Dec 2, 2013

Pug and Zombies

Recent illustration for a friends birthday.
Her pug with zombies.

Mar 23, 2011

March 2011 Preview

Two post in a week... Oh My God!
Been at the drawing table a lot the last few days. Here's little of what I've been working on. First is an almost completed panel... cleanup, and little white out... from the new comic Psychopomp.

Next is the pencils for an illustration I'm working on. When finished I'll have prints at SpringCon.

Well that's all for now. I'll keep everyone up to date.

PS... These were shot with my phone, so... not the BEST quality.

Mar 21, 2011

Sleepless In Seattle

Where you living right now? What happened to Seattle? What's going on? I've been oddly quit about Seattle and what's going on in my life. I've been looking for the right words... not too many to bore or be TMI.
I'm back in Iowa right now. I'm moving back to Minneapolis on May 14. I took an unplanned break from art, but am hard at work on something great. I'm a stubborn son of a bitch and a bit thick headed at times. And it took me awhile to realize where I wanted to be... in every since of the phrase.

I didn't adjust well to life after college very well and moved to Iowa to get my shit together. I also left because I felt like I was trapped. Trapped somewhere I wasn't sure I wanted to be. I went with my tail between my legs and a sense of shame. I felt like I could never move back. I went back to Minneapolis when I could. When I did I felt wonderful, alive again.

While in Iowa I dealt with some depression and person issues. I did some freelance work, worked for a pre-college high school program, and at a gas station. The gas station job I tookback after coming back from Seattle.

I moved to Seattle to recreate myself, to try something new, prove something, and much more. By moving so far away from the mid-west I could break out of my feeling of being trapped. I was once toldl that the reason that I am ANYTHING or have ANY kind of success is because of friends and college professors that have taken pity on me. It stuck with me... and made me upset. I shouldn't worry what people think or say... but it hurt.

In the past I have put parts of myself on the back burner... my dating life for example. When I left Seattle I had dated many people.

I explored parts of myself. After working at a really bad job at a bagel shop, I had a wonderful job at a bookstore. Went to parties and get togethers and became friends with folks at a local publisher. I had made friends and was living a life. Seattle was great, I became a new person. I had or was on my way to having everything I wanted... and I got ALL on my OWN. But I didn't want it anymore.

I proved to myself what I wanted to prove. Got what I wanted... then wanted to come home. Not Iowa. Minneapolis. I became a man in Minneapolis, my friends are there, I became an artist there. Seattle was great, it was a wonderful life... but it wasn't my life. My life is in Minneapolis.
I packed up, gave my notice at work, and fly back to Iowa Christmas Day. After the new year, I went and offered to work again at the gas station. And plotted my return.

Another part of my life that I shut out was a major part of my childhood. Anyone that saw my senior project knows what I'm talking about. Before moving to Seattle I went and confronted my "demons" from the past. Only to find old friends that where hurt that we lost contact.
After catching up with who we are now, and what we have done... there was no more hurt. The wounds of the past healed. My friend Josh told me that I was the same guy I was as a kid. I didn't care what overs thought, I drew... said... did... whatever I liked, and to hell with anyone that didn't like it. It almost made me cry... it was true as a child, but knew my adult self has not lived up to that. But... that has changed

You draw from your life to make art. But I was using art to hide from my life.

I'm moving back to Minneapolis cause I WANT TO. I'm a comic book artist, and a damn good cartoonist. My current project is called Psychopomp.

Mar 24, 2010

It's been awhile

I've had a number of things I've been dealing with and working on. Here's the list:

1. I'm working on a new story. This will be long format, as such I'll be posting it a page at a time, web comic style. I want to get far ahead before I launch. The working title is Psychopomp, I'm looking at a late April early May release date.

2. I'm building a web site. I need one. It's taking a while, I'm not really a wiz with web site building. This will launch right before/with the comic above. The "theme" or "style" of the site will be previewed soon with my new avatar.

3. Been trying to find some regular work, so I can save up and move. I have a second interview tomorrow for a job. If I get it I'll be heading west in August. This little detour/exile/meditation/institutionalization back in Iowa has been... interesting. But it's time to leave. SOON!

4. I've been doing studies of: various artists, philosophy, religion, story structure, and many other things... to better understand myself, life, and my work.

Nov 21, 2009

Canada 3/3

Why is this blog post so much later then the other two? It just is. Shit happens. Blogging isn't a paying gig for me, so, sorry about being late.

