Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ghostbusters (1986)

I hear there's a new movie coming out next year. Maybe it'll be better than this one.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

KAOS Fitness Mural

NOT an original design! Right before the break, a parent from school contacted me. She wanted me to paint the logo of her friend's gym on the big gray wall in the back. With Ramjoe's help, we got it done in three hours. I hope she's surprised tomorrow morning when she finds out Santa paid a visit over  the weekend.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The wife and kids surprised me with this white whale. Maybe not "surprise" seeing as how I found a reasonably priced copy on ebay and left the link up.
Now I only need four more to complete the original Marvel run.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Force Awakens (deleted scene)

A writer asked me to illustrate the ONE scene his thought was lacking from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It involves a little story beat that has Chewie and Leia mourning Han in their own way. In another parallel with Star Wars, it DID bother me in the same way that Chewbacca not getting a medal at the end of the original did. So in that sense I appreciate it's absence. And of course, wounded Finn becomes the analog of wounded Artoo.
The writer (Rob Kelly) didn't ask for a comic book style illustration. I just wanted to see what the comic book adaptation would have looked like if Al Williamson had drawn it thirty years ago. I thought it worked well if it were a deleted scene that made it into the Marvel adaptation.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Painting Poppi's Present

This is NOT an original design by me. Number of the Beast is one of my Father-in-law's favorite records. I'm not sure it makes a great Christmas present. The last couple of months haven't been great. I hope his likes this. I painted this on a shirt with acrylics. It would have been much easier to just buy him one. It would have looked better too. But I'd do anything for him. I'm a BIG fan of his daughter.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Behind the Scenes (Stunt Hands and Batarangs)

Playing Catch-up. Ugly Sweater/White Elephant party Saturday night, Filming Sunday night.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars Marathon

It will be a day long remembered...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Behind the Scenes (Motorcycle Monday! On a Tuesday.)

The last two filming nights have occurred when the missus is at a Publix cooking class. Coincidence?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Jingle Belle Run 2015

19:57 (with a pack on fifth graders)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Turkey Trotter Day!

50:24. Absolutely nothing to blag about (blog/brag). Less that a minute better than last year. At this point we're doing it for the kids.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Talent Submission Page 5

PAGE FIVE (8 panels)____________________

Panel 1: Duke McQueen stands in the background, holding his gun by the barrel like a baseball bat. In the foreground, Royal Guard 2 (his back is facing Duke McQueen) holds a rock; he looks up at KING PTERADAXAN  (out of frame) terrified!
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         Throw that rock at me as hard as you can!

Panel 2: Royal Guard 2 throws the rock.


Panel 3: Duke McQueen hits the rock like a Louisville Slugger!
1. SFX:         CRAK!

Panel 4: The rock collides with KING PTERADAXAN’s head. (Maybe show KING PTERADAXAN  dropping the Zarnel Crystal towards the bottom of the frame.)
1. SFX:         SMAK-OW!

Panel 5: Royal Guard 2in the foreground talks to Duke McQueen. Duke holds the Zarnel Crystal (glowing glass soccer ball) as he steps over the dragon’s tail.
1. ROYAL GUARD 2:          I can’t believe you killed that thing with just a rock!
2. DUKE MCQUEEN:         WE did. You’ve got a helluva arm.

Panel 6: Back to Earth. Back to Dad Duke McQueen talking to his sons; coffee in one hand, rolled up newspaper under his armpit. His two boys stand in the background.
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         With the Crystal retrieved, Queen Attala was able to broker a peace treaty with the Zarnelli’s.
2. LARRY MCQUEEN:         Yeah right, dad.

