Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paper Clowning

Finally, here is the last piece I did for Christmas presents this year, but I think definitely not the last paper sculpture I'm going to do! I am really beginning to enjoy this medium in a way I never did before and have definite ideas about more things I want to do!

In the meantime, the Joker up here was done for my youngest nephew, Brandon! He LOVES the Joker and was also wanting to see zombies and monsters in my sketchbook! I think my baby sister is going to have her work cut out with this kiddo!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dat'sa Gooda Paper!

Today's paper sculpture is the piece I did for my nephew, Justin! He's a big fan of all things Mario Bros. I had to research this because the last time I played Mario was on the first version of Nintendo...and he was just a blocky little chunk of pixels! Since then he's come a long way--and there are many versions of him floating in the ether.

I considered giving him the raccoon tail and ears, but it was pointed out to me that was from before Yoshi's time and Justin really likes Yoshi and so I wanted him to be in there too.

My one addition was to give him the shoe laces (because they always look cool in paper sculpture, and the little torn area on the knee. Just gives him more he's not too clean. This piece was also built for an 8x10 frame, so it's all pretty tight. But it came out pretty well, and Justin didn't find fault with my interpretation of his hero!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Paper Cuts!

Today's paper art piece is a sculpture done for my nephew, Jacob, for Christmas. He is nearly 13 and has become a big fan of classic Star Trek during the past year--which naturally finds favor with his geeky old Uncle who's been a Trekkie for nearly as long as there's been Star Trek! Mind you, I came in on Trek as reruns in the mid 70s, so I can't claim to be on original Trekkie, but I was pretty close.

This piece was built to fit the frame I got which was basically 8x10. So it's fairly small. The REALLY hard part was building the Shuttlecraft "Galileo 7"! When I sketched out the design, it was big...but when I was ready to put it together, I realized how tiny it would have to be. Yikes. My big, old, chubby fingers really had their work cut out for to speak!

It's not as close a likeness as I would have liked. I was going for a more stylized, cartoon look, but I would probably change a few things if I were doing it again. Over all, however, it came out pretty nice.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

More Paperwork!

This dragon paper sculpture was done for my mom and step-dad for Christmas. We all share a love of the Anne McCaffrey "Dragonriders of Pern" books, and I had given them a paper sculpture dragon mask I had made for Halloween many years ago and I just really felt like that thing needed to be updated! It's old and bad!!

The "Wick's Weyr" title which I cut out of the scroll is in reference to a combination of their last name, (Wickwire) and the Dragonrider books, where the dragons live in 'weyrs'. They had given this name to a boat they had owned a long time ago which was ultimately destroyed in a marina fire. I figured the name could also refer to the house, because, as the McCaffrey books often explain, "A weyr is where your dragon is!"

I wasn't sure what to make for Michelle, my baby sister & her husband Ervin, but when mother was telling Michelle about the panda invitation sculpture I did for CLAW, I learned that Ervin was a big fan of the Kung Fu Panda movies. This seemed like a good idea for a sculpture, but I wanted it to be I decided to do ornaments. I made the Tigress for Michelle(although I'm sure she would probably have preferred a sculpture of a certain sparkley vampire who shall remain nameless. But I wanted to keep a theme going.)

As an added cute element, I didn't gift wrap them, but instead put them in those folded, paper Chinese food boxes with a bow on top! Turned out very cute. I think they both enjoyed the final pieces, and hopefully they will look good on their tree in years to come.

More paper sculptures are coming to the blog--I've actually done quite a lot of that lately! Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Holiday Card!

Here is the artwork for my + Bel's + Edmund's Holiday card for 2011. Last year I did a Harry Potter one and what could possibly compete with that other than another enduring franchise. I also considered Doctor Who (and we may still see that in years to come) and a number of other things. I even considered doing a series of "reject sketches" which would show us in increasingly ridiculous themes; for example, the DC Universe, with Edmund as Superman, Bel as Wonder Woman and me as Batman!
I used lots of Tribbles in the design because what could be more festive, or MORE representative of classic Trek than those cute, little, Kilngon-hating furballs?

