Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Story Introduciton

It's Finally HERE!! The one day where Dad get's credit for being ... DAD!!! FATHER"S DAY!!!
It's the day where millions of Dads around the world will try to act surprised as they recieve yet ANOTHER bottle of Old Spice Aftershave (that they'll never be caught dead wearing) a brand new necktie,(that if they ever wore it to the office they would be laughed at and then immediately fired for breaking the dress code) and maybe a ceramic mug from art class that leaks. Some of the more artistic kids will give Dad a great drawing scribbled on notebook paper that Dad will proudly hang on the refrigerator door art gallery.

Im one of the artistic kids, so I wanted to give my Dad a refrigerator drawing, that he'd want to hang there for more than a day. Sometimes Fathers do something unexpected and may seem insignificant at the time for their kids that help to change to course of their child's life. My Dad certainly did this for me, and up until now, i dont think he really knew this. I set out this week to let him know in this cartoon what he did and how it affected my life, and in the process , bring back some warm and painful memories... at least for me...
so let's get on with the story....

The year was 1971
A lot was happening that year….

Walt Disney World opened…
The Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series Intel released the world’s first microprocessor, the 4004… America was being introduced to a new TV family called “The Bunkers”, and a bigot named “Archie”, was soon to become a household name. All in the Family premieres

None of that mattered to me though, I was too busy “experiencing life” and at 11 years old, life wasn’t all that good Little did I know, that something was about to happen, something my Father did, without him realizing it that would change my life forever….

Every kid is born with an innate sense of confidence and self esteem… then he goes to school and quickly learns about “differences" and is quickly put into a category.

That category is your “brand” your “mark.”

The kids took one look at me, took out a rubber stamp, and put “geek” on my forehead. Once you’ve got a mark like that put on you, it’s pretty hard to wash it off.

Fathers Day Story Comic

Once again, just like many times before, I had gotten beat up, but THIS time it was different. This Time I took my beating like a man, standing up for myself, instead of cowering in fear. Dad showed me that although someone ELSE “put a mark on you” it didn’t have to STAY on you. You had the choice whether to keep it on or fight to pull it off. It felt much more satisfying to pull it off.

I went on from that day forward to seriously study the martial arts. That same year I started studying Hung Gar Gung Fu, that eventually led to Goju Karate, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Filipino stick/knife fighting, and even Bruce Lee’s JKD system. For the next 20 years I used the martial arts as a vehicle to help me grow as a person. Through my practice, I met great people, gained self confidence, and especially learned how to fight WITHOUT getting my glasses broken. All of that started from one simple book that a Father shared with his son. My Dad taught me that I didn’t HAVE to be a victim. For that I would be eternally grateful.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Minister Mike Pilivachi of Souled Out by subwaysurfer

I was channel surfing this afternoon and got stuck on the GOD TV Channel. I was intrigued by the appearance of this particular speaker, minister Mike Pilivachi ,who was South African I think. He was a white minister who wore a very colorful electric blue and brown African dashiki, had pale skin and a thick curly mane of black hair that framed his face. He was speaking to a group of young people about doing random acts of kindness, and i enjoyed his sermon as much as drawing his great face.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sneak peek Father's Day Project...

Man if you think Im a creepy lookin adult, you would've lost your lunch lookin at me as a child! LOL! Heres a self portrait of me circa 1971 at 11 years old. Buck toothed, coke bottle glasses, pot belly, potruding butt, hunched shoulders, (also known as the "turtle posture" which comes from flinching because people are always takin swings at you!) and last but not least a lopsided WAS the seventies! LOL!!
this is a panel from a special Father's day strip Im putting together in honor of MY father, Clyde Bolling, whose intervention helped me through a difficult time, and set me on a truely life changing path. I plan on giving the comic to my dad on Father's day if I can complete it in time!!!! Gotta bet back to work! Stay tuned, it WILL be an entertaining read...

My life really DOES imitate art...

