Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Twas the night before Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve! I'm Italian (in case you missed the "zio" at the end of my name), so Christmas Eve is a big deal in my family-- as much so as Christmas day is. We all get together and eat seafood, and then exchange gifts! This year I made chocolate peppermint cookies for everyone. This is also the first year I made my own cards:

I was stumped for the longest time on what to do, and then one day I watched the Rankin Bass classic "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," and I decided to draw a little tribute to the movie as my card. It's always been one of my favorites, along with "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus." Anyway, here's wishing everyone a happy holiday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I seem to enjoy posting on Thursdays

Hello again. I have returned with some sketches and some news. Sketches first:

I've been sketching Briana quite a bit lately, but there's a good reason: she'll be showing up next chapter and I didn't have as much of a handle on her as I would have liked. Sketching her has remedied that.

And now enjoy the gang's winter looks! These probably won't be seen for another couple of chapters, but since it's actually winter in real life and I was feeling festive, I drew them. Also, Michio is gigantic for some reason.

Now for the news.

First off, I've been working on Bad Grammar: Chapter 2, but I hit a few snags (such as writers' block and getting two new jobs to distract me). I recently sat down and forced myself to choose a direction for the story to go in, so hopefully I'll have some material to show in another couple of weeks. Also in regards to Bad Grammar, I've been thinking of turning it into a webcomic. The more I think about it, the more I think that webcomics may just be the outlet for me.

Now, on a note completely unrelated to Bad Grammar: I've started another new project, sketches for which you will soon be seeing here. It is a line of greeting cards for awkward situations, which will be linoleum cut and handmade, then presented for sale (most likely via a site such as etsy). I'll also be working on a gift for some friends of mine, but don't expect to see that until after the holidays.

Well, that's all for now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Just thought I'd drop down a few sketches. While working on chapter 2 of Bad Grammar, I of course felt it appropriate to change the outfits of the main characters. All except Michio. Of course, this will be commented on by the other characters.

And here are some sketches of Briana.

This here is just a bunch of random sketches/doodles. That poor ghost. :'(

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where the sketches are

So, I decided that it was too troublesome to have my sketches on an entirely different blog, even with the link... So they're officially going up here instead. Hooray! Also, I did a "Where the Wild Things Are" piece, seeing as it's all the rage now.

I did this with watercolor pencils, since I couldn't find my Koi watercolors... I hadn't used watercolor pencils in a couple of years, so that was fun. I also used those Ph Martin's watercolors, gotta love those super saturated colors. And the lines are with india ink, of course. I just wanted to do a fun fall piece-- and who doesn't love jumping in a pile of leaves?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Jess and Lizzie in: "Hey Jess?" and SPX interview

So SPX was a lot of fun, and overall successful in my mind. I'll definitely sign up again for next year! One of the many cool things that happened to me during the weekend: I was interviewed by a feminist podcast/blog, Fully Engaged Feminism! Here's the link:

I apologize in advance for the nervous laughter and constant clapping (can you tell I don't do these kinds of things often?) Also, I didn't recognize my own voice at first. I sound so much more high-pitched in my own ears.

Anyway, here's the second Jess and Lizzie comic, which was in the compilation we talked about (and you can see the booklet in all its hand-made, stapled glory in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture on the blog page).

And there you have it!

So, my checklist is getting pretty full. We have:

1) Continue Jess and Lizzie Series
2) SPX
3) ???
4) World Domination

So far, so good.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jess and Lizzie Preview

That's right! Jess and Lizzie will be starring in a new comic entitled "Hey, Jess?" which will be printed with "Ummm" in a mini-book and sold at SPX. Here's a peek at their new look:

I decided to keep the color scheme for their clothing the same, but to give Jess and Lizzie slightly different hair colors and skin tones, just to differentiate them a bit more.

And here's a quick color study of Jess' room. Again, I decided to repeat the colors from the first comic.

And just a look at what Jess and Lizzie will look like in the room. I mainly did this to help me visualize the color scheme of the individual panels and decide where to place them for their discussion.

The new comic will be between 3 and 5 pages (I'm still working out the details) and will cover another sensitive issue in puberty: breast growth. After this one, I think I'll either move on to body hair or go more in-depth with the menstrual cycle. Eventually, I look forward to having a "your body and you" type of comic book put together. Anyway, that's all for now.

