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I just uploaded a few pages from a recent TLiiD in honor of Batman's 75th, and now I'm going to write about them. Not, because I think they are especially great, but because they serve as a good example of what runs through my head on a weekly basis.

For those that don't know, The Line it is Drawn is a weekly feature on the Comics Should be Good blog off of Comicbook Resources (TLiiD on CSBG at CBR to be brief). Every week myself and other far more talented individuals are given a subject, and then suggestions from the readers. Great fun! Many excellent pieces have been created for the feature over the years, and we are actually rapidly approaching its 200th installment.

And nearly every week my brain goes through the same process:

On Saturday I say "Oooh this is a cool suggestion! I should do this one! Not only that but I should do a 10 page sequence in which I can fully explore the idea!"

Then as the week progresses I downgrade from multi-page mini-comic to single page, then maybe just multiple panels, then 9 times out of 10 by Thursday I settle on just 1 illustration, and more commonly than should happen; nothing at all.

The sequence began to unfold as it usually does last week, with Thursday rolling in and Friday's deadline along with it, and only the vaguest of development sketches done for the piece. However, my brain would not let go of a multi-page multi-panel affair, furthermore I couldn't think of a single page illustration to reconcile what I wanted to convey. So I did what any normal person would do, and strapped myself to my tablet for 12 hours and pumped out that piece.

Staying up until 4 AM to create a fan fic meeting of Dr. Doom and Batman when you have to work the next day, is maybe not the best of ideas, but it was the only one I had. Conceivably, I could have better spent that time doing a variety of other things, including working on a single, more polished and succinct encapsulation of that idea.

So these Batman pages are not only a riff on a "what if?" idea that is truly great, but a fair illustration of where my creative process begins and fortunately, seldom ends.
So my pull list traditionally, has been heavy on the Indy side of things. I love the X-men and Spider-Man is regarded as a close personal friend, but I have not been reading any Marvel on the regular since the 90's. The Snyder/Capullo Batman has been the only representation of the big 2 proper (discounting Vertigo) for a while now with few exceptions.
The first 3 issues of Wood's X-men broke the Marvel-less streak, but the quick battle for the atom tie in, like the epic train sequence of the first issue, quickly de-railed the momentum it had, and I soon dropped the title.
Then came the wave of Marvel number 1s. Ms. Marvel, Ghost Rider, Silver Surfer, Moon Knight, and now Elektra.... Good lord are these some fine comics! My wallet is empty, but my heart is full!
Not only are these all some excellently crafted pieces of sequential sweetness, but they all seem to possess their own unique visual identity. These are not interchangeable house styles, but individual expressions that deepen the comic experience.

Some fresh takes on old characters as well as the injecting of some much needed new blood. All credit to the creative teams, they all seem to be devoting a lot of love and passion to all of these great new titles.
Tremendous work being done by the Marvel team right now, and I am excited to see where this will take us. But seriously, if this keeps up I'm going to need a raise.


-Sean

Man. I need a new journal up here. Previously I had written one, it had thought and insight and a look into my personal world... but it didn't submit properly, so what can you do. It was Sta.sh'd and then corrupted... and then DESTROYED. I suspect a similar fate may fall upon this one as well, so no thought or depth here! Just surface level fluff... but as I said, I need a new journal up here.

 

I need to post more stuff more regularly, so I'll do that.... starting with this journal.... if it is not destroyed.

 

 

 

 

- Sean

* with a catch.


It will be drawn with a mouse.

In MS Paint.

Poorly.

Who's up for it?




- Sean

Paint request by SeanMcFarland Paint Request 2 by SeanMcFarland Paint request 3 by SeanMcFarland Paint request 4 by SeanMcFarland
  • Listening to: Sirius XM Radio
  • Reading: Brasyl - Ian McDonald is awesome.
  • Watching: It's Always Sunny
  • Playing: DMc
  • Eating: My feelings
  • Drinking: Cherry Coke is the best coke.
So, as some may have noticed, I am attempting a sketch a day challenge.

Sketch a day is misleading, as I already have missed a few days, BUT, I am trying to be more consistent.

I love Videogames, and one thing I especially love, is the character design that goes into them (sometimes more than the gameplay). So I figured why not VG characters.

Then I was like hey, the alphabet- that's cool and I can almost repeat it without singing. And so the endeavor was born.

The completed list may be a bit Nintendo-centric. Specifically Nintendo of the 80's and 90's. That was the brand of console during my gaming peak... those roots run deep. If you can't predict who will be for letters L and M respectively, well then you have lived a half life.

It should be fun, and good practice to keep my drawing muscles limber. If it goes well I have an idea for another series to start right after this one.

