Monday, December 13, 2010

For a Little Christmas Cheer

I did this image for my friend Matt. He's terribly fond of my character, JD, so for Christmas I drew this for him. The smirking fellow beside him is Count Stollen, the Christmas Vampire Lord (go ahead and laugh...)

Happy Holidays to you all!

Cthu'Og is Watching You...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Demons and Dudes

I wanted to get some more sexy dudes out before Halloween. I've been running on this stint of Universal Monsters men, except for Zaxxor in the middle. To the left is JD (a.k.a Jersey Devil,) a werewolf from Hoboken. To the right is Warhead, a Frankenstein's monster with car parts and machinery for armor.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In the spirit of Halloween...

I'm alive, friends, drawing ever more.

And speaking of...

I'm trying to make up a story about this guy, but I wanted something that says "me" and "Halloween." Do you think it does?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do we have spirit? No we don't!

In honor of my friend Eric's newly opened comic book stand in Grey's Bookstore near UCF, I became compelled to draw some original, UCF themed art to celebrate the university (with a touch of homosexuality).

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm Here... Sort of.


I've been away for quite some time. Personal drama here. Life choices there. Yet, all in all, I'm still here.

I've been dried up as of late, at least artistically, due in part to being involved with two comic book projects (not the one I have been working on for quite some time now). Worry, over all things, has kept me paralyzed and unwilling to do much creative work, let alone creative work for myself. Fret not!

Friday afternoon I was struck with inspiration. For the longest time I imagined doing this. Those of you who know me personally know I am vehemently opposed to fan art, but for this I made an exception. I made the exception because of the fondness I have for the series, and the sheer novelty of the idea, which to me is nothing short of transcendent. I wanted to paint these, but I figured I'd at least post them up on my blog.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you "The Epic of Spongebob"...

Plankton, the Sorcerer of Chum
Eugene Krabs, soldier of fortune
Squidward, magician of the Order of the Cephalopod
Patrick...... Patrick!
and Spongebob, the most far fetched sketch on here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Doorway Into my World

Considering that I created this blog with the purpose to promote and preview my yet to be completed graphic novel, its about time I share some pages...

I will begin with page... 60... something... Its the most current and perhaps the most polished of my comic pages...
This is the initial cast of heroes and my "mentor" figure, who is, lacking any originality on my part, named "Mentor."

The following pages describe a little more on the background of my protagonist, Rothbert, as well as the history behind the identity of the "Swordsinger."

I hope this gives you, ANY of you, some insight and anticipation into my world. I hope to release more images when they are produced in a timely manner.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writing Exercise #001

Before you progress any further, gentle reader, I must warn you. If you have a small attention span, as I do, then disregard this post. This is merely an exercise I conducted while out of the house. Its the best way for me to get any work of any kind finished at all. If you have a much larger attention and do enjoy reading, then continue on. (Also bear in mind, imagine me impersonating Garrison Keillor narrating this passage.)


Its Thursday night. I'm on my way to a co-worker's house, though she's more a manager in confidence. Tonight we were supposed to dine together with other members of the training program at a family style Italian restaurant. Plans were canceled. People couldn't afford it, they said. These plans were agreed upon months ago in advance. In lieu of this, Savannah invited some of us into her home with promises of cake and carbonated soft drinks, and the company of small, manageable animals. Regardless of the plans for the night, I needed to get out of the house.

On my way to her home, I dodged the iron and concrete tentacles of the perpetual wasteland of construction happening along the path of danger, Highway 50. Hunger hits me half way through. In my mind, my stomach seemed to crave the purple, pink and bits of yellow neon that called out from the Taco Bell stand just up the road. As my vehicle slows to crawl and I flick on my right turn signal, I happen to notice the state of desolation in this establishment from the outside. There was just one car there. Something just didn't seem right to me about a fast food restaurant with just one car in its parking lot. Despondent, I turned away from the fairy glamor of soft tacos.

It was strange, the little shops nearby the taco stand. All of the shops were blacked out in the dim evening light. Someone had gone and taken an over sized marker and just blacked them out from me being able to see them, so I pressed on. Suddenly, she hits me. That beautiful, alluring, warming smile of hers invites me closer. Her father's home, the one she sits so contentedly on, becomes the lighthouse of Alexandria to me. Wendy's, a fast food chain I seldom visited due to its rarity, manifested itself.

