Studio Blog! What's Going On!

Illustrator/ Comic Book Artist Barry Windsor Smith, photographed for "The Artist Within" portrait project

And also today sending Birthday Wishes to Illustrator/ Comic Book Artist, Barry Windsor-Smith, also May 25! As I am sure you know Barry is a "comic book illustrator and painter. "He has been drawing and painting extraordinary comics, art and stories since 1967,"

"After doing some work for British publishers (notably drawing pin-ups of Marvel characters for the Odhams Power Comics line) in 1968, Windsor-Smith travelled to New York and presented himself at the offices of Marvel Comics. A suitably impressed Roy Thomas gave him the job of drawing an issue of X-Men, but with no studio...

Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Stan Sakai photographed for "The Artist Within" Book 1

Made it to another Monday, How goes it? I hope you all are staying safe out there! I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Amazing Cartoonist/ Comic Book Artist Stan Sakai, that's today May 25th! You may know that "Stan Sakai was born in Kyoto, Japan, grew up in Hawaii, and currently lives in California. But did you know that "Stan began his career by lettering comic books as he perfected his art and began working in the industry, He also wrote and illustrated The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy; a comic series with a medieval setting, influenced by...


Happy Sunday! Remembering Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator/ Editor, Carmine Infantino on his Birthday Today, May 24th. "Carmine Infantino was a legendary comic book artist from both the Golden Age and the Silver Age of Comic Books, and the former editorial director of DC Comics"-lambiek

He is considered by some to be to be one of the best Pencillers in comic book history.-the history guy

"Infantino started in comics in 1941 illustrating for Timely Comics and later worked for DC Comics on such...

Cartoonist Kim Deitch, Photographed for "The Artist Within: book 2"

Thursday, May 21st, so far so good! Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Cartoonist Kim Deitch today! You may know that Kim Deitch is "generally held to be one of the greatest influences in American underground comix." -lambiek

What are these underground comix of which I speak, you ask? "Underground comix are small press or self-published comic books that are often socially relevant or satirical in nature. They differ from mainstream comics in depicting content forbidden to mainstream publications by the Comics Code Authority, including explicit drug use, sexuality,...

A portrait of Artist Jim Silke for The Artist Within: Book 1

And one more Birthday and I'll knock it off! Happy Birthday to Artist Jim Silke! Yep that's today too, May 19th!

Over the years, Jim has had a legendary and storied career.

He has worked as an Executive Art Director at Capitol Records, as a magazine editor and publisher, (creator and editor of the magazines Cinema and Movies International), a novelist (the Death Dealer series), photographer, historian and screenwriter (Sahara, King Solomon's Mines,...

Animator Tom Sito, photographed for "The Artist Within: book 2"

and, today, May 19th, is Animator Tom Sito's Birthday too!

"Tom Sito has worked in most of the varied nooks and crannies of the animation industry — animator, board artist, story supervisor, to name a few — since the mid-1970s."

"Tom commenced his career in cartoons with Raggedy Ann and Andy, an animated feature helmed by Richard Williams, and has never looked back. He spent some years as a “roving gypsy” (his words), storyboarding and animating on features and television shows around the globe, going wherever the work was. That...

Portrait Of Comic Book Artist Steve Leiber, photographed for "The Artist Within: Book 2

Happy Tuesday! One day at a time, right? Let's get through this!

May 19th, and sending Happy Birthday wishes to Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Steve Leiber!

You may know that Steve studied cartooning at The Kubert School and his "comics and illustrations have been published by DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image Comics, Dupuis, Scholastic,...

Comic Book Artist David Hahn, photographed in his studio

And, wishing a very Happy Birthday to Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator David Hahn, also May 17th! David is a "Montana-based comic book artist, best known for his work illustrating the comic book mini-series "Bite Club" and its sequel "Bite Club: Vampire Crime Unit" for DC Comics, for whom he also illustrated stories for "Robin", "Fables", "...


Today May 17th, Sending out Happy Birthday Wishes to Comic Book Artist/Illustrator Linda Medley, yep! Of Course you know that Linda "is an Eisner Award winning Comic Book author and illustrator, known for her "Castle Waiting" series of graphic novels."

Originally from Stockton, California, Linda now lives and works in Portland, Oregon. A freelance illustrator since 1985, Linda Medley has worked in the comics industry as a penciller, inker, painter, colorist and sculptor. Her pencilling work includes stints on both Justice League and Doom Patrol for DC, as well as the Galactic Girl Guides for Tundra. She has also illustrated children's books, and "her paintings have appeared on the covers of Paradox Press's Family Man, Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby, and TSR, Inc.'s Dragon...

Comic Book Writer Marv Wolfman

And, today is also Writer Marv Wolfman's Birthday, May 13th. If you are a fan of comics, you know this amazing writers work. Marv is a comic book and novelization writer. He worked on Marvel Comics's The Tomb of Dracula, for which he and artist Gene Colan created Blade the vampire-slayer, and DC Comics's The New Teen Titans and the...

Portrait of Science Fiction/Fantasy Author Stephen Donaldson.