A is for... by SeanMcFarlandB is for... by SeanMcFarlandC is for... by SeanMcFarlandD is for... by SeanMcFarland E is for... by SeanMcFarland F is for... by SeanMcFarland G is for... by SeanMcFarland H is for... by SeanMcFarlandI is for... by SeanMcFarlandJ is for... by SeanMcFarlandK is for... by SeanMcFarlandL is for... by SeanMcFarlandM is for... by SeanMcFarland N is for... by SeanMcFarland O is for... by SeanMcFarlandP is for... by SeanMcFarlandQ is for... by SeanMcFarlandR is for... by SeanMcFarlandS Is for... by SeanMcFarlandT is for... by SeanMcFarlandU is for... by SeanMcFarlandV is for... by SeanMcFarlandW is for... by SeanMcFarlandX is for... by SeanMcFarlandY is for... by SeanMcFarlandZ is for.. by SeanMcFarland
  • Listening to: XM AltNation
  • Reading: River of the Gods- Ian McDonald is awesome.
  • Watching: Luther
  • Playing: Darksiders 2 F@*k YEAH!
  • Eating: Mexican whenever I can.
  • Drinking: water, coffee, water
I figured I would stake a claim to my real name before it slipped by. There are quite a few Sean McFarlands out there, (at least one of them thinks he has my e-mail address, which is 5 kinds of irritating), and I know at least one more is an artsy type. With that in mind I made the switch, to declare this part of my nominative identity purely for me.

I did like the Farlander, but I am Sean McFarland, and I do try and attach my real name to just about everything I do at this point.  I think that's the way things are trending with the internet, usernames and handles are more and more being incorporated into our physical identities. Anonymity is out there but I believe it is waning.

It's fun to see people I watch shed their past identities and move to their real names. Almost feels like a graduation.
  • Listening to: XM Sattelite radio trial... it's neat.
  • Reading: a Nook Color. It's ok.
  • Watching: the new Avatar series. IT IS GOOD.
  • Playing: along.
  • Eating: PB and J.
  • Drinking: water, and Pepsi. And coffee. No tea.
And soon to upload a bunch of old work.

Occasionally I get it in my head to work on some sort of project. Quite often they are collaborations with one of my friends, but they all have a habit of stalling and dying. Sometimes it's on me, others the writer loses interest, but I've yet to find that idea that really takes root and blossoms.

One of the great things about looking through old work is getting to see how you've improved. In some cases it's more apparent in others. Looking through this old stuff, there is some very rough work in here. Some of the work I'll be submitting over the next few days may very well be worth revisiting some day, some of it should stay dead.

Anyways... please comment on anything that catches your eye, even if it's to tell me how much I suck(ed), I'd love to get a second opinion on some of these early endeavors.
  • Listening to: noises only dogs can here.
  • Reading: old random sci fi.
  • Watching: the new Avatar series. It's pretty freakin rad.
  • Playing: the hand I was dealt.
  • Eating: Sushi. Spring makes sushi taste better.
  • Drinking: water, water everywhere
If I was elected pope, I think I would go for a non-traditional name. John Paul, or Benedict sound so stuffy.

Pope Dragon Crusher, or Flaming Robot or maybe something slightly more traditional, like Superman.
  • Listening to: noises only dogs can here.
  • Reading: old random sci fi.
  • Watching: the new Avatar series. It's pretty freakin rad.
  • Playing: the hand I was dealt.
  • Eating: Sushi. Spring makes sushi taste better.
  • Drinking: water, water everywhere
You ever do a sketch on a margin or on a piece of scrap paper, like it, try to recreate it, only to be stymied at every turn? I have.

Actually a pretty common occurrence, especially when I was working on assignments at school. I would thumbnail a dozen ideas, hit on what I liked and when it came time to draw the final somehow the energy was lost.

I think there is something to be said for spontaneity in art, but I think there is also merit to thumbnailing and developing an idea as well. I would love to be able to combine the immediacy of a sketch with the strength of several revisions.

Maybe have some sort of sixth sense to let me know which idea is going to work out best so I can plop it down on decent board, opposed to the corner of my desk calendar.

Oh well! I'm sure I'll stumble on a solution or drive myself crazy, which ever comes first!
  • Listening to: the whirring humm of silence.
  • Reading: comics, twitter feeds and blogs.
  • Watching: ALL OF NETFLIX.
  • Playing: a lot of games... but not all the time.
  • Eating: tater tots. They're effing amazing.
  • Drinking: Coffee. The real stuff... insanity is nigh.
So, I was thinking of starting some sort of webcomic. Mostly as an exercise on producing original content. I love working on "The Line It Is Drawn," (even though the merry band of rascals and ne'r-do-wells is going through a massive overhaul), but  it is ultimately always going to be someone else's work interpreted by me. That's not a problem per say, but I do not want to try and get those personal creative engines up and running before they rust out in the garage.

