This blog serves as a behind-the-scenes of all the indie/self-publishing projects currently in-production at Tiki Machine, LLC. Updated twice a week with new artwork and writing. Come back often!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

We've survived the Phoenix ComiCon!  It was an amazing experience with absolutely amazing people and we'll do a more in-depth post tomorrow or Wednesday.  Right now, we plan on enjoying the holiday.  And we want you all who are in the U.S. to do the same.  Spend time with family and friends, honor those who lost their lives in defense of our country, eat some BBQ and we'll see you here later.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More Western Work

Happy Friday all!  We are coming at you from the heart of the Old West, the middle of the desert in Phoenix Arizona.  It's hot but very exciting!  Reminder - Mike and Deb are exhibiting in Artist Alley at Table #454 all weekend and hope to see any of y'all if'n you is in the area.

As promised on Monday and to keep whetting your whistle as to the new collaborative art book currently being worked on, we have new artwork to show.  Here goes -

Maxwell Oginni (outstanding London-based animator/illustrator) is giving the star treatment to Belle Starr (did you see what we did there? haha! That's funny, right?), considered to be the Bandit Queen of the Old West.  Not only did she associate with the James/Younger Gang, she married a Cherokee Indian and started a life as an outlaw.  She had a couple of kids who also became Old West gunslingers and legends.  She is very cool!

Bruno Chekerdimian (awesome Brazilian animator/illustrator) brings his talent to the Old West lesser-known legend of Indian Princess Wenona.  Here's the funny thing, she ain't an Indian Princess!  Her real name was Lillian Smith and she was Annie Oakley's biggest rival.  They both worked with Buffalo Bill Cody in his Wild West show and by all accounts, Lillian was on par with Annie.  Until their trip to the UK to perform for the Queen.  Lillian performed very poorly while Annie became a household name in trick shooting.  We all know Annie's name but very few have heard of Lillian.  Until now as Bruno is helping her get some illustrative loving.

A.M. Frasier (super-cool California-based web-comics creator/illustrator) is someone we met while at the Long Beach Comic Expo and expressed an interest in contributing to our new book.  He is doing a wonderful interpretation of the Buffalo Soldier, a U.S. Army regiment of all African-American soldiers.  The regiments were formed to help the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars and several regiments were called upon to aid the Union during the Civil War.  The origin of the term "Buffalo Soldier"is highly contested, with one story being that the soldiers were given the nickname by the Cheyenne Indians as their black curly hair was similar to that of the plains buffalos.  It's another fascinating addition to our Old West book!

Well, that's it folks. Have a fantastic weekend!  Don't forget to stop by and see Deb and Mike if you're in the area. If not then we'll see you back here on Monday with pics from the Phoenix Comicon and more Old West artwork.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Phoenix Comicon 2012!

Starting today at 4pm Phoenix time, our own Mike and Deb will be representing Tiki Machine at the Phoenix Comicon.  It's our first-time participating in this event (We've heard nothing but good things about the show!) and actually is also the first event outside of California that we'll be at.  We are excited to say the least!  They will be in Artist Alley at Table #454.

Here are the details:
Thursday (May 24) 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Friday (May 25) 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday (May 26) 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Sunday (May 27) 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

It's the premiere event of the Southwest so if you find yourself in Arizona at all this weekend, c'mon by. They'll be selling all our usual fares - Monster Mythos, Deus Libris, The ABC's of Halloween as Imagined by Lucy plus buttons, prints, stickers, t-shirts and whatnot. But there will also be some canvas prints available too (which is kinda new for us as well.)  Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lucy Eats! May 2012

Good Morning everyone!  We hope the weekend was good to you all.  Even though we were busy working on our Illustrated Legends of the Old West art book, we feel the weekend was very good to us.  We enjoyed ours and so we hope you all did too.  Also over the weekend, we celebrated the birthday of our favorite imaginative redhead.  That's right, little Lucy had a birthday!

For those of you who don't know the history of our cute adventurer, Lucy was conceived in a dream Deborah had one night before she even married Mike.  Deb's dream consisted of a redheaded little girl protecting her house by doing battle with a tornado.  When she shared her dream with Mike, he thought that would be a great idea for a children's book.  Adding little memory details from some of his childhood memories of living in the Mid-West, and named after red-headed comedienne Lucille Ball (whom Deb is a HUGE fan) little Lucy launched into her first adventure.  It was to be the first children's book but the duo decided that the best way to introduce Lucy (and her imagination) would be to do an ABC book.  And thus The ABC's of Halloween as Imagined by Lucy came to be...

