Saturday, August 04, 2012

San Diego Comic-Con 2012 Final Post: The Loot!

For my final post on San Diego Comic Con 2012, I am sharing some of the fantastc "loot" that I acquired!  This drawing above is my most favorite thing, an original "Fat Freddy's Cat" by Gilbert Shelton (which I would not have gotten if my wonderful sister had not gone and waited in line for me since I was stuck at my table when he was signing)!  He is one of the great underground cartoonists (one of the great cartoonists period), right up there with Crumb, and since he lives in France it is super hard to get a sketch from him...this is the greatness that is San Diego Comic Con!!  My terrific brother also gave me a signed copy of the "Freak Brother's Omnibus"...I am a spoiled little brother of course.

Ramona Fradon is a phenominal artist and draws just as good today (if not better) than she did on her incredible runs on Aquaman, Metamorpho, Plastic Man, etc!  She was doing these incredible drawings for only $25 a piece (the best deal in the con for sure, and from a member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame 2006 no less)!  I had her add in the caption "I'll Always Love You, Olivia" to this great Aqua Lad drawing for my daughter (21 mos old) to go with a drawing we got a few years back of Aquaman (my wife Melissa was in "love" with Aquaman when she was a kid, ie the Aquaman on Superfriends, and I had Ramona inscribe her drawing as if it was an old boyfriend of hers).  Now Melissa and Olivia have matching professions of love from the 'Aquateam' :)

I bought the Artist's Edition of Groo the Wanderer  by Sergio Aragones in San Diego (cover above), at only $100 it was a steal and Sergio was signing them with awesome drawings as usual (below)!  You need to have this in your collection, these Artist Editions are awe-inspiring and seeing Sergio's artwork at full size is humbling & inspiring at the same time!  12 x 17 with four issues reprinted from Sergio's original artwork, plus the remake of Groo's original appearnce by Sergio in the late 80's (the original artowrk was lost at some point), and a section of Sergio's rough layouts that go with a few pages printed in the book! 

The PEANUTS booth is always a favorite stop at SDCC, and this time my brother picked up this great shirt (above) for my daughter Olivia, they always have the greatest retro artwork on their product exclusives (from the 50's and 60's).  Below is a terrific felt banner I bought for my daughter, it also came with 5 buttons to place on the banner (in the star sections) showing diff characters in sports action poses.  For $20 it was a bargain since I had been wanting to buy an original felt banner from the 60's but they tend to go for a lot more than this on Ebay!

Finally I am caught up with all I wil most likely post about San Diego up I will be at Sac-Con in Sacramento CA on Sept 30 2012 with a table and doing my lecture on "How to Successfully Pitch an Animated Cartoon," and hopefully if I land a table I will then be at APE con in San Francisco Oct 13-14, 2012...I will keep you posted!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Comic-Con 2012, Part Two!

Montage of some of the sketchcards I did over the weekend!

I have been to many San Diego Comic-con's over the years, but since this was the first time I actually had a table there it felt pretty special (although I was really going through "baby withdrawal" since at 5 days it was the longest I had been away from my 20 month old daughter since she was born).  I met a lot of great people and I am thankful for everyone that stopped by and took a chance on my book or on some of my artwork, there are many great artists and booths at SDCC so it is a big deal when someone chooses to spend some of their time looking at you work!  I can't wait for next year and already put in for an Artist's Alley table again (I really hope to be in the same spot with Ron and Ryan again, but it is never an easy thing to get placed by people you request so I can only remain hopeful).  I may do a third post to go over some of the great things I bought or received while at Comic-con as well...such an inspiring place, I hope to see you there next year (or at APE con in SF later this year)!

A drawing I did of the Hulk getting angry attempting to text with his fat fingers, luckily an aspiring comedian named Becky took a liking to it and bought it from me :)

 One of my favorite commissions, yes the girl who asked for it had a dog named Thor (I drew this from a photo of him) who ran around the house with a foam Mjolnir and a cape)!

Caricatures of the costumes that these two con-goers made themselves!

A fun commission for two friends who love Freakazoid.

Caricatures of kids asked for by a nice Dad who missed them.  I forgot to take a photo of the color version.
Two great kids who went and grabbed me two foam spider-man hands for my daughter Olivia (below), so I let them choose some artwork for their trouble...Olivia went nuts when she saw them and makes her spider shooter sfx when she wears them!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Comic-Con 2012, Part One!

Commission for a cool kid who loved Nova, so much fun to do!

The San Diego Comic-con was terrific, and I had a great time selling for the first time in Artist's Alley!  I was lucky to sit next to two great artists in Ron Lim and Ryan Odagawa who were also great to hang out with.  And I was able to sell a ton of my first book collection of "Clumsy Love" which I hope will translate into more continued readers!  It was also great to do drawings for donations to the Cartoon Art Museum again with my brother Doug on Saturday night, I love that place!

My set-up at BB-20 in Artist's Alley.

With Sergio Aragones!  He said he would give me a blurb for the back of my next "Clumsy Love" book whenever that one is made...amazing!!

With my friend the great John Watkins-Chow!

 "Shaka Spiderman" commission

 Daredevil blank cover commission

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Complete Clumsy Love Volume 01: On Sale Now!

