Here’s a page from my new sketchbook. Hope you like it.
Also, since I know very little about blogs, I’ve been hunting around, looking and learning. I’ve come across a couple of blogs that I thought were interesting.
The first is Stephen Bissette’s blog, Myrant. I’ve been a fan of Stephen’s work from back in the Swamp Thing days. Along with Alan Moore, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch, Stephen was one of the main reasons I got interested in comics.
The second is Neil Gaiman’s Journal. Neil is, in my humble opinion, one of the best writers to come out of comics. This is evident by how well he has been able to branch out from comics into novels and movies. He is also a pretty nice guy (at least he was the one time I met him years and years ago.)
Third is Rick Veitch, who I mentioned above. Rick has his own take on the world and its interesting. I’ve been a fan of Rick’s ever since I read “The One” – a great book.
And last but not least is an old friend of mine, Nick Zuccarello, a great guy and a damn fine 3D artist.
Okay, so two out of the four (Stephen and Rick) are former students of the Joe Kubert school like myself but it’s just a coincidence.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks. My friend Tramell Isaac called me to say that 3D Realms, the company he worked for in Dallas, had shut their doors and laid off everyone. This came as somewhat of a surprise to me. The game they were working on, “Duke Nukem Forever,” had a long and turbulent history – they’d been in production, in one form or another, for 10 years – but I’d heard the game was nearly done and looking good. The circumstances surrounding the shut down seem bazaar but, since I hardly know all the facts, I’ll refrain from comment. In the end, it’s not that important anyway. What’s important is that Tramell is out of work. Throughout his career, Tramell had only been unemployed for a maximum of two day – a fact of which he is very proud. This shut down has broken that record. To top it off, Tramell’s landlord was forced to foreclose and had to evict Tramell from his house. So in the course of one month Tramell went from being a gainfully employed Art Director and living large to having no job and being homeless – all through no fault of his own. Of course, we’ve all heard about the economic disaster the last administration left us in but this brought it home for me. On one level, it made me feel very grateful to have (what seems like) a secure job. On another level, it made me acutely aware of how fast things can change – how fleeting comfort is.
I’ve known Tramell since we both attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic art, where we were roommates. That was nineteen years ago. He has always been a very driven and determined man and I have no worries that he will land on his feet. But Tramell’s circumstances are far from unique these days. Another friend of mine, Mark Pennington is also having a hard time finding jobs. He is a freelance Comic Book artist and has worked on some pretty big titles such as X-Men, Spawn, and such, but he too is feeling the pain. So what’s the point? Maybe only this, success is temporary and fame is meaningless – they make it little easier to pay your bills and feed your family. Enjoy them while you have them and don’t waste tears on them when they’re gone. Eventually they come round again.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been updating my Baraka Studios website that I share with Tramell and Mark. I’ve tried to reorganize the site to make it easier to navigate. You can check out Mark and Tramell’s work here:
Tramell Ray Isaac
Tramell at his desk
This is a sketch I did of Tramell while we were in class, way back in the Kubert days. I was trying to fill up my sketch book for an assignment and this seemed like as good a shot as any to include in my book.