Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spider-Man Original Cartoon Theme Song from the 1960's!

Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web any size
Catches thieves just like flies
Look out!
Here comes the Spider-Man....."

Even though I was born at the tail-end of the 70's and the original Spider-Man cartoon debuted a good ten years earlier, I do recall watching this series in rerun form as a child.

The theme song captured the very best of what comics should be!

Excitement. Action. And fun, Fun, FUN!!

Makes me want to swing from the rooftops! Go, Peter Parker, go!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Storm W.I.P - Step 1 - Drawing

How appropriate that it rained this entire weekend in Chicago! It ties in perfectly to my latest comic book portrait.....Storm of the X-Men! The mutant able to manipulate the weather!

When I finished my Cyclops painting, a potential buyer requested I do Storm next, specifically wearing her original costume. Though this is mostly a head shot, you know it's the original outfit by the headband and the yellow-rimmed collar on her neck.

Storm's first and best costume!

Out of all her costume changes I prefer the original as well. God forbid I do a painting of her punk look as seen below:

Uggh! What was she thinking?!

This was a pure joy to draw! It took just a few hours and was relatively effortless. I was totally in the zone for this one.

And I needed this BAD. Lately I've been disconnected with my comic book blog, debating whether to delete it altogether. Feeling defeated, like I wasn't really doing much to foster the goal of becoming a comic book illustrator.

But this drawing turned out so well it sort of re-energized the dream. It gave me hope again!

The concept really excited me too. Normally you always see Storm behind streaks of lightning. *yawn*

I wanted something a bit more subtle and harder to capture. So wind seemed like the best choice. I had so much fun penciling in all that hair! When this is done she's going to look F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!

Things are off to a great start! The next step is to add paint and lay in the color!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A blast from the past!

"10 Days Cover" (July 2007)
Watercolor with ink on watercolor paper - 8" x 10" (NFS)

This was my first real comic book commission. Even though I didn't get paid for it, it was an honor to do.

I used to write comic book fan-fiction and another writer from the site I belonged to asked me to do a cover for his series at the time.

It was titled, "10 Days".

The story was about a man who had done terrible things in his lifetime and was on the verge of death. An angel appeared and offered him the ability to not die from his wounds. In essence, a chance for him to right his wrongs before dying. The catch was his "invulnerability" would only last a set amount of time. The series chronicled his last 10 days on earth.

The two series I wrote were: Wonder Woman Beyond and Legends of Wonder Woman (click on the hyperlinks to read them). My favorite issue was Wonder Woman Beyond #3.

Looking back over my writing a few years later, I do cringe at some of those stories yet I was proud of all I had written. I went from writing every once in a while to churning out a new full-length story every month! And I met some AMAZING people along the way.

Unfortunately the fan-fiction site disbanded shortly after that, much like the Avengers (I'm a dork, I know!). A newer, more condensed site was started last year and the administrator asked me to continue writing again. But I declined. I guess my heart wasn't into it or maybe I was resisting too much. *shrugs shoulders*

Perhaps I'll go back and start writing fan-fiction again. Who knows. It was terribly FUN and the closest thing I'd ever gotten to writing actual comic books!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sailor Moon - Tuxedo Mask (Mr. Wonderful)

"Hold me
I wanna feel your arms around me
Ooh la la, ooh la la
Kiss me
'Cause only you can make me happy
Ooh la la la"

I'm obsessed with this video!! A wonderful tribute to Sailor Moon's future husband, Tuxedo Mask!

I've watched it a dozen times already!

The music is SO damn catchy and the timing is spot on!

So romantic too!

Anyone care to slow dance with me?


Saturday, March 13, 2010

What I'm reading.....

I'm currently stuck in the late 70's, mid 80's, and early 90's!

-Marvel Team-up #63 and 64
-Avengers #230 and 231
-Uncanny X-Men #202 and 203
-Alpha Flight #110

What fun!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Optic Blast" Original X-Men Art (Cyclops W.I.P. - Step 4 - Completion!)

It's finished!


Or maybe I should say, "ZZZZZAAAAPPP!!!"

Watercolors and ink on bristol board - 8" x 10" (SOLD)

So some noticeable changes took place in this last step.

I went over the entire painting with a light pink wash to create a "glowing effect" from the optic blast. That was the main draw (no pun intended) for this piece. I wanted to do a painting that conveyed a subtle light.

Close-up detail

I'm forever a perfectionist. I don't know if this is my strongest comic book work but I certainly love the colors in this one. Normally I'm NOT a fan a pink tones but they work so well here!

Close-up detail

The entire figure was meticulously inked and I splattered black on the background for added depth and that dramatic finishing touch!

Now Cyclops is officially ready for action!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cyclops W.I.P. - Step 3 - Underpainting

Scott Summers is that much closer to being brought to life!

The colors have all been laid down with watercolor washes, though some will have to be dulled a bit so as not to take away from the optic blast.

Unfortunately I made Cyclops' eye beam a bit too pink. I'd like it redder still. So much to tweak!

I was toying around with the idea of coloring with markers instead of watercolors for my comic book art in the future. It seems like the natural choice. I've been using the marker/ink combination a lot recently for my Mail Art on my other blog.

Ink tends to sit on top of the paint (which sits on top of the paper) and can easily run and smear while drying. But markers absorb deep into the paper so the ink is much easier to control when applied IMHO.

The next and last step is the most labor-intensive one. Inking the entire illustration and adding any last minute details.

