Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Back in the Day

Alien Armpit Sniffers at Work

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the blog suckage and delay in posting anything brand spankin' new for awhile. I've just returned from two and a half weeks in Denmark working on a fun project. I was animating a music video for the Danish band called Figurines.

Brad Mossman, the video's director, is an old friend from San Francisco who now lives in northern Denmark. He is a wacked musician that does frantic theme songs for cartoons on Nickelodeon, Disney and Cartoon Network. All of the jingles for the cartoons and video games I helped create a few years back were also brain-stormed by him.

Brad drew the cover character for the Figurine's album, Skeleton. So everyone thought it was a good idea to have these his characters come to life for the video of "Back in the Day."

The video is partially funded by the Animation Workshop, in Viborg, Denmark. You can check out our progress, see where we were working, and laugh at our pale, sunlight deprived faces at the official Back in the Day Blog put together by Brad.

After a chill weekend in Copenhagen (visiting more old friends), I'm back in London. Although I'm working without Brad's tasty veggie cooking, I hope to have the remaining 10% percent of the animation done by Christmas. I'll let you all know when it's available for your viewing pleasure.

When Belly Button Lint goes Unchecked

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Eye for an Eye

A few days ago, I received some monsters in the mail! Madcap Monsters is a limited print coloring book by the imaginative and inspirational Warren Leonhardt. He drew a bunch of classic monsters in odd situatiuons, printed it up and handed it out to all the lucky neighborhood ghoulies for the best holiday ever, Halloween. There were a few left-over copies (suckers!) so he wanted to trade with any of his blog readers.

I swapped my monster book, Midwest Monsters for this gem. I'd like to think Warren's monsters and mine high-fived (or sixed?) over the Atlantic somewhere.

I'm slowly making my way through coloring all the monsters. I want to do it appropriately, but I keep running out of blood...

Thanks Warren and send some O positive!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Remember, Remember

My version of a Successful Guy Fawkes
(or Merle Haggard)
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In the Third Dimension!

My good friend, long-time co-worker, and all-around awesome animator, Lyla Warren, has choosen one of the creatures of my book, Field Guide to Midwest Monsters to make into a sculpture. Here's her turnaround sketches of the friendly but bearhug giving, Cuptico-Calico. I can't wait to see him in gooey clay form. I'll post any upddates as I receive them from Ms. Warren.

Check out the Wonderful World of Warren- HERE.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Halloween Monsterama!

Halloween is my favorite time of the year! Since it's not too big in England, I shipped over a couple of boxes full of monsterous goodness, ready to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting Brits. Last Halloween, I just tried to freak myself out by visiting the very haunted Tower of London (at near closing time). But this year, I 'm throwing a full blown party /haunted house.

The invite is above, minus all the deets.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monstersquid Reborn!

It's alive! It's alive!

A brand new Monstersquid has risen from the cold murky depths! Gaze apon the horror and grotesqueness of my new website here!

For some reason I've also started up a Mys Pace page too. Personally I think it's asthetically ugly and another internet time waster but what the hell.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Creepy Cornwall

A foggy night and an abadoned tin mine in southwestern Cornwall

Dear faithful readers, sorry about the lack of posts this month. I've luckily been traveling a lot and away from the computer. Then when I'm in front of the thing, I get BlogBlock. One of my trips was to the English seaside with my girlfriend and family. We rented a cottage in Port Issac, Cornwall. Cornwall is a fiercely territoral area with its own language, ideals, history and folklore. Little did I know that it is one of the most haunted in England as well.

The entrance to the... well, you can guess.

One of the biggest attractions in the area we were staying was the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle. Tucked away in a small looking cottage, this museum had an extensive collection of artifacts from all areas of witchcraft-potion indredients and herbs, the history of witch persectuation and torture, voodoo dolls, mandrakes, descriptions of spells, curses and charms, and information on current popular witchcraft (wiccans). Unfortunately we were short on time and I had to fly through. If you are in that neck of the woods, I'd definetely recommend it.

Boscastle was a perfect setting for sucha museum. It's a small harbor village in a valley with an eiree feel to it. The town was nearly wiped out in a 2004 flash flood and the Wellington Hotel has several spooky residents.

As one Cornish local said to us, "there's witchy things going on around these parts".

A piskie plots his revenge.

