My sketchcards for Topps’ trading cards Star Wars Galaxy 6 line came back last week, and I’m just now getting them listed over on my Etsy shop. I’ve got the first seven up, the rest come tomorrow, and a few have already sold (!). Swing on by to give ‘em a look-see or at the very least enjoy their descriptions – good for the yoks, that’s me!
Alongside my redesign for Project:Rooftop, I’d also intended to try a complete conceptual recreation of Aquaman from the ground up. I was considering that we’ve had (depending on how you count them) at least three and as many as five different Aquamen in the character’s seventy years of publishing, and yet they were each basically identical in terms of powers, origin and even costume (and, in fact, were very similar to OTHER undersea superheroes here and there).
So, with that in mind, I decided to go with AQUAMAN, THE LIVING SECRET SEA, elemental titan and King of All the Oceans. A colossus composed of pure water, strange creatures of the depths literally swim in his veins. He is so tremendous that stormclouds form over his body and fall back into him as rain! I don’t know where he got them red pants, but it must have been somewhere awesome.
I planned two Aquaman redesigns for the recent Project:Rooftop Sea Change competition, but I just couldn’t find the time to tackle them before the due date. I set aside a little time while watching movies this weekend to sketch up a quickie – nothing elaborate, just an idea where the lines and shapes would go.
Usually, when I tackle these redesigns, I have a long list of explanations of why I did whatever I did and what symbolism, history or purpose the costume changes relate to. In this case, I dunno, I just wanted to give Aquaman more chainmail, more colors and shapes, and a couple weapons. I actually like Aquaman’s classic costume, this was an experiment in merging some of his other costumes with darker colors and a little barbarian kingship …
…and a hook.
It’s AQUAMAN WEEK here on my blog, owing to the fact that I’ve got five Aquaman-inspired pieces to post in the (ha ha) wake of Project:Rooftop’s recent Sea Change competition. I’m starting off with just a wee little sketch of Aquaman at his hairiest and most pointy, the hook-handed Aquaman of the 1990s …
This week is sort of all about me coming out of the Aquacloset – I like Aquaman. He gets no respect, but I like his costume, I like his theme, I like his fairy tale origin and I like that he carries a lot of burdens in his backstory (current writer notwithstanding). He’s probably only had three or four good writers on him over the course of the last seventy years, but that’s not the fault of the character – that’s the fault of writers who don’t really sit and think about all the potential of writing the adventures of the King of the Sea.
So … GO AQUAMAN!
Good morning to a fact-hungry world! I’m happy to announce today the online debut of a prestigious scientific body, The Important Facts From Leading Scientists Foundation of the Earth, a fact-based thinktank dedicated to putting the fact on an unfacting planet.
Educate yourself in the way of Fact-Fu over at the Foundation’s Twitter feed. Fact you for your time.
Today is the first day of the Emerald City Comicon, and my first event appearance in many a year. If you’re attending, please swing by Table D-17 in Artists Alley and say “hi” – I’ll be giving away some free Jeremy buttons, selling both Jeremy books and original art, and will have a plethora of goodies for as little as a buck, including comics, minicomics and custom-drawn pie. I know, it sounds like a dream, but I will honestly draw you a pie for a dollar. What a deal!
If you’ve already been by the booth and you’re visiting my site for the first time: Welcome! Here are some other places where you can find me and projects in which I’m involved:
- I post regular updates and occasional nonsense to my Twitter account.
- I am the author of Gone&Forgotten, a blog dedicated to the most forgettable moments in comics.
- I also curate CORNERED, a blog dedicated to artists redrawing those little corner boxes that used to be all the rage in comics.
- With my pal Adam Watson, I organize the Seattle Drink ‘n’ Draw every Wednesday night, and special events.
- And lastly, I’m a member of the Seattle-based sketchgroup, The Bureau of Drawers.
Finally, if you have visited my table in Artists Alley already, I’d just like to prove that I did indeed really invent Batman.
Captain Marvel – the original one, the ‘Shazam!’ one – has one of the most perfect origins in comics. It has all the occult, agoraphobic sensation of a fairy tale, of being lost in a dark forest at night that seems to go on forever, explicit only where it needs be an implying ominous and awesome forces moving in unseen ways. It’s a bit of a shame when later writers mess with it; I’ve never seen anything added to or removed from it which failed to take away some of its oomph.
The other thing about Cap’s origin (and earliest tales, back when he was the most popular children’s character being published) is how seamlessly it ties into the most popular children’s character being published today: Harry Potter.
I was thinking about this after finally getting around to watching that “Return of Black Adam” short, and chatted about it a little with Evan Shaner last night: You’ve got three kids (boy-girl-boy, even) shouldering an enormous adult burden in the battle against evil, you’ve got a noble but doomed wizard, his former student/champion turned evil, a lovable old fraud of a guardian, dead parents, talking animals, a cruel uncle, a hidden world of magic accessible by key phrases – even a lightning bolt motif and a magic train.