I really do look like a baby duck dont I??


another monkey boy!

forgot to post this recent gig picture. Some faces just make you want to believe in the planet of the apes...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Life Drawing at Dr. Sketchy's NYC

I attended a Dr. Sketchy's Life drawing class along At Kenly Dillard's and Laurie Edmond's urging, a few months back, and couldnt resist caricaturing the model over and over. If you're not familiar with Dr. Sketchy's format, there's a lot of loud music, and the artist models dress in these elaborate, sometimes outlandish costumes and pose on stage for five ten, and fifteen minute poses. In this particular section, this lovely lady for posing with a midget companion, but he wasnt interesting enough for me to include him in the shot. The music often adds inspiration, as always to what i am drawing and when the record, great balls of fire came on, the joke came naturally. The Host was interesting to draw also, in his black suit, as was the Bald artist next to me with the BIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGG sketchpad.

OUCH!!! Now that's GOTTA HURT!!

I drew this caricature of this dude on the street a couple of weeks back at Union Square. Him and His gurlfriend, which i will post later were the only two Id done that day.What struck me about him and her were their piercings on their lips. he claimed it didnt hurt, but that it did interfere with kissing sometimes..... ya think????

Yabba Dabba Do!!

"Oh man.... PLEASE Dont hang out here"
That's what I thought to myself returning home late from a great gig I worked in Crestwood New York this weekend. As I mentioned in an earlier post, traveling is murderous on the trains during the weekend, and I felt like I was riding forever....I was tired, hungry, wet with perspiration,....and of course drawing on the train as usual.
The car wasnt particularly crowded , and i was just finishing a previous sketch I had done when the mountain of a man figure stopped short directly across from me.
This guy was BIG. Well over six feet, easily about three hundred pounds or close to it, and dark and imposing. He reminded me at first glance, Biggie Smalls, an I dont mind telling you I was beginning to feel a little intimidated, wondering if he was going to pound me into an ink spot....
Of course all the while I was wondering this I was madly sketching his massive form.
All of a sudden he asked me the most surprising question;
"So, are you drawing a Still Life?"
I hadnt pegged him for an artist, and laughed out loud,. exclaiming that a still life was the last thing I was drawing and commented on how boring they were. I asked him if he was an artist and he explained that he was when he was younger, and went on the tell me at length, the stuff he'd drawn as a kid.
" I used to pretend to draw portraits of kids, and then I'd show them a picture of Fred Flintstone that I drew instead," he said, smiling at the memory that brought back. I invited him to sit down and challenged him to draw me a Fred Flintstone on the spot which he nervously did while the train rocked back ande forth. ( I sometimes take for granted how well I can draw on a moving train.)As he was drawing Fred I took time out to finish my caricature of him, AND a bystander/on looker who sat across from us and had taken interest in our conversation. I asked him why he hadnt continued with his art and heard him say that he abandoned it because he "couldnt get anything going" (financially ) with it. my haart went out to him as I realized tht he, like so many artists, had abandoned their gift just because of financial pressure and lack of encouragement. I once again felt very blessed to be able to enjoy a measure of financial success as an artist.
As we parted I gave him the caricature Id done and he was really touched by it. I encouraged him to start drawing again for HIMSELF and not for financial gain. The money would come, but even if it didnt, I told him the art was something personal he could use for his own satisfaction and mental health. He nodded in agreement, and took one of the comics that I gave him as well. I told him that the comic I was giving him was drawn by the top unsung underground cartoonist ever. He smiled when I gave it to him, recalling that he'd read the work of this artist before.
It was a Track entitled, "The Sissy" by Jack Chick.

Metro North Railroad babe and L train Babe

They're both a little old to be called "babes" technically, but maybe it depends on your age perspective! i aint gettin any younger ya know! The first pic is of a lady I sat INCHES across from on a Grand Central Bound Metro North train returning from Crestwood, NY this weekend. She was so excited about the possible acquisition of a new house she was buying with her husband seated next to her, that she didnt seem to notice me sketching her. I tried by best to get him in the picture too, btu he made driect eye contact with me EVERYtime I looked in his direction. I was pretty lucky to get his wife without him saying a word of protest.

