For three years, I edited a magazine for TwoMorrows called "Rough Stuff". It featured the many forms of preliminary art for comic books, along with comments from the artists themselves, and had interviews and articles and various features such as a look at drawings done by pro artists before they turned pro. Each issue, I also did a constructive critique of a new artist hoping to break into comics.
The art featured here on my site is art that didn't fit into the magazine, but was too good not to show you! To order back issues of Rough Stuff, click on any cover image below to go to the TwoMorrows web site!

Click here for an interview with me about Rough Stuff at The Comic Book Bin
Click here to read a review of issue #2 at The Comic Book Bin
Click here to read a review of issue #6 at The Comic Book Bin

Click on the names of the artists to see their art!

Neal Adams

John Albano

Mike Allred

Brian Apthorp

Steve Bissette

Frank Brunner

John Buscema

John Byrne

Nick Cardy

Howard Chaykin

Ian Churchill

Dave Cockrum

Gene Colan

Jeremy Dale

Alan Davis

Tony DeZuniga

Colleen Doran

Ron Garney

Butch Guice

Paul Gulacy

Gene Ha

Cully Hamner

Rob Haynes

Alex Horley

Greg Horn

Dan Jurgens

Joe Jusko

Michael Kaluta

Gil Kane

Rafael Kayanan

Dale Keown

Jose Luis Garcia Lopez

Mike Mayhew

Chris Moeller

Kevin Nowlan

Jerry Ordway

Yanick Paquette

Michael Jason Paz

Sandy Plunkett

Andrew Robinson

John Romita Jr.

Mel Rubi

Steve Rude

P. Craig Russell

Chris Samnee

Walt Simonson

Paul Smith

Brian Stelfreeze

Edgar Tadeo

Alex Toth

John Totleben

Tim Townsend

Matt Wagner

Lee Weeks

Scott Williams

Colin Wilson

Thomas Yeates

Rough Critique

Editor's Corner

Excerpt from my article in issue #1
"Tight Pencils: The Answer or The Problem?"

In the 1990's, comic book pencil art made somewhat of a dramatic change that perhaps many fans are unaware of, and that change has had some very serious repercussions. There have always been many different styles of penciling. Everything from the bare bones openness of, for example, a Gil Kane Conan page to the densely rendered Conan pages of Barry Smith's Red Nails. Some pencilers have always been sketchy and rough, like Bill Sienkiewicz, and some very clean, like Jack Kirby. But prior to the 90's, even the tightest pencils usually gave the inker some room to interpret and put in their own style. Many of today's pencils are printed without even being inked, and many jobs that are inked are virtually traced. This is not because the inker is necessarily less skilled, because many inkers working today are extremely talented. But in many cases, the pencils are so "tight" there is nothing much left for the inker to do except trace.
On a page of comic art, there are several things which need to be done to make the art convincing and complete. First, the panel shapes need to be designed, and arranged on the page. Then, the figures and backgrounds within the panels need to be drawn in a dramatic composition. Next, details, blacks, and lighting are added, and lastly, a rendering style is applied. Before computer coloring, the lighting and blacks and rendering had to be done in either the pencils or the inks, to keep the art from looking too flat. Today, with the gradated color tones possible, some styles leave all of that up to the colorist, and that can be fine......

to read the rest of the article, order your copy of Rough Stuff #1 from TwoMorrows!

review from SilverBulletComics.com:

Rough Stuff #1

Posted: Monday, September 18 2006
By: Jason Sacks

Editor: Bob McLeod

Publisher: TwoMorrows

Veteran comics inker Bob McLeod is the editor of a new comics magazine, Rough Stuff, that's devoted to showing original sketches and preliminary art from top artists, along with insights into the process of creating comic art. It's a really interesting mix for any comic fan, especially those who are fans of the artists spotlighted.

Of course, McLeod picks a stellar group of artists to spotlight in his first issue. There are original layouts and pencil sketches by artists such as Alan Davis, George Perez, Bruce Timm, Walter Simonson, Art Adams, Kevin Nowlan, John Byrne and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. Timm is the spotlight artist, featuring typically gorgeous animated-style art from a master of the form. His illustrations of Frankensteins Monster and the Zombie in this issue are wonderful.

The real revelation this issue is the work by longtime DC artist Garcia-Lopez. Though he drew the graphic novel Road to Perdition, among others, Garcia-Lopez is probably better known as the key artist for DC's character model sheets in the 1980s. His clean line style was perfect for that sort of work, since Garcia-Lopez's characters were always well-proportioned and designed. So it was a thrill to see pages of continuity from him. McLeod publishes a preliminary page from a Superman story by Garcia Lopez that is so gorgeously designed, so full of movement and charm, that it was very exciting to me.

But what I really found fascinating about this magazine was the behind-the-scenes look at creating artwork for comics. McLeod writes an intriguing article called "Tight Pencils: The Answer or the Problem?" that explores changes in comic art over the years. One thing that has changed a lot is the tightness of pencil art in comics. Where previously the inker was given a lot of freedom to add his style to penciled art, now the penciler is in ascendance. Pencilers are encouraged to draw in great detail, and are expected to do a lot of the rendering work that inkers have traditionally done. I've been a comics fan for many years, but I had no idea that any of this was happening behind the scenes.

I also really enjoyed "Rough Critique," where McLeod analyzes a submission by a comics fan. A reader can really see McLeod's professionalism and experience show through in his analysis. McLeod's comments are insightful and interesting.

As essentially an art gallery with a few articles, this zine sometimes feels a bit light in content. But if you like the artwork, it's well worth the cover price. And the short articles add a lot to the magazine, too. I'm looking forward to future issues of Rough Stuff.