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Drawing Pretty Girls Day 4

Posted by Sam Kressin in Drawing and Illustration, Drawing Pretty Girls, Pencil Drawings, Personal Journal, Sketch Book

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Read  Day 1 HereDay 2 HereDay 3 HereDay 4 Here

Today is “The Cartoon Girl Based On Life.”

Todays lesson comes from Famous Artists Courses Lesson 7. This is to teach the artist the difference between drawing the “cartoon girl” and a “real girl.” In the first illustration I was suppose to draw a layin of the figure with the black area’s indicating the figure of the actualy model. It is an exercise in where to change your drawing from life to make an appealing cartoon girl. The second drawing is a fully finished cartoon girl based on the same pose. Both drawings I did are free had recreations of the drawing in the course by Joe King.


Drawing Pretty Girls Day 3

Posted by Sam Kressin in Drawing and Illustration, Drawing Pretty Girls, Pencil Drawings, Personal Journal, Sketch Book

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Read Drawing Pretty Girls Day 1 Here, Day 2 Here

To improve in my ability to draw women I am working through lesson 10 of the Famous Artist Cartoon Course circa the late 1940s “Drawing Pretty Girls.”

Still working through the second page of the lesson. There is a black and white photograph of a Nude Woman. For todays exericse I did a free hand pencils study of the of the photograph as close to the actual photo as I could.


Drawing Pretty Girls Day 1

Posted by Sam Kressin in Drawing and Illustration, Drawing Pretty Girls, Pencil Drawings, Personal Journal

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One of my biggest weakness in Illustration is in drawing Women. There’s a lot of reasons for this. One major issue being when I was younger I was too embarrassed to draw women. I thought if I drew the female figure people would judge me as being a pervert. Today however as an adult I am not embarrassed and don’t care if people judge me. I have therefore decided to make a serious study to improve my abilities in this area. The famous saying goes; An artist that can draw beautiful women never goes hungry.

To get started on this endeavor I have decided to work through the classic Famous Artist Cartoon Course Lesson 7 Pretty Girls by commercial Cartoonist Joe King. The original famous artists correspondence courses were founded in the late 1940s by Norman Rockwell and  Albert Dorn. I believe the original course consisted of 10 lessons with an addtional 14 lessons add at a later time. Each lesson was then to be completed by the student and sent in for critique by a professional. Today the courses are still under copy right by Cortina Learning International and available for purchase at the famous artist school website here.

The first page of the course begins with a half page type written introduction to drawing “the pretty girl.”

Here are some of the funnier quotes;

The pretty girl, the dame, the frail, the tomato, the cookie, the cutie is always welcome in a cartoon no matter how grotesque the rest of the characters may be.

In drawing a pretty girl, don’t be too skimpy with the bust or the thigh line. These can be accentuated without giving the drawing any suggestion of vulgarity.

Probably the best piece of advice given in this first part of the lesson is;

One well-known cartoonist who always said he couldn’t draw sexy or pretty girls became on of the top girl artist in the business simply by drawing one complete figure from pencil to ink each day for one year.

Here is my drawing from this first page. It is a free hand pencil drawing recreation I did of the original inked illustration by Joe King.



News Paper Clipping from the Time I Went to Switzerland

Posted by Sam Kressin in Karate, Martial Arts, Personal Journal

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The U.S. Tang Soo Do Nationals were held in San Diego in 1994 I won the Adult Light Weight Black Belt Division in sparring and went to Zurich Switzerland afterwards to participate in the International Youth Goodwill Tournament. I won my same division again the next year in Orlando Florida. Internationals News Clip

Play Vs Work

Posted by Sam Kressin in Martial Arts, Opinion, Personal Journal

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“Play not work is the end of life. To participate in the rites of play is to dwell in the Kingdom of Ends. To participate in work, career and the making of history is to labor in the Kingdom of Means. The modern age, the age of history, nourishes illusions. Work is serious, important, adult. It’s essential insignificance is overlooked. Work of course must be done. But we should be wise enough to distinguish necessity from reality. Play is reality work is diversion and escape.” – Michael Novak The Joy of Sports

With Billy Robinson Circa 2009

Posted by Sam Kressin in Billy Robinson, Billy Robinson Photos, Catch Wrestling, Martial Arts Photos, Personal Journal

