30 Days of SF- Dec 10th

Sketchbomb is held once a month at a bar called the Grove (checkout their facebook page to see when it is happening next) and run by a good buddy of mine Alphonso.


Basically, everyone gets a subject to draw their own interpretation of and a limited amount of time to draw it, and then we all share our drawing round-table style while everyone circles it and silently judges (jk everyone is really cool).


I’ve been going to sketchbomb for about four years now, and it’s easily one of my favorite drawing events in the city. I’ve made some really good friends there, and I highly recommend to anyone who’s an artist, no matter your skill level, to go and give it a shot.

Sorry for the short posting this time around, but I’ve got a pretty big one tomorrow for you all, so get your reading glasses polished and ready to go.


30 Days of SF- Dec 9th

Today I ducked out of the house for a bit to meet up with one of my long time friends Malcolm Johnson. Most of you probably already know this guy, but if you don’t, I can vouch that he’s one of the best people around. Malcolm was actually one of the first people that I became friends with when I moved to SF, and even after all these years of school and real life, we’ve managed to not only remain friends but professional comic makers as well.

Malcolm waiting for a Cubana Sandwich 

When we first started hanging out back at AAU, we were like everyone else and would spend hours brainstorming different projects and story ideas and drafting long winded plans to see these comics be printed. Most of these ideas are just pipe dreams thought up in college before the intense load of work piles on top of you. To actually see one of these projects through takes some real grit and perseverance, and that’s a quality that Malcolm has in spades. I’m proud to say that we’ve got the first issue of our comic, The Styx Express out online right now!

this place is pretty awesome, in the outer mission

Malcolm has one of the most distinct and unique art styles that I’ve ever encountered, and it’s an honor to be working with him on something as cool as the Styx Express, where he gets to draw his insanely creative designs over the greek gods in a 1920’s era frozen river Styx. The streamlined train they use to ferry the souls of the disenfranchised across the river is a sight to see. Malcolm’s future as an artist is going to be big, and I’m glad to know such an influential and prolific friend.

So, as a celebration of our comic, I drew the main character Charon!


30 Days of SF- Dec 8th

Since I’ve been spending a little bit of time exploring the Presideo, I decided to visit my friend Priyanka at the Disney Museum since I had never been there before. She’s always telling me about how Walt was such a cool guy, and I’ve always been raised hearing all the conspiracy theories about him wanting to start a cult and all that nonsense, but I had never gotten a chance to really learn about him as a person. Apparently he accomplished quite a bit.

The Walt Disney Museum 

Like everyone my age, I was raised by Disney movies during the time that the 2D animated world was really hitting a good stride before it had the carpet pulled out from under it by 3D technology. My movies were Aladdin, Lion King, Hercules, and Atlantis (which I had more appreciation for when I was older and followed Mike Mignola and Joss Whedon’s careers). The museum didn’t cover any of those movies unfortunately, but they did cover Jungle Book and a few other ones that were a little before my time, but still appreciated. However, seeing how the original Micky Mouse was made of nightmares was interesting.

The evolution of Mickey Mouse

If you’re reading my blog, I imagine you’re in the know about Disney’s World War 2 campaigns already.

You get them dirty Nazis!

The museum is actually very comprehensive and a whole lot bigger than I had ever imagined. There’s models of the original Disneyland, animatronics, and something like three stories of info and very well presented historical accounts of Walt’s life.

The War Room
Some old-timey cameras
That castle thing
This is how color is done

The drawing that I did today was for Christmas, and it’s a creepy Santa.

creepy old Santa


30 Days of SF- Dec 7th

The Presidio has been a fortified military location since 1176, when New Spain established it to gain a foothold on the San Francisco Bay. It later passed to Mexico, and then to the United States in 1848. It’s military status was ended by congress in 1994 and it soon became a national park, ending it’s 219 years of military use.

Today I drew an Ewok, and I’m tired from all the walking, so I don’t wanna write no more.


