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Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Welcome back CRAZIES!!!  Last week, I promised to show y'all how I made the alien mask from They Live!, and I intend to deliver!  Before we start, let it be known that I got the idea from Make: Magazine, which is a must read for anyone down to do some DIY projects!  The Make article wasn't quite as clear on certain steps though, so I'll try and be as thorough as I can.  Also, I'll be listing supplies as I go, so be sure to make a list.  Anyway, enjoy...


First step is the easiest: Buy Supplies!  To start, you'll need a simple craft mask and some instant papier-mache which you can find at any craft store.  I would recommend Michael's since they constantly have coupons.

The next part is to mix up the papier-mache and put it on the mask, except over the mouth and nose.  You will only need roughly a quarter of the papier-mache mix, if even that, so eyeball it closely.  Something the magazine article didn't point out is that after it dries, the papier-mache CAN come off, so you might wanna get some spray glue as well.


Another piece of the puzzle you will need is a skull mask, more specifically, the jawline of it.  Most Halloween and party stores carry them at this time of year, so finding one shouldn't be too difficult.  Cutting it out however, was a chore!  Scissors aren't very good on thick plastic.  I'd highly recommend a scroll saw or dremel.  You also have to cut out the mouth of the white mask, which scissors were effective on oddly enough.  This is another part the magazine article wasn't very clear on.

With everything cut out, glue the skull jaw on to the white mask.  This part is a little tricky as the jaw will NOT just fit on (Yet another thing the article neglected to say!).  And there WILL be a gap in between  the two masks.  I used hot glue to set it on there and Gorilla Glue to reinforce it as the hot glue didn't want to stick very well.  Also be aware of where the jaw lines up.  Mine was noticeably off, BUT, it actually kinda worked as the aliens in the film are quite grotesque!


The next phase of making this mask is the best part!  Shaping it!  You'll need modeling clay and a little patience with this step.  First, add clay around the jawline to A) Cover up the gaps between the two masks and B) Elongate the jaw to make it look more natural.  Be sure to keep a bowl of water around too as you'll need to wet your fingers so you can smooth the clay down.  Add more clay around the eyes, nose and cheek bones to form ridges.  You'll wanna add ridges to the forehead too.  The goal is to make it look like it's holding back rotting flesh, which is what the papier-mache simulates!


And now we enter the home stretch!  The first part of step 4 may well be the easiest thing you will do on this project: Priming the mask!  Because you'll be using light colors, you'll wanna use a non-glossy white primer paint.  No real primer preference here.  It's a mask not a wall!

Once your primer dries, you can REALLY go to work!  First up, paint the nose and eye sockets black.  Then using red paint, make the fleshy parts red.  This includes the gums between the teeth and ALL the exposed papier-mache.  Because of the white primer, it may take a few coats, especially with the red as the papier-mache isn't a smooth surface and will have hard-to-fill grooves and cracks.  You also wanna use acrylic paints for this step, preferably with a matte finish.  Once again, I have no preference.  Whatever is cheapest works just fine.
Now it's time to paint the bone ridges blue!  You'll paint everything BUT the teeth and lower jaw a medium shade of blue, once again with acrylic paint.  I used turquoise since it's the perfect shade of blue!  With a VERY small brush, also take some black paint and get the lines in between the teeth and gums.  This will really make those chompers standout, especially after the glossing step.  It'd also be wise to pick up some white acrylic paint too, as the brush is going to smear while doing the lines.


This next step requires a bit more skill than most as you'll be adding highlights to make the mask really stand out!  First, take some brown acrylic paint and lightly sponge it on to the red parts.  It doesn't have to be heavy, but should be somewhat covering of the red paint.  Basically, make sure the red paint is still visible.  Next, add some water to the brown paint and lightly brush it on to the teeth and lower jaw, then wipe it off quick with a paper towel.  This will age the teeth and make it look more sinister.  You can leave the teeth and jaw white though.  Totally your call!