Monday, August 31, 2009

News: Small Press Expo

Well, I have some exciting news for everyone!

I will be an exhibitor at this year's Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. The Expo is September 26th and 27th, and you can buy admission for the weekend or for a single day if you like.

In addition to touting some completely new comics, which you will be able to see the inklings of up here as they reach a finished state, I will also be selling printed books of Bad Grammar: Chapter 1. This in particular is exciting news for me.

So, if you're in the area, please stop on by to see me, and of course all the tons of wonderfully talented people who will also be selling their craft. Or, if you're not, buy a plane ticket now. I know I'll certainly be breaking the bank, with all the comics I'll be buying!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time flies

It truly does! I can't believe summer's almost over already. Well, in any case, I just thought I'd post the final sketch for the yard sale poster, the final of which will be printed at both 8.5x11 and 11x17. It's times like this I really appreciate photoshop. You can see the final product at my main blog if you like.

And to follow I just thought I'd do another "hey look at the different stages of my work" thing. Just to see what a sketch looks like compared to an ink drawing:

As you can see, this is a fairly tight sketch for me. And also, the subject matter is undeniably strange, which tends to happen when I'm left to my own devices. And the final result:

That is one "lucky dog" if I do say so myself. There isn't much of a difference, except for the line weight and such. And, of course, I sometimes change lines around because I can't necessarily see everything in the sketch even with a light box. But it all turns out okay in the end. In any case, I'm glad I got some practice in. Well, that's all for today!

The Yard Sale to end all yard sales

So anyone need some useless junk? Come on down to long island! Anyway, this is what happens when an illustrator and a print media expert get together to make yard sale posters:

As you can probably tell, the theme is "juice." Anyway, I'm hoping to get back in the habit of posting here soon. Sorry for all the floundering about on my part.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Sorry it's been so long... I've been updating with some sketches on Speed of Flight, though. That's the thing about having too many blogs, I guess.

As you can see, I'm having a yard sale (though not at my own abode). If anyone lives in the area, drop on by for some juicy deals! In any case, a friend of mine and I are helming the poster aspect, and these are the two top sketches for it. While I like the idea of a citrus fruit font, having the whole poster written that way will sacrifice too much readability, so I'll be doing some more sketching of course. Just thought I'd post something up here to show I'm not dead!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Back (Unfortunately not with a Shaq Attack)

Sincere apologizes for the month-long hiatus. I will make no excuses for such hair-brained behavior. I will, however, present you with a new blog I am contributing to with a fellow illustrator, Kathryn Veilluex, a.k.a. StudioRyn:

Speed of Flight

It's for world-building in-progress. I proposed the idea of making a comic together to Kathryn, and she agreed. However, we had no idea what our collaboration would be about. Hence, this blog. She suggested we simply start drawing, and develop the world and plot line as we drew characters and environments. Since we currently live about 400 miles apart, the quickest way to show each other ideas and progress is through a blog that you can enjoy as well!

I'll also take this opportunity to plug a blog that some friends of mine have been working on:

Good Technique: Improve Your Swagger

From the About section: "Techniques are elusive and need to be documented. I can only imagine how many concepts, retorts, and situational practices have been lost simply because they were never recorded. This blog was created as a way to preserve this art."

Well, I'm slowly but surely getting my groove back, so I will be "seeing" you shortly with more regular updates.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Commencement Show

That's right, I finally have my BFA (and that minor in creative writing, as well). So here are some pics of my Commencement show:

So here's a view of what it looks like from the end of the hallway, which is where you'd presumably be approaching the show from. As you can see from this model here, my books are very interesting.

And a closer look at the show, still slightly from the side.

And here are some detail shots:

And last, but certainly not least, here are my books:

Well, that's all for now. I'm off to pack up my things for my upcoming move back to New York (the best state in the world). After that, I'll be starting on a long, long list of personal projects while I try to find some type of work. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Just thought I'd update real quick with another "blog exclusive." These here are a couple of fonts I made with Your Fonts out of my handwriting. You might recognize them from my business card and my Jess and Lizzie comic. I'm actually planning to make another one for Bad Grammar once I finish chapter one (the process is very easy, but more time consuming than you would expect-- at least for a slow poke like me). Anyway, stay classy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Well, my website is finally up and running! Thanks to the help of several friends and dreamweaver, of course. This here's the image on my front page. Anyway, the link:

I got the same name under .net, too, just in case. 

