If you’re in the Seattle area, come out to Emerald City Comic Con and see me. I’m back in the Artist Alley, table E-08
The as-yet unnamed heroine of the Garman Hagland project is getting closer to that far-off city. It looks like there’s been some trouble in the past, though.
The first movie and I ever saw was Star Wars, in the theater, in 1977. I was a newborn, it’s true, but there’s no denying that I have been fascinated with all-things-science-fiction ever since. It’s both exciting and soothing to me.
So, I thought I might deviate in this post from the normal my-art-sharing to share my thoughts about a recent sci-fi encounter I’ve had. I don’t think of myself as a reviewer (there’s plenty of great sites, blogs, podcasts, and so on, for that already), but this one really struck a chord with me.
Recently I picked up the first issue of the new Star Trek/Planet of the Apes series from IDW and Boom:
I’ve been disappointed by such crossovers in the past, but this one is really good! The art is perfect and the story engaging and consistent with both franchises. It doesn’t feel rushed or forced at all. Go read it… now. Anyway, as I was thinking about how much I liked it, I realized it was partly because I was feeling nostalgic. So, I went rummaging through my bloated archive library of back issues until I found this gem:
This was the original run-in that Starfleet had with a planet full of malicious apes, and I remember it shocking me as a kid. In the issue, the crew of a starship are stranded on this world full of blood-thirty primates, waiting for rescue. There’s a lot of blood and death, and it really engaged my imagination as an impressionable youth. I grew up in in Arkansas in the 1980’s, and there was a real lack of out-of-state culture then. My only access to comics was at sparse racks of an occasional roadside 7-Eleven. I felt very lucky to get this, and have held on to it for almost 30 years…
I like that comics redoes things. Relaunches, ret-con’s, and re-imaginings continue the things that I love and usually put a creative spin on them. With static art, you can study all those images for as long as you want, and each artist puts their own unique passion into the work. The artwork in this issue does feel dated. I love it, but that may be the nostalgia:
It’s fun, creative, and tells a fascinating story. It says something about science fiction from that time, too, and how that genre really never has any limits.
Back to ol’ Thunderbird again. I rarely draw superheroes, but I’ve got a need for a good understanding of this discarded mutant. So, I end trying out different versions of him time and again. The problem is, it’s hard to find good reference for this guy. Even within one book, there’s a rather large variation of what his details are. This problem is only increased by his ability to morph into a radically different version when angered. Anyway, I did my best, but I know I forgot the little gauntlets he’s supposed to have popping off his meaty forearms.
I had lots of fun drawing Thunderbird. Because of his powers and variable appearance, I felt it was a good excuse to exaggerate proportions and just enjoy myself. Then, I went after him with Copic markers, and there’s nothing more fun than coloring a solid drawing with those! The only thing I’m not completely satisfied with is the red tones. It looks like my scanner couldn’t pick up the variation of that color, as I had actually used a darker value in many places. Oh well, maybe I’ll go over the piece again with some warm gray in those areas…
One of my favorite things about Copics is the flexibility they have to be blended. here’s a revision of the first post after I went back and added some darker value to spots. I just took some warm and neutral grays to the areas where there was already flat (or at least lacking enough variation of) color, and now I think it looks much better.
Currently I’m trying to bring about this collaborative project with fellow artist, Cody Hagman. Cody is an amazing artist, great to work with, an one of my closest friends. He also loves to color and paint, which is something that, while I do enjoy it, I just have not time for. Since Cody loves to color (and he’s better at it), we thought we’d team up to try and create some of the best pages we possibly can. To that end, we’ve got a website going up and have started creating pages. We want to try and do one a week.
If you’re interested, please check back here, on my blog, for more details soon, but I thought I might whet everyone’s appetite with a preview from the first page.
I used to be a geologist, and that has left me with a real desire to draw rocks. I don’t know what it is about rocks, but I just love ’em. So, I placed our first subject on the surface of Mars, where there’s lots of good rocky surfaces to portray. Even more than rocks, I love to draw space suits. I spent a lot of time on the design for this particular suit, as I needed it to be perfect for this project, which will see it featured a lot.
I’m not sure if this is a spacesuit or a robot. It looks like it might work for a different, alien species, or perhaps it’s really huge and a human pilot fits somewhere in a little shell of a cockpit.
I found it hiding in another old sketchbook, and I can’t believe I haven’t posted it before. If I have, please let me pretend this is new, as I just couldn’t find it anywhere in the archives. Anyway, I love those big arms! Also, what a freaky head. I love it.
Here’s another “reject” from an old sketchbook. Often I just like the shape of a drawing, and that was the case of this piece. The pencils behind this when I found them recently were very vague, but the shape was blocky and round, and I could see it had promise. So, I threw some tracing paper on the page and traced this out in technical pen. It’s a little plain, but it makes me think of what might have been the fashion in space-wear if we’s continued on with the superior power-source of steam. An astronaut wearing this may not be able to see anything, but at least they’ll be tough!
I have a small surplus of pieces that came from commissions and projects that the client(s) failed to make payment for. I try to hang on to them for as long as possible in case the delinquent account does pay up, but this one has been waiting a couple of years. So, I assume they’re never coming back for it.
Here, then, is a wise Chinese-like sage, armed against those who would sass him. I thought he came out great, but I guess the person who contracted for him did not, leaving him a sad, awesome orphan…