Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Panic Over Muunilinst" Teaser Trailer

One year ago, my friends and followers here on DeviantArt encouraged the silly notion of turning a short original 8 page comic into a motion comic. I cannot describe just how incredible the experience was. World class voice acting, a humbling degree of positive responses, overwhelming amounts of external promotion, and the most satisfying of all -- the chance to fulfill my vision as an artist.

During the four months of production time of TSOD, there were many times my excitement and fatigue got the best of me and I thought "I can't wait to finish this." A week after completing it, I was already disappointed to not be working on it anymore.

"The Siren of Dathomir" was my love letter to Star Wars. Now, "Panic Over Muunilinst" is my love letter to the Star Wars community. I've said before that if you guys will continue to view me and my work, I will keep producing it. You guys said you wanted more motion comics, more Star Wars, and much to my delight, more Captain Fordo. Well, you got it. I genuinely hope you will enjoy where I take the character over the next two motion comics. While still a very blatant homage to the Micro-series, I'm going to take this character to some possibly surprising places. We established that Fordo was a free thinker in TSOD, but soon we are going to see what that actually means.

I'd like to give a quick special mention to Karl LaClair & Jason Hunt for their stellar voice acting in the trailer, as well as David "MEEQ" Lajara for his AMAZING rendition of the "ARC Trooper Suite," which you'll be hearing a lot more of in the full motion comic! Finally, a quick shoutout to Chris Duhaze for his awesome trooper design for one of Red Mist squad's newest members, Crispy.

I hope you'll join me and my favorite ARC Captain in 2013, when he and his Red Mist squad take to the skies of Muunilinst, and deal with some horrific shit.

POM Zombie Clone Contest Rules and Prizes!

What better way to celebrate the world-premiere teaser trailer tonight than with a contest?! Want to help design a zombie Clone Trooper (AKA Death Trooper) for my motion comic, "Panic Over Muunilinst?" I could use all the help I can get, so now's the time! For the record, the top 3 designs will win a pretty awesome prize, I think - An AWESOME action figure by Hasbro that comes with all the accessories to have a Phase I OR Phase II Captain Fordo! This is easily my favorite figure of all time! :D But first, the rules!

- MUST be a zombie!
- Phase II armor. Unhelmetted Clones encouraged as well!
- Phase I Clones not eligible.
- Both digital and traditional designs welcome!
- MUST be uploaded to YOUR DeviantArt gallery!
- MUST MUST MUST be YOUR original design!
- Gore is accepted, but in moderation please!
- Republic Commandos, ARC Troopers, etc, are eligible, but you MUST also submit a standard Phase II Clone design for each "Special" Clone design.
- MUST be submitted to THIS JOURNAL in the comments ON OR BEFORE March 31st, 2013.


Top 10 Designs:
- 1(x) POM-themed Personal Sketch Card featuring Captain Fordo!
- Your design featured in "Panic Over Muunilinst"!

Top 3 Designs:
- 1(x) Sealed "ARC Trooper Commander (Fordo)" Hasbro Vintage Collection Star Wars figure!
- 1(x) POM-themed Personal Sketch Card featuring Captain Fordo!
- Your design featured in "Panic Over Muunilinst"!

Grand Prize:
- 2(x) POM-themed Official 501st Celebration VI Sketch Cards!
- 1(x) Sealed "ARC Trooper Commander (Fordo)" Hasbro Vintage Collection Star Wars figure!
- 1(x) POM-themed Personal Sketch Card featuring Captain Fordo!
- Your design featured in "Panic Over Muunilinst", THAT WILL KILL A MEMBER OF FORDO'S ELITE TEAM, the "Red Mist" Squad!
- One more possible prize TBD!


Can't wait to see what you guys come up with! Thanks in advance for the help!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

SWGF Return Cards Available!

BLAM! Some return cards are still available! Hit up my brand new Etsy Store to snatch em up!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Introducing Wrathor!

