Little Red Fish update

First two panels of the latest completed page for "The Little Red Fish" and the logos for opposite factions. You can follow more of my work and see the rest of this page by subscribing to my monthly news letter here
To provide context, the comic is a political allegory about the events that led up to the Iranian revolution in '79 - as well as the revolution itself.  This story focuses more on the leftist groups during the time - a story not often told in the United States.
Logo info
The top logo was designed to give a similar vibe as the Shah's lion emblem (Heron's represent the Shah's faction).

The bottom logo references leftist colors and graphic approaches. The acronym is a reference to "The Iranian People's Fedai Guerillas" - one of the leftist groups around during that time period. TGPG stands for "The Gulf People's Guerillas" (This name is just a stand in for now and is subject to change.)

More info and sample pages can be found here


Illustation for Richmond Magazine

Latest illustration appearing in this January 2014 issue of Richmond Magazine (CLICK THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE). It is an illustrated timeline on the infamous Lumpkins Jail plot and slave burial ground to coincide with the second proposal for a ballpark in the area. As the viewer moves deeper in the earth they mover further in the past. The closest figure is supposed to be a reference to Gabriel Prosser, a black smith and slave who planned what would have been one of the largest slave rebellions in the US.

I also put together an objective timeline for this image. There was so much history. I wish we could put it all in there. Two of the most interesting nuggets I found dealt with who Lumpkin left his estate to and the timing of Hurricane Gaston.

Not included in the published timeline ... Mr. Lumpkin left his estate to Mary Lumpkin even though they weren't married. I also found referenced historical documents implying that she was his slave.

Hurricane Gaston hit Richmond on the anniversary of the storm that prevented Gabriel Prosser from launching his uprising. The damages of this storm would be used as a springboard to develop a ballpark in the same area Prosser is buried. This fact and more are included in the timeline that can be found in the latest issue of Richmond Magazine and eventually posted on their website here
More of my work can be found here: www.mendedarrow.com


Vegetable Heart Print

8”X10” Vegetable Heart Print originally sculpted for Vegan Action. Only $10. You can purchase a copy here.  (Orders will not be fulfilled until after the holidays.)


Dogwood Deer Skull Prints

These are now available in the print section of my store. Only $10 each for these 12X18 prints. Just go here to purchase.


Deer Skull and Birdies

Some changes might be made for the client's version.

I know for sure that I plan on making 12"X18" prints of this image available for $10, but also plan on a larger size that I will update everyone on soonish. You can email me directly for inquiries about purchasing a 12X18 at bizhan(at)mendedarrow.com.

Feel free to also check out my store at www.mendedarrow.com for skateboards, prints, and tees. 


VCUarts Communication Arts Posters

Below are a few posters I designed to promote our department.

The first one's point of departure was sending posters with statements about art by our faculty to high schools around the country. High school art teachers are lacking in resources, so I thought that this would be well received since art/design schools typically send poster advertisements for their respective schools. The funding isn't possible for a massive campaign so we are going to distribute them internally. 

The next image is a statement by faculty TyRuben Ellingson's father, William J Ellingson. The image is by TyRuben Ellingson, a concept artist who has recently worked on Elysium and Pacific Rim. 

The third is a typographic experiment with our mission statement. Its a work in progress. We are encouraging faculty to also try their hand at doing a mission statement poster. The type is collaged from scanned photo-copies that were distorted by moving the type as it was being scanned.


Silly Bus Snow Man

I already turned in this vector illustration project, but have kept messing with combining parts of what I like from various iterations of the project and came up with this guy. The project was designed to be animated for one of Silly Bus' children's music videos.

Note: I really enjoy the exploded version of this. 


VCUarts Dept Overlap

Below is an infographic mapping out some of the VCUarts Departmental overlap based on topics and category. This version wasn't used, and therefore, doesn't have the appropriate edits to make it completely accurate.

The bottom tier shows categories of departments. For example, CRAF (Dept of Crafts and Material Studies) is somewhere between design and fine arts. Art History and Art Education feed all the other visual arts departments so they overlap many arts departments.

Every other tier present a selection of various categories that multiple departments explicitly teach. For example, most of the departments might use drawing, but only a select few have a drawing course.


V for Vendetta fan art piece

Below is a fan art piece of “V for Vendetta.” I’ve always wanted to do an illustration of V. This image is not endorsed by DC Comics or Vertigo. It’s just some fan art. Above is also a detail of the original ink drawing. 
V for Vendetta is a trademark of DC Comics Inc., DC Entertainment Inc.

I attempted this as a test to see if I would enjoy illustrating someone else’s character because I plan on opening myself up to commissions. It was super fun.

If anyone is interested, you can direct inquiries to bizhan@mendedarrow.com. More work can be found at http://www.mendedarrow.com
On a side note, I’ve always wondered if V’s character makes reference to the Anarchist, Johann Most and Eve to Emma Goldman.

