Tag Archives: original art

Calgary–I’m on my way!

This Friday, I’ll be heading off to the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo for the first time ever. I’m pretty excited to be there–for a couple of years various friends like Gibson Quarter and Yanick Paquette have told me that I have to go. (In fact, I’ll be on a panel with Yanick, and Whilce PortacioThe Art of Batman)

The cast of Star Trek:  The Next Generation will be reuniting for the show. I got to write a list of my favourite things about Next Gen for the show’s program booklet–when I get back, I’ll post it here.

If you go–keep an eye out for me, come by and say hello. I’ll have some of my sketchbooks (if I run out, I’ll take names and addresses for anyone who wants one, and Keiren will ship them out, when I get back), and original artwork. I’ll be bringing the pages from the first issue of Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures #1–still looking around my studio to see what else I find in the piles of papers there.

And I’ll be bringing a copy or two of Bill the Boy Wonder:  The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, written by Marc Tyler Nobleman and illustrated by me. It’s available for pre-order right now (not coming out until July 4) so this is the only way you can get a good look at it!

It’s HOVERBOY week! And no one can stop me!

We’re promoting Hoverboy awareness all week at Art Land, running a contest and informing the world of the greatness that was the Battlin’ Bucket, in anticipation of the release of the HOVERBOY RADIO SERIES we just found a complete set of, and yes, this is an unforgivable run-on sentence, what are you going to do about it, punk?

May-1918 • Hoverboy co-creator Charles Nutt’s father, Peter Nutt, is horribly wounded during the Battle Of Cantigny, the first major US offensive of the

Pvt. Peter Nutt, pictured before the battle. Trousers not shown.

First World War.  The elder Nutt had tried to stay out of the war; claiming heart attacks, blindness, medical cowardice, “secret negroism” and leprosy, none of which earned him the deferment he desired.   Peter spent the fall of 1917,  training with the 28th Infantry of America’s 1st Army Division, and staining a record one hundred and eleven pairs of government issued trousers with what officials described as “terror”.  In battle, Private 1st Class Nutt frequently could be found  with a bucket on his head, (over his helmet and gas mask), because, according to his diaries,  “…ya can’t be too careful, right?”.  And on the fateful day of May 27th, that’s how Private Nutt went over the top, charging towards the Hun blindly, and “screaming like a tiny Chinese woman” (also according to his diary).  When he was hit simultaneously by two artillery shells, it blew off both legs, both arms and almost all of his internal organs, leaving only his head, heart, lungs and genitalia unharmed.  This event was the source of the famous expression “a real bucket case” used in army hospitals to this day.  For years after the war, Nutt toured the Midwest Freak Circuit as “the Amazing Head”, where he met a young Cynthia Göring, and fell in love.  That marriage produced three children, including Charles and his twin sisters, Emily and Emily.

The Starks meet for the first time while the Circus tours Missouri. Cynthia is to the left. Peter is wearing his "performin' suit".

In 1929, the family opened the Nutt Hardware Store in North Bend Missouri, where a young Bob Stark was sent to purchase “something to hold some water” and the rest is history.

The moment of Nutt's debilitating injury was captured in the famous image by photographer Dan Williams, entitled "Our Honored Exploded".

1964 • First (and last) issue of HOVERBOY’S FOOD FUN MAGAZINE hits newsstands.  For collectors who own this hard to find item, answer to page seven’s “Vegetable Tumble” is RUTABAGA.

Caution: Do NOT attempt any of the recipes contained within.

1990 • Hoverboy Anime show “Lucky Hovering Float Boy American” airs in Japan.  Though partly financed by the Nutt estate, the show is never brought to US airwaves because the staccato animation style used during fight scenes caused seizures in forty-seven thousand Japanese children.  Though none of the children died, over nine thousand parents were killed trying to restrain them.

Sailor Hover-Girlaru. The only image from the series allowed to be shown in the USA by law.

Tune in tomorrow for a special HOVERBOY TOYS report.

