Ghost Ridin’

There have been a couple Ghost Riders throughout Marvel’s history. The first was Carter Slade, a vigilante cowboy who doesn’t really have much to do with the subsequent mythos. Carter was renamed the Phantom Rider after Marvel thought the Ghost Rider name better fit their new character– a stunt motorcyclist who made a deal with the devil and transforms into a flaming skeleton of vengeance– Johnny Blaze.

Blaze was followed in the 90s by the third Ghost Rider (or the second supernatural Ghost Rider), completely normal dude Danny Ketch. Normal in the Marvel universe is weird though, considering he got his powers through a series of events that started with “his sister was attacked by ninja gangsters” and ended with “stumbled upon a magic motorcycle”. Seriously.

The next Ghost Rider was Alejandra who literally nobody cares about and was forgotten in short order. She doesn’t even have a last name!

The most recent Ghost Rider is the teenager Robbie Reyes who in a change of pace actually doesn’t ride a motorcycle like his predecessors. Robbie instead has a haunted Dodge Charger. The car is, of course, on fire because you can’t be a Ghost Rider unless you’re on fire (Carter isn’t, but nobody cares about him either).

It took a surprisingly long time for Marvel to take the concept of the flaming spirit of vengeance who rides a vehicle and apply it to something other than a motorcycle. But when they did, the floodgates opened. The recent Ghost Racers miniseries featured redesigned versions of the classic riders and many newcomers, all forced to compete in a weird Death Race 2000/Mad Max combo… in Hell! So you get cool stuff like the Ghost Rider of 2099 being a robot riding a giant floating chainsaw. And you get fantastic crack like a Ghost Rider that is a gorilla on top of a train. Naturally, both are on fire. My personal favorite is the Ghost Rider that’s a cyborg T-Rex (on fire) riding atop a fighter jet (also on fire). Y’know, stuff that occupies a weird quantum territory of being simultaneously the worst and the best.

I’d like to think I’ve continued that proud tradition with my own Ghost Rider. His steed of choice? Unicycle.


Ka-kow. As rough as it is, this may actually be one of my favorite things I’ve drawn.


Rejected ideas for Ghost Riders and their vehicles:

  • Segway. It was a toss-up between this and the unicycle. I think they’re equally funny though.
  • Scooter. Maybe next time!
  • Skateboard. This would actually be really rad.
  • No vehicle. The Ghost Walker just has his legs on fire.

The only appropriate song to go along with Ghost Cyclist is of course… Tarzan Boy.

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Funny enough, there’s not even a spearhead here. I think it’s more accurately just a staff.


Sometimes I feel like talking about my art. Other days I just ramble on about this or that. Today is a day for that.

So, the efficacy of my internet connection wanes along some arcane lunar schedule. Occasionally it works great, most often it chugs along, and I’ve never gotten the speeds I’m supposedly paying for.


I’ve noticed that when my connection is particularly bad, it immediately gets better once I pay my internet bill. Part of this makes sense. Part of this feels like extortion.


I hate Comcast.

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The inker has always been one of the most fascinating parts of the comic book process to me. It’s a role that was born out of the necessities of the early printing process but has come to define the look of the industry. It’s a look that I’ve always attempted to ape, to varying degrees of success.


Pencillers typically use x’s to mark areas of heavy black for the inker to fill in later. I suppose it was unnecessary here since I don’t have an inker to call up. If I did, it’d be Klaus Janson. That dude is rad.


Since this is apparently a thing I do now, here’s the song of the day.

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By Charles Bukowski:

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do


Hey, if you zoom in, you’ll find the bluebird’s eye is actually really creepy.

Here’s a couple additional versions, because while I feel the mirror image being in full color has the most meaning, I don’t think I pulled off the colors too well:


This one is a bit simpler.


And this one is just the line work, which took way too long to clean up.

This was the second idea I worked on upon reading this poem, because a quick image search revealed my first idea was wholly unoriginal and perhaps too literal. I like the composition on this much more than where I was going to go anyway. On the matter of composition, I’d like to gush about Bill Sienkiewicz’s art for a while, but that’ll have to be for another day. (He’s really good.)

Now here’s a completely unrelated song of the day.

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Push (Part 1)

I don’t usually talk about personal stuff because this blog is primarily meant for art. But it felt appropriate here, because sometimes certain emotions influence my process.