Panel 7: Larry and Ralph standing next to each other. Neither boy looks amused.
1. RALPH MCQUEEN:         Nice story. Now are you going to help us get the ball down?
Panel 8: Duke McQueen looks over his shoulder at his boys. He sips from his coffee mug. Now he’s the one not amused.
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         That thing? No way. I mean c’mon-
2. DUKE MCQUEEN:         -it’s a soccer ball.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Talent Submission Page 4

PAGE FOUR (5 panels)____________________

Panel 1: KING PTERADAXAN (off panel) blasts at our two heroes. Duke “All-American” tackles Royal Guard 2 out of the way of the blast. Duke’s energy rifle disintegrates in the plume of fire. Show Royal Guard 2’s energy rifle flying away from the tackle.

1. DUKE MCQUEEN:                  Look out!

Panel 2: Duke and Royal Guard 2 are on the ground. Duke has his arm over the guard protectively.
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         You didn’t tell me it breathes fire!
2. ROYAL GUARD 2:         No one’s ever made it to a Pterdaxan nest and lived to tell!

Panel 3: Duke McQueen runs and dodges energy blast after energy blast. He looks exactly like the All-American Heisman Trophy!
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         Terrific.

Panel 4: Multiple exposure shot (like when there are multiple shots of Spider-man jumping through the city in one panel). At least three Duke McQueens: One diving, one rolling/energy rifle grabbing, one on his knee aiming the gun at us. Show multiple plumes of fire blasts in the background.

Panel 5: Tiny insert panel of a close-up of the gun barrel shorting out. It sparks indicating that it WILL. NOT. WORK.
1. SFX:         BZT BZT BZZZzz

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Talent Submission Page 3

PAGE THREE (2 panels)___________________

Panel 1: Small panel. We see the top half of Duke’s face as he peeks over the edge of a cliff cave. His arm is over the edge. All we see of Royal Guard 2 is the top half of his head and his gigantic, terrified eyes!
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         Ah-ha! There it is.

Panel 2: Almost a splash page. This panel is HUGE to accommodate the colossal KING PTERADAXAN! He dominates the frame as a dragon-man/monster! He is clutching the Zarnel Crystal (think glowing crystal soccer ball.) It looks like a little pearl in his humungous fingers. Smoke is billowing from his mouth and nostrils. Duke McQueen and Royal Guard 2 occupy the bottom corners of the page.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Talent Submission Page 2

PAGE TWO (5_panels)____________________

Panel 1: Vertical Panel! Duke McQueen looks on in horror as Royal Guard 1’s line snaps and he falls to his death.
1. SFX:         SNAP!
Panel 2: Creepy visual! Looking up as six lines disappear into a cloud. Think one point perspective. Two lines are nothing but slack as we hear them snap in the cloud. Duke’s head is at the bottom of the panel.
1. SFX:         SNAP!
2. SFX:         SNAP!

Panel 3: Biggest panel! Duke takes command! He holds the cliff with one hand and readies his gun in the other. We see a few guards following suit. Pteradaxans (humanoid pteradactyls) descend from the clouds. Their wings create curled wisps of displaced cloud, their shoulders have contrails.
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         Set your guns to kill!

Panel 4: Duke and the Royal guards fend off the attacking Pteradaxons. Duke and Royal Guard 2 blast away in the foreground. Guards and Pteradaxons fight in the background.
1. ROYAL GUARD 2:         This isn’t good.
2. DUKE MCQUEEN:         Sure it is-

Panel 5: Duke continues his climb with Royal Guard 2. Guards and Pteradaxons fight in the background.
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         -it means we’re getting’ closer.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Talent Submission Page 1

This is exciting! I’ve never written for another artist before but I’ve always wanted to be considered a writer. I definitely consider myself some kind of storyteller. The main reason I started keeping a blog was an exercise to write every day. That didn’t work out. However, now MillarWorld is looking for new talent: both writers and artists. I will be submitting to both. Here are my pages for the contest.

Lost Treasures
Written by Billy Penn

This is basically a five page joke about soccer. Being an All-American kind of guy, Duke McQueen thinks soccer is for pussies.