Good Wednesday to ya! Sending Happy Birthday Wishes to Fantasy Author Stephan Donaldson, May 13, heck, that's today! You may know that Stephan Donaldson is "a fantasy, science fiction and mystery novelist, most famous for his ten-novel fantasy series, "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever" "which was published in 1977 and rapidly became a classic, establishing Donaldson as one of the most important figures in modern fantasy. It was named Best Novel of the Year by the...


Remembering Cartoonist/ Illustrator Jean Giraud, aka "Moebius" on his Birthday today, May 8, 1938 . Of course you probably know that "Jean had one of the most interesting double lives in comics history. Under his own name, he co-created the legendary western comic 'Blueberry' (1963-2012) with writer Jean-Michel Charlier. He also used the shortened signature of "Gir" for this series. This cowboy series was noted for its highly realistic...

Comic Book Artist Michael T. Gilbert

And, wishing a very Happy Birthday to Comic Book Artist/Illustrator Michael T. Gilbert, also today! born May 7, 1951). Michael's first work appeared in 1973 in New Paltz Comix. Three years later his first series, The Wraith, debuted in Star*Reach’s Quack! in 1982, Gilbert began co-adapting a series of Elric of Melnibone novels for...


Happy Birthday to Cartoonist, Comic Book Artist /Illustrator Roberta Gregory, Also today, May 7th. Considered one of the pioneers of women’s comics, Roberta Gregory was born in Los Angeles, California. She grew up reading (and drawing) comics because her father, Robert Gregory, was a very prolific writer and artist for various Disney titles, including Donald Duck.-wikipedia

from Roberta's website:

"When I got into college (CSU Long Beach) in 1971,...

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer Gene Wolfe

Remembering Science Fiction Author Gene Wolfe, on his Birthday this week, (May 7, 1931 – April 14, 2019). Wolfe was "a science fiction and fantasy writer, known for his dense, allusive prose as well as the strong influence of his Catholic faith. He was a prolific short-story writer and novelist and won many science fiction and fantasy literary awards."-wikipedia

In his 40 year career, Gene Wolfe authored over two dozen novels and hundreds of shorter stories. He was best known for the multi-part series...

Cartoonist And Author Mell Lazarus photographed for "The Artist Within"

Remembering Cartoonist Mell Lazarus on his Birthday Today too, May 3, 1927 – May 24, 2016.

You may know that Mell was an cartoonist and novelist, best known as the creator of two comic strips, Miss Peach, and Momma.

"Mell started his first hit strip, MISS PEACH, in 1957, the strip was developed in response to a contest for new comics sponsored by United Features Syndicate. “I scanned the papers, and there...

Illustrator/ Comic Book Artist Bill Sienkiewicz photographed for "The Artist Within: Book 2"

Good Sunday morning, I am running late to this party, but I didn't want to miss having the chance to wish a Happy Birthday to one of the very best Illustrators in comics, Bill Sienkiewicz, Happy Birthday Bill!

If you are reading this, I am sure that you know that Bill is an is an "Eisner-winning, Emmy-nominated" illustrator known for his work in Comic Books", I guess is the best way to put it, most notably for Marvel Comics' including...

Animators Eric and Susan Goldberg, photographed in their home studio for "The Artist Within" Book 1

Okay, one more and I promise I'll stop...well maybe. Happy Birthday to Animator Eric Goldberg, also May 1st! Of Course Eric, is a veteran Director, Designer and Animator.

"After attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where he majored in Illustration, Eric became a full-time assistant animator on Raggedy Ann and Andy, directed by Richard Williams. Upon the completion of Ziggy’s Gift,...

Comic Book Artist/Illustrator Tim Sale

And, While I'm at it, I didn't want to miss the chance to wish my friend Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Tim Sale a Happy Birthday, that's today too, May 1st! You know his work, "Tim Sale is the Eisner Award-winning artist of BATMAN: HAUNTED KNIGHT, BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, BATMAN: DARK VICTORY,...

In studio portrait of Legendary Comic Book Artist/Illustrator Alex Nino

Happy May Day everyone! I was just going over all the new posts and am reminded by my friends David Scroggy and Phil Yeh, that today is Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Alex Nino's Birthday, so I want to add my voice in wishing Alex a Happy Birthday! For those who may not recognize the...

Portrait of  Science Fiction and Fantasy Author Larry Niven by Greg Preston

Good morning campers, how's everybody doing? Good I hope! Just wanted to wish Author Larry Niven a Happy 82nd Birthday today, April 30th! As I am sure you know Larry Niven is a Science Fiction and Fantasy novelist. "His best-known works include the legendary Ringworld Series , which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards, and "which...

Animation Legend Iwao Takamoto photographed by Greg Preston

Remembering Animation Legend Iwao Takamoto, (April 29, 1925 – January 8, 2007) on his Birthday. If his name is not familiar to you, you most certainly know his work.

Iwao, "first learned his animation chops during his teenage years, while a prisoner in the Manzanar internment camp". At the end of the war, he took the portfolio that he had created and was able to get a job at the Disney animation studios where he became the key assistant to one of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men,...

