Wednesday, December 30, 2009

cool girlfriend: todd's sketchbook 1


so chris sprouse is awesome.
he is a great guy, a fantastic artist, and a good friend.
i love him. i also love his wonderful wife, xan.

like most artists, however, chris is his own worst critic and, as we detailed in depth in his modern masters book, he will draw and re-draw things (pages) sometimes three, four, FIVE times before he's happy with it. and even then he's usually not happy with it. frustrating to those of us who think that every single sweep of his pencil is a work of art. but that's the way these artists roll...

so, anyway, many years ago, at a convention in baltimore i think, at dinner, i handed chris my sketchbook and asked him if he would do a sketch for me, nothing too fancy, i'd be happy to pay. he said nonsense to the paying part, "we're friends!", and asked if he could take the book home and do it when he got a chance? no problem i said.

many many years ago.

now, okay, i've asked for it a couple of times over the years and the thing is, in that time, chris had moved twice, gotten married somewhere in between, and created tom strong and probably a half-dozen other titles along the way and told me that he had it, somewhere, that he had actually done a sketch in it, but didn't really like it and wanted to do another one, but that the book had gotten packed up in a box upstairs someplace in that first move, and he'd be happy to go dig it out when he got the chance...

cut to christmas evening--just the other night--as sharon and i were exchanging stockings and she hands me, a brightly wrapped present which is obviously a book.

so how cool is that?
coolest girlfriend ever...?
wanting to get me something i REALLY wanted, and something that would be a total surprise, sharon wrote to chris and xan (whom she had probably met maybe once for two seconds at a show) and asked if they would have the time to dig out the book now so that she could give it to me on christmas. they did--awesome, right?--and i was completely knocked off my chair as i peeled back the wrapping from that book i hadn't seen in--i won't say how long, but--a loooong time.

so thank you so much, xan and chris, for making sharon's wish come true, who then made my wish come true, and made it one truly special christmas!
and the coolest part is that my gift is now your gift as i'll be posting a bunch of the sketches in the book here on the blog...

see below...!

before i get to those, though, i realize that i may be creating a monster here--a good and totally awesome monster, but a monster nonetheless--'cause i KNOW that there are a couple other members of our little perhapa-family here whose sketches and commissions collections make mine look totally lame by comparison. and so i extend my offer to each of them--and they know who they are--if they would like to share any of their very rare, wonderful, exclusive pieces here on the blog as well...

i've talked about our awesome volleyball games in woodstock on tuesday nights back in the mid-to-late nineties and how i was, initially, stunned to be playing with and/or opposite (sides were changed every week) with legends like jim starlin, bernie wrightson, terry austin, fred hembeck, ron marz, etc.

terry and i became fast friends and we discovered quickly our mutual love of the batman animated series and, especially, harley quinn. here's terry's harley...

and his follow-up the next day with livewire--from the animated superman--'cause he felt so bad making me dead...

ron and bernie and i were invited to terry's one night for a bon voyage/fried catfish going away dinner where the four of us laughed and joked and bernie did a couple sketches in ron's and my sketchbook. it's not only cool to have a bernie wrightson sketch, this is also a reminder of a really great night.

more to come...
including starlin, sienkiewicz, neal adams, nick cardy, the one spencer beck thinks is the funniest thing he's ever seen, dave johnson, rich case, this guy named rousseau (although i don't know if i really can post that, c. )...oh, and this other guy called ringo...
smell ya later~!


Christian D. Leaf said...

The death fart in the Harley piece is the bee's knees, Todd. It's like you didn't want Harley to get away without a parting shot.

Looking forward to seeing the other entries in the book!

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful gift!!! You do have a cool girlfriend, Todd!! You are a lucky guy.

Always glad to come here and feast on the great work you and your friends do. I think it is fascinating! Thanks for sharing. :)

Colin said...

Great stuff, Todd. I especially like the Harley. Can't wait to see the rest.

Matt Wieringo said...

HAHAHAHAHA! Death Fart would make a great comic title. Nice one, C.

Okay, that's a pretty awesome gift. Sharon deserves a trip to the diner for that.

Brian said...

While I have again bestowed the title of best wife ever on Squeeze, I am proud to crown Sharon this year's best girlfriend ever.

Congrats Todd, that is a wonderful surprise.

As for art collections, anyone interested in mine can head on over to comicartfans and look under Mulcahy.

A Happy New Year to all.

JohnPopa said...

Hey Todd

At least now you won't have to ask innocent fans to ask Sprouse about the sketch wehn they see him :)


John Popa

Brian said...

There are no innocent fans.


Heywood Jablomie said...

Wow that is both an awesome gift and one helluva girlfriend you have man!

Nice stuff so far can't wait to see what else is it.

And I didn't even notice the death fart until christian mentioned it. That's just too funny to say hahaha

todd said...

personally, i always thought that was just terry's way of indicating cartoon death--the spirit ascending, shuffling the mortal coil.

christian sees what he sees.

and, yeah, john--thank you for that wonderful offer--you're a good friend--but thankfully i got it back.