Notes to penciler/colorist:
*This is only a five page story and we have a lot of room to cover with limited real estate on the page. I’m thinking this will take about 30 panels in all.

*Middle Aged/Dad Duke McQueen book ends this tale. He’s a little older than the Young Duke we see in the original mini series and not as old as Present Day Duke McQueen. I’m thinking his Buster Crab bangs are a little shorter and his temples are graying like Mr. Fantastic.

*The royal guards will need distinct uniforms.

*The Pteradaxans should look a little more alien than the Saurons/Fing Fang Foom I sketched. We don’t want anybody to get in trouble here.

*Feel free to expand/delete/consolidate any panels as you see fit. Use these sketches as a springboard. See what works and improve things that could work better. However, DO NOT break the page turns. These tend to be important.

Feel free to email any questions or concerns (or praise) to

On to the story…

 Lost Treasures
Billy Penn /  and you

PAGE ONE (9 panels)_____________________

Panel 1: Duke McQueen stands at the end of his driveway. He’s wearing a robe over his pajamas, coffee in hand. The morning paper is next to his feet. Both of his boys look up into a tree, barley in frame.
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         What’re you fellas up to this mornin’?
2. LARRY MCQUEEN:         Ralph got the new soccer ball Aunt Betsy gave me stuck in the tree!
3. DUKE MCQUEEN:         Big loss.

Panel 2: Little Larry (curly/wavy blond hair) pleads with dad McQueen while pointing at the ball high up in the tree.
1. LARRY MCQUEEN:         We’re gonna need help gettin’ it down.

Panel 3: Duke McQueen looks up smirking, about to sip coffee, reminiscing. Larry (curly/wavy blond hair) and Ralph (straighter brown hair) in the background.
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         Heh. This reminds me of one of those times on Tantalus…
2. RALPH MCQUEEN:         Not again…

Panel 4: BIGGEST Panel! Vertical orientation! Young Duke McQueen and six royal guards/space soldiers climb a tall cliff that descends to infinity. They use laser grappling hooks/lines that come from their rifles. To get a sense of scale, pepper the back ground with small distant clouds and teeny tiny birds.
1. MCQUEEN CAPTION:         A contingent of the royal guard and myself were on a rescue mission.
2. MCQUEEN CAPTION:         The Pteradaxans had stolen the Zarnel Crystal.
3. MCQUEEN CAPTION:         They took it back to their nest at the top of Mount S’ponzlor.

Panel 5: Duke Climbs, but it isn’t easy. He still looks heroic as sweat beads form on his face and pebbles fall from his knees. The wind is constantly blowing his bangs to one side.
1. MCQUEEN CAPTION:         It was a tough climb. Their all-in-one ascender guns were supposed to make it easier.
Panel 6: Small panel. Very wide camera shot of the seven men who look like specks against the rocky surface of the cliff. The cliff is dotted with clouds. Make sure Duke is the farthest climber down. Also make sure that we see their ropes disappear into a bank of clouds overhead.
1. ROYAL GUARD 1:         I told you these ascender guns would make the climb easier.
Panel 7: Duke yells over his shoulder (towards the reader) to the guard who is off panel.
1. DUKE MCQUEEN:         I’m still gettin’ the hang of these energy-based weapons. They seem overly complicated.
Panel 8: Just a close-up shot of the guard. He’s looking down at McQueen. (towards the reader)
1. ROYAL GUARD 1:         Ha! This coming from the Earthling Test Pilot?

Panel 9: The guard waves a friendly goodbye. Duke McQueen continues his uneasy climb in the middle ground. It would be great if we could see other guards in the far background easily walking up the wall.
1. ROYAL GUARD 1:         You worry too much!
2. DUKE MCQUEEN:         It’s not the climb that worries me.
3. DUKE MCQUEEN:         It’s what’s waiting at the top that does.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Jack-o-lanterns 2015

These jack-o-lanterns are not from today. They are from the futrue...oooo-oooh!
However, these photos of Trunk-or-Treat are from today. This was like a dry run for tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Uncle Jee-Jah's Tradition Continues

Referencing a post from five years ago. Yes, I'm cheating. The last photo is from Halloween night.

