Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nikola Tesla VS. Thomas Edison Steampunk Adventure

Nikola Tesla VS. Thomas Edison Steampunk Adventure concept Nathan Bowden "Riding Shotgun" and I put together.  Coiled… is set in this almost Dickensian environment, the dirty city streets of the late 1890’s but quickly soars into the fantastic with its Sci-fi elements.  Sherlock Holmes-style take on the man who invented the 20th century, Nikola Tesla. The story will weave true, documented events into a compelling game of cat-and-mouse between two fascinating historical figures and provide an explanation for the mysterious Tunguska blast of 1908.
The book depicts Tesla as something of a reluctant, action hero forced into dire situations by Edison.  Our American hero is twisted into a villain, torturing animals and committing murder to further his own agenda and spite his rival.

Monday, December 29, 2014

I never had a style.  Certainly not a conscience one.  I tried every technique and experimented with combinations of several styles of other artists.  Nothing seemed to fit.  And I felt different stories required different looks.  But there's this idea out there that you can only have one style, that you should brand yourself with a recognizable unique stamp.  Editors and readers want to know what they're getting.  If readers pre-order a book by John Byrne, they expect to get the style John Byrne is known for.  Unfortnately, it never happened for me...
I had a vision in my mind of a style that would match my signature.  It was very classic with simplified rounded bold lines.  Realistic yet idealistic with some texture.  Something that screamed COMIC BOOK.  John Romita, John Buscema, Jaime Hernandez, Andre Juillard, Herge, C.C. Beck, Wallace Wood, Jack Kirby, Steve Rude, Mike Allred were the main influences I was imagining.  Mostly Jaime Hernandez and Andre Juillard with some Marvel boldness and texture added in.  I had been drawn to this sort of art for a long time.  I recall meeting the inker of the cover of Fantastic Four #1 at Dragon Con while in college and asking him how he got those rounded lines.  He said he used brushes.  When I asked what brands of brushes, he didn't know, but he had some with him.  They were a variety of no name watercolor brushes.  By and large the industry standard is the Windsor and Newton Series 7.  But when I use this brush it leaves a sharp end to the lines.  What I wanted was a rounded look.  There were certain Kirby inkers who I loved who had this look.  I also suspected that some of the roundness was due to poor reproduction processes of the past.  I tried several brushes, markers, even trimmed my brush hairs to a rounded shape without the results I was looking for.  While working for an artist/editor Scott Bieser I tried computer inking.   I got some decent results but it took more time than I could commit and had some limitations.  Years later I met one my all-time favorite artists, Jaime Hernandez and asked him with he used.  It was a nib!  I bought the same nib and tried that.  But I struggled to get the look and feel that Jaime gives it.  A nib has a natural tendency to make certain lines which are more angular and stiff.  I had the feeling that Jaime had spent many years perfecting his technique and it would require a big investment in time to get it.  I put it on the shelf for the time being.  Then this project came up and it was perfect to try this style again.  I got out the nib and taking my time it was going alright.  But it felt like I was forcing the nib to do things it didn't want to do.  Then for some reason I ditched the nib and pulled out my Wacom tablet.  Something clicked and I got the results I had been envisioning all this time.  Best of all was the feel.  It just feels right and getting the lines I want comes naturally.  It's not my only style and I've barely gotten into it.  These are literally the first two pages I've drawn.  But it feels like the glove my hand has been looking for.  I still have all the other styles and techniques I've acquired throughout the years.  I'll always have them in my toolbelt, but maybe this will be the new look of LEE OAKS!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Thomas Edison VS. Nikola Tesla

Some character Designs I did.  Electricity is cool... and dangerous.
Maybe they did this as one of those youtube "Epic Battles".

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Watercolor Commissions

Here are a few of the watercolor commissions I've been doing the past year or so.  I have a few I've done up but I can do any character requested.  Ask for pricing.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thunder Monkey Collected

Thanks to my shoulder surgery (ripped my arm off in a 4-wheeling accident), I finally found the time to collect all my published and unpublished Thunder Monkey material.  (Yes it was my drawing arm.)  While I was at it, I located the first ever sketches of Thunder Monkey in my sketchbooks and homework margins.  I decided to put in as many noteworthy historical appearances of Thunder Monkey I could find in the mix. (As many as I could find with one arm in a sling.)  You will see how Thunder Monkey evolved and came to be.  It is available as a Kindle E-book on Amazon.




Friday, December 7, 2012


Enter the Black Bat!  He's not Batman but his costume is similarly inspired by the same flying rat.  He, however carries guns and is a bit more lethal than the comics code approved Batman.  My friend had written the script and had an editor but was having trouble finding an artist.  The more I learned about the character the more I wanted to draw it.  He may vary well be the inspiration for Batman and Daredevil.  And it makes me wonder if DC came to the agreement to have Batman not use guns as to make him different from the Black Bat.  Coincidentally Todd Jones and I own the rights to this piece if anyone would like to publish it.  It hasn't been published in the States.  8 pages.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chew comic Pin-up

Here is a pin-up I did for the wildly popular comic Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory.  After meeting at Denver Comic Fest Rob and I got to talking and BAM a pin-up of the Chew cast in a different style.  My take was what if they did a Chew action movie?  Who would play Chu, John Colby, or Amelia?  Can you see any resemblances?  Check for it in a future issue of Chew.  Sepia tone washes with a little cybernetic red.