Author Robert Bloch photographed by Greg Preston

Happy Monday! How are you holding up out there? I hope everyone is staying safe. Hey, just wanted to take a minute to remember Author Robert Bloch, April 5, 1917 – September 23, 1994, his birthday was earlier this month. If the name isn't familiar, you will most certainly know his work. Robert Bloch was an Author, "primarily of crime, horror, fantasy and science fiction, he is best known as the writer of "Psycho", the basis for the film of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock". -wikipedia

As the story goes "...

Portrait of Fantasy Author Peter S. Beagle

How are you all holding up out there? I hope you are good!

So this week, Remembering Author Peter Beagle for his Birthday. April 20th to be exact, Peter wrote one of my very favorite fantasy novels, "The Last Unicorn", and I had the chance to photograph him in one of my early attempts of doing a POP-up studio, at a book signing a number of years ago. For those who may not know, Peter "is the internationally bestselling and much-beloved author of numerous classic fantasy novels and collections, including...

Cartoonist Dan O'Neill photographed fo "The Artist Within" book 1

Happy Tuesday! Today, wishing a Happy 78th Birthday to Underground Cartoonist Dan O'Neill, April 21st!

"Having been a nationally syndicated cartoonist, Dan O'Neill is not often cited as one of the leading forefathers of the underground comic book movement, but his innovations in cartooning and his rebellious stance against all corners of corporate America in the 1960s and '70s proved to be significant to the era."-comixjoint

"Born into a military family,...

Rat Fink Reunion 1.jpg

Posting this from Facebook, about the upcoming Rat Fink Virtual Reunion. Completely honored to have the portrait that we made of Ed in his shop so prominently displayed. "

This reunion in June will be remembered for being unique. The walls of the museum will miss the reunion as usual. My entire family, Rusty, Sharanadee, Tammy, Cody, Amber, Wyatt , Lindsay and all the grandkids that help organize the reunion will miss our "FAMILY REUNION" with all the artists in Manti, celebrating the life of my husband Ed Roth. Ed loved my kids so much! They also loved much as to call him "Dad". So many artists also love and respect their relationship with Ed and so he...

Artist/Art Director Alan Bodner photographed with Olivia Bodner at CTNX Expo

Hey, Happy Saturday everyone, hope you are all doing good and staying safe, hang on it's getting better! Just wanted to take a moment to wish Animator/ Art Director Alan Bodner, a Happy Birthday, that's today, April 18th! While I haven't yet had the chance to photograph Alan in his studio, I was able to make this portrait of Alan and his daughter Olivia a few years ago in our "Pop-Up" studio at CTNExpo.

You may know that Alan "is an award-winning artist and art director whose work ranges from some of the world's most recognized cartoon characters to multidimensional pieces that combine...

Director, Animator, Illustrator and Virtual Reality Artist Jake Rowell photographed for "The Artist Within: Book 2"

April 15th, already, what? Former tax due day, But not this year! Yay!

But, we are still celebrating my friend, Artist Jake Rowell's Birthday Today! Yep! Jake is a Director, Animator, Illustrator and Virtual Reality Artist, and for over 25 years Jake has "worked in the entertainment industry for various studios, creating illustrations, visual effects and animation art with the primary focus of pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling and technology.

"He began his professional career in video games creating art for Final Fantasy IX. Jake then moved into film working on...

Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Angelo Torres photographed for "The Artist Within"

And, wishing a very Happy 88th Birthday to Comic Book Artist Angelo Torres! That's today too!

"Angelo Torres began his career in the early 1950s, assisting his studio mate Al Williamson on EC titles such as 'Valor', together with Frank Frazetta and Roy Krenkel (known as the "Fleagle Gang"). He also contributed to the...

Comic Book Artist/Illustrator Dave Gibbons Photographed for "The Artist Within: Book 2"

It's Tuesday! Yay! (it's the little things). Hey, just wanted to take a minute to wish Comic Book Artist Dave Gibbons a Happy Birthday, April 14th, That's today!

You probably know that "Dave Gibbons has worked in comics since 1973. Cutting his teeth on undergrounds and fanzines, he became a frequent contributor to Britain’s 2000AD, illustrating HARLEM HEROES, DAN DARE and co-creating ROGUE TROOPER. Since then, he has drawn and written for most comics publishers on both sides of the...

Animator/ Illustrator Glen Keane photographed in his studio for "The Artist Within: book 2"

April 13, and this month is just flying by, I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe in this strange time. I just wanted to take a minute and wish Animator Glen Keane a very Happy Birthday, that's today! I know, I don't even have to say it, but Glen is also an "author and illustrator, he was a character animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios for feature films including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin,...

Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Jeff Scott Campbell photographed in studio fo "The Artist Within"

And while I'm at it, let me say Happy Birthday to Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator J. Scott Campbell, one of the nicest guys in comics, that's today too!

You probably know that Jeff Scott Campbell "began began his career contributing to Nintendo Magazine in the late 1980s. He broke into the world of comic book art after moving to San Diego in 1993. His first professional work was for Jim Lee's Wildstorm, where he was the original artist and co-creator of successful titles like 'Gen 13' and '...


Happy Easter and Happy Day Everyone, hope you are all staying safe out there!

