In-process page 36 from my graphic novel "Gaijin-American Prisoner of War", to be publ.d by Disney/Hyperion. Koji and his mom Adeline were walking home from church when two trench-coated FBI men cornered them and questioned them about Koji's dad. This wasn't uncommon government agent behavior during the frightening days following the attack on Pearl Harbor. FBI agents arrested all Japanese American men in the San Francisco area between the age of 25 and 45. Anything that had Japanese content- Wedding photos, calendars, Kimonos etc., was confiscated by the FBI. Anything that could be used as a weapon, including little league baseball bats, was confiscated. All radios were confiscated. Like all Japanese Americans on the west coast, Koji was just the wrong race in the wrong place at the wrong time. Water color, gouache, 2012.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Intermediate sketch page for my graphic novel "Gaijin-American Prisoner of War"- a tale about a young man, Koji, and his mom, Adeline, as they are illegally interned along with over 100,000 other Japanese Americans during WWII. This double page spread is a very early version of the story but the moment remains in the book. Here we see Karl (now Koji) and his mom Adeline pleading Karl's case before an Army lieutenant. They insist that his U.S. citizenship and the fact that he is only 13 should keep him from being interned in a prison camp. The lieutenant disagrees. Looking back, there is so much text in these frames and so many words have been edited, thankfully. Big thanks to my editor at Hyperion, Rotem Moscovich, for all her expert editing help! Pencil, 2009.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
Intermediate sketch for an article in "Cricket" magazine. I think it was a counting poem, actually. All those octopi playing all those cellos. That's a lot of cellos. Can't forget the king crab playing lead violin. And, of course, the squids and eels round out the crew. Did you figure out how many cellos there are yet? Pencil, 2003.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013
In progress final art for my graphic novel "Gaijin-American Prisoner of War", written and illus.d by me and to be publ.d by Disney/Hyperion. The hero, Koji, is Japanese/Irish American and lives in San Francisco. It's Dec. 7, 1941, his birthday. He just turned 13. It's also the day chosen by the Japanese Empire to bomb Pearl Harbor. Koji's Dad went back home to help his ailing father in Tokyo at the beginning of the year. He should've returned by now and they haven't heard from him in a while. Koji falls asleep that night worried. His bad dreams reflect his fears. Water color, gouache, 2012.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Character sketches for Teddy Roosevelt's werewolf- for the book "You're On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt" written by Judith St. George, illus.d by me and publ.d by Phylomel. Teddy used to have nightmares that coincided with asthma attacks. The nightmares involved a werewolf. I thought the idea that a werewolf was showing up nightly in Teddy's dreams was scary enough for readers so, through this sketch process, I explored designing a werewolf that... approachable. Amiable even. But still creepy. Pencil, 2003.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
A sketch I did for a t-shirt for the Oakland Eskrima Club which I and my son Gabriel Faulkner belonged to back in 2007-2009. What's Eskrima? Eskrima (also called Arnis and Kali) are names for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons. It was a lot of fun. Got a lot of bruises though. Pen&Ink, 2008.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
Intermediate sketch for a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. The character doing all the chopping and cutting is a female warrior who is very speedy. She's hacked up the lugubrious, two-headed troll long before he notices that he's leaking in several places. Pencil, 2003.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Two finished panels for "Gaijin-American Prisoner of War", a graphic novel written and illus.d by me and to be publ.d by Disney/Hyperion 2014. Here we see Adeline being questioned by FBI agents concerning her Japanese American husband, Ishiro Miyamoto. Based on circumstantial evidence (someone saw him take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge) the FBI has decided Ishiro is a spy.
This upsets Adeline and she lets them know how she feels about their assumptions. Pencil, water color, gouache, 2013. Ok, I have one more week to finish all these. Back to work!
Friday, January 18, 2013
Double page spread sketch illustration used to sell the concept of "Gaijin-American Prisoner of War", a graphic novel written and illus.d by me and to be publ.d by Disney/Hyperion 2014. Much has changed since this rendition of the story however this moment has remained intact. It's 1942 and Irish American Adeline has recv.d a letter from the government stating that her 13 year old Japanese/Irish American son Karl was to be imprisoned in a concentration camp due to his race. The letter also informs her that she is not required to accompany her son to prison due to her race. Infuriated, Adeline marched with Karl in tow down to the army office where she soon got into a bit of a disagreement with Captain Jackson. Pencil, 2009.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Thumbnail sketch on the left and intermediate sketch on right for "You're On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt" by Judith St. George, illus.d by me and publ.d by Phylomel. These sketches were made way back in the day when I used to print the text, cut it up in single lines and rubber-cement it onto the layout for both the thumbnails and intermediate sketches. Now I just scan, cut and paste in photoshop. Of course, computers are the bomb and all but there is something nice about holding that real chunk of copy and placing it by hand onto the drawing. Ok, back to the drawing board. Pencil, 2003.
