Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Blog to Watch

Hey, y'all -- Our fellow SHC James Hislope (pr. HIGH-slope) just started a new blog. Go check it out!

We Got Some Press!

The Birmingham Weekly wrote a nice bit about us in their Weekly Picks section. I don't know if we're in the actual paper version, or only the online edition. [update: The blurb is gone now. I reckon Weekly Picks only stay up for a week, and I just found out about it on Tuesday. Suffice it to say, it was nice.]

I guess this means we're all slightly more famous than we would've been, had we not joined up here. And all those cartoonists who haven't joined are slightly less famous than they might have been, had they gotten on board our bandwagon. That's what they get for being snooty!

I've been meaning to alert the media to our existence, but haven't gotten around to it yet, on account of I'm lame. Mayhap in the future we should make an actual effort to publicize this thing, instead of just lucking into it. (?)


Note: I just posted some photos to the post-Slam post (2 posts down from this post.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Why I missed the festivities

Wanted to show up at the LJCC but was all sorts of busy with crazy map business. Ever since Chris sent out that email about University Graphics needing an artist I've been immersed in the world of Charles Aben and his brochures. here's the latest on the assembly line:

Salty 'Ham Slam a Success!

The first Salty 'Ham Slam was well attended and pretty darn fun! To those who missed it, we wish you coulda been there. Hopefully we'll see you next time.

Let's see, we had SHC's Shaun "The Weezel" Burnett, Chris Fason, Garth Potts, Stephen Smith, Hal Jones, Kirk Creel, Pat Snow, Tim Rocks, Ed Abernathy, Chris Rosko, Sam McDavid, Jamison Harper, Heath McPherson, and myself. And guest Paul Godbey. Plus a few wives and a baby, so it was a pretty good group.

We just talked and showed each other some various cartoony (and not-so-cartoony) pieces of work. I just sat back and let it be free of organization. Hopefully everyone introduced themselves well enough, but if you didn't quite figure out who you were talking to, click the names above and perhaps it will become clear. Next time, I'll start imposing a little more structure. But we should also set aside a portion of time for just schmoozing.

I heard people talking about their favorite cartoonists and discussing the tools of the trade. They talked about software, and Kirk showed us ToonBoom on his computer. I'm sure I missed a lot of interesting things, while I was listening to other interesting things. We spoke briefly about borrowing the policies of secret societies, and thought about whether to come up with a secret handshake and get rings. We also heard from Sam on some of his favorite bits of Ted Knight trivia. Everyone agreed that it was fun, and that next time we should also be doing comic jams and exquisite corpses, etc.

I have to say, it was cool to witness the founding of an actual gang of chums, from what started as a modest and merely virtual list. Thanks for coming! I'm already thinking about when to schedule another big meet-up.

. . .

I just got some photos from the event, as taken by Hal Jones! Sadly, since he took them all, he's not IN any of them, so I'll just have to describe him. He has a round head and large, beautiful eyes.

left to right: Kirk Creel and Garth Potts.

Kirk, Garth, Sam McDavid, and Pat Snow.

left to right: Shaun Burnett and Tim Rocks. Shaun, it looks like you brought some art that I didn't even get to look at! Next time, we'll put all our stuff around the wall and on the table, then we'll all walk around and peruse our own little gallery show, so we don't miss stuff . . . Tim, you look hilariously surly! I know Tim, and I promise he's a nice guy. Check out his left (our right) hand. It's a quintessential cartoon hand, right out of a Mickey Mouse cartoon! His thumb is a perfect silhouette, with the classic jutting knuckle. And his pinky is sticking out a bit more than the other fingers, to avoid monotony!

Stephen Smith and me, Chris Garrison. And the snacks.

Center: Ed Abernathy.

If only we had a bigger table.

Rockin' wives.

Jamison Harper and Tim Rocks. It looks like an optical illusion wherein Jamie's a giant, but that's no trick photography. He actually has a gargantuan head.