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What Do I remember about this camp? We trained for 16+ hours over the course of the weekend. We spend the morning covering stance, movement and footwork then hand fighting and the pivot. The afternnon was all take downs the Half Halch, Flying Mare, Knee Tap, Single Leg, Standing Achilles Ankle Lock, Front Headlock Take Over, Front and Rear Lateral Drops, Grovit, Standing Double Wrist Lock were some the take downs but the Pivot was what Billy was most concerened about. I can vividly recall Billy Instructing that day. The second day was spent on mat work. We did Positional drills, about 5 Different Toe Holds, Double Wrist and Top Wrist Locks, Key Lock, Short Sit Outs, Standing Up from a Defense Position, Arm Rolls, Texas Clover Leaf and a bunch of other stuff.

Training With Billy Robinson Circa 2009

North Shore Oahu Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Circa 2002

Posted by Sam Kressin in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Photos, Personal Journal

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Photo was taken on Oahu, Hawaii after the 2002 NAGA Hawaii State Championships. This was the first time a NAGA tournament was held in Hawaii and the first time a tournament in Hawaii would be hosted by an organization not affiliated with any of the local BJJ Schools. I am on the first row second from your left with the blue rash guard on.


Showing My 92 Year Old Grandmother The News Paper Article She Clipped For Me

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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Earlier this week I moved my 92 year old Grandmother from Pacific Beach to a new care facility in Bakersfield where she will be living next to my Aunt / her daughter for her remaining years. This was me showing her the news paper article she clipped out and sent to me 21 years ago about a cartoonist from Modesto California, where she was living at the time, who had just gotten a deal for his character Earth Worm Jim. My Grandmother has sever memory loss and cannot remember anything including me but her personality is still there. Right now my current comic book / cartoon project is on Kickstarter please check it out it is really cool like Earth Worm Jim and needs a lot more supporters to make it’s goal here is the link;


Click photo to enlarge. Then Click photo again.

Click photo to enlarge. Then click photo again.

The Forgotten Realms

Posted by Sam Kressin in D&D, Personal Journal

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DarkwellWhen I first discovered Dungeons and Dragons the Forgotten Realms published by TSR was in full swing. What intillitally drew me into D&D was the art work. To this day the illustrations, covers, paintings and drawings found inside the pages of many D&D manuals, books, supplemental materials and more are still some of my favorite. A major campaign found on the shelves of every gaming shop and many comic book stores was The Forgotten Realms.

Forgotten Realms is a complex fantasy world and literally an entire world with a complete history geographical maps and more. When I discovered this thing I had acquired the Advanced Dungeon’s and Dragons 2nd Edition Dungeon Masters Guide and the Players Handbook.  I had some major problems with it both these books. First interior pages of the book aesthetically did not hold up to the cover. I wanted to study this game despised the disappointing interior design of the books. However the game described within its pages was very complex and beyond the abilities of my young brain at that time. I still ran a number of campaigns but more or less made up the rules as I went.

Today I prefer a less restricted D&D campaign. One in which the DM and players can wing it as they go. I find myself getting really board when every character move has to undergo an ability check or some other type of dice roll. To this day I’d say I probably enjoy reading the campaigns and studying the worlds of D&D more than actual game play.

Back to my early encounters with The Forgotten Realms. Both the Dungeon Masters Guide and Players Hand Book priced in at $20 back in 1989 that would mean working and saving a lot of money as well as passing on a lot of comic books. The Forgotten Realms campaign books and supplemental materials weren’t much cheaper.  As awesome as The Forgotten Realms looked and as badly as I wanted to read those books I ultimately passed.

A few months after forgoing “The Realms” I was scouring though a used book store where I came across The Forgotten Realms Novels. Written by various authors TSR began publishing The Forgotten Realms Novels in 1987. These Novels existed to enrich the history and the stories of The Forgotten Realms (and to cash in on the popularity of the campaign)  but the number one thing these novels had, Bad Ass Covers and Bad Ass Titles! I’m talking about titles like “Black Wizards,” “Darkwell,” “Iron Helm,” “Curse Of The Shadowmage” and more. This is the kind of stuff I wanted to learn about! Now just take a look at some of the cover art;

Crystal_shard_cover Elfsong Shadows_Of_Doom Spellfire


















There was one major problem with these books. They were all novels 300+ pages each with small type and no pictures! I was a slow reader and couldn’t spend more than 30 minutes at a time reading something without getting bored. As gnarly as these books looked as much as they appealed to me I would have to pass.

