Sunday, December 7, 2014

Something Wicked...

Here, I have a picture of something I did for October that I just got too busy to post up. It happens like that, sometimes.

Yeah...she's wicked.

I am attempting something this month that I haven't done all year. If it all goes well, then what we'll have is a neat annual thing I'll do in December every year. No promises (because I surely don't know if circumstances will be the same next year) but I hope I can make that happen.

Kinda vague? Yeah, I know. My next post will fill you in. Stay tuned, peoples...

- Conduct Lionhardt

Saturday, November 15, 2014

They're Here

The Wyatt Family. 9 x 12 inks on Bristol Board.

I had fun drawing this around Halloween. I'll be drawing Bray again sometime soon. His lantern entrances have ample potential for more pieces.

I do commissions. THIS wasn't one but it could be. Peep the tab on this blog for how to get yourself some cool art. in 2015, I'll be working in splashes of color. You'll see some of that soon enough...

- Conduct Lionhardt

Sunday, November 2, 2014

No Comic Films for Young Kids.

The other evening I was watching my niece and nephew and ended up having a conversation that left me feeling pretty sad. It had to do with super heroes and, in particular, films based on comic characters.

My nephew was telling me about his school friends and the stuff they liked to talk about. The usual stuff came up, Halloween, wrestling (John Cena), candy, Power rangers (thanks to Netflix, its popular again), Food, music, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...ya know, the usual kid stuff. Superheroes also came up. My nephew knows quite a few characters, though, and not just the ones who've been in live-action films already. I mean, he is MY nephew so, he's got plenty of information about them, due to my influence and his reading.
 The troubling piece of conversation began when he spoke about his one friend telling him about the recent Captain America sequel "The Winter Soldier." His friend was telling him about how cool Captain America's partner, the Falcon, was.

"Uncle?" he said to me, "Does the Falcon use guns in the comic books? My friend said he shoots guns in the new Captain America movie."
I can imagine how crestfallen my face must have become when he asked this.

My sister has made a real attempt to teach my niece and nephew that guns are something that should only be in the hands of the only people who've been properly trained and taught to use and respect them (Policemen, military, hunters, etc.) Anyone else who uses guns, especially in movies, is a bad guy.

My nephew doesn't like guns or swords/knives/cutting. He, like his mother, cares a bit too much about people and gets really upset when someone is actually hurt...or dies.

But, this blog post isn't to harp on guns in movies. It could be but, it isn't.

I was saddened because my nephew was expressing one of his first frustrations in life, about the incorrect balance of the world. In this case it was simply: comic book movies (and the current books themselves, a topic for another time) are woefully not geared toward kids.

I'm not gonna go through ALL the charts and facts that explain this. I certainly COULD devote entire pages to it, though. Several writers have, as this debate rages quite heavily now, in comic book journalism. Many comic publishers (especially ones with super hero properties known worldwide) have struggled with what I call "serving both sides of the pew." The main consumer base for comics are adults, many having grown up on them and still reading the same characters they have for years.SOME (but certainly not ALL) of those readers then in-turn share this love of comics with their children and it is here that the struggle begins with publishers. The parents want to share in the rich heritage of their comic book reading with their offspring but the rates of inflation have risen the comic book from something a child can do chores for change to buy, into a larger purchase, with even some comics clocking in at almost $4 for 20-32 pages! While some publishers have attempted to make the push to digital and offer books via sites like Comixology for $.99 an issue geared toward younger readers, this doesn't in fact always work well enough when the next trailer to a live-action show or film displays a more matured and visceral version of the characters that a kid is reading about. And with a scant amount of cartoon versions to appease their kids with, adult fans have to navigate the water of just how much they will allow their kid to see in a film and how much they want to have conversations about the actions in those films kids will most assuredly ask about (I'm looking at you, Man of Steel, third act.)

My nephew is 8.

He lives in a world where marketing makes kids excited about colorful characters with special abilities, sells him costumes and toys of their weapons and gear, provides him with G-rated versions of stories in chapter books and kid centric cartoons (Teen Titans Go! Super Hero Squad, etc), YET, when a live-action show or film happens, heroes bleed out, get cut, kill, cuss, make-out, and use guns in vivid ways.

"Uncle, I don't like guns. Good guys shouldn't use them. They should use these" holds up his fist in proper fighting posture.

"That's true, buddy." I said.

"And being a super hero is sometimes scary. I don't know if I would want to be one, if I have to use guns or if the only way to beat the bad guy is to kill them. On Spectacular Spider-Man (the animated series) he always webs them up and takes them to the jail. If I become a superhero with bionic powers, I want to catch bad guys like that and make them go to jail, okay?" He asks looking at me for approval.

"That's a good way to do it."

"And if the real bad guys are using real guns, and not laser guns, I'll let the cops fight them...because those guys are crazy."

I was saddened by all that. The fact that he loves super heroes as a concept and believes in justice and standing up for what's right, even when its hard. Those are great things and he should be allowed to enjoy those things, even on the big screen.

