Friday, May 29, 2015

The Black Queen

THE BLACK QUEEN. 2015. Watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

I already posted this piece on Instagram, but here's the final scan. I'll have to use it as a Wacky Reference post at some point, as I used a digital maquette, lit in Photoshop, for shadow reference. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 286

THE VALIANT #1 PAGE 2. 2014. Photoshop, 2750 × 4175 px.

The Valiant trade is finally out! Now you have no excuse not to read it (unless you don't want to). But don't take my word for it — check out the stellar reviews on Amazon. It's also available from Midtown Comics and Books-A-Million. And don't forget your local comic book store!

Not in the face!!!

You can see in the pencils that I changed the Immortal Enemy's skull/face. This was early on in the project and I wanted to make sure that we remained consistent throughout the story. This meant that every incarnation needed to represent the culture and times in which it appeared — a proto-Mayan culture, in this case.

digital inks

Most of issue 1 was done digitally with Kyle T. Webster's brushes, but you can still see all the traditional pages at Splashpage Art. All right.

digital pencils

digital layouts

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sacramento 2015 Commission List

STARLORD. 2015. Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Wizard World Sacramento is just 4 weeks away! I'm still planning to go, but I'm going to run my commission list a little differently this year. For one thing, I'm a bit backed up from Megacon. For another, I'll be a guest of Hero Initiative, and proceeds from everything I do there will be going to benefit the charity.

The only commissions I'll be taking ahead of time are fully-painted, details below. All other options will be on a first-come, first served basis at the show.

9 × 12″ watercolor head shot (my own paper, no exceptions): $250.

If this is what you'd like, please email me at with the character you'd like in the subject line.

Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 285

THE VALIANT #1 PAGE 12. 2014. Photoshop, 2750 × 4175 px.

This page involved looking into the mirror a lot, but I took at least one webcam pic for the last panel. The cigar club is based on a real one in NYC that I found pics of online. (Those beautiful, blonde waves are based on my own hair.) All but 4 pages of issue #1 were done digitally, using Kyle T. Webster's Photoshop brushes. You can see the traditional pages at Splashpage Art.

I thought the trade paperback was coming out today (and last week) but it looks like you'll have to wait until the end of the month. In the meantime, our book was ranked as one of the top Valiant stories of all time by CBR. Awesome!

What's the deal?

digital inks

digital pencils

digital layout

digital ink detail

Monday, May 18, 2015


ARCHIE #2. 2015.
Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

Here's a cover we did earlier this year for the Archie relaunch with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. My Dad actually used to do caricatures back in the day, so I'm sure he was having flashbacks as he inked this.

Friday, May 15, 2015

2014 Captain America Commission

CAPTAIN AMERICA. 2014. Watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

I'll open up the list for next month's Sacramento Con sometime next week. I'm going to work things a little differently because I'll be at the Hero Initiative booth all weekend... I may only take fully painted commissions ahead of time, leaving the ink and wash ones to do at the show. Just a heads up. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 284

THE VALIANT #1 p18. 2014. Photoshop, 2750 × 4175 px.

Did I say this week? What I meant was that The Valiant trade paperback will be out May 27. But in keeping with the spirit, here's another page with its accompanying reference. This page was made completely in Photoshop, with a major assist from Kyle T. Webster's brushes, specifically Rough Inker, Ink Wash 1, Bone Dry, and Deliciously Dry. This allowed me to keep working on the book, even when I was traveling.

RAAaaauaaauAAuUUUgh! Google!

digital inks with wash tone

When the project first began, I was going to "save time" by keeping the colors flat, albeit modulated with an "ink wash" layer. By the second issue, I was already back to my old habit of two-tone coloring, but this technique was nice while it lasted. Because I was inking digitally, I couldn't help myself from adding the tone as I went along. I just love that look for black and white comics, something akin to Blazing Combat.

digital pencils

You can see that I made a change between the "pencils" (above) and layouts (below). This was one of the first digital pages that I did, and was very early on in the process. So early, in fact, that I was still figuring out what Bloodshot's powers were, how strong he was, etc. In the original panel 4, I had him leap 20 feet or so in air, but my editor wanted to power him down a bit. Of course, he still punched through what I imagine would be an aircraft-grade cockpit window.

digital layouts

Monday, May 11, 2015

Harley Quinn

HARLEY QUINN. 2015. Ink(s by Joe Rivera) & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Here's a commission from this year's Megacon (I finished it just prior to the show, then forgot to bring it). Inks by my Pops!

And I'm finally selling the 24" anatomy figure I've owned for years — you can bid on it here. I "downgraded" to the new 12" figure, also from In the coming weeks, I'll be selling the female figure as well.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Book of Death #2 Cover

Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

Hope everyone had a good week! I'm working on Book of Death #3 right now and will be starting a couple poster projects in the coming month, starring some of my favorite characters on earth.

I've finalized my Photoshop perspective template, and recorded a tutorial, so I hope to finally get that launched. I have my doubts, though, because it just does everything that Manga Studio does automatically. I've been learning that software over the last week or so and like it so far. I'll probably still use Photoshop for coloring, but MS5 can't be beat for comics.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 283

THE VALIANT #2 PAGE 15. 2015.
Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board with digital color, 11 × 17″.

The Valiant trade paperback comes out next week, so I thought it might be a good time to look back at a page from issue 2. In this scene, Ninjak really cuts loose — only to have his bum thoroughly handed to him. As you can see from the pencils, I changed where he was looking in the first panel... he wasn't angry enough!

I also wanted to mention that this page (and many others from The Valiant) are now available through my art dealer, Splashpage Art. Covers are listed separately. And even if you're not interested in purchasing, we've got nice big scans of the originals, pencils by me and inks by my dad, Joe Rivera. Hope you enjoy the closer look.

True assassins use paper tubes.

inks by my Pops

blue-line print of pencils

pencils over digital sketch

digital sketch

Monday, May 4, 2015


SPIDER-GWEN. 2015. Ink, watercolor, & acrylic on paper, 9 × 12″.

Here's a recent commission starring everyone's new favorite web-slinger, Gwen Stacy. It's ink and watercolor, with a touch of Holbein Acryla Gouache for the light-on-dark webbing. I've also got a quick video of the finishing touches on Instagram.

And in case you missed the link on social media, the guys at Making Comics Gutter Talk had me on their show recently. We talked about all kinds of things from Wizard to the Little Mermaid to finding your own style. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Coast to Coast

SPACE GHOST. 2015. Watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Y'all better be going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. Have a great weekend!