Monday, December 31, 2012

Character Sketch: Navajo Warrior

I drew this as a birthday present for a friend of mine a few years ago. It's a portrait of him (with heroic proportions). I drew it with a Staedlter pencil and inked it with a crow quill pen and ink.

Happy New Year all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Green Bull (a Wandering Koala tale)

Kinghorn never expected to see a murdered co-worker’s body tied to the blade of a windmill he helped have built. He is even more shocked to learn his best friend is the prime suspect!

The case appears open and shut on the surface—but dark secrets never stay buried. Can Kinghorn deal with the truth behind the man he worships and the cause he?s given everything to support? What price will he pay for his loyalty? And what will it cost the city around him? Can even the intervention of the Wandering Koala solve the riddle of the Green Bull?

The Green Bull is a 17,000-word novella with 20 original illustrations and a new essay.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not according to plan

A few months ago I did a guest post on Matt William's blog about my new project, The Green Bull (a Wandering Koala tale). I was so happy with how The Caveman Conspiracy turned out that I decided to do another story in that style.

But a funny thing happened to me on the way to the forum (google it if you don't get the reference). The story grew from a manageble 8,000 - 10,000 word novella (the ideal size for such a venture) to over 16,000 words, a little long for that style. So I decided to make it a regular illustrated novella so it would meet the size limitations of ePublishing.

But that doesn't mean I've abandoned the format. Oh, no, my friends, I have many stories left to tell that will use either that format or a version of it.

Here's a sneak peak at a few of the illustrations:

And while we're on the subject, there's a new Wandering Koala comic available at no cost for a limited time on, Wandering Koala uncovers The Sixth Figure. Pick it up as a stocking stuffer for yourself!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 Christmas Card

This is it! Today's the day! Presenting my Christmas Card for 2012!

This took longer than usual for several reasons: 1) crazy busy at work, 2) not sure what I wanted to say, and 3) learning new techniques with a new program (Corel Painter 12). But I think it turned out beautifully and is one of the best I've ever created. I hope you enjoy it. And feel free to share with all your friends and families.

And Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cards of Christmas Past (Part 4)

Tomorrow I'll debut this year's Christmas card on the blog. But today I decided to share one of my favorite cards, and one of my favorite illustrations I've ever done. You can probably tell I was feeling a little melancholy that year. Enjoy!

I read Christmas stories and watched Christmas shows.
I put up bright lights and played in the snow.
I bought Christmas presents and made Christmas punch
And sat by the fire eating Christmas Eve brunch.

It wasn’t the same and hadn’t been for years—
The lights and the gifts and the wishes of good cheer.
The snow was still pretty and the decorations still grand,
But somehow it all still felt just a little bit bland.

I wanted to feel that ole holiday Joy
Like I used to feel when I was a small boy.
But it wasn't in stores or on Christmas displays,
And carolers didn't bring it, much to my dismay.

Where were you Christmas? Where was your spirit?
It couldn’t have gone far; I had to be near it.
I’d tried really hard—I’d gone through the motions,
I’d set up my tree and paid my devotions.

And then it hit me: I was trying too hard!
I can’t make Christmas happen—It comes on its own.
So I kicked back my head and stared up at the star.
And I finally saw Christmas again—with Wondering Awe.

Jeff Thomason 11/15/2003

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cards of Christmas Past (Part 3)

This was one of my earliest cards, but still one of my favorites. This was back in the day when I still mailed all my Christmas cards with a stamp, so much fewer people received it. Here's a chance for all those who missed it to enjoy!

Angels Heard On High

The old lady of eighty was home alone.
Being widowed and childless she sat
Watching the fire and stroking her cat
Wondering if the storm had stopped
And if the snow had piled so high
That it had buried her windows and doors.
Then she jumped in her chair startled at the sound
Of plastic and metal on concrete moving around.
Then peered out the window to examine the site
And realized the sound of walks being cleared that night
Sounded like angels she had once heard on high.
–Jeff Thomason, November 6, 2002

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cards of Christmas Past (Part 2)

This year's card is well under way. Until then, enjoy this little beauty from a few years ago. I was going for a style inspired by Frank Miller's Elektra Lives Again, Chinese brushwork, and coloring from I can't remember where. The poem came from one of my favorite Christmas Carols and is probably the best one I've ever written. Enjoy!

Do You Hear...
Do you dance in the wonder of new fallen snow
  or curse the cold wind and the ice-covered roads?
Do the lights and the sights make you feel like a child
  or the gripes and the fights make you want to go wild?
Is your mailbox filled up with kind cards of good cheer
  or fliers with specials and discounts and sales?
Are you happy when carolers knock at your door
  or lament the time spent on songs youˆ‚ve heard before?
Are the hustle and bustle a headache to bare
  or an essential part of the holiday fare?
Are you grateful for every gift that you get
  or ask for a receipt so you can return it?
Commotion or emotion; laughter or tears—
  do you hear sadness, or do you hear what I hear?
–Jeff Thomason, November 30, 2005

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Greeting Cards of Christmas Past (Part 1)

Each year I create a Christmas card to send to family and friends. I'm still working on this year's, but until it's finished I thought I'd post Cards of Christmas Past, one each day, so you can enjoy a little Christmas cheer from past years.

Usually I select a Christmas Carol and use the title to inspire the original illustration and poem. Occasionally I deviate from that as with this card. This time I just went with the overall theme of Gifts.