And now we reach the last part!  With some pink acrylic paint, faintly sponge it on to the brown and red fleshy areas of the mask.  Next, use light blue acrylic paint and faintly sponge it on to the blue parts of the mask.  These are merely highlights, so no heavy coat needed.  To make the eyes, cut a ping pong ball in half, spray paint it silver and then cut a star pattern into the eyes.  This is another one you'll need a dremel for as the curved surface make it impossible to use a knife or scissors.  Once done, hot glue the eyes into the eye sockets of the mask.  Once all the paint and glue is dry, take a glossing medium and lightly brush it on.  The magazine recommended a medium gloss varnish which I did find very satisfying.  Once again, this one is really more personal preference than anything else.  A higher gloss may stand up to the elements better depending on the weather.

And there's your mask!  The white craft mask will have straps already attached, but you may wanna replace them with elastic as the included straps only tie around and likely won't support the added weight.  Anyhoo, that's my tutorial!  I hope y'all liked it and didn't doze off while reading!  I hope y'all will also be inspired to try even crazier variants!  I know I am!

And that's all for today.  I'll be back next time with some Halloween fun just in time for the spookiest night of the year!  Well, save for Ozzy Osborne's birthday party!  Until then, take care and I'll catch y'all later!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


It's a week late, but my Long Beach Comic Con review is here!  The trip up was one of the most aggravating road trips I've ever been on, but it was worth it for the relaxing two days that followed!  So let's dive right in shall we?  Long Beach Comic Con is a go!  Enjoy...

I know the con is gonna be good when the first Cosplay I come across is from Mystery Science Theater 3000!

Twitter pal and WannaBe Press publisher Russell Nohelty sports the They Live! mask I made prior to the show! Dig the mask?  Next week, I'll be showing y'all step-by-step how I made it!  Also surprised my dear pal Joie Foster while wearing it!  She legitimately didn't know I was under the hood!

 One of the best Riddler cosplays I've ever seen!  Long Beach is always a great source for amazing Cosplay.  Unlike last year, the weather was far more agreeable this time around, so more folks were willing to dress up.

 Always love it when families get involved!  The kid as Meowth was adorable!  Some cool parents there!  Oddly enough, PokemonGo was not the hot topic of the con though.

LBCC always brings out an impressive assortment of classic movie/TV cars for display outside, and this year was no exception.  Behold the "Shaguar!"

My favorite Cosplay of the con!  I've seen a few Gomez and Morticia Addams cosplays over the years, but these two definitely hit the nail on the head!  Even got a Deadpool photobomb that I only just now noticed!

A Kinnex Astro Droid!  I'm always in envy of the R2 Builders group.  Their dedication and skill are simply amazing!  And this droid was fully functional too!

This dastardly Borg is actually Evil Ted, a master of prop armor, weapon and costume making!  I've been totally addicted to his tutorial vids as of late to the point where I'm looking to make some prop armor myself!  What's truly amazing here is that most of his Borg costume is made of simple foam floor mats that you can buy at a hardware store.

Leatherface!  Excuse me while I run!

Star Wars Cholos!  These guys had everybody cracking up!

Megatron!  Not sure how this dude got through the doorway, but he sure attracted a crowd!

Even Fido got in on the Cosplay fun!  And trust me, this pooch was big enough to be Falcour!

I love Cheesy Poofs
You love Cheesy Poofs!
If we didn't eat Cheesy Poofs
We'd... Be... LAME!!!
I'll give credit where credit's due.  This kid nailed Cartman! 

I guess this Bogart didn't realize how many wizards were hanging out at the con.

And we'll finish things off with how the Shredder's supposed to look in live action!  Always love it when people Cosplay the original TMNT films.  Still waiting on Keno the pizza delivery boy cosplay!

And so another Long Beach Comic Con has passed.  A most enjoyable show this year, road trip aside.  Caught up with many old pals while making quite a few new ones.  Also discovered some great comic finds while there, which has become the norm really.  Long Beach is a huge show with a small con feel that really gives con goers the chance to slow down and really check things out.  You won't get that at too many other shows in Southern California, so it's always a blast to go there.  Hopefully, next year will be even better!

