Archive for the Personal/Creative Category

About Things

Posted in art, Comics, Personal/Creative with tags , , , on September 8, 2011 by joeylabartunek

Hey Blog, remember when I was talking about making this piece of art?  I consider this to be the equivalent of drawing calisthenics, a precursor stylistically to what we’re rockin in the graphic novel now, but I still had a lot of fun building it and working out some of the stylistic choices I would continue in my current art.

So here’s the thing, I know it’s big, that’s intentional, click on it and zoom in.  Don’t be lazy, it’s the only way you’ll be able to read it right.  Anyway, enough babble, here’s “About Things”.

Tom Sparks - About Things

Tom Sparks, Atomic Detective - About Things


Summer Scheming or Why we put up with the traffic, pretentious shittiness, & gouging rent prices so we can have lovely sunsets.

Posted in Personal/Creative with tags on June 22, 2011 by joeylabartunek

Today was the first day of summer, and Los Angeles wasn’t going to let us forget.  Here are some photos from the Girl’s new area of residence Echo Park, showing the glorious post-June-Gloom burnoff.

Top of The Girl's head looking out on Echo Park

Sunset - First day of Summer 2011

The Girl, The Dems, & the 2011 Pride Parade

Posted in Personal/Creative, Politics & World, Uncategorized on June 13, 2011 by joeylabartunek

My girl is fairly active in politics, and certainly more so than I.  So when she got an invitation to march with the Democratic party in the 2011 West Hollywood Pride Parade, she jumped at the chance and pulled me along for the ride.  Little did I know that several hours after agreeing to do it, that I would be holding a sign and marching down the middle of Santa Monica Blvd. And while I may not be 100% on board with the party anymore, and I certainly have some issues with the Dems and maybe more pointedly the President and all of their lack of spines, I didn’t really mind holding a sign while the Obama chants went out around me.

Ahh, the things we do for love and entertainment.  I realized after the fact that holding a sign and trying to take pictures with my phone was a really bad idea, and most of the pictures I took were complete shit.  But here are a couple photos from the parading side of things, if only to say, ‘Yes, bastards, I was there’.  Cheers.

Gearing Up

Marchin' in the Streets

Reel World: Los Angeles

Posted in Personal/Creative on June 6, 2011 by joeylabartunek

Oh hey, guess what?  No, not I didn’t cut off my toes and try to join a fish cult in Bali, but that’s not a bad idea.  No, what really happened is, I finished a new copy of my reel.  So here it is:

It’s a Bad Bad Universe

Posted in Personal/Creative, TV with tags , on July 29, 2010 by joeylabartunek

They just released a promo for the new show I work on, and I felt this is a perfect new thing to share with my ghost town of a blog. For the record, I work on the animated graphic novel bits of the show, drawing backgrounds, colorizing, etc. Enjoy!

Keeping the Shotguns Off the Dance Floor

Posted in Comics, Personal/Creative with tags , , on February 11, 2010 by joeylabartunek

So I’m sure you’re waiting to see the final update to the Tom Sparks piece, and have no fear it’s coming. As the Moz once crooned, these things take time and I’m really having a blast working on this thing, so it’s coming together at it’s own pace. We’ll see if I can’t get the pencils completely done and scanned after this weekend.

In the meantime, there’s been all kinds of things going on in my caveman universe that I haven’t had a chance to talk about much and now is as good a time as any.

For starters, I’m three weeks into my latest tensure over in the land of Deadliest Warrior, having returned to the job that drove me mad last year– building graphics.

So i’m back making sharp, shiny things flying through the air for pay. Things are a bit easier now, I’ve been absorbed into the visual effects department, which as it turns out is a blast and a vastly different environment from last year. For those looking for a visual example of what I do all day long, wonder no further:

(if you want to skip the extraneous stuff and go right to the examples scrub to 0:10 for the awesome Zulu hero shot & 1:29 for a better example of what most of the effects I build look like)
In addition to the graphics I’ve begun to take the occasional stab at actual visual effects, blood splatter and the like. Very up my alley.

In addition I moved my personal website to it’s concrete resting place over at and set up a YouTube channel as a repository for as many of the songs and videos I post here as possible. I dunno if any of this stuff has any real bearing on anything, but Joker convinced me I should upgrade and organize my growing online presence. Or something.

Of course the biggest news, I mean other than me recieving a steady paycheck for the next few months, is that my long-time co-colaborator Sean and I are gearing up for a new graphic novel. I won’t get into any details just yet, because as #2 likes to say, that would be telling. But rest assured, if it kicks your ass half as much as it kicked mine you’ll be in for a treat. It’s going to give me the opportunity to try some of the different visual ideas that have been beating around in my head since my reemergence from shifty-ville back around Christmas. So yeah, excited doesn’t even come close to describing my enthusiasm and desire to get to this thing.

Ok, that’s it for now, we’ll see about those pencils soon enough.


Black Sabath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

David Bowie – Rock n’ Roll Suicide

The Process – Part 3 Dum dum dum – layout

Posted in Comics, Personal/Creative with tags , on January 21, 2010 by joeylabartunek

Sometime people ask me if drawing comic pages is hard and I always like to be an ass and say the same thing: that drawing isn’t the hard part, that’s generally easy.  The really hard part is in thinking up the layout, panel relationships and trying to get the story cohesively across.

And I had fucked around with everything but the layout long enough, it was time to tackle the map of things to come.   There was only really one way to work it out, and that was a physical representation.  So I dug out the sktechbook, scissors, and tape and set about making a collage of sorts.  I figured i would just tape the panels and extra visual details together until I had something I was satisfied with.

As much of the final layout collage I could scan without fucking it up.

And it did the trick.  Finally things were getting clearer and I felt pretty good overall.

Now  it was time to get down to logistics, crap like ink prep (I like to take the cap off the ink bottle and let it sit out for a day or so to thicken up), finding the right brushes (always round #2’s, as learned from numerous sources but probably the best being “The Art of Comic Book Inking” by  Gary Martin, and it really is my favorite way to go) and lastly and probably the hardest to get right, paper tests.  I ran across the street to the Target and grabbed up some of their large bristol board pieces.  They were cheap and big and I hoped they would do the trick.  Sadly I was mistaken.  The problem with brush and ink (and pen and ink as well- back when I was working with that) is if the paper doesn’t have a good fibrous build the ink bleeds out in these tiny little spiderwebs, causing untold headache and problems during the actual doing.  Plus it just makes the pages look shittier overall.

The final layout test page, pardon the crappy photo but I don't want to give everything away before it's done.

So the Target paper was a failure, but I figured I could salvage some good out of it and decided, just to be overly anal that I would cut up the paper and do one more rough layout, taking the things from the collage and generating one more giant scribble filled scrawl.  You always cut the head off of the psycho after you suspect you’ve done enough damage to put them down.  Just to be sure.  So I madly scribbled, and I redid panels I felt were boring, or that were weaker than some new idea that had come up since the collage.

And after this final pass, everything was kosher inside my head.  It was time to suck it up and get down to business.

(Here’s a crappy photo sequence to show how big the layout pages are (about 2/3rds of both of them are visible on my desk) in relation to my unimpressed by photo-taking Caveman self.  (See how I snuck that in WT))