crazy colored glasses

Thursday, August 01, 2013

60 Days of Art... round 2

I missed last years 60 days of art by roughly 2 weeks. I'm going to try and officially complete it this year.

I started July 30 with this version of Adam West Batman doing the Batusi. It was inspired by the great Mike Allred. Pencils were pretty quick, with the inks taking far longer (that seems to be the case more and more lately). Let the 60 days begin. I'll try to post art weekly, as we all know I'm not really going to post every day.


Labels: ,

New Art... Rorschach

I love Watchmen. I love Rorschach. I also loved Before Watchmen. Great comics, great characters, great pieces of art.

Another piece from last years 60 days of art which went un-inked for roughly 7 months. Believe or not, the words on the wall were a huge struggle for me. I just don't illustrate text well. It's easily one of my favorite pieces.

Labels: ,

New Art... Hellboy

It's been forever since I posted anything here. Work and family take up just about every second of my time (sports watching and video games take up the rest). When I do have time (be it at my desk at work, or at home) I still like to pick up the pencil and doodle.

Here is a Hellboy picture I drew last year during my 60 days of art. I never inked it, and then felt like a failure after only hitting like 45 days in a row. I had free time back in December at my desk, took out piece, and laid the inks down.

Pencils were done pretty quickly, inks were pretty laborious. It's definitely a piece I'm happy to finally have up.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Real Dynamic Duo

I just read issue 12 of Moon Knight and loved it. If you had told me I'd be a huge fan of Marc Spector and his crazy adventures I would have told you you were crazy. Of course the incomparable Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev were working on the book so I had to give it a shot.

In the course of a year they took a throw away character like Moon Knight and turned him into a top of the pull list book for me. I'm not sure why this came as a surprise for me as the Bendis/Maleev duo has done nothing but spin gold for Marvel. They originally joined forces on Daredevil and quickly turned that character into the best in the industry. With that success they worked on a few one shots (Dark Reign Cabal, Scarlet Witch/Hawkeye - both amazing!) which proved to be huge winners. They followed that by the Spider-Woman motion comic and series. Taking another throw away character and turning her into gold. My one regret is they didn't do a longer run on that book. After that they launched the creator owned Scarlet about their anti-establishment feminist heroine trying to get back at the police force that wronged her. In a word, brilliant. All of which led to Moon Knight.

 Moon Knight has been on the bottom of the Marvel scrap heap for a long time. Every time someone gains traction with him it quickly falls down to earth. Every few years Marvel tries to relaunch him and the book scarcely lasts a dozen issues. That led to me skeptically picking up this version, but I would pick up a Benids/Maleev production even if they were doing Rainbow Brite. From the jump of the first issue they embraced Marc's crazy and wove it into an integral part of the story. His regular interaction with Avengers who either were or weren't there was amazing. His former Shield sidekick and team-ups with Echo (RIP to a great and both over and under-utilized character) were high points to the series. Even the fact that he took on major Marvel villains such as Count Nefaria and Madam Masque all with the threat of Ultron hanging over their heads. This book was pure gold from the launch. Maleev's early issue were a little spotty, but only because he has set the bar so high, but by issue 4 his pages were up to his typical great standard.

 I'll miss reading Moon Knight monthly, and that's something I don't think I would ever have said in my life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wonder Woman

My niece and goddaughter requested a picture of Wonder Woman for her new bedroom. Not just any picture though. She wanted a picture of Diana twirling out of civilian clothes into her costume. I never turn down a picture request, so of course I agreed to it. Then the craziness of the Maxim Party ensued, which meant months went by without completion. I know I keep promising to post some art from that event, but simply haven't gotten to it. On top of that, my wife was in her third trimester, basically ready to give birth any day. Sitting down to draw was becoming more and more a luxury I simply didn't have time for.

My amazing wife went into the hospital to give birth (again, a story for another day, I promise) and had our second beautiful son Ryne. Seeing as how it was a religious hospital, I couldn't spend the night. On my way home I decided I would draw Wonder Woman that night. I had printed the Adam Hughes piece I wanted to base it on (Adam Hughes is a daunting artist to use as a muse) and was on my way. While my mother watched telenovelas in the living room (she came over to watch Kal) I dragged the lightbox into my bedroom and got to work.

