C. James Bye

Writer, Musician, Consumer of Nerd Culture.

Filtering by Category: Artwork

Sketchathon 3

With kiddo back in school, there's been less mutual draw time. I'd mostly been working on illustrations for Halloween events, so here's a roundup of some recent kiddo sketches, plus a few I did at an MSU life drawing session.

last day of school be like...

last day of school be like...

first day of school be like...

first day of school be like...

Cup Head. So, apparently there's this trend marketing retro-1930-style cartoons and video games to kids these days. And then mixing it with some demonic shit. Which sounds random, but when you see it, it makes a sort of awesome sense. Cup Head and Bendy fall into this category...

Cup Head. So, apparently there's this trend marketing retro-1930-style cartoons and video games to kids these days. And then mixing it with some demonic shit. Which sounds random, but when you see it, it makes a sort of awesome sense. Cup Head and Bendy fall into this category...

and here they are meeting for the first time...

and here they are meeting for the first time...

and even Felix the Cat is back.

and even Felix the Cat is back.

And then there's this thing called Ed's World on Youtube. Which has nothing to do with 1930's animation. But here they are being stalked by Bendy, nonetheless. This one, kiddo drew about two months after the others above. Across the board, she's made some huge developments in that brief time.

And then there's this thing called Ed's World on Youtube. Which has nothing to do with 1930's animation. But here they are being stalked by Bendy, nonetheless. This one, kiddo drew about two months after the others above. Across the board, she's made some huge developments in that brief time.

a Bendy of my own.

a Bendy of my own.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Been trying to find a regular figure drawing session since moving to Lansing. This one takes place once a week during the semester at the Kresge building on MSU's campus. 

10-minute pose

10-minute pose

half-hour pose

half-hour pose

another half-hour

another half-hour

10-minute pose

10-minute pose

half-hour pose

half-hour pose

hour pose

hour pose

More sketchathon updates soon!

The Return of FrankenFloyd (and other Halloweenyness)!

Last year, I was asked to create a t-shirt design for FrankenFloyd, a horror-comedy themed Pink Floyd Halloween show that's part of an annual Halloween party for friends, partners and clients of The Barn at Pioneer Acres in Polk, Wisconsin. This year, I received the same assignment. The theme: The Dark Side of Ed Gein.

WIP: pencil

WIP: pencil

the man himself.

the man himself.

WIP: pen

WIP: pen

cleaned-up version

cleaned-up version

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 8.08.18 PM.png

the reverse: a human lampshade prism

Unfortunately, with all of the other work that goes into putting this huge shindig together, deadline wasn't met on t-shirt final revisions and production. But, that's what this blog is largely for: housing homeless doodles and oddities. Luckily, I got to see some work come to fruition when I played guitar with the band.

wifey Jessa with my one of my best pals (and one of our bridesmaids!) Nichole (dressed as "The Sandman"'s Death) waiting for the show to go on.

wifey Jessa with my one of my best pals (and one of our bridesmaids!) Nichole (dressed as "The Sandman"'s Death) waiting for the show to go on.

my view from my guitar stool in the barn loft. (that table o' liquor should give an indication of how much party this party had in it)

my view from my guitar stool in the barn loft. (that table o' liquor should give an indication of how much party this party had in it)

my guitar-buddy Nate to my left.

my guitar-buddy Nate to my left.

our hosts gifted the band with authentic Ed Gein winter caps! (also: it's embarassing how proud I was to find that pink folder for my sheet music)

our hosts gifted the band with authentic Ed Gein winter caps! (also: it's embarassing how proud I was to find that pink folder for my sheet music)

human lampshade and chair back up during the show.

human lampshade and chair back up during the show.