Just a quick Happy Birthday to callout to Amazing Comic Book Artist / Illustrator Amanda Conner, that's also today! You may know that Amanda "started her professional art career as an illustrator in New York City for several major ad agencies, however, her love of comic books and cartooning soon led her to that world, where she began her career in earnest in the late 1980s for "Archie" and "Marvel Comics". Since then she has worked on a number of high profile projects spanning a variety of genres including...

Portrait of Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Gil Kane for "The Artist Within"

Good Morning, Happy Monday! Remembering Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Gil Kane today on his Birthday, (April 6, 1926 – January 31, 2000). Of Course "Gil was one of the masters of superhero comics, who worked extensively for both Marvel and DC". -lambiek

"Kane co-created the modern-day versions of the superheroes Green Lantern and the Atom for DC Comics, and co-created Iron Fist with Roy Thomas for Marvel...

Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Arthur Adams photographed for "The Artist Within"

Happy Sunday Morning! I hope everyone is doing good, staying home, and lovin' on your families.

Just wanted to take a minute and add my voice to everyone wishing a Very Happy Birthday to Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Arthur Adams, that's today, April 5th!

Pretty sure most everyone knows that Arthur "is a comic book artist, Illustrator and writer. He first broke into the American comic book industry with the 1985 Marvel Comics miniseries Longshot. His subsequent comics work includes a number of Marvel's major books, including...

Iris Compiet- 14 copy.jpg

Happy April 1st! Let me add my voice in wishing a very Happy Birthday to Fantasy Illustrator Iris Compiet!

That's today!

If the name isn't familiar to you yet, it will be! Iris is an award winning Illustrator from the Netherlands, who (in her own words), wanted to "paint and draw fantastical beings when she grew up". Well she's doing it!

from her website- Iris has "created a world called...

Portrait Of Comic Book Artist/Creator Marc Silvestri in his studio at Top Cow Productions

Hey, Happy Sunday, March 29th! I hope everyone is doing okay, staying healthy! Just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Marc Silvestri who's birthday is today! Of Course, Marc is one of the founding fathers of Image Comics. "He is well known for his work on iconic Marvel titles such as The X-Men, Wolverine and...

Cartoonist Carl Barks photographed in his studio for "The Artist Within " Book Project

Remembering "The good Duck Artist", Carl Barks on his Birthday! And thanks Jackie Estrada and David Scroggy for the posts, I totally missed it!

I have a fond memory of making a snowy day in January trip up to Grants Pass, Oregon to meet and photograph Carl in his studio. We...

Fine Artist William Wray photographed for "The Artist Within"

Happy Tuesday everyone! How are you all doing? I hope good! Just wanted to add my voice in wishing a very Happy Birthday to Cartoonist, Animator and Fine Art Painter William Wray, born March 24. William is one of the few Artists who started in Cartooning and Animation, then successfully made the jump to the world of fine art.

"Making his living as a cartoonist who specialized in painted subjects, he spent many years coalescing a eclectic array of art styles, ultimately finding his voice in a contemporized reflection of traditional California regional painting that focus on humble subject matter rarely considered as fine art."-Williams website

I was honored to be able to include a portrait of...

Cartoonist Animator Joe Barbera photographed in his office at Hanna Barbera Productions .

Remembering Animator Joe Barbera, (March 24, 1911 – December 18, 2006) on his birthday, also today!

Of course you know that Joe Barbera "was an animator, cartoon artist, storyboard artist, director, producer, and co-founder, together with William Hanna, of Hanna-Barbera productions. He was born in Manhattan and raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The studio produced well-known cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Flintstones,...

Amazing Cartoonist/caricaturist Mort Drucker photographed in his studio

Good Sunday Morning! I Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy! Just wanted to add my voice in wishing a very Happy 91st Birthday to Cartoonist/Caricaturist legend Mort Drucker, born March 22, 1929. As I'm sure everyone knows Mort Drucker "is most famous as one of Mad Magazine's "usual gang of idiots." He mostly illustrated their film and TV parodies, which allowed him to show off his immense talent for caricaturing, he is one of the magazine's oldest contributors, having joined the staff in 1956 and drawing his last comic for them in...


Remembering Amazing Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Al Williamson on His Birthday, (March 21, 1931 – June 12, 2010!) "Williamson’s professional credits are both legion and legendary. Developing an elegantly illustrative cartooning style, he first came to prominence with the highly influential EC comics line of the 1950s. His much beloved work in the mid-’60s on King Features Flash Gordon comic book series garnered him a “Best Comic Book Cartoonist” award from the prestigious...

Concept Designer Iain McCaig photographed at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live

Happy Thursday!! And Happy Birthday to Illustrator/ Designer Iain McCaig, That's today, March 19th!

You may know that "Iain is an internationally recognized and award winning artist and one of the motion picture industry’s leading conceptual designers. His exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him one of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today. He has worked as one of the principal designers on Star Wars Episode One—The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode Two—Attack of the Clones,...

Portrait of Illustrator Drew Struzan in his Southern California  Studio for "The Artist Within: Book 2

March 18th? Yep! How are you all holding up out there! I hope good! I know it is crazy, one day at a time, right?

So, today, Happy Birthday to Amazing Artist Drew Struzan! Of course you know, "Drew is a legendary illustrator, cover designer" and Art Center Alumni, "known for his more than 150 movie posters, which include The Shawshank Redemption, Blade Runner, as well as films in the Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, and Star Wars film...

