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✪ Thunderbirds are GO!

✪ Thunderbirds are GO! published on No Comments on ✪ Thunderbirds are GO!

Happy birthday to me! So here’s my present to you!

Ladies and gentlemen! After a very long time, a lot of hard work (plus an admittedly embarassing lack of sleep): Welcome to my three websites!

And my personal blog... and the relaunch of my two webcomics, Chip and Walter and Time Trouble…and eventually my portfolio, Patreon/Commisions Hub, writings plus everything else that I can conceptually fit here!

I’ve been in need of a professional venue that I can maintain for a looooooong time. This joint still isn’t completely moved into but it’s definitely at a point where I can comfortably launch and not feel awkward about doing so! This is a rare time that I’ll be cross posting to all three of my websites so I’ll break everything down accordingly. Please bear with the long post…

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The Main Website: www.jongraywb.com

This will be my primary, personal, professional website. Here you’ll find info containing my bio, my published works (specifically dealing with licensed materials like Disney Comics and Sonic the Hedgehog!

If you are one of my Principles of Cartooning students at the School of Visual Arts, you can find a copy of the syllabus as well as a direct means of contact should you need to ask me any questions about assignments or general advice after school hours. IMPORTANT NOTE: The new syllabus will most likely go up next week in anticipation of the start of classes. Currently I’ve linked the old one just so you can get a rough idea of what it will look like. All school related info can be found on the left sidebar.

The right sidebars of this page will be updated with all my current Disney Comics solicits for IDW Publishing.

Beyond general updates the news feed here will double as blog entries whenever I feel the need to discuss random things, announce events (conventions, new books coming out, etc), travel plans or talk about general things that are on my mind.

FAQ sections for all three pages are interlinked depending on content. I’d debated on consolidating them into one big page but it seemed to massive and cumbersome.

WHAT’S MISSING?
The next major things to integrate here will be a full image/portfolio gallery of all my non web-comic work plus a working Patreon/Commissions Hub for donations/any work you’d like me to do. I’d liked to have launched with this but time was of the essence for the start of school and freelance work. PLEASE NOTE THAT COMMISSIONS ARE NOT OPEN YET! They won’t be until I’ve finished this project and specifically gotten these things launched. This is the next major thing I will be working on following this update.

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Chip and Walter
Chip and Walter

Chip and Walter: http://www.chipandwalter.com/
Time Trouble: http://www.time-trouble.com/

After a long time, my babies have finally been re-launched.

I promised these comics would come out ages ago (2014 to be exact) and I’ve sat down plot-mapping, character redesigning, planning, thinking, re-plot-mapping and drawing and redrawing a buffer that I’ve slowly been pecking at for years. It wasn’t until the past year and a half that I finally overcame my personal worries, buckled down and pushed myself to do it. I don’t think it’s prideful to pat myself on the back for having finally achieved that goal.

Before I say anything else…

A lot of you have messaged me about wanting to see return to doing my personal comics/doing original work. I can’t thank you enough for both your patience, your inquiries and for the needed words of encouragement. Artists are sensitive and, personally, I’m always exceedingly nervous about putting myself out there. My comics are representative of my personal grow and improvement since my earliest days. The more I got into the groove or drawing these for myself, the better I feel like I got. I can’t wait for y’all to see the stuff that hasn’t even gone up yet.

I can only hope that you enjoy the story as much I enjoy creating it.

Both comics have launched with their respective 15 strip Chapter Zero prologues including title/cover pages (for the prologue itself and ending on the cover for the following chapter), a bonus cast page (the plan is to end all chapters with some sort of bonus page) and a rudimentary archive for easy browsing.

Time Trouble
Time Trouble

Updates for each comic will individually occur once a week barring any pressing freelance or professional work that comes my way (My pro work always comes first. Gotta pay my bills.)! As with my main website, all updates will be announced on my social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr) and noted on their individual pages as news posts when necessary.