Some character designs

Some character designs I've been working on for a comic idea I've been batting around in my head for a while-- it's about people who work in a fast food burger place. These are just a few of the staff members. I like to design characters by starting with the head/face, since that's the main area people focus on to differentiate each other. Then I move downward from there. Sorry for the bright pink, by the way. I decided to buy a hot pink felt-tip pen and quickly became enamored of it. It's almost out of ink, actually.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Target Girls

Another theoretical ad! If you guessed that they're supposed to be for Target, you were correct. These are each acrylic paintings, and my original idea was to create web banners with an "international" theme, though I think these could work for actual real-life banners as well, maybe in store. Or maybe posters with unusual dimensions. I wanted the symbols in the background to be representative of each girl's respective country, but also reflect a target in some way. If nothing else, I think the red/white color theme gets the point across.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


This is an image I whipped up for my digital portfolio, to get printed on the CD. I thought it would be fun to show the process, but it is in all actuality pretty boring. I did a very loose pencil sketch, then inked it with a brush and india ink, then into photoshop she goes. I decided to put Ruby from Bad Grammar on there because... Well, let's not invent the wheel. (Get it? Because the CD image is wheel shaped?)

I think I'm going to try to teach myself how to do that photoshop painting thingermajigger. I did this sketch a while ago and when I stumbled across it again I figured this would be a fun one to practice on. Little known fact: I drew this one the first time I heard "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga. Once I get started with the photoshop painting I'll post up the progress and most likely horrific failure. Hey, no one gets it right on the first try.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stargirl for Art4Hope

So I recently did this watercolor and ink painting for Art4Hope, which is a charity auction and series of exhibitions. All the proceeds go toward the children's wing of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Right now the exhibition is showing at the Johns Hopkins University campus, and on May 3rd it'll move to the MICA campus.

Here's a picture of the "stargirl" in her frame:

The results of the auction will be announced on May 9th, at 7:30pm. I'll keep my fingers crossed that she earns a whole bunch for the chillins.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jess and Lizzie in: "Ummm..."

Here we have Jess and Lizzie, who are here to teach you about the dreaded "Curse." But in a somewhat tasteful fashion-- at least that's what I would like to believe. I've decided that I'm going to need a lot more practice painting comic pages before I try to do it on a deadline again (it took me a long time), but once I get faster at it I'll be doing a lot more acrylic comics. In the meantime, the further adventures of Jess and Lizzie will most likely be in photoshop. And yes, they will have further adventures. Peace out.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Business Card

My business card, front and back! I used Gill Sans Light for my font, and then my own handwriting for my name. I thought a vertical composition would be a little more unique. I'm going to make another business card, also with a vertical composition.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bad Grammar Development Sketches

You may have guessed by now, but my entire life is consumed by this comic. So, here are some concept sketches I did quite a while ago of my main character, Michio, and one supporting character whose design refuses to cooperate. Over time the equal-armed crosses have become more and more important... Eventually I will become so consumed with my own ideas that my walls and clothes will look like that. Oh well.


This is "Thump," a comic about the trials and tribulations of roommates sharing a bunk bed. Everyone who reads this says I don't understand men, but how do they know that these people aren't gay or related or something? They're not, but I never tell anyone that when I show them the comic. Maybe I just believe that somewhere out there, a gentleman exists.

Anyway, enjoy this comic, even though I did it before I got good at hand lettering.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hansel and Gretel

I had this idea for a series of comics about a spider who was in love with a dumb dog... But this is the only comic that ever came of it. It's "Hansel and Gretel" because Gretel was my childhood dog, who just died of old age last October. If you have a dog, hug it right now, and never let go.

Bad Grammar Chapter 1 Cover

Just wanted to post the cover to Chapter One of my comic in progress, Bad Grammar. I'll be posting the pages on a blog dedicated specifically to the comic:

I wish I could have used "badgrammar," but that was already taken by an actual grammar blog. Darn the luck.

Update: Just wanted to add the final version of the cover to this post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I know there is no excuse for completely ignoring my blog for this long, but I hope you'll forgive me anyway. Whoever you are.

So this is a painting I did for a friend's birthday a long long time ago, but I still like it. This is her dog, Luigi, except that he's much smaller in real life. And he really does have a cherry eye, or whatever that's called.