Anyway, May is the month that the dream was had and the idea of Lucy born so this month's Lucy Eats! celebrates her birthday.  La Fuji Mama will be posting this evening a recipe for birthday doughnuts, so be sure to check out her site.

As a present to you all, Lucy wanted us to share some more WIP art from the Old West book so we have some continuing progression files from Justin Rodrigues and Mike.  So here is some more Crazy Horse and Jackalope, enjoy!  We'll see you back here on Friday with some brand new Western-themed art from
the new book.  Have a great week!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Brand New Wild West Art!

Happy Friday!  We're glad to see you back here again, having survived the work week and preparing for the weekend.  There is still lots to do as we prepare for next weekend's Phoenix ComiCon!  Next week we will blog more details about that but we're very excited to participate in our first outside-of-California event!

As we promised on Monday, we have new art from our upcoming Illustrated Legends of the Old West collaborative book.  We have both WIP artwork from brand new Tiki Machine collaborators as well as some returning contributors.  So without further adieu, here's some Wild West goodness!

Douglas Holgate (super-talented Australian illustrator/cartoonist and beard enthusiast) has picked Sluefoot Sue as his contribution to the book.  Doesn't she look fantastic!? As Pecos Bill's unfortunate wife, her folkloric story is pretty great.  She rode a giant catfish and eventually stole the heart of Bill (who shot all the stars out of the sky but one Lone star...).  After their wedding she insisted on trying to ride Bill's horse Widow Maker, but the horse would have nothing to do with it. She was bucked off, landed on her bustle and bounced herself to the moon!  We're supremely honored to have Douglas on board and to have another Austrailian artist representing the Land of Oz in the Old West.

Jeff Lai (New Zealand animator and illustrator extraodinaire) is no stranger to Tiki Machine as he did a pin-up of our fantasy comic The Destiny Gauntlets and we are very glad to have him participating in the Legends of the Old West book.  His illustration is that of iconic lawmen Wyatt Earp, most remembered for his part in the Showdown at the OK Corrale.  Considered to be a "cold fish" in the personality department since he was cool and detected with little personal warmth, Earp was not only a dangerous gunslinger but a talented professional gambler. After the Showdown, somehow Earp was able to murder the assassin of his brother and stay a lawman!  He wandered the West with his wife making a fortune in gold mining from Alaska to Nevada and ended up in Los Angeles.  One of the very few gunslingers to die of old age.

Brett C. Nance (comic book creator, artist, and super dude) is a returning Deus Libris contributor who has chosen to illustrate the one and only Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch Gang.  One of the most notorious train and bank robbers of the American Old West, Butch is another character whose life is blurred between fact and folklore.  He and his gang robbed from 1889 until 1907 and didn't keep the thievery to just the American West, they also robbed trains in Bolivia and Argentina!  His death is still shrouded in mystery as several places claim he survived his shootout in Argentina to live out his days in the Pacific Northwest.  Who knows the truth...?!

Our own Mike Collins has been tweeting the progress of one of his illustration contributions to the book.  Fascinated with folkloric creatures, Mike has decided to do his take on the Jackalope.  A creature originally described as a jack-rabbit with antelope antlers (hence the name...) but with the tail and hind legs of a pheasant.  It is said to only mate during a hailstorm which is why it's so rare.  It's also said that it's impossible to catch as it can imitate human voices.  That makes it kind of hard to communicate with your hunting party if their "voices" keep getting you lost!  The first sighting of a Jackalope is said to have occurred at Douglas, Wyoming in the early 1900's.

This book is already so much fun!  We can't wait to finish it up and send it off to the printers, so we can get it in to your hands.  We are on track for a SDCC limited release, so stay tuned to this blog to get all the details.  Have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday with this month's Lucy Eats! illustration and recipe as our monthly team up with La Fuji Mama continues.  Plus we might have some more WIP Wild West artwork too!  See y'all later!

