Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Kid Approved!

It seems that every year my neighborhood decorates less and less for Halloween, but there are a few that keep the Halloween torch burning bright. I decided to give out some sort of encouragement to those that did, to show that their house matters, and hopefully encourage them to keep going every year. I devised a door hanger that I would leave to those that decorated their homes for Halloween. 


It was fun to do. I started in my hometown and it ranged from homes that had really elaborate decorations,
to just simple decorations as long as there was just SOME sort of decorating. It started locally and then as I went to do school visits to other cities (for my children's book THE HALLOWEEN KID) I put up door hanger signs there.
(Petaluma, CA)
(Another home in Petaluma)
There were other homes, but these were a few that I managed to take photos of. I don't know how the signs will be accepted, but I personally just appreciate all decorations big or small that keep Halloween alive!

 I hope everyone is enjoying Halloween Eve!

Bonus pics: 
A Halloween Kid Scarecrow from Mrs. Moore's 2nd grade class in Elk Grove, CA. Great job guys!

Yee-Ha-lloween! It's the Halloween Kid!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Halloween Kid Shirt #2!

For those who love them some Halloween! Say it loud, say it proud-
I LOVE HALLOWEEN! This shirt comes with a pumpkin orange print on a black t-shirt with THE HALLOWEEN KID logo on the back. Get it in time for Halloween and/or wear it year-round! Only $20! (U.S. Only)

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Halloween Kid Hallow'zine #2

Howdy pardners,

I'm happy to announce The Halloween Kid Hallow'zine #2.  The first 'zine sold out within close to an hour! This 'zine has 16 pages of Halloween Kid sketches that explore the character beyond the children's book. It comes with a full color cover on cardstock. It's $4 + $2 shipping=$6 total, but I'm offering it online for a week for just $5. If you'd like to pick one up, please click below! I will send these out with a few extra treats. I only made 40 of them so far.

The Halloween Kid Hallow'zine#2 
$5 special 'till 10/20, $6 after (U.S. only)


Cover (click to enlarge)

Cover interior (click to enlarge)

Interior page sample (click to enlarge)

Back cover (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Halloween Kid Shirt!

It's October and Halloween is comin' pardners! Here's your chance to get a shirt of the rootinist tootinist defender of Halloween: The Halloween Kid! The design comes in a vintage-looking Fall orange and bone white on a black T-shirt. For the first time ever, youth sizes are available! (Note: Youth designs are a bit brighter in color!) Yee-Ha-lloween!
$20 (includes shipping) U.S. only

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Piece for Bewitching 2 at Stranger Factory Gallery

October usually is the busiest month for me and I love it! It usually means lots to do with my favorite holiday, Halloween.
 Here's the first thing, a piece for a Halloween-themed group art show, Bewitching 2  at the Stranger Factory in Albuquerque, NM. You can see more great pieces from different artists here: Stranger Factory.

More Halloween things coming soon! ~Rhode

Here's a close up

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Halloween Kid Hallow'zine #1!

Howdy pardners,

I'm happy to announce my new 'zine called The Halloween Kid Hallow'zine. This is the first issue and it's full of Halloween Kid sketches that further explore the mythology of the Halloween Kid! The 'zine is 16 pages and comes with a full color cover on cardstock. It's $4 + $2 shipping=$6 total, but I'm offering it online for a week for just $5. This was fun to put together and I hope to do another issue in October, too! If you'd like to pick one up, please click below! I will send these out with a few extra treats. I only made 25 of them so far.

The Halloween Kid Hallow'zine#1 
$5 special 'till 9/17, $6 after (U.S. only)

10/15 UPDATE: Sold out! BUT, due to an overwhelming response, I will be reprinting these with another special cover soon, so if you are interested in seeing what was in the first Halloween Kid Hallow'zine issue, you can still place your order below! Thanks for all the support! ~Rhode

9/13 UPDATE: Due to an overwhelming response of these selling out in close to an hour yesterday (something I was not prepared for for a zine), I've reprinted another batch of these. So I have 50 copies available and to keep things simple I have to make this U.S. only, for now, but after the KEEN HALLOWEEN convention on September 29th, I will sell remaining copies here and make them also available to outside of the country. Since the original $5 sale price deadline has not come up yet, I'll continue offering it this time around. Once the Paypal button disappears, that means the zines are sold out. Thanks again everyone! ~Rhode


The Cover (click to enlarge)

Inside Cover (click to enlarge)

Interior Page Sample (click to enlarge)

Back Cover

Thanks for reading!~Rhode

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Skeletown Tote Bags!

Here are some SKELETOWN screen-printed tote bags featuring Skully and Skelly! This design comes on a natural/light beige color and is printed in pink and black. The bag portion measures 14 x 17 inches. I sold these at this year's San Diego Comic Con for $15 and I'm selling them here for $13 + $5 priority mail shipping= $18 total! I will fill and send orders as they are received! U.S. only. Thank you!

Pick one:

Keen Halloween Interview

Here's an interview that I did for KEEN HALLOWEEN, a convention that celebrates Halloween art and creativity. I will be attending this fun show in Arizona on September 29.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Skeletown Shirt!

This is a new SKELETOWN screen-printed shirt featuring Skully and Wilfredo on a hill. This design comes on a natural/light beige color and is printed in pink and black. Sizes are from M-XL. I sold these at this year's San Diego Comic Con for $18 and I'm selling them here for $15 + $5 priority mail shipping= $20 total! I only have a few left so I will fill and send orders as they are received! U.S. only. Thank you!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Introducing Super Grammar!

