Wednesday, November 18, 2015

***Wonder Woman Wednesday!!*** Wonder Woman singing!

Is it just me or am I the only one watching this at 2am and imagining it's Wonder Woman singing from a long-lost episode of the TV series?

Sometimes you need your Wonder Woman fix BAD!!

Sing it, Diana--I mean, Lynda!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Wearing Wonder Woman!

It was meant to be a gag gift. Little did she know I'd love it.

Look what one of my coworkers got for me…..

Wonder Woman socks!

I felt obligated to show her how they looked, so I wore them to work one day under my slacks (good thing she didn't buy me WW underwear).

"I feel stronger already," I joked.

Thanks Raquel! These are too cute!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Read it! Habibi - A review

"Remember those words… remember these letters… and they can protect you."  -Dodola to Zam

I was saddened when I finished reading it. I didn't want the story to end. That's the sign of a good writer.

I'm referring to the magical tale, "Habibi" by Craig Thompson.

It's about love, God, survival, transformation, hope and just about everything in between.

The book follows the lives of the Dodola and Zam and all the hardship and torment they endure along the way.

Dodola and Zam as adults

Dodola taken as a young girl 

I wasn't expecting such strong displays of sexual abuse and aggression throughout the book but Thompson handled it as tenderly as one could.

He also did a great job showing Dodola and Zam age, from vulnerable children into capable adults, and all of their physical changes along the way. And just about every page was beautifully illustrated with intricate patterns and Arabic symbols.

Dodola outsmarting the Sultan of Wanatolia

Equally impressive was Thompson's use of scripture. Growing up Catholic, I didn't realize the similarities between the Quran and the Bible until reading this graphic novel. I found it all to be quite fascinating and now I want to learn more about Islam.

Habibi proves that comic books--at their best--can be more than quick reads with flat stories. This one moved and intrigued me and I love it for that. Just incredible.

So go on and read it!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sailor Moon transformation...times infinity!

If you can imagine it, there's probably already an animated gif for it.

Here's one I found of Sailor Moon transforming, looped over and over again in mid-spin:

Serena/Usagi in perpetual transformation!

Who needs drugs or hard liquor when you've got this?

I could stare at this all day...and I have.

Love it. Love it. Love it!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

We're moving!

When I heard the news my heart dropped.

The unthinkable has happened!

After 35 years of being in the same area, my local comic shop decided to move across state to Indiana. Yesterday was their last day at the old location.

I was told the new store is three times bigger, the neighborhood much safer, and yet it'll be about an hour drive to get there.

Not sure how I'll be able to do that working two jobs.

Those of you who are passionate about comic books and where you buy them, know we are a very loyal bunch that always supports our local shops first.

I've known the owners since childhood. A part of me wants to go where they go.

Going to that comic shop for over 20 years represented my dream of working in the comic book industry as well.

Every time I'd pick up my books and see what else came out that week, it fueled the fire.

Losing this location feels like a part of that died.

But I mustn't let that happen.

Nothing stays the same. I need to redouble my efforts and find a way to make it all work.

God willing, I do believe it'll happen.

Onto bigger and better things for them...and me!

Monday, December 31, 2012

My only post this year.

It may seem like it but I have NOT forgotten about this blog.

I had high hopes for things here. A fun, creative place to nurture my love of comic books and aspirations of working in the comic book industry.

Those dreams are still there, it's just, life got in the way...again.

So to those of you who'd often check my comic book blog for any updates, I apologize for the lack of posts this year.

I hope to pump new life back into Suffering Sappho! soon.

My God, if the Avengers can save the earth from total annihilation countless times over, the least I could do is post post more often.

May the coming year be an inspiring, productive one for all!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Storm W.I.P. - Step 3 - Panic!

I can't believe I'm going to say this but I'm still not done with this painting!


In this step, I inked the ENTIRE illustration--or rather--laid down the initial inkwork.

It may appear finished to you but I assure you it's not.

For one thing, it's all looking rather flat still. Some stronger shadows should do the trick.