30 Days of SF- Dec 6th

AT&T park holds a charity Christmas event every year, and this year the Cartoon Art Museum had an area sectioned off for teaching kids how to create characters and draw superheroes. I was lucky enough this year to get to be one of the instructors for the event, which is a first time thing for me.

AT&T park

I’ve met a lot of friends at the Cartoon Art Museum in my time living in San Francisco. I’ve been involved in many drawing events for upcoming movies and geared to earning some money for the museum, and I’ve attended some of the best art exhibits that I’ve ever seen here. CAM is the only cartoon and comic book art museum on this side of the United States, making their presence in San Francisco a very important and unique. I’d say that throughout my time in SF the places that are the most important to me and the crux of my life here have been AAU, CAM, and Mission Comics. They’ve had exhibits from Savage Dragon and Image original pages to the full sets used in Paranorman. I’ve met Robert Kirkman, Eric Larsen, and J.H. Williams here, and the list of amazing events that the people from CAM have done over the years is so extensive that I would need a blog just for that.

a shot of the field

AT&T Park is the best baseball stadium in the city, period. The Giants have been on an amazing run over the last decade, and it’s brought some pretty outstanding energy to the city. I’ll never forget watching them win the world series the first time, and how the streets were a literal sea of orange and black. It’s like every normal person went inside and all the fans came out to party. Have you ever seen that movie Batman Begins, and scarecrow releases the gas at the end that makes the mobs of people run around acting insane? It was like that, just less violent. The first year that they won was the time they beat George Bush, and it was the time that I was in the front line of people that led the mob from Civic Center all the way to the giants stadium. The interesting thing about that win was that people were acting like it was a win for not only the Giants, but for the city and it’s politics as well. When George Bush Jr came on the screen during the game, everyone would boo and hiss, and the one Texas fan in the bar looked like he was going to cry.

our instruction board

Anyway, this event was a lot of fun. Ellis, Nina, and Brian were there helping kids and spreading the Christmas cheer. There were athletes and all kinda of mascots running around, and it was a great event!

Nina’s Super Rudolphe is on point
Santa on the pitcher’s mound

30 Days of SF- Dec 5th

Today I was invited the Dickens Fair by my good friend Cyrus Wade, and artist from AAU. Held at the Cow Palace (right down the street from where I live) the Dicken’s Fair is an incredibly immersive experience, where you don’t really even have to be a fan of his stories to really enjoy. It’s actually the coolest living history museum type experience that I’ve personally ever had.

The gates of London

The Dicken’s fair is like being transported to a literal olden times England, complete with different rooms becoming different areas taken from Dicken’s novels. My favorite one being the dimly lit night-time scene that is the Docks. The drawing that I did here is actually taken from a crazy puppet that a vendor had made and was selling outside of where the dock workers were singing.

my favorite puppet ever made

I had made my way through the cat calling prostitutes of the red light district and found Cyrus Wade dressed like a low level thief with a hand full of dice and using the top of a barrel to hustle gold coins from passerby’s. Funny enough, he wasn’t the only one doing this outside the Absinthe bar. I tried my hand at beating ol’ Cyrus and found myself to soon be in the company of beggars.

some card playing hustlers 

We walked around and drew beautiful women posing for masks in store windows, and checked out the Adventures Club for a figure drawing event that was being run by Gary Amaro, the most badass comics teacher currently at AAU.

Holy wow

Not only do you encounter the chimney sweepers, whores, and characters from the Dickens novels roaming the streets and never breaking character, but the people who attend the event do some acting as well, which adds to the fun. You can find the Queen walking the streets with her guards as everyone at the pubs yell out “God Save the Queen” as she wanders by. This fair is a trip, I’m telling you.

