Primum non nocere

Monday, January 31, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics - Chapter 17

Chapter 17 - Deeper, Darker, Dungeons

click me if you don't want to squint.

As promised another page of dungeons and monsters, and mushroom samurai's that have no legs showing.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics - Chapter 16

Chapter 16 - Deep, Dark, Dungeons

click me I get huge!!!
So.....  Well once you draw a wizard and mushroom samurais the next thing you want to include is dungeons and monsters.  I do love to draw monsters.  And lots of darkness cross-hatching in this one as well.  Get ready you've got a few pages of dungeons coming up.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cynicalbuddha's Art Gallery

So I've established that I like to draw comics.  I don't keep that a secret.  I had a strip in my college newspaper for a while that I probably will post here eventually.  I bought a large format scanner just to be able to scan a full size comic sheet in.  And I've been posting the Samurai Mushroom here for a while now.  But I've been drawing since I was 6.  Seriously since high school and have gotten much much better over time.  It's true you only get better with practice.  That said I found some old scanned art work in an old flash drive so I thought I'd post it here to break up the comic posts and if my Packers lose I'm sure lots of rants. 

The Gray Face

I drew the gray face out at a field camp in 2003.  I really loved that job.  I use to call it my artists retreat.  It was me and one other guy for 7 weeks and luckily I got along with my partner.  The work we kinda boring but the plus side was once camp was set up and ready to go you didn't have a lot to do all day or night for that matter, so I had time to paint and draw.  As a matter of fact a lot of the SM comics were drawn out there.

Here we have a happy little forest scene.  I do believe I was thinking of illustrating a children's book with a friend and I was coming up with some art styles that might work for the book. Well that project never happened but I still have all the samples.

Blue Moon
It's hard sometimes to find motivation and inspiration to draw and paint.  At least for me.  I was looking through a book on Gaelic crosses and such and thought I'd try my hand at something like that.  I also did a sun inspired painting much like this.

Just say Maybe!!
God who knows where that name came from.  I always like to draw monsters and I still to.  That and I'm a huge fan of Sam Keith, who wrote and drew The Maxx and Zero Girl just to name too, but the outback scenes from Maxx were awesome.  I also like to draw this weird monsters because it allowed me to practice different line techniques and shading.  And honestly it's kinda cool looking.  Not all of my monstrosities turned out so well.

Rabies Babies
So when I paint and draw I always have a test pad next to me.  Sometimes it's just scrap paper or leftovers sometimes I put it there to see if I can so an ancillary piece.  Something unplanned but that uses up the color or ink so I don't have to clean out a bunch of it in the rinse water.  Rabies Babies and the following are all those piece I like to call accidental art.  What I like about these is that I have no goal.  Yes they are used to test colors and make sure my ink pens aren't too full but there's something visceral about not having an idea on what should be there.  Abstract if you will.  Then I tend to add weird names because I can and I love to confuse people who look at it and try and figure out what I was trying to do by the name I give a piece.

Brain candy
Sputnik's Revenge
Death Rays set to Kill.
Polar Bear in a shit storm.
Penultimate Golf Ball Rainbow Unicorn Surprise

I have to say this turned out pretty well posted here.  I'll put up more as I have time to scan.  I have a huge box sitting in the closet I need to dig though.

cb out

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics. Some Concepts

Well since I'm still in way too good of mood since the Packers made the Super Bowl that I can't find anything to rant about I figured I'd put more comics and art work up here.  I've got Samurai Mushroom Comics already uploaded and scheduled to post every day for awhile.  I do believe I have at least 21 chapters in the bank here.  But I found an old flash drive and was searching through it and found some stuff I had scanned a long time ago.  And on the drive was some old Samurai Mushroom concept pages.

As you can see I can't spell samurai at all.  I think this was more me trying to get motion and side views, and experimenting with armor and stuff.