So I have  a few ideas, none are amazingly fleshed out, but I am having a hard time settling on one or the other. Also format. And where to host it. I'd make a new years resolution out of it, but that would be a bit of curse given my track record.

Ultimately I think I just need to man up commit to some decisions, and see how it goes.

So, I just had a thought. I have about 3 ideas.  I think I will do one piece of each, post it up and see what kind of reaction I get. Granted I do not have a lot of watchers, and if a piece isn't tagged with well known pop-culture characters it tends to have low views, but hey, experiment time! Maybe I'll throw Batman in all of them to get larger sample.

Good idea stream of consciousness. Alright. First piece will be up by mid next week or I will self-flagellate.
  • Listening to: the whirring humm of silence.
  • Reading: in bed, and falling asleep 2 minutes in.
  • Watching: The Office on Netflix
  • Playing: Too Much Skyrim
  • Eating: a lot. It's the Holidays!
  • Drinking: Decaf. Coffee makes me crazy. Literally.
So, Borders Books and Music is in the hands of a liquidator due to their Bankruptcy. This actually makes me a little sad, as the Borders in my area was centrally located, well liked and generally where I went to by my books .. and coffee... and possibly a muffin.

Anyway, I did not make it a habit of buying comics there, I always try and get those from my LCS, Casablanca Comics, as they are little, local and dear to my heart. But it was liquidation time.... Prices were being slashed, inventory was just flowing out the doors... I could not resist...twice.

So the first time I went, the selection was still pretty good, and I picked up some trades I've been meaning to get; last two volumes of Locke and Key, Casanova, American Vampire, and Baltimore the Plague Ships. Each of those comics are amazing by the way.

But then I went again. This was yesterday, about a week later and it was getting to the depressing part of the liquidation. Furniture is for sale, the bathrooms had somehow been destroyed, and the stock is resembling a zebra carcass on the Serengeti.. again a little sad. This time the comics were not my cup of tea, mostly recently collected trades from the Big 2, I had little or no investment in. There were about 20 copies of X-Force "Sex and Violence," if anyone is looking for it.

But I noticed 1 copy of Umbrella Academy shoved in there breaking up a run Civil war trades, (the organization at this time was a bit hard to define, not alphabetical, or categorical; arbitrary would be accurate). Anyway, I bought it, mostly because I didn't want to leave empty-handed, and for 7 bucks how wrong can you go?

It was pretty rad. I was impressed,and surprised. Why? Not because I was doubting the art team, that's for sure. Gabriel Ba has easily become one of my favorite artists over the past few years. He's emotive, dynamic and a just whole  lot of fun. So not a shock.

Additionally, Dave Stewart is pretty much the god of all colorists at this point. Looking over my collections he's probably got the most representation out of anyone, hell, he colored 3 of the most recent trades I picked up.

My bias, and there definitely was one, was all on Way.

I mean come one, a Rockstar writing comics? Stick to your eye-liner and substance abuse Emo-boy, we here in comics town only want bonafide pro-fes-sionales.

Yeah, not accurate at all. The book was awesome, and Way has a clear passion for this material which comes through with surprising narrative force. Original, funny and incredibly well executed, I have to say, I am now a bit of a fan.

I realize I am a bit late to the party on this one... People have known that this was good for a while. But it's sometimes hard to let go of your prejudices. Apparently Rockstars can write really good comics; who knew?

Actors on the other hand write crap. And are only capable of pushing out self indulgent ego projects. I'm looking at you Rosario Dawson.....
  • Listening to: the whirring humm of silence.
  • Reading: books with pictures AND words
  • Watching: Buffy... because it is effing rad.
  • Playing: Bio Shock, which I think is good... buy very wet
  • Eating: too much apparently.
  • Drinking: not nearly often enough.
So, it's official; one year closer to the inevitable expiration and the last year I can legitimately claim to be in my 20s.

On the plus side I survived another year, which is good. On the minus, I don't know if I have any great accomplishments to tack on the wall, and maybe more importantly; no notable failures.

Birthdays are a time for resolutions. Much like New Years, they serve to remind us that despite our best efforts, time is trudging, and occasionally sprinting forward. So anything we want to get done, we should get doing. Time might be infinite but our time here certainly isn't.

So, 29. I will learn more things this year, maybe pick up some more skills, and work on the ones I have already. Take more risks, put myself "out there," and run screaming a battle cry into the third decade of my life.

