Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Unscrupulous Usurper"

As a boy, I was a total fiend for The Transformers. I watched the cartoon from the very first airing of the pilot episode. Then my folks bought me a Bumblejumper* toy and a couple coloring books, thus cementing my addiction to "robots in disguise." Years later, right around junior high, I discovered The Transformers comic books that Marvel was publishing. And those ended up being the very first comics I would ever own.

In all of the series' incarnations, Starscream has been one of my favorite villains. He's a viscious, back-stabbing bastard with his eyes on Megatron's throne. And he craves power so unabashedly, it's nearly suicidal. Of all the Decepticons, Starscream challenges Megatron outright on a near-daily basis. Sure, he usually gets stomped out and ends up grovelling for forgiveness. But before all the sniveling and crawling, Starscream shows some Omega Supreme-sized robo-balls. Now that's some evil I can respect.

*Bumblejumper was this mixed-up Transformers toy. He was the Bumblebee mold, cast in Cliffjumper red. Oh, those zany 80's!

9 x 12 / mixed media on watercolor paper
$206 for US / $215 for international (includes shipping)
To purchase, email Dave Crosland

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Teenage Turtles"

Comics are cool, but cartoons were my first love. And it was cartoons that eventually led me to comic books. Such was the case with The Transformers, Cops, and the Super Mario Bros & Legend of Zelda animated series. But the cartoon-comic book combo that had the biggest impact on me as a child, was Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

From the moment I first saw this fearsome foursome in action, I was hooked. Damn, I was obsessed! I would draw the Turtles incessantly -- in sketchbooks, in my school notebooks, on desks. My sixth grade teacher actually met with my parents to tell them about my "turtle problem," fearing that I wouldn't advance as an artist if all I knew how to draw were little green ninjas.

In truth, TMNT was an incredible inspiration to my young, fertile mind. And it played a huge role in me realizing that I wanted to be a professional artist when I grew up.

9" x 12" / mixed media on watercolor paper
$306 for US / $315 for international (includes shipping)
To purchase, email Dave Crosland

Friday, May 27, 2011

... Or Stay Tuned

Egads! I'm gonna have to postpone today's Alphabet Attack! The piece I started on got a little... involved. And I need to jump on some other stuff, before the day is out.

On the bright side, I'll crush the drawing over the weekend & get it posted by Sunday. So now you have something to look forward to, besides the 8000th episode of The Simpsons.

In the meantime, I invite you to enjoy the fruits of Series 2 so far, and peer back into Series 1, if you're really fiendin'. I won't judge.

"Party like it's 1999!"
- Mr. Gum

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Today's drawing is of those original diesel truckers of the intergalactic highways -- Han Solo & Chewbacca! Of course, these guys originally hit the scene via film, in Star Wars: A New Hope. But the old late 70's - early 80's Star Wars comic books really expounded on the further adventures of this smuggling super duo.

I remember sneaking into my Dad's comic book collection, just to check out his Star Wars comics. They were so damn trippy, like a candy-colored amalgam of Lucas' vision, Buck Rogers and Moebius. And the story lines were outrageous. I can't tell you how many times poor Han & Chewie were forced to go toe-to-toe in some brutal gladiator arena. I guess the writers of those books were real big fans of the 1960's Star Trek series. Seems like there's a "Han vs. Chewbacca" issue for every episode of "Kirk vs. Spock," and then some!

9 x 12 / mixed media on watercolor paper
$206 for US / $215 for international (includes shipping)
To purchase, email Dave Crosland

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Ronin Runt Rearing"

No epic manga series hits me quite like the classic, Lone Wolf and Cub. The plots are brief, yet involved. And they usually possess an unexpected depth. The art is alive with fluid lines and solid ink rendering. From the most reflective moments to the most ferocious battle scenes, the pacing and illustrations convey everything with a visceral touch that swings steadily from tender to graphically violent.

Also, it's just a really damn cool comic about a ronin and his son, walking around Japan with a stroller full of weapons, getting into all sorts of sword fights and badass adventures. Ya know... comics with true grit!

9 x 12 / mixed media on watercolor paper
$206 for US / $215 for international (includes shipping)
To purchase, email Dave Crosland

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Quack Quarreler"

I was introduced to the world of Bucky O'Hare through the Saturday morning cartoon. But this fable of intergalactic strife betwixt beleaguered mammals and computer-controlled amphibians was originally spawned as a comic book, by creators Larry Hama and Michael Golden (released by Neal Adams' label, Continuity Comics).