What did I learn from Canada? To relax. Have fun. Follow my own ideals. I always seem to have a little ball of stress inside of me. Leaving the country, to a place that doesn't have the stick up it's ass like the US, gave me a new out look on the US and my place in it. Without being to narcissistic, the United States is the center of the world. In entertainment. As a super power. This time period's Rome. Which I realized is very stressful. We have to be the BEST, better then everyone else. If someone gets something you want, they took it. They were lucky. They think they are better then you! And I can't handle it any more.

What has happened to our country. We use to want to follow in the foot steps of Lewis and Clark, Johnny Appleseed, and, or course, cowboys... be your own man, do your own thing no matter what others think, explore the unknown. Where have all the cowboys gone? What happened to the pursuit of happiness? As a country we hate and fear the lone wolves, the ones that think and do things their own way. We hate what we use to love, and aspired to be.

Canada (bet you thought I got away on a tangent didn't you) still follows their heroes, the frontiers man and the lumberjack. Self made, independent men. Every country has their heroes to follow. The English have King Aurthur, and knights. The Japanese have the samurai. Ect. These heroes, these archetypes, help form our mind set.

What happened to the United States? Canada still has the frontiers man. What happened to the cowboy? How did our icon for independents, being self made, and doing your own thing... turn into a joke. I think the problem came when Regan and W. Bush called themselves cowboys, and used that image to get themselves elected. They USED the cowboy like a cheap whore. They weren't cowboys. They embodied group think, fear of the individual, and the needing to be popular.

We're left with a prevented version of our hero. No honor. No sense of self. No anything. People follow the example of the trust-fund child getting fucked on camera. The balloon boy family, famous at any cost. More people look up to Jason Voorhees and Jigsaw, then anyone worth a damn.

That's what I learned from going to Canada.

Nov 12, 2009

Canada 2/3

C4 was great. My best show money-making wise. And one of my top favorites over all. What was so good about it, you ask? Well, the general atmosphere that I talked about yesterday was present. It was nice not having, as many, snobby comic fans walking by. The kind who walk away in disgust when they find out you don't draw Batman.

The convention was about the size of Fallcon, but with many more people attending. There was a greater diversity attending as well. Age, race, and gender balance.

Was there negatives, sure. But I'm not going to dwell on them to much, they were few and far between. Will and I sat back to back with a.. less then pleasant artist from New York. That's the worst I'll say.

The comic scene in Canada, at least Winnipeg, doesn't have that interlockingness that cities here in the States have. Which is both good and bad. Good: far less drama, and he said she said. Bad: less support for each other.

There wasn't very many people doing it all themselves, like Will and I are use to. A lot of people were shocked that we write, pencil, and ink our own stuff, let alone design and print it on our own as well.

I only bought a handful of stuff; a Smurf with a canvas and a paint brush, a copy of Captian Canuck #1, banana pocky, a sumi-e ink kit, and a print.

I met a lot of Canadian comic artist. I'm only going to talk about the ones that really blew me away, just cause I don't have time to talk about EVERYONE!

The print I bought was by Aaron Navrady. He was a great guy from Calgary. He does bio comics about his travels all over the world. He's a hell of a nice guy and a fine illustrator. With a number of comics on Top Shelf 2.0 and a fat list of illustration clients, this is a guy to watch.

Another guy I met was GMB Chomichuk, who runs Alchemical Press and has a project called the The Imagination Manifesto. This guy does some cool horror, surreal type work. He was another super nice guy, and one to keep an eye on.

Some times you meet someone at a con, get alone. Then after the con is over you realized you forgot to trade comics or even contact info. Well, it happened to me. There was a Muslim woman that was a hoot, again so nice, it's Canada... it's a given. She did some fun work, and would love to keep in touch with her. SO... if anyone reading this from C4 knows the artist I'm talking about PLEASE point me in the way of a web site or e-mail address.

Was C4 good? Hell YES! Would I do it again? HELL YES!!! But... it looks like I'll be moving to the west coast this summer, so it may not be possible. More on that later.

Nov 11, 2009

Canada 1/3

Over Halloween weekend I was up in Winnipeg, for The Central Canadian Comic book Convention... or C4, with Will Schar.
Instead of posting one long post, I'm going to break this into three smaller ones, 1) About Canada, 2) About C4 and the people I met, 3) What I learned from it all.

I've never been out of the country before. It comes with my poorer, more white trash, back ground. Been all over the United States, but never outside of it.

I found Canada to be so much more layed back then the US. No one I met was judgmental, or had a "we're the best in the world" stick up their ass. Maybe it has to do with them having free health care, who knows. Everyone was nice, and not in that superficial "I really can't stand you" kind of way. But NICE nice.