Ah, and her hair. Ororo's lovely locks have been ruined ever-so-slightly in my attempt to add "interest". By varying the lines in her hair, there's too many thick and thin areas now and it looks off IMHO.

So the next and last step (*fingers crossed*) will be to bring on the dramatic darks, smooth out the hair, and add any finishing details.

Got. To. Get. This. Done!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I used to work for one of the X-Men!

It's a harmless white lie and no one's the wiser!

Whenever I have to "beef up" a job application, needing to add names for a fictitious supervisor or additional references, I always put down the alter egos of comic book characters.

I'm not foolish enough to put down a well-known name though.

Could you imagine a potential employer asking, "You worked for Peter Parker?"


I use the more obscure characters, ones only comic book enthusiasts would know.

Some of my go-to "references" and "former bosses" include:

And while technically these are fictional characters, I know their history--what they went through, so in a sense they are real to me.

So when you look at it that way, is it so bad putting down their names?

I'll admit I secretly smile knowing my love of comics has been sneaked into the application process. But God help me if I ever get interviewed by a total comic book nerd!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and sex changes.

I must've been five or six at the time.

Playing around inside the house, I grabbed onto the doorframe and did a high-kick into the air.

"See," I said to my oldest brother, "I'm like Batgirl!" (Yvonne Craig used to do ballet-type kicks when fighting bad guys on the Batman TV show).

(How FABULOUS is this costume!)

To which my brother meanly replied, "What, do you want to get a sex change?"

It was at that moment of being shamed that I learned it was "uncool" and unacceptable for boys to want to emulate girls. A lesson that would be repeatedly taught by other males while growing up.

While I never had the desire to play with dolls as a kid (it was typically Legos and action figures for me), I always found myself being drawn to female characters on TV. I watched G.I. Joe, Transformers, and He-Man but She-Ra too.

In high school it was all about Sailor Moon and reruns of Wonder Woman (which I'd originally seen as a child).

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman!

Then Jean Grey of the X-Men soon followed and in college Xena and La Femme Nikita after that.

These were strong, capable women that made the world a better place and I wanted to be like them!

It almost became an obsession of sorts. Maybe it was because growing up closeted and gay that I identified more with women than men. After all, I was attracted to guys and wanted them to want me, just like a heterosexual woman would.

Even now as an adult I still carry some of that childhood shame. Careful not to mention too much She-Ra and Sailor Moon stuff around certain people for fear of being called "gay".

And yet, there are times when my Wonder Woman notebook used for work isn't hidden under my arm but proudly held in my hand for everyone to see.

One of these days I'm going to say, "See, I'm like Batgirl!" and be as proud as can be.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Storm W.I.P - Step 2 - Underpainting

By the goddess! You finally gave me color, Dean!

I set a new record for myself!

This is the longest amount of time I've put away a piece of art. Storm has been waiting ever so patiently to be finished! [Hopefully she lost track of time and is none the wiser. Shhhh.....]

It feels good to come back to this.

This second step was done over the weekend. I actually cried a little bit because this is the first real watercolor painting I've done in MONTHS.

Painting black skin is very new to me but I loved laying down the chocolate tones. Goes so nicely with the vivid blue background in my opinion.

Right now it all might look a tad unusual to you but will make sense once I add the black ink in the next and final step.

After over a year it's so very close to completion!

Monday, May 9, 2011

One year later.....

I wish I had a really great excuse like being in a coma for 12 months or that I'd been traveling across the globe or was abducted by aliens and living on the moons of Jupiter since last May.

But no, nothing quite like that.

It's been exactly a year ago today since I last updated this blog.


Not that one year later, silly!

A part of me debated whether to delete this blog altogether but I guess the other part that still dreams the dream wouldn't allow it.

For you see, deep down inside it still calls to me. The dream of being a comic book creator, playing around with ideas, daydreaming about superpowers. All of it.

But as evidenced by my main blog, sometimes life gets in the way.

I thought I'd put off posting here for a couple weeks. A couple weeks turned into several. Several weeks turned into a few months, which became half a year....up until today.

So I apologize to you dear readers for my absence here. I think I shall pick up where I left off and try again.

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!