Monday, May 14, 2012

LBCE aftermath + New Western Art

A Good and Happy Morning to you all!  We'll just jump right into it since lots happened this weekend.  Our own Mike Collins and Michael Morris spent all day Saturday behind a table located in Artists Alley at the one-day Long Beach Comic Expo.  We are still relatively new to the exhibitor stage but the two times we've been to Long Beach, we've been warmly received.  We kept saying that Long Beach was showing us the love and we love Long Beach right back!

It was pretty much non-stop at our table all day.  It was a fun one-day event and we had an absolute blast!  A quick recap of what happened include meeting some fantastic new artists, sitting next to our friend and comic book artist extraordinaire Drew Johnson, being interviewed by Liz O from LA Weekly, a couple of celebrity sightings - La Bamba of Conan O'Brien fame and Mythbusters' host Grant Imahara (please excuse Mike's goofy look...), and seeing Lucy fans again that we met last year and at WonderCon.  Plus we almost completely sold out of all the books we brought.  There were only like 5 or 6 books left!!  Such a great little show.  We look forward to being in the Convention Center again in November of this year, especially with the new art book and Lucy project.  Thanks to everyone who dropped by and supported us!  We look forward to seeing you all again real soon.

For an added bonus to this post, would you like to see some more WIP sketches from the Legends of the Old West art book we're working on?  Of coarse you would!  So, here are some continuation sketches that we've previously posted about:

John "Liver Eating" Johnson by Adam Scarpitta

Geronimo by Gillian Reid

The Dead Man's Hand by Rowel Roque

So how about those, aren't they fantastic?!  Well, that's it for right now.  Be sure to come back on Friday to see some brand new artwork.  Never-before-posted on this blog!  Enjoy your week and we'll see y'all back here real soon.  Bye!

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Old West Art!

Boy howdy!  Would ya believe the week is over?!  Well, believe it or not, it is.  We're excited that it is as that means we can showcase some new art from the upcoming Legends of the Old West collaborative art book we's a-workin' on.  We've been privileged to see some great sketches and works-in-progress thus far but we ain't done. No sir-ee!

Today we've decided to showcase some art from a couple artists that are new to the Tiki Machine family as well as a couple sketches from some names you might be familiar with.  Plus we have an announcement about an event we'll be at this Saturday.  Let's get a wiggle on, shall we?

First we'd like to introduce you to Claire Hummels (vis-dev artist extraordinaire for Microsoft Studios) who is beautifully illustrating African-American cowboy Nat Love, otherwise known as Deadwood Dick.  He was an expert marksman (accredited with putting 14 bullets into one bull's eye!), rodeo entertainer and true-to-life cowboy who had many a western adventure.  Born a slave, his fascinating life included knowing and associating with Buffalo Bill, the James brothers, Kit Carson and Billy the Kid among others, surviving a buffalo stampede as well as stories of gunfights with cattle rustlers, being adopted into several Indian tribes, marrying a Spanish woman and eventually becoming a railroad porter.  Much more of his story can be found here.  We told you he was fascinating!

Next up Gillian Reid (outstanding freelance character designer from London) plied her amazing skills in bringing Apache leader Geronimo to illustrative life.  His name is one of the most well-known as he led the last American-Indian fighting force that held out the longest and against daunting odds in opposition to the U.S. government's expansion into native Apache land.  His name became an exclamation of bravery by American paratroopers in WWII and legend says that the name came from when he swore revenge against those who murdered his family and attacked a large group of Mexican soldiers, ignoring the deadly hail of bullets to kill many of the soldiers with only a knife!  More about him can be found here.

Those of you who own Monster Mythos and Deus Libris will be familiar with Sara Jerzykowski (sublimely talented designer for Nickelodeon's T.U.F.F. Puppy series).  Once again gracing us with her talent, she has brought the story of One-Eyed Charley Parkhurst.  One of the finest stagecoach drivers on the West coast, Charley is said to have preferred the company of horses over that of people, even after having lost an eye to the kick of a horse.  Charley was held up by bandits while on the very first job driving stagecoaches for Well's Fargo.  Being embarrassed by this Charley swore to become very handy with a .44 gun and even better with a whip, so the story goes that on Charley's next stagecoach drive, when bandits held it up, Charley shot the 2 dead before the stagecoach had come to a complete stop!  How awesome is that?!  Charley's legend still has the honor of being considered the fastest and safest driver in all of California.