And don’t forget:  THE HOVERBOY CONTEST!  Win an original piece of Hoverboy artwork by Ty Templeton just by joining the Hoverboy Facebook page, and naming your favorite villain from Vigilance Comics’ decades long history of publishing.  A winner (drawn by lottery by Hoverboy actress Sarah Samms) will receive an ASTOUNDINGLY accurate reproduction of the winning cover, with such line-by-line fidelity that you’d swear it was the original cover!  Be the envy of your friends.  Push around people smaller than you, and berate those with foreign accents, just like a real life citizen of Arizona!  Remember, few will enter, even fewer will win.  Void where prohibited.  Your mileage may vary.

GO here

for the Hoverboy Facebook Fan Page.  And HERE for the Hoverboy home site.

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Last of the SUPER SEINFELDS

It turns out, once I found it, that the mock up of the Daily Planet was a plastic bag, and not a phony newspaper.  So, sorry about the quality of the scan, it’s impossible to make the shiny plastic work in my scanner.  I’ve tried sacrificing to the gods of digital technology ( smashing an analog video tape in front of my hard drive while chanting ), but ain’t nothing going to make the “photo” section of this come out well.  Ah, so what, you can read the jokes.  This particular Daily Planet bag is one of my favorite pieces of swag from my world of art stuff.  I LOVE Jerry Seinfeld, and have for years, and it was a tremendous woo hoo to help him put his arms around his Kryptonian buddy like that.

Before we leave the land of Seinfeld/Metropolis, I have two more images.  When the final art ran for these ads (in subways and store posters, etc.) there were two little tweaks I didn’t love.  1)  The asked me to change the expression on Superman’s face in the party image so he was laughing more.  I liked the original image, it looked more “CURT SWAN” to me, which was the gig.  And the shot of Superman at the fence was too “skinny” for the art director, so we photoshopped him a little extra girth before we put him into the photo.  Funny the nonsense that sticks in an illustrator’s brain for six years.  Anyway, no that I have a blog, I get to post the original drawings, the way I liked them.  At ART LAND I control the world!  BWAH HAH HA H

Speaking of images I don’t control, check this out, just below this paragraph.  It’s a box of crayons I came across a couple of  years ago, whilst gamboling through a local K-Mart in my home town.  The Superman image is mine, from the nineties, part of an attempt at putting a Batman Adventures spin on Superman a few years before his show spun-off, and done around the time Superman was a long haired  hippie freak.  I assumed when Bruce Timm did his designs for Superman that my designs got tossed into a bin.  But here’s one of them, on a crayon box from 2008.  What the…?  Can’t vouch for the quality of the crayons.

Here’s a fun image (below)  that NEVER ran anywhere in print or online, so far as I recall.

It was commissioned by Wizard Magazine, I’m going to say around 2001, or thereabouts.  It was for an article about Superman and his fans, and I was asked to do “MY” iconic image of Superman.  Seeing as we’d just been forced to endure another couple of issues of the BLUE SUPERMAN that year, after we’d seen him retired back in ’98, I felt the most important image I could think of was the big red cape turning his back on the nineties and striding ahead into the 21st Century.  Well, the folks at Wizard didn’t run it.  They paid me though, which was nice, and gave the artwork away to a contest winner.  I have no idea if he was as unimpressed by as Wizard was…I still like it and now I get to show it here!

More later today, if the deadline gods are kind…it is Hoverboy Friday, after all.   And tomorrow, WEEKEND STRIPS begin.  Which is to say, I start running strips, not start blogging while naked.  I’ve been naked this whole time.

Ty the Guy

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THE KIRBY QUESTION and More Unseen DC

First off–Nomination Shmomination.  I’m honoured, and hope all the other nominees are killed in a sudden, painless skiing accident at once.  Otherwise, should they survive, I’m good if Ian Boothby gets the Shuster.  He’s rock solid funny every month over at my secret home, BONGO comics, and may not have been properly acknowledged for that yet.

