't summer, I'd go to the University art and music departments and get students to sign petitions and send them to my congressman. I'll stoop to hippie protest levels if I have to.
I read on some other website while studying up... someone said something to the effect of, "Can't you see the irony? A generation of loser artists crying about their work being stolen after they've illegally downloaded and ripped and shared music that doesn't belong to them?"
What an ignorant idiot.
Sure, I can go to iMeem and listen to music, and most of it will be the entire song for free. I can even upload some songs they don't have. But the artists and record labels get profits for that. And if I do download songs I don't have from a file sharing service? It's exactly like I said at the beginning of this rant: people know who sings those songs. I can't GO anywhere and claim those songs are MINE. I won't be able to make a profit off of those songs. Those musicians and record labels will still make a profit, even if it has dwindled slightly due to internet file sharing. He has a bit of a point since it's about thievery, but it's basically moot. It's like thievery of apples and oranges.
So now I don't know what else I can tell you. If I think of more, I will, believe that. If I can figure out a way to tell others, I will. If I have to pass out fliers at Dragon*Con, you bet your ass I will. In the meantime, learn what you can from here: The Illustrators Partnership of America, where they give information on writing to your elected officials and they have form letters and telling them this bill sucks whether you're an artist, a painter, a writer, a musician, a photographer... all kinds of shit.
Then, directly from Scott Kurtz' podcast:
-- It undermines the 1976 Copyright Act [basically the Free Use Act] which makes it impossible to protect my work
-- I'll be forced to register my work at a greater expense to myself on a commercially run database
-- It eliminates my ability to sue for statutory damages, if any
-- It allows others to profit from my original work
Finally, here's a link to a download of a TXT document from a form letter that I took from bits and pieces of others, and it's basically what I plan on taking and trying to make into a protest. I just took their words and threw in a few paragraphs from other forms, changed one thing from here to there, added a few of my own, yadda yadda. All I'm saying is that if ENOUGH OF US DO SOMETHING, then maybe for once, the little person's voice will be heard.

early 1st pass @ colors



no reason

This doesn't have anything to do with hams. I'm just posting to be posting. The little notches around the edges have a purpose but it's too complicated to explain right now (I gotta leave here in 10 minutes!) I'll post the finished thing later if I remember!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

header sketch

I had some vague idea that the word "jam" was important in the sport of Roller Derby. Checking wikipedia confirmed my suspicion, so I drew this sketch for a possible header image. Salty 'Ham Jam!:

The circles at the top are meant to be the bright lights of the sporting arena.

I like this in its current, sketchy form, because -- Well, since it's a cartooning site, it makes some since to show the process behind a cartoony drawing. But it would also be cool to have a black and white, inked version, or a totally nicely colored and finished version. I might work some more on it next weekend, or keep it as is.

If anybody else feels like taking a stab at inking and/or painting and/or PhotoShopping this, let me know. I'll send you the larger, high-res version to work from.

Instead of choosing one header image, I had the idea that we could also rig it up to where, every time you come to the page, it randomly chooses from a batch of header images. I have no idea how to make that work, though. If anybody's web savvy enough to set that up, let me know, and maybe we could try to do it that way. If that's really an option, folks could vote on which image to use, and one option could be to have them rotate out like that. Something to think about. HMMM!

legal pad drawings

Not for the header, but just some ballpoint pen drawings..

My vote for the header would be Chris's original doodle though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

jams and jellies

thumbnail - clickie!

and for giggles, the cover to the next HERO HAPPY HOUR (due out later this year)...

Straighten Up or it's the PIG IRONS for ye!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

art. yay.

so...if you don't know the birmingham art collective is having a show featuring artwork by all local artists on July 3rd. it will be at bottletree (which is a great little place to go anyway) and begins @ 7 o'clock. there will be live performances by area musicians starting at 9. joining the collective is encouraged to all in the birmingham area and it will provide you with many more opportunities to veiw/sell/display and appreciate art.


i will show lots of little drawings like this (i hope):


Woodland Creature

Hey, all. This is my cat, Woodland Creature, drawn for my wife's birthday card. She really is gray, tan, and orange (the cat, not the wife):

it's aliiive!!

yay, i'm postable! so, yeah, everything garrison already said...

design us a new header image! use whatever is at your disposal, as long as you can scan it; pencils, pens, crayons, markers, the blood of your enemies... i'll try to get one drawn up as well. maybe we can do a type of vote where you can leave comments on the entry you think is best to choose the winner.

this blog is a pretty open forum. feel free to blog about whatever you may currently be working on, and definitely post pics! this is going to be fun! so, post away!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Salty Challenge 001

I hereby issue the first challenge on the Salty 'Ham Jam blog! Make a better header image than this one:

Post your entries here, and whichever one I judge to be the best will become the new header image. Note: It would be good to make your image 3 or 4 times wider than it is high, since it's a header. A handy size at 125 dpi would be 6 inches wide by 1-and-a-half to 2 inches high.

I drew this quick doodle of a ham rock band in a few seconds, just to have something up for now. The drummer is supposed to be a ham, sliced in two, like the singer, but his face is on his side instead of the meaty part. The bassist was supposed to be a ham that's not sliced, but he looks more like a melon or something. Let's just say he IS a melon, shall we?

It just occurred to me that the drummer should be counting off, not the singer, right? Oh well. That's why YOU need to post something better. The rock band is a good angle, I think, because it's a "Jam," but maybe there are some other fun ways to go with it, too.


A Blog Is Born

Hey - I guess this is the first post.  If you're a Salty 'Ham Cartooneesta, you should be able to blog here.  I'm not sure how it works, though.  You may have to set up a google account, if you don't already have one.  But that's free, and only takes a jiffy, so it's not hard.  If you have trouble or it's not working, email me or leave a comment.