Today as an adult I have the capacity to understand and comprehend a lot more than I did as a child and with audio books abundantly available I have decided it is time to journey through The Forgotten Realms. Therefore I have decided I will begin reading / listening to every single forgotten realms book in chronological order of publication. Beginning with the first one. Upon finishing each book I will write a short review and give  my opinions of it. My objective is to get through the entire library within two years time!

Perry’s Eye Ball Monster

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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I was at San Diego Comic Con in 1993 and there was this guy there named Perry. He looked to be in his mid 30s and said he was a punk rocker. He had never been published but sat at a table and did these Monster Sketches. He would take his paper crumple it up then lay it out flat. After that he’d throw down his illustration with a brush and ink. I bought this one from him for $3.00. It’s still in my collection today.

Two Illustrations From When I Was Around 17yrs Old

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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A couple of days ago I posted some photos of my friend Kyle and myself illustrating when I was around 17-18 yrs old. Fortunately I have archived most of my work over the years and am able to post two of the illustrations that can be seen in those photos.

This first one is the illustration I did it. It can be seen in the photograph sitting on the table off towards your left (my right hand side).


This is the illustration Kyle was working on.


Michael T. Gilbert’s Mr. Monster Page

Posted by Sam Kressin in Comic Books, Personal Journal, The Buiness of Comic Books

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This Michael T. Gilbert page is another one of my prized pieces of original art I’ve saved over the years. I found a number Mr. Monster Comics in the back issue bins of a local comic book shop in the late 1980s and loved book. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Monsters it is an over the top primarily black and white independent comic book from the 1980s about a guy who takes care of business when Monsters show up. Michael T. Gilbert based his character Doc Stearn on a golden age Mr. Monster character who appeared only twice created by a Canadian artist named Fred Kelly who left comics shortly there after and allowed his creation to fall into the public domain.

Rare Night Of The Living Dead Original Art Work

Posted by Sam Kressin in Comic Books, Drawing and Illustration, Personal Journal

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In the recent past I posted here about Fantaco’s 1991 comic book adaptation of the Night Of The Living Dead by Tom Skullan and Carlos Kastro. Kastro’s art in particular had a heavy influence on me. Posted here today is one of Kastro’s test pages for the series that had until today remained Unpublished. While at the San Diego Comic Con in 1993 I was able to buy this page off of Carlos for around $40. While I’ve sold most of the original art I purchased as a kid in order to raise money to take lessons in illustration and make my own comic books this is one of the few pieces I’ve held onto.

What’s On My White Board

Posted by Sam Kressin in Billy Robinson, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Catch Wrestling, Martial Arts, Opinion, Personal Journal, San Diego Martial Arts Seminars

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Not too long ago I posted here about how useless and annoying white boards are when it comes to martial arts coaching. Since I am also guilty of having a white board in my private studio I thought I might as well post a current picture of what it looks like. Below is a brief and somewhat incomplete transcription of everything on it. What you’ll notice is I made a lot of lists. This is because the brain is attracted to organization and order and people have been trying to organize techniques for training purposes since the dawn of martial arts. In reality nothing in fighting is organized and response needs to be based on real internalized skill and application not just a theoretical list.