Just a small preview of one of the color schemes of a new member of Captain Fordo's "Red Mist" Squad in next year's motion comic, "Panic Over Muunilinst"! His name is "Wrathor", and is basically an Easter Egg of my friend Jazz (Rathore)! Jazz has a Senate Shock Trooper suit of armor, so I started with that design (which is perfect, since Fordo's squad consists of red dudes), and filled his right arm with red as an homage to his full sleeve tattoo. His left gauntlet has painted scars, another nod at Jazz's OTHER arm, while the two dots on the right ribcage represent the twin suns of Tatooine, positioned just where they appear in ANOTHER tattoo Jazz has on his torso! Finally, his right gauntlet says "JAZZ" in Aurebesh, just to finalize the obvious!

The AWESOME template used (the final art in the motion comic will of course be my own style!) was created by the amazing Kira Bakholm Axelson, and you can get it here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Hard to believe how quickly the holidays are blowing through! It's already going to be Thanksgiving! Wow. Anyway, I know it's been a while since I've written here, but I'm hoping to change that and write on a much more consistent basis! I'm climbing back into the saddle with a list of a few things I'm thankful for in the year 2012! This year has brought me much good fortune, and I'm certainly counting my blessings for it!

New supporters - I can't make this career work without all of you. I'd especially like to thank anyone that's been following me here, on Facebook, Twitter, and DeviantArt, especially those that have just started doing so this year! An artist's career is not a lucrative one, so every last commission and kind word of encouragement help! Even the very talented voice actor Stephen Stanton got in on the commissions!

Upper Deck, Cryptozoic, & Topps - 2012 brought with it my first professional foray into other franchises besides Star Wars. This year, I abruptly became a Marvel artist when doing work for Upper Deck's Avengers Assemble set, as well as their Marvel Beginnings II and Marvel Beginnings III sets. I also got to play in the D.C. sandbox with Cryptozoic's Batman: The Legend series! Finally, I jumped into my first non-Star Wars Topps set, in their quirky Mars Attacks! Heritage set. All of these really made me feel like I'm starting to truly branch out as an artist!

Star Wars Family & Celebration VI - What can I say about these guys. They're the home away from home. Jazz, JC, Ruark, Sarah, Drew, Francine, Chrispy D, Ryan P, Dajuan, Ben P, and anyone else I forgot to mention, meeting up with you guys is the highlight of any year. You always treat my friends and I as your own, and I'm extremely thankful to have met all of you and keep in touch with you all. Your generosity knows no bounds, and I cannot wait until our next family reunion!

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath - Okay, let's specify here. I'm thankful for all we HAVE NOT lost! The majority of my friends and family came out virtually unscathed in comparison to so many folks along the East Coast. We are really counting our blessings. It was also a real wake-up call, showing just how reliant we've become on technology. Not to mention, a huge reminder on what is really important in our lives -- Friends and family!

As You Wish Project - This became much bigger than I thought I would. I am SO grateful just to have been a part of such a project. It surpassed my expectations once the bidding began, and my Commander Sequential raked in a jaw-dropping $3,300, which went straight to the Make A Wish Foundation. As an artist, donations are not something I can make on a normal basis, so knowing that my work took in that kind of pricetag in the spirit of charity is practically overwhelming to me. Thank you for everyone who bid, for the person who dropped the 3.3k on the final bid, and for all the love and support of all those spreading the word on the project (including! I can't believe they featured my helmet!)

James Arnold Taylor - Words fail to capture the level of gratitude I have for this man. He's been a beacon of positivity, warmth, and generosity since the moment I met him, and it's been nothing short of an honor to work both for and alongside him this year. From the continued (paid!) work he's given me to contribute to his show, to the time he's dedicated to projects of my own, James has surpassed an inspiring amount of tact and humility that fans like myself can only dream our idols would possess. I'm so excited to keep working with him into the future and thankful for all the work that's passed! Speaking of James, that brings me to...

The Siren of Dathomir's success - Wow. This one really just blew me away. Between James Arnold Taylor's astounding contribution to the project, and the OVERWHELMING support of friends, family, and strangers alike, TSOD has been unlike anything I've ever experienced. What started as a simple unofficial Star Wars motion comic turned into...well, a simple unofficial Star Wars motion comic with an absurd amount of support and publicity. So many folks spread the word, to an emotional degree, and expressed their enjoyment of the work put into it. And to this day, it still has not one "dislike" on YouTube. Some notable shoutouts came from The ForceCast, Dark Horse's Facebook page,, and the most gratifying of all for me as both a fan and an artist...the approval of Genndy Tartakovsky. It convinced me to work on two more follow-ups, starting with Panic Over Muunilinst in 2013.

