Sunday, December 24, 2006

Break, Update and Break

It's been a long time since the last post, but that's because of the frenetic pace that life has taken in the past month. A great deal has happened, most of which I'll be able to discuss early in the New Year, once it has all solidified. In the meantime, I've still got some comics under work, the book is almost ready for orders (way to make the Christmas deadline, I know), and there's the usual assortment of stuff.

Have a great holiday people, and I'll see you in January.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Main Event

This was the third year in a row that I've designed my friend Sumit's birthday invitation, and I'm glad to say that the evening was a success once again.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Again? Already?

Yes indeed! Once again, I'm proud to be designing Sumit's birthday invitation. This'll make three years in a row, and it's become a challenge to up the ante every time. Although this year's invite isn't quite ready, I do have the "Save the Date" graphic that was just sent out via e-mail. Enjoy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Server Issues

Sorry about the problems. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 27, 2006

News from the Front

My sketchbook is awash in... well, sketches. Three new comics in the works, including two Bells and Whistles! I'm also got a good deal of contract work on my plate, in addition to new photo stuff. More soon!

(Blue tinge on photos = weird camera with only automatic controls)

Friday, October 20, 2006

What I Meant Was

This happens to be the first all-digital monkey I've ever drawn.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And Then: In a Dryer

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Failed Concepts

So I've been tossing around this idea for a t-shirt design. I thought it was pretty inspired. Unfortunately, the design is entirely ineffective, partly because of the concept and partly because of the execution. When I've asked people to take a look at it, they wrinkle their noses, think for a bit and then say: "What Would Jughead Do?".

Now, it's probably quite a simple thing to resolve this – "WWAD?" would be better immediately.. Not only are the letters of the acronym better suited to this context, but it clears up any confusion as to who the J might be….

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hey, Wait a Moment...

Yeah. About that. See, I just transferred my blog over to the new Blogger Beta, and in my own idiocy, made it go completely a-splodey. So, although I may have a backup of my template at home, I had d been meaning to redesign this thing for a while.

I may have missed some links in the reformatting. Did I forget you? Drop me a line.

Also, you can navigate the blog continuously using links at the bottom of each page. Every post now has a label, and there's a list of those in the right hand column. Sick of monkeys? Try the Photo label! Or Design! There will not, however, be a label for "monkeys". That'd just be dumb.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Library Chronicles

My friend Sam (Hi Sam!) is involved with the production of a short film series called "The Library Chronicles", which is hilarious enough that it not only made it into the right-hand column of links, but it also warranted its own post. I know!

So, if you're kicking around at work, wondering what you're going to do for the rest of the day, wonder no longer. Alternatively, if you're sitting at home in your underwear in front of the computer, debating the merits of versus but not considering using either seriously, then you too can wonder no longer.

Go, and download the two episodes that are available so far. Both are excellent, though things really get going in the second installment. Gratuitous violence and abused chimneysweeps, that's where it's at.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Scrawl again.

Scrawl is constantly getting updates, so if you haven't bookmarked it or linked to it as yet, you should. There's people – everyone from artists to audiences – commenting regularly now, and the site is being used as part of the syllabus for an art class in the Chicago school system.

Now, about that redesign and upgrade I keep talking about...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ach! Ist A New Monkey!

I've been thinking about posting a variety of stuff recently. There was the campaign I did for Cineplex Entertainment to promote playing video games on the big screen, some other work stuffs, and about three monkey cartoons which I haven't quite nailed. Yeah.

So, I've decided to go with none of those things and post a sketch of one of the newest monkeys. I give you "Baron von Gibbonhein".

Friday, September 22, 2006

More Numerals

Lots of numerals. In fact, all the numerals you'd ever need to make any number ever. These might just become a very poorly created font with absolutely no kerning pairs. Stay tuned!*

*Don't really stay tuned.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I've taken to drawing numerals that look like the ones on the US bills. So, here's a sketch of one with my notes on top of it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

D is for...

DALEK! (Part of A Monkey's Alphabet.)

Was there ever any doubt? And another update: printed copies are en route!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Y is for...

Yellow (Part of A Monkey's Alphabet.)

A quick update: I've gotten my proofs back from the printer, and have made some changes. I expect to have final copies in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

V is for...

Villain (Part of A Monkey's Alphabet.)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

B is for...

