Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Page Two is FIRST

Well it appears that I'm keeping my promise [at least to myself if no one else! Yay me!] with a actual page of SPACE STATION ORBITER: CLOUD 99 before the close of 08. Actually, I'm working on four pages right now with the pages in various degrees of completion. I never seem to work quite in order...sorry.

Anyhoo, what's shown is page 2 in the interim of being digitally inked and cleaned up. I'm still going back and forth on whether I should traditionally ink it as opposed to doing so digitally. My preference is to break out the rapidographs and get to work, but working digital does seem to save some time... ahhh well, decisions, decisions.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Power Pack !

Well I'm still hard at work on the initial Orbiter pages, but I thought I'd leave you guys with the LAST non-Orbiter '08 artwork. It's Power Pack! Or at least Power pack re-imagined as teenagers from across the globe: Palestinian, Japanese, African American and Puerto Rican.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tiger Shark Pilot Designs

Geeez... it's been FOREVER since I updated this thing and I feel bad. But the good news is I have been working. Probably not as hard as I should be working...but working nonetheless. PAGES are forthcoming! But you guys [all five of you!] want to see artwork nooooowwww! All right awwreedy! Enclosed is a illo I did a few years ago. Me and my friend Derek [ inker of Batman Detective Comics ] wanted to pitch something to Wildstorm around the turn of the century. He had cultivated a good relationship with them and wanted to branch out and write/ink something for them. He asked me to for the life of me I can't remember the particulars. It had something to with I.O./Stormwatch or some such nonsense. Oh wait, now I remember, it was a story about the Black Razors. Needless to say it didn't go anywhere, but we had fun thinking stuff up and became good friends. He was and remains one of my staunchest supporters.

Anyhoo, Derek asked me to re-imagine the Razors and this is what I came up with. So what's this have to with Orbiter? Well I'm not one to let a half-way decent illo go to waste. When I created a squadron of fighter pilots to help protect the space station ,I called them Tiger Sharks. Think Black Tigers from Star Blazers or the fighter pilots from Battlestar Galactica and you've got a good idea for the "feel" I was going for. So no more Razor design but yes to Tiger Shark pilot uniforms. The design on the extreme left will be the one that gets used...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Deepest condolences

What I like most about my blog, is the fact that it's ok to go off topic once in awhile. This is one of those times. My good friend [and more times than I can count, collaborator] Sky Owens lost his father recently. My deepest heartfelt condolences goes out to him and his family. It goes without saying that Sky has been a awesome friend and teacher to me over the years. Without him teaching me basic photoshop [including coloring and lettering] , this little experiment of doing a comic all by your lonesome wouldn't be possible. Thank you Sky.
Above is my take on one of MANY Sky characters: Kemette!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Well it's obvious that Human beings will play a important part in my little drama. So here's the senior staff officers of Cloud 99, New Mars' experimental space station. The initial sketch was done in ballpoint pin at work. I then used tracing paper to refine the sketch and inked the line work with a fine Micron pen directly on the tracing paper. I then scanned the tracing paper and spent waaay too much time further cleaning up the illo and adding blacks.

THE HUMAN RACE: Relative newcomers to the Arcadian Trade Alliance, nevertheless have proven to be assets to the trade federation exploiting their adopted home’s resources for the greater good. Quick learners, humans have embraced alien technology and made improvements unheard of to their Arcadian Alliance counterparts.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Aliens 4

Yup, I know. It's been a minute. But I'm baaaack. Yet another alien species character sheet. This time I tried to emulate the classic big head, big eyes aliens. And then I remixed it.

THE VA’-N’LL VOX: Another race caught up within the thousand year war with the Xerus. Initially conquered by the Xerus, the Va’-N’LL Vox regained it’s independence thru bloody warfare. The Vox are a highly intuitive and spiritual race. They are also extremely diplomatic.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Technically I'm not adding any new art today, as it's my only day off [sigh,again!] and I've decided to take it a little easy. Going to see Quantum of Solace tonight, catch up on some script reading for my colleage Reba and do some marketing for Gritz n Gravy magazine [].
But I'm addicted to my little blog so I thought it would be fun and switch gears and present a illo I inked and colored a few months ago. Probably in retrospect I should have gotten my good friend Sky Owens to color the piece. He's so much better at photoshop than I am. And yet, overall I really like it. Yup, it's STREET FIGHTER, albeit completely off model. You know I just gots ta put my own spin on thangs...for better or worse. So what's that got to do with the title of this entry? Hmmm... In the long term? Not much. Not much at all.