Illustrator Gris Grimly photographed for "The Artist Within"

One more Birthday, and then I promise to shut up! (well maybe)

Happy Birthday to Illustrator Gris Grimly, March 17th, 1975. If you are not familiar with Gris, you need to check out his Amazing work on his website here:

I think you'll agree, his work is pretty freakin' great!

Just so you know, "Gris is an artist and storyteller from Nebraska who is best known for his darkly whimsical children's books". As of this writing Gris has over 22 books that he has written and/or Illustrated to his credit,...

Cartoonist, Illustrator, Author and Playwright Patrick McDonnell photographed in his studio for "The Artist Within"

Good Tuesday Morning, if you are reading this, hopefully you are making through this crazy week, keep going!!

Today, sending Happy Birthday wishes out to Cartoonist/ Illustrator Patrick McDonnell, March 17th, that's today!!

Of Course Patrick is an Amazing "cartoonist, author and playwright, he is the creator of the beloved internationally syndicated comic strip MUTTS, which features the characters that star in five of his children's picture books: Just Like Heaven, Hug Time,...

Portrait of  Comic Book Creator Todd McFarlane, Taken in his office  at McFarlane Toys

Good Monday morning people! I hope you are all staying healthy and doing well, it's seems kind of crazy out there!

I was reminded this morning that today is the birthday of comic book Superstar Todd McFarlane! (thanks David Scroggy). If it's even possible that you are not familiar with his work, you should know that Todd McFarlane is a "comic book creator and entrepreneur, best known for his work as one of the great artists on The Amazing Spider-Man and...

Illustrator/Animation Director Chris Sanders, Photographed in his studio

I have no idea how I missed this??? Happy Belated Birthday to Illustrator/Animator Chris Sanders, that was yesterday!!!

Chris is an "animation director, film director, screenwriter, producer, illustrator and voice actor, best known for co-writing and directing Disney's Lilo & Stitch and DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon", yeah, that guy!

He also "directed and co-wrote DreamWorks' The Croods, and later directed 20th Century Studios'...

Artist/Illustrator Al Jaffee photographed in his studio for the Artist Within

So happy to be able to add my voice in wishing a Happy 99th Birthday to the incomparable Al Jaffee! Of Course you know that Al Jaffee is an Amazing Cartoonist, most "notable for his work in the satirical magazine Mad, including his trademark feature, the Mad Fold-in. As of 2019, Jaffee had been a regular contributor to the magazine for 64 years and is its longest-running contributor" "In 2008, Jaffee was honored by the Reuben Awards as the Cartoonist of the Year....

Portrait of Legendary Illustrator Basil Gogos

Remembering Artist/Illustrator Basil Gogos today on his birthday, (March 12, 1929 – September 13, 2017).

If the name doesn't strike a bell right away, you will most certainly recognize the work. Basil Gogos "was an American illustrator best known for his portraits of movie monsters which appeared on the covers of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine in the 1960s and 1970s"-wikipedia

His work was incredible, and i'm sure fueled many aspiring artists imaginations, including mine.

Back when I was working on book 2 of "...

My Portrait of illustrator, designer, author, and film director/producer J.J.Sedelmaier, taken for "The Artist Within: Book 2

Happy Wednesday Guys! It's March 11, and I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Birthday to illustrator, designer, author, and film director/producer J.J. Sedelmaier, that is today! I so appreciate this guy! J.J. was instrumental in helping me with my coffee table book project by introducing me to a whole bunch of his Amazing Artist friends, who are also in the book. As I'm sure you know, J.J. is "known for co-creating (with Robert Smigel) "Saturday TV Funhouse" that includes...

Portrait of Jeff Keane with his Family Circus

Happy March 8th, and Happy Birthday to Family Circus Cartoonist Jeff Keane, of course that's today!

"Jeff was born in 1958. Two years later, his father Bil Keane started chasing him around begging him to do something funny. So began his career as a cartoon model for “The Family Circus.” -ncs fest

"Jeff, after assisting on the strip since 1981, took over the helm of the "Family Circus" after his dads passing in 2011. He now authors the comic, which appears daily in nearly 1,400 newspapers...

In Studio Portrait of Artist/ Illustrator Ben Templesmith

Happy Birthday to Amazing Artist/Illustrator Ben Templesmith!!! Also today. Ben is "a New York Times best selling artist and writer most widely known for his work in the comic book industry where he has received multiple nominations for the International Horror Guild Awards as well as the industry’s top prize, the Eisner Award". "As a creator, his most notable works have been 30 Days of Night (which...

Portrait of Artist/ Pop Surrealist Lucas Chueh.

Sending out Happy Birthday Wishes to my friend, Artist Luke Chueh, born March 7, 1973. That's today! In case you don't know, Luke is a "Pop Surrealist, Painter" His works tend to be a juxtaposition of the cute with the macabre, including various self-portraits reimagining himself as a bear character."-borrowed from wikipedia

Luke was gracious enough to let me make a portrait of him in his Southern California studio, for "The Artist Within: Book 2"

Happy Birthday Lucas! Hope your day is Amazing!

