Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Vulne Pro Studio on Patreon

That's right, earlier this month Vulne Pro Studio launched a Patreon page, it's been live for a couple of weeks now. I've been mad busy so I haven't had time to promote much. As you can imagine, July has been a rough month sorting things out and getting back to speed due to my Father's passing. I can't say the launch of the Patreon page was quite how I would have done this under normal circumstances but I wanted to get it up and running as soon as I could and then adjust as I go. If you truly enjoy the kind of work we do, please by all means lend some support to the work we've yet to do and most certainly will continue to do with more support.

Such as;

TKP manga works
New combat FOILs
New color works
New things and stuff
And more things
Or Stuff
Oh yes... stuff

Vulne Pro Studio Patreon

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Not the way I hoped to return but I always knew eventually I would be in this moment...

It's been some time since any real activity here...

This is a photo of my Father from around 1977-78 or so:

I don't recall precisely when The Star Wars Sketchbook came out in Michigan (beyond it's publication date is listed to be September 1977) I do know it was well before any of the Toys from Kenner or Models by MPC hit the shelves. My Father bought that sketchbook (at a K-Mart I think) and I might have ended up one of the only kids in the world, at that time (not connected to the early ILM crew), to have a somewhat close model of a TIE fighter and an X-wing. These were full scratch builds utilizing Styrofoam hamburger trays (the meat was packed on back in the day), Styrofoam cups, cardboard tubes, Leggs eggs dome containers (pantyhose), and anything else he felt worked for his construction. He followed those builds with fully scratch built models of the Sky Hopper, Vader's TIE (along with several more of the standard TIE fighters), several R2-D2s, and various other Star Wars vehicles from the images in that book and any photos he could find. Unfortunately the only Star Wars model he built during that time to survive was one of the R2-D2 replicas he made, which I still have to this day.

He always loved to build models (he even carved 1 on 1 pistol replicas out of wood when he was younger, of which a handful survive) and continued to do so right up until dementia began to settle in and claim his concentration and attention. The last scratch built models he made were 3 boats made from balsa and various harder woods; A Budweiser hydroplane, a classic Chris-Craft, and a cabin cruiser he never ended up finishing.

All my friends, and pretty much everyone, loved him and, among this circle of friends, he was referred to lovingly as The Supreme Commander. He also really loved collecting movies and adored our cat Charlie, who sadly passed last year in October. The two of them are pictured hanging together on the right sometime after our recent move 3 years back. We did end up with a new cat named Jamie but he would still call him Charlie most of the time even though he finally began to occasionally remember his name is Jamie.

Those of you that have followed this blog, or my work elsewhere on the web, either know or have a notion I stepped away from freelance and became a full time caregiver for my Father, since as early as 2009-10, due to his developing dementia. I'm sad to report my Father passed away on July 3rd, late in the evening, due to congestive heart failure and likely related dementia issues (signs of sundownders began to creep in this year). I'm, of course, saddened and devastated to see him go but I always knew it was going to end up here, dementia was always going to win. It was my pleasure to care for him all these years, no matter the difficulties, and while I'm sad he's finally passed on he'll never really be gone forever. His influence and works remain and I'll continue to honor him with my own work. He was always supportive of my pursuit of a career in art and he is, ultimately, a huge part of why I do the kind of work I do (some of this noted here). He was a gentle man and a good Father who will be missed by myself, his Brother John, and the rest of our family and friends.

Of course this now means I'm fully diving back into doing illustration, concept, and creative work once again, both the studio work (TKP) and potential future freelance. More on all this in the future but as difficult as this post is it's time to return to the fold and explore the roads of possibilities ahead. I know my Father would have wanted me to do so and I'm sure he's up there, along with Charlie, our old cat Toonces, and family long passed rooting me to forge ahead. Thank you for everything, love you Dad!

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Been a long time since I rock n' rolled...

I've been meaning to get around to this post for some time but, as many who may still follow this blog and studio might have guessed, it's been a long dry spell of posts. It's been a busy and chaotic few years as I continue to take care of my Father who has dementia. Overall it's manageable but, as you would expect, there are days and there are days. He's been continuing to do quite well though so I can't complain. This, of course, is why posting frequency has gone into the negative integers here, not a lamentation but simply the reality of more important priorities.

This isn't going to be a woe is me, life's hard post or anything of that kind, while being a care-giver can be challenging and even taxing I'm happy I'm able to do it. Your parents take care of you and when the time comes, return the favor, it's the right thing to do. Naturally this is a very time consuming endeavor and it's, of course, going to lead to changes that shift how one manages time and some things have to go on the back burner.


it looks that things have changed a degree as to freeing up some creative breathing room, we just moved into a house.

