Monday, December 24, 2018

Season Greetings

Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

It's Black Friday. Get Art Software.


Buy it for yourself or buy it as a gift. 
Get it now! Sale ends November 26 at 1159pm PST

US$49.99 => US$25.00

US$219.00 => US$109.00

US$169.00 => US$84.00

Follow and subscribe to me. If you have found this helpful, please let me know and share with other creators. Are the explanations clear and complete? Feel free to ask me questions.

Please support me making video tutorials on Patreon

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Buying one of the books below will give me a piece of the action and help support this blog.
Support an artist today.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Get Some Great Comic Book Fonts at a Discount.

Use Professional Fonts

Get 30% off Blambot pro comic book fonts during the week of Cyber Monday! The only Blambot sale of the year!
Starts Nov 26, 2018 at 10 AM ET.
Ends Dec 3, 2018 at 10 AM ET.

Remember… Just Create!

If you are interested in further expanding your knowledge, then I recommend these books.

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copyright 2014 H. Simpson

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Aviation Aces

Available to buy now with my interior art.



art copyright 2018 Howard Simpson

Since the advent of air combat over Europe during World War One, aviation would become an integral part of shaping the military future of all nations. Thus were born skilled men and women whose love of flying and unerring survival skills would label them as Aviation Aces.

From the 1920s forward, American pulp publishers gave their readers countless new monthly magazines featuring these amazing fliers from Bucky Barnes to Dusty Ayers and so many more. The stories were filled with high flying heroes willing to challenge the dangers of soaring above the world.

Now Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to take to the wild blue with four brand new, pulse-pounding, cloud-climbing adventures.  From a hidden Japanese base in the South China Sea, to the search for a missing scientist and a top-secret mission in a “rubber” plane, these stories soar boldly into the killer skies. Join writers Gene Moyers, Jeff Fournier, Andy Fix, Robert Ricci and Fred Adams Jr. as they fly straight into thrilling pulp action.

New Zealander Shane Evans provides the cover while Howard Simpson the twelve black and white illustrations, all under the guidance of Award Winning Art Director Rob Davis. “Aviation pulps were a staple of the 30s and 40s,” adds Airship 27 Productions Managing Editor Ron Fortier. “We’re excited to be offering up a new title to add to those old time classics. We think our readers are really going to enjoy Aviation Aces in a big way.”


Now available from Amazon in paperback and soon on Kindle.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Steve Ditko Tribute

Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko was a big influence on me getting interested in the craft of drawing. I recently purchased some of his work in his last Kickstarter campaign. I will be receiving it with a heavy heart.

He truly deserves the term "Legendary Artist" Here is my tribute to him and his creations. Too many creations for me to draw here.

The world of comics is a little less colorful and wacky without him.

Remember... Just Create!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Steve Ditko has Passed Away

Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange and many other characters has passed away at 90.

The comic industry is a sad place today as it has lost a legend and inspiration to many of us.

I was fortunate to have worked with him. I'll share that at a later date.

You may read more here.

Ditko in his studio.

Very few people draw Dr. Strange as mysterious as Ditko did.

Other characters he created include, The Question, Hawk & Dove and one of my favorites, The Creeper.

Self- portrait  and photo of him in his studio.

Remember... Just Create!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Harlan Ellison 1934- 2018

Harlan Ellison passed away in his sleep. 1934- 2018

Ha was a creator of short stories, anthologies, TV scripts and comic books. He won Hugo and Nebula Awards. He wrote one of my favorite Star Trek episodes of all time, "The City on the Edge of Forever."

There will be other people on the net running down his accomplishments. He is after all one of the greatest writers of speculative and science fiction. I want to share my memory of meeting him.
As I became more settled in my professional career, I started to travel in different circles and get invited to places and parties where I could meet people whose work I enjoyed, admired and respected in my youth.

Unable to speak in the presence of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Surprised that Mark Hamill is speaking to me.( He is much shorter than me.) Saying something stupid to Steranko and later being able to redeem myself. Other times I was able to compose myself and have an intelligent conversation.

I'm not trying to name drop; only explaining my different reactions to meeting people as I move into new circles. I have to save my Larry Niven story for later.

