Friday, December 22, 2006

When I was a kid the notion of Santa Clause always gave me the jitters. The thought of a huge lumbering stranger entering my house via a dark little chimney on a cold winter night is pretty unsettling. So with that in mind here’s the Christmas card I sent out this year to friends and family. I took some inspiration from 1980’s horror like Creepshow and Tales from Crypt, so I hope it doesn’t spook Nana, Pop and the rest of the Parpan clan too much.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The last couple of weeks have been a ball. I took a much needed trip across the back roads of California, my destination being the winter forests of Yosemite and the streets of San Francisco – but finally I’ve returned, and I’m ready to dive back into work. Here’s something I did for my Tom Blackbird project.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Halloween

“The cries behind the locked house doors grew more and more exasperated as shadows of boys flew by windows. Half-dressed boys, greasepaint on their cheeks; here a hunchback, there a medium size giant. Attics were still being rummaged, old locks broken, old steamer chests disemboweled for costumes.”

-Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree

Here’s a Halloween card I recently sent out.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Grog and Trog

These two feral fellows are the villainous henchmen in my Tom Blackbird project.

In celebration of this Friday the 13th weekend, I wanted to introduce everyone to a seriously spooky website that's been giving me the jitters for countless years. The animator is Mr. Edward Bain, and his wicked little site, The Devils Tramping Ground is an interactive experience that’s going to scare the living daylights out of you!

Click here to ENTER!

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Extraordinary news folks, the Parpan Brother’s were featured this past Thursday on the ultra cool website Drawn! Our official website, Goblin Fish Press and my book, Gwango’s Lonesome Trail were both featured. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

Thanks Jared for the pretty words and all the support. You’re a true Amigo!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Okay, so after weeks of labor and toil my website, Goblin Fish Press is finally open for business. I undertook this venture with my collaborator and Brother, Josh Parpan. He’s also a writer and illustrator-- his first book under the Baby Tattoo Label will be out next year-- and we thought it would be a swell idea if we had a joint website where we could sell our books, merchandise and showcase our like minded artwork.

So sit back, relax and gawk at the ghastly freak show known as the Goblin Fish Press!

Also, my new book Gwango’s Lonesome Trail finally arrives in stores this Friday. You can order a copy right now on!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Some more conceptual work from the Blackbird book. This one smells like a secondhand book store. So kickback and have a read while the smell of antique books, cat hair and ancient dust slowly chokes the air around you!

Oh, and while your at it, check out the new official Red Cygnet Press blog. There you can find posts from me and some of the other authors and illustrators.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thrilling news folks, Gwango’s Lonesome Trail is now available on!!! So if you’re a fan of lonely dinosaurs and bizarre roadside tales, you can order a copy on their marvelous sight for the low price of 17.95! And if you like what you see, feel free to write a customer review—I’d really appreciate it!

To celebrate the occasion I wanted to post something on the evolution of one of the books illustrations

It started with a desire to pay homage to one of my favorite photographs by Ansel Adams. His snapshot of the church house in Taos is really spectacular, and it seemed to perfectly fit a particular scene in the story where Gwango encounters an artificial dinosaur attraction in the middle of the desert.

Here’s a little sketch from my composition book.

And here’s the finished illustration.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Here’s some more concept work for my new bird book. Unlike my last book-- Gwango’s Lonesome Trail, the new one will feature ink illustrations. Because of this I’ve been working the old ink pen like mad lately, trying to come up with a line style I’m happy with.

In other news, this week I have an article featured on the website Roadside Peek. It’s about my encounters with a bizarre little roadside attraction called the Lonely Bones.

So if you’re an aficionado of prehistoric dinosaurs and humdinger tales, click here to have a gander!

Monday, August 28, 2006

So why have I posted a giant chicken? There’s a simple explanation. You see, I started a new book project a few months back and it’s all about birds. I’m going to start showing some early concept work from the project, and what better way to usher in the first post then with a king-sized chicken!

By the way, the enormous chicken lives about forty minutes from my house, on the side of the road in Banning, Ca.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Look what I made!

Advanced copies of my book have arrived from the enchanted land of China, and yesterday morning I had my first gander at the finished product. Look how it glistens in the smoldering California sun!

Here’s another illustration from the book. The gent in the foreground is Sam, the lonely projectionist of the abandoned drive-in movie theatre.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I’m currently in the process of writing a new book. Whenever I’m experiencing a bit of the old writers block, I always keep a Microsoft paint file on hand--there's nothing like a 24-bit illustration to clear the mind. Here’s something I’ve been working on for a few days. I call it Brothers Keeper.

I also have some really fine news to report. At age 23, I have recently accomplished one of my life’s ambitions! Some of my photographs and writings are currently featured on a cheesy roadside attraction sight called Roadside Peek. I’m genuinely thrilled, so click here if you wish to gander at the bizarre attraction known as The Lonely Bones!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Gwango’s Lonesome Trail will be out in bookstores in about two months. As of now, the printing stage is almost complete. By next month, I’ll be getting my first gander at the finished product, and it’s all really exciting! So for the next few months, I thought it might be appropriate to begin showcasing some of the finished illustrations.