But this week's hype over more of these superhero films was bit bittersweet. As I look at the expansive list of films that are coming out based on various super hero properties, I feel such uncertainty about them. How many of these will have marketing that attracts my niece and nephew's attention? Will they remain true to the source material or diverge in a manner that isn't good for the type of kids they are? Why were so many of THESE characters chosen and not other ones? Is the 'kid dollar' not a large consumer? Why no push for more kid-friendly super hero fair?

I could harp on that last part a bit. Tons of stuff comes to mind which could be good super hero onscreen stuff you can take kids to and still be interesting to adults. Power Pack. Teen Titans. Runaways. Robin. Static (yes, I know they'll be a web series but it deserve film treatment). Generation X. Leave it to Chance. Takio. Gladstones school for world conquerors. Metal Men. Kamandi. Ms Marvel (the Kamala Khan version).

There's tons of stuff out there but, I guess, I just have to realize that maybe not everyone thinks about it that way.

So I await more difficult conversations, explaining to my nephew why there are certain sections of the movies that have to be skipped over or that its a film he can't see, because even a traditional super hero he knows has great qualities on the page, may not exhibit those traits in a live-action rendition of his story.


Sunday, October 26, 2014


So there is this thing that is going on (and I always seem to learn about these far too late) called "Inktober" where illustrators post up daily inked illustrations for the entire month of October. I was not able to participate in it (due to not having scheduled work and other responsibilities to make time for it). Still, the concept is really great and while I haven't been able to do ink drawings daily, I have done some last month and a few this month. So in a very slim, "semi-connected-to-Inktober" act, I will be selling many of the past ink illustrations I've posted up here (and a few Halloween themed ones) on eBay this week.

So far I have posted up my Thor, The Arrow, John Luther and Alice Morgan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Trinity (from the Matrix), and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Oh, and this one will be for sale when it is done (this is 90%):

I really like this piece of "Psych" fan art, ha, ha. If I don't sell it, I'll frame it and put it on the wall near my desk.

I'll have 2-3 more Halloween up, just in time for the 'holiday.' I'll make sure to post them here as well, folks.

Here's the link to my seller page, for those interested:

Talk to y'all soon!

- Conduct Lionhardt

Monday, September 29, 2014

Out with the Old...

Here are the "finished" Luther + Alice and Chiwetel Ejiofor pieces, along with a desk shot of the piles of art I've done this year. I've finally had some gap time between paid projects to get back to these. Lots of delay and start-stops on them but, ya know, I dig. Hopefully you will too.

Now that I'm done with these, I'll be moving on to some new stuff! I made mention of these being for sale, here (as well as my other sites) but, didn't get any expressed interest in purchases. So, I'll be boxing these up, so I have space for what's coming next.

I don't have any current news worth sharing this week so, for now, I'll leave you to these. Later folks!

Friday, September 12, 2014

34...and counting

I had an idea to post a few things today for my birthday but unfortunately circumstances have foiled my plans for yet another year. I'll take a few of those ideas and re-jigger them for future posts, some of which will be really interesting for people who know what I've done and some of what I plan to do in the coming months.

I did find a small pocket of time today, though, and thought it would be neat to just free-write some things I've learned or observed in my experiences over my life. (Sorry, no art today, maybe late tomorrow though.) Some of it may be things you can connect with or agree on and some of it may not but I just thought it would be interesting to share from my path in existence.

so, here's 34 thoughts for 34 years:

It takes most people effort to be positive. I've observed this difficulty amongst us. Lives so FULL and BUSY and STRESSFUL that its far easier to focus and state the negatives than to spend time talking about the good, empowering, and uplifting. We usually have to be intentional about saying positive stuff, especially without the comparison to the negative.

There is always hope. Never let any one or thing make you cease believing that. You can always rally back, even if that means changing the game that you are competing in.

You learn more from losses and failures than anything else. They expose you to who you really are beneath your pretenses and dare you to grow.

Some people WON'T actually ever change. When you find people who are like this, handle the situation with grace.

Anger can be a heavy burden so, leave it where you find it. Walk on to the next moment, which is ripe with opportunity to be different.

Make time to be alone with your thoughts. Thinking through stuff without the clatter of other opinions and distractions, will serve you well and allow you to get a better glimpse of who you are and whom you could possibly become.

Find people that GET you. Surround yourself with people who aren't seeking to impose THEIR idea of what you should be onto you. Those who want help you become the BEST VERSION of you that YOU can be? That is the circle you want. They'll encourage you, challenge you, keep you humble, and keep you focused.

Too many people walk through life with the expectations that everyone will notice them for who they are. This rarely happens though. And, even to those whom it does, rarely produces actual satisfaction they crave. I've found that it is best to be thankful, to find enjoyment in the people who do notice and appreciate you. While the circle may be small, it is quality. And quality will always be more fulfilling (in the long-run) than anything else.

