Monday, July 28, 2008

The Crimson Fist

These are some sketches I did for the Crimson Fist, a real-life "good guy" who dresses as a super-hero and does things like distributing care packages to the homeless. He contacted me about doing an illustration for him, but first we had to decided on a costume design. My favorite is the first one. It has a modern movie hero look, since it's based on motorcycle leathers -- just like the movie versions of Daredevil and the X-Men. I went into "anime" territory with the hair, to keep if from looking too aggressive. But the Crimson Fist preferred the second sketch, which has more of a classic comic hero look. In both cases, I designed them so they could be easily replicated as actual real-life costumes. And as it turns out, the Crimson Fist might have his favorite design made into a costume for himself! That'd be very cool.

I'm really happy with both of these. And I'm especially happy with how the style of them turned out. It's my first time experimenting with the combo of a fine-line pen and a heavy brush, and I think it gives my work a nice earthy, gritty quality. It's a tad like one of my favorite comic book artists, John Paul Leon. I'll probably incorporate this into the illustration I'm doing for the Crimson Fist (as well as a "clear line" 40's comics style which I can do). And I'd like to find some more projects where I can use this new style.



Monday, May 19, 2008

Doctor Tectonic


Here is fellow blogger Seth McGinnis, as his alter-ego, Doctor Tectonic. I made this illustration for him, in return for my using his tattoo ideas on my own alter-ego character, Blockade Boy.

Doctor Tectonic is a steampunk "mad scientist" with an Earthquake Cannon. I've depicted him posing for a daguerreotype at some fancy mad scientists' symposium. He's wearing the control harness for his egg-shaped robot mecha. The pose is borrowed from a public domain 19th-century engraving, although the original figure was not nearly as robust, and he was wearing a fur coat which obscured his arms and most of his chest and trousers. Seth really does have the same magnificent whiskers as Doctor Tectonic. He even owns a similar pair of goggles! The background is based on the type found in a lot of Matthew Brady portraits.

I did the ink drawing in fine-point Sharpie, and scanned it into Illustrator. I then added the color. This was my first time using the gradient mesh tool. I like it! It definitely makes the colors more lush.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Losers

Over on my Blogger blog, I'm in the middle of a storyline about the Blockade Boy Revenge Squad. They're like the Superman Revenge Squad, only lamer. Much, much lamer. I did head shots for them, converting line art (felt-tip pen!) into an Illustrator file using LiveTrace, and then I laid in color underneath it. I made the color sections "off-register" on purpose, because I thought it gave the cartoons a nice 1950's look. I feel like I'm improving in my cartooning skills, now that I've figured out an expressive way to draw eyes. Most of the Squad members have appeared in Silver or Bronze-age Legion of Super-Heroes comics. Here's a few of the guys on the team:


Calamity King, who wore a space-age Robin Hood hat in the comics. My version is also fond of kooky hats, but is much hunkier, in a Tom of Finland way. Ergo the muttonchops. He's handsome, and he knows it. Smirky bastard.


Polecat, who can emit a stink-cloud from his horns. In his first appearance, he was drawn by the late Jim Mooney as a dork with a bad haircut and an overbite. I didn't realize how much my version resembled Fisher Stevens until after I drew it.


Rann Antar, hapless alchemist. In the comics, he created a formula for turning feathers into lead, and after being rejected for membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes, he was never seen again. I based my version on the old Flash Villain, Doctor Alchemy, who was a mentally-unbalanced alchemist in a turquoise-blue hood. Since Rann didn't have a codename, I'm calling him Intern Alchemy. Yeah, I know. It was the best I could think of.


Green Boy, who in the comics was a pudgy doofus in a lousy costume; with brown, buzz-cut hair and an alarmingly simian grin. Which you can chalk up to the artwork of the simply godawful John Forte (rest his soul). Green Boy's power is the ability to change the color of anything to green! He thought it would be helpful to the Legion as a camouflage technique, until they pointed out that most of the alien worlds they visit don't have green flora. My version is unkempt and gaunt, due to an ongoing depression over how lousy his superpower is. I sincerely hope he finds the help he so desperately needs.

Let's Go To Prison!


This is line art for a book that I'm illustrating. It's for teens and young adults, and it's about making good choices. I converted the line art into an Illustrator file, and added color. I'll post color versions after the book comes out.

This guy up there? He didn't make good choices in his life. Why, oh why did he sell a bag of loose Milk Duds? That shit ain't healthy.

I based the setting on a picture of an actual prison cell. The combination sink/toilet is just like it was in the photo. All stainless steel. Pretty modern lookin'. It wouldn't be out of place in the kitchen on "Top Chef." That circular hole on the left side? That's where the toilet paper goes. What will our prison system think of next?

What's that? You want to see more pictures from this book? Well, if you insist.

Here's Grandma Moses (no, seriously):


The image is based on a photograph of her. I flipped it (but kept the paintbrush in the proper hand) and changed up the background.

Here's an enterprising lady who is marketing her own line of makeup:


I've done way more pictures, but I think this is a nice cross-section.

And I plan to post to this blog more regularly, since I'm doing more art nowadays.