Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Comics & Illustration’ Category

Bear Illustrations

Tuesday, December 20th 2011 by Pat

I drew some bears.

Moon Bear

Behind a Tree

Found a Bird

Found a Bird

We’ve got a limited run of 8×10 (50) and 16×20 (10) prints in our store if you’d like one on your wall.

Sketch – Stephanie

Tuesday, October 11th 2011 by Pat

Sketch – Dani

Friday, October 7th 2011 by Pat

Something Fierce – Marian Call

Friday, September 30th 2011 by Pat

Marian Call - Something Fierce

Marian’s new album comes out tomorrow. You should probably buy it.

If you aren’t familiar with her work, Marian Call is an Alaskan singer/songwriter and entrepreneur who creates lovely music about avocados and space ships.

I’m in no state to be conjuring the deserved praise, I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night.

Just go get the album.

Trust me.

It’s amaaaaaaaaaaaazing.

.. and here are some variations on the above illustration.

Whale Plane v2

Wednesday, September 28th 2011 by Pat

Here’s the latest sketch from my whale plane project, it started as a water color and may evolve into something big and fun on display at the airport.

Fingers crossed!

I think it could use more rivets. Ooooh… should it have landing gear? Maybe it should look more like a Grumman Goose?

UPDATE – I had to do a Grumman Goose trace. They look so much like whales.

Comic Con 5K

Monday, September 26th 2011 by Pat

What I’d like to propose, and maybe it’s already happening, is a 5k run some time during San Diego Comic Con. Maybe Thursday or Saturday evening after the hall closes.

I exhibited in San Diego for the first time last year and had a blast. Spaghetti with the Flight gang, burritos with Vera, gin with Gene, pizza and beer with Marian, Cajun with Stepto… it goes on a bit. I even brought some smoked salmon from home to share and mixed it with not-low-fat cream cheese to make a delicious spread. Yum!

I like food, I like comics, but after sitting in a booth for five days and spending all the rest of my time hogging down meals and drinks with friends, I was feeling pretty tubby.

Rather than trying to figure out when and where to exercise on my lonesome, I was thinking next year it might be more fun and exciting to get a bunch of comic creators and fans together one evening for something healthy. An event where we’re encouraging each other to get some exercise and generally promoting geek health. Running always clears the head and it could be a nice aside from the long days of sitting and eating.

So how does this happen? Well.. If it’s left up to me then we’re just going to pick a spot to start and finish and go. Of course, I’m totally willing to hand it off. Maybe you’re in the San Diego area and want to take over organizing something more official with a local running club? Please do!

Or maybe you’re DC and Marvel and you want to get together and make this thing an event. How about a Flash or Juggernaut mini-comic to everyone who finishes?

Eh? Eh? Whaddyathink? Nudge nudge. Dooooooo it!

Labor Day – 2011 – Women in Comics

Sunday, September 4th 2011 by Pat

Labor Day never meant anything to me until a few years ago when my globetrotting friend Arlo suggested we actually begin celebrating human endeavor.

In a nutshell, every Labor Day I make sure to give some of my money to the independent artists, programmers, and content creators whose work I enjoy and, further, to highlight their work on my blog so that others may find them, too.

Arlo Midgett

In putting together my Labor Day picks this year, I decided to run with a theme.

Women in Comics.

If you follow such things, you know Batgirl showed up at the San Diego Comic Con to ask Where are the women?

So, where are the women? Well, they’re right here and they seem to be doing fine without Marvel or DC.

Meredith Gran

Meredith’s comics have great pacing, she’s capable of everything from explosive action to capturing the subtle, fleeting emotions we haven’t even bothered to name.

Meredith primarily writes and illustrates Octopus Pie, a webcomic about a couple of young women living in Brooklyn. Her work is funny and smart, driven by a strong voice and well expressed through her distinct visual style.

I can only speak from my own experience as a “Woman in Comics”, and I usually choose not to. In the context of interviews it always seems irrelevant and forced. I’ve found that many women my age – whose work amasses years of experience in both major and small publishing, self-publishing, webcomics, all measures of freelance, and studio work – are reluctant to bring their gender into a discussion of their craft. It simply has nothing to do with the ability to get the job done (which we’re also quite busy doing) and serves to “other” women in discussion of a male-dominated industry.

Meredith Gran

Vera Brosgol

I’d never play favorites in an article like this but if I did, Vera’s the one. She’s weird. She’s a curmudgeon. She’s brilliant.

At age sixteen, Vera was writing and illustrating her own webcomic, Return to Sender. It became a bit of a legend in the webcomics world and people still ask about it at conventions. It’s worth checking out even though it’s been mothballed for the past several years.

Vera contributes to the Flight Anthologies but what you’ll really want to find is a copy of her recently released book, Anya’s Ghost. It’s a twisty little story and goes in pleasantly unexpected directions.

Jen Wang

Jen’s work on Koko Be Good is breathtaking. Her lines sway and dance, it all feels very natural, as if she somehow figured out how to paint with wind.