Ah, the whole KIRBY thing.  If you’ve lived under a rock for the last few days, you might have missed that Kirby’s family is suing MARVEL and DISNEY for the rights to many of the characters he created, or co-created, or was down the hall when someone else co-created them (in the case of the obviously-not-created-by-Kirby Spider-Man, for instance).  I’ve read some pretty passionate calls for the Kirbys to go sink their teeth into Marvel for what was done to Jack, and some equally passionate calls for the Kirbys to back off and accept that their dad sold that stuff to Martin Goodman decades ago, and that they’re just trying to reach into Disney’s very deep pockets.  I have to admit, I come down on the side of the family, simply because us creators have to stick together, and I’d hope someday my family can reap the millions and millions that will someday come our way from my dramatic re-design of the ROCKET RED costume, or the creation of a spin-off version of MODOK in Howard the Duck.  But I’m a sucker for anything that’s anti-corporate, EVEN IF IT’S THE CORPORATION THAT EMPLOYS ME FROM TIME TO TIME.

So, I’m very interested in hearing from the folks that drop by.  Pro-family or pro-Disney, let’s holler, as the kid’s say.

No, dude.  Not SUPERMAN should holler…oh, wait, this is more of that Unseen DC stuff, today with 25% more Jerry Seinfeld?  In honor of the truly horrific flogging that Jerry’s new show “The Marriage Ref” is getting all over the critic-o-sphere,  I’m posting some of the images of Superman that went into the production of the Jerry Seinfeld/Superman/American Express commercials of six or seven years ago!   And since we’re going for “Unseen” as a theme this month, I thought I’d start with some of the preliminary artwork, and dig out the finished (and printed!) versions later.  These were all meant to be “snapshots” of Jerry and his best pal SUPERMAN, hanging out at the ball game, doing laundry, walking their dogs together and male bonding in a totally heterosexual, dockers-wearing kind of a vibe.  Here are some of the REJECTED sketches I did.  They didn’t like the flying Krypto, and wanted him walking, they didn’t like the look on Superman’s face, so that got re-drawn something like eight times.  These are the Unseen comp versions.  There are five or six of these “snapshots” in total, here’s a few to chomp on for now!

Stay Tuned for more silly reasons to repost the Mad Cover as the days wear  on, and ALL NEW BUNNY FUNNIES this weekend, as the blog morphs into a webcomic.  Slowly, but very uncertainly.

Ty the Guy

Superman and Batman Magazine

The wife mentioned in the last post that it’s impossible to find stuff online about SUPERMAN AND BATMAN MAGAZINE.  And, surprisingly, it IS.  This magazine, which came out at the end of the nineties, was, for its entire run THE BEST SELLING COMIC BOOK IN NORTH AMERICA, and no one remembers it.  It sold more than HALF A MILLION copies per month, ALL by subscription, and all to younger readers, so naturally, the biz ignores it, and it was canceled after less than ten issues.  (Actually, the company that published it, WELSH PUBLICATIONS, was purchased by Marvel, and the magazine was pulled as an obvious conflict of interest.)

The above issue (5) was where the HAWKMAN poster (seen below) is originally from.

If anyone could explain to me why DC was willing to cancel its BEST SELLING comic magazine, rather than move it “in-house”, I’ve always been willing to listen.  I did TONS of art for the series, including a pin-up poster inside each issue…a couple of covers, and a fully illustrated 20 page story starring the Justice League Adventures characters LONG before they had a show.   I’ll look around the studio for copies of the mag, the posters, and any original art I still have left from the book.

Ty the O.G.

Extremely Unseen Marvel Punisher, more Slightly Seen DC and HOVERBOY FRIDAY! plus the big announcement! AND Nepotism Thursday. How long is this $)(*#$)(*##!! Title?!?

