Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dragon drawing comics

I think this was another drawing I did just for fun in the early 1980's -- I don't recall it being printed anywhere.

I like some of the details I put into this one, such as the skull tool holder. -- PL

Monday, September 29, 2008

Triceraton with crow quill pen

I'm not sure why I drew this Triceraton in 1984 holding a crow quill pen, but it was probably for fun. I was trying out my airbrush around this time, too -- I used it for some of the shading on this piece.

Incidentally, I used to do a lot of my inking with crow quill pens. I had one favorite nib that I think I used for about five years, before the tip finally got bent and thus useless (a typical fate for these pen tips). -- PL

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dragon and Fairy

Here's another one of those dragon drawings I used to like to do, probably from the early 1980's. I don't think this was drawn for publication -- it was just something I did for fun. This is the original inked version...

... and this is a variant where I used a sheet of Chartpak tone film to give it a slightly different look.

In case you were wondering, all of the highlights and white lines in the toned areas were created by actually scraping some of the black dots off of the film with an X-Acto knife. -- PL

Demon Sketchbook part 7

This will be the last posting of "Demon" sketches (unless I start finding more artists whose work I like and who are willing to draw Etrigan for me). This final group starts off with one of the more unusual ones -- a drawing by Jaime Hernandez of "Love and Rockets" fame, depicting one of his characters (I think that's Maggie) as the Demon. (Oddly, I remember being a little disappointed in this one when I first saw it... but now I love it.)

And that one is followed by yet another Kevin Eastman drawing... a dramatic Duo-Shade board rendering.

Here's a very cool version of Etrigan by none other than Rick Veitch...

... a nifty stylized take on the Demon by Jeff Bonivert (who TMNT fans might remember for his "Muscle and Faith" TMNT story)...

... and last, but not least, a sweet one by monster master Eric Talbot.

I'm glad I dug this book out of the archives... it's really fun to look at this artwork. And I'll admit it makes me a bit nostalgic for what were surely simpler days... -- PL

Friday, September 26, 2008

Demon sketch book part 7

Back to the Demon sketch book! Next up is an "old school" Jim Lawson sketch. This is very much in the cool cartoony style he used in the "Bade Biker" comic that Mirage published in the 1980's.

Here's a nice one by "The Maxx" creator Sam Kieth. I think when we met Sam he was inking Matt Wagner's "Grendel".

Here's another one by Jim Lawson -- this Demon is a bit more menacing that his earlier one. Love the pencil shading.

And here's one by an old friend I haven't seen in years -- Dave Garcia, creator of the great "Panda Khan" comic (Dave also worked on some of the early Archie Comics "TMNT Adventures" books). -- PL

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Demon sketchbook part 6

Onward! Here are the next three entries in my "Demon" sketch book.

First up is my ol' pal Mike Dooney, rendering a Kirbyesque Etrigan with typical Dooney aplomb. Check out the folds in that cape!

This next one is by someone named Jim Thompson, and I am embarrassed to admit I don't remember who he is. It's a nice drawing, though.

And finally, here's an absolutely beautiful one by June Brigman. I've admired her work since the days when she first started penciling "Power Pack" for Marvel. We met years ago at a comic book show in White Plains, NY -- a really nice person and a great talent. -- PL

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Back in the late 1970's, I tried my hand at doing single panel gag cartoons. I never sold any, but I had fun doing it, even though it was not really my "thing". This is probably my favorite one, a variation on a classic gag theme. -- PL

Falling robot

Here's another example from 1984 of "adaptive reuse" of drawings. The first image is a black and white drawing I did for fun (I'm pretty sure it was never used for anything), indulging my fondness for robots and machinery (and a little bit of perspective).

And here is a tweaked version I did some time later, again using that salt technique to achieve some of the effects on that color background. -- PL

Demon sketchbook part 5

Here are the next three pieces from my "Demon" sketchbook.

First up is one from Brad Foster, famed minicomic publisher. I believe Kevin Eastman's first published comics work was in one of Brad's minis, and I also did a couple of things for him, including one short story called "Slaydream" and one page in a "jam" book (which, I'm pretty sure, featured the first published comic book appearance of a Triceraton... who actually called himself "Triceraton"!).

This next one was drawn by Joshua Quagmire, well known as the creator/writer/artist of "Cutey Bunny". I used to run into Josh whenever I went to the San Diego Comicon, but I haven't seen him in years. I think the character holding the pitchfork here is from "Cutey Bunny".

Hey... here's another one from that Eastman guy! Nice. -- PL

Monday, September 22, 2008

Demon sketchbook part 4

Moving on, here are the next two entries in my "Demon" sketch book, and they couldn't be more different.

First up is one by Don Simpson, best known as the creator/artist/writer of "Megaton Man" (one of my favorite comic books when it first came out), and his Demon is drawn in that crazy, over-the-top style he used for Megaton Man.

