SHOP TALK: Rob Schamberger Newsletter 09APR23
Yes, I'm running down the railway track.
Hi. My name's Rob Schamberger. I'm that guy who paints rasslers. And other stuff. Won’t you give me all the speed I lack?
Here’s a couple new pieces I made over the past two weeks. Both are from pictures I took during our trip to Hawaii in January. The one above was of a koi pond and the ripples and reflections were a huge challenge, which is why I wanted to make it. It was a bit of a mental health project, as I was in a big funk while making it and this helped even me out.
The one below was our resort’s pool at sunrise. I’m fond of the faint bit of pink in the horizon that shows up in the deep blue of the water. The silhouette of the palm trees breaks up the composition in a fun way too. Katy and I had one of the best days of our lives sitting in an oceanfront cabana next to this pool, so it was lovely working on this as a warmup over the course of the past week.
The weather’s getting really nice again here in Kansas City, but gosh I miss that Pacific island breeze.
The Silver Surfer warmup painting from a few weeks ago is going out to reader Rusty Glusing later this week. Thanks Rusty!
ICYMI, here's last week's Canvas 2 Canvas episode. Turned out pretty swell in my opinion.
4/16 - Demon Balor
4/30 - Rhea Ripley
5/14 - Street Profits
Card subject to change.
Tuesday night was the latest figure drawing session at Art School KC and it was a great time. The above was my favorite from it, experimenting with the new medium liquid charcoal and a little bit of red pen. I’m happy with the looseness of this.
For me personally, figure drawing sessions are all about experimentation and staying loose. Whenever I get too rigid or within my comfort zone I’m unhappy with the results. Even if a piece doesn’t come out objectively good, as long as I’m experimenting I’m learning and growing as an artist.
WWE2K23 ICON EDITION
Hey, I painted this. No, I’m not going to shut up about it. It’s in a TV commercial now. That’s rad.
WHAT I LIKED THIS WEEK
I finished reading Astro City Metrobook volume 3 by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson last Sunday and gosh, I love this series. The Metrobooks collect big chunks of Astro City, this one encompassing all of the ‘Dark Age’ storyline. At the time I didn’t appreciate this arc as much as I did on this re-reading. It’s a complex and nuanced story set over the 70’s and 80’s, telling of two brothers’ trying to deal with childhood trauma in a world of superheroes and villains. It’s a love letter to comics and also a deeply human tale. Plus a guy having sex with an alien from the future.
The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson was my last big blind spot in the works of Mr. Moore. This is a gorgeous colored version of the original black and white serial from 2000AD. They never really finished the story, as happened with Alan’s work in the 80’s due to his career going supernova by the middle of the decade, but it’s still a very satisfying read. It’s a wild sci-fi story about a young woman growing up in poverty, cast away from society and soon finding herself working on an interstellar airliner and then as a soldier in an interplanetary war. It’s an amazingly subtle story, which isn’t that surprising from Moore and Gibson.
Nightmare Country volume 1 by James Tynion IV, Lisandro Estherren and friends is a new Sandman spinoff that exists in that universe while setting out on its own. People in the waking world are seeing a creature who has teeth for eyes, but they’re not seeing The Corinthian. This nightmare creature from The Dreaming is now out to find out just what it is that’s inspired by his own terrible past. Plus: It’s gorgeous! Estherren and the other artists drew the hell out of this.
The new Quantum Leap finished up its first season and I want to chime in here to say how much I enjoyed this show. The idea of someone out there helping others, rescuing their lives because it’s the right thing to do, is a beautiful thing nowadays. Plus, it’s all more connected in this new show, where all of the leaps are building towards something and maybe not a good thing.
She works so hard and manages to still look this pretty. How DOES she do it?
I got back into the swing of things this week, or at least tried to. Figure drawing was a blast Tuesday night, especially since my former high school art teacher Manning, now my friend, was able to come with me again. When I’m working I have a self-critical voice in my head, making sure I’m doing everything the best way, and it’s his voice. It’s a surreal thing to have him sitting next to me drawing! Even more surreal having a beer with him beforehand.
Wednesday night I had a productive and fun Zoom session with my cowriter Jason Arnett, going over our next book War in Vain. He’s been very patient with me, with how long it took me to get back with him on his draft but I hope we’re back on track getting it going.
I’ve started doing some thinking on a big personal project that I’d like to get to one of these days. It’s a scary one because of how deep and real it’ll have to be to work, but I’m okay with being scared by the making of art.
There’s been daily progress on Top Secret Project: Codename SABOTAGE. (Quick note: I have no idea what happened to Codename INTERGALACTIC. That’s why I give these things codenames because sometimes they never materialize, even though they take up weeks of work. That’s the biz, kid.) It’s taking longer than all of us had hoped for but it’s actively happening. Working on something at this enterprise level, with all of the components and infrastructure is a massive undertaking. I was saying to Katy the other day (or at least I meant to?) that this was something I feel like should have happened five years ago but I don’t think any of us were ready on a logistical level back then.
When it’s finally live, I’m sure folks will be like, “THIS is what you were hyping up?!?” but it’s the foundation that’s being laid and what will be built on it that has me so excited. Think of it like chess, where you’re always looking four moves ahead instead of what you’re doing right now. These business things are like that.
We’re building a thing here, you and I, and it’s going to be something special.
Love you more,
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