The nice thing about having a blog to display this kind of stuff is that I can also show this: the final original drawing for the design before I overworked it in Photoshop. I was fairly pleased with the way the actual ink work came out. The intent was to get a bit of a Mort Drucker feel to the line quality, because his Mad Magazine parodies of the old ST series were as beautiful as they were hilarious! (I didn't go quite as caricature-ish, of course.)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Paper Chase!

Been building lots of paper art lately for various reasons. Can't show most of them right now, but I made these two little quickies last night as decorations for a couple of inexpensive presents for a Christmas party gift exchange Bel and I are attending tonight. They took about 2 hours altogether...but that's while I was doing other stuff too. Actual construction time was closer to half an hour to 45 minutes apiece.

This is just a scan of them. Edmund snapped a couple of photos, but I don't have those handy yet.

Anyway, just a little holiday silliness to show. ^0^

Saturday, November 26, 2011

CLAW Great Yearly Ceremony Invite!

Each year, The CLAW (Cartoonist's League of Absurd Washingtonians), which is the super-semi-secret-society I belong to here in Tacoma, holds their "Great Yearly Ceremony", where new Four-Eye Council Members, inducted and presentations are made, rituals are performed...and, of course, cake is eaten! One of these presentations is the awarding of "Friend of CLAW" Honorary Fezzes to persons who have contributed significantly to the aid or interests of The CLAW during the previous year.

One such recipient is Mr. Jamison E. Pantley, who has been a supporter of The CLAW in the past, but truly surpassed the past in 2011 when he contributed a large sum toward a fundraising event (and ultimately toward the CLAW Scholarship Fund) at Comic Book Ink a few months ago. His generous donation to the cause made it possible to reach our goal, and because of that he was voted to receive one of the prized Leopard Fezzes!

I volunteered...OK, insisted on creating his invitation (traditionally created by a member of the 4-Eye Council anyway) so that I could try and do something special for him! This is what I came up with: "Indianda Panda"!

Above is a photo of me holding the final piece taken by Edmund Stockham, friend and professional photographer. All the photos are taken by Mr. Stockham and are displayed with my appreciation.

Here I am, posing with the recipient of my paper sculpture invitation to the CLAW's Great Yearly Ceremony, to receive his official "Friend of CLAW" Honorary Fez, Jamison E. Pantley! I hope he was as pleased with the artwork as he seemed to be with the signal honor of being made a "Friend of CLAW"! He certainly seemed to like it, and I'm glad!

Fellow (and founding) CLAW member, Mark Monlux joined me at Comic Book Ink to make a nice little ceremony out of the presentation of the Invitation! In these images Mr. Monlux, Jamison and I mug for posterity.

This is how the final image turned out. I'm holding it slightly sideways to give a feel for the dimensionality of it. All in all, I was pleased with the results!

This was the original sketch I did that the final art was based on. I really didn't do any other prep work, I just started building it based entirely on this, which I think keeps it fairly loose and spontaneous.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I am in OUT100!

It's finally poated on the OUT website, and the magazine hits the stands today! Zan Christensen and I made the OUT100 list for 2011! It's really exciting and a great honor!!

Here's the link for the slideshow:

Here is Zan and me at the photoshoot in LA, still decked out in our Laurel & Hardy gear, holding the book that is the reason we were there. BTW, that jacket I'm wearing is worth $1500! (I didn't get to keep it.)

The following is the official press release from Northwest Press:

November 17, 2011—OUT Magazine revealed today that Charles "Zan" Christensen and Mark Brill—creators of the anti-bullying comic THE POWER WITHIN—have been recognized as two of 2011's "OUT 100", described by the magazine as an "annual salute to the year's most inspiring people". Other notable honorees this year include Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sandra Bernhard, Justin Bond, Dustin Lance Black, David Mixner, Harmony Santana, Chaz Bono, and Tim Gunn.