Here is line up of the legion of extraordinary objects. 
From left to right we have the Atomic Hotdog, the power of an atom in an all beef frank; the flaming Muskrat, the sexually confused rodent of fire; Tube of Toothpaste, fighting justice with his paste of truth;  Magnetic Bedpan, the bedpan of attraction; and of course the Samurai Mushroom, twin swords of fungal fury!!  Missing is the last member the Steaming Cup of Coffee, who's silence speaks volumes.

I'll have to dig out the only strip I ever managed to do with all the characters.  Honestly I have no idea where this idea come from.  Other than the team name was taken from Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentleman and the Legion of Superheroes.  I know that at least the Atomic Hotdog and Samurai mushroom were boredom doodles.  You know doodles you doodle in the margin of your notebook in a class lecture or business meeting. 

Samurai Mushroom Comics - Chapter 15

Chapter 15 - Riddles and Rhymes

click to see my close up Mr. DeVille!
Welcome back for another installment. Just a continueation from the last page.  But we do start the next mini arc here too.  I'll explain more next time.....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Samurai Mushoom Comics Chapter 14

Chapter 14 - Shadows of the Past

click to read in closer detail, bat-boy!
When I was writing this I had wanted to put a wizard into the story.  Why?  I have no idea but I figured I'm drawing mushrooms that are samurai, I can put whatever I want in the story and it's no less plausible.  Then I thought wouldn't it be neat if the wizard was just a shadow of his former self literally.  And there you have it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics - Chapter 13

Chapter 14 - Choices

click to be enlarge and in charge
So here we are up in the Dark Tower.  I can't remember if I had any influences here either.  I know I was trying for a little noir effect at least in the top panel, but I didn't want to make the page too dark.  Seeing as I never got into using zipatone gradients and such.  I do like my cross hatching though, but it is really time consuming.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics - Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - The Tower of the Dark Wizard

click me

I really did love this part of the story.  I don't remember how the idea came to me or if I was influenced by anything but this part of the story seemed to write itself.  I also started using a new title logo and chapter set up.  You'll see that in future pages.  I wish I remember how I did it or in what font but that was a computer and a half ago.  The Japanese characters up there actually mean Samurai Mushroom,  or Samurai Kinoko to be precise.  I was working with a Japanese man on a project with Alaska Fish and Game and asked if he'd draw the characters for me.  Later on I redefined the logo once again, and again,  

Samurai Mushroom Comics - Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - Ancient Evils

click here to read.

You know sometimes you just want to draw something fun.  This page could easily be taken out of the story and not hurt it one bit, but after a few wordy panels I though I needed to interject some action.  So this was pretty much a page just for that.  Plus I love to draw tentacles.  You'll notice the title is all hand drawn again influenced by Will Eisner's title pages. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics - Chapter 10 - Village of Stone

Chapter 10 - Village of Stone

click me so you can read all those teeny tiny words

See told you wordy.  So here we get to the meat of this story arc.  Again I had all sorts of stuff planned from here on out.  Stuff I wanted to put into the strip.  This is also one of my more creative borders and titles.  I was reading Will Eisners Graphic Story Telling and he uses lots of examples from the Spirit where he incorporates the title into the art of the story so I thought I'd try a few.  You'll see more of this coming up. 
Notice how well position Kronk is in the middle left panel so all those words will fit.  That of course was planned.  See getting a little better about planning for dialog.  I hate to draw something only to have to cover it up with a word balloon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics - Chapter 9 - People of Stone

Chapter 9 - People of Stone

click me to make me grow, pervert, i didn't mean like that!

The people of stone.  Kronk was a doodle long before he became a major character in the story.  And for some reason at the time I was doodling lots of rock.  I think I was trying to get my look right.  And while he was a lot of fun to draw I wasn't especially good at it.  I guess the people of stone were inspired by the story of the golem, but kinda reversed, you'll see in the next chapter.  Warning it's another one of those wordy ones.  On a mostly irrelevant tangent you'll notice a nice dark ink blotch in panel 2.  At the time I was drawing this I was watching my oldest nephew and we were drawing together.  I was showing him how to use a pen and dip it in ink and after a while he was getting frustrated and a little bored and ended up making a big mess and I got a nice large blot right on Kronk's shoulder.  I was a little bummed, kinda mad at the time, but now I can look back and laugh.  I've thought many times about fixing it, but it brings back some nice memories.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics Chapter 8 - Omens and Warnings

Chapter 8 - Omens and Warnings

click to read me up close and personal, I won't bite!      Hard.