Johann Most had scars he hid with facial hair similar to V’s hiding of their burns with a mask. Johann Most introduced Anarchism to Emma Goldman - like what V did for Eve.

When in a fake prison, Eve mentions that the name “Emma” is scrawled on the cot. Since that piece of information seemed out of place, I’ve been convinced it’s a little nugget that’s part of an indirect reference to these two Anarchists. 


First four pages of Little Red Fish

First four pages and a pin-up of “The Little Red Fish” illustrated by Bizhan Khodabandeh and written by James Moffitt. The blue lined grid exhibits how I am basing the compositions on the golden ratio throughout the comic. These first few pages establish the context of the fish society.
The Little Red Fish will be a political allegory in serial comic form and in the style of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The story is inspired by the Iranian revolution of 1979—starting with the coupe of Prime Minister Mossaddegh up to the rise of Khomeini. Khodabandeh & Moffitt both have a background in political activism and have been researching the revolution using historic texts. Khodabandeh has also interviewed leftists directly involved in the revolution. The comic will be made available through digital installments (winter 2013/ spring 2014) and eventually in print by Moffitt who will be publishing the book through his company, Sink/Swim Press. The book is intended to complement Khodabandeh’s adaptation of The Little Black Fish which is currently available at MendedArrow.com in both digital and printed formats.


New gear in my store at a discount too!

NEW GEAR (prints and shirts) at the online store on my website (www.mendedarrow.com)

A lot of this stuff is 25-50% off the normal rate. Take this opportunity to purchase some sweet gifts for friends and family!


Thinks Small Exhibition

Above are my two pieces in Think Small 7! They are mounted prints of a digital collage on wood with a wash of white acrylic and clear coat. All the proceeds from my pieces benefit Art Space. Below is more info about the events scheduled during the time that the exhibit is up.

think small 7!

October 25 through December 22, 2013

A biennial international miniature invitational exhibition. Think Small! is a major Fundraising Event for artspace. The 2013 exhibition is the 7th installment in the series.
Think Small 7!

Featuring works by over 250 artists in our Main, Frable, Helena Davis and Suzanne Foley Galleries
Flash Fiction stories that are 100 words or less 
 Friday, Nov. 8
Flash Fiction Reading
Free and Open to the Public

Friday, Nov. 22
Mid-Show Reception
Free and Open to the Public


NEW WORK: A couple more quick posters.

A couple more quick posters. The faces on the theatre poster are by Robert Meganck. One of the posters is for an event that's open to the public. More info about that event below.

The Physics of Storytelling: A forum discussion featuring a concept artist, effects artist, set designer, and costume designer. 

FREE and open to the public. 
1PM, Nov. 5th
VCU Commons Theatre
907 Floyd Ave.

TyRuben Ellingson
Assistant Professor, Communication Arts

Toni-Leslie James
Associate Professor, Theatre

Ronald Keller
Professor, Theatre

Matt Wallin
Associate Professor, Communication Arts


Started working on Richmond Monuments again.

Below are the pencils, inks and final for a web comic that I've been doing for awhile. I took a bit of a hiatus and am now back on it. (Click images to enlarge.)

This let's you see some of the decisions that I make while doing the pencils and inks. You also get to see see the smudging of my inked line work that was cleaned up digitally.

Trying to wrap up this story arc. It's been my second adventure in the comics medium and I've learned a lot during the process. You can find more here: www.richmondmonuments.com or start at the beginning here.


New Work:Joint Chiefs of Math and 1994! Poster

Below is a snapshot of my process making an Illustrative poster. (Click images to enlarge)

 The first image exhibits my thumbnail process figuring out the gesture, composition etc. You can see some notation on the rule of thirds  and line of action. Typically I also have word lists and take notes on semiotics & metaphors. This project was less about communicating an idea and more about captivating the audience into reading the info. 

The second image is a pencil drawing where I develop just enough information for me to begining inking. This saves on time. 

Next the inking stage you might notice that there are a few details still missing. I often do black-blocks, textures and minor details digitally. The graffiti piece on the bottom right was recreated using a digital tablet. It was a heck of a lot of fun too. 

Finally the finished piece with type. I left a lot of negative space at the top of the poster to place the text. I don't often have an idea in mind for it's layout because the illustration typically changes so much during the process.

I plan on potentially turing this into a skate deck and art print without the text.



Forum Discussion: Diverse Studies. Diverse Solutions

Designed the poster for this forum event.