At one point I was asked how crime really was in the US. When I said that crime was higher then Canada, and that some friends and I have been mugged before, they had a genuine sense of worry. Asking if I "was okay". Even after telling them "YES, I'm fine, it was a long time ago", they seemed concerned.

Being in Canada I realized how many Americans walk around with a sense of entitlement. But not about the things we should feel entitled to, like health care or education. Americans feel they are entitled to act like assholes, but not have people act like assholes to them. After overcoming hardship, instead of hoping that no one has to under go those same hardships, most feel that if they had to live with out something as a child or live through this or that, then no one else is entitled to forgo those hardships.

Canadian food is much better, they don't have artificial coloring, or use corn syrup as much. Instead relying on natural colors and sugar. Their laws for livestock is higher. And did you know that in Canada clear drinks cannot have caffeine in them, unless marked as an energy drink? Therefore Mountain Dew in Canada has no caffeine. Anything with chocolate is also marked as an energy "whatever". I got a candy bar out of a venting machine, and it said "energy bar".

Their advetisments have a LOT more cartoon characters, which is super cool.

I liked Canada. It was great to leave the country, even if it's one that is like America in many ways. I could talk a lot more about this and that but it would get boring.

Tomorrow I'll post the next part.

Sep 23, 2009

What I've been up to

For the last almost two weeks I've been sick. Like every good geek I have allergy and sinus problems. So it's normal for me to get a little under the weather with time of the year. High pollen count and all.

So I'm dealing with the pollen count allergy crap okay. One night I'm about to fall asleep, something starts crawing on my neck... I freak, and hit it. It's a spider, it BIT me. I had to pull it's dead body off of me, cause it's fangs are suck in my neck. Turns out I'm allergic to spider bits. So instead of super powers, I got huge bumps, fever, and shit. My body explodes with sick.

To deal with the awfulness that was my life, I was given a does of Prednisone, a steroid. It helped, but it kills my immune system (cause it kills the good and the bad). Because of this, I was left open for... a respiratory infection. Feeling worse and now unable to breath, I was given Penicillin and an Advair inhaler.

It's like I got kicked while I was down... then soaked in gasoline and lit on fire.

I'm doing better, even got a little work done today. But the set back means I won't have my new comic "Monsters, Murder, and Madmen" done for Fall-Con. I will, however, have it done for C4 at the end of the month.

So... that's that. What has been going on.

Aug 5, 2009

Comics as Movie Pitches

It's been awhile. Some big things have been happening... I'll post about them soon.

Until then,
The Beat made some comments about "comics as a pitch for a movie":
"There are quite a few “comics to movie” companies that I could name – or any regular reader of this blog could name – that are very, very obviously not interested in being successful publishing companies — and succeeding handsomely in that goal."
and a blogger from The Groovy Age of Horror, asked 'Why not'.

I had my own view on the topic, and thought I would share them:

A lot of the time you can tell if a comic is just a pitch cause of the art work. It's drawn by a storyboard artist, or a want-to-be, with a storyboard mentality. No thought of line quality, placement of blacks to help the eye flow, making room for text and balloons, and the panels not working together as a page in themselves.

The other give away is, well, people will often just tell you. Mostly as part of their sales-pitch to you... I'm talking about at con, person to person. This comes off like comics are a consolation prize.

They couldn't get anyone interested in making their movie nor financially backing it, so they made it into a comic. What were those reasons? Story? Character development? To innovative? What?

If it's innovation, and they want it to be made into a film... why didn't they make a low-budget film. Even if it's on a handy-cam, made with friends on weekends. Lots of people break into the film industry this way, George Romero for one. It shows (to me) a lack of conviction in their own work, not to just make it into a the medium they envisioned for it.

I would rather buy a comic from someone that wants to make the best comic they possibly can, then someone that just couldn't get their movie made. I would rather buy THAT persons low-budget film.

There are two kinds of people when it comes to this kind of thing. Those that just want to make money, first and foremost, they don't care how or from where. And those that are following their bliss, and hopes that money comes sooner or later, but just want to make something that means something to them. The comic-as-pitch-for-movie comes off as the former.

Jun 4, 2009

Clothing Sale!

Friend and fashion designer Samantha Rei is having a sale on some of her clothing and jewelry.

Sam is a designer of the gothic lolita variety. So check out her sale items here.

If you mention my name at check out, she'll be like... "Oh, Jesse... yeah I know him."

May 18, 2009

The long awaited return of My Holy Three

Sorry folks, I've had a bunch on my plate. Here you go... more art up soon-ish.