As promised, we look at some very unseen Marvel art from the same period.  The image above is from a very fun project I did with my pal SAM AGRO in the 90s.  The comic was “THE PUMMELER“, a parody of one of Marvel’s more popular characters, for a company called PARODY PRESS (best known for Adolescent Hamsters…) but Sam had a ball writing up a tremendous trio of very funny “Mad” style stories.  Worth finding in the back issues, if you can.  The cover to the left was by Sam Keith, who pitched in to help Agro get an audience.   If you follow the Pummeler link above, you’ll see the interior pages!  Sam is a well known storyboard artist who has helped the world be sickened and thrilled by the HUGELY successful SAW series of movies — been part of an academy award winning art team for FLY AWAY HOME–and he boarded tons of episodes of EWOKS and DROIDS in his day.  All that PLUS a loverly run writing great scripts for DC’s Looney Tunes comic book for years.  Is the name LEGEND appropriate?  Considering he’s one of the instructors at the highly esteemed TORONTO CARTOONIST WORKSHOP that I instruct at, I’ll have to say “yes”, LEGEND is the word.) Man, can I plug the pals and co-workers, or WHAT?!?

Watch this segue.   We’re staying with the silly images of the Punisher theme, and moving over to another living legend, Dana Moreshead.  Who is clearly not the name on the card above.  How confused am I?

There, that’s Dana.  And his odd looking pet, the name escapes me, and I don’t want to say Skipper when it was Sparky, or Spanky or Elliot Spitzer, but it was something like that.  I drew that portrait of Dana at least a decade ago, but I’m sure at least ONE of those furry creatures is still cute.  Dana was the Marvel guy who gave me all these wonderfully odd gigs that I’ve been posting for the last two weeks, and he deserves his humble thank you on this blog for the fun, fun art jobs he tossed me atop of.  And hopefully the smile or two he’s bringing the eleven readers of this post as I dig through the original art pile over in the corner and scan baby scan.

So what was that Punisher toy with the human head on it?  And who’s this poor soul with the dragon crapping on his hair?  These were a series of cards that were created for the Marvel staff one summer for convention season.  That way, when they met people, they had a card with some ‘zaz and zing and pep!  And their image on it, so names and faces could match up for business deals, etc.  A good idea, actually.  The gag was to make everyone into their own version of a Marvel Hero.  I did at least four of them (that I’ve found so far).  The funny thing, most of these staffers are NOT a Marvel Character, but a toy version of one, or standing near one.  I’m not sure that conveyed the joke.

I still have tons more fun stuff from the Dana era of Special Projects.  He is still one of my favorite people, even if he no longer gets me work.

Another installment of the AOL Flood Safety messages from 2006.  Sketch and final art.  The only time I ever drew Supergirl for the animated universe, unless you count the toy designs.  Aquaman I’ve drawn lots and lots, he’s featured in the Brave and Bold issue I drew in 2009, but has yet to come out.

But here’s Aquaman warning a man about having adequate storm drains, and not living under a f***ing wall of mud.  That’s so dumb he really deserves to die.

Hoverboy.com is back up and running!  Marcus Moore, fellow curator, and webmaster of the site, was found,  alive and well, after months lost in the barrens with his experimental jet co-pilot, Jarred.    As of this posting, the fate of his experimental jet c0-pilot, Jarred,  has not been revealed, though it can be noted that that Moore seems to have put on weight during his ordeal.  “Plenty of possum in those woods.” is the only response a visibly shaken Moore has given to reporters when asked about his friend, experimental jet co-pilot, Jarred.  We wish he and his family good luck in the future, and keep on looking for that poor kid.

The good news is that Hoverboy.com is once again operational, with a NEW installment of the weekly comic strip reprints.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the poor lad to hover away from those clouds, these last few months.  Hovermaniacs the world around, breathe out a sigh of relief.  Go check out the installments we’ve found so far, for this excellent example of heroism and manhood of the golden age!

And now for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  (yeah, like you’re still reading after so long and drawn out a post today…).  Starting NEXT weekend, and every weekend after that, I’ll be posting Ty Templeton Funnies!  Never before seen  material, created to be seen in web form.  Wait…does that make this blog a…

WEBCOMIC?!?!?    Tune in NEXT WEEKEND and see….