Jamie: Heath, you're just going to have to do better. You're a complete disappointment.
Heath McPherson: *sigh* I'm sorry.
Chris Fason: I feel so . . . unfocused.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam Reminder


For anyone who hasn't heard, or who needs reminding, it's THIS Sunday, June 28th, starting at 'bout 2:00 . . . at the Levite Jewish Community Center, of B'ham. The Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas are getting together to chat, draw, do calisthenics, etc. I hope to see you there! For details, check the Slam section of the SHC page, HERE.

(Also in that section, I added a bit about Alison's Thursdays at the Hoover Library.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obligatory Post

Since Garrison is out of pocket, here's a post to keep things lively.

I'm working on pages for a new comic called "Strength in Numbers" with NC based writer Christopher Wolf (http://germcomics.com). I'm not showing off any pages just yet (but I will bring them to our Salty >> No Ham << Slam on the 28th) but here's a brief synopsis:

When Hundredman was felled, Earth lost its mightiest hero.Fortunately, a covert organization has bred a new generation of heroes from his preserved DNA. Now coffee shop drone Lester Moore has discovered the truth of his origins... He's Number 19, one of these super-human clones, and he's about to discover just which power he's inherited.

One of our characters in his "golden age":

Okay, what else?

Who saw UP? Here's my review that I posted on my FB and DA pages...

Let me preface this by saying that I am already a huge Pixar mark. I easily geek out over anything Pixar related.

I, my wife, my (nearly six-year-old) son, and my middle-school aged cousin went to see Pixar's UP (in glorious 3D). The critics have already called it bold, masterful, and enchanting among many other high-praise adjectives. I can't say that there is one Pixar film that I do not enjoy. Some I like more than others, of course and for different reasons... but the biggest and most consistent enjoyable aspect of Pixar's movies is the brilliant storytelling. The people at Pixar obviously have a great love for the art and craft of storytelling and storytelling done well. And they have mastered it.

A great majority of Hollywood has forgotten what makes a great film or how to make a movie that plays on your emotions and brings you into the picture; fighting, weeping, and laughing with the characters on their journey. I fought back tears while my wife cried and my cousin openly sobbed as Carl Fredrickson turned the pages of his wife's scrapbook. If only live actors could emote so well... The storytellers at Pixar remember what good movies is all about.

Go see UP. See it twice.

Ronnie Del Carmen is the story art lead from UP and was also the story art lead on Finding Nemo. He's also a super nice guy. Check out his stuff!

Okay, random recent art:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cherokee County map - in progress

latest map in progress. Cherokee Co, AL. Home of Weiss LAKE

out of pocket

I'm gonna have little to no computer access for the coming week. I'll probably be able to get emails, but I doubt I'll be blogging. Could somebody else post something here around Wednesday or so, just to keep the blog alive?

Tally ho!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Salty 'Ham Comic Jam 003

I got together the other day with our fellow SHC Chris Rosko for another 2-man comic jam. We met at Barnes and Noble, and here's the goofy thing that came out of it:

Rosko drew panels 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9; and I drew the rest. Except, we collaborated on the last panel. As we were wrapping up, we starting talking about what was going to happen and trying to agree on an ending. Is that allowed? I don't know. If that's how it's supposed to work, shouldn't we have done that from the start?

Anyway, we agreed on how to end it and that we should collaborate on the last panel. So I drew G-Northrax and the cherry in the last panel, and Rosko drew the final Lieutenat Colonel Electron.

Previous SHC comic jams:
The Secret Sorcerer

BSC Alumni Art Exhibition

Birmingham Southern College is hosting an alumni art exhibition. It'll feature work by our fellow SHC's Howard Cruse and Don Stewart. The opening reception is this Friday night, June 12, from 6 - 8. Click HERE for more info.

And HERE is a blog post from Howard Cruse, where he talks about it (among other things). The drawing above is part of his original comic art page that'll be hanging at the show.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam!

We're on! The first official Salty 'Ham Slam is scheduled for June 28th, 2009, from 2 - 5pm. We'll have it at the Boardroom at the Levite Jewish Community Center of Birmingham. If you haven't been there, click HERE for a map. It's like the Y, except it's the J.