WHAT’S MISSING?
While cast pages currently exist as makeshift tags, these only show what strips (plus a counter) each individual character has appeared in. As the stories progress and new characters are introduced, I will add in proper cast descriptions with new individual artwork as I see fit.

I will definitely be replacing the large top header banners for both comics with more intricate illustrations like on my main page in the coming weeks. Right now I have a several “placeholder images” up in spots to suit my needs.

I’ll probably also add outgoing links to other comics I like read. I have no earthly idea how RSS feeds work, so I’ll be looking into that in the coming week.

As a sidenote: I know the dropdown menus for each comic are currently acting weird. I’ve been tutoring myself in CSS on the fly and while the background color for individually selected comics on the dropdowns work, I have no clue how to get the chapters to have the same background color as the rest of the menu so that they’re actually readable. If you have any idea on how to fix this problem I’m all ears. I’ll probably also ask some knowledgeable friends later once I get ample sleep. And I think that’s that.

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Finally, if you’d like to comment on any of the comics or even the individual blog posts feel free!

Again, I have no plans on cross posting to all three pages like this, preferring to keep news worthy things separate and organized, but this is a special occasion and I want to cover all my bases. Do note that I’ve set up an approval system on comments, so nothing will show up yet without my say-so. That said, my twitter and facebook accounts are always open (check the Social Media Portal on the left sidebar of all pages!) If you post with “first” nonsense I’ll most likely ban you outright. I’ll approve any commentary once I’ve gotten decent rest and celebrated my birthday proper. 🙂

Thank you so much for being patient. I hope you enjoy what you see and I hope these pages will eventually do everything I intend for them to do. Have fun and enjoy the comics!

-FAQ-

-FAQ- published on

The Gang's All HereGeneral QuestionsChip & Walter SpecificTime Trouble Specific
Disney SpecificSonic SpecificCommenting on Posts

Questions? -GENERAL-

  • How do you do your pages/covers/illustrations/etc?
  • I like to work traditionally and digitally, which means good ol’ pen and paper (I don’t own a fancy luxury Cintiq like some of my other peers haha!). Typically I use Canson 150 lb art board for all my work, a Pentel mechanical pencil (I hate dull points) with a Pentel Clic Eraser for corrections and a **wide** berth of Faber Castell Pitt pens to ink with. Once that’s done, I scan my pages and do smaller corrections on my inks digitally with my Wacom tablet. Then, I use said tablet to color. One major exception: I tend not to color the work for anything I do that’s licensed (unless I’m asked) as that takes a lot of extra time for me and (to be 100% honest) I’m not as confident in my coloring skills. My personal comics are a way of forcing myself to learn new techniques. 😉

    Other tools that I’ve used for various projects that I like (and don’t like) you can view on my syllabus — available for download in the left sidebar.

  • Why don’t you do all your work digitally? It’s easier.
  • I don’t like drawing comics on a wacom. TBH, If I had a Cintiq I’d probably be apt to do it way more, provided I can protect my eyes. That said, I love the feeling I get when I’m able to hold my finished work in my hands. Furthermore, I do want to try and do some digital-only illustrations to teach myself, but they’d strictly only be for training purposes. I have a few ideas on how I’d like to do that involving Patreon as time goes on…

  • Where can I read your personal comics and what are they about?
  • All that info is available on the pages for Chip and Walter and Time Trouble. Both comics have their own individual FAQs with shared and comic-specific info.

  • Do you do anything beyond CNW/TT or Disney/Sonic?
  • Yes. I’d love to do some autobiographical comics, maybe some random writing or practice illustrations. The whole purpose of me putting this page (my portfolio page) up was to allow myself to do different things that wouldnt fit on CNW/TT that I could do at my leisure. jongraywb.com is sort of a “catch-all”.