Christensen and Brill started work on THE POWER WITHIN in October of last year for 24-Hour Comics Day, an event where artists and writers attempt to create a complete 24-page comic book in 24 hours. Their story focused on a boy named Shannon who deals with bullying at school by escaping into a super-powered alter-ego but ultimately has to find the strength to face the harassment in real life.

The decision to do a comic that tackles antigay bullying was prompted by the previous month's numerous reports of teen suicides linked to bullying and harassment. Those reports spurred Ellen Degeneres to speak out to raise awareness and Dan Savage to start the It Gets Better Project.

"We didn't go into this project knowing where it would go," said Christensen, who scripted the book and coordinated the project. "We just felt compelled to tell a story that confronted the epidemic we saw unfolding before us and offered some hope. We're humbled to be recognized for our efforts, and hope that others will continue use their skills and their resources to change kids' lives for the better."

THE POWER WITHIN was completed in Spring of 2011 and released as a limited edition black-and-white comic at Seattle's Emerald City Comic-Con, but Christensen and Brill decided to raise funds for a much larger color print run of the book and make it available for free to schools and other youth resources. Brill continued to work on the book, adding full color and additional art, while Christensen recruited special guests to contribute bonus pages to the project.

The finished book contains pages by a collection of comics industry heavyweights, including Gail Simone (Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey), Phil Jimenez (New X-Men, Wonder Woman), Greg Rucka (Detective Comics, Gotham Central), Matthew Clark (Outsiders, Wonder Woman), Stephen Sadowski (JSA, Warlord of Mars), Dan Parent (Archie, Kevin Keller), Donna Barr (The Desert Peach), Andy Mangels (Gay Comics, Iron Man: Beneath the Armor) and Carla Speed McNeil (FINDER).

The book was published by Northwest Press and made its debut at Comic-Con in San Diego in late July, hitting store shelves later that summer. It was well-received by readers and critics alike.

"It's been really amazing—this project seems like one of those things that was just meant to be," said Brill. "I think Zan and I were both really inspired and motivated to do something positive with this story and people have really responded to it."

"THE POWER WITHIN goes well beyond what’s expected of a project done with the best intentions," said Fran├žois Peneaud of The Gay Comics List. "It’s a moving depiction of what’s unfortunately the real life of some teenagers in our society, and the creators involved can only hope it will contribute, in its own ways, to the improvement of that situation.”

"Gay comic creators Mark Brill and Charles ‘Zan’ Christensen have created what may be the best comic book of the year," said Andrew Belonsky of

To date, Northwest Press has distributed over 700 free copies of the book to over 50 Gay-Straight alliances, schools, churches, community centers and other youth organizations across the United States and beyond. Northwest Press encourages organizations to request copies of the book to use as teaching and outreach tools. In addition to the main story and bonus pages, the book contains a page of discussion questions and resources for LGBT teens.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Portland Comic Book Show!

So here I am at a table I was sharing with Nick Butler (fellow CLAW member, and the driver of our expedition south to the great state of Oregon--and also the credit for this pic goes to him), sketching and surrounded by various merchandise I was trying to unload. ^0^ "The Power Within" comic, of course. The "Mark of Aeacus" comics, also done with Zan Christensen, writer extraordinaire. I also had found my old box of "Platypus Rex, Blood Junction" comics which I did about 12 years ago with Quenton Shaw! I was selling them for half price, and must have unloaded a good 3 or 4 of them! LOL

All in all it was a bit slow. I pretty much broke even, and that was only because I sold a couple of sketches--one of which is shown below, along with myself and the Magic: The Gathering enthusiast who commissioned it.

I also did this Darkwing Duck sketch--from memory, btw. LOL Not that he's as complicated to remember as Darth Vader was... In any case, I think it turned out much better than the first DW Duck sketch I did that started off this blog, AND didn't take any longer to do. Might have taken LESS time, in fact.