Now we're into the buddy strip with Tushori and Keto traveling together.  I'm  pretty sure this was the start of another big writing session when I wrote quite a few pages all at once. I had some ideas and needed some foreshadowing.  I don't want to spoil it but the witch comes in handy down the road, even if I hadn't planned on it.  Plus we get to my favorite  characters to draw, well almost.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics Chapter 7 - The meeting of 3

Chapter 7 - The Meeting of Three

click me to enjoy me at a larger size, I am not fat!!!
Ah the meeting of 3.  Another one of them damn wordy strips.  Two in a row no less.  But here we introduce two new characters that will play some part in future strips, Keto Honda and Ishii Moto.  Where I got these names I can't remember.  Tushori is named after Tushiro Mufine a great Japanese actor that was in a bunch of Akira Kurosawa movies including the Seven Samurai.  I think Keto and Ishii came from various movies or stories I had watched and read, or I could just made them up.  I honestly can't remember, but I do know they flowed well and sounded cool. So in this strip I wanted to show that Tushori was part of a much larger effort and had support.  I love fat Samurai's too.  You'll undoubtedly notice a smudge up in the middle right panel.  One of many mistakes I made and never corrected.  I like smudges.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics Chapter 6 - Cowards Lament

Chapter 6 - Cowards Lament

click on me to enjoy  me at a larger size!!!

Chapter 6, ah chapter 6.  Wordy is the term I have for pages like this and there are a few.  Sometimes there necessary to advance the story and interject a large amount of plot.  I also notice my total lack of backgrounds in most of this page.  How lazy of me. 

Anyway, this is pretty much the end of the first mini arc, the beginning if you will.  Hitchcock said that a story has to have a McGuffin, or plot device that throws the story into motion.  I suppose my McGuffin was the attack on the travelers in Chapter 1.  Although it could be anything even something unrelated to the story.  Thinking back I always wanted a better McGuffin, but what is done is done so here you go.  Now onto probably my favorite mini arch of the story.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics Chapter 5 - A Den of Thieves

Chapter 5 - A Den of Thieves

Ah one of my favorite early strips.  Mainly because I took my time and had fun with it.
Kill Bill came out right around the time I wrote and drew the strip and the two middle rows of panels was inspired by the fight seen at the restaurant when the lights go out.  That and I didn't have to add a lot of detail to the panels so they went quicker.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Chapter 4 -

Chapter 4 -  If a Samurai Should Fall......

Back once again.  Here we pretty much have a continuation from Chapter 3.  And sadly I killed off Fugu, or did I, no I did.  At least for now.  This ain't Marvel comics here.   I love fight scenes I just wish I could have drawn this one better.  Again it's pretty much me learning the characters.  One thing you'll notice through out the strip is I never show Tushori's feet.  I couldn't decided if he should have legs or not.  I mean I guess so it would seem silly to have him hop around on a stem but I never did draw legs on him.  Of the 28 or so original strips I got done never once will you see his legs.  But I think if I end up continuing the strip he probably will.  Keep a eye on our main character.  He's evolving much like Garfield did in Jim Davis' strip.  you get more comfortable drawing you characters they tend to simplify and start flowing better.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Chapter 3 - The Harder They Fall

