Sketchbook: The Empire Strikes Back #5

And so with this sketch of reptilian bounty hunter Bossk, my Empire Strikes Back 30th anniversary celebration ends. I mentioned in my first Empire post that John Rozum had inspired my blog theme this month, but there were many other like minded Star Wars fans participating in the fun as well. Be sure to visit Neato Coolville, Wonderful Wonderblog, My Two Yen Worth, Monsters and More, Dartman's World of Wonder and of course the official Lucasfilm Empire page at Star

There will certainly be a similar celebration in 3 years for Return of the Jedi's 30th. Oh, what the force...I think I'll just make May a Star Wars themed month every year.

I've inadvertently turned this once renowned Trandoshan into a bloated toad-man. What's up with the weird overhanging top lip I gave him? If that's what it is? I sketched this and I'm not sure. It could also be a cute little smile. Oh's the bounty hunter I drew, toad-man warts and all.

Cleaning the Empire: Episode II

It didn't take 30 years to do after all...

Okay, for all the purists out there, I know... the imperial shuttle should be with my Return of the Jedi toys, but in my defense, it was added later by Lucas into the "special edition" version of The Empire Strikes Back. Besides, this shelf was the only one with enough height clearance to display it on.

Sketchbook: The Empire Strikes Back #4

Not bad for drawing from memory. I think I've got all the iconic Boba Fett elements here...
  • His unique blaster with 6-shooter detail (as the prop guys used in making the actual one)? Check!
  • Rotating targeting device in up position? Check!
  • Helmet dent? Check!
  • Jet pack with ready to fire rocket? Check!
  • Posed mysteriously behind a wall as his poncho blows dramatically in the wind because I was too lazy to draw the whole costume? Check!

Cartoons in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Today is an unofficial, official Star Wars day being the 25th of May. This date in 1977 changed the lives of many when the original film was released. While I'm still sketching characters and cleaning my toy shelf in celebration of Empire's 30th anniversary this month, I thought I'd mark this day with overall trilogy silliness posting some past Star Wars themed cartoons from Para Abnormal...

Cleaning The Empire

Today is the actual 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back arriving in our galaxy. I decided to take a break from my character sketching celebrating the movie this month and mark this day by cleaning up my much neglected Empire action figure toy shelf.

Check back later, this may take 30 years to do...

Sketchbook: The Empire Strikes Back #3

IG-88 is one of my favorite bounty hunters in the saga, even though he was on screen for only a second or so and did absolutely nothing. It's the low tech bandoleer he wears and standard issue blasters he holds in contrast to his robotic-ness, that does it for me. There's a unique uneasy feeling and mysterious menace in that.

My love of recycling junk into props unconsciously took hold while drawing this one. I don't think IG-88's bandoleer held used D-batteries. I know for sure his joints were not Radio Flyer wheels or giant buttons or whatever the heck I drew.

Creative Inspiration: Paul Revere Illustrator

Yes, THE Paul Revere. You know him for his midnight ride and his life as a patriot silversmith, but did you know he was a pretty good artist and created a revolutionary viral marketing campaign that lead to the founding of our nation?

In 1770 a large mob of colonists had gathered outside the customs house in Boston as a wig maker began arguing with a British Captain's servant that the Captain had stiffed him on a bill. British soldiers were sent to disperse the crowd. This only made them antagonistic. In the chaos, the soldiers fired on the colonists killing five. This became known as the Boston Massacre, thanks to an illustration by Paul Revere.

After drawing his interpretation of the event, he quickly turned it into an engraving and had printed in Boston newspapers. The picture soon spread across the 13 colonies for all to see. Hand painted copies were even made available to order. It fueled the already growing fire of dissent and became an image that rallied many in support of revolution and a significant milestone on the road to independence. There are many historical debates and other details to this story I discovered researching this, but this is the common tale which is basically true.

Sketchbook: The Empire Strikes Back #2


Doodling this one, I tried to keep the Yoda from the second trilogy out of my head. Light saber wielding Yoda was very cool, but I still prefer the poke ya with his cane, old curmudgeon that was in Empire.

Sketchbook: The Empire Strikes Back

This month marks the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. Comic writer, fellow Halloween decorator and Internet friend, John Rozum, is celebrating daily on his blog. Inspired by and sort of liking Star Wars myself, I thought I'd get in on the fun sketching some of my favorite characters from Episode V and share once in awhile through the rest of May.

I'm not going for movie accurate versions here, nor any intentional "re-imagining". I'm just gonna have fun drawing and see what spills out in the sketchbook. Not to sound too arty, but they'll be nerdy impressionistic interpretations. To challenge myself, I'm not using any reference at all. Not even taking a quick glace up at my action figure shelves. 

First up today, Hoth's very own yeti, the Wampa...

Well, it seems my mind's eye morphed a Wampa, the Bumble from Rudolph and Ludo from Labrinth...

The Arabian Nights Part II

Here are the final promotional illustrations for the children's theatre production of The Arabian Nights I first posted about awhile back (click here).

The poster...

Art for the program...

The show logo...


As kids, one gloomy, grey, dark night, growing ever more foreboding as a storm approached, my brother Ted and I laid in our beds looking out the window. As the wind grew louder, we called it "a Death Dealer night" and imagined Frazetta's famous character on his warhorse stalking the streets of our neighborhood as everyone slept.

Frazetta had great influence on me growing up. His work not only sparked my imagination, but helped lead me towards a creative career path. I kept his "art of" books close by at all times. I remember sitting with them at my desk, pages turned to his amazing black and white work to learn from as my first attempts at drawing with a crow quill pen and india ink were made. I still have those very same books 30 plus years later...

He even inspired my first prop making efforts...

Monday's comic over on Para Abnormal is in tribute to that creative spirit he helped fill me with in my younger days...

Creative Inspiration: Niece Devin and...

her recent 2nd place award winning piece for her school's Earth Day art contest. It's the most inventive use of googly eyes, fuzzy yarn and scrapbook paper this veteran of many craft TV shows has ever seen! As it's MY blog, this is not open to debate, so there.

Creative Inspiration: Comic Giants Drawing Stuff

The three videos below have no music setting a mood, no narration explaining things or overblown editing. The only sounds you hear and the sights you see are the pencils and pens on paper by comic art giants John Romita, Joe Kubert, John Buscema, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Gibbons and Travis Charest.

Good luck trying not to draw something after watching these...