This particular illustration has been shown on this blog in various forms of completion. But here’s the finished version. It’s from a scene in the story called Santa Pocatello Lights.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Awhile back, I wrote a story called Tin Skin. It was my first serious attempt at writing something for kids, and for that reason, it’s a bit rusty. But the basic stories there, along with some really cool concept illustrations by my brother Josh Parpan. So if you want to have a read, here it is: TIN SKIN

Friday, July 07, 2006

San Jacinto, California. Circa the summer of 2000.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Here’s a small bit of an illustration from Gwango’s Lonesome Trail.

The illustration was inspired by the above photograph, taken in the summer of 2000. I found this strange skull in the hills of San Jacinto, Ca. It’s made of wood, and sits alongside a collection of other carved skeletons—a Raptor and Pterosaur. I did some research, trying to find the sculptor of the works, but had little success. The sculptures were destroyed the following summer in order to build a housing development. They’ll forever stay a mystery I guess.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Something from the dingy dark bowels of my sketchbook. I apologize if it’s a little moldy and musty looking, but this drawing is over a hundred and fifty years old! I drew it during my days as a Victorian naturalist working for the British Museum of Natural History.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Here’s some ruff concept work for a new book project I’ve started. I guarantee, the story is totally different from my other book, and has nothing to do with dinosaurs or any other kind of extinct primordial beast. It just happens to have a small and very minor role featuring a prehistoric Pterodactyl. That I promise.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gwango is getting ready for the printer this week, so in celebration, I present a smorgasbord of random stuff. There’s a couple of ink drafts and some designee stuff I did for the title page. Bon Appetite!

Friday, May 26, 2006

I have dreams of one day owning my own factory on the edge of town. In my factory I’ll make Tortilla Chips, or maybe Cactus Candy or Chewy Pecan Log Rolls or something. And in my factory, on all the walls, silos and smokestacks, you’ll see the quality logo of Justin Patrick Parpan:

If you want to work in my factory on the edge of town, please contact me or one of my associates and well get back to you real soon!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Here’s some new-fangled end paper designs for the book. I embraced my primitive side, and really went caveman on this particular version. So I hope no ones to repulsed by the crudeness of it all.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lonelier then a Trucker on a Midnight Run…

Here’s a tiny piece from one of the new illustrations. It’s from a scene near the end of the story, when Gwango finally reaches the end of the lonely trail. He’s alone, he’s dejected-- he’s the loneliest prehistoric reptile this side of the Rio Grand!

I also wanted to announce the start of a fantastic new blog! The amazing work of Cal Arts Character Animation graduate Jesus Chambrot can be seen HERE!

Friday, April 21, 2006

I’ve been working with the publishers on cover design stuff for the last week. The titles been changed since then, and I had to beg them for the privileges of designing my own font type, but things are running smooth now, and where coming to a very real outcome…

Friday, April 07, 2006

From the depths of the lonesome desert comes something bizarre!!!

I had a bit of free time this week, so I did a little something extra for the Gwango book. Quite a stylish fellow, don’t you think?

Friday, March 31, 2006

Here’s the design I’m using for the end paper inside my Gwango book. I looked at old 1950’s, early 60’s motel wallpaper for inspiration.

Twilight of the Biltmore

These are some stills from my first year film. I shot it on location at the abandoned Biltmore Hotel in Palms Springs.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The higher-ups at the publishing house said they wanted a narrator character in my Gwango book. I said, let the narrator be a yodeling cowboy and you have yourself a deal!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Here's something I did for my character design class.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Here’s a spot illustration for the Gwango story. It’s the last illustration of the book, the finale hurrah, so I wanted it to resemble a shot from a Sergio Leone movie or something--you know, real grandiose.

Paint picture of the day: Devil in the Starry Night

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Gwango Encounters the Illusive Modern Man!

I’m thrilled to say that one of my illustrations from Gwango the Great made it onto the website Drawn. I’m really excited about this, so thanks again Jared!
Click here for the link.

Above is another illustration for the story, along with a ruff draft version of the drawing that I thought merited exhibition. This scene is a little ode to my home town of Palm Springs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I came up with a character awhile back...His name is Jack Castle, a teenage kid who leaves behind the comforts of suburban living for a feral life spent in a faraway vacant lot. I'll get around to posting the story one of these days. Until then, here’s a still from the movie version I made back in the good old community college days.

“The life of a PRIMITIVE is the life of a rebellious nomad who little enjoys the company of others.”
- Jack Castle, the Primitive

Do you know what time it is boys and girls? Its time for the paint drawing of the day!!!

Jo, click here!!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Guacamole Breath!

Here’s another drawing for the Gwango project. In the scene, Gwango has a mighty foul breath, and it ends with the skittish lizard barking Spanish cuss words and squirting blood from its eyeballs.