Monday, February 28, 2011

Black Canary, Fishnets and a Bionic Sasquatch

There was some confusion this morning over whether today's topic was "fishnets" or "Bionic Sasquatch". I decided to combine the two themes into a drawing that, like any compromise, leaves neither side happy or satisfied. I give you, fishnet-clad superheroine Black Canary vs. the Bionic Sasquatch:


Did you know that Andre the Giant played the bionic Bigfoot on 6 Million Dollar Man? I did not.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Remembering Dwayne McDuffie: Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers

Earlier this week, the comics world lost one of its own. Dwayne McDuffie spent much of his career in comics working to bring some greater diversity to the world of comics and superheroes. In addition to spearheading the multicultural imprint Milestone at DC, and creating the long-running cartoon series Static Shock, he wrote one of my personal favorite series at Marvel, Damage Control.

While working at Marvel comics, Mr. McDuffie pitched a series that has become the stuff of legend in the comics biz. Here's the memo as it circulated thru Marvel:





To honor Mr.McDuffie, I decided to bring his vision to life. Here's what I drew:





 Upon researching the characters, I learned, sadly, that apparently the character "Dark Wheelie" mentioned in his pitch was not real-- in addition to team leader "mysterious black guy on skateboard", that was two characters I had to make up for my drawing, so I lazed out and drew one, and it's up to you, the gentle viewer to decide who it is. I do hereby vow that I will one day bring "Dark Wheelie" to proper life, in some way.

Rest in Peace, Mr. McDuffie, you will be missed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Zardoz and Vartox

I should admit this up front -- it was my desire to draw semi-obscure Superman supporting character Vartox the Hyper Man that lead to "Zardoz" being the topic for today.

I have a great love for the silliness that is silver and bronze age Superman. I first encountered Vartox when I was a pretty young kid-- and despite being somewhat unsettled by his body hair, disco boots and speedo, I took an immediate liking to this character who was a rival for Superman-- heck, he was referred to multiple times in the story as being more powerful than the Man of Steel himself, hence, I suppose, his designation as a Hyper-Man instead of a Super-man. Hyper trumps super, I guess.

Vartox (real name: Vernon O'Valeron, hailing from the Sombrero Hat Galaxy, and no, I'm not making any of this up) hung around for awhile in the Superman comics, even cameoing in possibly the greatest Superman story of all time, Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" (that's him cradling the dead Lana Lang), before being swept away with all the corny (ie coolest) elements of Superman's story, like Krypto, the Legion of Superheroes and Supergirl,  in the relaunched Man of Steel continuity in the mid 80's.

During his period in limbo, I first came across John Boorman's supremely odd sci-fi epic Zardoz and realized, hey, Sean Connery's disturbing outfit reminds me of another disturbing outfit I could recall from my childhood. Of course, in an epic instance of "huh buh whu?" the creators of Vartox, Cary Bates and Curt Swan, must have gone to the movies, saw that little slice of crazy that is "Zardoz" and decided, let's make a character based on Sean Connery's lack of pants in this film.

Recently Vartox made his long overdue return to comics in the series Powergirl, about Superman's kinda-sorta cousin. His cheesy side was fully embraced,a s he was cast as an interstellar lothario searching for a worthy mate, and had settled on the Kryptonian Power Girl. In a new twist to the character, he now flies around in a spaceship that looks like his own head, mustache and all, ala Zardoz, and it was easily one of the best comics ever. It was this incarnation of the Hyper Man I chose to draw. Long live Vartox!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Batman's Rogues Gallery


Today's topic was "Batman", the most emo of all superheroes. I wasn't sure which of his numerous villains I would like to draw, and ultimately I decided to draw all of them. I figure on his days (nights) off, Bruce Wayne has a nice glass of cognac, and reminisces on adventures past in his own private gallery of rogues.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Intestines

Today's warm-up was "Intestines"


In every zombie movie ever made, there's always that one poor bastard who goes down in the middle of a swarm of the evil dead. All those zombies just hunkering down and chowing on him (or her) like there's no tomorrow... Well, also in every zombie film ever made, just one bite from the undead is enough to turn you into a zombie, so what happens to those unfortunate souls who spent some time as the main course of a pack of ghouls before reanimating? Well they come back, I guess, but looking substantially worse for the wear than the typical Hollywood zombie. When the Imminent Zombie Apocalypse finally hits, I predict that there will be a lot of sad cases like our friend here shambling around.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cereal Adventures

Today's topic was "Movie serials", and I went for the obvious pun.