Before you know it, that optic blast will be doing some serious damage!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cyclops W.I.P. - Step 2 - Tighten pencils and panic!!

What to do. What to do.

I thought things were off to a smooth start on this until I had to draw Cyclops' optic blast.

Given the angle of the face, the beam would have to obscure part of the figure and I had to decide which part!

You see Cyclops doesn't shoot laser beams out of his eyes, he emits concussive force blasts! Ahh, see the difference?

Every single comic representation of Cyclops' optic beams have all been shown to be solid NOT transparent (as seen below). So it's inevitable that the blast would cover something.

Look out!!

Not wanting it to look puny, I made the beam as wide as possible and then had to make a decision. Either obscure the nose, mouth, and shoulder or hide part of the hand and forearm.

The profile of the face and bulge of the trapezius muscle really appealed to me and I didn't want to lose either one, so I went ahead and had Cyclops shooting off to the side instead of down the middle.

I hope I made the right choice!

With that settled and the shadows penciled in, the next step is the fun part.....laying down the paint!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cyclops W.I.P. - Step 1 - Concept sketch


Cyclops, team leader of the X-Men!


My first real comic book drawing since launching this blog!

I'm excited to see where this goes as I plan to make it a fully-rendered painting! I thought it'd be nice to show you this work-in-progress step by step.

It's just a loose sketch at this point to get the placement of the hand, face, and shoulder in place. Things are definitely able to be tweaked at this stage and probably will!

The next step is to tighten the drawing and lay down the shadows.

I'm pleased so far!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Something wonderful.....

High school was hellish for me and that's putting it mildly.

I didn't fit in and had only two friends my senior year. Lunch periods were spent in the library and I'd try to remain as invisible as possible in class. I became a loner who'd escape into the world of comic books for refuge.

During that dark time period when I was feeling like a strange outcast....afraid and suicidal, SHE came to save me.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman! Pencil on paper - 8" x 10" (NFS)

As a child I'd watch the Wonder Woman TV show in rerun form and eventually forgot about it. Then here in Chicago during my high school years, FX started rerunning the series again and it got me hooked just at the right time.

Here was this amazingly beautiful woman, who was not only powerful but courteous and nice! A fully-functional, capable, and confident superhero who tried to save the day and do what was right!

She inspired others and gave them hope! She was, well, a wonder! With a spin she became something more.....something wonderful! And her costume was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S too!

Lynda Carter as Yeoman Diana Prince! Pencil on paper - 8" x 10" (NFS)

I was a junior in high school when I drew both of these portraits. They aren't exact likenesses but they're pretty damn good considering I was 17 at the time!

For these drawings I'd pause a specific scene from a Wonder Woman episode on my VCR (remember those!) and quickly sketch in front of the television. It'd take anywhere up to an hour to finish a drawing! The damage I must have done to those poor VCR heads!

Nonetheless, it was in high school when the dream of becoming a comic book illustrator was at its most hopeful. I was certain all the pain, sadness, and misery I was feeling up until then would be gone once I became an adult and finally became a success. Oh, how naive I was! Little did I know.....little did I know.

But the past is the past and I'm hoping to tap into that passion and excitement that I once had and turn it into, well, something wonderful.....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I suck!!

It's like learning to draw all over again.

I was sketching faces late this morning for the first time in years.

After fiddling around with proportions, placement, and expressions for a couple hours, I realized that I still suck at comic book drawing! Ughh!

Faces from my sketchpad!

I remember having that exact feeling several years ago when I'd practice and practice and not see much improvement.

That's why I put the dream on hold. The reality of not achieving my goals was too painful to bear.

After all, if you can't draw you ain't gettin' into comics!

But I'm determined to do it differently this time around.

Yes, I suck and have a looooong ways to go but I've got to push through those feelings of failure and inadequacy and keep drawing regardless.

If I'm being honest, I already crashed from the high I experienced during my very first post. But the main thing is that I keep moving forward whether I'm in a good mood or not!

I gave up too easily in the past and don't want history to repeat itself!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Death to the dream.....dream to the death.

It can stir my soul even when I'm in the grips of depression. It makes me feel alive....excited! A smile spread across my face just typing that. That is how I know it's my calling in life.

I've always LOVED comic books and dreamed of becoming a comic book illustrator since the age of 13.

All of high school was spent drawing and copying comic book characters. The practicing continued throughout college. And the several years immediately following graduation were consumed with studying and learning on my own.

Oh how I wanted it! How I prayed for it! But it wasn't enough.

To be frank, I still sucked even after all those years of training. And the dream of a career in comics grew dim and sad and hopeless. And that killed a lot of the joy and impetus that's so very crucial in making dreams a reality.

The dream was then placed on the back burner as a way of keeping it alive. Being a comic book artist was my number one goal in life! If I failed, it was all over and I'd have nothing. But by saying, "I'll get to it one of these days", it allowed me to conveniently keep the dream a possibility without having to do anything about it.

But enough of that bullshit! The time has come to take ACTION! To dust off the dream of becoming a comic book illustrator and remove it from my hiding place.

To try again with new purpose! New focus! New zeal!

Either I let the dream die once and for all and move on or keep it alive and dream until I die! (Let's hope it's the latter!)

Scene from Wonder Woman #108 (1959)

And "Suffering Sappho!" you ask?

Just one of many colorful expressions the Amazin' Amazon would say back in the day during her numerous adventures.

Here's to jumping into some adventures of my own! And it begins TODAY!