I stepped inside and remarked on the establishment's cleanliness, at least until I left the lobby area. Two employees, a twenty something white male with short dusty blond hair, and an older black gentleman with large, large glasses, started to haul garbage from the front counter of the store to the dumpster outside. I pretended to scan over the store's menu, giving the impression I've never been to a Wendy's before, but I knew what I wanted. I wanted a spicy chicken sandwich. No other restaurant in town could make it like Wendy's. Dave Thomas seemed to employ wizards when he came up with recipe for this sandwich. It tainted me. Something about the combination of spices and the plushy texture of the bun, and the mayonnaise just could not satisfy my lust for a Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich. No other sandwich would do. I simply had to have it.

While I stood there, the manager on duty howled to some of her employees in Spanish from the back. I never formally studied Spanish, but I got the gist of what she was saying as a young male Latino sauntered defiantly up to the drive-thru side of the restaurant with his puff ball ponytail sticking out from the back of his visor. Another male Latino greeted me at the register and took my order, matching my same quiet, dulcet tone.

The two employees returned, the young man coming to the aid of his manager to assemble sandwiches for the customers waiting outside, and more importantly, my Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich. I couldn't help but cringe when he showed up to help her assemble food with those hands of his. Something felt odd, as if he didn't change his gloves after handling the garbage from earlier. To my fortune, he plucked a sizzling hot chicken breast patty from their pressure cooker with a pair of steel tongs, gently placing it onto the bun slathered with mayonnaise, dressed with a single sheet of iceberg lettuce, completing my Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich. The manager wraps the sandwich and slides it down to me, offering me the assurance, "Careful. It's hot."

With my meal on my tray in hand, the dinning opened up to me. I saw vacancies as far as the restaurant allowed. I sat down and silence sat across from me, along with its friends humming neon sign and country music radio station. Memories of home and late evening high school meals started to flood my head. The layout reminded me a lot of the Wendy's near where I grew up, near where the Full Sail University sits to this day.

I wrapped hand around the soft drink I ordered, sipping casually at it, and sat it down. I reached for the silver package, wrapped so neatly and with such delicate care, unraveling it to expose the main attraction, the star of the show, my Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich. I brought the sandwich closer to my lips and bit down, resuming where my taste buds left off some time ago. I savored the taste of burning. This wasn't the kind of burning from the spices or the heat of the chicken. This was the taste of a freezer burnt chicken breast patty that had been deep fried in oil that hadn't been filtered or changed, or maybe the patty sat there too long. It was heaven for me, for a while at least.

(to be continued...)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I've been looking to write about a multitude of things recently, meditations on diplomacy, meeting public and international figures, and even the influence of Hulk Hogan on popular Japanese culture of the early 1990's. All of those seemed interesting enough to go at length on, but I've not felt any inspiration to really sit down and plot out some engaging material. Like a common wretch, I'm going the easy route and doing what I like to do best, bullshitting. I use the term loosely, but for the most part, its relevant to the content of dreams that I have, if I ever have them.

Wednesday morning, I awoke two times before I motivated myself to get ready for work. Of those two awakenings, I had been privy to two dreams. Dreams are things I rarely ever have these days, but when they do strike me, they are of vivid potency.

My dreams consist of some standards only local to me. The locations consist of a mall, my grandmother's home, a swamp, or a resort, sometimes all blurred together, and the contents are often the presence of three old women. (This could make my avatar's character that much more deep.) These recent dreams were different.

The first dream presented me amidst high school friends, or at least that was the feeling I had en masse. The only friend I could coherently recall was my close friend Adam. Suddenly, a black cloud swirls high above us, and an enormous, very plain looking broadsword plummets from the heavens and plunges deep into the graveled red earth. Disasters ensue. Planes drop from the sky, killing all passengers inside. Trains and automobiles collide with one another. Having sensed danger from the sword's presence, I hastened away to safety, leaping off crashed vehicles and climbing up unfinished construction projects to gain higher ground when suddenly my alarm clock beckoned my waking eyes. Maybe my unconscious tried to tell me that I've played enough video games.

Scoffing the time, I returned to sleep. The next dream, retaining the same sort of fondness and sincerity I had felt from its predecessor, took place at my grandmother's home. So many fond memories stem from her home. Countless birthdays of grandchildren, cook outs, Independence Day, Halloween, and Christmas parties all took place at this tiny four bedroom residence by Lake Susannah. Fattening, mushy sweet fondness aside, the strange part held its own. Somehow her backyard transformed into a paradise I could only compare to the majesty of river valleys of China. There, I was introduced to the King and Queen of Daoism, so they claimed to be, and thei nemesis, the monolithic demon, draped in a black shroud. No action or suspense involved beyond the paltry act of interaction.

As you can see, the contents of my dreams border the bizarre. I know one other person who has had vivid, almost frightening dreams of his own, and I've mentioned him above.

How about your dreams? What do you dream of?