Now who's got my cake?
  • Listening to: the whirring humm of silence.
  • Reading: books with pictures AND words
  • Watching: Buffy... because it is effing rad.
  • Playing: Bio Shock, which I think is good... buy very wet
  • Eating: too much apparently.
  • Drinking: not nearly often enough.
Personally, I enjoy criticism about as much as one can. Sometimes it gets my hackles up and I think of childish names to call my would be reviewer, that or baseless recriminations (either work really), but by and large I find it truly helpful.

Even when I find myself lurching towards the defensive, I take a moment and think about what's garnered such a reaction; this is usually the truest (and best) advice of the lot.

The move to defend one's self and work is natural, but best avoided. I know I always have the urge to explain away cirticism, make justifications or otherwise rationalize. That's a very human response, but honestly the best response is always "Thank you."

It isn't always easy to take, but criticism is needed for any hope of growth as an artist, or really anything you hope to improve on. So if anyone who happens upon this page wants to offer some thoughts on my work please do.

Additionally, hate mail, taunting, trolling, extreme profanity or any other practice of douche-baggery, is certainly allowed at the peril of your own karma. Be aware however, that this does not hurt my feelings, reduce me to tears or cause me to re-think the purpose of my fruitless existence.

It does however, cause me to laugh maniacally unceasingly and at prolific volume. Baseless criticism is easy to spot and bounces right off my candy coated shell.

With that in mind, anyone who finds themselves to be on the receiving end of said practices, know that such discourse says far more about those who say it, than of whom it is said.

Anyways, please everyone have a great weekend and make some art.



- Sean
  • Listening to: the whirring humm of silence.
  • Reading: books with pictures AND words
  • Watching: Buffy... because it is effing rad.
  • Playing: Bio Shock, which I think is good... buy very wet
  • Eating: too much apparently.
  • Drinking: not nearly often enough.
If the Green Goblin is Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth, then thematically, that would make Spider-Man Sarah, right? He kidnapped Gwen Stacy, so that really would make her more of an analog to Toby; Sarah's little brother. However.... on the poster, the poster I am about to ape, you have Sarah right in the middle, Jareth above her, Hoggle and and Ludo to her right and left, and then all the supporting muppet imps along the periphery. Now I could throw Spidey right in the middle, but I think replacing him with a plummeting Gwen would be more reminiscent of the original composition (pretty girl, flowing drapery, etc...). BUT THEN, the picture becomes about Goblin and Gwen! The analogs are off, and more importantly I am uncertain of who to put in the wings. Obviously one of them would be Spider-Man, but then, then I have to think of someone who is equally important to that situation to be on the other side.... BUT THERE ISN'T ANYONE! That was a 3-person scene, Gwen, Goblin Spidey and plummeting tragedy. I was thinking, Peter Parker in addition to Spidey, but he isn't terribly interesting to look at, and it is a little repetitive... So if anyone A.) reads this and B.) has a solution, let me know. Spidey in a flowing dress is also a possibility.



- Sean
  • Listening to: my wife
  • Reading: the internet
  • Watching: River Monsters aka HUGE FISH THAT EAT YOU!
  • Playing: the piano... poorly
  • Eating: chicken wings
  • Drinking: milk... it does a body good.
...Because the last one was over a year old. Truthfully, this is a function that I almost never use. It could be that I realize that virtually no one reads them, which is fine :) .

So let me write about Knight Shift. Knight shift is a character/concept from my buddies at In Case of Emergency Smash TV. www.facebook.com/ICOEsmashTV

Knight Shift is awesome. He is a cop. He is a knight. He may be from the past, or the future... probably both. I'm going for the old timey prince valiant feel, but man looking at those old Valiant images... I fully realize that I am no Hal Foster. Seriously, dude was a beast. I did not realize just how great he was until I took a second look at his work. Epic is a word that is bandied about quite frequently, but the scope he was able to squeeze out of those panels... humbling. You have to had it to those old school illustrators, those bastards sure could draw.
  • Listening to: my wife
  • Reading: the internet
  • Watching: River Monsters aka HUGE FISH THAT EAT YOU!
  • Playing: the piano... poorly
  • Eating: chicken wings
  • Drinking: milk... it does a body good.
So you may be looking through my gallery, and you notice a sudden influx of poorly photographed sketches of random subject matter. To explain; I am bored at times, and during these times I am very bored. I am in fact so bored, that I cannot think of anything to draw. That's were you come in. Give me an idea and there's a good chance I'll sketch it. It wont be great, but it will keep me occupied, and may make you chuckle so it's a win win win win. win. Please no request for pR0n though, ok? It's just too awkward to draw, and it's the friggin internet, if you need some naked people there's a good chance you can find em.
  • Listening to: rain
  • Reading: the internet
  • Watching: a monitor
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water