The setlist:

  1. ONE OF THESE DAYS
  2. SPEAK TO ME
  3. BREATHE
  4. ON THE RUN
  5. TIME
  6. BREATHE (REPRISE)
  7. THE GREAT GIG IN THE SKY
  8. MOTHER
  9. MONEY
  10. US AND THEM
  11. ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE
  12. BRAIN DAMAGE 
  13. ECLIPSE
  14. COMFORTABLY NUMB

Here are edits of "Mother" and "Brain Damage/Eclipse" from an audience mic. The band is comprised of folks from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona, so there was no full-band rehearsal pre-show. There were flubs, and the vox might be a bit low, but aided by that table of liquor up there, I don't know if anyone noticed. From my loft perch, I noticed several people, eyes-shut, swaying and singing along to every word.

dancing with the wifey during the opening act. we're lo-key Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, of course (notice the bolts on our necks).

dancing with the wifey during the opening act. we're lo-key Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, of course (notice the bolts on our necks).

And continuing our Halloween roundup:

mid-meeting post-it doodle.

mid-meeting post-it doodle.

our My Neighbor Totoro pumpkin, lookin' pretty good if I do say so myself...

our My Neighbor Totoro pumpkin, lookin' pretty good if I do say so myself...

and after a squirrel destroyed it and stole the candle the very next day.

and after a squirrel destroyed it and stole the candle the very next day.

so, rather than dwell on the past, in the spirit of the season, we chose to move on quickly.

so, rather than dwell on the past, in the spirit of the season, we chose to move on quickly.

 me and the wife.

 me and the wife.

Comedy Coven Halloween

Comedy Coven was nice enough to ask me to do an poster for their Halloween, ahem, Hallomeme shows. Tricia's concept was a fun one: it's the disloyal man meme (sample below) but the man is the Creature of the Black Lagoon walking with his favorite scream queen, Julie Adams, and the woman who's caught his eye is Elvira. 

finished product

finished product

WIP

WIP

I originally toyed around with a background more closely related to the photo in the meme, but then my lovely wife suggested illustrating Lansing's Robin Theatre, where the show would take place, along with the surrounding buildings. This is just one of the many reasons I keep her around.

I originally toyed around with a background more closely related to the photo in the meme, but then my lovely wife suggested illustrating Lansing's Robin Theatre, where the show would take place, along with the surrounding buildings. This is just one of the many reasons I keep her around.

the meme.

the meme.

my lovely wife, pulled up on stage to help hammer a nail in this dude's nose! (photo courtesy Juila Kramer)

my lovely wife, pulled up on stage to help hammer a nail in this dude's nose! (photo courtesy Juila Kramer)

Sketchathon!

Been sketching with the kiddo lately. She's been very into Bendy and the Ink Machine, Steven Universe, and Undertale. I broke the pattern with this Joker piece but had to pay the price of some side eye due to my not staying on assignment.

pen & ink WIP

pen & ink WIP

Joker needed a little color.

Joker needed a little color.

AND a few other pages from recent sketchatons.

Steven Universe's Lapis and Pearl.

Steven Universe's Lapis and Pearl.

We found a My Little Pony Flash on Pinterest, because of course.

We found a My Little Pony Flash on Pinterest, because of course.

Undertale is a video game I have not played. So I know very little about it. But this is from that thing, I guess.

Undertale is a video game I have not played. So I know very little about it. But this is from that thing, I guess.

Amethyst and Bendy along with a creepy 1920's bunny in suspenders cartoon dude.

Amethyst and Bendy along with a creepy 1920's bunny in suspenders cartoon dude.

A Strange Alliance. Okay, I went off task more than once.

A Strange Alliance. Okay, I went off task more than once.

Filling out the post, this Talia al Ghul sketch is actually from a few months ago.

Filling out the post, this Talia al Ghul sketch is actually from a few months ago.

And here's one from a new drawing group I found in Lansing that meets at a quaint, new coffee shop called Blue Owl.

And here's one from a new drawing group I found in Lansing that meets at a quaint, new coffee shop called Blue Owl.

And another one.

And another one.

I've been drawing in an old pad I got as a kid but only ever used a handful of times. So here's a copy of Tony Harris' STARMAN #20 cover I did when I was about a year and a half older than my drawing partner is now.

I've been drawing in an old pad I got as a kid but only ever used a handful of times. So here's a copy of Tony Harris' STARMAN #20 cover I did when I was about a year and a half older than my drawing partner is now.

Don't Blame Me, I'm Color Blind!