  1. UPCOMING EVENTS that have not been updated in nearly 2 years! Yes at one time I would write upcoming events such as seminars, workshops, we use to even set up training sessions with other gyms whose owners  / coaches I’m friends with. Nowadays if something’s coming up I’ll just email everyone or tell them in person.
  2. Below UPCOMING EVENTS is BILLY’S SADDLE RIDE This is a list of techniques Billy taught me and wanted me to have down all pertaining to the Saddle Ride. I wrote them up there nearly 2 years ago as a reminder. Maybe I should practice that stuff.
  3. Next to UPCOMING EVENTS is Sparring Rounds. I have two younger kids training with me 17 / 18 yrs old who I required to do 50 rounds of sparring before I would teach them anything more in boxing. As you can see I checked off about 10 or 11 rounds before I just stopped keeping track. Today they’ve done hundreds of rounds and have learned a lot of new stuff.
  4. Next to SPARRING ROUNDS is Triangle Finishes. This is a list of about 7-8 ways to finish a triangle choke once you’ve captured your opponent in the position. Triangle chokes are one of the most difficult submissions to get really good at and also one of the easiest submissions to get caught in so I like everyone to have a real thorough knowledge base of it.
  5. Below TRIANGLE FINISHES is a list of fundamental boxing techniques I required those two young kids to learn first before doing their 50 rounds of sparring. It would be a good idea to make everyone do all that stuff again.
  6. RIGAN WORKSHOP Is a list of techniques we learned while attending a Seminar with Rigan Machado nearly two-years ago.
  7. Below RIGAN WORKSHOP is Submissions. This is a list of 6 submissions you can do from a triangle position in the event that you cannot finish the triangle. This was required knowledge and I’m pretty sure everyone who trains with me has forgotten all of it.
  8. Below SUBMISSIONS is the number 185. I have a client that trains with me privately once a week. He trains regularly at another gym chalked full of triangle masters. One of his goals is to be able to hit the triangle more often in sparring and get caught in the triangle less often. So I’m making him rep out a very specific triangle set up and finish one thousand times! So far he’s gotten to 185 yes we are still keeping track of this I’ll let you know what happens when he gets to a thousand.

Double Dragon

Posted by Sam Kressin in Martial Arts, Opinion, Personal Journal

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I remember when this game was in every 7-11 and Arcade across the nation. There’s nothing cooler than two guys with blue and pink jeans some vests walking through the streets taking out a Gang with the side kicks, hair grabs and knees to get the girl friend back from the Big Boss.

Awesome Night Of The Living Dead Quick Sketches

Posted by Sam Kressin in Comic Books, Drawing and Illustration, Personal Journal

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I discovered this Night Of The Living Dead comic book adaptation at the San Diego Comic Con circa 1992. The book was illustrated by a French artist named Carlos Kastro who was attending the convention. I watched him do many sketches for fans he would seamlessly transitions between pencil, pen, ink, brush, white out and so on. He told me it doesn’t matter which tools you use (brushes, pens, paper ect) as long as you know what it does. This Kastro drew with everything. Here is the sketch he did inside my comic book with just white out. He literally used liquid paper white out that comes in a bottle with the cap that has a brush attached to it.


Not long after watching Kastro draw quick sketches of skulls and zombies inside everyone’s comic books. I immediately took to practicing them myself drawing them upon every worksheet, piece of paper, note-book or homework assignment I was ever given during high school. Then one day in english class I drew a grouping of skulls on the top of a hand out near my name. The teacher saw the image of death laden upon my sheet of paper pointed to it and said; “I don’t like that kind of thing!” I knew I was on the right track.

The next year I returned to San Diego Comic Con and Carlos Kastro was back! He had the second issue with him. Here is the quick sketch he did for me inside my comic.

Here are the covers to Night Of The Living Dead issues 1 & 2.night_of_the_living_dead_issue_1night_of_the_living_dead_issue_2

Fortune Red

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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Fortune_Red_DisneylandFortune Red was originally apart of a Pirate themed Arcade Museum in Disneyland circa 1967. Today the still functioning animatronic fortune-telling machine sits outside near the exit of the Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland ride. Red dispenses 24 different  cards featuring a cartoon and fortune on one side and the history of the Jolly Roger on the other side. Here is the card I got the last time I visited Disneyland approximately 2 years ago.


Fortune Red has this to say:

Shiver me timbers, ye be the joy o’ me heart. ‘Tis fair weather and pleasant pass I sees in yer future. Witty ye be gay and attractive. Shipmates by the score and foc’s’le hands standin’ by to carry out yer slightest wish. yer charm and humor be matched only by the enchantment o’ The Magic Kingdom. And why not, sez I? ye live and let live and fair play be yer watchword. Ah but mark well me words, matey: The reward o’love be jealousy.

“Fortune Red,” Photo Credit: Photo by Loren Javier  used under Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Star Wars Land?

