April 27, 2009


I will be away from this blog and other personal internet endeavors such as my Twitter, etc. until January, 2010. If you would like to keep up to date on what I'm doing, or follow my projects, please sign up for my newsletter, which I will keep updated during this time. I may pop up in other places, but you'll know all about that if you sign up for the newsletter.

Thanks for your support! See you in January!


March 24, 2009

Come see Jamar on stage!

Why Am I Not Famous?!?
Come see Philadelphia’s only live comedy talk show, hosted by 2008 Philly’s Phunniest winner Kent Haines. This month, Onion writer Mike Drucker and comic book creator Jamar Nicholas join Kent for an evening of hilarity and mirth. BYOB!

Why Am I Not Famous?!?
8pm, Wednesday, March 25th
The Shubin Theatre – 407 Bainbridge Street
Tickets $5 – BYOB!

February 10, 2009

Jamar Gets a Book Deal!

The big story of the past season is that I am proud to announce that I will be illustrating a 150+ page graphic adaption of Geoffrey Canada's FIST STICK KNIFE GUN: A Personal History of Violence in America.

You can read more about the acquisition as my publisher, Beacon Press gives some quick PR treatment.

Also here is my first blog post on the Beacon Broadside, Beacon's blog.

I will be posting there during my time creating the book and updating the readers with illustration progress reports. I'm real happy about this, and hope that while you're waiting for me to finish drawing, you snatch up the original memoirs.

I'm very proud to be attached to this project, and hope you check out what Geoff Canada is talking about. If you live in NYC, you probably already know who he is. Peep the Youtoobs. Even the president knows what's up.

February 03, 2009

T.O.N.Y.: Tapped Out on New York?

Look for my interview with my new pal Bryan Lee O'Malley in the next issue of DRAW!
You can't miss it - it's on the cover!

Hey you motor scooters!

So I have on my itinerary, a trip to the lush metropolis of NYC this weekend for the New York Comic Con, but it may not come to pass. If I do, it'll be on some secret-squirrel in/out type episode - where I exit a cab at the Javitz in slo-motion, my scarf flipping out behind me all Michael Bay style. There might even be doves. I can settle for white pigeons in a pinch.

In any rate, If you're there and you see me, then you saw me. Comic cons for me, besides work and pressing the flesh with the fans, are micro family reunions, where I see old friends for maybe the only time in a year. It's tough to not go.

One thing that's gonna be there is Bryan Lee O'Malley and his 5th Scott Pilgrim book, which I'd like to scoop up, as I love what he's doing right now in his career. I had the chance to interview him a while back for DRAW! magazine, which you may know by now, I put my thing down in from time to time. Mal was real cool and I can't wait for the issue to come out, which I think will be sometime this month. I'll let you know when it drops, but if you're at the con, go check out my pals at the Twomorrows booth, who publishes the magazine and have wonderful people working for them that love the medium of comics.

Are you following me on twitter? You need to be. That'll be the quickest way to see my moves these days - like if I'm on my way to NYC!

LEON: The Anti-Leon League

Click the image for Size Uppinmization!

This is my latest LEON strip, for Delaware County Magazine. This one introduces a bunch of new villains, and ones you'll see a lot more of soon! I think I hit a few home runs in this strip, as I've gotten some great compliments on it.

LEON: Back to School

Click the image for biggimizing!

LEON: Protector of the Playground strip from the fall - nothing like new Back to School clothes!

This strip quickly introduces PRINCIPAL PRINCIPLE. He's got his own story that you'll see as we move ahead. Actually the first appearance of the Principal was in my first LEON story, an 8-pager that appeared in EVEN MORE FUND COMICS back in forever-ago. Try to scoop it up now for barter!

January 18, 2009

Jamar E. Nicholas: HANDSOME GENIUS!

Hey yo!

Yours truly was a recent guest on my good friend Anthony Kingdom James' ill pod/blogcast called THE HANDSOME GENIUS CLUB. I am now a Handsome Genius, so you have to live with it. Please visit his site, and listen to Kingdom and I rant about the Eagles/Steelers meeting in the superbowl (NOT GONNA HAPPEN NOW - THANKS IGGLES!), the best cheesesteak in Philly, and my cartooning career so far. Also a great spoiler that I haven't put on the blog yet, so if you pay attention, you'll hear what it is.

Kingdom's interviews are filled with geekitry like comics, sports, videogames, professional wrestling and some light cussing, so be warned that I may drop a bomb or two.

So go listen to this week's podcast and tel me what you thought.

January 08, 2009

Boogaloo Under the Hood (REMIX)

From 2005:
Happy Holidays.

So todays post, I thought would be good about giving thanks, and all that. I'm real thankful for a lotta stuff, like my good friends - civillian and comic book pals alike.

Another thing I'm thankful for, was the opportunity to work on DETECTIVE BOOGALOO over at superstar Kevin Smith's moviepoopshoot.com site. I have nothing but great things to say about the crew there, and I'm still friends with them. Editor Chris Ryall (The same Chris Ryall who is now head honcho at IDW) gave me free reign to do whatver I wanted and never had a bad word to say about me or my stuff. He's a saint. Now go buy IDW comics!

Going with that train of thought, I was cleaning out my files and found a row of tutorial files that I probably did for my old group, the Indy Cred All Stars. This was for the second strip from the Detective Boogaloo run on poopshoot, and back when I was putting a WHOLE lot of time into each strip. Not that I didn't put the time in - but I was still the virgin, and wanted to make sure I represented every week. I believe these used to take me around 10 hours to do. What killed was

a) I still didn't know the characters well, so I was still trying to find the right voices and look for them

b) I was still teaching myself how to color digitally

c) 'stuff just takes time to do'.