Well, that's all for now.  I'll be back next week with a detailed look at how I made the They Live! mask that I had at the show!  Until then, take care and I'll catch y'all later!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Okay, that's really more of a question, but it does explain the really short post today.  You see, time hasn't been on my side much as of late.  So much so that it's two days before posting starts and I only just now had a few minutes to type this up!  Fear not, more posts are coming, but due to time constraints, the long-promised look back at Long Beach Comic Con 2016 will have to wait until next week.  In the mean time, I do have something pretty cool to show off, so let's dive in, shall we?  Enjoy...

Y'all might recognize this as The Riddler.  I was recently asked to take part in the Cheeky Charlie charity which is helping to raise money for a little boy in England named Charlie who requires a wheelchair due to spinal muscular atrophy type 2.  Charlie's a big fan of Batman and his notorious rogues' gallery, so we were all asked to draw characters of the Dark Knight with hopes of selling prints to raise money for Charlie's wheelchair.  Felt kinda weird drawing a villain for a charity drive, but Edward Nigma is just too much campy fun to pass up!  If you'd like to help out or learn more, click any of the links in this paragraph.  This link here will take you to the main shop while you can find my print with this link here!

And that's all for this week!  Sorry for not doing any kind of grand October welcoming.  Just had too many things happen at once.  Next week will be more fun as I'll be covering this year's trip to Long Beach Con!  Also gonna be a bit different as there will be no new art.  Don't fret though.  I haven't stopped drawing.  Just testing out some potential format changes.  Until then, take care and I'll catch y'all later!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Last week of September!  Hopefully everyone's had a good start to the Fall.  I know all my favorite holidays are rapidly approaching here, and I especially hope to have a lot of fun this Halloween given some of the stuff I've been working on!  But that's all for another time.  Today, we celebrate the arts!  So let's get to it!  Enjoy...

Another alphabetic animal from the Daily Doodle, Ninja Newt was a lot of fun to come up with.  He hasn't appeared in any comics yet, but I feel he will eventually.  Is he friend or foe?  Hard to say at this point.  I try to make reptiles and amphibians good guys in my comics because they are so unfairly judged in real life.  People freak out at the site of these animals and I really don't get why?  Would you run for your life if Kermit the Frog came your way?  NO!!!  Kermit is gentle and cute and wouldn't hurt anyone, much like a real frog!  So please don't be afraid of reptiles and amphibians when you come across them.  Most would rather get away from humans!

And we're done!  But fear not fellow CRAZIES, for I will be back next time with a rundown of Long Beach Comic Con to get October off to a fun start!  Until then, take care and I'll catch y'all later!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Well, two weeks into September now folks!  Time flies don't it?  I'd give y'all a run down of how Long Beach Comic Con went, but since I wrote this post before it even happened, I have no idea how it was!  And if I try to BS my way through it, I could possibly cause a time rift and we don't want that do we?  Of course not!  So while we patiently wait until October's posts for some LBCC highlights, we'll go ahead and move along with some new art that'll hopefully prevent any kind of Biff-run dystopian future!  Enjoy...

Every so often, the Daily Doodle would do some animal-themed posts with alphabetical help.  One particular day, a lizard was chosen and I decided to turn him into a lounge singer!  For those that were born after 1995, "Lounge Lizard" was a term typically given to performers that regularly played in hotel/bar/casino lobbies.  It's not a bad gig if you can get one really, but it tends to carry a rather sleazy tag with it because of the location of said gig.  Lenny wound up getting quite a few fans when his pencil art first appeared on Twitter, with dear pal Eline Wagemaker in particular demanding that he show up in the comics someday.  Well, this past June, the opportunity came and Lenny D wound up Hosting Critters Got Talent for the residents of the Crazy Forest!  This is his first color appearance though, and I gotta say, he looks dashing in his typical 70's-era blue tuxedo!

Well folks, that's all for today.  I'll be back next time to close out September with some art that slices and dices!  Until then, take care and I'll catch y'all later!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Welcome to September CRAZIES!!!  This month's all about our scaly pals from the reptile and amphibian world!  If you've been following along with Bubble Fox lately, then you'd know that Bubble recently became a dad!  No, he and Willow didn't finally tie the knot.  He simply hatched a giant egg (After an intense battle with some rather desperate weasels!) that happened to contain a baby dragon, making for a BIG bundle of joy for the wily fox!  You may be asking "How on Earth did you decide that Bubble should have a son?  A dragon son no less?!"  Well, just keep reading along and you'll find out...