Chapter 3

click me to enlarge all that tiny type.
Welcome back loyal reader. 
Here in Chapter 3 we have a little experiment in panel creativity.  I look at these now and kinda cringe knowing that I could draw the strip so much better now, but it is what it is.  I've enhanced the panel by scanning it in color and then turning it to black and white and using the auto contrast in Photoshop Elements.  I've also cleaned a bunch of stray lines and mistakes.  I've also fixed the bleed through on the word bubbles.  What that is when I was lettering I would print the test on paper then draw a word bubble around it, cut it out and paste it to the panel.  This is incredibly old school, a technique that we used at my high school paper years ago.  And me being poor and lacking any knowledge of computer software just wanted the strip to be legible.  But the paper I used was way to thin and the line art behind it could still be seen.  I tend to write my script and then draw but draw with little concern with word placement.  At least I did early on.  After a while you start to incorporate all of it into you sketches and thumbnails with the plot.  When your the writer and artist of a strip the actual script, which I did write one, doesn't have to be super detailed.  I knew what I wanted to do when I wrote the page so my notes on it are minimal.  I'll try to find a nice example of one of my scripts and post it but for now trust me. 

I think at least in the first minor story arc, here I consider the beginning the first little story arc.  About Chapters 1-7.  I liked Fugu the best, at least to draw.  He was inspired by the hairy monster from all those Bug Bunny cartoons.  Now I'm not going to say that they are awesome plots or that the story is a riveting read.  But remember I started doing this comic on a request and it sort of took off from there.  I had little planning in the beginning and almost zero character development before hand.  But as I went on it got a little better.  I'm no Stan Lee or Jack Kirby.  I will say that I tried to write in spurts doing at least 3 or 4 pages at a time, or my minor story arcs.  If I got a good idea I tried to write it out and then work on it.  

Enjoy Chapter 4 to follow shortly.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Come let us warm ourselves by the nuclear fire

It's been a few days since my last rant, which was on censorship.  I tend to have a very definitive point and then screw it all up by going off on a thousand tangents.  You'll find that's my M.O.

I wish I could find more funny stuff to write about.  As it is, it seems like what I want to do is yell at all the stupid people hey pull you heads out of you ass and take a look around.  As an Alaskan, I've lived here for 12 years now I feel safe in calling myself that, I find it amusing that Sarah Palin seems to stick her nose into everything now days.  The shit that comes out of that woman's mouth gets to be embarrassing after a while. And for some reason people want to hear what she has to say.  You know if you ignore someone long enough they usually go away.  Sigh.

I'll be honest I use to consider myself more of a Republican than Democrat.  I really don't like either side of the fence.  I like what the Republican Party use to stand for in the days of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.  Now it just seems like the GOP is a sounding board for zealot Christians and big business.  And I don't find much to like over on the Democrats side either.  Sigh.

I wish I drank more but it's no fun.  I'm almost married, so the point of going out to the bars is lost on me now.  It use to be a reason to go meet women but now that I don't need to meet women it's cheaper and easier to just go by a 12 packs and sit around with friends.    I guess I'm bored.  I have lots to do just bored with it all.  I'll leave you with my favorite quote from a man who undoubtedly is one of the great patriots of America and quite a ladies man.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
                       Ben Franklin.

I think I just found the 7th Tenet.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Neutering Mark Twain

I find it funny that schools seem to think that two of the greatest novels of all time are in need of banning or editing.  What I also find funny is that schools should give kids a reason not to read. 

School: Kids don't read this book it has swear words and provocative ideas about race.

Kids: Okay I'm just going to go play some more Grand Theft Auto.

Have you ever read the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and/or the Adventures of Tom Sawyer?  No.
You fucking should.  They're great books, and yep they've got the dreaded N work in them and derogatory statements toward people of race.  Although when read in context it makes sense and for the time period apt. 

Now there talking about editing out the words nigger and injun and replace them with slave and Native American.
So now instead of nigger Jim we have slave Jim and instead of Injun Joe we have Native American Joe.  The pussifing of America continues.  I must have a disconnect with younger people today.  I'm not that old but I can remember a time before cell phones, ipods, xboxes, and the internet. 
 I looked up the word nigger online at to see if I could get a sense of the origin of the word.  Pretty much all it told me was how bad a word it is and how it's probably one of the most offensive words in the English language, I would assume Cunt would be up there too, although that would be in the American English language, because the Brits and Aussies drop the C bomb like skittles.