Obviously, it’s not step-for-step and word-for-word interchangable, but they’re obviously coming from the same metaphorical and folkloric places – and more than that, they both share the secret of their success, that they make magic seem like an accessible place. All you need to know is the words that make it happen…
So, I’m a little obsessed with this now, partially also driven on by Boris Johnson’s recent Telegraph article wherein he mentions – rightly, although I think he misses the larger point that makes Harry Potter so accessible – the essential Britishness of the boarding school experience and how that simply doesn’t translate to American culture. Ever since I read that, I’ve been thinking about what would be the American equivalent, which is partly where this design comes from: While thinking about Billy Batson enrolled in a secret private wizard academy in New York City, based on the pretty standard college placement school uniform (the scarf’s a nod to Harry Potter’s world, plus a way to get the cape motif in)…
I may come back and revisit this idea, once Emerald City wraps up. The idea of designing a Ronnish Cap Jr and a Hermione-ish Mary Marvel is pretty tempting, not to mention Uncle Dudley Hagrid (or would he be better as a Talky Tawny?) …
These are the pencils for the piece currently hanging up at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery as part of the Bureau of Drawers’ “LoveSick” show.
The sprites and spirits surrounding our romantic hopeful are meant to represent different aspects of passionate adoration – transfixation, sentimentality, lust (check out cupid’s conveniently shadowed junk), the langour of beauty, the sting and sensuality of physical attraction …
Owing to layout and space, the efflusiveness of romantic love was reduced from a poncey fop reading sonnets to only the birds which were originally spilling from his mouth, and the serpent of possessiveness got reduced to some wormy little lizards, eagerly chomping on them thar birds (the serpent’s tail is still in there, and will be clouds by the end of the inking process).
Here’s hoping everyone is having a sweet Valentine’s Day, whether you’re with someone or not. I’m helping to celebrate the day with a three-in-one entry (or, perhaps, a menage-a-trois) over at CORNERED with a trio of romance-related submissions. Click the big pink romancy head to hop through to the site and check out all three entries …
Drawn over a couple nights while watching movies, I can’t say for sure what the impetus was except that it was fun to dsoodle all these noodles from memory. Yup, I referenced none of them, so … expect errors.
Obviously there are a couple hundred other characters I could have put on here as well – embarrassingly, I forgot Aurora, even though I included Northstar and the rest of the original Alpha Flight (PS There’s a hint for you). Will I ever get around to doing more? Maybe. Will I do one for DC? Maybe, this one took surprisingly long to color.
So anyway, enjoy one hundred and seventy nine famous Marvel characters (their heads, anyway), and see if you can identify them all!
These wee wooden cubes were craft wood blocks which I had been using to prop up shevles on a small, lightweight cabinet I’d been using for a few years. I’m refinishing the cabinet and resetting the shelves (a little more firmly), so I popped the blocks off … leaving me with little blocks which begged to have something drawn on them. When in doubt – little adorable faces.
I currently plan on picking up some more of these little blocks and taking them with me to Emerald City Comicon, which is as good an opportunity as any to mention that I’ll be attending this year’s Emerald City Comicon. I haven’t actually had a display or booth at a con in several years, this is the first time since (I think) 2005 – or maybe even 2004 – that I’ve had a table at any con. So. You know. Tell your friends.
I’ll have little fellas like these with me, and while I’ll also have copies of both Jeremy books, I also plan on having a lot of low-priced stuff at the table – $1, $2 and $3 ideally – plus I’ll be sketching and, hey, fuckin’ come on by for a chat! I like talking with people. I like talking with swears, too. All talkin’ with people, swearin’ … yeah!
(I’ll be in Artists Alley, table D-15)
Anyway, here’s more photos of them little cube guys, behind the cut…
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I’ve got another new entry up on my collaborative art blog, CORNERED. This time around, it’s the Uncanny X-Men from issue 200 of their series, when John ROmita Jr had them all New Wave’d out and they all looked like glam rockers. Strange times indeed.
Head on over to CORNERED to check it out – and don’t hesitate to join in! We’re booked solid through January, but there are plenty of open slots in February and beyond …
Since Comics Alliance was kind enough to feature some of my Half-Pint Heroes, I’ve been inclined to spend a little more time on them to make sure they’re nice and pretty. They’ll be coming in a little slower, but nonetheless, here’s a popular request: Matt Smith (described concisely by the inimitable Charlie Brooker as looking “like a friendly Easter Island statue”) as the Eleventh Doctor. More Half-Pints – and Doctor Who-Pints – still to come…