In 2013, I've got a lot of work to do if I'm going to trump 2012! Happy Thanksgiving, folks!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Celebration VI Experience!

I could show or I could tell. SO SHOW IT IS!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Commander Sequential" Love!

Just back from CVI this week, with lots to talk about, so I'll jump right in!!

You can go and bid on it HERE but hurry, there's only a few days left! =)

Also, here's an interview of me with Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka from The Clone Wars series, on! AWESOME!

So, so, so honored to have been a part of this project!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

TFN Badge Downloads!

You can grab the download pack HERE!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Commander Sequential -- Detailed

Here's a more detailed look at the panel order of the helmet I did for the 501st's "As You Wish" Project!

Anakin walks with the shadow of the Dark Side.

The evolution of the Troopers over time.

Attack of the Clones!

Friend vs. Friend

The Dark Times

One Twin Hides

 The Other Twin in Plain Sight


First Strike of the Alliance

The Empire Strikes Back!

Parallel Hand Loss

Final Confrontations

Redemption & Resolution

Commander Sequential

Hey, all! Here's a first look at my custom eFX Clone Trooper helmet, done for the 501st's "As You Wish" Project, and it's to be auctioned off for the Make A Wish Foundation at Celebration VI itself! I call it "Commander Sequential!" As you move around the helmet, it tells the story of the Star Wars saga in sequential order. What was really fun about this project was adapting the contours of the helmet to create panels that not only told the story, but were unique in shape and size. As a long-time fan of comics, I can only hope I did the project justice! Please take a look at the turn-arounds for the helmet!

You can see a much more detailed walk-through of the panels HERE!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Topps' Star Wars Galactic Files

Here's a first look at my latest set for Topps, from their Galactic Files series! Hope you's guys dig! And hit up my DeviantART gallery to fave them, if you like!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TSOD Featured on

It doesn't get much cooler than this! TSOD was actually featured on the official Star Wars website. Wow. Seriously huge honor! You can check it out by hitting the direct link here and scrolling down to July 14th!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

TSOD Write-Ups, And My Thanks

Wow. It's only 6 days since TSOD was uploaded, and we're already well past 2 thousand views. Mind you, that's nothing in the grand scheme of YouTube views, but it certainly isn't as much as I expected in less than one week. Even more exciting are the amount of likes...and the amount of dislikes. As I write this, thousands of Star Wars fans have watched this, and not one has "disliked" it. That in and of itself is a huge accomplishment.

I know I'm making a big deal out of a ten minute long motion comic, acting like it's a swan song, but I've invested so much solo time and energy to create this project that the amount of positive feedback I've received is astounding and replenishing me. It took a lot out of me, but I loved every moment, and I can't begin to express the pride I feel both as an artist, and as a Star Wars fan looking to have contributed to the audience I've been a part of for so long.

I know I've fallen out of the habit of updating every Friday, but it's been that busy. I promise to start doing a whole lot more of that here, so people, if any, can benefit from this journey of mine!

There are now some people I want to thank. The first is James Arnold Taylor for his help and guidance on this project. I can't say enough about him, just like anyone else who knows him. The man is a constant source of positive energy and encouragement. I am truly blessed for the opportunity to have worked with him in and out of TSOD.

I'd also like to thank those who have taken the time to do write-ups for the project: - Dustin Roberts
Jedi News - Mark Newbold
Lightsaber Rattling -  Peter Morrison
Blog Full of Words - Megan Crouse
HeroPress - Tim Knight
Rag-NERD-rok - Alex Costello
Whatever is Lovely - Melissa Zayas
Customs For the Kid 

Just to name a few!

