Garbage Man Promo Process

As I just recently posted, I now have the rights back to my DC Comics creation Garbage Man.  I am in the process of getting the art and lettering files from DC and then plan on collecting the whole saga in a Trade Hardcover along with some new art and a whole new Garbage Man story.

In the meantime, I thought I would post a short blog about my process for creating the Garbage Man promo piece you see on my home page of this website.  This is short and sweet but I think interesting none-the-less.

I was a little under the gun to come up with a promo piece that was going to be used at a DC panel at a convention.  I can’t remember which convention but I do remember I had to turn it around rather quickly.  This was about 10 years ago and I was just starting to color my own covers so I was hardly proficient at it. I’m not exactly fast now but I am at least I know everything in my photoshop tool bar.

I had an idea to incorporate the logo into the art and produced the black and white version   fairly quickly. (Note:  the “zip” patterns in his color splotches were added in photoshop at a later date and are not on the original black and white illustration.



I started to do color flats on the art in photoshop which is the most tedious job of the entire digital coloring process.  After about an hour in, I started thinking that I could paint the image faster than I could color it in photoshop.

So using my Epson Stylus Photo Printer, I printed out the black and white art on a sheet of 13X19 epson radiant white watercolor paper.  I’m not sure why I thought the ink would be waterproof but thankfully it was.  So in a matter of about two hours I painted the promo piece print out with watercolors.  If I had colored it in photoshop, it would have taken me days.



So now I essentially have two original pieces of art for this image.  One is the actual pencil and inks on illustration board and the other is the painted color done over a black and white digital print out.

That’s it.  Stay tuned for more Garbage Man news as I get closer to putting the book together.

My Latest Archie Cover

Every so often the guys over at Archie Comics shoot me an email and ask me to do a cover for them.  I find these great fun because they are so far removed from what I usually do.  I think being able to handle a myriad of subject matter is important for any illustrator/artist.  I really think if you are good, you should be able to draw any subject matter well.  I, like most artists, am striving to be good.  So bring on the curveballs!

This cover is for the 1st issue of the 10th wedding anniversary of Archie and Veronica mini-series.  Apparently this takes place in the future.  Being married with kids myself ( a lot longer than 10 years) I thought what domestic situation can I play for laughs with these characters?

The most obvious to me was, Dad comes home from work and he is supposed to be spending time with the kids or maybe he has been enlisted by his wife to watch the kids and he falls asleep on the couch.  Wife is annoyed.  So I came up with this sketch.


They liked it but they didn’t want Archie asleep.  I’m not sure if it was my idea or theirs to have Archie playing video games with his son. I thought this could be funny too if he was more into the game than his son and completely ignoring Veronica.  Of course, she is still annoyed.

I just took the original sketch and changed Archie.  I drew him separately and then combined him the existing sketch through Photoshop..


They liked it, I liked it, we all liked it.  So I penciled it and it looked something like this.  At least in the early stages.


I took this final full sized rough and light tabled it onto another board and then added the circle motif in the background and inked it.  This time almost entirely with a pen.  I was trying to get a heavier dead line weight effect.


The circle motif is there to recreate the nostalgic feeling you get from Leyendecker or Rockwell’s work on the Saturday Evening Post covers they are both so famous for.  Nothing says “Americana” to me more than Archie!

I then jumped into the coloring.  I scanned the image and colored it in Photoshop.  I kept it simple as I am want to do.



I added the rug after the fact because it started to feel like the kids were floating and I needed something to ground them.  I used some square shaped brush tools to “paint” the background and suddenly I have a Leyendecker Saturday Evening Post Cover! (except not as good)

Here it is with the Cover Logo added.


Thanks for coming by and I will have more Archie soon, along with a Wonder Woman cover!


Garbage Man Returns… me.

After years of laying in moth balls at DC, the rights to the character I originally created to replace a Vertigo locked Swamp Thing, were returned to me.  I am speaking, of course, about Garbage Man.  When DC proper was finally able to pry Swamp Thing back from Vertigo ( this unfortunately occurred about half-way through my Garbage Man saga) Garbage Man became instantly irrelevant.  A few years later, the rights to my creation have reverted back to me.

When I originally conceptualized Garbage Man he was intended to harken back to Berni Wrightson’s original visual approach for Swamp Thing.  More of a super hero monster than the esoteric vegetable god that Alan Moore turned him into.  There are similarities between my character and Len Wein and Wrightson’s creation but there are also a lot of differences both visually and character-wise.  And now vast differences from the current Swamp Thing incarnation.


So now what?  Do I move forward with Garbage Man creating new material?  Do I reprint the original 120 page story that very few people got a chance to read?  Both?  Do I push aside Kit Carter and Wraith of God (two creator owned projects I have been developing and working on) in order to publish a project that at least has some existing fans and a little bit of name recognition?  If I do, is crowd funding the way to go?

So many deep questions, all of which I plan on answering in short order.  I have been getting a much stronger reaction to my social media postings about Garbage Man than I could have anticipated, which gives me hope that there might be an audience out there for this.

Garbage Man originally appeared in the DC anthology mini-series, Weird Worlds.


The second part of the saga appeared a few months later in another 6-issue anthology mini-series called, My Greatest Adventure.

My_Greatest_Adventure_Vol_2_1 9.49.57 PM

This series included about 8 pages of Batman appearances that would have to be removed if I were to reprint this original story.  Batman does play an important, albeit minor, role in the story.  But he could be easily replaced with some more of my own characters and it would be seamless fix.

My idea would be to collect the entire 120 page DC story with the 8 pages of changes (that would be new art and adjusted dialogue) plus and extra all-new Garbage Man story chapter.  The story, “Night of the Living Jed” was originally going to be used as part of the Weird World mini-series but I changed it at the last minute to something else.  So we would be looking at a 140 page trade paperback or hardcover.  A great way to relaunch Garbage Man?  Maybe.


I believe that my original Garbage Man story contains some of the best, if not THE best, artwork of my career.  For that reason alone I would like to see it reprinted.   Maybe over-sized in Black and White?

All options are being explored and I am hoping to have a decision and a definite plan soon.    Feel free to let me know if this is something you would be interested in.

More updates coming.  Thanks for stopping by!