Monday, February 8, 2010

ARH 39XX Video Game Design Art History (pt. 1)

As I've sat and contemplated over the constant source of strife in my life, what I intend to do with it, writing became a rational endeavor to spearhead that. The question of what to write about came up time and time again, and the usual response presented itself as, "Write what you know." Among the many venues of popular culture that inundated my fragile, impressionable young mind in the 1990's, video games had been something I've failed to acknowledge until this article was posted on Gaygamer.

It was not until acquiring a copy of SNK Arcade Vol. 1 did that fondness over the nascent form of visual expression present itself, transporting me back to the days of the mall arcade, sitting in the vibrant pastel tiled institution, haunting Tilt nearly every weekend up until my days as an undergrad. The chimes of Neo Geo's introductory music and scrolling text regaling me with the tales of bold samurais, cast against the darkness, fading to noble Haohmaru seated against an aged tree and two Japanese stone lanterns. His eyes suddenly flash with intensity, draws his sword, making three surgical slashes, standing death still as his environment collapses around him. Being nine at the time, I didn't know what to think of what had transpired, but all that mattered to me was that I got to dispose of parental pocket change and smash a few buttons to kill time while my parents shopped. It never occurred to me that this was in fact a new form of visual expression.

Between 1993 and to this present day, I've played my share of games, from the consoles of SEGA and Nintendo down to the Playstation 3, absorbing their published titles and the content each of them offered for an exorbitant sum of cash, passively I might add. Post undergrad, I've developed my lens and with it, understand the bigger picture of things. Video games, since the days of Space Invaders, transcended their primary objectives of repetitive tasks and exercising the human impulse to destroy, slowly incorporating more thematic elements of narrative and, dare I say, emotional response.

I had to think back a bit to remember what games "moved" me, and there are some. I've cried playing some games, mostly RPGs, but something has to be said about a medium that had been held in regards to borderline peasant rubbish. I cried when Tails rescued Sonic on his airplane, having narrowly escaped the destruction of the first Death Egg in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I cried when the last metroid fed its last breath into Samus before she obliterated Mother Brain in Super Metroid. A lot goes into these moments of emotional intensity, the building of a character's momentum, musical orchestrations, lines of code, and pixelated graphics.

With the exponential growth and sophistication of technology, video games ride along side, developing ever more complex additions to contemporary gaming, rivaling cinema production companies in both volume, content, and with the case of Uncharted 2, realism.

I hope this post hasn't bored those of you who have bothered to read this far. I'd like to make this into a series, whenever I decide to actually plot out what I want to address, rather than simply write as I go. I'd like to hear any feedback you have on this article, so please drop me a line. Please.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


We all have obstacles. We all have something that hinders our happiness, a source of inconvenience propelled by forces out of and within our control. My frustrations are no different than the frustrations of anyone else, but I feel compelled to share them with you to give a better sense of who I am, because the one human emotion I feel more often than sorrow, let alone happiness, is contempt.

The greatest source of my frustration comes from an invisible sorcerer, made up of all of the wrong things said to me by personal and impersonal relationships with each person I've met offline and on, who cast a powerful curse on me, uttering such terrible words that I had been unable to see until recently, "You are worthless." This curse has hanged miserably over my head from grade school on. Denied visits to fond cousins, birthdays with friends, shallow observations of teachers, ambiguous media messages, all of which contributed to the growing sense of disappointment and failure I buried deep into the back of my mind. This resurfaced when it came time to think about higher education.

While in grade school, I had not quite developed as quickly as a productive member of society like many of the friends I had kept. That seemed to be a theme for me since I had joined the public school system. I was born past the entrance date for Kindergarten, so I entered at age six, not five like the others. Learner's permit, seventeen, first kiss, seventeen, virginity, twenty one. I felt these delayed rituals of initiation were signs that I was unworthy to some invisible giant who would shake its head disapprovingly at me. These delayed initiation rituals not only came with my social life, but what has yet to become my professional life.

After graduating from high school, the art talent that I had held to, and in a vain attempt tried to get college credit for in high school, blossomed, but not without obstacle. I drew "male nudes" as young as seven or so, and sequential art as early as ten, but as soon as family had taken interest in my works, I was reprimanded for making pornography at such a young age. This somehow burrowed the idea into my brain that I should not pursue that course of action, yet the influence of comics, animation and television, the greatest sources of my inspiration, remained prominent in my development of my art, but still that invisible presence generated by the callousness of such intimate people in my life discouraged me from revealing my work to the outside world.

University life altered me drastically. I had gone from a top mark student to a pathetic creature barely able wake up to the grim reality that things weren't as simple any longer. Entering the university, I had been enamored with the social axiom that having a university degree guaranteed me a comfortable job and a substantial annual salary, however my knowledge of what my talents could afford transposed against what I had intended were greatly distorted.