  • Who are your influences? What creatives would you recommend?
  • Disney wise, it goes without saying that the works Carl Barks and Don Rosa were essential for me. Ducktales ’87, Gummi Bears and Darkwing Duck were essential series’ for me growing up. I used to love Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse work but now that I’ve read the full breadth of it I have mixed opinions that I’m still sorting through. He’s my “extremely problematic fave” for lack of a better term. That said, my favorite Disney creators currently include the contemporary Italian work of Andrea “Casty” Castellan, Giorgio Cavazzano, Andrea Freccero and Francisco Artibani.

    Lately I’ve gotten into a lot of Franco-Belgian comics, specifically André Franquin’s Spirou, the art in Tome and Janry’s Spirou (I don’t really care for the racial caricatures in their run though), Peyo’s Smurfs and of course, the early work of Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny’s Asterix.

    It goes without saying that I also have a manga/anime influence in my work. Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira -Manga Ver.-), Naoki Urusawa (Pluto, Monster and 20th Century Boys),Akira Toriyama (Dragonball) and Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) are some of my favorite creators (though I would never emulate their work schedules). Slayers was my gateway drug into anime but i love the headiness, sci-fi machinery and discussed philosophies that go over my head in Ghost in the Shell.

    The Warner Bros Looney Tunes are also essential for me along with Steven Spielberg’s Freakazoid and I have a penchant for the black and white Fliescher Popeye shorts.

  • What’s your favorite movie?
  • Don’t laugh, but it will always be Clue. It’s so dumb and I love it.

  • PUNS.
  • They’re a gray area for me.

  • You sure do talk about race on your social media feeds quite a lot…
  • Yup. And that will never change. I’m a black man, raised in the deep south, whose grandfather was literally raised on the last of the Alabama plantations. I’ve known racism intimately and been forcibly made aware of my skin since I was in first grade. I, nor my parents, nor my grands are divorced from our skin color. I can’t take it off and I refuse to hide it. It is literally who I am, who my family is and what I will be for the rest of my life. It took me a long time for me to grow and gain confidence in myself (I’m still growing) but I love every bit of me and my people. And in a world that doubles down daily to thumb blackness, I choose to live with my skin, thrive in it and, hopefully, help other people of color see the beauty in themselves the way that others helped me. If you don’t like that, you don’t have to follow me. Block and mute buttons are beautiful things. But if you do follow me, I do expect you to listen and be respectful. I think that’s fair. 🙂

  • What was it like working with *INSERT PERSON HERE*? Can you tell me about *INSERT SCANDAL HERE*?
  • Please, please don’t do this.

    Unlike some folks, I don’t think that it’s professional to air dirty laundry into the open or discuss problematic creatives in a publicly negative light (within reason. Sometimes it can’t be helped and some issues need to be discussed).

    While I am often very opinionated about certain things in my industry and very open about the things I did/do as well as the vast array of wonderful, amazingly talented people I’ve worked with–I prefer to focus on the people who deserve praise rather than those who create chaos for chaos’ sake.

    That said, it’s rather rude to ask me questions of a negative venue like this (mining for gossip) because it puts me in an awkward professional situation. Basically, unless you’re a very close friend and I trust you with my personal, private feelings–don’t ask. I hope you understand.

    Questions? -Disney Specific-

  • What do you do for Disney Comics?
  • Mostly, I localize European comics and draw covers for the American releases of them. It’s my job to take those comics and do very *very* rough translations. My friend and editor, David Gerstein is far more fluent than I in many of these languages. He checks my work for accuracy. I take these translations and its my job to put them into an American English vernacular that sounds more like how the characters are supposed to sound/have always sounded in American Disney Comics (the same way that the characters “sound” in Overseas editions when people adapt Barks and Rosa stories in their own countries).

    If we didn’t do this, many of the straight-translated versions would read awfully bland with little-to-no-personality to them at all. Jokes, puns and wordplay that are region specific would read clumsily or, at worst, be completely lost on our readers. The majority of the Disney Comics fans that exist stateside tend to notice these things quickly and they tend not to like that.

