Go Kids – Beyond The Illustrations

In 2013, Plain Joe Studios subcontracted my services to produce some character designs and illustrations for the Go Kids children’s ministry of River Valley Church. Since then, I’ve been doing illustrations and children’s books for the Go Kids program using these characters. gokids_group-pose

Recently, Justyn Smith, co-author of the Go Kids series of children’s books, shared images on Instagram of costumed characters and products based on my character designs and illustrations. I asked his permission to share those images and he graciously gave his consent.

The image of Tom E. Squirrel on the left is a poster I created for Go Kids. The watch and pins on the right are products based on my illustration.

The image of Tom E. Squirrel on the left is a large poster I created for Go Kids. The watch and pins on the right are products based on the illustration.

The cookies on the right also utilized my illustrations, like the image I created on the left.

The cookies on the right also utilized my illustrations, like the image on the left.


Go Kids t-shirt and mug.

Justyn Smith with Robbie the parrot.

Justyn Smith with Robbie the parrot.


Tom E. Squirrel in the flesh… or, in the fur.


Justyn Smith with Carlos.

When I showed my wife these pics, she immediately asked if we could get some of the items, so I wrote to Justyn and he generously offered to send me some stuff gratis. What a guy!

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WAR OF THE ROCKETMEN Crowdfunding Campaign

Rocketmen3John Semper Jr., producer and head-writer of the 1990’s “SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES”, has finally launched the crowd-funding campaign for “WAR OF THE ROCKETMEN,” on which I did some preliminary concept work.

FG_RocketMan_ComicIf you’re interested in donating to this project, you can do so HERE.

Even if you’re not interested in donating, please just check out John’s presentation video. If it’s something you’d like to see move forward, please share the link with others.



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War Of The Rocketmen

Here’s a character design illustration for Schuyler “Sky” King, lead character of the War Of The Rocketmen project. I was asked to follow a certain retro style, so I looked to the Fleischer Superman for inspiration for this particular layout.


IDW Artist Editions

I recently picked up the IDW Artist Edition of Mark Schultz’s Xenozioc Tales, which is even larger in format than the 2010 Artist Edition of Dave Steven’s Rocketeer, which I got a few year ago (and I thought the Steven’s book was large). Since these are said to be scanned from the original art, it makes sense that all of the Artist Editions will be different in size, depending on the size of the original art.


If you’re a fan of Frazetta’s dry-brush ink work, you’re probably already familiar with Schultz’s work and are a fan of his take on the style. He’s mastered the technique, and I think he’s probably the only guy who does it prolifically these days (if you can call him “prolific”. He seems to be rather slow in churning out new art, but it’s easily forgivable once you consider how much work he puts into a piece of art. It’s well worth the wait).


These IDW editions are not inexpensive, but they’re worth it for those who would like to collect original art but do not have the requisite fortune necessary to acquire such art. It’s also valuable for the artist who wants to study great works which were/are done traditionally, and I’m happy to see good reproductions of this art in its most original form. The ubiquitous use of digital media, while a helpful and useful tool, results in a lack of tangible original art, a situation I personally lament. I do, however, understand the need for the transition to digital media for those who work professionally these days. Even though I still draw on paper where a piece of art is important to me, I still paint it digitally for the sake of time and technical convenience. But I personally enjoy tangible, traditional media, and these books are a joy for those who share that enthusiasm.