Guest Blog Entry for Artist Daily

I wrote a guest blog entry for Artist Daily.  Artist Daily is an excellent resource for serious artists.
Take a look, it's me talking about how comics and classic art share some DNA.  It is illustrated with art by Adi Granov and Lee Bermejo as well as some Michelangelo.

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Draw Perspective in Comics Video Tutorial


Drawing perspective is easy to explain but kinda tricky to put into practice.  In this video you can see how I go about drawing buildings on a comic page.  Get an inside peak of me at my desk.  Watching the process in video might answer some questions for those learning the craft.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Escape from Terra Vol. 2 voted book of the Month

Escape from Terra Volume 2 was voted book 
of the month by a whopping 86%
I don't give awards much creditability, 
but when the public votes for you that's kinda cool.
Thanks people!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Escape From Terra Reviewed by Reason

I guess EFT got a little review in
the March issue of Reason.
Not too shabby:)

Monday, April 2, 2012

How to Draw a Comic Page Part 2: Penciling Roughs


How to draw a comic Roughs (see part 1 on Layouts below in a previous post). In this homemade video I explain how I draw roughs on an X-men page. It's chock-full of helpful tips and gives you my insight on to how to make comics. This is the second installment of a video tutorial explaining my process of drawing comics.  Next will be perspective and finished pencils.


Monday, March 19, 2012

How to draw a comic layout tutorial


For all those wanting to know how to draw a comic layout, here is how I do it.  I am a professional comic book artist with years of experience.  Check it out to see how I layout an X-men page.  Plenty of trade secrets from greats like David Mazzucchelli and the like.  This is Part 1 of a video tutorial explaining my process of drawing comics.  Here I cover thumbnails and layouts.  Next will be roughs and finished pencils. Bonus points to anyone who can identify the opening music.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #500 comic page 18

wolverine and colossus x-men how to tutorial
Uncanny X-Men comic page 18 pencils by Lee Oaks script by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction
This is Wolverine's page.  Wolverine is always cool to draw.  I tried to give it a slightly unique spin in the way I did his eyes.  Here I used a technique for shading in the bricks black with white joints.  I know Ed Brubaker is not a fan of the outer white lines but I like how it looks.

Uncanny X-Men comic page 19 pencils by Lee Oaks script by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction

X-Men comic page 19 pencils by Lee Oaks script by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction.
This is Colossus' page.  Colossus is fun too because of the reflective surface.  The X-men are just cool all around.  I also enjoying drawing cars.  I'm not a car guy, but it is fun drawing them.  Their beauty is more visible when simplified in a drawing.  I used to love drawing cars from how to draw car books.

X-Men comic page 20 pencils by Lee Oaks script by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction

X-Men comic page 20 pencils by Lee Oaks script by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction.
Drawing Nightcrawler's Bamf is as fun as it looks.  I thought it would be more challenging to draw cyclops, but it went smothly.  Magneto not so much.  Beast took a little getting into also.

X-Men comic page 21 pencils

X-Men comic page 21pencils by Lee Oaks script by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction.
Drawing Storm is always a pleasure.  Her eyes light up everything. I wanted cyclop's blast to have this certain effect on Magneto's magnetic field, but it will make more sense with color.

X-Men comic page 22 pencils

X-Men comic page 22 pencils that I'll be using for an upcoming tutorial.
It took me awhile to get Angel's pose.  I didn't want it to be a pose that you see all the time but when I got too original it didn't hold as well...  The White Queen came out of my pencil in one stroke.

Saturnist page 9 pencils

Saturnist #1 Page 9 script by Mike Baron pencils by Lee Oaks.

Friday, March 9, 2012

ESCAPE FROM TERRA Vol.2 Release Signing Mile High Denver

So it looks like Scott Bieser and I will be doing a signing for the biggest comic book store in the world, Mile High Comics (Jason Street Mega-store) in Denver!  I grew up in a rural place that didn't have comic book stores.  But in the books I read I remember seeing the ads for Mile High Comics.  Little did I know it was only like a 3 hour drive away from where I lived!  Since then Mile High has become a ginormous warehouse of comics making it the biggest in the world.  I have shopped at BD world in Belgium (and still do when I'm there) the previous largest store and now live not far from Mile High.  The last two guests at Mile High were Jim Shooter and Chris Claremont, so we're pretty excited to be a part of it.

Hope to see you there.  I will have sketches.
Saturday March 17 10am-3pm

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saturnist page 22 pencils Lee Oaks

Saturnist comic page 22 pencils sketch Lee Oaks

Monday, May 2, 2011