Anyway, it was a good show. Had a lot of fun and good talks with Nick on the road about comics and our ambitions! Also got to hang out with a friend who I haven't gotten to see for several years, and that was great too!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Le Fantome

Several years ago when I worked at Sun Sportswear (where we had a Looney Tunes license) I did a comp for a Halloween shirt that featured Pepe le Pew as the Phantom of the Opera, holding a rose towards the poor cat he's been chasing for 40 years. They didn't use it, but I've always liked the idea of Pepe as the Phantom, so to celebrate Halloween I did a new sketch of Pepe in costume and looking ready to go on in place of Michael Crawford! (I used the play version of the Phantom costume. I like the play.)

Happy Harpy and Freaky Halloween!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tremble before the power of...

Something silly I did at ZomBcon over the weekend. I was there with fellow CLAW member Mark Monlux as sort of his booth-lackey, and I inked this quick sketch. I added the green tint and the glowing red eyes later in Photoshop, of course.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Now YOU can build your very OWN "Halloweenie Alien Belly-Buster"paper sculpture!! Just print this sheet, cut it out, insert flaps into matching slots and VOILA! Your very own HALLOWEENIE! Attach it to your shirt to amaze and terrify your friends!

Brought to you by BRILLCO!



Yes, it IS an Alien Weenie.

At last night's C.L.A.W. Open Swim meeting we had another of our fun art competitions, the theme of which was: Halloweenies! I decided to take the opportunity to try doing a paper sculpture, because I wanted to see if I could do one in a short time period, under pressure. Also, the idea I had seemed like it would lend itself well to the medium and I hoped to make a big splash by doing something unusual that no one else in the CLAW outfit does. (OK, it was a shameless bid to win through shear novelty!)

The success of the venture turned out to be relative. I DID actually win, edging out fellow CLAW-member James Stowe (who's Classic Monster's Penises watercolor set was shear genius) by a single vote, but overall I was mostly unhappy with the final piece...of art. For one thing, I ended up having to buy a pack of really cheap and extraordinarily crappy construction paper from Walgreens because I couldn't find my pad of good art paper when I got home from work. Also, there really wasn't enough time to do it properly. I had to cut several corners and compromise on details in order to finish in time.

But the idea of an Alien "Belly-busting" Halloweenie seemed to go over pretty well. Also, as you can see from the pic, it was meant to function as a costume element! I thought that gave it added value.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Madman From Planet Zatar!

So, Saturday, Oct. 1st was 24 Hour Comic Day! I went into it with the absolute determination that I was going to finish this year! But, I didn't. However, I did beat my total from last year AND I still intend to finish it and get it published.

This particular story has a very sentimental meaning to me. The title may seem a bit cheesy, but that's mostly because my friend Todd and I came up with it when we were 12! The story is based on a 4 minute, spontaneously invented, action-adventure Super 8 movie we made at a Special Effects workshop at Arizona State University!

It's the 35 anniversary of the year we made our miniature epic and I wanted to celebrate it by doing the long dreamed of (at least by me) remake of our movie--which as far as I know, no longer exists ANYWHERE but in my head. Todd and I had discussed remaking it once, back in 1979 when I was in Arizona spending the summer with my mom, but it was never to be.

We lost touch shortly after I went back to Texas and I eventually learned, unfortunately years after the fact, that my friend Todd had died of a rare illness. So I wanted to remake "Madman", not just for me, but for him too!

I used a youthful, cartoony style for my graphic novelization for two reasons: one, because I figured it's be faster. And two, I wanted to pay homage to the two 12 year olds who starred in the original film. ^0^

Several things that will be in the comic reflect aspects of the original film--one was the use of a fish-eye lens for a "feverish" POV shot, to show how insane the 'madman' himself had become. (This was based on the paradigm established by the original Star Trek series.)

Another feature of our play-acting was elaborate stunt fighting. We fancied ourselves as amateur stunt-men and were constantly flipping each other around the playground during 6th grade recesses. We got pretty good at it--although it may account for some of my back problems now.

So this is a portion of my graphic novelization of "The Madman From Planet Zatar"!

Dedicated to my friend, Todd Johnson 1965-2005.