But English is a bastard language.  We steal words from everywhere for our own.  The word nigger comes from the French and Spanish words for black, and we see the word niggardly, meaning stingy, used around the 1300's.  How or why it eventually became used as a derogatory term for black people is I'm sure someones Master's dissertation but not mine.  I find it funny that calls the use of the word as a slight against blacks as slang.  It's not.  It has officially become the definition of the word.  The slang form for nigger now is in it's usage as a positive when black people refer to each other.  Language evolution.  It reminds me of another word in flux right now, gay.  Gay meant happy, jubilant.  Then it was used to describe a homosexual, and now it's used as a derogatory term for something stupid or silly and as a slight against homosexuals.

I'm getting way off topic, sorry.  My point being that when we start taking works of art and changing them to fit into today's mind set we lose.  When Twain wrote the words to his novels he used period appropriate slurs and descriptions.  At the time racial tensions were high, the civil war wasn't that long over.  Lets not forget Twain was a staunch supporter of abolition and emancipation, he didn't write the words in his books for derogatory purposes but rather to reflect the times.  To destroy that would be an injustice for history.  Now I realize that the issue here is that the abridged version would actually be for school use so as not to offend the black children having to read it.  Yet I find it hypocritical to think that way when popular black culture has no problem throwing the n-word around in songs or when referring to each other.  I don't understand this need to insulate our youth from controversial ideas.  This is why 30 year olds are still living in their parents basements.  I understand a parents want to protect there offspring from danger and to help them succeed but mollycoddling them isn't the answer. 

You may find this extreme but I liken censorship of this nature to the denial of the holocaust or that slavery was a driving factor in the Civil War.  We are slowly trying to change history or the worse.  I believe you have to move on, which I think we have to varying degrees, but you shouldn't forget.  Pretending something bad didn't happen doesn't make us better. It makes us poorer.  It starts when you take a few ideas and change them around and next thing you know that kid that read the watered down version of Huck Finn only remembers the watered down version, kinda forgets that one of the major factors leading up to the Civil War was slavery, and that the Nazi's killed millions of Jews. 

But that's just my 2 cents.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics Chapter 2

Slowly getting these scanned and doing a little touch up.  You'll notice a fairly consistant layout, with the title, chapter and title, and a recap.  This came about from a college experience of trying to do a weekly strip in the colleg paper with a running story and people who came in at strip 4 or 5 saying they didn't know what was going on.  So I had planned to maybe have this run in a local rag or something never happened but I am putting these out there for the world now.

My technic for layout is fairly simple, I started experiementing in later chapters but decided right away to use computer lettering.  Being fairly poor with out a good computer and not being able to afford Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop I went fairly old school and would print the text, draw word bubbles and glue them to the paper.  You may notice, at least close up, areas around the word bubbles that are yellowed from the rubber cement.

Chapter 2: Into the Lions Den
Most of the character came from doodles and were sketched out later.  I also started writing in blocks of pages so there was a little more consistance in the story arcs.  Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Samurai Mushroom Comics Chapter 1

Howdy all,
Where to begin. The Samurai Mushroom, aka Samurai Kinoko, started about 8 years ago.  I had been doodling on some scrap paper and had doodled the samurai mushroom and few other character, tube of toothpaste and the flaming muskrat.  That was the begining of the Legion of Extrodinary Objects, which I've only drawn 1 strip of, and will post it here some time.  Anyway, one of my observer buddies liked the little sketch of the mushroom and said he would commission me to do a strip just featuring the samurai mushroom.  So I said ok and while working as a fisheries observer at a shoreside plant I started to draw the first strip.  I have to say the first strip was a little rough,, judge for yourself it's posted below.  Needless to say as I started writing and drawing the strip I realized I wasn't really drawing a funny strip it started taking on a more serious tone and I ran with it.  Needless to say I never got paid for the strip but over the years I've kept drawing them and just found my stash.  I also just got a copy of Photoshop Elements and a large format scanner so I did a little clean up to the strip.  Here is Chapter 1 enjoy.