Also, everyone who used the powers of the interwebs and social networking to promote the project. Just to name a few (I'm sure I'll miss some): Ben Payton (of, Robert Jenner (from, Karl LaFrancois (From the Wampa's Lair Podcast), Chris Smith (from the Sarlacc Pit Podcast), Jimmy Mac (of the ForceCast), Ruark Dreher (of "Hughes the Force"), Stephen Stanton (professional voice actor), Grant Gould (LFL Star Wars artist), and many, many, many more. Everyone who shared it, or left an encouraging comment on Facebook, really, thank you.

As stated in the video, I couldn't have done this without my followers on DeviantART. Special shout-out to you guys!

I'd also like to thank my best friend, Joe Sorbera. He's been with me since WELL before the beginning. Before I had any inkling that I'd be anywhere near the Star Wars world that I am now. He's put up with me being a bossy, and often times, overly frustrated band mate, a grumpy drunken prude that hates crowded bars, and much more for more than a decade. More recently, he's been my designated "Mother Hen" at conventions, and I can only hope he continues to do so, because this ride is too awesome to experience alone. I can't wait to hit CVI with him. I mention him here because no matter how much about my projects I mention (more often than not it's the ONLY thing I talk about), he's always genuinely excited for me, as both my brother and a true Star Wars fan. So hats off to him, and the Honoji Temple.

Finally, you know how at the end of an acceptance speech, they always thank their significant other? Well, while I'm not married, and I'm not accepting any awards, I do think it's important for me to save the best for last all the same. In the last week, my girlfriend Alicia has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help promote this. She's reached out to so many sources, trying to help me promote this project, taking hundreds of shots in the dark. She even showed me how to use my Twitter account more effectively, even though she was the one doing all the hard parts with it before handing it over to me again. Let me tell you, I now know what it's like to be an old person learning to use the internet for the first time. She's also responsible for the awesome press release that many of the blogs have used as source material. Most importantly, though, she's been a constant pillar of support in the last 2 year adventure of faking it until I make it as an artist. She's put up with being put second and promises broken in the name of my dream, and though each of those broke my heart to do, she always forgave me and told me to push this career even harder. I'm a workaholic, and yet, she's still beside me. Without her, there's a good chance I would still be rotting in some office, wasting time and talent that God decided to bless me with. Alicia, I love you.

Please be sure, if you have not already, to watch the video itself and let me know what you think. And for the record, if I can match/surpass the quality of "The Siren of Dathomir," I promise that the line "No sequels for you" will not apply to my motion comics...Just that one pesky trouble-maker. Thanks so much, all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

So, sometimes, things don't work out the way you hope. Due to new legal requirements with LFL and the VO's union, Catherine Taber and Tom Kane will not be featured in "The Siren of Dathomir." This course of action, while disappointing, was agreed upon unanimously by all of us that it was the best thing to do. There are no hard feelings whatsoever on my part, because the last thing I would want is for anyone to catch any heat over them doing me a favor out of the kindness of their hearts! So While I'm very sad to see Catherine and Tom go, I wish them the best of luck, and can't wait to hear more of them on The Clone Wars television series.

Now, please keep in mind, in addition, there is a very positive note of relief on my part that comes from that statement. If you saw who was involved originally (I have since been asked to remove all of the early promotional stuff regarding TCW cast's involvement), I'm trying to say something without actually saying it. Believe me, this is the best course of action at this time. If you guys still check out TSOD when it releases, you can't miss it, and I'm freaking pumped for it, especially in the wake of losing out on Cat and Tom's involvement. In order to keep the amazing talent that I still have, it was agreed that it would be best to move forward without any names other than my own being used to advertise the project. So, very soon, I'll be re-releasing a new revised teaser trailer. I hope you guys dig it.

I haven't been around much, as I've been battling a pretty fierce bug for the last week or so (when it rains, it pours, right?). With the news of Cat and Tom's departure, and battling a very distracting bug in general, my workload has been disrupted pretty significantly as I spent the last few days trying to regroup and get a new plan together. So, an FYI, June 29th may not be the launch day, but it isn't out of the cards yet, either.

Anyway, sorry to bring such crappy news after a long absence, but rest assured that I'm still working really hard to make this and all my other projects as awesome as I possibly can, especially for you guys. As I've mentioned before, this whole project started out because of your overwhelming encouragement, so while it's been a roller-coaster lately, I'm looking at this as a lesson in patience and humility.

