Starving Artist, Jim Public Presents, Volume 1, by James Hough, cover image

Buy Starving Artist now!

* Starving Artist: Jim Public Presents, Volume 1
* written and illustrated by James Hough
* published 2013, by Jim Public

DALLAS, TX — Jim Public is proud to announce the publication of the new comic book Starving Artist: Jim Public Presents, Volume 1 by Dallas-based artist James Hough. The comic tells the story of Jim, an artist and family man whose aesthetic ambitions are vitally linked to his domestic and gastric aspirations.

“Jim has a plan to sell a painting and use the cash to take his family out for burgers,” says Mr. Hough. “Starving Artist is a slice-of-life story that connects the artist’s career to the artist’s home and family. It is an Anti-Myth of the Artist.”

The reader first sees Jim floating pajama-clad through his dreams of fame, fortune, and food before he is abruptly awakened by an early alarm clock. From there he makes his kids breakfast and kisses them good-bye, setting off to exhibit his painting on the downtown Dallas streets.

The story is semi-autobiographical, much of it based on Hough’s experiences as the proprietor of his mobile gallery of contemporary art, Jim Public’s Truck.

“The gallery continues its mission ‘to present artwork in unusual, spontaneous, and neighborly ways’ with the publication of Starving Artist,” says Hough. “The comic exists digitally and in the traditional paper format, and it costs the tiniest fraction of an original painting, for example. It is an extremely accessible piece of art, a bit spontaneous and very neighborly.”

The comic also features Hough’s new painting Burger Night and a bonus educational chart entitled “All Art Is Abstract Art” (below), which includes the artist’s renderings of famous paintings from art history organized into a concise lesson on abstract art.

View the official book trailer for Starving Artist by James Hough.

Starving Artist: Jim Public Presents, Volume 1 by James Hough is available on paper at and digitally at eBookstores everywhere.

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James Hough, All Art Is Abstract Art

James Hough, Starving Artist, Page 1

James Hough, Starving Artist, Page 2

James Hough, Starving Artist, Page 3


The Official Sidekick Handbook by Too Slim and Texas Bix Bender, Gibbs Smith Press, illustrated by James Hough, aka Jim Public

Buy at Amazon.

* The Official Sidekick Handbook
* written by Too Slim and Texas Bix Bender
* illustrations by James Hough
* published March 1, 2011, by Gibbs Smith

Authors Too Slim and Texas Bix Bender pay tribute to the sidekick archetype with step-by-step slacker advice, including demonstrations on how to make your hero look better by making yourself the fool and investigations of sidekicks throughout history, both actual and imagined.

I did about 60 black and white ink drawings for the book, some of which I've included below. I looked at Will Eisner and Morris of Lucky Luke fame for inspiration, whose works, along with those of Gyo Fujikawa, are always within reach for study or pleasure.

I don’t make any royalties for the sale of this book, but I do collect a few cents if you click above or right here and buy it from Amazon. I am proud of this book and I love to see it do well. I owe a Texas-sized debt of gratitude to my friend Lisa Anderson–author and funny person–for helping me with the project from beginning to end. Thanks, Lou!

James Hough, Small Ra from Official Sidekick Handbook 1

James Hough Scarabettra Comic from Official Sidekick Handbook 1

James Hough, Scarabettra Comic from Official Sidekick Handbook 2

James Hough, Political Archetype from Official Sidekick Handbook

James Hough, Literary Archetype from Official Sidekick Handbook


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A Few Digital Sketches, Soon to Be Finished Paintings

Below are a few digital sketches that represent a snapshot of what has been going on in my painting studio lately. Working digitally like this has the huge benefit of offering infinite flexibility when working with colors. I also love to dig for intuitive geometric compositions in my paintings, and Adobe Illustrator is well suited to this kind of sketching.

horizontal-studiesThis sketch should be a finished painting by now, but I keep revisiting it, tweaking the colors to try to achieve the balance of light/dark and intensity that it needs. I ended up going with the top design with the chain of small rectangles running across the diagonal.

red-pink-white-blue-conceptContinuing to play with the red/pink/white/blue palette and simple—bordering on obvious!—geometry.

austin-commission-conceptI am currently making the painting that is depicted in this digital concept photo. I created the palette after spending some time at the collectors’ land in west Texas, home of big skies, cedar, mesquite, and earth. When finished, this painting will be an important piece of the collectors’ newly remodeled home!

orange-green-red-studyThis sketch did not make the cut for the above commission, but it has found a place in my painting queue. It uses the west Texas palette, and does some of the things with simple color, light and space that keep my eyeballs coming back to look again.

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