Monday, January 14, 2013
When visiting my family a while back my mom approached me with a request from a neighbor. The neighbor was a mother who'd lost her son to a car accident when he was in high school some time prior. She showed me some photos and asked if I'd paint his portrait. This is one of the pencil sketches I did to prep for the painting. Not long after, maybe 6 months, I heard that the mother had died as well. I wish I'd given her this sketch as well as the painting upon completion but I didn't. So, I'll post it here in honor of this young man's mother who loved him very much. Pencil, 1997.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
To me, the proliferation of violent video games and violence in the media all speak to a great dis-ease in our national community. Some point out that there are other cultures that play games of this sort to a far greater degree than we do without the violence we see here. Its my feeling that we are now at a point where finding reasons why other cultures are capable (for the moment) of indulging in violent video games without the result we're seeing in the U.S. is not a reason for us to ignore the affect of these video games on our culture. This argument reminds me of folks who share that the FBI has done studies that connect a lessening of violent crime with the playing of these games. To me that's just acknowledging the powerful anesthetizing affect of this media. "Keep the kids doped on this stuff and you'll keep them out of jail." We've used this material as a baby sitter for twenty years now and we're seeing the result. These games are as addictive as drugs. And we're feeding our children behavior-altering violent material on a massive scale on a daily basis.
What do you think?
Over a period of about two years during the
mid-1990's I would sit down every day or so and draw some aspect of human anatomy. I realized that I'd spent most of my career drawing characters without making a serious endeavor to understand their underlying structure. This practice, while it never helped me become a surgeon, did help me tremendously in my designing and rendering characters. Might start it up again someday. Pencil, 1996.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Final art for a half-page editorial illustration for the magazine ComputerWorld. A weekly illustration job which let me create images for lots of funky tech issues and stuff. Was big fun and paid nice too. Lord, bring all us illustrators more cool jobs like this! Water color, pen&ink, 2008.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Illustration for "Because I Could Not Stop My Bike", a collection of poetry for kids, illus.d by me, written by Karen Jo Shapiro and publ.d by Charlesbridge. This illustration was for a poem about two munchkins who couldn't enough macaroni and cheese. Sound familiar? Water color, gouache, 2003.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Preliminary sketches for a writing text book for 4th graders, illus.d by me and publ.d by MacMillan- I think. It was one of the big text book publishers. The story tells of a little guy (upper right, looking into garage window) who thinks the nice lady on his paper route (upper left, holding a plate of lemon squares, for which she is famous) is an alien. That's her house on the bottom. He comes to this conclusion from several different observations but mostly because she some times looks a little green and the airstream trailer in her garage looks suspiciously like an alien space ship. Was a fun story and paid well. Pencil, 2008.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Character sketch page of Mrs. Hana Asai, prisoner of an American concentration camp during World War 2 from the graphic novel- "Gaijin-American Prisoner of War", written & illus.d by me and publ.d by Disney/Hyperion. Mrs. Asai befriends the hero of the story, 13 year old Koji, and teach him about cooking, literature, patience and courage, among other things. Pencil, 2012.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Character sketch page of Mr. Yoshi Asai, prisoner of American concentration camps during World War 2 from the graphic novel- "Gaijin-American Prisoner of War", written & illus.d by me and publ.d by Disney/Hyperion. Mr. Asai befriends the hero of the story, 13 year old Koji, and teaches him about gardening, carpentry, patience and courage, among other things. Pencil, 2012.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
One way to look at how we've come to a place in our culture where Sandyhook can happen:
"In indigenous cultures, for men, the first initiations are: the initiation into the force and the sharpness and the ferocity of things which we'll call the Sword- something that penetrates and divides things- which was often a warrior initiation. And, at the same time there has to be an initiation into the part of the soul that is aimed at Beauty. Both things have to happen. If only the initiation into force happens then the end result will be brutality. If the culture only assigns, especially to young men, the capacity for force the result will be not only brutality, but sadism in the extreme."
Michael Meade, mythologist, story-teller
Michael Meade was talking about the propensity for violence by our young men- encouraged by our culture, condoned by our military, in 1992. Long before Sandyhook, the Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine and all the rest. Maybe its time we take a closer look at ourselves, our culture.
Color sketch for a tarot deck card. This card, entitled "Kyrie Eleison" encouraged the recipient to the rely on the essential quality of the Universe- Love. The strict Catholic interpretation of "Kyrie Eleison" is "Lord, have mercy on me." This is a very western, legalistic interpretation of the term, implying that the petitioner is in need of an acquittal. An alternative interpretation of the phrase (derived from the old Greek) can be: "Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love."- less a legal argument and more an acknowledgement of God's steadfast Love. Yet to be published. Water color, gouache, 2003.