The lady at the bottom was going out on a night on the town with her husband. I caught her on the L train that I had to catch back into Manhattan that same evening. On the weekends, the trains are terrible here in NYC so you often have to take a train that goes out of your way, just to get to your destination. Since i live in the Rockaways, it's always a great adventrue getting home on the weekend.I initially sketched these pictures on 9X12 paper in my trustie, "BIGGIE" Sketchbook. I did the inking and the coloring today. I HATE to admit it, but I actually outline it with a dreaded....ugh.... SUPER SHARPIE Marker!!! There I said it!!!

For those of you who dont know why Im gagging, it's only because no self respecting caricature artist would ever be caught dead using a SHARPIE makeer, and to use one spells "beginner" more times than not. Fellow Caricature artist, Speedster, Adam Pate swears by them, but ive always been partial to Tombo Brush Pens and Pitt Brush pens for my linework.
Recently, I was forced to use a SUPER Sharpie at a gig when my other markers dried up on me. I found that I liked the feel of it in my had, it bave me a consistant flow of ink, and was avaiable in most stationary stores. It's slowly becoming one of my favorites! although it is kinda sucky for doring hair. I still will use the brush pens for that.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

One of the many faces of JERRY

There I was at central park drawing caricatures and noticed out of the corner of my eye this very tall man, he had to be at least six five, admiring the work, but standing just outside my reach so as not to be asked. I approached him after I was done and asked him if he was interested in getting this done. After a few minutes of conversation he agreed and I soon found out that he had one of those faces thatseemed to have a thousand expressions. While my initial caricatute was a good likeness, as he spoke, smiled, squinted and gestured his face kept getting more and more interesting. I snapped two pictures and offered to do a better caricature and send it to him, free of charge. Here is one of the faces Ive done.

Wave Newspaper Editorial Cartoon.... again

It's beach season again here in the Rockaways, and if nothing else, in my part of town, we're known citywide for our gorgeous beach, and expecially the fishing. People just wanna hang out alllll night on the beach and the boardwalk in fact, and for the local police, that's a definite "no, no". Cops have imposed a nine o clock curfew for the Beach itself, and a ten o clock curfew for the boardwalk. This curfew, much to the dismay of visitors and locals alike, has not been well recieved. I was asked by my editor, to come up with an editorial that called attention to this fact. This is what I came up with.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Artist Spotlight David Carridine Dead at 72

I turned on Aol yesterday and was saddened to hear that one of my favorite actors, David Carridine had passed away at age 72. According to the info available now, hw was found nude and hanging,an apparent suicide, in his hotel suite in Thailand.
When Time permits I will do a caricature in his honor.

Carridine, known to this generation as Bill, the enimatic leader of a gang of assassins in Quentin Tarrentino's movie's Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2, but to many fans my age, he will always be known as Kwai Chang Cain, AKA Grasshopper, from the 1970's smash hit series "Kung Fu". Every Thursday night, I'd sit mesmerized in front of my TV set as Kwai Chang dropped pearls of Chinese wisdom on us, and severed up some of the most satisfying kung fu butt kicking that had been ever seen done by a westerner up until that point. Carridine's portrayal of the character, was done with honesty, and humility, and even though he didnt look any where near Chinese, (The original creator of the series, BRUCE LEE, had himself been rejected for the very role he created!!)Carridine made you BELIEVE that he was. He played a non violent, soft spoken character who was not a wuss.
Unknown to many, Carridne was also an ARTIST, which is why he is alson being featured on this blog. To find out more about his art, read about it in his own words by going to his website at

In the days to come That site is going to get a lot of hits. Make sure you're one of the people who checks it out. It's worth the trip.

Monday, June 01, 2009

size really DOES Matter!!

Lately while subwaysurfing Ive been feeling a little self concious, which has really gotten in the way of my drawing. I normally draw on pads ranging from 9X12-11X14. Its a royal pain to take out these big pads and also draws a lot of unwanted attention. I recently purchased a 5.5X8.5 pad that has worked like a charm. It's light and compact and forced me to leave out a lot of unneccesary detail. I did a LOT of sketching today on several trains, including the A, E,5 and L trains. Here are some of the best ones.

Clark Gable.... again.

Decided to take another stab at Gable. I like this one better.