If you travel back a few posts, I mentioned injuring my hand back in May. Conveniently, I mostly stopped posting throughout my recovery period. If I had been more regular, perhaps my frustrations would have leaked out.

I’m over it now. I can joke about it even. But let’s get this straight: seeing my fingers explode was traumatizing. I won’t ever forget the sound of flesh and nail crunching under the weight of heavy metal. Or the vivid image of me on my knees, clutching my hand, blood seeping everywhere. That’s not to say anything of the recovery, where I quickly learned how much I relied on my right hand. There were so many things I could no longer do. So much I had to ask of other people. It made me feel weak. It made me feel angry. Two weeks into June I broke down crying because I couldn’t do a push up without collapsing in pain.


It hurt a lot, in many ways. And I’m better for it now. Because I am a perennial underachiever with aspirations for more. Sometimes I come to an impasse and doubt myself. I say, “Look at that, I can’t do that.” In art, in school, in so many things. It seems out of reach. When I get to that point, I get angry. With myself, with my doubts, with the world. “Why can’t I do that?”

The anger fades to jealousy. “Well, how can that guy do that?”. Hey, it’s because that guy worked for it. There’s no shortcuts in life and there’s no such thing as a Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs no matter what Han says. Many of the best things I’ve ever done in my life have been to prove someone wrong. Occasionally that someone is myself. Petty? Sure. But it motivates me to see and do, rather than sit and wait.

I was looking back at my older work the other night, way late and at the cost of sleep. And I started to think this whole blog is a layer cake. The sweet stuff is buried. Some of it is at the top. Some at the bottom. And all the various layers in the between. There’s things I do so much better in the present and then there’s drawings I did way back in 2012 that blow some of my recent work out of the water.

I was relentless back then. I committed myself to several hours a day, and felt bad about going more than a day without a new blog post. I don’t take myself nearly as seriously anymore. I have other obligations. But it was a productive mindset at least. Some of those old drawings are better than my new because I was putting in so much practice. I’d like to get back to that level, if not in output then in spirit.

This was a more introspective post than usual. But don’t worry, I’m okay. Just clearing out the cobwebs. Check out my jam of the day. May you feel uplifted in the meantime.

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Petey the Porcupine

This is Petey. He’s a porcupine. On roller skates. With a fedora.

Yeah, I don’t know either.


If the fedora and skates look weird, it’s because I focused on drawing the porcupine first and then gave up.

And I know I didn’t draw brakes on the roller skates. Petey stops for no one.

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1000 Faces (Part 36)

I’m not sure why I did this in grayscale but there it is.


No, I didn’t finish his shirt. But this is 1000 Faces, not 1000 Shirts.

That would just be tedious.

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Buena Vista

I think it’s Spanish for “buena vista”.


I’ve been listening to a lot of Nine Inch Nails the past few days, so this was actually the angriest landscape I’ve ever drawn. Trent Reznor is basically reverse Bob Ross.

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1000 Faces (Part 35)

A quick sketch to chip away at this mountain:


And another WIP of this landscape:


It was only in posting this that I realized I had shrunk the image for the previous WIP and never remembered to go back to the original size when I went to work on it again. It’s a bit late to fix that. Whoops.

The trees along the bottom are vexing me at the moment. I’m half tempted to just crop it along the mountains, because look at that skyline.

Speaking of Skyline, man what a terrible movie. I have a lot of respect for stories that can keep a very small scope/setting but the glimpses of the alien invasion you see between the awful drama in an apartment just make you wish you were watching that movie instead. And there’s the ending that had potential but stops abruptly in the middle of what should be a climax. “Sorry, out of budget. Have some credits instead.”

Maybe the upcoming sequel will resolve the pressing question of why aliens would use human brains for fuel.

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Batman Day

Today’s been declared Batman Day. The particular date is rather arbitrary, but who can pass up a reason to celebrate Batman? I will start off the festivities by controversially stating that I prefer Batman Begins over The Dark Knight. I’m a sucker for origin stories for comic book movies because they give the fullest character development and story arc and Batman Begins is a well done origin. …And I like Katie Holmes.

I did a quick sketch of ol’ Batsy for the occasion.


And here’s a work in progress of something else:


Because I’m all about beautiful sunsets and long walks on the beach.

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