Monday, December 5, 2011

Star Wars Action Figures!!! From the 70's - 80's





Star Wars Action Figures!!!

I was just thinking how much I loved my old Star Wars action figures.  Stiff and off model as they were… with only five points of articulation…  we sure did have many many intergalactic adventures together.

I just started having fun with some new ink brushes and watercolors Santa brought me... and before I knew it there where like, twenty eighty of these bad boys... yikes!!!

The whole time I was creating these odd little mis-mashed versions of our favorite 70's action figures... I had this quote that I'd read on the Drawn Blog a while ago. 



"" Steig’s drawings seem to flow effortlessly from his mind to his pen and onto the paper. I doubt he ever looked at a blank sheet and thought, “I have nothing worthwhile to say today,” or “I can’t draw a car as well as Joe Shmoe, so why don’t I crawl back into bed and wait for the day to be over.” Steig gave himself permission to be playful and experimental. One of the many wonderful things about looking at his drawings is their message, especially to his fellow artists: Draw what you love and what interests you. Draw it how you want to draw it. When we are children we do this instinctively. But somewhere in our passage from childhood to adulthood, the ability to be truly and fearlessly creative is often lost. To quote Pablo Picasso, Steig’s favorite artist, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”  ""


I had little rules that popped up too.  No reference except this blurry little jpg with zero resolution i printed out... this forced me to fill in the details from memories.  No redraws even if the proportions or whatever where off... this forced it not to turn into any think like "work".  Bleh.  Work.


I feel like I succeeded with these little star wars guys...  it delighted me.  I want to make more art like this, art that is just fun, pure fun. 













Saturday, October 29, 2011

Night of the Chompkin




Night
of the
Chompkin

by
Matthew S. Armstrong




Little Roo
wandered far


Carefully following
the darkest star


This was ever her path
on Halloween night


When the bluish, ghoulish
moon shone bright


Over the troll bridge
and past the black gorge


And into the pumpkin patch
next to the morgue  


The Ghosts of Pumpkins Past  
shivered and swayed  
Spirits and Wisps
swirled and prayed      
Awaken! Awaken!
oh chomping one


Awaken! Awaken!
it’s time we’ve begun


The Chompkin arose
with a deafening roar


Through the twilight
he did eerily soar


The Ghosts of Pumpkins Past
all ran away


The Spirits and Wisps
where are they?


But little Roo
was not afraid


There she stood
And there she stayed


For all Hallows eve
was when they played


Questing for candy
in the town masquerade


Scaring commoner
and noble alike


Flying all the way
to Goblin Pike


One a girl, one a monster
yet they’re souls where akin


Little Roo
and her Chompkin

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jane and Mizmow Out Today!!!

 Jane and Mizmow




Finally!!! The first picture book I wrote and illustrated is out online and on store shelf.  I can hardly believe it.  To think I wrote the first draft of this five years ago waiting for a flight at JFK airport.  It hit me like a ton of lightning bolt bugs.  Actually it sorta began a little bit before that. The first time I saw the characters was when my lovely wife asked for a watercolor for our anniversary.  I ended up drawings this little girl and her giant fluffy yellow monster.  Which is why this book is dedicated to my wife and best friend Isabelle.  The adventures of these two happened after the watercolor... and still continue... in my head.  Jane and Mizmow have also to starred in two short Flight anthology stories.  And now, after what seems so long, here they are in they're very own picture book.  I can't really describe how thrilled I am.





There have been some incredible reviews already for Jane and Mizmow.

Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say:

In his first solo outing, illustrator Armstrong (Rhino, Rhino, Sweet Potato) offers a charmingly illustrated story, full of physical comedy, about a girl’s bumpy friendship with a monster. Jane is waifish and shaggy-haired, while Mizmow is a pudgy, furry owl-like creature with rabbit ears. When they first meet, after Jane shakes Mizmow out of a woolen cap, she loves him immediately (a cartoon heart appears above her delighted face), though Mizmow unexpectedly licks her, gobbles her up, then spits her out. After this opening interlude, which unfolds in wordless panels like a cartoon storyboard, Armstrong introduces some perfunctory and generally unnecessary text to describe the duo’s episodic misadventures, which culminate in a big fight (“Mizmow is mad. Jane is more mad”). Mizmow is mischievous—much of the book’s humor revolves around his heft and large appetite for red autumn leaves and books—with Jane playing straight man (and getting catapulted through the air on more than one occasion). It’s a humorous account of an unlikely friendship, but the bland prose saps some of its magic. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)

School and Library Journal says:

ARMSTRONG, Matthew S. Jane & Mizmow. illus. by author. unpaged. CIP. HarperCollins. Oct. 2011. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780061177194. LC 2010012628.
PreS-Gr 1–Jane is a petite girl, while Mizmow is a large fluffy monster with chicken feet, rabbit ears, and a ropelike tail. They are best friends despite their differences. She loves to read books, while he takes a bite out of each one. When Jane rakes the fallen leaves, Mizmow eats the tasty red ones. The girl helps the monster at bath time, and he keeps her feet warm by sleeping on her bed. When both want to wear a knitted cap still warm from the dryer, their friendship falters, and saying sorry does not work. A series of full-color panels, some wordless, explores their relationship from their first meeting through the difficulties that almost separate them to the kindnesses that bring them together again. A palette of fall colors mirrors the warmth of their friendship, while the expressive faces of the two characters reinforce both mood and action. Emerging readers will be able to read much of the simple text, but the illustrations really tell the tale. This story has a lot to say about accepting differences, forgiving accidents, and making amends. A solid choice that youngsters will enjoy time and time again.–Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN 

And Kirkus The World's Toughest Book Critics:

JANE & MIZMOW
Author: Armstrong, Matthew S.
Illustrator: Armstrong, Matthew S. 

A little girl and her rather unusual pal quarrel, but they know just how to make up, too, in this charming paean to friendship.
Jane’s best friend’s a cuddly “monster” named Mizmow, and having a monster as a best friend can be challenging. Mizmow loves climbing trees, while Jane likes keeping her feet securely on the ground. Jane and Mizmow both love the seesaw, though loving it together can be problematic. Jane likes jumping into piles of raked red leaves, and Mizmow loves snacking on them. Jane helps Mizmow shower, and he keeps her feet warm at night. One chilly day, they fight over their favorite knit hat, leaving Mizmow “mad” and Jane “more mad.” Suddenly, they’re not best friends anymore, and doing things alone isn’t much fun. “How can you get your best friend back?” Jane and Mizmow find the perfect solution. Humorous, softly hued illustrations cast Mizmow as a big, brown, fluffy critter sporting rabbitlike ears, chickenlike feet and a crooked, impish grin. Reminiscent of cartoon animation, the visual action progresses in two or four frames per page, with and without text, focusing on Jane and Mizmow cheerfully together, glumly apart and enthusiastically reunited.
A whimsical, gentle reminder that even the best friendships occasionally wobble, especially if a quirky, but endearing monster’s involved. (Picture book. 3-5)
*                  *                   *

I'd like to publicly thank these fine folks so much for such kind reviews!


Here are some links to Jane and Mizmow available from these fine online retailers:

Amazon       Barnes & Noble   

Also available in finer book stores everywhere!!!  





 I need to go celebrate or something!



Friday, October 7, 2011

Scribblenauts Vs. Adventure Time


I was was playing Scribblenauts while watching Adventure time when it hit me: one of these guys is a doppelganger.  They would probably have to fight to the pain.  So, I drew that.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Introducing the Transformers Collectors Club Magazine's 2012 Profile Artist - Matthew Armstrong!

Fulfilling a childhood dream.



In 1984 when Transformers first came to the States it rocked my world.  My love for the robots in disguise was a huge part of me wanting to be an artist when I grew up... maybe even an artist that got to draw Transformers.  I can still remember my 3rd grade teacher getting on my case because I drew Transformers all the time.  "Draw something else!"  I can still hear her say.  I did draw other things but never stopped drawing Transformers.