Some singing dock workers

The coolest dude in the whole thing was the first mate of the Captain Nemo’s Nuatilus, going by the name of Lt. Harding, and carrying a huge squid murdering rifle. If only I could be as cool as my fake ancestor.

a map of the fair

30 Days of SF- Dec 4th

Today I saw a magic show at a place called the Exit Theater, put on by two of my friends Dani Coleman and Chase Martin. The show was comprised of street magicians who had decided to band together and do a show indoors, which ended up being a pretty amazing show. I was called up to help tie someone up in a crazy straitjacket, and help do a bunch of cool tricks. My buddy Chase was the person that I had come to see, and his magic tricks are pretty legendary.

the Exit Theater 

Chase is friends with the incredibly talented writer, Dani Coleman, who had brought him along to a comic release party for the first volume of Ultrasylvania. When asked what he did for a living, he casually replied that he did magic. “Well okay buddy, lets see it” was the general response- one that he was probably very used to. He didn’t bring anything with him, but luckily we’re a bunch of nerds and one of us had a deck of magic the gathering cards. Chase went on to do a “is this your card” trick, and to be honest it was a little lackluster. He handed the cards back, and we all rewarded him with a half clap, “keep it up kid,” and were about to go about our business when he claimed that he was feeling a little sick. He lurched over the pool table, bracing himself against it and gave a disgusting burp as everyone in the vicinity turned, their vomit alarms starting to go off. Our attention was on him now as he leaned forward and something deep in his stomach started to move upwards into his throat. He tried to stop it, a panicked look on his face and he turned towards us to vomit half a deck of magic the gathering cards all over the place. Since that day, I have been a fan.

Chase is the dude on the left

I had been to the Exit Theater once in my life to see my older brother Jason’s stage production. Not only did Jason play the role of a retired Conan, but he had also wrote the script for the comedy about Conan’s daughter causing a bunch of trouble and taking off to cause even more mayhem elsewhere. The play was done by a group of actors calling themselves the Thunderbird company, all of them being native to SF. They’ve put on a good number of comedies, but this one was easily their best yet, and the audience thought so. It was the first time I ever saw my older brother end up on the cover of the entertainment section in the San Francisco Chronicle.

that straight jacket I tied the guy up in

So, in the interest of brotherly love, I drew a picture of my other brother’s character Banana Frampton- star of youtube. There you go you jerks, now you have to draw my popapocalypse characters or you’re getting nothing for Christmas from me!

Banana effin’ Frampton!


30 Days of SF- Dec 3rd

Today was a very good day with some very good news. A comic that my good buddy Mark Simmons and I had pitched about a year ago has just gotten the green light all around! So, expect to see more on that soon. Today was also my roommate’s final day of work at EA, so the few of us at the house went out to celebrate at a place in the mission called Frijtz Belgian Fries.


As you can imagine, they specialize in fries and burgers. Not specifically fries, but in dipping sauces, which they give you a choice of two from among about thirty. There’s weird ones like strawberry bbq sauce and lemon mayonnaise. I rounded it out with a root beer float and a Houston spicy hamburger.

Today, I chose to draw the lead character for the comic that Mark and I are working on. You’re not gonna know who it is yet, and I can’t tell you, but it is someone that exists somewhere out there in the entertainment world. Is that mysterious? Wait in suspense and I’ll let you know more about it soon…


30 Days of SF- Dec 3rd

So, I’m getting kicked out of SF at the end of this month, and I’m not sure when I’ll be moving back, so I’ve dedicated a little bit of time to a place everyday to go and do some drawing!

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Inside the office at Madefire. Lookit all them Statues and Artwork!

For my third day I went back to my old workplace in the East Bay- I know this isn’t technically San Francisco, but it’s a hop over the bridge, and it was to visit a place I had spent most of my working career in SF employed at.

Madefire is the leading digital comics platform and motion comics producer in the country, if not the world. Started up by a couple of like minded artists and entrepreneurs, Madefire was always a very artistic and passionate place to work. Every three months they would throw parties to give back a little bit to the people who supported them, and they were always very good to me. I started working there when I went with a teacher of mine to go and pitch them an idea, and they liked my “Planet Bananas” comic so much that they gave me the test and hired me. Before I knew what was happening, I was already leading a team of people, and making motion comics full time for books like Transformers, Hellboy, and DC comic’s Injustice.