Raina Telgemeier

Just this summer, Raina won an Eisner Award for her autobiographical story, Smile. That’s the big one, the Oscar of comics and it was well deserved.

Smile is colorful and has a timeless element to it. For me, I was drawn back to middle school and the story was like having a friend along who could understand all the same problems and embarrassments of growing up. It’s exactly the book I want to get my nieces when they hit sixth grade.

Raina also logs plenty of hours on the Babysitter’s Club graphic novels and has a nice collection of webcomics.

Erika Moen

Erika Moen has the best biographical webcomic I’ve ever read. DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary. It’s probably not safe for work or kids but I guess that all depends on perspective.

Erika’s artwork improves dramatically from start to finish of the comic but the real beauty is in how she writes. Erika is incredibly authentic and after a while it just feels like you’re sitting in a room with the funniest most awesome little punk lesbian friend you’ve ever had.

And then she farts.

There are others women in comics. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands. Go find and support Hope Larsen, Kate Beaton, Katie Shanahan, Jess Fink, Danielle Corsetto, Alison Bechdel, Hailey Bachrach & Bridget Underwood, Emily Carroll or any of the others.

I realize that the Women in Comics issue is more complicated than just pointing to some awesome women who are brave enough to pursue their creative passions. Marvel and DC are the big houses and it’s scary how underrepresented women are in the core of the industry.

On one level, it’s just dumb comic book drama but the roots go much deeper into the heart of entertainment, media and society. Stories reflect and shape our world and it’s appropriate to ask difficult questions about their content. Do these stories resonate with our values? What do they expose about the human condition?

There is a grand old tradition in literature of marginalizing, erasing, and dismissing the work of anyone outside the demographic in power. You can treat them like anomalies, divorce them from history and context; you can patronize and infantilize their creative work; and, of course, you can tuck them neatly away in genres outside the mainstream.

Rachel Edidin

Artists have a responsibility beyond entertainment but audiences also have a responsibility beyond consumption. What we support through purchases or patronage changes the shape of the world.

If you believe having women comic creators is important, go support them with your patronage and encourage others to do the same.

Marvel and DC were born from a core audience of men and boys who fantasized about having super strength and a pretty girl on their arm.

I’m one of them, I can’t help it, maybe I’m a victim of my culture or maybe it’s in my code? Either way, the world of comics has some systemic issues and change will only happen if people make a conscious efforts as consumers to pick and choose their entertainment wisely.

So yeah, maybe it is time for DC and Marvel to make some big changes… Or maybe they’re better off just getting left behind? It is a bit like complaining that Seventeen doesn’t have enough quizzes for men. It just doesn’t.

The real problem is when readers feel that publishers are telling them what sorts of story they, as girls, “should” want to read. “You’ll never be a real fan, sweetheart, but look! We made this comic just for you.” Lots of girls are going to want the pink book encrusted with hearts and ribbons, but lots of other girls would prefer to see someone’s entrails ripped out. There’s no one-size-fits-all girl book. Girls like what they like because that’s what they like, not because they’re girls.

Hope Larsen

Robots vs. Zombies

Friday, August 5th 2011 by Pat

Here’s an interview we did at comic-con for, an online zombie survival guide.

I’m standing by my answer, robots are much more dangerous than zombies. Robots have lasers and all kinds of wicked people killing technology while zombies pretty much just have perseverance and hunger.

Sure, it’s the kind of deep down hunger that wins football games but they’re so hopelessly outclassed. Robots can fly, they can be tiny, they can be giant, they can shoot missiles at you from space. They can repair themselves. Robots all the way.

The only way zombies would even stand a chance at wiping us out as fast as robots is if the disease mutated in such a way that it became airborne or could be carried by animals and insects. Even then, I’m going with robots. They’re a lot harder to take out with a baseball bat or an axe.

I guess it could be argued that robots require a lot of maintenance and resources but they know math. And that’s it, my final argument in favor of robots..

Math always wins.

San Diego Comic Con 2011

Sunday, July 17th 2011 by Pat

We’ll be at Comic Con and I wanted to come up with an easy way for people to find us in the crowd.. I made this instead:

Earth Elementals Occupy Liechtenstein

We’re located over on the outskirts of webcomics land, the orange zone on your handy dandy exhibition map.

We’ll have Alaska Robotics comics as well as several limited edition giclée prints and, for the first time, we’ll be selling these neodymium robot magnets.

They’re super strong and should be able to hold quite a lot of junk to a fridge or filing cabinet.

We’ll have gobs of shirts, this one is our popular Last Unicorn parody which is also available as a print.

Lou’s Hentai design is making the trip, we usually call it Thai Chicken when we’re too embarrassed to explain what Hentai is to a nice grandmother.

We might even have a Marian Call helping out at our booth from time to time. Who knows.

Hope to see you there!

A Letter Arrives

Thursday, July 7th 2011 by Pat

The fourth part in my Poseidon series.

Hermes arrives with a letter for Poseidon…could it be from Athena??