But by far my favorite part of the trip was an accidental visit to the Tunnels Through Time. It was one the most creepiest, dustiest, out of the way, weird tourist trap I've ever been to (and I seek them out). While walking around the surfing town of Newquay, I noticed signs to the Tunnel of Time. So with only minutes to closing time we snuck and began our tour.

You are walked through Cornwall's bloody history and folklore by disturbingly real dioramas of cavemen, smugglers, pirates, wizards and mermaids. There are also scary ones depicting leprosy, human sacrifices, the Black Plague and the Dungeon of Despair!

My favorites were the unique dioramas with Cornish magical residents in them. The piskies, the knockers and the great giant Bolster (with blood spewing out his wrist) were the most interesting.

It was a nice break from the fudge shoppes and frilly cream tea rooms.

Hopefully I haven't creeped everyone out... will post some drawings next week.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


RikereordLa ForgeDataData

I promise this is the last one.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Why did they give this mighty Klingon warrior a bob haircut?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Baldly Going...

...where no man has gone before.

I've been watching a lot of late night Star Trek TNG lately. I wouldn't classify myself as a Trekkie, but in college we used to watch TNG late at night while stuffing congealed cheeseburgers and nachos down our freshman throats. Since I'm now not surrounded by Busch Lite swilling old college friends commenting on the size of Troi's endowments, I figured it would look less pathetic if I took that time to sketch some of the characters while watching. Right?

So to start off, here's the man, the legend, the captain- Jean-Luc Picard...

"Make it so."

More "Hunks of Star Trek" coming this week.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Spying on Monsters

More shameless "tooting my own horn"...

Hero Spy, a website devoted to reviewing comics, movies, and other pop culture goodness has just reviewed our book, A Field Guide to Midwest Monsters. It's a glowing review and we've been honored with a five star rating.

You can read the entire review here.Big thanks to Hero Spy!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Con Men

Myself and Jason Felix pose with topless female fan.

A whole month without an update! What a shite blog this is.

I've just returned to London after an extremely fun yet exhausting trip through the good ol' US of A. I spent two weeks in my motherland of cheese and bratwurst, Wisconsin. It was relaxing to catch up with family In Green Bay and ol' buds in Madison. From there the Blecha clan invaded NYC for my brother's wedding. It was a gorgeous reception on the "shore" of Brooklyn overlooking the Manhattan skyline. I was bestest man and I was very palm-sweatingly, pooping-my-pants nervous for my speech. I think it went OK- at least there's nothing online to say otherwise.

After a hellish night spent in JFK airport and a 3 hour bus ride from LA, I arrived at San Diego for Comic Con 2006. It was another stellar year there. Never before has so much inspiring work, stimulating artists, sensory overloading booths and slathering nerdgeeks been concentrated at one place and one time.

My good friend and collaborator, Jason Felix and I shared a booth in Artist Alley. We were selling our book, A Field Guide to Midwest Monsters to the swollen masses. We had a great time chatting with people and selling out of the batch that we brought down there. There is some possibly some big news for us up ahead but I'll wait to share when things are finalized a little more.

Thanks to all the people that picked up our book and to all the artists I that inspired me in turn.

You can see my small collection of Comic Con (and the following week in SF) photos HERE.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Monsterous Vomitous

Thought I'd share a little bit of my sketch and thought process. My assignment was to come up with some general funny monster designs a few months back. For this job, I wanted just try to cram as many quick monster ideas as possible on a couple of sketchbook pages. I tried to get varying sizes and personalities, hoping for a few keepers. I choose a few favorites then fleshed them out a little in the following pages. These still aren't close to what the finish creatures looked like- the client decided to go in another direction.

I'm heading back home to the States tomorrow for four or five weeks. Starting out in Wisconsin, then my brother's wedding in NYC, followed by Comicon in San Diego and then maybe working a little in San Francisco. Whew. Hopefully I'll be able to update on the road.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

He is the Campion!

My friend and old office mate, Pascal Campion, has FINALLY gotten off his French arse and started up his own blog. He used to blow us all away with his daily works of genius that he would crank out in one morning hour before anyone slunked into work. His creations were usually sprawling detailed landscapes containing anything from flying armchairs to flocks of mischievous birds.

Check out his work- he has done an illustration every day of the work week for the last year or so. His speed is only matched by his amazing storytelling skills. But I've always had a sneaking suspicion that he enslaves little Parisian dwarfs to do his production work for him.

I think he's also planning to have a book out for Comicon this year. Right, Pascal? You can see his frantic animaton on his site as well.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Back from Beijing

Up, up and awaaaaay!

