There were some very pivotal encounters in my childhood that set the tone for much of the rest of my life. Seeing the movie Aliens was definitely one of those encounters. Finding out, a few years later, that there were also comic books based on the Alien Franchise, was just as profound but in a slightly different way. At that point, I felt that I could not only enjoy the world those stories were set in, I could participate!
I started drawing the space (Colonial) Marines from the world of the Alien/Aliens movies. Back then, in the late 80’s/early 90’s, references were hard to come by. So, when I series like Aliens: Colonial Marines came out in 1993, I was ecstatic. The first three issues, drawn by Tony Akins, inked by Paul Guinan, and colored by Matt Hollingsworth, were just… phenomenal! The first three issues were chock-full of new spacesuit designs, space guns, star ships, and dynamic action scenes.
Having gotten a new lease on my drawing-life recently, I’ve been inspired to start drawing some of those designs myself. Here’s a pencil sketch of the security from the Sungun station:
I’ll clean it up in the near future. In the meantime, here’s a taste of one of the wonderful treats that series offered up:
Cody Hagman and I are working on a new project. You’ve seen a few things I’ve been working on for it, but I thought folks might enjoy seeing the steps it takes for us working together.
Some people complain because they work in a cubicle. I feel like my desk, which sits in the middle of an intersection of busy hallways and has absolutely no privacy, is like working in a fishbowl. That being said, I’d gladly don a big round fishbowl-like helmet if it attached to a spacesuit for work. There’s just something about a techno suit that has everything you need to stay alive that I love.
I’m feeling spacesuits that are too heavy. Remember that movie Deadman? These cowboy-types are out in the wild, being cold, and one guy says, “don’t worry about your arms, they’ll take care of themselves. Keep you body warm.” I’ve always felt that way about spacesuits. The armor has gotta be on top.
I was recently told by someone that they are tired of spacesuits with domed, or bubble-helmets. For some reason, those have always appealed to me. I want to say it’s because you can see the expression of the person inside, or maybe I always thought that mask-like helmets are better suited for combat armor or robots. It’s also possible that I add them to my spacesuits so often because they’re easier to draw…
Whatever the reason, I’m trying something different.
I used Copic pens on tracing paper, taped over my sketchbook for this lil’ guy or gal.
I know another artist, Cody Hagman, that I am fortunate enough to have a long-time working relationship with. We’ve co-edited and published together, moved work each other’s way, and collaborated on some of the pieces I’m proudest of.
This is an amazing thing! I’ve you’ve ever had to work with an artist, you might be aware that we can be… odd, at times. Sometimes, we just don’t get along with others:
Anyway. I’m glad to have a friend like Cody to make cool artwork with.
Sometimes, like now, when all I feel like doing is drawing spacesuits, I get to the face of the lucky guy or gal inside and lose interest. That’s when I spice things up with a skull, or an alien, or… a robot!
There’s no good reason to put a robot in a spacesuit, except that it’s really fun.
I don’t know what happened to this one. Chalk it up to just getting some practice in, or maybe to being a little rusty.
I was just watching Alien Covenant and thinking that I didn’t like the spacesuits they used to repair their “solar sail,” but the more that time went on, the more I felt inspired by them. They look like modified, hardshell, deep sea diving suits.
This was my swing at that inspiration. I think it was a swing and a miss…
Like a bolt out of the blue, the desire to create and produce new artwork just comes back. I've been wanting to draw for some time, but wanting to and feeling compelled to are different things. Life gets busy, priorities can change, and time becomes a thief. However, when that itch finds its way under your skin, there's nothing for it except to start scratching…