Bicycle (Part of A Monkey's Alphabet.)

Monday, August 28, 2006

N is for...

Naughty (Part of A Monkey's Alphabet.)

Friday, August 25, 2006

C is for...

Carpet (Part of A Monkey's Alphabet.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

L is for...

LOUD! (Part of A Monkey's Alphabet.)

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Ok, so you know that project to which I've kept vaguely referring? The one with the penguin? You know! The one that I started back in April?

Well, it's finished.

I wanted to keep this project secret until it was finished. Given the scope of the project, I didn't want to risk a situation where people asked : "Hey, did you ever finish _____?" and me having to reply sheepishly: "Oh, um... no. I... uh... well, I got really busy."

So. What is it?

It's a book. I've wanted to do a book for a long time (brochures don't count, regardless of how many pages they have), and I happened upon the perfect project.

So. What is it?

It's a Monkey Book. To be precise, it's:

A Monkey's Alphabet is a full-colour, hand-illustrated, 36 page book that goes through the alphabet with monkeys as the subject for each letter. I had the idea spontaneously one day, and within a few minutes had the idea fleshed out as a gift for my niece's second birthday, not to mention a book to mark the birth of my brand new niece.

Many evenings were spent huddled over my sketchbook with pencil and Staedtler pen. And, when I was told the news that my nieces would be moving abroad (their father works with the consular corps), I suddenly had a deadline that was a little sooner than I had hoped. Hence, the lack of frequency of posts on this blog (hey, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it).

Along the way, a couple of familiar friends ended up in the book.

I'm publishing the book through Lulu, which is a brilliant, easy to use self-publishing service. I should be getting my proofs back sometime next week, but until then, I'll be posting screenshots of some of the letters.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Behind the Scenes of a Bells & Whistles - 4

Like I said last time: Scandal!.

Well, not really, I just really enjoy that word. Especially if you imagine a aristocratic Victorian woman saying it, her pince-nez falling from her face just as she faints away daintily, one hand to her brow. Heh. Anyway. What? Monkeys? Right. Ok.

Here's the scandal (heh). Once I've finished inking the drawing and such, I scan it and then (ready for this?), I edit it in Photoshop. Gracious! (Also an excellent word for Victorian women with a predilection to fainting). The edited version are on the right.

Here's a good example. Somewhere in the mess of inking, I completely forgot to draw in a line to represent the aristocrat's mouth. Whoops.

Barbisol's hat gets a trim here. It helps add to his low-brow character. Heh.

Baby Monkey! He gets significantly cuter during retouching. His wonky eye gets trimmed and fixed, and a blemish on his brow gets taken out. Now, if only I'd done something about his slightly egg-shaped head….

This was one of the less retouched comics I've posted. Some of them have had the panels spaced out better, lettering repositioned, sentences broken onto two lines, lines cleaned up, and panels made less crooked. I'll try and post an example from "The Library" to show you exactly what I mean.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Behind the Scenes of a Bells & Whistles - 3

Having put down ink outlines in the last post, I now move on to filling in solid areas and penciling in dialogue. Again, nothing's written in stone (or inked), so I'll inevitably move things around, and condense dialogue as I go.

The full page after all the solid areas have been filled in. The dialogue for the first two panels is inked, and the rest of it is in place.

I felt that the pencil dialogue was a little too low to the aristocrat's hat. As the pencil dialogue is only really to help me determine the width, it's no problem to move straight to inking it in a new place.

I was still toying with the idea of having Barbisol sing "With a Little Bit o' Luck" at this point. Yeah, I know.

This strip marked the debut of the Baby Monkey! Ridiculously cute, and typically perched upon other monkey's heads, he's quickly become a staple in my sketchbook (he'll almost certainly be featured in the 2006 Prospectus for ChriGov Industries). You can see that even this late in the game, I'm wondering if he should have a tail or not, and how exactly it should be drawn.

Next up: Scandal!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Behind the Scenes of a Bells & Whistles - 2

Having gotten my idea out onto paper in the last instalment of these posts, I now head to my sketchbook.

Here's the pencil outline, drawn and inked in my sketchbook. Unfortunately, I don't have a scan of the pencil outline, but you can still see it underneath the ink.

As you can see, despite the outline, things still get moved around. I decided Barbisol should be a little to the left, and shouldn't be quite as tall. His pose also changed so he's extending his arm.