You can see...

Portrait of Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Will Eisner, photographed in his studio in Tamarac , Florida

So, this past week, I know we've been celebrating "Will Eisner week", Well, today is Will Eisner day! Yep, today is Will's Birthday, March 6, 1917 – January 3, 2005. As Most everyone in comics knows Will was a “cartoonist, writer, and entrepreneur. He was one of the earliest cartoonists to work in the American comic book industry, and his series The Spirit (1940–1952) was noted for its experiments in content and form. In 1978, he popularized the term "graphic novel" with the publication of his book A Contract with God. He...

Portrait of Cartoonist/ Car Designer Ed "Big Daddy" Roth photographed in his custom car shop in Manti, Utah

Remembering Cartoonist/ Custom Car Designer Ed "Big Daddy" Roth on his Birthday today (March 4, 1932 – April 4, 2001). As I'm pretty sure most people know Ed Roth "was an artist, cartoonist, illustrator, pinstriper and custom car designer and builder who created the hot rod icon Rat Fink and other characters. Roth was a key figure in Southern California's Kustom Kulture and hot rod movement of the late 1950s and 1960s." -wikipedia

I was honored to be able to include Ed Roth in my book project, actually both books of...

Cartoonist, Artist, Sculptor Robert Williams Photographed in his studio, Photographed for "The Artist Within"

Happy Monday, March 2nd! Sending out Happy Birthday Wishes to legendary artist Robert Williams today. Of course Williams is an is an "Underground" comix artist, best remembered for his series 'Coochy Cooty', also a Painter, Sculptor, and "founder of "Juxtapoz" Art & Culture Magazine. Williams was one of the original group of artists who produced Zap Comix, "His mix of California car culture, cinematic apocalypticism, and film noir helped to create a new genre of psychedelic imagery."-wikipedia

I was...


Happy Sunday Everyone! Word on the street is that it is Illustrator, Visual Development Artist and Children's book Author, Claire Keane's Birthday today, yes indeed! You may know that Claire hails from an artistic family, her "dad is an animator, and her granddad was a cartoonist, and her great granddad drew machine parts for steam engines, her uncle is a cartoonist", and according to her website her two kids are on track to be next in line". Of course...

Comic Book Artist/ IllustratorAndy Kubert, photographed for "The Artist Within: Book 2"

Happy Friday!! Sending Happy Belated Birthday greetings out to Amazing Comic Book Artist Andy Kubert, who's Birthday was actually yesterday, February 27, sorry I'm late. Of course you know that Andy is a Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator who has become well known for his work on numerous successful titles including Batman for DC Comics, X-men, and Ultimate Iron Man for Marvel, just to name a few! His work is...

Cartoonist Jeff Smith photographed in his studio for "The Artist Within"

Happy Thursday Guys! I just wanted to add my voice in wishing a very Happy Birthday to Cartoonist/ Illustrator Jeff Smith, one of the nicest guys in comics! Of course Jeff is the creator of the self-published comic book series "Bone".

A few years back I had the chance to make a trip out to Ohio, with my friend David Scroggy, and Dave was incredibly gracious in setting us up with a place to stay at his dads house and...

Portrait of Cartoonist/ Illustrator Arnold Roth taken for "The Artist Within"

Celebrating the cartooning genius of Arnold Roth for his birthday this week (February 25, 1929). You may know that Arnold Roth is an "American cartoonist and illustrator. You probably also know that his cartoons have appeared in nearly every major magazine in the US since 1951. He began working for Playboy in the late 1950s, and stayed throughout the following decades, with his late 1970s feature 'An Illustrated History of Sex' being one of the highlights. Roth has made covers for The New Yorker, and illustrations for TV Guide, Sports Illustrated and...

Illustrator Scott Gandell photographed exclusively fo "The Artist Within: Book 2"

Happy Friday!!! Sending out Birthday wishes to my pal, Artist Scott Gandell. in case you didn't know, Scott is a "Professional illustrator, print maker, curator, and entrepreneur. He is a long-time board member and the development chair of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles ( where he has also served as president." "Scott’s expressive artwork, which ranges from the colorfully decorative to the intensely agitated, has been exhibited...

Cartoonist/ Author/ Illustrator Gahan Wilson photographed by Greg Preston

And, remembering another Amazing cartoonist/Author on his birthday, also today, Gahan Wilson, February 18, 1930 – November 21, 2019, yep!

If the name isn't familiar, you will most assuredly recognize his work. Wilson "whose outlandish, often ghoulish cartoons added a bizarrely humorous touch to The New Yorker, Playboy, National Lampoon and numerous other publications in the era when magazines propelled the cultural conversation"...

Cartoonist Johnny Hart photographed for "The Artist Within" by Greg Preston

Good Tuesday morning! Remembering Cartoonist Johnny Hart today on his birthday, Feb. 18, 1931-April 7, 2007. Truly one of the nicest, and also most successful cartoonists in the business. As most everyone surely knows, "Johnny Hart created a formidable following of more than 100 million readers as the creator in 1958 of the comic strip B.C., which focused on prehistoric cave dwellers and anthropomorphic animals and plants while being laced with puns and clever satire about modern society. Then in 1964 Hart, together with Brant Parker, launched...