And here's a great one I had forgotten was in the book -- Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo confronting the Demon. -- PL

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Self Portrait

I can't exactly remember why I did this self-portrait in the late 1970's -- it may have been part of some idea I had for some self-promotional material I was putting together at the time. I do recall that I was into the whole "Art Nouveau" design thing at that time -- I particularly liked Alphonse Mucha and the treatment of type in his work. The image of myself that I worked from for this illustration was one of four taken in one of those "photo booths" you still see in malls or amusement parks. Ah, those days before digital cameras...! -- PL

Demon sketchbook part 3

Here are the next two entries in my Demon-themed sketch book. The first is by Bob Wiacek, well-known as an inker for DC and Marvel.

And this next one is by William Messner-Loebs, creator/artist/writer of the fascinating "Journey" comic book series, and writer of many other comics. -- PL

"Ben the Grim"

I did this cover mock-up back in 1982. I guess I thought a comic book featuring Ben Grimm, a.k.a. the Thing from the "Fantastic Four", as a "Conan"-style barbarian would be a cool idea. This is actually one of my favorite drawings -- I think it worked pretty well. -- PL

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flute player with frog

Sometimes, when I look back at some of my drawings from long ago, I wonder what I was thinking when I drew them. Case in point -- this illustration from 1976 of a Pan-like flute player serenading a cartoon frog.

I do remember that the inspiration for the guy with the flute was a photograph of a musician that I saw in some magazine. But the frog...? I have no idea. -- PL

Demon sketchbook part 2

Here are the next entries in my "Demon" sketchbook. First up is a nice one by Bob McLeod, someone Kevin and I met at our first big "away" show in Atlanta, Georgia, back in 1985.

And this next one is by Fred Hembeck, drawn in his inimitable style (love those swirly knees!) -- PL

"Demon" sketchbook

Regular readers of my blog are probably aware of my great regard for the work of Jack "King" Kirby in general, and my particular fondness for one of the characters he created, Etrigan the Demon. I think I also mentioned that I had started, years ago, one of those "theme" sketchbooks wherein I got different artists to draw their interpretations of Etrigan.

Well, on a trip out to the old studio last night, I found it, and it brought back some memories. There are some pretty nifty images inside, some of which I had forgotten (including one by Stan Sakai which is very cool). I'm thinking maybe I should continue this project, begun back in 1985 and dormant now for probably twenty years or so.

Here's what the book looks like from the outside -- just your generic black hardcover sketchbook.

But opened to the first page and the inside front cover...

That's a very nice color Kevin Eastman drawing on the left... and the signature of "The King" himself on the right. I remember obtaining that signature at the 1985 San Diego Comicon... Jack, attended by his wife Roz (who was kind of "running interference" for him), was surrounded by admirers talking with him and getting things autographed. I patiently waited my turn, and when it came, I presented the sketchbook and started my request... and Roz immediately said something to the effect that Jack wasn't doing sketches. I hastened to tell her that I wasn't looking for a sketch, just a signature, and Jack graciously obliged.

I'll be showing these in the order in which they appear in the book. You'll notice that some of the pieces (like Kevin's here) are not drawn right in the book, but on a separate sheet of paper and glued in. This was a matter of practicality -- sometimes, the artists I met at comic shows didn't have time at the show to draw in the book itself, but were able to finish the art and mail it to me later. -- PL

Friday, September 19, 2008

C-3PO meets Magnus, Robot Fighter

This is another piece of pre-Turtles art by me and Kevin Eastman, done back in 1983 when we were having fun goofing on some of our favorite characters from comics and movies. This was my version of what might happen if C-3PO from the "Star Wars" movies ever ran afoul of the steel-smashing hands of "Magnus, Robot Fighter" from the old Gold Key comics. I penciled this one (on coquille board), and Kevin inked it and added the tones.

The "Magnus" comics, as drawn by the incredible Russ Manning, were a big influence on me -- I especially loved the way he drew the robots. You can see this influence in the design of the Fugitoid. -- PL

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Triceratops and pterodactyl by Ryan Brown

I found a couple more of those Sculpey gifts -- and this one is a doozy! It's by Ryan Brown, and I think it's one of the best I've ever seen. I love the movement in the Triceratops figure and the clever way Ryan incorporated the "flying" pterodactyl. -- PL

"Writing robot" notepaper design

As you might know, I like drawing robots, and this is one of my favorites. It's from the late 1970's or early 1980's, and it's a design I created for myself to use as notepaper. (I used to make custom pads of personal notepaper as gifts for family and friends. It was a relatively inexpensive way to make unique presents -- important when you're a starving artist.) -- PL

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Laird colors on "Early Triceraton"

A while back I posted an image of an early "proto-Triceraton" that I had drawn and Kevin had colored. This new image is of that same drawing, but with my colors, including an abstract background incorporating a fun new technique that someone (can't remember who) had told us about -- sprinkling salt on the art while it was still wet. Although the art still has the 1983 date, this version was probably done a year or two later. -- PL

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Barbaric Fantasy" cover

Back in college, I did my first self-published black and white comic book titled "Barbaric Fantasy". I was heavily into the "Conan" comics being published by Marvel at the time, and this was an unabashed "homage" to them. I had it printed and side-stapled (500 copies, if memory serves) at the campus print shop for not much money, and tried to sell them at a table set up in the Campus Center. I think I may have sold fifty in all over several days.