Also, a special thanks to Chris Duhaze for giving me the exact kick in the pants the moment I needed it most -- Even though he had no idea he was doing it at the time. More details on that later on. You the man, Chris. =) And for the record, lots of good news on the horizon too. So as always, I ask for your patience and thank you all for all the love you guys constantly send my way. The positive vibes have truly helped me get my head around the situation, and once again, because of you guys, things are heading in the right direction. You guys kick more ass than you'll ever know.

- Joe

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hughes the Force Has Been Released!

Hey, all!

The long-anticipated fanfilm "Hughes the Force" by director JC Reifenberg has FINALLY been fully released!! I was so privileged to be involved with this project. The amount of heart and love poured into it is seemingly limitless, and after hundreds of requests from eager fans of the project to see it, it's now available on the official website to watch for FREE! Not only that, but they've basically packed a huge amount of details into the release page, including the full length prequel comic book that I illustrated for them!!

Head on over to the official site and check it out! Not only can you watch it streaming, but you can also download it for DVD burning as well! They just don't make 'em like this film, folks!

And what a way to wish a Happy 35th birthday to Epivose IV: A New Hope!

Monday, May 21, 2012

TSOD Teaser Trailer Is Coming...

May 31st, 2012. That's the day of the big announcement regarding "The Siren of Dathomir" fan motion comic, guys! At least, as of right now it is!

On Thursday, May 31st, I'll be opening the floodgates with a teaser trailer of the motion comic I've been kicking my own butt to get done. With that teaser trailer comes the HUGE announcement attached to it. I AM SO FREAKING PUMPED TO FINALLY TELL YOU GUYS.

Some news that I CAN share, in the meantime, is that I've received permission from the VERY talented Dominique Ventura to use her original song, "The Siren's Song", as the Siren of Dathomir's alluring melody in the motion comic. I'm super excited about it because, frankly, listening to that song inspired the original web comic that the motion comic is based off of!

Go check it out here!

And check out her channel here.

May 31st....I can't wait!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quinlan Vos: Take 2!

Just wanted to share a card I'm doing for a recent client! He had found part B of an Aayla/Quin Galaxy 6 card but was having trouble tracking down the Quinlan side, so I banged out a placeholder for him in the meantime!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dealing With Rejection & Staying Motivated

In this line of business, rejection is a normal thing. The illustration/cartooning industry is so competitive that, for many people, it's a struggle and a half just to get a foot in the door. Even for folks like me, who have kinda sorta almost made it but are barely getting by on my work, we're no strangers to a big fat "nope." A lot of times, no matter how good you may be, there will be someone better suited for a job. And you know what, back tracking for a second; Even if you AREN'T where you want to be skill-wise with your craft, that's nothing to be discouraged over.

A lot of people say that it's all about knowing someone, or being at the right place at the right time. I say (and excuse my language): Fuck that. Sure, that stuff HELPS, but it isn't the key to making it. If you're a hard worker, are kind to people, and are honest with yourself and your abilities, then you have all the tools you will need to go as far as you want to. That's not to say that having those tools automatically makes you ready to be a full time career artist (hell, I'm not even saying that about myself), but having them WILL get you to where you need to be, because you'll simply keep working until you're ready. You'll stay motivated, stay hungry, and improve leaps and bounds at a time.

You'll find that, once you use those critical tools (again, they're hard work/perseverance, kindness, and self-honesty), THAT is when you'll start meeting people and picking up on a lot of opportunities. It just sort of...happens! Of course, there's other variables to take into account, but those are the driving factors. Let's look at them more closely:

1) Hard work/perseverance. This is easily the most critical of the three, but I have the least to say about it. Simply put, if you want it, you're going to go get it. You're going to get knocked down, but you want your goal so badly that you're going to get back up. There will be bad days, failures, and rejections, but you keep your eye on the prize and keep kicking, screaming, scratching, and biting your way to the prize. You. Will. Get. There. Life doesn't always move at the pace we want or expect, but we all have control over our own destinies.