Posted by Sam Kressin in Opinion, Personal Journal

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Ramones_Brain_DrainI’m honestly considering forsaking Star Wars completely and no longer being a fan of it. It’s ruined and I’ll never be able to enjoy it again. I will sell off all my Star Wars T-Shirts and toys and other stuff then move on with my life. Star Wars Land within Disneyland? Does an entire land of Star Wars really have a place within the original Disneyland? I always thought Star Tours was cool but it was only one ride and it fit within the theming of Tomorrow Land.  Disney is for the most part an IP farm now that doesn’t even animate the majority of their own cartoons. Watch park tickets rise towards $200 a day once this thing goes in and crowds sore to record numbers. I came across this Ramones album titled, “Brain Drain” when I was in highschool. I found it while thumbing through a bunch of CDs in some used records shop. I thought the cover art and album title were cool. I use to listen to this song from the album posted below over and over again it’s about not looking back. Star Wars has reached that time.

Speed Chess and the Martial Arts

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

Speed ChessI’m 21 years old. I had had been working out a boxing center off of Santa Fe Road in San Diego that no longer exists the head coach in there he tells me if I play lots of chess specifically speed chess it will make my boxing better. He explains speed chess will train my brain to work faster and more decisively. Immediately I begin searching for someone to play chess against and this nerdy kid at the college accepts my challenge. We meet in the quad by his dormitory. He pulls out this really nice pocket chess set that fits into a leather pouch with his name engraved across it. As he takes out the pieces and proceeds to set them up I tell him I want to play speed chess. I explain the rules; we can only take 1-2 seconds before making a move. He does NOT like that idea at all and wants to play regulation but agrees to my request. We start playing I’m making my moves in under a second. He’s taking FOREVER. I keep telling him to hurry up. He proceeds to obliterated me.

I tell him, “look you have to move faster this is speed chess.”

“Okay,” he says.

We play a bunch of games and he destroys me every single game. While he did play faster he still took enough time make sure he wins every-time. Then I realize I may never be able to beat this kid in a game of chess but I will always be able to kick his ass in a boxing match.

Photo Credits: Photo by Jason Brown used under Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic.

Comic Book P.E.

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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Amazing_Spider-Man_309Starting the 7th grade I was hit by a car on my bike in a head on collision. After being in the hospital for 3 days and out of school for a month I returned to the 7th grade unable to attend P.E. I presented my doctors note excusing me from the class to the P.E. teacher. The teacher told me for each day I missed class I was to go to the library and write a one page report on anything related to exercise or health. I got to the library and pulled Amazing Spider-Man # 309 out of my back pack. I bought it the day before off the spinner rack at 7-11 the issue was drawn by Todd McFarlane and it was the first time I’d ever seen his art. He drew Spider-Man with these huge eyes, he made Spidey’s webbing very detailed I’ve never seen the character drawn this way before. His anatomy was weird, Spidey’s feet were pointy, everyones faces cartoony but McFarlane made it work and everything looked really cool, different and interesting. I pulled out a piece of paper and began tracing the pictures. For the next two months when I went to the library each day during P.E. period I practiced drawing most of the time just tracing over my favorite Spider-Man comics. After my doctors note expired I had to go back to P.E. and my teacher asked me where my reports were I told her I didn’t do them. She said I had to stay after school running 4 laps = 1 mile for every report not turned in. I spent the rest of the year staying after school for an hour walking around the P.E. field. 

Martial Arts Style Without Styles

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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The_Tao_of_Jeet_Kune_DoTrue story; in 2008 when I was coaching out of my Carlsbad gym I had a guy call up and ask if he could sublease space for his martial arts group.

I asked, “what style of martial arts will you guys be practicing?”

The guy replied, “We have no style.”

Me, “Ok so what martial art is this?”

Him, “We we are a style without styles we don’t fall under a specific martial art.”

Me, “Well what are you going to be doing; punches, kicks, wrist locks, throws, grappling, self-defense, weapons?”

Him, “We do everything and nothing I can’t say we do this or that or it will only place limitations on an art without limitation.”

Me, “If you can’t tell me what you’re going to be doing in here then I can’t sublease to you.”

Him, “We are all members of a meditation temple so you don’t have to worry.”

Iron Maiden Excellent!

