Skip to content

Willy Pogany’s Drawing Lessons 

I enjoy picking up “how to draw” books, and the older the better. One of my favorite finds was a first edition of Burne Hogarth’s “Dynamic Figure Drawing” which kind of became a bible for tattooers in the early 90’s. I’ve found plenty of cool books like this over the years, and my recent acquisition of Willy Pogany’s “Drawing Lessons” is no different.

The book was in ok shape for its age, considering fragility of the paper and the spiral binding taking its toll over them over the years. The book covers all the basics from starting with a dot, to perspective to proper anatomy.

But this books real value comes in the later pages with Willy’s figure studies.

Which quickly turns into amazing anatomy studies.

Then, toward the end of the book, comes the real artistic gems. The personal sketches included show just how dynamic he was as an artist.

William Andrew (“Willy”) Pogany (born Vilmos Andreas Pogány) (August 1882 – 30 July 1955) was a prolific Hungarian illustrator of children’s books as well as others like Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which is considered his masterpiece. To read more about Pogany, see his Wikipedia page for more info.


Kirby Unleashed 

Back in the good old days of 1970, the San Diego Comic Con had just begun its first year and Kirby fans were already clamoring for his artwork. More conventions in other states followed, and Jack’s son Neal, who was in marketing, came up with a few ideas to sell his dad’s work at the shows.

Together with Jack himself, Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman (Jack’s personal assistants) they came up with the “Kirby Unleashed” portfolios, and the “Jack Kirby Gods” portfolio under their Communicators Unlimited banner. 

The first release in 1971 was just titled “Kirby” and was a 16 page 8 1/2″ x 11″ glossy black and white magazine style book. It was the first of its kind to feature any extensive information on Jack Kirby, and sold out very quickly.

Soon to follow was a much larger and more extensive color portfolio called “A “King” Kirby Portfolio”, otherwise known as “Kirby Unleashed”. This larger 11″ x 14″ edition featured some of the same information included in the first release, but now with glorious full color plates printed on a four color press.

The cover price for this large Rolling Stone magazine style format book was a whopping four dollars back in 1971 ($23.77 in today’s dollars) and only 5000 were printed at a cost of $2.00 per. 

By the next year, 1972, Jack realized fans wanted more poster type prints so he came up with the idea for the “Gods” portfolio. It contained re-designed versions of the Norse gods he did prior to leaving Marvel. 1000 copies of the 4 characters were made and sold for $2.95 ($17.53 today). Printed on high quality paper, these 11 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ prints came in a specially designed Kirby mailing envelope as well. 

Jumping ahead to 1982 comes “Battle For A Three Dimensional World “, The one and only 3-D comic book done by Jack Kirby printed by 3-D Cosmic Publications. This new Kirby creation featured new characters named Stereon, Videora, Cyclops and Circe. Even at the age of 65 Jack was still creating new and interesting characters and concepts for fans to enjoy. 

Also released at the same time was an 11″ x 17″ 3-D poster, both coming with generic and specially printed 3-D glasses featuring Jack’s art. 

Free rose reference 

There were some beautiful roses (among other flowers) blooming around the corner from my work, and since I carry a camera around everywhere I go, I thought I’d snap some pics for reference purposes. And then I thought I’d share these with anyone who would like to use them. So enjoy! Don’t say I never gave ya nothin’…

No Tasmainian Devils allowed!

In the year 1990 the general public was introduced to a guy named Guy. Guy was a young artist from Chicago who had apprenticed under Bob Oslon. Right out of the gate Guy’s tattoo work was something special, and decades later Guy would be know as one of the leaders in the field of tattoo education. But this was 1990, little did the tattoo world know what it was in store for.

 Outlaw Biker Tattoo Revue #7 1990


At the time tattoo magazines were still trying to find a voice (and a place to be sold!) and there was very little out there for rabid tattoo fans to get a hold of. So when these issues hit the stands, they were scooped up like gold in a stream. There was no internet, so published tattoo photos were studied and memorized and filed away for future reference. The magazines were primarily filled with biker tattoos, but the times were quickly changing. Then along comes Guy.

 The article was written by Guy’s then girlfriend Lorri Jackson, and gives great insight into his early career and motivation. And is just a great read all by itself.   


Guy can be found at Tattoo  and his own website, Guy

Black⚡️Friday sale

All original artwork on sale today and thru this weekend only up to 50% off, order multiples and shipping is free. All 6″x 6″-$75, all 8″ X 10″-$100, and all are liquid acrylic on black canvas. 