    With Mickey Mouse, I lace the optimistic, pie-eyed, snarkier Floyd Gottfredson traits into his speech instead of the cutesy-poo marketing version. With Donald/Scrooge, it’s Barksian style speak all the way.

    It may read a little old-fashioned (depending on the story’s context like with Duck Avenger or with whatever Disney may want, I dial it back as needed) but it gets the job done and makes the majority of people happy. I try to do localization work as accurate to the stories as I can without changing the meaning of the stories’ text out of respect for the original authors. So far, I’ve had no complaints from them and if they’re happy, I’m happy. 🙂

    Current examples of my cover art and localizations currently on sale can be found on the right sidebar.

    A complete list of my work can be found on the Published Works page. Examples of my drawn work can be found in the Gallery.

  • If I wanted to start reading Disney Comics, where would I begin?
  • For Mickey Mouse, I would start with the IDW Publishing run over everything else. This isn’t me patting myself or our team on the back, but we’ve made a huge effort to try and cherry pick the best Mickey Mouse stories from the best creators we can find. There’s a lot of amazing Mickey stories (and a lot of bad ones too). With our run we’ve made an effort to choose a wide selection of stories we think people would like.

    If you want to get into classic Gottfredson Mickey, above all I’d recommend Books 3, 4 and 6 of the Gottfredson Library. Some of the strongest Mickey stories ever made are in these volumes. While there are some **REALLY** good ones in other volumes as well, I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that they also have some very uncomfortably dicey, dated material in them (Many of these stories were made in the 30s-40s so you already know what you’re up against). To follow that, all stories do come with disclaimers at the start. Some are worth a passing side-eye, some are blatantly bad and offensive, and a tiny handful that I won’t name are ignorantly egregious. As always, your mileage may vary.

    For the Ducks, I recommend Barks and Rosa without hesitation. Much like Gottfredson, there is some dicey stuff with Barks, but not as much as to raise an eyebrow outside of a few select cases of ignorance. Rosa’s stuff was produced in the 80s and 90s, so it’s a bit more contemporary. Again, the same claims that I made for the IDW Publishing run Mickey Mouse, also apply to the individual Donald and Scrooge series’ as well.

  • You know so much about the ducks and the mice! When will you do your own stories? I wanna see you write **INSERT CHARACTER HERE**
  • If you want to see me do them, ask IDW for them! (Lord knows, I wanna.)

    But it can’t happen without you. 🙂

  • Favorite Disney movie? Go!
  • A Goofy Movie is way better than Goof Troop ever was or ever wanted to be. I will fight you on this and I will win.

  • Yo. What up, fam? Hook me up with some park tickets!
  • Nah, fam. I can’t get you into a park. It don’t work like that. I can’t get myself into a park. I don’t have access to free park. Stop asking me about free park tickets, fam. =__= You keep asking me and we’re gonna box. (I love y’all, though. You know that, right?)

    Questions? -Sonic Specific-

  • What did you do for Sonic Comics?
  • I talk about that a little more on my bio page, but I was an artist, assistant editor and occasional writer for the Off-Panels on the Sonic comics.

    My first professional gig ever was Sonic the Hedgehog (Vol.1) #134. My last work on the Vol.1 series was creating the text and ancillary pages for Sonic #292.

  • What was it like?
  • Truthfully… I loved it a lot. But I was admittedly VERY green when I started. I’m amazed that I even got the gig given how amateurish my earliest work was. That said, I was an overeager noob without a lot of guidance, happy to work on something I loved to pieces, so I went nuts! It was definitely a learning experience and one I wouldn’t rescind. I wanted to draw more after Return to Angel Island but I knew to follow my path a little better and be a little warier by that point.