Portrait of  Cartoonist/ Graphic Novelist/ Illustrator Art Spiegelman

Celebrating Art Spiegelman's Birthday today!!! As pretty much everyone knows, Art Spiegelman is a "cartoonist, editor, and comics advocate best known for his Pulitzer Prize awarded graphic novel Maus. His work as co-editor on the comics magazines Arcade and Raw has been influential, and from 1992 he spent a decade as contributing artist for The New Yorker"...

Comic Book Artist Creig Flessel

Good Monday Morning People! I wanted to take a moment and remember another February Artist Birthday, Happy Birthday to Comic Book Artist/ Illustrator Creig Flessel (February 2, 1912-July 17, 2008). Flessel, besides being one of the Original Comic Book Artists in the industry, was also an accomplished Cartoonist and illustrator for magazines ranging from Boys' Life to Playboy, but he is best remembered for his comic book work at National/DC.

His work was present in the earliest issues of Detective Comics (before 'Batman'), and he also illustrated most of...

Cartoonist John Callahan photographed in his studio for the "Artist Within".

Remembering Cartoonist John Callahan (February 5, 1951 – July 24, 2010) on his Birthday week (his birthday was actually yesterday). If his name isn't familiar to you, you should definitely look him up, John was "a cartoonist, artist, and musician in Portland, Oregon, noted for dealing with macabre subjects and physical disabilities. Callahan became a quadriplegic in an auto accident at age 21. Following his accident, he became a cartoonist, drawing by clutching a pen between both hands, having regained partial use of his upper body. His visual artistic style was simple and often rough, although still legible. It has been likened to that of William Steig, James Thurber", Charles Addams and Gahan Wilson.

"Callahan's cartoons dealt with subjects often considered taboo, including...

Illustrator/Animator Bruce Timm photographed for "The Artist Within"

Hey, Good afternoon! So, my sources tell me that today Feb 5th is Bruce Timm's Birthday! Yep! Of course you know that Bruce is a character designer, animator, writer, producer, and actor! He co-created and produced the Emmy Award-winning "Batman: The Animated Series" and and went on to co-create and produce "Superman: The Animated Series"" along with "The New Batman Adventures", "Batman Beyond" and "Static Shock" and much more! This is the portrait I made of Bruce in his office...

Portrait of Artist/ Director Frank Miller

Callout and thanks to my friend David Scroggy for the reminder that today is Amazing Comic Book Artist/Illustrator Frank Millers Birthday, yep! As pretty much everyone knows Frank Miller was the Artist and Creative Driving force behind numerous Comic Books and Graphic Novels including Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again,...

Author Gene Wolfe

I have been meaning to sit down and write this for a couple weeks, and Throw back Thursday seems a good time to reminisce of a very distant memory. I learned a few days ago that Science fiction author Gene Wolfe passed away, and I was reminded just how fleeting time seems lately, Back when I was just out of school and before I started my "Artist Within" cartoonist project, I worked for a few years on a project photographing Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors. Back then I was still living in L.A. and there were book signings every weekend somewhere in the valley. Also back then (pre-internet) you could find a listing of upcoming signings in The LA Times Book Section. There were usually a handful every weekend. The first few shots of my project were taken at a...

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It is a beautiful snowy morning here in Las Vegas (words you don't usually hear together in Las Vegas) perfect for staying home and writing a blog post.

We woke up this morning to more snow than I have ever seen in Las Vegas,

Sharon made a video of our backyard for facebook, not something we see every day in the desert, have a look:

For us it has been pretty amazing, I am sure there are people who are sick to death of snow right now, but this is...

Statue of Liberty covered in Twizzlers

Happy New Year!

New Years Resolution #1, Start blogging again, weekly, I know right? You're like "Oh Gawd... not again!" Anyway, Here we go:

So, did you know that there is a Hershey's Chocolate World Store here in Las Vegas? Yep, it's located on the strip side of The New York, New York Hotel and Casino. The store is pretty Amazing, Walking in is sensory overload, it smells heavenly, chocolate everywhere! Not too long ago we had the chance to do some advertising photography for the Hershey's World store, some architectural shots and also with some amazing models. In this case the models were an actual family, The Stone...


As most of our clients and friends know, we love photographing creative people, Comic Book Artists, Cartoonists, Illustrators, Animators, Designers, Photographers, artists of all types. For the past 25 years I have been working on a project photographing Artists in their studios, and more recently going to Conventions and setting up a Pop-up studio right in the middle of the convention floor and making portraits. Recently Sharon Sampsel and I were invited to set up our impromptu studio at Designer Con in Anaheim, CA. "DesignerCon is an annual art and design convention that smashes together all aspects of urban, underground and pop art, including collectible toys, customs, plush, designer apparel and so much more, Designer Con is an Amazing Celebration of art. The sheer amount of...

Westin Hotel and Spa Las Vegas at Dusk

So, as I started this new blog Sharon reminded me that it was time to knock off talking about comic book artists and illustrators and talk more about our photo studio again! So without further ado:

For over 30 years our studio, Sampsel & Preston Photography has had the privilege of being one of the premier commercial photography studios in Las Vegas. At the heart of what we do, Hotel and Resort photography is the mainstay of our work, making up for over 80% of how we spend our days. Over the years, we have done photo shoots for virtually every hotel on the strip, downtown, and even have travelled...