I'm finally back from Beijing! I apologize for not uploading anything while I was there. It seems that accessing Blogger is blocked in China.

Beijing is a remarkably crazy city. I really liked it despite (and because of) the heavy pollution, the sweltering mugginess, the constant blaring of car horns and the threat of being run over every five minutes. It really is a unique city. The people were extremely friendly and generous. I'm glad I had a chance to work there so I could talk to the locals and see what they were like. I also had a chance to do a little sightseeing as well- The Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and Tiannamen Square. The best way to see the city is walking through the old neighborhood alleyways and streets called "hutongs". Sadly these are being bulldozed to make way for faceless modern high-rises for the 2008 Olympics. Beijing is a city in transition.

You can see my pics here.

I'll be extremely busy working on two freelance projects over the next couple of weeks, so I don't know how much I'm be updating Blogcha. "Sorry" in advance for blog butt suckage.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Mao & Me

I'm heading to Beijing today for a few weeks for biznazz 'n pleazure. I'll try to post some pics while I'm there and I'm hoping to do a bunch of sketches as well for your later enjoyment.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Sultan's Phat 'Phant

A monsterous mechanical mammal lumbered its way through the center of London last week. The Royal Deluxe theater company from France produced the goose-bump inducing spectacle. The show was titled The Sultan's Elephant and it consisted of a three story high elephant and a gigantic girl walking around London's biggest squares for four days.

It was really an amazing site. The puppeteers moved the elephant's head side to side, spraying the massive crowds with water from the mammoth's trunk. Apparently the pachyderm also pisses but I was fortunate enough to miss that shower. It reminded me of the Oliphaunts in Lord of the Rings. People in costume were dancing, fighting and waving from different levels on it's back.

The story has something to do with a sultan trying to chase a girl from his dreams. So he gets a time traveling elephant (what else?) to track her down and follow her throughout time (and the streets of London).

The parade went on for four days but we caught the grande finale, when Jumbo finally catches up with the girl. And then makes out with her...

The girl is placed inside a wooden rocket and set off skyward. I luckily caught the exact moment the elephant's brain exploded all over the crowd of young children...

It's fantastic to see the London government and police force willing to put so much time and money into art and culture for the masses. My friend mentioned also that there was no visible sign of gaudy sponsorship of any kind.

Here are some shots from the end of the day. Sunset over Buckingham Palace. 'Night Queenie.

And the last thing I remember...

UPDATE: Here's some sub par pics on Flickrfrom our day out from my friend Justin.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Blarmed Again

Dig in! I fixed up my Mucky Blarms submission for Cereal Killers- an upcoming art book put together by Von Kreep over at 1313 Midnite Kreepshow.

Other artists were adding a distressed old box feel to their art and I thought I'd try it too, but I'm no expert in PS. Also grossed up the cereal bowl and Mucky himself.

Here's some very rough sketches on Mucky too.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

With a "K"

Went shopping at IKEA a few weeks ago to spruce up the pad. Found this lovely item- the BLECKA. Apparently my last name is the Swedish furniture equivalent of two sturdy hooks for miscellaneous items. The BLECKA doesn't even come with screws. One could say Blecka has a few screws loose.

I'll be posting some pics from my Barcelona trip later this week.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jet Pack Heroes

Hey gang- here's a character I created for my friend's cartoon pitch. His name is Jake Mountian. He's the leader of Jet Pack Heroes- a group of self obsessed rescue workers that care more about how they look on camera rather than saving the screaming old lady in the burning building. It takes place in the future where natural disasters have ravaged the earth and all its inhabitants. Everything is televised and super-mega-hyper-commercialized.

The character write up called for a square-jawed cocky leader in a semi-realitic style. I thought I'd share the process of going from initial concept ideas to finished character. I like the finished Jake but for some reason the last page of sketches with the guy with the underbite and skinny arms and legs is appealing to me.

It was a lot of fun to work on and I'll be posting the other characters here sometime in the future. The pitch is still in the oozing formation stage, but the creator, Patrick Baggata's other cartoon pitch can be ogled here...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Monster Sketches

I'm off to Barcelona with my brother for a week so I just wanted to quickly throw up some sketches from my book, A Field Guide to Midwest Monsters. The co-author and good friend, Jason Felix had a booth at San Francisco's APE last weekend and he said sales and feedback were very positive. Thanks to all who have supported the book. It was a lot of fun to work on. We hope to collaborate again this year.