    When I came back to the book, I became a production assistant and eventually an assistant editor. I firmly believe that the first series’ comics were never stronger than when Vincent Lovallo and I were working on them. Both of us are Sonic fans and all the creatives involved during that tenure put their hearts into what they did. We all respected the material and the characters and, overall, it wasn’t about our egos, but about producing a marketable, monthly, serialized funny-animal story that was both fun, enjoyable and respectful to the franchise.

  • What work did you do on the book?
  • A complete list of my work can be found on the Published Works page. Examples of my drawn work can be found in the Gallery.

  • That slap, tho.
  • I’m sorry. Like I said, I was an overeager noob and I drew what I was given. 🙁

    Questions? -Commenting-

    Nothing fancy here, but I do have comments on an approval system which means “first” or “test” posts are a quick and easy way to guarantee that you won’t be allowed to post again. Hopefully I won’t have to update this part of the FAQ anymore than I have to. 😛

    Contact

    Contact published on

    Looking to get in contact with me for any reason? Just shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

    To follow me on social media, please check the Social Media Portal links on the left sidebar.

    For my students, more detailed contact info is on your syllabus. A listing of my class hours and building schedule is on the left sidebar.

    Thank you!

    Published Works

    Published Works published on

    Below you will find a complete listing of all the published licensed works Jonathan Gray has done to date, separated by category, updated throughout their various databases or presented on this page as necessary. If you’re interested in purchasing any of these comics, please check my Amazon Comixology Index (digital format), the respective publisher, or inquire with your local comic book store. Thank you!

    * Complete listing of my drawn covers + written articles
    * Complete listing of all translation and localization work

    All of this information can be found on the I.N.D.U.C.K.S. aka The International Network of Disney Universe Comic Knowers and Sources — a freely available database aiming to index all Disney Universe comics ever printed in the world. Additionally, all current monthly American Disney Comics are printed through IDW Publishing while hardcover library collections such as the Mickey Mouse Library by Floyd Gottfredson and the Snow White 80th Anniversary Collection are printed through Fantagraphics. You can order these books directly through their respective websites. For any work not done through IDW or Fantagraphics check your local comic shop.

    Sonic the Hedgehog & Mega Man

    My first professional gig was being featured as the lead artist for Archie Comics’ Sonic the Hedgehog (Vol.1) #134. Since then I have improved my craft and gone on to draw numerous issues, covers, frontispieces, newspaper style “Off-Panel” strips and provide character designs for the Sonic Comics. In March, 2015—just before the Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man Worlds Unite crossover—I became Assistant Editor for the entirety of the Archie Action line. My works have been featured in Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, Sonic Boom, Sonic Super Special Magazine, Sonic Super Digest, Mega Man and various assorted trade paperbacks. While these books are out of print, new Sonic comics (Vol.2 series) are currently available through IDW Publishing.

    Pencils

    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Vol.1):
      • #134 (“Home: Epilogue”)
      • #138-#141 (“Return to Angel Island, Parts 1-4”)
      • #144 (“Love and Loss”)
      • #152 (“Sonic’s Angels”)
      • #192 (“Father and Son”)
      • #194 (“Sleepless in Megaopolis”)
      • #222 (Frontispiece)
      • #229-#245, 273-276 (“Off Panel”)
    • Sonic Universe:
      • #33-#54, #75-82 (“Off Panel”)
    • Sonic Boom:
      • #9-#11 (“Off Panel”)
    • Sonic Super Special Magazine

      • #3-5, 7-13 (“Supplemental Art”)
    • Sonic Super Digest:
      • #1-3(“Supplemental Art & Frontispiece”)
    • Mega Man:

      • #49-55 (“Short Circuits”)


    Cover artwork

    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • #268 (Variant Cover; pencils)
    • Sonic Universe:
      • #68 (Tabloid Variant Cover; pencils)
      • #75 (Variant Cover 7.5; pencils)