Adam Hughes is quite possibly the best woman artist in the industry today. He is known for drawing cheesecake poses with the most amazing lighting in all of comicdom. His pieces are more than simply pencils and paints, they are amazing pieces of art. Hands down, the best Wonder Woman artist in comics today. The pencils were not incredibly complex. The inks were tough. Keeping a consistent line throughout the totality of the lasso proved almost impossible. Luckily my wife (once she got home and gamely helped) scanned and cleaned it up for me. I added in additional grays, but they're a little tough to see on this. This piece was HARD. I liked it, but didn't feel like I fully captured the essence of Hughes on it. My niece did love it though, so I guess mission accomplished.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wolverine

One of my best buddies in the office celebrated his birthday October 30th. I was already in the midst of craziness for the Maxim Party (more on that in a later post) which meant I was already drawing and designing like crazy for it. I had decided I would gift him a picture of his favorite superhero, Wolverine. Of course in making that promise, I didn't realize that I wouldn't hand off this piece until January 26th... craziness.

I finished up the pencils in early January. It probably took me about 2 hours to get the full composition and the background down. The inks were a full on other story. Inks were probably another 1.5 hours done while my very pregnant wife was coloring the Patron wall for the Maxim Party (again, a later post, that piece deserves a post all it's own). I'm surprised I wasn't thrown out of the room because of the Sharpies smell. After inking I added in some grey tones with my trusted Dixon Ticonderoga's #3 Hard. My buddy loved the piece, and I was thrilled to add another Wolverine piece to my collection.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

New Art... Spider Jerusalem

OK, so it's been forever since I last posted. I've never taken a break this long before. There has just been too much going on. Birthdays, holidays, an expectant wife, new schools, work (work and more work), and just general overall life have made me way too busy to post.

Anyway, I've been drawing a ton of late, I won't be able to share what I've been drawing for a little over a month, but I will post lots of images once that project is wrapped up. With lots of work art needed, I've been trying to do some personal warmups which also double as holiday art.


Here is a piece I put together for my fellow art director here at Maxim. She was a huge fan of Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan. This piece took about 15 minutes of pencil time, about 30 minutes of inking (all done at the office, score) and then 5 more minutes of grey toning. All in all, a little less than an hour. For a slowpoke like me, thats practically a record breaking pace. I was pretty happy with the piece, the perspective was interesting, and Spider Jerusalem is a character I've never drawn. A win all around.

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Quarterback Solution?

Before the pre-season started, there was all sorts of speculation about an impending deal between the Dolphins and the Broncos. Orton to Miami was what was being touted. Kyle Orton would be shipped down to the the Dolphins for a 2nd round pick and the Broncos would move forward with last season's first rounder Tim Tebow.

The talks then started to fall apart when the Dolphins would only offer a 3rd rounder and didn't want to renegotiate Orton's contract. With no deal in place, everything went back to the way it was before. Orton leading the first team in Denver and Chad Henne leading the squad in Miami (although training camp hecklers booed him voraciously while chanting for Orton).

Kyle Orton is a decent QB who has the support of the front-office as well as Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd and new (conservative) head coach John Fox. All of that has relegated the talented but raw Tebow to the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th string. Lloyd was the first player to come to Orton's defense over Tebow. Stating how much the organization would be. Orton is a very efficient QB. Last year was clearly the best season in his career. He put up great numbers, yet the team went 3-10 under him. He's really the best choice for the organization? I mean it's pretty simple, you know what you get from him. With Tim Tebow though, you really don't know what you'll get.

I was surprised Elway and the front-office left Tebow's side so quickly. I mean wasn't Elway a strong-armed, mobile QB who was frustrated with a cookie-cutter offense under Dan Reeves and Wade Phillips. Wasn't his life chanegd when Mike Shanahan arrived and loosened the reigns a bit and let Elway improvise more? I'm not saying Tebow could be another Elway, I just think he provides the offense more options than the stationary Orton. As for John Fox, I think he's okay. I do think he's a little overrated, and simply didn't want another season of a green QB after Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore last year with the Panthers. But is sticking with Orton really the answer?

I think I have a solution that will benefit all parties. Rekindle talks with the Dolphins. Instead of offering Orton, offer Tebow. It's obvious he'll never get his shot in Denver. Elway and Fox aren't willing to put their reputations on the line and take a chance with the kid. They should ship him off to Miami for whatever they can get (I mean isn't even getting a 3rd or 4th rounder worth it for a 3rd or 4th string QB). Miami could then utilize him and play even more Wildcat. Think of the varied looks he could give them on offense. I mean they do a bunch of Wildcat packages in already. Plus think about the possibilities of Tebow standing next to Reggie Bush in the backfield. It would be a matchup nightmare. Plus, Tebow is basically a god in Florida. The merchandise would fly off the shelves (I mean in his limited role for the Broncos, Tebow's jersey is a Top 5 seller in the league). The Dolphins could easily build for the future (they won't be contenders this year anyway, what do they have to lose?) while generating buzz and merchandise sales. It could be an easy win all around. The Broncos get to start Orton and try to win more than the 3 games he won for them last year, Tebow gets a chance to start in the NFL. Makes sense to me.