Also, that I went through a couple of stages each strip. Basically when you do your own stuff with no other hands in your cooking pot, you're essentially drawing the same thing 3-4 times. From roughs, to tighter roughs, to layouts, to penciling, to inking, to coloring, to lettering, there's a LOT of steps in there. Just pray that the computer demons don't decide to freeze your system at 3:00am. I LOVE when that would happen. SAVE EARLY SAVE OFTEN!

Anyway, what I have brought to the class today, is a little dialogue on how I approached the strips at the time. Look for new Boogaloo stuff at the begining of the year, as I'm planning on restarting the property.

Figure A here, is what my general roughs 'version one's' turn out to look like. I have an idea of where I wanted the strip to go, so I'd set out to lay out the page/s and block in some notes I had to myself, so I wouldn't forget them later when I was inking. As you can see I had 2 pages here, which got turned into 1 page. I forget why now - probably because of time constraints. A lot of things get shaved down by not having enough time or energy to do something else. If you can look closely at that rough up top, I have a couple of gags on Ice Tre's 40 bottle, - like calling it 'Assed Out 800', a play off of Old English 800 - more effectionately known in the outer provinces as "Old Gold", "8-Ball" or "OH EE". Anyway, I cut it out because I just didn't think it was necessary. I cut out a lot of stuff, like I was gonna have Ice Tre' rapping in the strip, so I wrote out a couple of bars for him to spit in the recording booth, but again, Cut. There's a lot of cutting that comes into my strips when I did them every week - I had more ideas in my head than room to fit them all.

OH! Also in the balding reporters hand, he has a copy of 'The Sauce' - my riff on THE SOURCE magazine. In Bling City, Ice Tre is the Alpha Rapper, so he's always on covers to the big magazines.

Ice Tre' got defined in this strip, where I wanted him to be an amalgalm of every 'pretty thug' type that was in Hip Hop at the time. Tho he looks most like Nelly, he's not supposed to be Nelly - but he can be if you want him too. He's Fiddy, he's everybody. An ebodiment of where my head was at about the music at the time. Every rapper had some sort of gimmick, so instead of the band-aid like Nelly had, I gave him football eyeblack under his eyes, and ice cubes instead of diamonds on his ears. Also his gold medallion is a gold ice tray, with real ice cubes in it. Now in hindsight, I never showed him using it - maybe when I bring the strip back, we'll see him make himself a drink and crack ice in the glass from it. Now that's pretty funny.

I remember a while back reading some dood on a message board who tried to snap on me about Tre' and how it had been 'done before'. People take things so literally - I've always tried to avoid the obvious joke and go a little deeper. Sometimes I succeed - sometimes I don't, but Tre', cheesy name in all, I really dig. His name is SUPPOSED to be bad. DUH.

After I did the rough stage, what I normally did was go over the stuff I was gonna keep in a felt tip marker of some sort (I'm known for being a 'whatever's in front of me' type of inker - I don't care, if it makes a mark I'll use it) and tighten up the rough. After that, on 11x17 Strathmore Bristol, later on smaller stuff, I'd lightbox the tighter roughs in blue col-erase pencil, and then ink it. I think for this strip I used all microns, and maybe some other stuff for the thick outlines. I'm not a huge Micron mark - I use brush nowadays just as easily as a techpen - it really depends on what kinda line I'm going for. Then I ruled out the panels.

Another little tip - I HATE ruling stuff out. I'd rather just free-form it, because when I do use ruled lines, it seems like I have to now follow that ideal through the rest of the process. There were a lot of times where i'd rule out my panels, but not use a straight edge to ink it - just to keep it loose.

I also pulled out the old zipatone and laid in that pattern behind Tre's head just to break up the flow of the layout. I love mixing the oldschool with the new. Zipatone is almost impossible to find besides that manga stuff - but to me, the original zip and Chartpak is where it's at.

After the inking is done, I'd go into Photoshop (6 I think I had at the time) and drop all the colors in . When I felt up to it, I did my 'Disney Style' meaning I'd do color holds on the outlines of the characters. Later on - I'd stop doing this because it'd take me HOURS to finish a strip at the color stage. I'm no coloring genius, and I traditionally don't color like everybody else - like I don't do 'Flats' and all that stuff - I just go in there and attack the page until it's colored with the palette that comes with Photoshop - no tweaks or brushes. I still work like that.

As you can see at this stage, I'm just laying in the color - no words yet.The FINAL stage is doing the lettering, which I did as well in Photoshop. I know it's best to do the stuff in Illustrator, but doing a weekly strip for me was more about getting it done than how you did it. Photoshop is faster in this case. Now if this was for print and I was doing a book, then yeah I'd do the lettering in Illo, but this is just getting zapped to 72 DPI and it works good enough. BOOM.

And there it is - the quick and dirty Boogaloo strip. Hope you enjoyed the little look into the way I work(ed). I'm looking forward to starting up Boogaloo again, because I miss it - and somebody's gotta put a foot up hip-hop's ass.

Might as well be me.

January 04, 2009


SOUND of the funky drummer!

What's going on! Another year down, and I kept pretty much on the low-low the last couple of months of 2008, so what can you do?

I have thought about doing a 2008 recap, on all the stuff I didn't blog about, so if I haven't done that before February, you may not see it.

I've started a pretty robust mailing list you can join (look up and to the right) to keep up on my breaking news that doesn't fit on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled.

If you look at my 2008 NY post, I had a lot of stuff to promise - this year is all about cutting the fat - streamlining my process, my deal, and what I spend my time on that's of most importance to me.

Hope you can join me on the journey - it's gonna be interesting!