The green rabbit leader of a crafty mammalian unit, Captain O'Hare was a cool customer. But I was always partial to his gunner, Deadeye Duck. Mr. Duck was a one-eyed, four-armed, bill-faced blasting machine. His hot temper and lust for "croaking some toad!" has helped cement his permanent badass status, in my late 70's-to-present day imagination.

9 x 12 / mixed media on watercolor paper
$125 for US / $135 for international (includes shipping)
To purchase, email Dave Crosland

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Properly Puffed"

A total blast from the past, today's piece is a shout out to the project that got me into this strange, funny book business -- Puffed. It was on a fateful day of Wizard World Chicago '02, that I met John Layman. He told me he dug my art and thought it would be perfect for a story he was working on.

JL: "Yeah, it's about a kid trapped in a dragon costume. And everyone he meets tries to kick his ass or kill him."
DC: "Cool. Like Death To Smoochie?"
JL: (glaring) "No. Not like Death To Smoochie."

A month later, we had put together a full-on pitch, complete with character designs and the first few pages. And by that autumn, Puffed #1 came out through Image Comics. And thus, my life of Nerd Legend entered an epic new chapter!

9 x 12 / mixed media on watercolor paper
$125 for US / $135 for international (includes shipping)
To purchase, email Dave Crosland

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Occult Operator"

Today's piece is dedicated to that well-hung undead prophet of the apocalypse -- Rasputin! This guy's real life was pretty nutballs, and ended in a seriously grisly, ultra-violent way. But then Mike Mignola took the life of Rasputin to the next level, literally, making him a central villain and force of nature in Hellboy.

The wraith-like seer is ever bent on bringing forth the end of the world, via The Right Hand of Doom. Usually, this ends in disaster for poor ol' Rasputin since, well, that Hand is attached to an extremely reluctant demon turned monster hunter. When it comes down to it, I kinda feel like Rasputin is the most damned character throughout the whole story. He's lost so much, yet he remains stuck on destruction.

9 x 12 / mixed media on watercolor paper
$206 for US / $215 for international (includes shipping)
To purchase, email Dave Crosland

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Nasty Ninja"

For all the villain-lovers out there, you can't go wrong with Storm Shadow from G.I.Joe. Being the ultimate Yang to Snake Eyes' Yin, this Cobra assassin was one of the very first truly evil ninja characters I'd ever come across. I mean, damn, did you see how he sliced up Hawk in that live action movie? Merciless!

9 x 12 / mixed media on recycled bristol
Update: SOLD!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Malo Miami Mobster

A few years ago, I got to team up with writer John Layman (Puffed, Chew) on our second comic collaboration -- Scarface: Scarred For Life. For better or worse, IDW Publishing allowed us to run wild with the concept. And what we came up with was an over-the-top, pastel & palm tree ruckus that I've lovingly dubbed as "Scarface: The Animated Series."

Between John's script, Len O'Grady's wildly imaginative coloring and the chance to add to the lore of Tony Montana, I ended up having an awesome time illustrating the book. So today's piece is an homage to that bizarre, fortunate project. "Get the yeyo!"

9 x 12 / mixed media on recycled bristol
$106 for US / $115 for international (includes shipping)
To purchase, email Dave Crosland

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Long Pause For Alphabet Attack!

Hello All,

Unfortunately, I got sick as a dog, this week. It's rare that I'd let a common cold keep me away from my drawing table. But this is no common cold. So I'm taking the rest of this week off from Alphabet Attack! to rest and recuperate.

And in a wondrous dose of timing, the blog will be even further delayed, due to a big trip I'm taking out east, on Friday. I'll be setting up shop at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, this weekend. Then visiting family and friends while I'm on that side of the country.

So look forward to a rejuvenated return of Alphabet Attack! on May 17th. We still have 14 letters of the alphabet to go, in Series 2. So there's plenty of comic book character mayhem, yet to come!

Yours truly, in sickness and in health.
- Dave, aka King Gum

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Lionhearted Leaf Lover"

Today's comic character is none other than the THC-infused warrior of peace, Marijuanaman! Big ups to my boys Jim Mahfood and Joe Casey for their collaboration with Ziggy Marley on this gorgeous, hardcover volume of righteous weed-loving justice versus cruel corporate chemical moguls.

To see some fun behind-the-scenes moments, check out this insightful video.

9 x 12" / watercolors & ink on watercolor paper

Update: SOLD!