June was consumed in a rather taxing and tedious move out of our old rat-hole apartment into the house I actually grew up in as a kid. The tedium of the move was ultimately due to the ridiculous situation at this apartment that initiated what was a long overdue move in the first place. There's no need to get into any of that nonsense other than to arrive at the outcome; my Father is much better off in an actual house with handicap facilities already in place and I have a great deal more studio space for returning to my creative endeavors in earnest.

So, in short, we will gradually be easing back into some activity online as new work is completed for posting into the digital wilds. TKP never really stopped, it just went on hiatus online but work continued when time could be made. Posting frequency will be pretty much, stuff comes out when it comes out but I expect the frequency of posts will, indeed, increase.

Happy to be back after being away for so long and very happy to simply say, we're still here rockin' n rollin'.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Summer a blur... Fall of the post-ening-a-ning...

Well, that didn't quite go as planned.

  Clearly my intent to return to posting in a reasonable fashion after the last journal entry didn't materialize... it's been quite an exhausting summer. There's no need to go into detail beyond my Father is doing well but otherwise still has memory/dementia issues that can be rather time consuming depending. Unfortunately and most sadly, there was additionally the passing of my Aunt (on my Mom's side) in July which really has consumed much of what remained of summer. Since her passing I have been helping my Mom sort out her estate so that has taken quite a lot of time and is still ongoing. As I noted in the previous post, family first when your faced with things like this, the art and work will always be there if, and when, I want it to later. All said things are going as well as can be expected. Now with a modicum of calm beginning to settle in it's time I can finally get some of that work that's been backing up posted.

How it this will go will be pretty simple; stuff will drop when it drops but expect stuff to show up for sure, there's actually a lot considering how chaotic the last couple years have been (I just have to sort though all of it). I did manage to work when I could make the time because it's always relaxing to just sit down and do what I love to do; create stuff. The Theos project isn't dead, it just had a little break, new work will materialize as I can get to it and all along with blog posts, etc. I did say new stuff would be coming this year it just ended up a bit later than planned. In fact, head over to our Deviant art gallery for some new stuffs of the day, like now and stuff (stuff example below).


Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Magical Medical Mystery Tour part 2 Electric Boogaloo

This post has been pending for awhile now, it's simply been a matter of finding the time to sit down and compose it, post, and cross-post it.

A year of dead zone for updates here and no new works since July 1st on Deviant Art, where be the arts, where be the Vulne 'o' Pros dudes?  I have posted about this in the past and, again, I'm dropping an update to give a somewhat brief overview of what I've been up to; taking care of my Father as he embarked on 'The Magical Medical Mystery Tour part 2 Electric Boogaloo'. Yes, the latter half of 2013 was pretty busy with the lead up to another surgery, left carotid artery (70% stenosis) endarterectomy. His surgery was last month (the 22nd) and, once again, went well (he had a great surgeon, the same as in 2011) save one complication... he had some cognitive impairment that led to an extended stay hospital inpatient (normally you're discharged in 24 hours for this procedure) and additional extended care/physical therapy for 21 days. His surgeon was not completely sure if he had a TIA (mini stroke) or possible anesthesia hold over, however he was very positive that my Father would recover cognitively pretty quickly though and we'll get to that. So it's been a lot of driving back and forth for pre-op appointments, hospital and extended care visits and making sure he was doing well, etc, etc, etc.

This is the gist of it.

I have no intention to post endlessly (as I echoed the last time I posted updates of this kind in 2011) about all this because I was never big on the whole "tell everyone what you're doing 24/7 social media phenomenon" (not to denigrate anyone else from doing so) and, also, it would just be exhausting to post about it with regularity. I care deeply about how my Father is doing otherwise I wouldn't be doing all I have to make sure he comes though all this but I'd rather post about the work you've all been following than an endless drone about this. It hasn't been some kind of non-stop terrible experience anyway (ups and downs sure but things have, for the most part, been significantly better than they could). Being it's not terribly fun to post about this kind of stuff  I'd rather just do overview updates when it seems I should so here we are. I would have liked to get to it sooner but there simply hasn't been the time.