A forum discussion about the relationship
between art, science, and the humanities

1PM, Tuesday, October, 15th
VCU Student Commons Theater
907 Floyd Ave. Richmond, VA 23220

Sarah Faris
Certified Medical Illustrator
Assistant Professor, Dept of Comm Arts

Jorge Benitez
Assistant Professor, Dept of Comm Arts

Michael Peoples
Senior Scientist, Pfizer

Tomorrow Richmond Zine Fest 2013

I will be tabling at the Richmond Zine Fest with some members from our "Comics Church," a Sunday morning comic creator meet-up. The artists attending zine Fest with me include: Jared Cullum, Mark Luetke, and Anne-Marie Wonder

Most of my work will be 50% off. So $5/$10 shirts. $5 screen printed posters and discounts on comics and skate decks.

The fest is tomorrow, October 5th between 11-6 at the Gay Community Center of Richmond (GCCR) 1407 Sherwood Ave Richmond, VA

Please stop by and say hello.


"The Richmond Zine Fest is an annual event at which local and national (and perhaps even international if we’re so lucky) zine-makers can gather to sell and trade their zines and network with other people in the zine community. The zine fest is not just for zine creators and distros.  It’s an open event for all ages with tablers selling zines as well as other DIY items, informative and fun workshops throughout the afternoon, and good times, food  and conversation in general.  This event happens every Fall–typically during the month of October.
The Richmond Zine Fest has been going strong in Richmond, VA, since 2007."



Below are some almost finished pages and cover for a parallel narrative infinite canvas comic. This gives you an idea of how the pages relate and some of the narrative devices that I’m using in the comic. The visual style changes from black/white, to color, to isolated flat shapes and back to color again.

The comic is almost finished. (I just couldn’t wait to share.) I’ve been working on this comic in my spare time for the past couple years so I’m not super happy about some of the first few pages. I might be reworking some of them or just individual panels. 
More info belowOUTDOOR/INDOOR is a parallel narrative about the lives of two different cats. The story begins in black/white and moves towards full color when one of the cats leaves the safety of it’s home to explore the forest. The final comic is intended to be an infinite canvas narrative available online, for mobile devices and as an accordion fold book in print. The comic will soon be posted on Kickstarter to fund printing as well as the programming of a infinite canvas Wordpress theme - that will be made available for download free to the public. Sample pages are available on Khodabandeh’s website, MendedArrow.com. The hope is for this project to begin a funding campaign in the winter (2013).



New work: Guest Speaker, Stephen R Bissette Poster

I was lucky enough to do this poster for VCU's guest speaker, the award winning comic artist/writer, Stephen Bissette!

Guest Speaker, The Award Winning Comic Artist and Writer,
Stephen R. Bissette

FREE and open to the pubic
7PM, Monday Oct 14
at Grace St Theater
934 W Grace Street

Stephen R. Bissette won many industry awards as cartoonist, writer, editor, and publisher. A pioneer graduate of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art, he currently teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies and is renowned for Saga of the Swamp Thing, Taboo (from which From Hell, Lost Girls, and Throat Sprockets came), '1963,' Tyrant, co-creating John Constantine (inspiring the film Constantine), and creating the world's second 24- Hour Comic, invented by Scott McCloud as a challenge for Bissette. He illustrates books and has authored fiction (including the Stoker Award-winning Aliens: Tribes) and non-fiction (co-authoring Comic Book Rebels, The Monster Book: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and solo articles/essays for books and magazines). His papers reside in HUIE Library’s Special Collections, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He recently contributed the short story “Copper” to The New Dead (St. Martin’s Press, 2010), co-authored The Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman (with Christopher Golden and Hank Wagnert; St. Martin’s Press, 2008), illustrated The Vermont Monster Guide (University Press of New England, 2009), and is currently packaging and co-editing (with Tim Stout) Tales of the Uncanny: A Naut Comics History, Volume 1 and completing the art instructional book S. R. Bissette’s How to Make a Monster (Watson-Guptill/Ten Speed). Visit his weekly blog at http://srbissette.com.

Website/daily blog:

archival site:

archived 2005-2008 daily blog:

Special Collection at Henderson State University:

Green Mountain Cinema:

New Work: Circle Takes the Square Poster

Just finished this Circle Takes the Square poster to be screen-printed by Nick Crider. I attempted to simulate the paper texture digitally.

Circle Takes the Square, B Dolan and The Blue LetterThe show is scheduled Nov 5th at Gallery5 200 W Marshall St Richmond, VA. $8 in advance $12 at the door.


New Work: Logos, logos, logos

These are three logos that I have recently worked on. 

The first is for my favorite local bike shop, Bunnyhop Bike Shop, located in Oregon Hill, Richmond, VA. 

The second is for a gallery located in a tattoo shop, Loose Screw Tattoo, in Carytown. The logo uses an image of a robot illustrated by the owner Jesse Smith. There will be some more adjustments made to the illustration of the robot character before it gets sent to production. 

Finally, two versions of Sink Swim Press logo. The left version will be used by the publishing company. It was fun to illustrate this deep sea diver's mask with a hidden pen nib. The version on the right I enjoyed a lot conceptually and wanted to share it even though it isn't the final logo.