Mr. Las Vegas S&P Version.jpg

For those who don't know, I am a "born & bred" Las Vegan, and have often heard how rare that is. The sentiment that growing up in Las Vegas must have been really cool and interesting, and thinking back on it, I guess it was. When I was young I didn't realize or appreciate that it may have been different from growing up somewhere else, really, anywhere else. My mom was a waitress in various showrooms here in town and I remember that on some Saturday nights we would dress up and go out to a nice dinner at the Green Shack or The Alpine Village (out at the end of the strip) for Lobster Tail . We'd then pile back in the...


My wife just let me know I have been slacking on my blog duties, and I'd better get on it, so here you go, this weeks photo blog...

Let me apologize ahead of time for meandering here, this is our craziest blog yet, but stay with me, I think you are going to like this,...So, in case you didn't know, we have an American Dingo, also known as a Carolina Dog, who literally came running into our lives about 4 years ago, we rescued him off the street out of heavy traffic on the way home from the studio; we couldn't find his owner, so he is ours, and darn it, we love him. His name is Gizmo and he is one of the most amazing dogs, just a gem, and most nights we take him over...

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I woke up this morning thinking about writing this post and I remembered a quote that I want to attribute to Underground Comic book Artist Dan O'Neill, It's been about 40 years since I heard it, but It went something like this:

"You must blow your own horn, because someone must blow it, but if you blow your own horn, don't blow it!"

So here I am trying not to blow it, bear with me.

This last Sunday there was a wonderful remembrance of Comic Book Artist Marie Severin on the Today Show, she passed away August 29th after a stroke. I was honored that they had used my...

Scott and Anneline's wedding

Life takes you on many journeys and this last one was just wonderful. We have these friends, new friends to me, who recently got married in Topanga Canyon in LA. Greg took the groom’s picture for his book, The Artist Within: Book 2, and over the years,their paths crossed more than once and they found themselves friends. It’s not often I meet someone as gentle & sweet as Greg, but Scott Gandell is just like him. He graduated from the same school we did,...

Comic Book Artist Marie Severin Photographed for "The Artist Within"

Good morning~can we talk? As of April 1st this year, our studio Sampsel Preston Photography, has been in business for 30 years, and also for about that same amount of time I have had the pleasure of working on my personal project photographing some of the most amazing comic book artists, cartoonists, animators and illustrators in their studios, And, for the most part it has been joyous! We have had the best time. Raising our kids in the studio, traveling a lot, getting 2 books of my artists photos published. I mean sure, we have had our ups and downs in business, old reliable clients leaving, but new ones coming on, recession, health problems, etc..,...

Artist Kelly Freas Photographed for "The Artist Within"

Okay, Blog time again! It's been slow at the studio, August is generally our slowest month, year after year. Sharon is out of town for a couple days, but she did mention before she left that I should write something about the studio in the blog, OR ELSE! She has been making threats about taking over the blog,

but alas , she is out of town, (cue maniacal laughter) so...

Wow, It's been another crazy week, too much going on! First, a bunch of Birthdays! Happy Birthday to one of Science Fiction's great illustrators, Frank Kelly Freas, (above) Born on this day 1922. Kelly was an "American Science Fiction and Fantasy Artist artist with a career spanning more than 50 years. He was...

Artist Trina Robbins in her writing room

I thought I would give this blogging thing another try, believe it or not it has been a whole week since my last blog, lol! There were a Couple of Comic Book Birthdays this week, I wanted to say Happy Birthday to two of the Amazing Artists that I had the chance to photograph for my book project, The Artist Within: Books 1 & 2, First Trina Robbins. Trina was an early and influential participant in the Underground Comix movement, and one of the first few female artists in that movement. Both as a cartoonist and historian, Robbins has long been involved in creating outlets for and promoting female comics artists. In the 1980s, Robbins became the first woman...

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Photographing Alex Toth:

To be honest, I can't for the life of me remember who gave me Alex Toth's phone number, but I do remember that it came with the caveat that he almost never answered his phone, so I should try to call at various times of the day and night until he did. I also remember being told that it most likely would be a waste of time to even call him to ask if he would be a part of my photo project, because he was now a recluse. Pretty much avoiding everyone that he had known or been friends with. It seems like another person may have mentioned in passing that Toth hadn't actually left his house in several years. So...


So. Greg gives me my marching orders. He says, “Hey, there’s nothing going on this afternoon; would you write our blog? In my head, I think about the long list of undone, unkept, uncompleted things that grace my line of vision and I say, “Sure, I’ll try”. What should I write about? Tooth brush in his mouth, Greg says through foamy teeth that, ”Blogs should be about the interesting things we’ve done lately”. Of course, they should include the final retouched pictures of these interesting things, because, well, “blogs help your SEO, help bring in new clients, complement those clients featured, and they should make it seem like”…and this is where my brain goes numb. Sorry Greg, but I’ve decided to talk instead about what it’s like to be a photographer in 2016. A real life synopsis...