I'm at San Diego Comic-Con where I met a producer of Pinky and the Brain long after it went off the air. After chopping it up for a while, he said he was meeting someone for lunch and invited me to join them. I've had very few jaw dropping moments in my life. This was one of them as he introduced me to Harlan Ellison. The fan boy in me was barely containable. 'I need to handle myself in a professional manner.' We ate lunch and talked. Harlan did most of the talking. Thank goodness! I was spared from saying something that would embarrass me.

He has a reputation for being abrasive and I could see the truth in that rep. We had an enjoyable lunch as that side of him didn't come out. He was very respectful to me. I found him to be a smart, down to earth, "Get off my lawn, you kids." type of guy.

RIP Harlan

Remember... Just Create!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Now I Remember, I Love You

Book cover I painted for a novel entitled "Now I Remember, I Love You"

I tried to evoke the style of those 50s paperback novels.

art copyright 2018 H. Simpson

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Attention Pulp Fiction Fans

Attention pulp fiction fans.

Join the new pulp movement.

Here's a sneak peek at some of my art for the soon to be published "Aviation Ace" available from Airship 27.

You may find more new pulp at Airship 27 Productions while you wait.

Remember... Just Create!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Twitter would have bought DC Comics to it's knees in 1964.

This article could have been titled:
Why comics started showing faceless Presidents or
Good thing Twitter was not around in 1964.

In 1964, Action Comics No. 309 was published. Once again Superman has to keep Lois Lane and Lana Lang from finding out his secret identity. He doesn't wear a mask. Why do people think he has a secret identity? Why is Superman such a blabber mouth? "I have a secret identity. I have a secret base in the Arctic called Fortress of Solitude. I can't see through lead."

Back to the story. Clark and Superman have to be in the same place, at the same time, on national television. None of Superman's usual tricks are going to work. Who will masquerade as Clark Kent?

Do I need a spoiler alert for a story from 1964?

Superman gets President John F. Kennedy to dress up as Clark Kent and save the day. Hey, that's cool. Nice story. Unfortunately, the story came out after November 22, 1963. Oh,oh. You have stepped in deep doo-doo now DC Comics. Well, they stepped in it by mistake. This is not a condemnation of DC Comics who did nothing wrong, but was a victim of bad timing.

The letters column in Action Comics No. 312 showed the resulting outrage at showing the beloved dead president. . Whoops, if Twitter had been around in 1964 we would have seen outrage. However, DC Comics chose which letters to print. The public got to read the reasonable, level headed responses. One can only imagine the amount of vitriolic, hate filled, savage and venomous letters they received. The editor - Mort Weisinger - did hint at these type of letters in his response.

In 2018, DC Comics doesn't have this type of control over fans. One could only imagine what the result would be today.

copyright 1964 DC Comics

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Musical Art

CD Label Art

Art I created for music CD label for client. I definitely can't sing or play an instrument. However, I was close to pursuing music if not for my mother's impatience.

I was very diligent in practicing my chords. My mother couldn't take it. I came home one day and our piano had mysteriously disappeared.

art copyright 2018 Howard Simpson
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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Digital Portrait Commission

Here's a digital commission I've done suitable for printing.

art copyright 2018 Howard Simpson

This one served double duty and was also part of a portrait challenge. I will show process in a future post.

I'm open for commissions. Send a DM.

Remember... Just Create!

#howardsimpson #abbastudios #picoftheday #artist  #illustration #madewithwacom #photoshop #portrait #art #commissionsopen #commission #woman #female #challenge

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Comic Book Art Commission

*Commission completed and delivered*

Here's what the recipient, Bill had to say about it:

"Howard always responds promptly and included me though the entire commission process by sending me rough sketches to choose from and asking for my input on the drawing. When Howard had to cancel his show appearance due to illness, not only did he ship the drawing to me at no extra charge but he also included one of his old sketchbooks. Howard is a stand up person and a great artist. I highly recommend Howard if you are looking to commission a piece of art." Open for more commissions. #art #drawing #commissions #women #comicart #comicbooks #superhero #commissionsopen

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Winning is Good!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

It’s good to wake up in the morning knowing I’m a winner. It’s even better when it’s not me telling myself that. Don’t worry self, I still love you too.

Yes, I’ll also respect you in the morning. Myself is so needy.

Hide the kiddies! This is not for the meek of heart. If you still let your kids see this, you can’t blame me if they are traumatized for life. Well, you can blame me,because I can’t control your actions. But I will only give you a blank stare and wish you ‘good day.’