Being able to read and making sure you do read, is great for people. Don't sweat the details of how much you read or what you are reading about. Find an interest and read about it. Or read something that someone who shares that interest, has written. Who knows, you may find that reading CAN be your thing. Its worth a good try to see if you can.

For every goal I have ever set, none of them have been a "final goal." I've found that  once reached, there is always more I could do, learn, or develop than I realized  when I had set out. Each goal is the end as well as a new beginning for what is next on my path through life.

Budgeting is important. Become disciplined at it and see how greatly it serves you with every new year.

I believe that anyone who is not an African American can truly understand the "black experience." On a similar regard, I believe that you cannot ever fully understand any race, religion, or subculture unless it is something that YOU ARE A PART OF. So, when encountering or engaging someone who is "different", LISTEN MORE and DO/SAY LESS. You will come out of it having learned more AND shown more respect that way.

In conversation it is best to not only listen to what is said but also to get attuned to what the vibe of the conversation is. This way, when prompted, you can respond in a manner that will likely end up being more helpful to the person you are communicating with.

The music that I want to make and the music I listen to are quite often NOT the same things. I respect that certain styles of music are best left to professionals who understand the ins and outs of their genre and song writing craft.

The best characters are ones who are capable of being positive. I get the IDEA of characters who aren't happy but I personally can't spend forever with them because of that.

99% of the people I know and have interaction with during the week have never heard of, and/or listened to, the music on my mp3 player.

I have only once been paid to draw in the style of inks/gray tones that I most frequently post online. Almost all of my work in illustration and design is in styles I have little confidence in or that do not reflect my overall interest.

To some degree or another, everyone wants to be respected. Keep that in mind when dealing with everyone you encounter.

Christianity, as in "followers in  the ways of Jesus Christ," is a good. Unfortunately, what most refer to as Christianity these days, couldn't be further from the source. When one looks clearly at the origins of this belief system (the life and words of Jesus Christ) you can easily see the stark contrast that modern Christianity has from the man whom it originates.

I have found that you can usually gage a person's belief based on their knowledge of the origins, its core concepts, and how their actions relate back to those two things.

It seems odd to me that the most vocal atheists, seem overly focused on Christianity and next to never rant to high degrees on any other form of belief.

Questions are important. Questions are the key.

People do not like answering questions. I'm sure there are numerous reasons. I personally think that we all dislike answering them because being asked makes us concerned whether our communication is off or not. People prefer stating things once and that being that, not having to restate what they feel was clearly said.

For things that are too large for me to handle, I use prayer. God happens to be a lot smarter and larger than me so, epic obstacles are more his forte. For smaller stress, I utilize a system of breaking them down into parts. A problem can seem challenging when looked at as a whole but if you look at it as a process with numbered steps, it becomes less daunting and (in my opinion) far easier to tackle.

Learn to cook at least 3 different meals. If you ABSOLUTELY can't, find someone who can cook 10 different meals, ha ha. No sense starving or spending too much money on meals out, when it is cheaper and more satisfying to make a it for yourself.

Being right about things is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can attack and deal with problems that arise definitively. On the other hand, people jump to assume that you're lording over them with your intellect (which I've personally found is not true intelligence, just a clear bit of commonsense and average rationality.)

There will always be, there will ALWAYS be, unkind people.

Find joy in every single day. It is there if you are willing to notice it. If you do notice it, hold onto it. (please note I didn't say "TRY to find joy in every single day", because that implies you may not be able to find it. You can find it every time you ACTUALLY look for it.)

Treat a person LIKE a person. This eliminates the things that make us DIFFERENT and put all in light of how God sees us: humans

Churches are a double-edged sword. Like many other groups of the liked-minded, they can perpetuate stereotypes or exceed expectations. Sometimes both. Enter them with this realistic expectation: human beings will disappoint you and be very difficult to handle...but they can also do all the right things. Don't be judgmental, give respect, expect the same in return and forgive as much as you would appreciate being forgiven. Nobody is perfect and if people there are saying or acting like we should be perfect? THAT is not a REAL CHURCH.

The things that divide us are NOT stronger than the things that we have in common.

The reflection of a regular mirror doesn't lie. But it says nothing about who you really are inside.

If you make it your intention to treat others fairly, be kind, and refrain from speaking ill of anyone, it will NOT bring the same consideration to you. What you will gain though, is a reputation none can speak badly about.

Don't let fear rule over your actions, thoughts, and words. BE BRAVE.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Luther WIP

For the uninitiated, "WIP" stands for "work-in-progress."

I have been TOO busy this month. Had a sudden shift happen in a BUNCH of things, which totally destroyed my 2014 game plan. Utterly. But one must continue to move forward. While I have been boxing things up, giving things away, and working on two of my last big projects for the year (two covers, an album and a book, for those interested) I haven't been able to draw anything new or finish anything outside of that stuff.


Here is a look at something I started and may not get to finish for awhile . Please enjoy the barest beginnings of a "Luther" piece, with John Luther and, the quite wicked, Alice Morgan having a stare.

-Conduct Lionhardt.