My Holy Three #3 page 1/5
My Holy Three #3 page 2/5
My Holy Three #3 page 3/5
My Holy Three #3 page 4/5
My Holy Three #3 page 5/5

Apr 16, 2009

Stumptown is Good Enough!!!

Off to Portland, for Stumptown, in the morning. Back Monday... until then Radio silence.

Apr 10, 2009

April 2009 Cons

Oh man! HAVE I BEEN BUSY!!!

I'm working on a new comic for the two... count then TWO, conventions I will be going to this month.

Next weekend (April 18th & 19th) will be Stumptown in Portland, Oregon. I'll be setting up with my buddies and fellow MCAD alumni Will Schar, Reynold Kissling, Zack Corcoran, and Emily Wing.

The weekend after (April 26th) I'll be setting up at Minneapolis' own Microcon. Will Schar will again be joining me, as well as Renny Kissling.

If you can make it to either, please come out and say hi.

Apr 3, 2009

Come to Iowa for Corn, Stay for the... Gay Marriage?

So it seems that Iowa is the first mid-west State to say it's okay to be gay and in love.

I don't know what to say... IOWA... r e a l l y... I thought it would be Illinois or Minnesota... not IOWA!!!

Never, ever, ever thought I would have bragging rights coming from Iowa.

"Where you originally from?"
"Iowa."
"DUDE! They okayed gay marriage, that's awesome!"

I'm waiting for the first gay marriage in a corn field... complete with a hayrack ride.

Mar 31, 2009

LinkedIn

Hey EVERYONE!!!
I'm now on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/jessehaller
So let's link up!!!

Mar 29, 2009

Less Than Zero

I finished reading Less Than Zero yesterday. The quote that has stuck with me is:

"If I care about things, it'll just be worse, it'll just be another thing to worry about. It's less painful if I don't care."

-Clay

The logic makes sense. But I don't completely agree with it.

Thoughts?

Mar 26, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

This looks kind of cool. I wasn't so sure about them making a movie out of this book. But I'll bite.

Mar 9, 2009

T-Shirt Contest

I'm in a t-shirt contest! I submitted this t-shirt design for TGWTG, along with a hand full of other's not picked for the final voting. If anyone is a fan of TGWTG, especially the Nostalgia Critic, check it out. If anyone is a site member (or want to join to help push SOMEONES design to the front *winkwink* it's free) it would be cool if you voted for my shirt.

Because it's the "Nostalgia Critic" I thought the shirt should look Nostalgic, i.e. the color zip tone.

Go HERE to vote. Voting ends next Monday.

Mar 3, 2009

MOMEntums

Hey all. My old college is having a gallery show of comic art coming up this Friday. It features work from Fantagraphics' Mome. If you are in Minneapolis, check it out. A lecture by Erik Reynolds will also take place. More info can be found here.

Feb 25, 2009

Comics you should read

Hey all. My buddy Max has posted some new comics, and I thought y'all would dip them.

First is Clyde in Amsterdam... this is NOT work friendly.
Second is Pumpkinship... of the two this is my favorite. But you should check them both out.

Feb 24, 2009

I'm BACKkkkk!!!

My GOD what a messed up few weeks. Being sick. Then taking meds... only to have side affects. After the med stuff I had to hurry and do t-shirt designs for a contest... it's great publicity if I win, and was for some very COOL guys, I like a bunch. More on that later as it develops.

I'll be posting new stuff VERY soon. But until then I thought I would share a review of my Slide story I did last year. In October readcomics.org did a review, mostly positive, of said story. I should have posted this sooner... but I guess I was bashful. I met the reviewer, Jason, at Fall-con, he was very nice and it was a pleasure to talk to him.

Feb 16, 2009

More Delay

So I was sick right... I told ya'll about that Friday. I got better from these super strong meds. I was all a ready to get some stuff done... WELL it turns out the meds have some serious side affects. I was told there might... but didn't think much about it. Well there was... body cramps... insomnia... other gross stuff.

I'll be back on schedule soon.

Feb 13, 2009

No Review This Week

Hey everyone,

You maybe wondering were this weeks comic review is. Well I've had a sinus... flu... I wish I would die thing all week. I felt like I had nails being pounded into my head. When I wasn't tripping and sweating cause of my fever, I was chattering my teeth with chills.

So I'll have a review up early next week (Mon or Tues), then post another later in the week (Thurs or Fri) to make up for it.

Sorry everyone

I've got to go now take some more meds

-Jesse Haller

CONvergence 2008 5/5

Rocket Launch