You know, it's only the second day of the blog and there's absolutely so much I want to say!!! I do want to save a lot of stuff for tomorrow - maybe I better plan this out better...
Now to you transformers fans, I know I said I would talk about Pat Lee today, but I realized it's a really heavy subject and I don't want to cut any corners and hold back any punches to what I say. So I'm going to do this right and prepare for it properly. Stay tuned right here - you'll see it soon enough!
Let me start off with a quick story about the Stargate Image above. You see the visual effects artist are tucked away in a brick building in the back lot of Bridge Studios. We only see filming when we sneak in, and usually when we do we get faces that look like "hey what are these nerds doing here??" Anywho, in September, filming was wrapping up and everyone who carried a coffee on the set was invited to attend the wrap party.
I really wanted to talk to the actors and have them remember who I am. I don't drink or dance, so the common options were out. Then one day I was talking with two of my coworking buddies Shareef Shanawany and Jessie Rieger, and it dawned on me. I'll draw everyone and have them sign the drawing!!! The problem was, I realized this a week before the party.
I almost didn't do it. I then realized that I probably wasn't going to get another chance to do this, so I took a deep breath and did what I could. I ended up waking up at 1am every morning and drawing until it was time to go to work (usually I leave the house around 5:30ish to get to work). I also pulled an all-nighter on the friday night to saturday to get it done (Thought I was done with those!!!). The piece took roughly 25 hours or so to complete.
That night I brought my thick portfolio bag with me. By this time, most people at work knew what I was doing. My Supervisor christopher at the time told me he'll take me around and introduce me - which he did. I got to meet most of the Atlantis cast and got them to sign. So I met most of them - still felt like a nerdy fanboy... and probably looked like one too... but I don't care - I met them all!!!
One of the nicest people I met was Joe Flanagan - he told me it was the greatest Stargate Art he's ever seen - I told him I was a huge fan of Stargate ever since I got the job. He said "me too...". Everyone loved the art. You might notice that Amanda Tapping's signature is actually over herself. Amanda Tapping was really sweet (and really tall...), and really cute. Unfortunately she asked if I wanted her to sign on her picture - and I was like "uhh...sure!!!". Jason Momoa couldn't sign - he was carrying his child all night (and Lisa Bonet was there too!). Surprised me actually how many of the actors brought their kids.
One actor I really wanted to meet - I won't say who he is because I don't want to spoil anything for season 4 - but I realized I didn't draw him in the picture!!! So I stayed away from him. Same with Jewel Staite, who I did draw, but very poorly in my opinion - and very small. But she did say hi to me, and was really sweet too. I left the party at 11:30, but then I heard Christopher Judge came at midnight!!! AAwww crap, I'll get him later.
David Hewlett wasn't at the party, however he heard about it, and one of the producers John Lenic introduced me to him a week later - he was really nice and signed it for me.
I'm still missing a tonne of signatures on it and it's my goal to get it complete. I'm planning on attending GateCon this year to see if I can get more.
People ask me what I'll do with the piece - I've had offers to buy it, turn it into a poster etc..., but I'm a fan and it's a piece I treasure. We'll see how it goes.
1)The Stargate Poster in all it's glory
2)A spread from Amazing Fantasy #18 I did for Marvel Comics
3)A picture of some of us Stargate Visual Effects artists at a Vancouver White Caps / LA Galaxy game (or David Beckham comes to town) From left to right - me very happy, Shareef Shanawany, Jessie Rieger and Viv Jim,
4)for those unfamiliar with my transformers work - my Armada #1 cover inked by Rob Armstrong and colored by the amazing Alan Wang
5) I like chicken
Now how about some questions:
"I was wondering what are your favorite current and past comics (doesn't have to be tfs)..."
I’ve always collected comics that have given me artistic inspiration. I bought anything Jim Lee, Alex Ross and Bryan Hitch. I’d always recommend to newcomers to comics Jim Lee & Jeph Leob’s Batman: Hush, Alex Ross’ Marvels & Kingdom Come, and Bryan Hitch & Warren Ellis Authority. Though you can’t go wrong with Ultimates, Civil War – you know the recent blockbusters. Recently I haven’t bought much – I have picked up Joe Mad’s Ultimates and am intrigued – though if you ask me, it desperately needs inks.
MyNameIsScott or Gathnet Jr. from the forms at Gateworld.com asks:
"In addition to a possible return to Stargate Atlantis, do you think you might ever work on the SG-1 movies or the upcoming Stargate Universe?"
I did do a lot of work on both "The Ark of Truth" and "Continuum". When Ark of Truth comes out in March and Continuum in the Summer, I'll be happy to let you know which scenes I've worked on. As for Stargate:Universe, I'd absolutely love to work on it - but I haven't seen any of the development of it yet (our department was knee deep in movie stuff). I believe the door was left open for me to come back, and I think I didn't piss off many people on my way out, so we'll see how it goes.
"What are your 3 favorite Transformers to draw?"
Armada Megatron, RID Omega Prime and Beast Wars Neo Magmatron - though I haven't drawn all the Movie characters yet - ask me again next month :)
hxcpunk23 also asks:
"Do you have any other Transformers projects lined up (other than "Reign of Starscream")?"
Unfortunately not yet. I'd love to do interiors, and to be honest I was offered to do the interiors for the Reign of Starscream. However, there's no way I can balance the schedule to do so with a full time gig now. But the best part about doing covers is that I can put my full effort into it with a lax deadline - hey I'll do a post about the rigors of the comic industry soon enough - stay tuned :)
Omaps321 from the boards at allspark.com asks
"I was just wondering do you usually ink your own stuff?"
No - most of my IDW covers have been pencils that I cleaned up in photoshop. Recently however, I've been laying out everything in blue pencil and going straight to inks - it's a tonne faster and makes the original art look so much better... I actually started doing this with the Stargate piece here.
Now I know there are a bunch more questions to answer and I will in due time. There were some questions about breaking into the biz and advice I would give for drawing and I'll tackel that tomorrow. Everyone please feel free to ask me anything you'd like, and I'll answer as many as I can everyday.
Happy Thursday everyone, and I'll talk to you tomorrow!!
James Anthony Raiz
Stand-Up Joke of the Day - from the Late, Great Mitch Hedberg
"I sit at my hotel at night, I think of something that's funny, then I go get a pen and I write it down. Or if the pen's too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain't funny."