Labels:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thunder... Thunder.... Thundercats Hoooooooo!



My poor wife has had to listen to me rave about the new Thundercats cartoon (Friday nights at 8:30pm Eastern) every day since the new show premiered (about 4 weeks now). So I've decided to share my ravings with all of you.

Just about every major cartoon property of the late 80's has resurfaced over the past few years. Masters of the Universe beat everyone out of the box from 2002-2004. Since then G.I. Joe (both Sigma Six and Renegades), Transformers (New Generation and Prime) and Voltron (the new wretched Voltron Force) have all relaunched. While some have been hits, others have simply missed (see my parens above on Voltron). All of which made me be skeptical of the new Thundercats.

I was a huge fan of the original series. I loved the opening of the show (the best animated opening of any 80's property) and thought the characters were great. Upon adult viewing, the episodes are more than a little hokey, but I still loved them. The action figures were even better (I still have my original Lion-O, Panthro, Tygra and Mumm-Ra). My love for the originals definitely made me wary of the relaunch... until it premiered.

The new Thundercats is far better (even after 4 episodes) than the original. The stories have been great. The animation is head and shoulders above any of the previously mentioned relaunches. The voice acting is amazing (Andrea Romana did a great job casting this series with former DC Universe voice actors). Everything on the show is top-notch. All of it makes for small-screen magic. To say the Thundercats is the best animated series on TV right now would be an understatement. It's one of the best series period. If you haven't yet given this show a shot, try and tune in. Better yet find "The Song of the Petalers" episode online, trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Labels: ,

Two Steps Back

I'm not generally a continuity stickler in comics. As long as the stories (and art) are good, I'll keep coming back and reading. That's why DC's announcement of the DCNU have left me excited. Retconning the whole line and starting at issues #1 is a move I'm excited about and eagerly anticipating (save for a few things like Superman and Lois' marriage, but that's a story for another day).

I do have one complaint though, and it's aimed at both Marvel and DC. Before my complaint, let's rewind a little.

Over the past few years, Marvel and DC have featured deaths to marquee characters. At Marvel, Captain America, and at DC, Batman. As we now know, both characters were trapped in time and had to work their way back to the present. While assumed dead, former sidekicks Bucky Barnes and Dick Grayson stepped up to assume the mantles of Captain and Batman.

In fact, they more then filled in. They far exceeded the expectations I had. Bucky and Dick were a new breed of heroes. Heroes for my generation. Heroes who had huge boots to fill, and gigantic legacies to live up to. Heroes, who like us, struggle and make mistakes. They seemed more fallable than their predecessors. For me, that meant they were more accessible and far easier to relate to.

Two of the best books by both Marvel and DC over the past two years have been Captain America, Batman & Robin and Detective Comics (written by the brilliant Scott Snyder). All-star creative teams on the books didn't hurt (Brubaker/Epting, Morrison/Quietly and the aforementioned Snyder/Francavilla & Jock), but I think part of the success of each of the titles was because of how these modern heroes really resonated with fans. So, fast forward to today, and how do the big two repay these great characters (and us fans who stuck with them)? In Dick Grayson's case they relegate him back to Nightwing in the DCNU. For Bucky, he suffers an even worse fate. In Fear Itself #3 he was killed, so that Steve Rogers could reassume the role of Captin America (just in time for the release of the Captain America movie).

The slights to these heroes is a huge slap in the face to the characters and us fans alike. I liked Bucky and Dick in their leading roles more than I liked Steve and Bruce. But now it feels like both have been sent back down to the minors. These guys don't need more seasoning, they are stars who are being wrongly demoted (and killed) so that DC and Marvel can sell more of the same old stories. I for one will not support the new historical Cap and Bucky comic. I feel like I've read them already. I'll buy Nightwing, but only because of Scott Snyder, I will be skipping a bunch of new Bat titles though. I've read Bruce as Batman, and I like Dick better. I know I'm in the minority, but I was ready for the change.

In comics, the industry is always trying to get younger and encourage new readers to pick up books. By going back to tired originals, the big two lose traction they gained with younger, more relatable heroes. In essence, instead of going forward, they've taken two steps back.

Labels: