Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Well, the figures are in, and it is indeed confirmed that the little undead President that could has shattered the skull of the previous record-setting design at Teefury and feasted on it's brains! ZOMBAMA sold very near 3 times as many shirts as their previous record-holding seller, which was a tremendous surprise to me, and a nice little publicity machine, as it's increased traffic to my blog and spawned numerous links and forum posts throughout the interweb!

Thanks much to Jimiyo over at TeeFury, whose idea it was to go with the ZOMBAMA design in the first place. Also, extra thanks to all of you who ordered a shirt (or several) or just dropped by to offer support and cheers. Don't forget to send pictures of you wearing your ZOMBAMA shirts in inappropriate places (or just out in public). I might have some prizes for the best photo...

As far as further Presidential-themed projects, I've got potentially sweet TAFT and LINCOLN designs in the works. Of course, I could try to build on the success of this by doing more zombie Presidents. Who's up for a Zombie-Polk design?

By the way, I don't know who's responsible for this, but I love you whomever you are! You can now follow Zombama on Twitter! Check out his twitter feed for updates on what America's favorite zombie-President is up to and gain access to his innermost thoughts!

I've been contacted by quite a few people who missed the 24-hour sale at TeeFury and want to know if they can get the shirts from me. Well, the answer is probably no. I ordered a few extra (TeeFury limits 3 shirts per customer), but I don't have a stock of the shirts in my possession. I'm considering having them screenprinted elsewhere so I have some to sell, which I may do. If that happens, I'll let you know here. In the meanwhile, if you can't wait and you need your ZOMBAMA stuff right now, you can head to my CAFEPRESS SHOP and order them there. They would not accept the red and blue color version (as it was apparently too close to the Shepard Fairy piece for their lawyers' comfort), but you can find the zombie-green and green weathered color versions on a variety of merchandise. Buyer beware, though -- I haven't ordered any of that merchandise from CafePress, so I cannot vouch for their quality. They do offer a money-back guarantee, though, I believe, so order away if you feel comfortable doing so.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Just a reminder for all you fans of Undead Presidents out there, my ZOMBAMA:BRAINS shirt is now on sale at the fantastic TEEFURY.COM from now until Monday night at midnight. It'll be on sale for only $9 for 24 hours only! Don't pull a chump and miss it! Remember, my daughter is hungry! Daddy gotsta buy some groceries!

I got my FETCH FLESH shirts!

My complimentary FETCH FLESH shirts arrived from the fine flavorful folks at J!NX, and they look good! Here's a couple of pics of my daughter Parker and I modeling our new threads!

Stop by Jinx and buy a couple 'o shirts, why dontcha?

Friday, March 27, 2009

"UGLY STICK" design up for vote at THREADLESS!

Hey, my UGLY STICK t-shirt design is up for voting over at THREADLESS.COM!
Stop by and cast your vote so this puppy can be printed and available for ugly people all over the world to wear proudly (note: you do not have to be ugly to wear the shirt). If you don't have a Threadless account, go ahead and create one, and commence voting! Be sure to leave a comment, as well, and articulate your desire for either red or gold. Thanks for your support!
My Threadless.com Submission

Friday, March 20, 2009


Hooray! One of my "top-secret" projects saw the light of day today. I was contacted a few weeks ago by a resident of the soopah-fantastic gamer/geek clothing company J!NX to work on a wickedly evil t-shirt design commemorating the release of a certain fifth entry in a popular video game series. We bounced a couple ideas around and the zombie-fetch idea was finally decided upon. I really worked hard on this and the deadline kind of snuck up on us, so I ended up pulling 2 all-nighters in a row to get it done on time. Truth be told, I wish I'd had a day or two longer to fine-tune it, but you don't always have that luxury, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. The color schemes I chose were a bit odd (maybe due to lack of sleep), but the fine art-goblins at J!NX chose the best one, and tweaked it enough to fix some of my poor choices.

All-in-all, it was a terrific experience, and I'd like to thank J!NXer Kino for being so great to work with and making the process as smooth and clearly-communicated as possible. I've worked on some freelance jobs where the communication on the other end is abominable, and it becomes quite clear the client has no idea what they're really looking for or how to best communicate their thoughts to me. Those jobs can be a headache. This was not one of those jobs, and there's a very good chance we'll be teaming up again very soon. I look forward to it.

I also look forward to your feedback, and support. Head on over to J!NX and order a shirt or two and let me (and them) know what you think!