I am so excited that the first "Clumsy Love" book collection is finished, order yours today and tell your friends! Please? :)  The Complete Clumsy Love by Mike Gray Volume 01: 2009 to 2011 (144 pages 8.5 x 11, B&W with full col...or cover) with 450 strips and including 15 pages of early artwork (including unused gags, early character designs, etc) detailing the origin of the strip and revealing some of my working process.  Here are a few interior pages from the proof:

I am so glad to have it done for San Diego Comic Con next week!  I will be at BB-20 in Artist's Alley from July 11th to 15th, hope to see you there:

Fantastic Four Cover Recreation

More cover recreation art in my style for the San Diego Comic Con!  I am doing these on 8.5" x 14" comic book boards using ink pens (a Black Pigma Graphic 1, a Black Prismacolor Premier 08, a Kuretake Brush Pen, and Prismacolor Felt Pens for color).  I will be at BB-20 in Artist's Alley next week July 11 to 15, hope to see you there!:

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Avengers 01 Cover Recreation

 I started to do some more cover recreations to sell at the San Diego Comic Con at my Artist's Alley table #BB20 (July 11th to 15th 2012),  hopefully they will sell :)  I did this on 8.5" x 14" comic book blue line bristol paper with a prismacolor 08 premier pen, a micron Graphic pen size 1, a brush pen, and prismacolor color markers.  Hope to see you at the con!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Show at the de Young

Just saw the Jean Paul Gaultier show at the de Young museum in San Francisco and it was fantastic! My wife and I have seen the previous two fashion exhibits of Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga , and this one was definitely the most entertaining. You can tell that Gaultier has a lot of fun doing what he loves and it comes across in his work. The coolest part of the show is that he has projected faces onto the mannequins like the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, so they talk and sing to you during the exhibit! There are amazing works of art in these fashion pieces, including a leopard print that is actually made up entirely of beadwork @ over 1000 hours of work to create. It is a must see, even if you don't follow fashion you will come out inspired and with an increased respect for the work of Haute Couture...I highly recommend it!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Avengers 04 Cover Recreation Commission!

I was honored to be asked to do an "Avengers" commission for Paul and Terri Dunlap's son Noah for his 8th birthday (they are great people who have been extremely supportive of my strip Clumsy Love since the very beginning)! I was asked to do Captain America, Thor, The Hulk and Iron Man in my style and decided to do a cover recreation of Avengers #4 (but changing Giant Man into the Hulk)...and it was a blast! I am thinking I will do some different covers to sell at the San Diego Comic Con at my Artist's Alley table (July 11th to 15th), they are so much fun to do and I am really happy with the result (I hope that Noah is too) :)  I did this on 8.5" x 14" comic book blue line bristol paper with a prismacolor 08 premier pen, a micron Graphic pen size 1, a brush pen, and prismacolor color markers.

Friday, June 01, 2012

The Cartoon Crier

I am really proud to be a part of the "Cartoon Crier" newspaper highlighting the work of National Cartoonists Society Members like myself and The Center for Cartoon Studies community in a 36 page newspaper tabloid focusing on cartoons about sorrow and woe!  I'm on the same page as "Wizard of ID!"  There was also an article on Juxtapoz online recently as well!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Bug Eyes" and a Renewed Commitment to Blog!

Last week I managed to accidentally spray bug spray into both of my eyes (the sprayer malfunctioned and sprayed up and back)...and of course I wasn't wearing goggles. After a trip to the ER and a visit to an eye specialist, I am finally on the mend. It was a terrifying experience not knowing if I managed to blind myself in such a stupid way and would no longer be able to see my daughter let alone work as an artist (as it turns out, according to my eye specialist, only Draino can and will blind you and there is nothing you can do about it, so wear goggles with that for sure...the pain with bug spray was pretty terrible, so I myself will be wearing no less than a suit of armor when dealing with household chemicals from now on. Anyway, not being able to do my comic strip or any drawing made me realize how important it is too me and how I have been neglecting my art in general, and definitely not giving any time to this blog. I am making a commitment starting today to blog here three times a week if not more to (1) motivate myself to create more new work to have something to talk about, (2) promote the work I have been doing that I often never promote because I allow myself to be "too tired," and (3) to talk and share the things that make me excited to be an artist. PS: I will have a 1/2 table in Artist's Aley at the San Diego Comic-Con this year on July 11-15th, something I have not promoted yet, I hope to see you there! --Mike Gray

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Saturday March 24th come to my "How to Successfully Pitch an Animated Cartoon" Master Class at Charles Schulz Museum!

Due to popular demand (hurray!) the Schulz Museum has made my "How to Successfully Pitch an Animated Cartoon" Master Class this weekend larger (now up to 20 students instead of 12), so now there are around 8 seats new seats available, please let anyone know who might be interested, all money goes to the museum! Here is the info from their site: SATURDAY, MARCH 24 ● 10am–12noon Join Mike Gray (Nicktoon's Thom Cat) for a detailed walk through the step-by-step process of creating, pitching, selling, and
producing an animated short. Focus on developing a character from comic book to storyboard pitch to successfully produced animated short.$35 for members; $40 for non-members. Advance reservations required: (707) 284-1263.

I will also be a Guest Cartoonist that same day from 1pm to 3pm showing cartoons, comics, and doing sketches for Museum guests! I hope to see you there at either the class, the Guest Appearance, or both!