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Some artwork by the inspiring Liam Sharp

I’ve met some really good people at Madefire, who’ve been incredibly supportive of my own comics and gave me really the only job I ever could have had the flexibility to work full time while still going to school full time. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I ever would have been able to get through college as successfully as I did. I was lucky as hell, and I know it haha.

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The outside of the offices, where there is absolutely NO OUTLET

So I dropped by and played some games with them and for the drawing today, I drew my old boss’s awesome character “Cyber Wulf.” You should read the motion comic titled “Cyber Wulf” either through one of the numerous Madefire app platforms, or on DeviantArt.

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Cyber Wulf!

30 Days of SF- Dec 2nd

So, I’m getting kicked out of SF at the end of this month, and I’m not sure when I’ll be moving back, so I’ve dedicated a little bit of time to a place everyday to go and do some drawing!

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Mission comics is run by SF native Leef Smith in the heart of the Mission, a section of the city where my grandfather grew up, Santana became famous, and home to the richest area of art and culture in SF. Leef, as only someone who is completely ingrained in this city can do, has created a venue that reflects the the mission district and San Francisco with perfection. This is one of many reasons why Mission comics has become my venue and my place to connect with comics people in San Francisco, a city that has an extensive and colorful history of underground comics publishing. Leef puts a big focus on local artists, and Mission Comics was the place where I debuted my first issue of Popapocalypse. It turned out to be one of the best days I’ve ever had, and the most successful launch party I’ll probably ever end up hosting, with all of my friends and family there to celebrate it. I can honestly say that it wasn’t until I had successfully started selling my comic at a place like Mission Comics that I had started to feel like I could actually be a comics creator professionally. It felt like validation. That’s the kind of comic shop that Leef runs.

A couple of quick stories about Leef’s store:

  • When I first started to go to Mission Comics, there was a neighborhood rooster that would frequent the shop and take over the couch, chasing away anyone that would get near to his area. I remember the first time I saw said rooster was when I was digging through the dollar bins like a nerd, and he just strolled right in through the front door like he owned the place, and flapped his wings at a kid that was playing with a toy and chased him away.
  • I freelance from home most of the time when I work, and every Wednesday I’d wake up and head to Boba guys for an iced coffee boba (one of my favorite things in the world) and go and buy some comics over at Leefs store (one of my other favorite things), and one time I was walking back from Leef’s and I passed an open garage with a classic 1960’s Cadillac in perfect condition. I stopped for a second to check that bad boy out, when I noticed that there was a big fat guy leaning through the back window of the car and adjusting a wig on a manikin lady and saying “you look so pretty. You look soooo pretty.” In the background somewhere, there was a cat meowing. I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

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One of the aspects about Leef’s shop that differs from a lot of retailers is a very active nightlife, with tonight being a great example. Two of my teachers from AAU, with whom I worked with on Ultrasylvania, and who’s classes I took to develop Popapocalyse, had their first big break-in comic released tonight at Mission Comics. I’m really proud of these two dudes and the work that they’ve done with Jack Black Ketchum, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do next! Throughout my journey of being a student to becoming a professional, both Jeremy Saliba and Brian Schirmer were there through the good times and the bad, with an invaluable level of support and understanding that I’ll be thankful for during the rest of my career. They’ve taught me a lot about making comics, but the most valuable lesson that I’ve learned from them is the art of hustling your work and breaking into the industry. I’ve never seen before the level of tenacity and heart that these two have to contribute to this industry, and it’s something that I hope to one day be able to match. I’m proud to say that I look up to these two as not only role models but as friends. SO, for my drawing tonight, I did some fan art of their lead character Black Jack Ketchum:

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