Email for availablity. PayPal only user ID:

   Galactus 6″x 6″ 

 Zardoz 6″x 6″

  Untitled 6″x 6″

 Maskarton 6″x 6″ 

 Fembot 6″x 6″ 

   Benji 6″x 6″ sold
 Bruce 6″x 6″ sold

   Peter and Betty 8″x 10″
 Machine Man 8″x 10″

   Cap 8″x 10″
 Doc Ock 8″x 10″ sold

   Doom 8″x 10″ sold
 Grey Hulk 8″x 10″

   Darkseid 8″x 10″ sold

Magneto 8″x 10″ sold
  Herbie 8″x 10″

 Surfer 8″x 10″   Acroyear 8″x 10″ sold
 The Burgler 8″x 10″  sold  The King 8″x 10″
 Super Skrull 8″x 10″  Electro 8″x 10″
   8th Man b/w 8″x 10″ 

 8th Man color 8″x 10″ 

Happy Birthday Gojira

  Haruo Nakajima (l) and Katsumi Tezuka (r) 1964, on the Mothra vs. Godzilla set 

In 1954, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka had little time to come up with a replacement movie idea for Toho’s schedule when production of a current movie was abruptly cancelled. While on a flight from Jakarta to Tokyo, he stared out into the sea and his thoughts turned to the recent tragedy of Lucky Dragon No.5

 Storyboard sketch from “Godzilla” 1954 

Mr. Tanaka ran with this idea and combined it with the premise of an upcoming American film titled “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms“. The concept was about a dinosaur awkakend by nuclear tests in the Arctic, and was modified to H-bomb tests in the South Pacific. The original title was “Kaitei Niman-ri Karakita Daikaiju” or “The Giant Monster from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea“. Code named “Project G”, mystery/fiction writer Shigeru Kayama was brought on board to come up with a treatment based on his and special effects genius Eiji Tsuburaya’s ideas. 

  Promotional poster for Godzilla 1954

Not since 1938 had there been a monster movie in Japan, so director Ishirō Honda was hired and soon the treatment was a screenplay. Godzilla was conceived as a metaphor for nuclear weapons, and as the film series expanded, some stories took on less serious undertones portraying Godzilla as a hero. But Godzilla’s attacks on Tokyo were seen as an incarnation of war itself, and the company’s approach was to treat this “monster movie” as seriously as they would treat any other production. A monster movie with a social conscience. 

  American lobby card for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” 1954

The origin of the name Gojira is shrouded in mystery…legend has it that a nameless Toho employee who worked on the lot apparently had the physical prowess of a gorilla and the stature of a whale (kujira). Gorilla + kujira = Gojira. As legend has it…

  Godzilla stars Akira Takarada and Momoko Kochi and an unfinished Godzilla suit 1954

The suit itself weighed in at a whopping 220 lbs, and  2 separate actors switched back and forth when filming became to physically exhausting. It was cut into 2 sections for different shots and there was even a hand puppet Godzilla used for his nuclear breath close-ups.

  Haruo Nakajima and Godzilla 1966

61 years ago today, Godzilla was unleashed on the public. And Tokyo has never been the same. 

  Eiji Tsuburaya on set 1955

Peter Mui’s tattoo art collection 


“YellowMan founder Peter Mui had only two fears: throwing a party and having nobody show up, and stage fright. But Monday evening, October 19th, 2009, at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC, Peter Mui was center stage to a packed house filled with an extremely diverse crowd, assembled together to honor his life and his legacy. The Hiro Ballroom, at the Maritime Hotel in NYC’s Chelsea district, set a fitting atmosphere of cultural diversity, an attribute that was important to Peter Mui.” (From Yellowman’s WordPress blog)


 Peter in his offices in the fashion district NYC 

In 2007 I was approached by Peter to contribute to his t-shirt line, Yellowman, and little did I know just what I was in for. I knew he had approached other tattoo artists to design shirts (ala Ed Hardy on steroids style) but I didn’t know exactly how extensive his collection had already become. 

This was tattoo art as high fashion. And Peter was not joking around. I had a meeting with him at his offices to discuss different properties he was considering, and to my surprise the entire collection was there in his office. 

Original large scale pieces of artwork by some of this generations leading tattoo artists were scattered all over the room. Art by Japanese greats Horiyoshi 3 and Horitomo, Filip and Titine Leu, California greats like Aaron Cain and the crew at Black Heart tattoo, and American Traditional master Bob Roberts among others. The list went on and on with plenty of other American and European artists being represented by their art, it was an amazing sight to behold. 

And now, for the first time ever, part of this amazing assortment ment can be seen and purchased. Live Auctioneers is selling over 500 pieces from Peter’s personal collection, and it’s quite possibly the largest accumulation of art by tattooers EVER. 

Instead of posting pictures from the pieces that are already being sold via their website, I decided to share some of the other artwork that hasn’t hit the chopping block yet. Here are some of my favorites:

 By Aaron Cain 

 By Horitomo 

 By Phil Holt 

  By Filip Leu 


 A few more by Aaron Cain


 By Chris Conn

And last but not least, here are a few of my Marvel Ink shirts that made print, but that’s another story for another time…

Peter Mui was a true patron of the arts, and a great guy to boot. It’s wonderful that the public finally has a chance to see what Peter had done for/with tattoo artists. Although he had no tattoos himself, he had planned traveling the world and working on a body suit before his untimely demise. Which is too bad, because anything Peter did was an adventure. Just ask anyone who knew him.

Below are photos I took at his memorial in 2009. R.I.P. Peter, I’m a better person for knowing you. You got me enthusiastic about making art again, and for that I am truly grateful.