Aliens! 3

Okay, working 48 to 50 hrs a week with only one day off per week for the last 4 weeks probably wasn't the most condusives schedule for getting artwork done. But I should be grateful for the overtime when most folks are losing their jobs left and right. Citi-Bank comes to mind with the loss of 50,000 jobs alone yesterday. And yet I've managed to post at least one piece every two days of late. Here's hoping I can keep this up!

THE XERUS: Oldest race known in the unified galaxies. The first to discover interplanetary space travel. In addition to spacecraft the Xerus invented warp gates- enormous constructs which activate navigational wormholes which make intergalaxy space travel possible. Initially, the Xerus were quite warlike attempting to conquer two other alien races, the Va’-N’LL Vox and the Kravorians. After a thousand year war relative peace resulted and served as the basis of the unified galaxies which would eventually annex three more space worthy alien races. The Xerus are hyper intelligent and a somewhat cold race. They value co-operation and extensive trading of resources. The Xerus have three sexes, all three are needed to procreate.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Aliens! 2

Two days later and another post...hmmm.... not bad! This is the kind of trend I really need to keep up. Here's another important alien race that populates the galaxy in the Space Station Orbiter series. Enjoy.

KRAVORIANS: This race of beings initially clashed with the Xerus sparking the thousand year war with first the Xerus and eventually the Va’-N’LL Vox as well. Considered the most proficient in the art of warfare, in the end the Kravorians decimated the Xerus population. The Xerus has yet to fully recover from the loss of 75% of its people from Kravorian war initiatives. The Kravorians participate with Arcadian unified galaxy trading agreements out of necessity. It depleted its three worlds’ natural resources thru the millennium long war. Kravorian’s primary export is genetic manipulation. Every other race has benefited from their technology as natural life spans have been extended by decades.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Aliens! Part 1

Been gone for a few days... a bit longer than I intended but I'm back. The next batch of sketches will be of the various aliens that inhabit the Space Station Orbiter universe.

World building can sometimes be daunting if I think about it too much. My first instinct is to simply jump into the pages and design as I go. And I'm sure as this project really gets going that's probably EXACTLY what I'll do. Unfortunately, I instinctually know that's not the way to go now. The more problem solving I can get thru at the design stage, the better. And since I don't have a design team consisting of Dave Johnson, Jim Lee, Cheeks and Paul Rivoche I'm just going to have to muddle thru as best I can...

These two are Ra- Kreallians, basically the villians of the story.

The RA-KREALLIANS: It is theorized the Ra-Kreallians are from an alternate universe, whose system shifted into Unified space two thousand years ago. The only race that was not directly contacted by the Xerus. Instead, the Ra-Kreallians petitioned for admittance to the Arcadian Trade Alliance. Not much is known about the Ra-Kreallians even now. What is known is that their technology rivals that of the Xerus.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


One of the nice things about this blog is I get to make new friends interested about my work. But every so often, a old friend catches up with you, reminding you're on the right track. Take fellow artist Brad Rader... we've been out of touch for awhile but he was kind enough to say a few good words about my blog. Of course as all discussions these days seem to go... it devolved [or in this particular case evolved] into the state of the presidential race. Somehow I don't think he'd mind me reprinting a portion of our e-mail exchange here...

"Oh my God. Obama is President!!! I'm in shock. I'm stunned. Throughout my entire adult life I have felt nothing but despair for the future of this country. Everything just seems to get worse...especially after 911. But I truly feel we've turned a corner. I feel optimistic about our future. Last week the city erupted in joy due to the Phillies winning the world series. It was electric. Well clearly, lightning has struck again in our fair city in less than a week's time. Center city was FULL of Obama supporters, the streets full of cars honking and men and women yelling out their joy. Me? I just cried. I was elated, and completely stunned. But the points you make are extremely valid. We need him to come thru with everything he's promised. And we can't let those 20th century dinosaurs called Republicans thwart his, no... OUR wave of change."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well it's election day morning. As in 5:38 in the fucking morning. Me and my partner Seb intend to be in line when the polls open at 7am. Hopefully there won't be long lines at that early hour... but I'm prepared for a horror story. I'm not one for a whole lot of praying, and OBAMA is clearly ahead in the polls but those crooks [ I mean Republicans ] have stolen an election before. Anyone remember 2000? So I think we need JESUS. Black Jesus... that is.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Below are the first character designs of StealthShadow and FyreFist. Good friend Aarron Beatty was nice enough to ink the pieces waaaay back when. Funny how your tastes change, initially I wanted StealthShadow to be of Indian descent but have blond hair. Ugh. These days I've come to my senses and I think it's important to reflect nationalities in a more authentic manner, even in a futuristic setting.