Hoo-boy! Well, I've just finished watching the series finale to perhaps my favorite TV show of all time, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Those of us holding out for the last-minute reintroduction of a revamped version of Muffit the Daggit were sorely disappointed. For those of you who are unaware of the gift of genius that was Muffit in the original BSG, it was a CHIMP in a ROBOT-DOG suit! Need I say more?

I'm gonna need to mull it over some more before I reach my final conclusion on the series wrap-up, but I was mostly thrilled and satisfied by how it all went down. Before I get into my ramblings, let me show you this:

I wanted to have some sort of "party" to celebrate the event, so we had a little cookout before the show (wherein we grilled hotdogs hamburgers and bratwurst) which I dubbed... wait for it... BURGERSTAR GRILLACTICA! Yes, that's right... I'm a complete nerd! That name came to me a few months ago. I had just watched an episode which featured the little saloon that had been set up aboard the Battlestar, and I thought they should open up some sort of neighboring burger joint as well. And what would be the perfect name for such a grill? That's right: BURGERSTAR GRILLACTICA! Don't even think of stealing that name and opening up your own chain of BSG theme-restaurants!

And here's a quick sketch I did before posting this -- just cuz I hate posting something on here without some piece of relevant art to accompany it.

Cylons are called "toasters" by the humans. Get it? I know, I know...

Okay, like I said I was largely satisfied and thought they closed it up nicely. A few things immediately disappointed me, though: I was expecting MUCH heavier losses from the crew of the BSG, and the final assault on Cavil and the Cylon colony came off as too easy because of it. I was expecting some very heroic and wrenching deaths, and everyone made it out pretty much unscathed. Anders' overriding of the Hybrids came off as cake, as well, and I wanted to see a bit of mental wrestling and effort put into his domination of their systems. They poor guy ended up spending the entire finale in a tub staring up at the ceiling with not much to do. I would probably also liked to see an extended shot of the Anders-piloted BSG disintegrating as it drew ever nearer to the sun.

Some of the CG effects of the various Cylon centurion models running about the dark corridors of the colony and the Battlestar were too obviously CG and stood out a bit jarringly at times. I never thought they truly nailed the Cylon centurions' movements -- especially their walk cycles, which always seemed just a bit too awkward to be fully convincing.

I can't decide if Cavil's sudden suicide in the face of defeat rang true to his character or not. I would think, given his intense drive for vengeance and survival, that he would choose any option he could to save his own hide and hope for a chance at revenge/resurrection further down the road. If he truly saw no way out, however, it's entirely plausible that he would take his own life rather than allow the slightest chance of dying at the hands of his enemies. I still would have liked to see Adama put a bullet in his head instead.

The biggest disappointment, however, has to be the sudden accidental firing of the missles by a dead Racetrack, which completely destroyed the Colony. Seriously? Racetrack was dead, her Raptor was adrift, a small asteroid smacks the ship, her limp arm is dislodged from its resting place on the controls by the impact and smacks into the button that apparently is marked "launch all missiles". The missiles fire and they all strike the Colony ship, blowing it to bits. First of all, that Colony ship seemed far too massive for a bundle of missiles from one Raptor to do that much damage, especially considering all the fire it was taking from the BSG herself earlier on, with little effect. Secondly, accidents are fine, but there are too many huge coincidences taking place at once there with consequences that so drastically effect the course of the story. I would have preferred if there was some sort of strike team send deep into the heart of the ship to destroy it, or perhaps Anders could have cause the Colony ship to turn it's own guns and missiles on itself. Accidental "heroics" like that always remind me of Star Wars: Episode 1 when Anakin "Yippee" Skywalker accidentally crawls inside the starfighter, which accidentally powers up and accidentally fires its way out of the hangar bay, then accidentally destroys the enemy base ship. I don't like being reminded of Star Wars: Episode 1. "Yippee" indeed.

The rest, I was perfectly happy with. For a minute there, near the end, I got the sinking feeling they were going to wrap it up the same way the original series wrapped up: with the BSG finding "modern day" earth. That would have totally sabotaged the vision and themes of the series, though, and I like the idea of them intermingling with and aiding prehistoric man to develop as a species. The final scene was a nice ray of hope in a series that had been quite overwhelmingly dark and hopeless at times, and served as a promising break to the repetitious cycle of "this has all happened before, and it will all happen again" that was one of the major themes of the series.

Laura's death was touching, as was Adama's role by her side, and I'm certainly glad they let her thread progress to its natural and logical conclusion, rather than pull some miracle Cylon cure or restorative Earth "magic" out of thin air to ensure a standard TV "happy ending" for her. Baltar's transformation into a less selfish, more heroic character was nice, as was his ending up with Caprica. The whole theme of God using such imperfect and flawed people, bringing them through desperation, doubt, disbelief, betrayal, pain and misery as part of his master plan to reach a better end goal was nicely realized.

The show had resonated strongly with me from the very beginning, as I was swept up by this bold new miniseries that soon turned into a series. It was unlike anything else that was on TV, and stood out amidst the adult network dramas that seemed more like the products of adolescents playing grown-up and retarded "reality" shows with their endless parade of narcissistic, devolved assholes. Science fiction on TV had never been handled so responsibly nor well-realized for as long as I could remember. BSG was about major themes and characters first and foremost with the "space stuff" as the frosting on the cake. You weren't guaranteed a space-battle or a gunfight in every episode, but when they did happen, there was a good reason for it, and it was gripping. There were no streetwise, quippy characters tossing off quotable one-liners while firing at the bad guys. There were no mustache-twirling bad guys or damsels in distress. There were no cute kids (well, except when they tried to shoehorn Boxey into the show early on, realizing he didn't belong and getting rid of him just as quickly) or robot-dogs, or aliens whose only distinguishing characteristic is some sort of funky skin-folds on their foreheads and/or noses (I'm lookin' square atcha, Star Trek).

The characters were imperfect, hard-headed, prejudiced and angry. They made mistakes, they got drunk on duty, they frakked the wrong person, they turned on their friends and fellows, they murdered. They were human and honest and real, and a great example of the realization of this is that, no matter who your favorite character was, it was almost guaranteed that they would go through a period or arc where you started to question why they deserved your admiration -- then you'd end up hating them -- then you were back to liking them several episodes later. The characters were put through hell and just when they'd arrived safely on the other side of the flames and everything seemed safe and sane, they would be jerked right back into the fire. The writing was always superb, the acting was always believable and engrossing and the effects were usually some of the best to be found on TV, considering the scope they were attempting with the budget they were limited to. It's a shame the series never seemed to get the recognition it deserved from the general public, but it was certainly a critical and industry darling, and deservedly so. I think it will go down in history as a true classic, and I'm very anxious for the upcoming CAPRICA spinoff, as well as anything else that showrunner Ron Moore and his team can conjure up in the future.

That's all I've got for now. I'm tired and I've rambled enough. I'm sure I'll think of more to blather about in the morning, but this is not the place to drone on about it. If you've never seen the show, you owe it to yourself to rent or buy the first season on DVD and give it a go.

Pop-Monkey, out. So say we all.

"UGLY STICK" Shirt Design Placement

Here's a little mock-up I did to show the placement of the design on the actual shirt.

This is not a guarantee that you will be struck by a moving vehicle if you wear this shirt, so don't come cryin' to me when you walk around unscathed while sportin' the UGLY STICK...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"UGLY STICK" Shirt Design final colors!

Finished fiddling around with some color schemes for the UGLY STICK t-shirt design. This is one of those things where I come up with a fake band name I think sounds cool and then design their logo and a t-shirt or two (there are many more of this type of thing in the works). This is a reworking of a concept I had come up with a couple years ago which was in dire need of redrawing. I actually did the first pass as part of a project for my junior year at art school. I went back and looked at that early attempt and I was horrified at how bad it was! It's good that I can see a definite progression and advancement of my skills and capabilities, but I wish someone had told me back then just how bad I was! It's embarrassing!

I came up with 5 different color schemes for this, which may be overkill. The yellow one was the inital design, and I definitely think it's the strongest. The rest are just further variations I did due to being somewhat unsure if I'd nailed it with just the yellow. The yellow, turquoise and red shirts feature 4-color designs while the 2 taupe variations feature 5-color designs.

What does anybody else think about which ones work and which ones don't? I'll end up submitting whichever one I feel most comfortable with (after walking away from these for a day or two) to a t-shirt design site or two and see if there's any takers. Feedback is appreciated.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Well, looks like I am a big fat loser after all... at least as far as Udon is concerned. My Rikuo character piece entry was not chosen to be published in the upcoming DARKSTALKERS TRIBUTE art book. Oh well. I put a lot of work into this piece, including many preliminary sketches and drawings, so it's disappointing to not get in. Now I won't get to see my piece in print and receive the prize of... a free copy of the book! Guess I'll have to pay for it myself now.

Anyway, this is the piece. I've fiddled with it a bit since the original entry -- the background elements before were much flatter and poster-like, and, as you can see by the inks, I was going for a more stylized-icon look (that might make a good poster print, giant sticker, or t-shirt design) than the fully-rendered scenery approach. I thought the choice of mostly flat, bold and bright colors might be a nice contrast to the typical Udon-style artwork we're used to seeing (very digital-painterly). As I mentioned before, I did get a late start on this, despite knowing about it well ahead of time, but freelance work got in the way and I ended up working on this right up the the deadline. In truth, the original entry needed a good 1-2 more hours worth of work before it was ready. I'm interested to see the entries that did make it in, though. Anybody else out there contribute and get rejected?

Oh, and here's some images of the character from the game that I chose. His name is Rikuo, and he's a fish-guy.

I thought I'd also, along with the finished inks, post a series of inking progression pics, just in case there's anyone out there who's interested in that sort of thing. I stuck with my usual modus operandi for this piece -- pencils printed in blueline on bristol board (in this case, 2 separate sheets to facilitate scanning), inked with 95% brush and ink and 5% pens.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Framed Zombama!

Super-pal Brian Lott was kind enough to order one of my ZOMBAMA prints from my CafePress store and he sent me a pic just to prove it, cause he's a dirty liar and I require photographic proof of everything he says. Here it is, framed and mounted -- don't you want one?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Just finished inking my UGLY STICK t-shirt design. As with most of my work, the pencils have been printed out as a blue-line image on bristol board and inked with about 95% brush and ink and 5% pen.

For inked illustrations, I'll sometimes ink a separate color-hold layer to use as a map for the flat shading and/or highlighting. This is a scan of the shading inks for this piece...

This gets scanned in and layered underneath the lineart, like so...

It gives me a nice hand-drawn lighting template so I don't have to mess around with lassos and paintbrush tools quite as much and it prevents the whole thing from coming off as "too-digital".

Preparing to scan and color right now. More soon!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Okay, I've gotten the okay and confirmation, so here's one of the exciting things coming up next week from your fiendly neighborhood Pop-Monkey. I was recently contacted by the very cool and incredibly talented artist and t-shirt designer Jimiyo who informed me that the also-cool t-shirt website TEEFURY (they sell a fine new shirt every day for just $9!) was interested in printing and selling my soon-to-be-cult-hit ZOMBAMA design! It's scheduled to be available for sale starting March 30th at midnight and running through midnight on the next day. That's only 24-hours to buy as many ZOMBAMA shirts as you can get your supple little hands on! My mom has already committed to buying an even hundred, and you're not going to let her show you up again, are you? 'Cause that last time was just shameful!

Anyway, I'll give everybody the high-sign the minute the shirt goes on sale, but consider this your advance warning. I'm including a sneak-peek of the shirts provided by Jimiyo so you can bask in their splendor and start donating organs for cash. Hey, don't be cheap -- THEY'RE ONLY NINE BUCKS! Do the right thing and make sure my daughter gets some peanut butter with her bread this month.

As a little teaser, my next "surprise" also involves zombies and t-shirts... more to on that later next week.


Got some exciting things coming up, but for now, here's the revised and finished pencil drawing for the UGLY STICK t-shirt design in progress. Inks and colors soon!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Last year Udon Publishing produced a nice little art book called the STREET FIGHTER TRIBUTE. This book was a collection of hundreds of pieces of fan art based around Capcom's Street Fighter video game series, culled from submissions they received after putting out a call for entries. I had a couple of friends whose pieces were published in the book, and I would have loved to contribute, but I found out about the contest only a couple of days before the deadline and it was too late for me to submit anything.

A few months ago, I found out they were doing the same thing with Capcom's DARKSTALKERS game series (which I'm also a fan of), so I made sure to get started early so I wouldn't miss the deadline this time. I initially resolved to do several illustrations based on a few of my favorite characters, thinking I had plenty of time to complete at least three illustrations, increasing my chances of getting published. I sketched out poses and character designs and worked out 4 illustrations that I wanted to complete. Alas, my various freelance pursuits caught up with me and I was only able to finish one of the planned 4 pieces. So much for planning, but I gotta put the paying jobs first.

Anyway, the characters I chose to illustrate were Rikuo, Q-Bee, Hsien-Ko (my favorite), and Anakaris. I figured there would be a ton of entries featuring Morrigan and Felicia (probably the two most popular characters), so I wanted to avoid them. The one I managed to complete was Rikuo. I would have loved to finish Hsien-Ko, and I had a pretty cool pose for Q-Bee, but it wasn't meant to be.

I'm not going to post the whole image here, as Udon "recommends" against spoiling the images before the book is published, but I will provide a tiny peek (one of the inks and one of the colors), and you can bet I'll post the entire image here once the book is published (or sooner, if I find out the piece didn't make it in).