Wacom has chosen my art for their May Wordplay challenge. My wordplay is visualizing the idiom “I got your back” and a couple of others thrown in for the eagle-eyed among you.

Check out the announcement on their blog.

I encourage my fellow artists to join in; you could be the next winner.

Remember... Just Create!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Nancy is Blowing Me


I'm Reading Nancy Comic Strip Again

As a child and on into adulthood, I always read the Nancy comic strip when it was available in the newspapers. I was in Philadelphia when they decided to do a purge and bring in new comic strips and only Blondie and Peanuts survived.

I always considered Nancy a boring strip. I would constantly say, 'I'm not going to waste my time reading it anymore.' Yet, everyday I was there reading it. Ernie Bushmiller was weaving some kind of hypnotic spell over me through ink and newsprint.

Nancy was taken over by Gilchrist. It was definitely more visually exciting, yet the writing was nothing to get excited about. After sampling it, I never read it again. It wasn't Nancy.

It wasn't until the interent that I found out a lot of artists shared my guilty pleasure of reading Nancy.
Now the internet is abuzz about a new creator on Nancy.

And that becomes the first weird thing to discuss.

Everyone seems to be excited that it is a woman writing and drawing Nancy for the first time. Her name is Olivia James, or is it? Because the Internet is also saying that this is a pseudonym. I don't know how anyone knows it's a pseudonym and if it is - is it a pseudonym for woman or a pseudonym for a man?

In any case, that has nothing to do with the price of butter. Let's start looking at this first Nancy daily strip by "Olivia James." It debuted on April 9, 2018. I worked my way backward from the current comic on to find the first one. What a difference from the day before. In the comment section it previously averaged about 20 comments. This first new creator strip I'm looking at it now (as of this writing) has over 200 comments, over 100 hearts and over 40 pins. An astronomical leap over the previous strips. The comment section themselves are worthy of a whole article, Perhaps for another day... let's look at the first strip.
Nancy copyright 2018 UFS

We see an unknown person looking at Nancy at a table with a pie. We don't know if this person is male or female and don't find out that she's a female until the last panel. We never find out who she is and why she is so interested in Nancy. She's kinda creepy. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

She starts out complementing Nancy and then kind of dogging  her out. Now this seems to happen in real time as if she's talking in one continuous moment with no pauses. Meaning pretty much as we read it that's the time it is taking her to say it. 

But, Nancy's down with quantum space time.

Now let's break this down panel by panel.

The person comments that Nancy is a sweet girl. Sweet girl, sweet pie, Sweetie pie, get it? So from the first panel we are unsettled by this woman's interest in Nancy; a little girl. Is that intentional? Nancy is sitting at a table, most likely in a cafeteria because of the tray holding her pie. We don't know if this is in a school or a food court in the mall. So we will just have to go with "a cafeteria somewhere." Nancy is sitting, smiling looking at her pie on the tray. She has no utensils and that wouldn't be unusual for a kid to eat a slice of pie with her hands.

The second panel has the woman commenting that Nancy is "also a salt girl." Whoa... wait a minute. Now Nancy suddenly has a fork, a salt shaker and a drink. Whether someone brought those to the table or Nancy got up herself to get them, that definitely means time has passed. So this person has been standing in the same spot the whole time the new items reached the table. That means this is not a continuous monologue. She had to wait for Nancy to get all this, pick up her knife and salt shaker to continue talking about her.

Moving on to the third panel this woman is still dogging Nancy, who now has a knife. The fork and salt shaker have disappeared. She also now has a hamburger, a stick of butter in her hand, with a cupcake near the drink. So a lot more time has passed and this woman is still standing there commenting aloud about Nancy to herself. There is no audience revealed to us.

The fourth and last panel the woman comments about Nancy really enjoying her cornbread. So again, the cornbread had not been present the whole time, so this could only have arrived later. This unknown woman is stalking Nancy and commenting on everything that she's eating. That is creepy.

And that is what is going to keep me reading this comic strip. One; because the storytelling seems to be operating on many different levels at the same time. Two; because if you just do a surface read of it nothing odd seems to be really happening much like the Bushmuller strips. Unlike the Bushmuller strips there seems to be a level of uneasiness introduced. Questions that have to be asked, yet may never be answered. We are left to consider what type of reality we've stepped into here. Has Nancy achieved a whole new level of absurd, bland, formulaic, minimalist subversiveness? 