Monday, October 26, 2015

25 Years Ago...The Adventure of the Flash: 1990 (pages 1,2,3)

     I’ve read a lot of interviews with comic book creators over the years. Interviews probably make up a good chunk of my education. Most comic book artists mention that they made their own comic book as kids. I’ve always felt a little insecure in my abilities because I can’t say that I’ve got many childhood comics book under my belt. I was the type of kid that copied other comic book artists, drew nice pin-ups of super-heroes, and creating my own characters. I never really drew sequential panels. I never was compelled to staple folded paper in half and fill up the pages with stories. I drew one comic in fourth grade for a creative writing assignment. It was/is barely two pages worth of content. Hopefully I can share it someday.

     Having been exposed to superheroes from an early age, I have always considered myself a fan. I started really getting into comic books around fourth grade. I would buy and trade Uncanny X-men, Classic X-men, Amazing Spider-man, G.I. Joe and Batman comics. I probably became an official addict during the time of the “Batman: A Death in Family” series coupled with bat mania sweeping the nation.  Tim Burton’s Batman had a profound impact on me. This was back in the days when you would have to wait years for the VHS release. So the following when CBS aired the first commercial for The Flash, I was hooked. The commercial showcased the superheroic antics and bombastic score mixed with big-budget special effects and would be broadcasted for free(!) into my living room.
Following the premier of the first episode, for whatever reason, I HAD to adapt it into book form. Every superhero t-shirt, underoo, wash cloth, action figure, blanket, movie, and comic book had led to this point. The Flash TV show was the tipping point. The dam broke. Watching that premier charged me with this creative impulse to make a book. This is probably the closest thing to a childhood comic I have.
     I HAD to make it a reality, but I couldn’t do it alone.

     I went to school with my mom for nine years. We lived in the Astoria Park school zone, but my mom taught at Kate Sullivan since I was two. Pretty much my whole life. By the fall of 1990, I was attending next door neighbor Cobb Middle School. Kate Sullivan started at around 8:30ish and Cobb started the day around 9:10ish. I had time to kill in the mornings before my school started. ALL of the aforementioned could be said for the Stephens brothers. Their mom had known my mom for years. They taught together. Both Stephens brothers attended Cobb. Rather than doing homework, we decided to spend our mornings working on this Flash book. Somehow I did manage to get homework done (I considered myself a “decent” student.) A school education paled in comparison to a Flash education. A lot of the writing consisted of me dictating the story to older brother Chuck (he was the best typist by this point.) I really just wanted to draw ( at least 93% of the time.) Sometimes Kevin Stafford would drop by my mom’s classroom in the morning to help. I don’t really remember in what capacity, but I thought adding another name to the credits gave the project some extra heft.

     Looking at the book now, I can’t help but see it as an artifact of its time.
The book was written in the back corner of my mom’s classroom on her Apple II. The title page needed something special. Enter: Printshop (Pro/Deluxe?)
     There’s a really funny youtube video that walks you through the program here. You can see that we used it to great effect: fancy borders, and a “three-dimensional” “Flash Font” for the title.
 The word processing program that we  used didn’t have spell check. It didn’t have much of anything. The font choices were limited to “bold” “underlined” “italic” and “shadow.” I’m pretty sure you could change the type size from small, to medium, and large. The pages were printed on a noisy dot matrix printer. All four edges of the paper are rough from the perforation tears. Back then, the noise from the printer was the sound of victory. The machine applauded a job well done. Nowadays it’s just irritating and abrasive.

Creating this Flash book was personal milestone. It is fitting that this month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first Flash TV series. October 2015 also represents another milestone and uncharted territory for fans of any Flash T.V. series…the debut of a second season!