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal, Uncategorized

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Iron_Madien_Somewhere_In_TimeRead Part1 Here, Read Part2 here; It’s Saturday circa 1990 and I’m thumbing through records and audio cassette tapes at Kobey’s Swat Meet in the parking lot of what was named the San Diego Sports Arena at the time with Martin de Pedro. Back then CDs were too new to be found at swap meets. As I’m digging through the record section I come across this… A record with a character that looks kind of like a zombie all of his skin is removed allowing you to see his musculature interwoven with wiring, electronics and what could be pieces of robotic anatomy. He’s standing in the middle of some futuristic city one gun drawn the other holstered. This has got to be the best painting I have ever seen I think to myself as I purchased the record for a couple of bucks. When I got home I proudly taped the record onto the wall of my room so I could look at it every day all the time….

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Megadeth is the Greatest of All Time!

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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Megadeth-RustInPeaceRead Part 1 Here… Shortly after discovering Metallica it didn’t take me long to learn that Dave Mustaine wrote most of the songs on those early Metallica albums. Nearly all of “Kill ‘Em All” and a large part of the album “Ride the Lightning” were written by him.  Mustaine had been kick off of Metallica for from what I read looked to be a lot of drinking and drugs and had formed his own band Megadeth. Immediately upon acquiring this information my mission was to listen to it. The first Megadeth Album I ever heard was, “Rust in Peace” it was the first album the band recored with Friedman on the lead guitar and for the 5th time up to that point in my life my mind was completely blown. To this day Rust In Peacestands as one of my all time favorite albums ever.


Once Upon A Time When Metallica Was Cool!

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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Metallica_-_Master_of_Puppets_coverI was in the 8th grade. Up until that point in my life all I’d ever really heard or listened to as far as music goes was was Bon Jovi , Van Halen’s “Jump” and the Cult’s “Sonic Temple.” Then one of my best friends Martin de Pedro gave me a dubbed audio cassette tape. Written across the front it said, “Master of Puppets.” I popped it into my yellow “Walk Man” cassette player and hit the play button. I remember hearing what sort of reminded me of spanish style flamenco guitars playing during beginning of the first song. It starts out strumming then, kind of, goes into this beautiful melody that quickly transitions into a really hard rock type of thing from there the song progress in to an aggressive sound I had never heard the likes of before and all hell breaks loose. It was unlike any sound I had ever experienced in my entire life. My mind was completely blown and I was immediately hooked and from that point on things would never be the same. At this point in time there were only four Metallica albums in existence Kill Em All, Ride the Lighting, Master of Puppets, And Justice For All. The “Black Album” had not been made yet and the rumor was that Metallica would never record another album again. Continues in Part II here…

Grant Morrison’s Supergods

Posted by Sam Kressin in Book Reviews, Opinion, Personal Journal

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Grant_Morrison_SupergodsI just finished listening to the unabridged audio edition of Grant Morrison’s book; Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.

Because I am a slow reader and like to listen to books while I am drawing I prefere to listen to books I get on Audible instead of reading them.

Supergods is a 480pg book about the history of comic books the development of the comic book industry and a biography of the author Grant Morrison’s live as a comic book creator, including his philosophy approach and process to writing.

If you don’t know who Grant Morrison is check out Batman Arkham Asylum, Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery, Animal Man and one of my all time favorites All Star Superman. Morrison is one of the great comic book writers of the modern era.

Some of my favorite parts in the book are Morrison’s breakdowns of Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns” and Alan Moore’s “Watchmen.” Both are books I’ve read several times over and Morrison sheds light on a number of incites I had never thought of or picked up on before. I also like how Grant Morrison describes his approach to comic book writing as more of an observer or visitor who watches things unfold as they happen and records them. Grant Morrison’s description of a quest for the shamanic experiences as he formulates new stories ideas is another really interesting concept. Over all I really enjoyed the book.

Jim Aparo’s Batman

Posted by Sam Kressin in Comic Books, Personal Journal

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Jim Aparo Batman

The Batman I was introduced to and fell in love with as a kid was Jim Aparo’s Batman. This is a Batman that wasn’t created by Bill Finger or Bob Kane. This Batmans was the result of a collective mind. It was a character shaped by the hundreds of artists and writers that had worked on him before Aparo.