As I had mentioned in my previous entry, I had chosen Chemistry as my initial declaration. Still wanting to pursue that practical effects career that seemed so perfect, and careers in the scientific field were some of the most lucrative, I blindly followed the ethereal dollar signs hovering over my head, all the while friends I had become acquainted with in the Art department continued to question me as I sat outside, drawing with such ease as I waited for lecture, "Why aren't you an art major?" My reply, and the greatest fallacy I had cursed myself with, "There's no money in art." If I had known then what I do now.

The idea had my attention off and on throughout the six years I suffered at the university, never really giving it any serious thought until it was too late to turn back. Outside of Chemistry, History seemed like an easier area of study, mostly reading, research and writing, things I thought myself fairly decent at, save for the reading part. I suffered much through that course of action, too, especially the three nervous breakdowns I had, each from intensive reading or expansive essays. My lover can attest to the tearful phone calls I made during those times. Through the course of six years, I had changed homes four times, from the home I grew up in, my sister's home, my off campus apartment, and the home I had occupied up until Decembre of 2009, supporting myself by working full time at an off campus McDonald's, which I still slave to till this day, and failing to dedicate myself solely to my studies. As torturous as my undergraduate career seemed to me, I had arrived into the real world with a renewed sense of perspective, having used those six years to deconstruct the bull shit I had fed myself with years previous, though thanks in part to... something, the piece of paper I acquired from the years of study is now considered relatively worthless.

Two years later, this present day, I stand at a crossroads, fully equipped with the knowledge to better myself. My options are many, but still unclear, and those that seem the most alluring and the most fulfilling, are also the most competitive, and I am no competitor by any means. More frustrations await me, but I hope to alleviate their volume, rather than protract them.

Comments, questions or other, shoot them off. I want to hear from you folks.

All the best.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My First Entry by Jarrod Pope age 26

Greetings Gentle Readers,

If you've happened upon this blog, you're either a dear friend, possibly family, a fan, or a curious bystander. I welcome you to my thoughts. Within this blog site you will become privy to my deepest inner turmoils, joys, and ideas, most of which I guard carefully and reveal only to a intimate few.

I am Jarrod Pope. I hail from the States, born and raised in Florida. I come from a large Catholic family, being the youngest of nine children. Art talent runs through my family's blood stream, each of my siblings having some artistic gift, but only one of my siblings has tapped that talent. I hope to change that soon.

As far back as I can remember, I have always been drawing. From the Lucifer I scribbled on my parents bedroom wall to the plethora of character sketches I do on napkins, drawing is something I've been doing all of my life, and now I want to try and put my talents to use.

My biggest fear is ending up like my father. Not many people enjoy being in his presence or think too highly of him, and I understand their frustrations. Looking beyond my father's vices, pettiness, self righteousness, entitlement, and perverse justifications, I've seen his passion unfulfilled. Growing up, he opted to take me along to the movie theatre, whether I wanted to or not. You know that four year old kid who wouldn't shut up during that rated R film you were watching, that was me. He enjoys stories, so much that I ventured to guess he had aspirations for writing them, let alone have them up on the big screen. Instead of realize this vision, my father did what was expected of him for having knocked up his next door neighbor, i.e. my mother, marry her, go to a university and get a job to support a family. Darker times surfaced before my introduction to the world, but they will be entries for another time.

As for me, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life growing up. In the third grade, I was asked that same question. I answered "scientist." For high school, it was special effects wizard, monster sculpting and pyrotechnics. Through the course of my education, I learned that mathematics and I were never going to be friends. Ever. My failing grade in College Algebra my last year at university dictated that.

I went into the university with the sole expectation to procure a degree and makes wads of cash, but did not know what my talents were or how I could put them to good use. Seeing as how my mathematics skills were lacking, I dropped my intended Chemistry track in favor of something I excelled at in high school, History. Three nervous breakdowns and a Bachelor's degree later, I realized History was not my thing, but it did open my eyes to something else. Writing.

The drawing talent I had kept to over the years had developed into a "style." Many summers past I had devoted myself to creating little fantasy worlds filled with fantastic creatures and heroes closest to my heart, wizards. When I paired my drawings with newly polished writing tools, something wonderful happened. I wanted to make a graphic novel... which has ye to be completed.

Since 2007, I've dedicated my creative energies to a world I have dubbed "Everwood Grove." Inside, many of the worries and wonders that I've witnessed in my life are woven deep into the ethereal fabric of my fantasy world. With the aid of this blog, I hope to give some perspective of my personal life and the life I've created within my work.

I look forward to hearing from you all. Drop me a line sometime.

All the best.