You can find more of my childhood Transformer Drawings here.  (Should you be so inclined :)


And if you'd like to see my more recent Tf pieces I've done for fun these recent years click this.

Any way...



I was thrilled to get an email which led me to getting to draw a bunch of Transformers professionally.  It's weird and wonderful to see my name and art pop up on all my favorite Transformer websites.  Here's what the TFCC had to say:

We are excited to announce that Matthew Armstrong will be the artist behind the 2012 Transformers Collectors' Club Magazine MTMTE profiles! Matthew recently had his first solo children's book "Jane & Mizmo" reviewed by Publishers Weekly and the book itself will be available in book stores on Oct 1st.

We look forward to sharing Matthew's great art with everyone in the 2012 editions of the TCC magazine. But, why wait 4 more months for your first look? We have a preview for you today of one of the characters you will see featured next year in a MTMTE profile AND in the story "A Flash Forward"... G2 Flamefeather!

Click the story thumbnail for a expanded look and check out Matthew's Blog and art page, featuring all kinds of great art including some other Transformers, here!


via:  http://www.transformersclub.com/

 So, I hope my fellow fans like my take on the Heroic Autobots and Evil Decepticons.  And... I hope I get to do some more.

I'd like to thank Pete (the man) Sinclair for the opportunity.  Thanks Pete!

Till all are one!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sketch Crawling







My concept art department Peeps and me spent a couple of hours sketching people downtown.  Its not something I've done a lot of but, I enjoyed it immensely.  We'll be heading out again soon.  I actually ended up knowing one of the people I drew.  I was so in the drawing brain I didn't recognize her till she came over to talk to me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kylee the Blader


Just experimenting with Painter 12.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Cloud Farer


Wandering in the wandering colors of the wondering clouds.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Publishers Weekly reviews Jane and Mizmow!!!


Here it is:

Jane & Mizmow
In his first solo outing, illustrator Armstrong (Rhino, Rhino, Sweet Potato) offers a charmingly illustrated story, full of physical comedy, about a girl’s bumpy friendship with a monster. Jane is waifish and shaggy-haired, while Mizmow is a pudgy, furry owl-like creature with rabbit ears. When they first meet, after Jane shakes Mizmow out of a woolen cap, she loves him immediately (a cartoon heart appears above her delighted face), though Mizmow unexpectedly licks her, gobbles her up, then spits her out. After this opening interlude, which unfolds in wordless panels like a cartoon storyboard, Armstrong introduces some perfunctory and generally unnecessary text to describe the duo’s episodic misadventures, which culminate in a big fight (“Mizmow is mad. Jane is more mad”). Mizmow is mischievous—much of the book’s humor revolves around his heft and large appetite for red autumn leaves and books—with Jane playing straight man (and getting catapulted through the air on more than one occasion). It’s a humorous account of an unlikely friendship, but the bland prose saps some of its magic. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
You can also read it on the Publishers Weekly website too... if you like :)

It doesn't get much bigger than Publishers Weekly. This is incredible! As a long time reader of PW it blows my mind to see my own creation reviewed. Woot!!! I have to disagree with their point on the writing. Its very important young readers are able to read a picture book made for them. Thus the simple sentence structure. Besides "Mizmow is mad. Jane is more mad." is a funny couple of sentences and still makes me giggle. But really... this is a great and wonderful review full of so many nice things about my little book. Many thanks to PW for such a positive review. Thanks for choosing Jane and Mizmow to review!!!

Jane and Mizmow will be available in finer book stores everywhere Oct 1st 2011.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Transformers: Slipstream

The evil Decepticon Slipstream! She is like the Catwoman of Transformers. Which would make Arachnid the Poison Ivy of Transformers I suppose. When asked which aspect of Starscream's personality she represented her response was an emphatic "Don't ask!"

Friday, August 12, 2011