 I'm really excited to announce SUPER GRAMMAR! Our new book officially comes out September 1st, just in time for back-to-school!
Tony Preciado and I created SUPER GRAMMAR because it's the grammar book that we both wish we had when we were kids in grade school. We both struggled with grammar. And since we both know how hard grammar can be, we wanted to try and help make it easier for others.
In our book, we combine concepts of grammar with superheroes. So for example, Double Negative is the name of an evil duo who tricks you into saying the opposite of what you mean. 
Although, it is considered a kids' book, we hope it'll appeal to anyone of any age who is interested in learning more about grammar in a fun way. We are really proud of this book. And out of everything I've ever worked on, I think this book will make a good difference
Publishing it has been a long, tough road. Tony and I pitched it to a lot of book companies. Many passed on it or wanted to make it a narrative book, but we always thought it would work best as a reference book. So when no one picked it up, we decided to put it online by creating our blog. Soon after, we were contacted by Scholastic Books, who wanted to publish it. Tony and I were super-excited. We couldn't think of a better match than Scholastic. They have a big reach with schools, and more than that, they really understood what we were trying to do with the book.
Super Grammar was soon put on a fast track to publication, and now it officially comes out in a few days, September 1st (although some have reported to have already received their pre-ordered books). The book is 176 pages and it’s in full color!
To order your copy, check out retailers like Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com,  BooksAMillion.com, or find a local bookstore at Indiebound.com. To learn more about Super Grammar, visit us at supergrammar.com, and we also have a facebook page that gets updated often!

Here are some Super Examples that you'll find in the book to help explain grammar concepts. We made every Super Example superhero-themed to keep it fun.

This is the Adverb with her modifying tool to modify verbs.

The Conjunction with his arms of steel to link phrases and clauses.

The Proper noun looking very proper with his awesome posture, pin-striped pants, and monocle!

The Verb is full of action!

Here are some examples of super sample sentences that you'll find in the book to help explain grammar concepts. We tried to make each sample super hero themed to keep it fun.

The Prickly Pair are causing trouble.

Captain Cliché said, "You'll never get away with this"

The cat burglar is stealing cats.

 For more information about SUPER GRAMMAR, please check out supergrammar.com.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lucky Luis: Children's Book Cover Step-By-Step

I'm really excited to share the latest book that I illustrated, LUCKY LUIS, which was written by the great Gary Soto. It came out on March 1st. It's a story of a little league baseball player that develops a superstitious routine before playing each game. 

Many do not know, but Gary Soto actually gave me some of my first illustration work out of college. This was back when I was working on my comic, Pablo's Inferno and desperately trying to find work in the field that I studied: Illustration. Gary enlisted a friend and I to illustrate covers for a special series of Chicano 'zines, The Chicano Chapbook Series, which was a huge honor to take part of. Gary edited, funded, and distributed these books on his own, in hopes of trying to get more exposure to up and coming writers.  I always thought that this was an amazing way of giving back, Gary himself being a legendary Chicano writer, and taking steps himself to introducing emerging writers. Fast forward 15 years later and our amazing editor matches us up by coincidence to work on the same book! I hope you'll give this book a chance, I'm very proud of it and the opportunity to work with Gary again, after all these years.

I've always enjoyed seeing what goes into making a painting or an illustration by other artist's tutorials, so I thought I'd attempt one myself. I've always meant to do one, but this was the first time that I remembered and had a camera handy. Let's start with the sketch.

The first steps in the process of doing the cover for LUCKY LUIS, was coming up with different sketches and different ideas. I even played with a baseball-type logo for the title in these sketches.

Another cover sketch that was similar to the final cover, but not as exciting.

 I sent them to my editor at Putnam and she suggested we go with this one of  Luis reaching for the ball, in a forced perspective shot. This was the original loose sketch that I submitted and I was asked to flip it. The reason for flipping it was to have it read more clear and have the action happen from left to right- good suggestion!

Here's the sketch flipped and ready to transfer onto the canvas. A little backstory is that these characters were supposed to be regular kids, but my editor suggested we try animals. I chose rabbits to play up the LUCK and superstitious qualities, to reinforced the story.

Next, I add a sepia- colored wash over the canvas to kill the white of the canvas and serve as my underpainting. I pick a canvas big enough to leave room on each side for the bleed, so it can get cropped later.

Once dry, I transfer the drawing with carbon paper onto the now sepia-colored canvas. 

I had a color copy nearby of another illustration in the book to serve as a guide to the colors and also the setting. This scene takes place towards the end of the story, so I wanted to use the same family members, bleacher stand, trees, clouds, etc. for the cover. 

Here we are a few steps ahead. You can start to see the background take shape. I'm using mostly Liquitex acrylics and some Golden brand paints. I purposely use a canvas over just an illustration board, to try and keep the texture to reproduce with the final printing. Also, just a side note: I highly recommend the paint palette/container seen on the right. It's called Sta-Wet Premeir Palette by Masterson and if you use any acrylics, this thing keeps your paints moist while you paint and lasts for days when sealed. It has kept me from wasting paint/money and keep colors that I mix, fresh! 

Here's one more step.  It's getting closer at this point.  The spectators just need to be added along with some details.  For the spectators I try not to add any real dark colors to push them back. All the darks are kept for Luis to make him pop in the foreground.

Here it is, everything seems in place, now.

(Here's a close-up detail)

That wasn't the best step-by-step, but hopefully an okay first attempt. I would get in the zone sometimes while I was painting, and forget to take pictures! Well, thanks for reading and don't forget to pick-up or check-out LUCKY LUIS from the library! Thanks everyone! If I missed anything or you have any questions about process, please ask in the comments section.