Sunday, April 1, 2012


Summer 2007
My first summer as a New Yorker
On this day 5 years ago I moved to NYC to live with the man I love, carrying out one of the single best and scariest decisions of my life. It was scary because the risk was so high. If it all went well- I'd be living a dream come true. I'd be where I belong. But if it failed, I'd be chewed up and spit out and would have marked the second time in my life I had to crawl back to the primordial suburban ooze from whence I came. I had never lived on my own before. To go from the safety of my parent's basement, tucked away in a Maryland suburban cul-de-sac to the biggest, brightest, craziest city in the United States. The mythology of it makes my head spin. The city where songs have been written, movies have taken place, shows have been filmed, universes have been built upon. I have had a love affair with New York City since the first time I visited in high school for some art field trip. We only went to the Met and saw the Rockettes, but God, I wanted to stay. Thank God we didn't go anywhere near the Lower East Side. I'd have run away with the gutter punks. One of the times I went during Kubert School I kept one of the subway tokens I didn't end up using and strung it on a shitty shotbead chain around my neck. Almost like a promise to myself. Or some sort of totem. That was 1999. I rarely took it off. I thought I lost it while attending Dragon*Con 2004 and was so unbelievably upset. It showed up again though and it is one of my most precious pieces of jewelry. I still wear it everyday. Moving to NYC has allowed me to pursue my dreams of being a career artist in ways I would have never dreamed possible. This city has enabled me to make connections and friendships with amazing, creative, DRIVEN people who continue to inspire me. Had you told me 8 years ago that my life would be as it is now I'd have laughed in your face. I had thought the most I could hope for was getting full-time at Hot Topic and a studio apartment behind the local Target with my burnout boyfriend at the time who I had to MAKE get a job at Starbucks. My sole confidante was my supposed best friend, who sabotaged any attempt to better myself at every turn. It's a testament to my gumption that with all the setbacks I suffered at her hand that I still emerged as driven as I am. I was told on a daily basis that I was wasting my talents. Spinning my wheels in the mud. That there was more for me out there. Moving to New York was the new start I needed. One by one I severed connections to those that dragged me down and I am so much better for it. I now have real, true friends that support me along with career success that has been a long time coming in a city I love with the man of my dreams. 

So yeah, there's that. But also! Another big thing that happened just yesterday, being that I got my *first* big article written about my artwork in a major comic book blog, being ComicsAlliance which is one of my favorite comics news blogs. And I'm not even being all ass-kissy, I really do love CA. Like, if you have a free afternoon, read Chris Sim's Remedial Batmanology. It is perhaps the funniest thing I've read in the past 5 years. Also I'm a fan of anything Bethany Fong writes. She and I have very similar world views. But yeah the article is awesome and it coming out was a complete, amazing surprise to me. Shoot, if anything I was figuring I would have to do at least 5 more X-Men redesigns before I popped up on any radars. A ComicsAlliance article about Ross Campbell's Jem & the Holograms redesigns were actually what inspired the project to begin with. I'm also super-glad to see the comments aren't terrible. They're actually all pretty glowing. I know I shouldn't look but I can't help it. It IS really reassuring.

Haha, but yeah sorry I got all sentimental and TL;DR on you. You probably just wanna see some art, huh?
“Energy blasts, huh? Here’s one from a pro!”
I think Cyclops gets a bad rep. I think people think just because you're a leader you gotta be square, which doesn't have to be true. There's plenty of cool leaders of teams (Hannibal of the A-Team for instance). And a guy can play it super straight and severe and still be cool. Cyclops is a very necessary member of the X-Men. Plus he's one of the more iconic members of the X-Men. I've always loved the visor. So with my version of Scott I wanted to really play up the old 'Slim' nickname, and what better way to accentuate how skinny a guy is than by putting him in a tailored Mod suit. I also modeled his looks a lot from old pictures of Michael Caine from stuff like Get Carter and The Italian Job. Just super cool, like you never ever see him sweat. Plus I wanted him and Jean to really LOOK like they're supposed to be together. Like they come as a set.   
I'm also working on a private commission featuring an action shot of my Dazzler redesign. It was too fun not to pass up. Right now I'm just finishing up inks, but you can check out some progress shots I took of the piece so far. I'm having her skate against a team of Hellfire club Goons- much like her first appearance!

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