Never done much coloring on my illustrations, 'cause, well, I'm color blind and never feel like I know what I'm looking at when I'm done. "Why is that person's face green?" I'd regularly be asked in Graphic Design classes.

"Because it's not. Not to me at least," would be my reply as I ran off crying.

But I figured I'd take a stab at playing with Illustrator's coloring capabilities on a couple of my recent superhero doodles.

JLI

Saturday sketch of some sort of battle between a few members of the JLI. Why? Why not? The better question is why is Dr. Light's right arm so long? Has she been sneaking Ralph's Gingold? Can I make a geekier reference?

There are several things I'd like to correct here: the physics-defying cape folds; the angularity of Fire's face (faces on a small scale have been tricky lately in general--this was done in an 8x11 sketchbook); Dr. Light's foot placement making it appear like she's walking rather than floating which just screws with the entire perspective (is Fire behind or in front of her?). But I had some fun playing with the more casual, impressionistic cityscape, which allowed for trying out some new pen techniques.

WIP pen & ink

WIP pen & ink

A little digital polish, and things are looking much cleaner!

A little digital polish, and things are looking much cleaner!

FrankenFloyd Halloween T-shirt Extravaganza!

I was recently asked to create an illustration for The Barn at Pioneer Acres, a beautiful wedding reception location in Polk, Wisconsin owned by friends of my family.

Every Halloween, they throw a party for a few hundred people, and every year there is much food, much booze, and a one-of-a-kind Pink Floyd-themed horror show complete with projection screens, smoke machines, props, costumes, and a mix of Floyd recordings and live performances. This year's theme was FrankenFloyd with a production that focused mostly on music from Floyd's iconic Wish You Were Here album.

Below, check out some of the work that went into the FrankenFloyd illustration.

WIP: So I forgot to take a photo before I began inking.

WIP: So I forgot to take a photo before I began inking.

Original pen and ink illustration

Original pen and ink illustration

b/w t-shirt front

b/w t-shirt front

T-shirt layout and printing done by the fantastic, quick, and cordial  createmytee.com .

T-shirt layout and printing done by the fantastic, quick, and cordial createmytee.com.

Shirts for sale.

Shirts for sale.

The show!

The show!

Lost Jazz Funk Greats

Drawing from photos and turning the people into superheroes--I guess that's the name of my current art project (I'll come up with something better later). And here's attempt #2 in the series.

One of my last days as a senior, bumming around the library, avoiding studying or essay writing or whatever it is you're expected to do those last few moments of being a kid, I found a 1970's Menomonee Falls High School yearbook. Inside, I discovered a photo of what must've been a killer funk combo performing in the cafeteria.

Something about this hit my sentimentality button just right--seeing a long-lost band documented in this decades old artifact, playing in a space where, over the past three years, many of my own bands had played, photos of which were also captured for yearbooks--yearbooks that maybe some future-kid, decked out in his holo-vid sunglasses and space-age tie-dye t-shirt would find and likewise appreciate--I began to feel a sort of nostalgia for something that hadn't actually even ended yet.

So I took that old yearbook and photocopied the picture. I planned to do something with it one day (maybe a poster, maybe a sketch, maybe a screen print). So I shoved it in a book so it wouldn't be torn or folded. And I forgot about it.

Yesterday, while rummaging through my bookshelf, that photocopy slipped out from between the pages of the drawing book I had placed it in when I was 18 for safe keeping.

So here it is--15 years since I graduated and around 40 years since the photo was taken--my version of a band with a lot of brass (in more ways than one) depicted as members of the Justice League ('cause why not?).

(Left to Right) on brass -- Green Lantern John Stewart; Animal Man; Vibe; Black Lightning; Bronze Tiger; on guitar and vocals -- Steel

(Left to Right) on brass -- Green Lantern John Stewart; Animal Man; Vibe; Black Lightning; Bronze Tiger; on guitar and vocals -- Steel

Kinda wishing I made a note of what the band was called or the name of the members or what year the photo was taken...

Kinda wishing I made a note of what the band was called or the name of the members or what year the photo was taken...

Hopefully there's more to come. I have an awful lot of Kodak photo folders in my basement just waiting for the superhero treatment!