Ty the Guy.

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MARCH MARVEL MADNESS. X-MEN PARADE.

When this started, I figured it would be a one or a two day thing, but the more I dig, the more I realize, I have an avalanche of images for Marvel projects.  And I haven’t even gotten to any of my Underoos or Candy Apples work yet!  Today, a clearance-style parade of the X-Men video and DVD box covers you haven’t seen yet!  Heck, some of these, I’ve never seen.

You’ll notice that all these covers have the wrong title, or often the same title (Deadly Reunions), even when they’re clearly telling the PHOENIX SAGA (those images of Jean crashing a Space Shuttle and flying away from the ocean are a bit of a giveaway).  That’s not a sign that the producers of the show just plumb ran out of titles, it’s that I started including suggestions for the title placement when I sent in the artwork (so we wouldn’t have any more of Wolverine’s arms covered up), and the only title copy I had available was from the first of the video boxes that I’d scanned.  So that title became the title of ALL the series (more or less) from a certain point on, when I was laying out the covers.

Look down this column a little bit, and you’ll see what is probably my favorite of this series…starring Wolverine and Alpha Flight all in one cover?  This Canadian boy was happy to play with THOSE toys for the day when this one came in.  Towards the end of the series, they were doubling up the episodes in each box, so that you could get twice as much mutant action per tape, and the covers were asked to be “split” images from that point forward.  It made for more challenges, as it’s hard to design a striking cover with a big f***ing line down the middle.

Just as I’d gotten used to doing TWO images per video box, suddenly for this next cover, they went for THREE episodes in one tape, and asked “could I include the following characters in the cover:  EVERYBODY in the Imperial Guard, and everyone in the X-Men?.  And the New York Yankees if you can fit them in…” I got out the triple zero brush for inking this one.

This was for a store poster, that ended up being printed something like seven feet tall.  I actually saw one in a video store, this GIANT thing…and I asked the store if I could have a copy of the poster when the promotion was done, as I’d drawn it and they wouldn’t send me a seven foot poster.  The guy in the store said he wanted it for himself, and asked me to sign it.  Which I did.  So THAT guy has a version of this poster, and I don’t.  Hmmmph.

That’s it for today’s Marvel Madness Parade. Next up are a set of images for some Marvel Card series that no one, I mean NO ONE has seen outside the industry, and it’s not because they didn’t print up lots, and didn’t distribute them…it’s because…wait that would be telling.   See you later, Marvel Zombies.

Ty the Guy

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More March Marvel Madness. Hoverboy Friday Below! (scroll down!)

I promised myself I was going to post my “unseen Marvel” work this week, but I’ve started to realize that I have a LOT of unseen Marvel, and there’s no way to get through it all without just dumping it on the site like a fish bucket spilled onto a baby’s change table.    I still have pajamas designs, t-shirts, Christmas party invitations, video and DVD covers, Bullpen portrait cards, TV guide ads, toys and an avalanche of this mess to get through.  But digging through it all is kind of fun, so here’s more of the rock slide. I promise, I’ll stop before Monday.  Marvel Madness comes but once a year, and it’s best not to push your luck.

Up above is the rarest of all my Marvel work…though strictly speaking, I did it for the THE HERO INITIATIVE.  It’s a one-off.  Only one comic like this as the cover was drawn on the comic with pen and watercolour dyes and auctioned off (for a few thousand dollars, if I recall, which shocked me senseless!) to raise money for our cartooning brethren and sistren who need a hand.  I’ve never met the guy who dropped the couple of grand on this, but bless his generous heart.

Here’s a couple more of the X-Men video boxes.  The Magneto cover was featured in adverts that appeared on the back of national magazines, and even the back of some DC comics!  The one with Bishop and Wolverine used Marvel artist (of the New Warriors at  the time),  RICHARD PACE as a model for Bishop’s face.  It still looks like him, even though Richard has long since had his facial tattoo removed, and gotten that haircut properly attended to.