And the aristocrat's pencil sketch is a little crooked (ignore the fact that the ink version makes him even more crooked). I also changed his proportion slightly – he starts lower, but is still the same height.

This detail shows that although I've got the ink outlines in place, I don't fill in the solid areas. I've found that erasing on top of my ink outlines often dulls the richness of the black. So for things like fill areas, I'll lightly erase the pencil and then start filling in solid areas of ink.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Behind the Scenes of a Bells & Whistles - 1

While drawing the the last installment of Bells & Whistles: A Hilarious Wit!, I documented my process, scanning the comic as I worked on it (hey, it was a slow day and the scanner was right there, ok?). So if you've ever wondered about how that famous simian duo make the transition from paper to screen, wonder no longer! Alternatively, if you're bored at work and surfing the internet, rest assured that at least there'll be an update every day for the next week.

Let's start with the original sketch in its entirety. It's pretty basic at this point. A rough sketch that sets the panels up, early dialogue, all done on scrap paper. When I set about drawing the comic properly, it'll be in my sketchbook.

Here's a detail. A quick gestural drawing, just to establish how the aristocrat greets Barbisol. I don't need much detail here because the aristocrat always seems to say hello the same way.

As you can see, I'd originally planned to have Barbisol sing himself a little tune while waiting to see the new hat. And yes, I did consider having him sing "With a Little Bit o' Luck" from My Fair Lady.

Barbisol's expression took a little bit of work. He was supposed to be resigned (as I noted in my sketch), as if he expected as much from the aristocrat. In the end, I decided to go with him covering his face in both disbelief and resignation. I don't know if it communicates all that, but it's a stronger pose for the character.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


This is actually part of that project I mentioned a while ago. It's also the first time a penguin and a monkey have been seen together! It seems to be a good-natured meeting, but you never can tell with penguins.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

On Lending

While making PDFs today for that brochure I'm working on, I finally finished up that cartoon I mentioned a month ago.

Here's some trivia for you: this comic is based on an actual conversation I had with my girlfriend, and I have Matt to thank for coining the brilliant final word in the strip.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

World Rhythms...

You might have to read the title and then the image for that to be funny. Anyway I'm knee-deep in a brochure for a client who has a well-deserved reputation for being demanding and so, in the same vein as Tuesday's post, the above is a snippet from today's work.

I'm also in the final stages of completing all the ink drawings for that personal project I mentioned back in April. I'd meant to post updates with regularity, but I happen to have this thing during the day called "work". Bollox.

Oh, and this will turn into a hilarious comic for your amusement. Really, I could just scan that page I photographed and clean it up in Photoshop. Hmm....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Now with More Headache-Inducing Power!

Was busy working away on this one, and thought it was too nauseous not to share. Gah.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Scrawl - More "Listen"

Scrawl got updated today with more images for the Listen work that's all over Edmonton. Even better though, is that the comments for that piece reflect that Scrawl is connecting with both artists and viewers, which has always been my original intent. Now, if only I could devote 15-20 hours a week on graffiti...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Design = Art

More recent work. The Canadian Opera Company recently celebrated the grand opening of their new opera house, the first of its kind in Canada. As a means of congratulation, we presented them with a fine art print, which I had the opportunity to create.

It's presented here as it looked, framed and matted. It's for the most part abstract, but there's just the hint of the COC logo in the left hand side.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bells & Whistles, This Being the Fourth Such Episode

Once again, it is a veritable gladness to put forward another installment of Bells & Whistles: A Hilarious Wit! Our titled simian playfellow is back with his proletarian counterpart Mr. Barbisol. It would seem that His Lordship has a proclivity to be somewhat unmindful, no doubt due in part to the strains and pressures of aristocracy. As one will see, this begets the most rollicking consequences!

We feel it imperative to direct our kind and warm readers to the original inspiration for this Wit. The gentlemen at the Penny Arcade presented their original rib-tickling narrative to a number of striplings and lasses. Our interpretation of their drollery was only complemented with the addition of a winsome baby monkey.

If one so desires, the supplementary episodes of Bells & Whistles: A Hilarious Wit! can be found here, here, and here. And, although I fear it is in vain, I must solicit monikers for our aristocratic friend anon.