    Scripts

    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Vol.1):
      • #144 (“Love and Loss”) — Uncredited for script fixes
      • #257-#260, #270 (“Off Panel”)
    • Mega Man:
      • #52-55 (“Short Circuits”)

     

     

    Bio -About Me-

    Bio -About Me- published on

    Hey! It's me!Jonathan H. Gray is a cartoonist from Birmingham, Alabama who has studied animation and illustration extensively and worked in the art field since 1997. He briefly attended Tennessee State University where he served as TSU’s first cartoonist and eventually, Visual Arts Manager on the editorial board of its college newspaper “The Meter.” From there, earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in Computer Arts and Animation from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. Completing his matriculation at SCAD, he continued his education further by earning his master’s degree in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts in New York, New York where he finished his schooling and entered the workforce.

    Jonathan’s numerous publishing credits involved working with Archie Comics, SEGA and Capcom for almost 10 years on their respective Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, Sonic Boom and Mega Man video game comic book series’ as an artist, occasional writer, production assistant and eventually, Assistant Editor for all of the titles in the Archie Action line plus assorted trades and crossovers. This included but was not limited to:

    * Maintaining, correcting and preparing all assorted Archie Action Titles for print.
    * Spearheading the visual direction/graphic design of Sonic Super Digest at it’s inception, almost in its entirety.
    * Building a coherent internal art archive from scratch and providing restoration on both classic and modern artwork.
    * Acting as Production Assistant for Archie’s primary line of newsstand digests.

    My first cover for IDW's "Uncle Scrooge" series
    Uncle Scrooge #2 Cover, Colors by Jake Myler

    Jonathan has also worked for 10 years with higher profile comic companies such as Fantagraphics, Egmont Norway, Gladstone/Gemstone, Boom Studios and IDW Publishing on their many licensed Disney Comics series. He has contributed monthly localization and translations, written historical articles about Disney Comics history and drawn an assortment of covers for well-known series’ such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Duck Avenger, Uncle Scrooge, DuckTales, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, Walt Disney Showcase, Snow White and many, many more.

    In 2001, Jonathan began work on of his two creator-owned web comics Chip and Walter and Time Trouble. Opting to grow and hone his craft more, he set them aside to pursue his professional career in earnest. In 2017, he used what knowledge he’d learn in the industry to relaunch both of his comics on the pages you see today. He is incredibly proud of these works and nurtures their growth alongside his own growth in both his career and personal life.

    Jonathan briefly stepped into the field of education in his home community of Birmingham, teaching assorted high school classes and doing English tutoring. In 2016-17, he moved up to work on the college level in the Cartooning Department at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, New York as an educator, training the next generation of cartoonists in the same craft he has lovingly spent so many years continuing to learn and master.

    Jonathan uses his work not just to entertain or make people think and laugh, but also to discuss social issues and encourage creator’s rights. His published articles and personal comics have discussed race, gender and equality as best as he can muster on those topics. His attitude is that if he has been lucky enough to be blessed with a platform then it is his duty to speak-up, educate, learn, grow and equally — give back to his community the best way he knows how.

    Although he was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jonathan has lived all across the Southeast United States including Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Huntsville and Nashville. After his graduation he briefly moved to Los Angeles, ultimately choosing to set up shop in the general New York and New Jersey areas. He currently resides in East Orange, New Jersey where he has lived for 10 years.

    Jonathan has an assortment of family and friends that he loves, but he credits his mother with getting him started on his path. She has encouraged and supported him above and beyond in both the good times and the bad, lighting a fire underneath him when he desperately needed it. Without her guidance and wisdom, his progress to date would not have been possible. He is eternally thankful to her for that to the extent that every piece of art and written word on these pages are dedicated to her.

    For a complete listing of Jonathan’s published works to date, please see the Works page.

    For a look at Jonathan’s portfolio, please see the link to his Behance profile or check out his web comics (both located in the sidebars)

    Hey! It’s REAL Me!

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