All members of the Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas are invited to attend. Bring your sketchbooks, recent drawings, etc., if you want to show off to your peers. Make sure you have some blank pages to draw on, if you want to sit around drawing with the rest of us.

I picture this get-together as an informal meet-and-greet. However, if you feel we have important issues to discuss, let me know, and I'll put them on the agenda. Yes, we could have an agenda! We could even form committees! But we should probably just stick to drawing cartoons and comics, I guess. Or maybe we could solve world hunger.

Snacks will be provided, in the form of . . . I don't know, cookies and sodas or something. If anybody wants to help me with this, please volunteer in the comments below, or email me. Some rooms at the J are kept totally kosher, but the Boardroom (which we'll be using) is just "kosher sensitive." This means no shellfish, and you can't mix your meat and dairy. So we should be safe with the cookie plan, if nobody brings those awful Pepperidge Farm Shrimp Twists.

When they were putting our event on the schedule, and I said it was called "The Salty 'Ham Slam," the lady said we'd better just skip the ham. No pork, you know. So she just entered it in the computer as the Salty Slam Meeting. Hence, the image above.

Let's all thank our fellow SHC Garth Potts for providing us this nice, private space, where there won't be a bunch of normal civilian-types constantly bugging us with questions. "Arre y'aaalll cawr-toooonist-ists?"

I'll send out an email or an evite or something soon, to make sure all the members hear about this. Thanks, everyone, for letting me know you want to actually come out of your houses and compare notes and such.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Quick Links

I've just added the Quick Links page to the Salty 'Ham site. There's a button that takes you right to it, in the little navigation area on the left side of the site.

The aim of this is that, now that you know who your favorite SHC's are, you can quickly check in on their blogs, deviantART pages, etc., all from one page. Does anybody besides me think this will be helpful?

If you'd like your entry on the Quick Links page to be changed in any way, let me know. I tried to keep it very simple, for ease of use.

I'm thinking about adding another page, called Other Links or Outside Faves, or something like that. There, we could all contribute to a list of our favorite non-Alabama art blogs, online comics, and other related stuff like that there. Or should I even bother with that?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam! (planning)

A whole bunch of our esteemed (and not so esteemed) members have piped up in support of Ali's suggestion that we have a gathering. If I had known there'd be so much enthusiasm for this, maybe I'd have tried to organize something sooner.

We've heard from Ali Marceau, Chris Fason, Jamison Harper, Mark Martin, Joe Attaway, Brandon McCullar, Christopher Davis, Kirk Creel, Tim Rocks, Andrew Willmore, Sam McDavid, Derek Anderson, and Pat Snow. They didn't ALL say they'd try to make it, but a bunch of them did.

Let's do a Saturday afternoon at 3:00. That way, we might get more folks who work weekdays. I have to go to the darn beach for a week, from maybe the 13th to the 20th or something. So let's say Saturday, June 27th, at 3pm. Anybody got a huge problem with that? Comment in the comments below, or send me an email.

Here's what you might see when you arrive:

Let's consider this a stand alone event, for now. If we get a good group and have a lot of fun, we can turn it into a monthly get together or something. Later, people can try to rally cartooneestas for zoo trips, figure drawing classes, or whatever else.

Everybody bring your sketchbooks or sketches, so we can look at each other's stuff. And make sure you have some blank pages in there, so we can draw stuff, and draw in each other's sketchbooks, or whatever we're going to do.

I think the tone should be very informal, and we should all just shake hands, grin, and crap like that. If anybody wants to get on a soapbox and make an announcement or a speech, that's allowed. But others are allowed to throw vegetables, etc.

So let's talk more about possible locations. Folks have mentioned: The Hoover library, Greencup Books, maybe?, the downtown library, Chinatown restaurant (Southside), Taj India (Southside), Bottletree, Kingdom Comics, or Southern Progress. Let's keep thinking, and hopefully we can settle on something soon.