This spoof version of Amazing Fantasy #15 was done for for Wizard Magazine, covering the launch of the Spider-Man animated series, SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED, which was the most bizarre ripoff of Batman Beyond and lasted only one horrendous season.  According to that show, to improve on Spider-Man, you send him to counter-Earth, have him fight the High Evolutionary and the armor plated Ani-Men, and write MJ out of the series.   This art was a supposed to be for a Wizard cover alt (back when Wizard did two covers for every issue) but since I’ve never seen a printed copy, I’m not sure they ran it.  I tossed Kirby’s name in there, just as a tip of the hat.

And now, a couple of the many collector’s cards I’ve done over the years for Upper Deck.  There’s probably twenty or thirty of these all told and there’s not enough room to come near putting them all up.  But I think I might force you guys to sit through about six of ‘em in total.  I like the inking on the Radioactive Man card to the left, and I like the big goofy fun of the H.E.R.B.I.E. card below.  Considering that H.E.R.B.I.E. represents the last Fantastic Four character that Lee and Kirby created together (for an animated series, rather than a comic, replacing the already licensed-to-someone-else Human Torch to make a foursome), I couldn’t help but enjoy working on his card.

I’ll leave this post with more of that mysterious X-Men comic book giveaway art that I worked on sixteen years ago, that I can’t remember where it got used but it might have been for Pizza Hut.   Dana Morsehead, (former head of the department at Marvel for which most of this stuff was done) thinks it might have been for a PITCH to land an account, rather than an account itself.  What?  Ah, all that Don Draper stuff is above my pay grade.  I was just happy to have a few months drawing up them X-People, and working with the lovely and talented Mr. Morsehead.

Keep scrolling down for the feature Hoverboy Fridays!.  We now return you to it, as regularly scheduled.

Ty the Guy

MARVEL ARTWORK YOU’VE NEVER SEEN

In honour of the fact that I’m doing some comics illustratin’ for Marvel at the moment (no telling you what it is yet, but it’s fun, fun, fun!), I figured I’d dig through the library all this week, to find some Marvel work I’ve done, that you guys have likely NEVER seen.  I’m not talking about comics  (Spidey-Torch, Mad Dog, Avengers, Ren & Stimpy and others) but things I’ve done for their toy department, licenses, special projects and other sundry items that fill an illustrator’s time.  All Marvel, All Week!  Collect them ALL!

Up above is the cover to a Fantastic Four DVD that collected up episodes of their cartoon from the mid-nineties, I think it only came out in Europe, as I’ve never been sent a copy, nor seen a colour version of the artwork.   Nevertheless, it was my first time drawing the famous first family (professionally, I mean…I must have drawn the Thing a zillion times as a child) and it was a little disappointing that I couldn’t draw Ben in his more familiar Kirby design…but the client wanted him “on model” for the look of the series.

Next , the first of MANY X-Men video boxes I did for the animated show that ran on FOX TV in the nineties.  I was a little ticked that they threw the title card over top of Wolverine’s arm for the first one, which mucked up the image a bit in my opinion (you’ll notice I figured out to work around it on the next two…), but I couldn’t have been happier with the colours that Paul Mounts put overtop of all three.  Somewhere in the house, I have Paul’s original colour pieces for these, done in gorgeous dyes, with a real airbrush!  Oh, the labour we artists had to put in, back in the primitive 20th Century!  Paul was nice enough to trade me all the colour art for one of the black and white pieces.  Hell of a trade on my end.

As I said, I did tons of art for the X-Men series, including designing the official jackets for the cast, with a fairly cool Wolverine patch on the back (that you can see a bit of in the corner of the video boxes, that little Wolvie is from the patch).  I may not be able to find the original art for that, but worst-case-scenario, I’ll find someone to model the jacket for ya.