This is the cover to that book. It's one of my favorite drawings from that period of my life. -- PL

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dragon and mermaid Valentine

This was a drawing I did as a Valentine's Day card for my wife in the early 1980's. -- PL

Colossus fights the Thing

I think I did this one back around 1982 or 1983, in which two of Marvel's heavy hitters -- Colossus from "X-Men" and the Thing from "Fantastic Four" -- go one on one. This was one of several penciled pages I did on spec with which I hoped to get a job at Marvel or DC. As it turned out, my career went in another direction. (Please excuse the low quality of the image -- it's a digital photo, not very well lit.) -- PL

Colossus and the Thing are ® and ©2008 Marvel Comics.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lovecraftian village

I think I first read some of H.P. Lovecraft's fiction in high school, and I was immediately captivated by the concepts he came up with in his "Cthulhu Mythos". From time to time, I have tried my hand at trying to illustrate some of those concepts, or at least create illustrations inspired by them. This is a fairly early one, from 1977, depicting a scene set in one of those weird, unpleasant small New England towns Lovecraft liked to describe. -- PL

Blast from the Past #10 repost: Jack Kirby birthday turtle

I did this drawing as the basis of a birthday card for my hero Jack Kirby, incorporating images of some of the characters Jack created into the frosting on the cake. From left to right, they are the Thing (although I guess technically Kirby co-created this one with Stan Lee -- but the Thing always seemed like quintessential Kirby to me), Destroyer Duck, Etrigan the Demon, and Darkseid. I'm pretty sure I did a color version of this card and sent it to Jack. I think I drew this in the late 1980's. -- PL

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Piaggio MP3 500

Last month, I posted about the motorcycle trip I took with Jim Lawson and Steve Lavigne down to Sharon, CT and back, including a stop at Canton Cycles in Winsted, CT. What I didn't mention was that while we were there, I put an order in for a new motorcycle -- the Piaggio MP3 500. This is my third three-wheeled motorcycle (I don't count my Gold Wing sidecar rig). It is very similar to the MP3 250, one of which I bought last year, except that instead of a 250cc motor, this new one has a motor displacing 500cc.

What is really cool about these MP3's is that the two front wheels are articulated in such a way that they are able to lean together, resulting in a ride which is virtually indistinguishable from that of a two-wheeled motorcycle (except that, having one extra wheel, the MP3 has better braking and road-holding ability).

Yesterday, having gotten all the paperwork taken care of (thanks, Katie!), I decided to pick up the new MP3 at the dealer. My Victory Vision -- which I had also purchased there -- was due (actually, OVER due) for service, so I combined the trip to bring it in for service with picking up the new MP3. The roughly eighty mile ride down, though overcast and cool, was fine. Unfortunately, by the time I got on the new MP3, it had started raining fairly heavily. I did have the foresight to bring a rain suit with me, and the MP3's fairing provided decent lower body protection, but still... eighty miles in the rain in NOT fun. But I did make it back home safe and sound, albeit somewhat wet and cold.

Today the weather was much nicer, and I took another ride on the new MP3. It's a very cool bike, and the power increase is noticeable, especially on hills and fast roads. I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't have all the on-board storage capacity that the 250cc version has, but there is still enough under the seat to hold my MacBook Air, a full rain suit, a sketchbook, and a few other small items.

Here's a photo I took of the new bike next to a nice swamp on Route 116, one of my favorite roads. -- PL

Scat #1 cover pasteup

Ah, the days of waxers, border tape, glue sticks, and white out... really makes you appreciate modern computer graphics and page layout software. Following up on my September 7 posting, this is another relic of the old "Scat" comics magazine.

What you see here is the actual pasteup that was used to produce the cover for the first issue. I actually drew the cover image and the logo on the same piece of paper, then pasted up all of the other elements. -- PL

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Enchanted Pilgrimage" illustration

Clifford Simak is one of my all-time favorite writers, and in the early 1980's I played around with trying to illustrate some scenes from a few of his books. This one is from "Enchanted Pilgrimage". -- PL

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I ran into Eric Talbot at Mirage yesterday, and while chatting with him he reminded me of this drawing which I had kind of forgotten about. He promised to send it to me so I could blog about it, and here it is. Thanks, Eric!

I had drawn this at a comic convention back in 1987, and Eric liked it a lot, so I gave it to him. Sometime thereafter, he added the colors and tones to it, which I think improved it substantially. -- PL

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dragon on stage

This is another drawing from the early days -- actually from the birth year of the Turtles, 1983. I can't remember if this is something I did just for fun or if it was something I actually got paid for. (Even if I didn't get paid for it, it was fun -- I liked drawing dragons.) In any event, it's another example of using photocopiers to give oneself more options. In this case, I had drawn the piece on coquille board, a kind of illustration board with a rough, pebbly surface. When you draw tones on it with a black crayon, the rough surface breaks up the crayon strokes into individual dots, which can then be reproduced easily without screening. I made a photocopy before I started in with the crayon in case I messed it up or wanted to do a color version later. Here's the inked drawing...

... and here's the final version with the coquille board tones. -- PL