You see, the Daily Doodle one day put out a baby dragon theme.  I really liked the design of this little fella and thought he'd make a good addition for Bubble Fox.  The only real cosmetic change that I've made is that he now has a tiny pair of wings on his back.  Since Bubble had already done battle with a dragon, it made sense that such creatures exist in his universe.  And so the stage was set for a storyline that would span eight months, ending in May when little Pepper hatched and roasted the dastardly weasels away for good!  How did he get the name Pepper?  You'll have to read the comics to learn that answer! (HINT)  As for his colors, I hadn't really decided on it until a recent guest comic from Dawn Griffin convinced me that purple was the way to go!  I've also considered the notion that he can change colors since he is reptilian.  It's a black and white comic, so color's kind of a moot point really!

Well folks, that's all for today.  I'll be back next time with a guy that personifies the phrase "Lounge Lizard!"  If you happen to be in Long Beach this weekend, stop by the Long Beach Comic Con and come say hi!  I won't have a table this year, but I'll be walking around all weekend seeing the sights and catching up with old pals while making new ones!  It's always a ton of fun and, weather permitting, is usually a cosplay hotbed!  Anyway, take care and I'll catch y'all later!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


 Richard Thompson was a truly amazing cartoonist.  So few of us are able to capture the wonder of childhood, the drudgery of adulthood and the absurdity of life in general in a single strip as well as he did.  His strip, Cul De Sac, was by far one of the greatest comics to ever grace the funny pages.  It was a crushing blow in 2012 when Parkinson's Disease forced Mr. Thompson into retirement so he could undergo treatment.  We hoped he'd get well again someday and return to the funnies to give us all our badly needed dose of Alice dancing on her manhole cover.  Sadly, it never happened.  On July 27, 2016, just days after the world gathered in my hometown to celebrate comics, Mr. Thompson passed away.

I never met Richard Thompson in person, although I did have a few chance interactions with him on Twitter.  Early on when I started on that site, I had mentioned one day how I wished my local paper, The San Diego Union-Tribune, carried Cul De Sac.  About an hour later, he tweeted me back, thanking me and jokingly asked if he could crash on my couch during Comic Con!  He wound up not making it that year (because of his illness), but he would've been more than welcome to the sofa in my home.  At that moment, I didn't even know he was ill.  I just knew he did a comic that I absolutely adored and couldn't get enough of.

The art in today's post was made in honor of Richard Thompson and his wonderful characters.  The piece at the top of the page was for the Team Cul De Sac art auction that Chris Sparks hosts every June at HeroesCon in Charlotte.  I drew this piece back in May and included my three favorite characters: Mr. Danders, the wily guinea pig always looking to make a quick get away; Petey, Alice's neurotic older brother always trying mightily to get a grip on his oboe; and, of course, Alice, a wonderfully imaginative, pangolin-obsessed little girl who looks at every manhole cover as her own personal stage.  I don't know if this piece sold to be honest, but it is one of the things I'm most proud of.  Coloring the grass on this piece wasn't easy, but it was worth the effort.

After word of Mr. Thompson's passing reached, I did another bit of art...

Most of Cul De Sac was in black and white, one of the qualities that added so much to the comic's charm.  That's why I opted to forgo colors on this one.  I liked the simplicity of it.  That's why I liked Cul De Sac so much.  It wasn't full of political satire, wacky antics, grotesque violence or disgusting bathroom humor.  It was just simple fun.  In a very complicated world like today, simple is always a welcome change.

I never knew Mr. Thompson, but I knew his work and knew it was very good.  I know he is in a better place now and I know he made this world better for having been here.  I urge any who want to help fight Parkinson's Disease to check out the Team Cul De Sac site to learn more.  But more than that, I want to thank Richard Thompson for being such an amazing artist and for bringing so many smiles during his time here.  And thank you Richard for giving us Alice, whom I will always see dancing whenever I pass a manhole cover.

-Jon Esparza