Few people realize that beloved children's cereal shill Cap'n Crunch made his first appearance in the short-lived serial "Captain Crunch and the Secret of the Crunchberries". Each episode featured the Captain and his sidekick, a manic depressive cuckoo bird named Sonny, getting blowned up real good, only to be revealed in the next episode that they had somehow miraculously escaped. It was canceled in 1941, due to outrage over pro-Germany statements made by Hans Von Schadenfreude, the actor who portrayed the Captain, and the sudden realization that serials were mad stupid, yo.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate Aphrodite

I don't remember what twisted strain of conversation lead to "chocolate Aphrodite" being today's Drawbridge topic, but I do know that the best way to a goddess's heart is to give her a milk-chocolate replica of herself. Better than flowers anyday.

I might color this whole thing when I get home. Then again, I might not.


Just realized that there's a great joke in here somewhere with a Mars bar, but this is an all-ages blog.


Whaddaya know? I did decide to color it when I got home.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dr. Strange!

Today's Drawbridge topic was Marvel's master of the mystic arts, Dr Strange.


Pretty sure I've never drawn Dr Strange before. He's pretty fun, what with all those squiggles and whatnot.I decided to go all 60's on him, and was sure to Ditko up his hands for good measure.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Lupercalia everybody!

Todays; Drawbridge topic was flowers. I used that as a departure point to explore the roots of St Valentine's Day.

So how did a Roman Catholic Saint, of all people, come to be associated with the holiday intended for the expression of intense physical love? Good question.

Like many modern holidays (I'm looking at you, Xmas), what we celebrate today is just a patch early christians threw on over pre-existing pagan rituals (Saturnalia, anyone?). That explains why, say, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with eggs and bunnies-- the christian element was overlaid on a pre-existing springtime fertility ritual.

St. Valentine's day is a similar case. Nobody is sure which St Valentine we're celebrating exactly (there were at least three) but his day is an overlay of the ancient Greco-Roman festival of Lupercalia, in which was celebrated both the holy marriage of Zeus (Jove) and Hera (Juno), as well as in Rome the founding of their city (Romulus, Remus, wolves, "Lupe"-- it's all connected). There was all sorts of courting between young folks of both sexes, and it was generally very frolicky. Lupercalia was a very, very  ancient festival, and it had replaced (more absorbed, really) an even more ancient one, Februa, which, you may guess, is where we get  the name for the month of February. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

My drawing is the sacred couple themselves, Zeus and Hera, in embrace, and just to keep this thing nominally on topic, there is also a water lilly, one of Hera's sacred flowers.


Happy Valenstein's Monster Day!

This isn't my official warm-up for the day, but a bonus. My pal Jenn called with a request, the daughter of a friend of hers woke up this morning and wished her mom "Happy Valenstein's Day", and so could I create some sort of unholy Cupid/ Frankenstein's Monster hybrid to celebrate this newly coined holiday. This is what I came up with:

Persephone pin-up, final colors:

 This is the final of three distinct looks that Persephone goes through in Olympians Book 4, Hades: Lord of the Dead, and the way she'll appear both in her bio in the back of the book and the online Olympians family tree. How do you like it?



Friday, February 11, 2011

Yet another finished color page from Hades

It's been a whirlwind of posted finished colored pages 'round here lately! Here's one from the book's central action scene, where the Lord of the Dead himself carries off young Kore to the Underworld. This page is part of the same sequence that these two almost finished pages I posted awhile ago belong to, and I also had previously posted the black and white artwork for it as well. And now it's done!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another finished colored page from Hades

Olympians Book 4, Hades: The Lord of the Dead is all but in the can as I type this (just going over the last few pages making color tune-ups, and adding lightning. Boy, there's a lot of lightning in this book). I thought I would share another finished color page with all of you, so you can see what's coming up.

This particular page has proven to be a favorite of mine-- there's something about the way Demeter looks in these panels that I really dig. In fact, I've shared this particular page with readers of my Olympians blog  before at the finished black and white stage and the concept sketch stage-- I should really go and add the rough pencils in one of these days.




So what do you think?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not gonna get that mask on over all that hair...

So today's warm-up topic was the amazing Spider-Man.

I received an e-mail from Tim Hamilton, who, in a blatant attempt at pandering to me, suggested that I could get away with drawing one of my favorite characters, the spectacular Spider-Woman, this despite the fact we had a day dedicated to drawing her, like, two weeks ago.

Well, as it turns out, I respond to pandering.

Here's my drawing of Jessica Drew, the Spider-Woman, trying on the costume of her much more famous male counterpart.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Romero Zombies!

Today's Drawbridge topic was "George Romero", as it was his birthay recently.

George Romero, in Night of the Living Dead, created a new entry to our lexicon of classic monsters, joining such luminaries as Bram "Dracula" Stoker, Mary "Frankenstein" Shelley and, uh, Wolfman Jack. To celebrate their creator's birthday I drew some anonymous zombies.