 My Father was discharged from extended care Tuesday, the 18th, and is now home. The assessment was he would have a lot of issues with basic tasks such as going to the bathroom but I was never sure if I completely saw that was an absolute certainty. It seems I was right because once he got home he has somewhat fallen back into his routine (he is able to get around on his own but I keep an eye on him as he's still not 100%) and the first thing he did was use the bathroom all on his own, no problems (the door was open so I could make sure he was alright). He also has some home care for a time to additionally help but he seems like he needs it less than expected (pretty much all he has for Family to help is myself and his brother who lives up north of us in Davidson MI). It's typically better for a patient with any degree of dementia or memory issues to be at home in a familiar environment so hopefully the trend will be his returning to a comfort zone of routine. It's too soon to tell how things will be but it's looking like he'll be back to his old self or enough so that he'll be reasonably self reliant. None the less I still watch him like a hawk but I'm seeing that's he's adapting to the familiar home environment quickly.

Obviously, this is why there hasn't been any new works or posts for some time. Although it's been a hectic time I actually have been reasonably productive considering what I just reported. Last year I had been involved in a live action pitch project that may or may not see the light of day and I had continued to work on TKP materials whenever there was any time to do so.  Indeed there's a bit of a significant pile of TKP works waiting to be posted, it's just a matter of getting around to all of it (actually a peek at some of that work was previewed on my Facebook page, now one here below, and you can expect to see more soon here and on the Deviant art gallery). We'll see how the landscape looks as things settle down for my Father but I expect I'll be able to get back to posting and sharing new works soon. The image below is background layout in pencil with additional digital gray scale tones in CS3.

I don't mind sharing this overview of what's going on but unless things go south any future updates on My Father will be likely brief and hopefully positive. We certainly do appreciate any well wishes but I'm not actively seeking sympathy, we're doing well and the best we can. Again it's gone pretty well considering. As always I deeply appreciate the interest in Vulne Pro's works and Theos project. Any comments, Deviant notes, email, etc that were unanswered now you understand it wasn't willful ignoring of anyone on my part. I'll see if I can get to some replies to those comments as I can.

Thank you everyone and you should most likely see some new stuff this year so stay tuned!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whale Blubber, Backpacking, and Scripting

What do these things have to do with each other?  Literally, not much.  Figuratively, quite a bit. 
In the old days, whales would be carved up by workers called flensers.  They carried knives that were well-suited to the task of separating Mr. Whale from his body fat, great big honking things that looked like polearms and were called flensing knives. 

(photo courtesy of boston.com)

They sure weren’t subtle, but then again, neither are whales. 

There’s an old maxim that backpackers use (at least, my scout master taught it to me) that applies when planning what to take when you need to carry everything on your back:  Take half of what you think you’ll need, and then take half of that. 

Now we come to the comic script, where less is almost always more, and the best rule in editing is usually to take your big ol’ flensing knife and carve away excess dialog and exposition with extreme prejudice.  Just hack it away, like whale blubber.  End up with half of what you think you need, then halve it again.
You see, what gets forgotten in a visual medium like comics is that it’s visual medium.  The pictures are there for a reason.  Worth a thousand words?  Not always.  Sometimes it’s a hundred, and sometimes it’s ten grand.  The point is, with a picture showing the reader what’s happening, there’s no need to tell them what’s happening. 

In a comic, use your words for other things, like driving the plot forward or developing the characters.  Use them for exposition as little as possible, and to describe action and emotion not at all.  

I’ll say it again- it’s a bad idea to have any words in your comic that tell the reader what’s happening on the page (Suddenly, Mary heard something!  Suddenly, Tom tripped on a log and fell!)  It’s a very, very bad idea to have anything that tells the reader how to feel about something that’s happened on the page. (Suddenly, Mary heard something!  She was very frightened!  Suddenly, Tom tripped on a log and fell!  How terrible!)  Show, don’t tell!  My examples may be corny, but look at your work carefully or, better yet, have someone else read it and tell them what to look for.  You’ll be surprised how often this happens, even if you’re a veteran.     

I’ve been working on a new project with Pam Bliss.  It’s one of those back-burner projects that started as a raw idea; set to simmer on low, it’s taken shape over the last year as we passed a script back and forth, working on it in odd moments.  We finally achieved a critical mass of goodness and coherency and it now has the green light.  I took to the script with my flensing knife, trying to peel it down to its lean skeleton, taking off a year’s worth of accumulated fat.  Something happened then that’s never happened before.  Pam sent it back to me, saying I’d trimmed off too much.  I’ve never trimmed off too much before.  It’s very hard to do.  

So don’t be afraid to make deep cuts.  Nine times out of ten, something that sticks out as flabby can probably be handled by a character’s expression or by information in the panel.  If it’s not character-building or moving the story forward, it probably doesn’t need to be there.  When in doubt, cut it out. 

More to come.  

Monday, December 31, 2012


This is a cat. This is our cat, he has fur and insanity.

Works, things, and stuffs to surface. Creative momentum continues ever forward. Stay tuned for further transmissions...