Jan
22
2009

Pinup: Alpha Flight

The New York Comic Con is fast approaching.  Alas, I’ll not be going in person; however the good folks from A Cosmic Odyssey, who sell my original art work, will be attending.  I sell at least a page or two of original art from my graphic novels at each “indie” convention, like SPX, but at big mainstream cons like Heroes Con in Charlotte, for example, I seem to have better luck with superhero stuff.  Consequently, I try to drum up three or four superhero pinups–albeit, drawn in my rubber arm/button eye style–to have on hand for events like that.  Here’s one I just wrapped up–a pinup of the classic ’80s John Byrne Alpha Flight:

alpha_flight

Jan
20
2009

Obama’s Spider-Man Reference?

While the current Obama/Spider-Man buzz making the rounds is Marvel’s (supposedly pretty ham-handed) “guest appearance” by Obama in a current Spider-Man issue, here’s something a bit more subtle that recently caught my eye.  Last Sunday’s Parade Magazine newspaper insert contained a contained a letter/essay from Obama to his children entitled “What I Want for You — and Every Child in America.” In that essay was the following passage:

“…with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.”

Maybe it’s just the fanboy in me, but the first thing I thought of was, of course, this:

spiderman

Or, as it later often appeared both in the comics and in the films:

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

Jan
15
2009

Ricardo Montalban R.I.P.

It’s been a grim week or so: first Ron Asheton, now Ricardo Montalban.  As slashdot remarked, “The voice of Rich Corinthian Leather is silenced, but we still have the memories.”

khan

Jan
15
2009

Sketchbook 12/15/09

condi

Jan
14
2009

Sketchbook 1/14/09

One of the items we received for Christmas this year was a subscription to Vanity Fair magazine.  Other than knowing the name of the publication, I didn’t really know much about it before now.  Having now received and read two or three issues, I can say two things: it’s a good magazine, and it’s a weird magazine.  A typical issue might contain a lengthy political article by someone well-known, like say, Maureen Dowd; a few other “serious” essays; a photo spread of some half-naked movie star; and about a thousand fashion ads, several of which are those stinky perfume ads.  It’s hard to know quite what the magazine’s focus is, but given that I like all of the above things (other than the ads), I’ve been for the most part enjoying having an issue arrive every month.

Now to the important part, though: is the magazine any good as sketchbook fodder?  For hands, no.  Most of the hands featured in the magazine tend to be found in fashion ads and are usually stiff and posed, as opposed to the more natural hand gestures I usually doodle from in Time magazine.  Vanity Fair, though, does present ample opportunity for me to work on one of my other weak areas: drapery and folds.  Here’re a few examples from the last few days:

sketchbook_011409

Jan
08
2009

Ron Asheton: RIP

When I read last night that Ron “Rock Action” Asheton was dead, my first thought was to crank “Down on the Street” or “TV Eye” really, really loud… but, my second thought was that it was 10:30 at night and since both my wife and daughter were asleep with bad respitory infections, that’d be a really inconsiderate thing to do.  So, instead, I put on “Fun House” much, much more softly than I wanted to and instead drew a picture of The Stooges in my sketchbook, which I prestent for you here with a minimal bit of Photoshop coloring:

stooges

Like most folks who become interested in American rock and roll, I’ve had a “Stooges phase” and the passing of guitarist Ron Asheton is a sad occassion.  It’s a cliche to point out that a Stooges record like “Fun House” really does sound as fresh today as when it was recorded… but what’s just as relavent is what a record like that sounds like relative to, say, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkle or Chicago’s first record, both of which topped the year-end album charts in 1970, the year “Fun House” was released.

Ron Asheton was a fabulous guitarist in a seminal rock band–and he died far too young.  He’ll be missed.

Jan
06
2009

Sketchbook 1/06/09

sketch_010609

Jan
05
2009

Sunday’s Rex Morgan Freakshow

Even if Rex Morgan, MD were a top-notch plastic surgeon, I doubt he’d be able to do much to fix this bizarre beast that appears in the opening panel here:

rex_morgan

Look, I know kids can be hard to draw.  Even really, really good artists can occasionally draw some wanky-looking kids sometimes–for exmaple, Jeff Smith’s recent Shazam series had some really odd-looking kids.  But this Rex Morgan panel is really beyond the pale.  Aren’t there editors that are supposed to catch this kind of stuff?

Part of what’s going on here is that the girl’s head is way too big.  Yeah, kids have bigger heads relative to their body height, but she’s getting into MODOK territory here.  Also, children’s faces fall lower on their heads, with the eyeline below center and the face overall taking up a smaller proportion of the front of the head.  In this case, though, exactly the opposite is going on: the eyeline is actually above center, higher than it should be even for a full-grown adult.

In conclusion: One of us!  One of us!

Jan
04
2009

Sketchbook 1/04/09

sketchbook_010409

Jan
01
2009

Midnight Sun in PLAYBACK:stl’s Best of List

In a bit of a surprise, my historical fiction graphic novel, Midnight Sun, has turned up in PLAYBACK:stl’s best of 2008 graphic novels list.  What makes this surprising is that the book was actually published in 2007–albeit in the last two or three days of 2007.  The list’s writer, Steve Higgins, shoehorns me in, though, since he reviewed the book at the beginning of 2008.

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