Doing these covers was a lovely stretching exercise for my art brain, as I was doing them at the same time as Batman Adventures stuff in the late nineties.  Some days it took a few hours to shake the Bruce Timm out of my hands, and try to channel the more illustrative look of the Marvel house style.  At first I expected they wanted me to make the covers resemble the show designs, but they insisted I do nothing of the sort, and said “Draw it in your own style”.  Something I’m not sure I have any more.  But these are close to it, I suppose.

Tune in tomorrow for some Marvel 2099 artwork you’re not expecting, a couple of Moon Knight pages you’ve never seen, and plenty more X-Men…and then on Nepotism Thursday, my wife’s first ever coloring job for Marvel…and how it nearly ended the marriage!   And yes, it was all my fault, dear.  (She’s reading this, gotta be cool, gotta be cool…)

Ty the Guy

Doing these covers was a lovely stretching exercise for my art brain, as I was doing them at the same time

My SECRET MUSIC Identity

If you’ll look up at the very top, it says Art Land, which suggests drawing, and paintin’ and that sort of thing.  But illustration is but a fraction of what I spend my day doing.  To be fair, most of the day is spent stopping my children from setting the furniture ablaze, but when I get a spare moment, in between drawing swinging Spider-Men and D’oh-ing Homer, I’m at the piano.  And when I’m not at the piano in my living room, I occasionally step out and play on a CD recording session or two.

Don’t get excited, I’m not THAT good.  As I’ve said elsewhere, to untrained ears, I sound okay on the piano and guitar, but I have no illusions, I’m competent at best.  The trick is, to work a competent music career into a competent comics career, while no longer having my competent acting career.  (The brief time as a stage magician is for another day.)

So, there’s this teeny tiny indy record label in Toronto called Bambrick Records.   So far they’ve released work by Glenn Reid, (ex-member of Cats and Dogs), and David Henman (ex-member of Canadian stadium rocker group, April Wine), and I tend to play piano and keyboard on their albums sometimes because, well…they’re old friends, and I’m dirt cheap.  I also design their album covers, and promotional material, and….good lord, I seem to be an indentured servant around there!

Glenn’s latest disc is about to drop next month, and I just finished designing the cover last night (so I can’t show it off to you guys before Glenn sees it!), and in honor of that sleepless night, I’m doing a post about my secret identity as a musician.

I designed the various album covers, company logos and Glenn’s Christmas card you see all around you, and in exchange he lets me play on his albums.  And as a result, when Glenn had a NUMBER #1 COUNTRY HIT IN SWEDEN a while ago, he gave me the gift of having played on a #1 hit record!  Okay, it was in Sweden…and the country charts at that.  But it’s legit.  I’ve played piano on a number #1 record.  Has Mike Mignola done that?  What about Alex Ross?  Oh sure, they’ve designed Academy Award posters, and made movies, but the country charts in Sweden are notably absent of their names.  So there, nyah.

If you care to hear any of this, head on over to Glenn Reid’s site, where a number of his songs are listenable on live streaming audio to the right of the opening page.  When you hear a piano or keyboard of some sort on the record, it’s probably me playin’ it.   My favorite is Hank Williams Night (the runaway Swedish Smash Hit), but if you want to dance to the straight up zydeco funk of my kick-ass accordion solo, you have to listen to “The Journey“.    Another recent favorite is “A Mother’s Son“, the cover art you can see to the right.

And I’ll let you know when the new CD is out.  The Swedes are putting their cowboy hats on as we speak.

Someday, I’m gonna find a way to digitize my one and only flexi-disc/comic book extravaganza called “TEDDY PAYNE AND THE BLUEBEARS sing EVERYBODY’S GOT A RIGHT TO THE BLUES“.  It’s a song I wrote, sang, played guitars, drums, piano and bass for (except for a lovely lead guitar part by the aforementioned David Henman.)  For those old enough to remember what a flexidisc is, imagine my excitement when I found my song was backed by a single by Alan Moore!  (If you’re lucky enough to find a copy of Critters #33, that contained the single, you’ll be hard pressed to find a turntable nowadays.  CURSES!)

Ty the Guy

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