Lastly, our own Mike Collins will be sharing table space with fellow Tiki Machine contributer Michael Morris at the Long Beach Comics Expo this Saturday (May 12th) from 10am to 6pm.  They will be located in Artists Alley at Table #1041, just keep an eye out for the Tiki-tablecloth.  Mike will be tweeting most of the day so pay attention to @TikiMachine.  It will make for a pretty awesome weekend so if you are in southern California, you should swing on by!  Have a great weekend and we'll see you here on Monday with pics and news from the aforementioned event and maybe even some new art....

See y'all later!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Good Morning Everybody!  Well the weekend is over but don't be sad, we've got some news that should scare those Monday blues away.  Like we said last week, we had the Riverside Arts Walk last Thursday night.  This is an event that we have been participating in for almost 2 years now and every month is better than the previous month.  The event is growing and we get the wonderful opportunity to meet new artists and crafters plus continue to see those that we've gotten to know over the coarse of said 2 years.

Last Thursday was no exception.  We saw and talked with old friends/fans and made new ones.  A couple of exciting opportunities for us to participate in like-minded events were presented that we are stoked to (hopefully) be a part of.  Once the details are finalized, you can be sure to read about them here. Hint, one of them is a Halloween weekend event in October.  The organizer of Frightmare on 66 LOVED Lucy and her ABC's of Halloween book and we really hope to a part of it.  Stay tuned for that.

The Legends of the Old West art book is moving along.  New artwork is coming in at a rapid pace and we look to be on task for a SDCC release again this year.  Here's a continuing WIP sketch from Justin Rodrigues' illustration for Crazy Horse.  Plus we will have more new art on Friday's post.  Along with all the details of our participation in this weekends Long Beach Comic Expo.  We enjoyed ourselves so much last October that we were thrilled to be a part of it again, in both May and November of this year.  So come back on Friday and we'll have new art and info on where to see us this weekend (for those of you in  Southern California.)  Have a great week.  See y'all back here soon enough.  :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Some Western Flair for the Weekend

Good Mornin' and Happy Friday y'all!  How's abouts we start off the weekend with some more rough WIP sketches from our newest art book collaboration?  With this Legends of the Old West book, lots of superb artwork is rolling in to us here at Tiki Machine and it seems that everyone we tell about the new book gets very excited about seeing the icons of the Wild West.  We have a gaggle of talented artist friends who are contributing and we ourselves are extremely excited to see it come together.  Why it's enough to make a person stand up an' yell "Yee Haw!"

So before y'all yell at your computer screen for us to quit flappin' our gums, here is some new art to look at.  Up until now, we have had quite the dose of Cowboy subjects so let's get crazy!  Crazy Horse that is!

Justin Rodrigues (awesome character designer and illustrator) is bringing to illustrative life his take on the Oglala Lakota leader Crazy Horse, who is considered one of the most iconic Native Americans.  Courtesy of Justin's twitter account, we have a couple of his inspiring sketches!  Crazy Horse is probably most famous for leading the war party at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.  His history is fascinating to read about and he was quite the warrior!

Vivian Nguyen (amazing Flash animator and illustrator for Nickelodeon Games) adds a dash of cute and innocence to the Old West with her illustration of the characters from the movie Young Guns enjoying a water fight.  Said movie is about the adventures of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County Wars in New Mexico.  Viv's gang might not be as dangerous as the real posse but that's quite alright by us.

Lesley Vamos (Austrailian freelance illustrator and super cool graphic designer) is bringing to life a subject considered to be one of the most beloved in Frontier American history, Davy Crockett.  That's right, King of the Wild Frontier.  Known for being an avid hunter and wilderness explorer, his life (like many from the Old West) blurs fact and legend.  Folktales abound with his larger-than-life adventures and Lesley seems to have caught him at a quiet moment.  But if you look closely, ol' Davy might be getting a visit from some revenge-seeking critters.

That's all for this week, we'll have more next week, we promise.  Come back on Monday and we'll have a write-up about last night's awesome Arts Walk.  We had another great time talking with old friends/fans and making new ones.  Have a great weekend and we'll see you here Monday morning!