Archive for March, 2011



friday robots: tree of life edition

The weather is warming and the trees are beginning to bud.  Here are two robots that celebrate the beginning of renewed life this year.friday-robots-3-11-11
And, because I love you so, these are the original sketches for today’s robots.  I kind of like the “wooden robot” in the sketch better than the second time around.  These were drawn with a ball-point pen on scrap paper; somehow fitting for treelike robots.friday-robot-sketches-wood-tree
Happy Friday everybody!

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where i’m blogging from

You may have noticed that the rate of posting on this here blog has dramatically dropped in the past few weeks.  I have not forgotten you, dear readers.  Rather, I have been hard at work putting together two books for upcoming conventions in April.

MoCCA, April 9-10, in New York
Stumptown Comics Fest, April 16-17, right here in Portland

Oh, you were wondering about the books?  My pirate story Dancing With Jack Ketch officially sold out last year, it’s going into second print.  I’ve taken advantage of the large-format scanner at my place of daytime employment to scan the originals in directly, so the finished product will look even better this time around.  Plus there’s a chipboard cover!  So there’s plenty of reason to be excited about that.

I’m also putting the finishing touches on the fifth Falling Rock book collection.  It will be in the same format as last year’s mega-blockbuster See America First! Chipboard cover, recycled paper, soy inks, delicious creamy filling.  The comics have been carefully selected by a team of ninja physicists as the best from the 2010-2011 year.

And of course there is a new batch of Falling Rock comics that are just about ready to come out of the oven.  April will be a big month.

Fear not, dear readers, this blog will have plenty of news in the coming weeks.




from the sketchbook

Some plants and stink bugs I drew.joshshalek-sketchbook-trees-stink-bugs

These are for a Falling Rock episode I call “The Great American Series.”

I’ve got a number of reference books specific to desert flora and fauna.  Sometimes I’ll flip through them for ideas.  It’s a great way to pass an hour or so.



falling rock book 5 cover sketch

Falling Rock book 5 is currently in production!  As with all my Falling Rock comic collections except OWL, book 5 is being printed by the good people at Pinball Press right here in Portland.

The most challenging part of putting these collections together is coming up with a cover that will blow people’s minds.  After all, what’s the use of picking the very best comics I’ve drawn over the last year if they aren’t presented as essential reading?  Problem is, when I say to myself “think essential,” my mind becomes as blank as a brand new sheet of Bristol board (300 series pad, 2-for-1 sale at Columbia Art Supplies).

I made a series of sketches and asked my wife/art critic Isis for her opinion.  I’m not sure why, but Isis preferred this sketch (on the right):book5-original-cover-sketch

Didn’t she see that I clearly wrote “BAD IDEAS” at the top?  Oh well, let’s see if it works out.book5-cover-sketches

I made a few more sketches and then went to the NASA photo archives to see how real capsules look.  At least, capsules in the 1960’s. Because everything looked cooler in the 60’s.

More to come!