crazy colored glasses

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.