Rated PG

Face needs work.



Which Jersey Should I Wear?

Folks, the big Ginger Classic tournament is coming up next week, and while I don't imagine my meager hockey skills will distinguish me in any way, I'd like to at least look good while I'm playing third wheel on my three-man team. Problem is, I have too many jerseys in the running, and I'm just waaaay too indecisive. So I'm leaving it up to you readers.

To the right of this post you'll find a poll where you can select which jersey I'll wear in the tournament. You'll have 'til midnight Friday, February 4 to make a selection, and then I'll wear whichever sweater gets the most votes the next night in the tournament. To entice you further, everybody who makes a comment to this post will be eligible to win a copy of the Atom-Bomb Bikini book and a few stickers and a few other goodies. I need opinions, people...don't let me down!

And the nominees are:

1. Chicago Blackhawks 2009 Winter Classic

2. 2004 Eastern Conference All-Star

3. 1992 Quebec Nordiques Away

4. 1995 Winnipeg Jets Home

5. 2004 Calgary Flames Alternate


University of Michigan: The Big Chill

Last December, the Michigan Wolverines hosted the Michigan State Spartans in an outdoor game at Michigan Stadium. The record-setting crowd of 113,411 is not only the largest to ever watch a hockey game, but the largest in the history of Michigan Stadium, period. Most of them went home happy too, thanks to a 5-0 drubbing of the Spartans by the Wolverines.

This gaudy sucker was the jersey sported by Michigan that day, a throwback to the ones worn by the NCAA Champion 1947-48 team. STRIPES!


My Own Guardian Project

A few weeks back, I received an email from a girl named Kristina looking for info about a commission. She's a big Los Angeles Kings fan and season ticket holder, and also a self-described "tattoo fanatic". Apparently, the Kings are having a tattoo contest, to be judged by Kings player Matt Greene, and she wanted to hire me to do an illustration of herself as a kind-of "LA Kings super-heroine" so that she could enter. Pretty girls, hockey and super-heroes...probably the three things I love most in the world.

Time was tight, so I'd have to get cracking right away. I figured from the beginning that the Kings logo would be front and center on her chest, but I also thought the shape of the logo's crown shape would translate well as a mask, kinda pointy on the ends a la the Huntress. For the costume itself, I went with a classic Supergirl-y look with the miniskirt...after all, you can't go wrong with the classics. I sketched up the following thumbnail and sent it her way.

After that, things began to move pretty quick...I settled on the color scheme, using the Kings own black, purple and silver (okay, gray) scheme, and added a light blue, the color of Kristina's rec hockey league jerseys. I went ahead and made the skirt plaid, just to spice things up visually, and gave the hem of the cape a blocky square pattern meant to resemble battlements on a castle. Also, she had the idea of having the character wearing skates, which made such perfect sense I'm embarrassed I didn't think of it.

This was the final version, which I sent along before my trip to Pittsburgh last weekend.

Though my hand in the story ends there, Kristina's was just getting started. In order to make the Jan. 24 submission deadline for the contest, she went out pretty much immediately and had some ink applied. In what must have been a marathon session, her tattoo artist Graham created this image, which greeted me in an email late Sunday night.

I've seen several examples of my work being used as the basis for tattoos, and as you might expect, the quality varies wildly. I gotta say, this is about the best translation I've seen yet! I'm especially gratified that they included my little "dot-U" signature mark. It's a beautiful piece of work, Kristina...here's hoping you win!


The Actor's Life

This piece is from a recent issue of The Stranger, about bored actors and bit parts.


More Sporty Sketches

Continued from Friday...


Sporty Sketches

When someone commissions a sports uni piece, the first thing they get is a sketch (or two) to see what I have in mind for their final illustration. I usually don't spend much time on likenesses in these sketches,... rather I'm trying to settle on a pose they like, something that captures the spirit of the subject. Often the illustration mutates a good bit between the initial sketch and final product, but sometimes I nail it on the head right out of the gate. In either case, I find that quick thumbnail sketches have a life and vibrancy all their own, nowhere near as polished but every bit as fun to look at as final, finished illustrations.


What Time Is It, Anyway?

This illo is from the February 2011 issue of Virginia Living, describing the confusion that arose in the Commonwealth a half-century ago when the city of Richmond elected to recognize daylight-savings time, while some surrounding counties did not.


Bridesmaid Out

I worked on this illo for C-Ville Weekly in the days leading up to Xmas...I drew and inked it on Christmas eve, then colored it during the snowstorm on the day after. Between the holiday madness, having a house full of family and a housebound three-year-old, those days were such a blur that I have almost no memory of having worked on it!

But I do remember the concept: When one of your bridesmaids is from outside your tight, immediate  group of friends, and ends up feeling stuck somewhere between fifth wheel and go-fer. My wife says she's been there, and it sucks.


Ginger Classic 2011

"The Ginger Classic is a local rendition of the Winter Classic, an inspiring event held by the NHL currently on an annual basis. The name comes from one's ambition, and red hair, to best emulate the outdoors tournament at an outdoors rink in Ashland, VA where hockey enthusiasts of all talents and ages can come together and endure winter elements that don't give us the experience of true pond hockey.

For those that have not made the "Ginger" Classic connection, it's been mentioned that the founder has red hair. Before the first tournament, a participant made a parody statement and the name has stuck ever since."

My logo for the event:


Happy Hockey New Year!

The big Winter Classic in Pittsburgh betwixt the Capitals and Penguins has been rescheduled to 8 pm thanks to expected lousy weather, but it looks like they'll be good to go at night. WHEW! Really looking forward to this one!