Aparo’s Batman is what I consider to be the Classic Bronze Age Batman. His costume looks like cloth and his cape is far longer than his Silver or Golden age ancestors. He has more exaggerated ears and he dawns the bright yellow target across his chest. Aparo’s Batman is muscular but not bulky. He doesn’t have boots with huge treads or a cowl that looks like a helmet. His design sleek with an elegant streamlined shape.

I should note that while Aparo didn’t draw the first Batman comic I ever picked up he was the artist doing the majority of the Batman books I was reading at the time. It wasn’t long after I started reading when Batman: A Death in the Family story arch came out. This was a series that completely captivated me at the time. It still stands as a monumental event in comics history to this day when the readers of Batman killed off Robin.

Although I enjoy all versions of the character because Aparo’s Batman was the Batman I was introduced to it’s always the first Batman I think of when someone mentions the character.


Today Was Another Great Day!

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

I had a great day today. Spent the morning filming Catch Wrestling technqiues with Brian Cowell of Swift Kick Martial Arts. After working through the morning I talked to comic book ventran Mike Witherby on the phone for bit about inking comics and some of the challenges of inking backgrounds vs inking organic figures and characters. We also discussed Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and a bunch of other stuff. The set of Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencils I’d been waiting for finially showed up. I did some illustration work. A.J. Fulcher sent me a new page he penciled for Strength Monsters Issue #2 “Ultra-Mayhem.” I picked my kids up from school. Finally the highlight of the day for me was talking to Will Chung on the phone. Will is a guy who I can say with confildence is a genuinely intrested in connecting with people and using his skills and expertise to help them. We talked for hours about martial arts, training and all types of things. Will explained some of the training concepts he uses with the atheltes he works with and he completely blew my mind. Everything from transitions in sport, techniques for boxing, angles used in martial arts, opening up a joint, levels of difficulty within a movement far too much to go into and stay within the scope of this post. But it was great to connect with him and hear some of the stories from his martial arts training and his expriences working within the martial arts and fitness industries.

Dungeon Master

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal


Advanced D&D 2nd EditionI bought this in 1989 when it first came out. The purchase was made for no reason other than the fact that the painting on the cover was one of the most bad ass things I’d ever laid my eyes on. I took it home and what I tried to read was way to complicated for my young brain and I knew the job of Dungeon Master was far beyond my current abilities. I thought that perhaps if I was studious and I worked really hard I could one day be worthy to bear such a title that people would refer to me with the utmost reverence as “Dungeon Master!” Unfortunately I could never figure this damn game out. So I consulted with an older smarter kid at church I knew he had a lot of knowledge in this territory and I inquired to see if perhaps he could groom in the ways of D&D. Instead he introduced me to different game titled MERC by Fantasy Games Unlimited. This game was awesome. It came in a box. You got a manual these sort of classified looking character creation sheets and It was super easy to understand. Sadly I rarely had the opportunity to play it with him much so I did what any kid going through puberty, that was still afraid of girls, and often ostracized by ones piers for still playing with GI Joe’s, watching cartoons and having a love of comic books and all other things awesome would do and I got my grandmother to play it with me. Unfortunately she didn’t want to kill anyone and in this game MERC stands for Mercenary and Killing is the whole point of it. So after playing several non-lethal versions of this game I knew I had to move on. Fortunately it was right at this time I found TMNT and other Strangeness. This published around 1985 this was an older game but it still checked out. This game is loaded with illustrations by Eastman and Laird it had really cool character sheets, you could have Weapons, Weapons Proficiencies, Special Abilities, Scholastic Skills, Combat Skills and everything was an animal mutated towards a human. I spent hours creating the most awesome characters imaginable and there really wasn’t any purpose in rolling dice because I would just re-roll the dice until I got good numbers anyway. Then I’d type my characters up and file them away. The book TMNT and Other Strangeness is only 112 pages and it’s mostly about character creation with not much to go on by way of stories or adventures and so after having created an army of the most bad ass mutant animal characters that could still be comprehended by a human mind I lost interest in role playing games and I never became a “Dungeon Master!”

First Batman

Posted by Sam Kressin in Personal Journal

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Batman #402

The first Batman comic book I ever bought. I remember reading the captions and thinking this is the most bad ass thing I’ve ever seen. I went home and tried to draw the cover but couldn’t get it right so I traced it a bunch of times I still own the comic to this day it’s completely worn and beat to hell as I had read it over and over again and tried to draw from it all the time…