Taking chances is also a big part of this. More often than not, I used to tell myself "Oh man, I have no chance. Why should I bother applying for that?" I eventually, going nowhere, decided to take chances. And awesome things happened. Nowadays, I take chances, and REALLY awesome things happen. Nowadays, it's more like "Well I had all this dumb luck before, so why not! I got nothing to lose by trying!" and because of that, pretty ridiculously awesome stuff happens.

And really, what's the worst that could happen? They say "no thanks." Big deal! What if they say YES?

2) Kindness. This one is really simple. Some people are more personable than others by nature. Either way, it doesn't matter, because you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Think about it. You're sitting at Comic Con, trying to sell stuff. Your work can be the coolest art there, but if you're a grump with people, or worse, anti-social, people are going to keep walking. People gravitate towards positivity, so it's a . There's artists out there that, on more than one occasion, have acted like they were doing ME a favor by talking to me at a convention...and the topic of conversation was me commissioning them! Dude was acting like he'd rather be doing ANYTHING but talking to me. Needless to say, I didn't follow through with the commission.

Another way to look at it is simply that fellow artists/editors don't want to WORK with an asshole either! If you're the jerk of the group, no one's going to want to work with you on the next project, or want you back if they're in need of other artists.

Finally, simply put: YOU NEED PEOPLE TO SURVIVE. Being an island is NOT going to get you anywhere in this line of work. A good commercial artist looks out for the fellow artists that look out for him, and help others get gigs when they can (the favor will most likely be returned). A good employee will appreciate the work he gets from the editors and project leaders that select them. And finally, a DECENT HUMAN BEING appreciates any and all fans and followers they might have. It blows my mind how, as soon as people get a following, many of them think they're hot shit, and treat their fans like crap. They're the ones keeping you afloat. Use your head!

3) Self-Honesty. Sometimes, it's really difficult to look at your own work objectively. You may have improved a metric crap-ton over the last few years, and your work is approaching professional quality, but not quite there yet. This is where I feel like I am right now. I'm kinda there, but not quite yet. Close, but no cigar. So, what do you do? You ask for help. You go to people at your level, and the artists you admire. I can't tell you how many times I've pestered artists like Grant Gould about his opinions on my work. No one's work is going to be perfect, and outside parties are going to spot mistakes and flaws before you are, most likely.

If you can stay objective, and train yourself to be unattached, you'll improve much quicker. This is because, instead of taking criticism as a personal attack, you'll know that it's more about making the work better and getting one step closer to that goal. Think of it as self-help!

Self-honesty is also about knowing where you should be looking for work. If you're ready and have developed your voice and style, where are you applying? This might sound like common sense, but I have a super cartoony style. Therefore, I'm not about to go applying to get a job doing realistic portraits for Hasbro. You need to be self-aware of your own work and what jobs are appropriate for it. This was some pretty critical advice Randy Martinez gave me a few months back, and it's absolutely true! Your work could be great, but if you aren't right for the project, you aren't right for the project.

Now, say you have those tools already, but haven't had any luck with gigs yet. You're super talented because you've worked hard everyday for the last X amount of years. You're personable and outgoing, so people like you and want to work with you. You're honest with your work, have endured hundreds of crits and have used them to improve. So, now what?

Nothing. Stay focused. Stay working. Stay kind. Stay Honest. It may take time, it may not. Rejection is NOTHING to be ashamed of. I promise, the top artists of today were turned away plenty of times, and I'm sure the amount of "no" they received early in their careers far outweighed the amount of "yes" they heard! It may as well be a rite of passage!

Much love to you guys for helping me get this far (KINDNESS!), and I hope this was remotely helpful for someone! Also, happy Mother's Day to any of the moms out there!

Cheers from New York,
- Joe

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Keep Manhattan Green

Another personal piece between projects. I wanted to start working on stronger action gestures. It's a start!

Friday, May 11, 2012


Whew! All 106 Mars Attacks! Heritage cards are now finished and on their way to Topps! Here's a look at some of my favorite of my set.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Avengers: Assemble!

Just wanted to share some Avengers art I did, coming off of a movie high!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Marvel Beginnings II!

Here's a look at some of my favorites from my Marvel Beginnings II sketch cards for Upper Deck!