Let me know what you think. Start reading Nancy here

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Remember... Just Create!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

I'm Open for Commissions

Working on a commission right now. 

The water is going to be hard to draw.

Fury and Tsunami
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Looney Tunes Comic Book Art

Porky Pig and Donald Duck Comic Book Pages

Pencil art I've done for DC Comics.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Read my Art Ebook for FREE

Welcome to Tangent City

FREE Ebook

You can my read my ebook for FREE (more of an e-pamphlet) if you have KindleUnlimited on Amazon at

The book is to help artists avoid some nasty cooties called “tangents” in their art. So spread the word far and wide.

Right now I’m ranked around #900 in the Art Books category. Not bad considering how many thousands of art books are available there.

Now I only ask you for one teensy-bitsy favor . You can help increase my ranking if you give a review after reading it. I want to get into the Top 100 and your review can help make that possible. Your review might even get marked as useful, because it encouraged an artist to read it. and that’s my purpose to help other artists.

If you can spare the time, it would be much appreciated.Thank you.

Wait! There’s more! It helps more if people actually buy it for 99 cents! Just a thought, however, I don’t want to be greedy. I’ll go for the fame first and the fortune later.

#tangent #tangentcity #abbastudios #artist #illustrator #painter #educational #instructional #comics  #comicbooks  #education #studentproblems 
 #madewith wacom #madewithInDesign #adobeillustrator #adobeindesign

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Update with Free Software to Create Comics and Graphic Novels

How to Become a Comic Strip, Comic Book and Graphic Novel Artist

art copyright 2018 Howard Simpson


Today, we update a previous post about the software you can use for creation. New to the list is MediBang Pro and Mischief - both available for free. And now SketchBook which had free and paid versions, now only offers a full-featured free version.

Do you know of any others I should add to the list? Tell me about them.


Adobe Photoshop

  • The industry leader. It is used for drawing, coloring and painting. Not good to use for lettering.
  • Available for Mac OS and Windows.
  • Download at


  • This is a powerful and easy to use drawing and painting program. 
  • Available for Mac OS and Windows
  • Download ArtRage


  • An alternative to Corel Painter. Artweaver is available in two versions: The Artweaver Free version at no cost and Artweaver Plus version at 29 Euros with more features than the free version.
  • Available for Windows.
  • Download at

Corel Painter or CorelDRAW

  • Very popular leading digital art software.
  • Available for Mac OS and Windows.
  • Download at

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

  • A powerful open source image editor application 
  • Available for Linux, Mac OS and Windows
  • Download for FREE at

GIMP tutorials
GIMP video tutorials


SketchBook Pro

  • Offers sketching and drawing software capabilities.
  • Available for Mac OS and Windows.
  • Download for FREE at

MediBang Paint

  • A lightweight digital painting and comic creation program that comes loaded with brushes, fonts, pre-made backgrounds and other resources for Mac and Windows. Has comic book creation tools also.
  • Download for FREE at



  • An open-source raster graphics editor, designed primarily for digital painting and animation purposes.
  • Download for FREE or buy at
Thanks to +Juan Ochoa for suggesting Krita.

Clip Studio Paint

  • Digital drawing & painting software to create illustrations, manga & comics available on Mac OS and Windows.
  • Download at

Thanks to +Skot Whitman for reminding me of Clip Studio Paint


  • Nimble, distraction-free and easy tool for digital painters to create illustrations available on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux.
  • Download for FREE at

Thanks to +Ronnie Tucker for suggesting MyPaint.

A word about software choices. Photoshop was created to be used by photographers for retouching photos. It was the creativity of artists that started using it for drawing and painting. So don't feel bad if you can't afford an expensive application. Use free or low-cost tools available. Your creativity can make the tool sing and come to life to fit your needs and style of art. Much like the early creative visionaries did with Photoshop by taking a tool that wasn't intended to create art and bending it to their will.

After all, people have made professional-looking movies on iPhones! There's nothing to stop you from creating a professional-looking comic strip, comic book or graphic novel with whatever tool you choose right now. Start today! Just create something!

Keep reading and  +1 me. Share with your friends. Please comment.
Remember... Just Create!

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copyright 2018 H. Simpson