Astute viewers can also see my original running title was CLOUD 9. I still like it, but I difinitely wanted to go with something that sounded like it could be a potential anime title.

Sigh. I should have known this blog was going to devolve to a catch-all for all my work, not just Orbiter related artwork. If there's a silver lining to this I can look back on this week at what I was drawing when i wasn't knee deep in Orbiter work. Anyhoo, enjoy a new logo I designed for a family member as she bravely starts a new business in what could be described as the worst of economic times. [Of course, if Obama is elected I fully expect the stock market to truly bounce back to it's former glory. Here's praying, anyway!] Also, I put the finishing touches on a new Gritz n Gravy illo. I'm hoping good friend Sky Owens will be kind enough to color the piece. I'd assume it's eventual home will be the Gritz n Gravy website.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Below is a illustration at how Sanction 7 [ yup, that's the name of the actual team ] was initially conceived just a little over a decade ago. I created new uniforms fairly recently only to discover I really LIKED versions of the old ones. Solution? What the hell... I'll use both.

The Art of Christopher Taylor

I've decided to show a few more images ahead of schedule here. Below is the eventual cover to the Space Station Orbiter sketchbook and preview. The reason why it's three quarters inked is because I intend to have the left side completely colored, middle area only inked with the right remaining in sketch form. Showing the various stages of a comic illustration is nothing new but along with some modern typefaces should make for a interesting image. I'm currently inking the remainder of the illo. I'll completely re-color it and will probably use it as the back cover. So who are these characters? From front to back:

StealthShadow- Indian descent, invisibility and the ability to phase.
Astra M- African descent, manipulates the electromagnetic spectrum.
FyreFist- Japanese descent, heat and flame plasma caster.
Vector- African descent, Super-sonic speedster.
Dreadnaught- twenty story high mobile unit, military offensive weapon, psionically controlled.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Art of Christopher Taylor

Okay these next illos are technically not apart of the Space Station orbiter mythos... but... should give folks a nice tease as to what to expect. Hey, I'm just trying to get the party started here. Don't hate.

The Art of Christopher Taylor

Oh God. Not ANOTHER Blog. I can HEAR the groans. Trust, I'm groaning with you! First of all I hate the word "blog". Why can't we use the word "diary"? Oh wait, it's just not 21st century enough. So, "blog" it is then.

So why am I doing this? Well to better market my art and concepts of course! That's the main reason, but probably the more compelling reason at least for myself is the use of the blog as motivation. Like many artists, I suffer from procrastination. Sometimes only on a minor level, other times chronically. And my time is severely limited. I work a full time wage slave job, I'm a art director, editor, cheerleader for a new Urban Fantasy magazine entitled Gritz n Gravy [check out and pre-order the damn magazine!] and now I've decided to move forward and develop a science-fiction super hero comic, entitled Space Station Orbiter: Cloud 99.

Back to the word "procrastination". It can be crippling. But I've truly admired bloggers Eric Canete, Cory Walker, and Sean Galloway. They've made a concentrated effort to update their blogs on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. Now granted, Cory's fallen off the bus somewhat, but that doesn't take away a YEAR'S worth of uploaded sketches! Un-fucking-believable. Now I'm no-where near in that league BUT if I can post just one to three illos a week on my blog I'll consider that a victory.

Folks get to see my artwork here first, before anywhere else [including my formal website page]. I get to feel like I'm actually "doing something", and making progress and promoting my books at the same time too. Everybody wins.

So what's Space Station Orbiter: Cloud 99 anyway? Sounds like a anime/manga title. Well that's intentional. These days, I don't watch much anime and I read even less manga. But I make it a point to be aware of what's out there. And having made those two statements doesn't change the fact that one look at my artwork and it's easy to tell the influence is there. What can I say? I grew up on Speed Racer and by the time Star Blazers and the Battle of the Planets dropped I was hooked for life. What those 'toons did for me as a child was nothing compared to the effect Neon Genesis Evangelion would have on me as a adult. It remains my all time favorite anime series. I also LOVE the Legion of Super-Heroes. Lastly, the Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars film. I wanted to create a concept that would evoke the essence of all three.

Space Station Orbiter: Cloud 99 is a series set in the future and it's about war. It's about what happens when your faction has lost the war. And yet you hold the key to salvation for others. What then? When does it stop being about winning and all about survival? These questions are the driving force behind this series. I get to draw what I draw best, science fiction backdrops, genetically engineered paranormals, cool spaceships, and giant robots.