I've posted the first few pages, but the remainder will ultimately be used as part of The CLAW's anthology comic book.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monkeys NO MORE!

The 100th Monkey event was cancelled and I guess all the time and effort CLAW members (and a few non-CLAW members) put into to doing Halloween monkey "tiles" may have been wasted... But there's a plan in the works to salvage the work! IN THE are a few more of the tiles. These are 'costume' orientated ones.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

MONKEYS of Doom!!!!

CLAW has been asked to participate in a "100 Monkeys" event. It's a Tacoma Arts event, set up to celebrate and promote local arts and such. CLAW participated in one last year and it was fun. The idea is that a local artist or group of artists put together 100 monkey-orientated "tiles" (which can be any art surface or medium, really) and they sell them at the event for a few dollars and the sales go toward the next event. There's drinking and dancing with live music from local bands and it's a pretty cool event. CLAW will be present at the October one that these tiles are for to do sketches and accept donations toward our Student Scholarship Fund.

The theme of the tiles we are creating is: Monsters and Costumes...and Monkeys!
Anyway, here are three of the tiles I've done...and I'll post more later!

Monday, September 5, 2011

More pics from the DC Reboot Chalking Event!

Here are some images my friend Marvin took of me "in action"! LOL So I apologize for the overly narcisistic content of it.

Here's a pic I took of Marvin taking a momentary rest from the labors of his very first chalking event! Thanks for coming with me and taking pics and everything Marvin! (And thanks for lunch afterward too!) ^0^

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chalk + Comics is made of WIN!

So yesterday we had the big "DC Reboot Chalk Competition" at Comic Book Ink! It was pretty fun...and very exhausting! I was so drained that by the time I was drawing the lettering my legs and arms were shaking really bad! *Whew!* But I mostly did what I wanted to do. I was drawing Swamp-Thing! Bernie Wrightson's (one of my artistic heroes) creepy creation from the seventies. He's one of the characters getting a new number one issue during the big reboot, and I think one of the cooler guys in the DCU. He's also a more obscure character than Superman or Bats...or even Green Lantern or the Flash, so I was trying to be a little indy.

So I managed to get a couple of progress snaps before the camera battery gave up the ghost. I took about 3 and a half of the 4 hour time alotment...and I was fairly satisfied with the results. I could have kept going, adding more elements to it, like flowers and leaves and stuff, but I was pretty wiped out by the end, so I needed to stop! I have GOT to get in better shape! Guess I should chalk more. It's a work out--I'll tell you that!

This was my second attempt at chalking, so I don't think I can complain too much, because, though I can see many things I wish I had done differently, it still came out pretty good and overall, I'm happy with it!

And I also did a little advertising for my comic! LOL Monlux, our CLAW "Master of the Super-sale" taught me that little trick!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Captain of Sad...

Not everybody's getting the LOVE from DC's new reboot. *sigh* Just a quick sketch to show my support for the ones who struggle on with their old titles.

Peace out!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gettin' Ready for The NEW DCU!

Here are sketches from the past few days, which I hadn't gotten around to scanning and posting until now. I'm still thinking about what I want to do Saturday at the Comic Book Ink DCU/Chalking extravaganza! But here's a contender, aside for the "Boys of Young Justice" that I've been drawing--Swamp Thing! He was green before it was popular, and now he's back, with his own Number One issue in the new DC line-up.

He was also co-created by one of my heroes--Bernie Wrightson, the Master of the Macabre! (He's a really nice guy too--he hugged me at a con once. Yes, I was hugged by the Master of the Macabre!)

So this one's for you, Bernie!

Monday, August 22, 2011


I'm gearing up my head for the Comic Book Ink chalking event that's going to happen on September 3rd which will be celebrating the debut of the DC Reboot! Consequently, my blog entries for the next couple of weeks will be DC Universe orientated.

So we're kicking things off with Superboy. I love the black tee and cropped hair and jeans and attitude! He's a little PO'd because Supes doesn't acknowledge him, he was basically created to be used as a weapon and still he gets no respect. But at least he's a stud.