Scrawl - More Work from Edmonton

Shamless self-promotion: Scrawl got an update of Edmonton work this morning. I just received some work from an artist in Nicaragua, so I hope to get that online later today. And my friend Ian was kind enough to shoot a whack of stuff from Iceland, so expect to see that soon as well.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Scrawl again.

Scrawl got updated this morning with some work from Edmonton, Alberta. If you're around campus or the south side, you've probably already seen the "Listen" Bird. Thanks to the efforts of a U of A student, I'm able to present a gallery of collected instances.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Hee hee he. Naw, I'm kidding. My clients are great.

Come on! Seriously...

The Worldwide Short Film Festival has been running their advertising campaign for the past couple of weeks. It's pretty clever for the most part - a photograph of a theatre chair, with a different treatment each time. For example, "Canadiana" shows the seat, with stubbies in the cupholder. "Sci-Fi" has the drink levitating in the holder. Romance shows the chair wrapped up in saran wrap. You can see a couple of the executions on their home page.

Here's the part where their campaign isn't so clever though. While waiting for a streetcar the other day, I snapped this photo:

Yeah. Does anyone else think that "Horror" idea looks familiar? Oh yeah. We had that precisely that idea last year.

What's really disappointing about this is that not only is it unoriginal and a rip-off, but also the chair really lends itself to better ideas. Why not have the chair cushion cut up, with deep slash marks, oozing its upholstery as though some deranged maniac took a knife/chainsaw to it? There's an entire sub-genre called slasher films, after all.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In Progress

This, with any luck, will turn into a hilarious cartoon for your amusement.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Scrawl was updated this morning. There's some great new work from DEDOS, including some pretty gorgeous Star Wars work.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


As you may have noticed with my blog, I've rediscovered my passion for drawing. It's great, and I've been filling up sketchbook pages faster than before. One of the things I've been trying to do is to add a good deal more depth to the monkeys, who have, up until now, always just been very much line drawings. Colour, more expression, more movement and full bodies are all recent developments.

Now? Now we've got action poses.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Updates and Opera

Having successfully recovered (for the most part) from a rather nasty bit of illness, I thought it might be a change to treat you all to some recent design work, as opposed to various drawings of monkeys, rohbuts, and comics and what not.

I recently conceived and designed the collateral for the Canadian Opera Company's "Operanation" – an annual benefit evening for the kids these days. I'd been listening to a lot of mash-ups, particularly the Kleptones' "A Night at the Hip-Hopera", and thought it would be fitting to create a visual mash-up of traditional operatic elements with modern ones, especially given the tagline of "classic culture for modern people".

Oh yeah, remember this one? Yeah, the client wanted to explore expanding the mash-up idea into multiple executions, so Dr. Faust got the treatment. Like my comment says.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Another Spider Rohbut

Well, this little guy might not be much of a spider. He's only got four legs, seems to have pincers, and is testing the water rather tentatively. Maybe he's a little more crab than he is spider. That's probably for the best – I don't like spiders at all.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bells & Whistles, Thrice!

My staunch and fellow readers, it is, as always, a pleasure to put forth another ludic installment of our favoured simian duo in "A Hilarious Wit: Bells & Whistles". Barbisol and his artistocratic antipode are once more engaged in a confabulation, this time about the penance justified for miscreants of all sorts – particularly a petty cutpurse!

Although I fear I will tire you with my ceaseless requests, I am, once again, soliciting appellations for Barbisol's counterpart. Rest assured! The ideal contribution will be rewarded!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Knife + Twig

Occasionally, some amount of tension arises between the monkeys, as would happen in even the most sophisticated of cultures. And sometimes, the solution is so brilliant, so cunning, so Machiavellian, that one can only speak of it in hushed voices, in whispers barely heard over the still of the wind.

Not this monkey though. He proclaims it to the masses. And in colour, no less.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

More Spider-Type Rohbuts

These were actually the first sketches for the rohbut who was posted on Tuesday. You can see I'm was still developing the character - he lost two of his arms, not to mention one of the articulation points in his legs. I still don't know if the stovepipe exhaust will stick around.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Random Rohbut

Zounds! Something seems to have startled him.

Well, once he's back to normal, I'm sure this guy will soon be joining both Stompy and Watty for zany, mechanical adventures. Hell, the Y-Fronts Rohbut might even tag along.