Comics, Concept Art, Creative Ideas...

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Return of the Man in The Crime-Master's Mask Pt. 1

The Return of the Man in The Crime-Master's Mask is a portfolio series of 6 or 7 comic pages with the purpose of promoting my work. The work is based on my favorite Spider-Man story by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, The Man in The Crime-Master's Mask, which appeared in Amazing Spider-Man issues #26 and 27. This under appreciated story stands out in the run and it's gitchy-noir element is one that has been seldom tapped into in a Spider-Man comic since and works perfectly with the character.

My goal is to capture the essence of Ditko's Spider-Man but in my own style, more a homage to Ditko than a swipe. I've had something in mind like this for sometime and then at one point I was re-reading one of my favorite superhero comics of all time, Batman The Long Halloween, and it clicked with me that while that story was pure Batman, there was something in there that could be applied to Spider-Man. The Romita Spider-Man is what has endured, bold, bright, very superhero-ish. But the original Spider-Man, Ditko's Spider-Man, was a bit darker. It was filled with gangsters, in fact that's what the Green Goblin was, a gangster. Spider-Man is a character with a lot of tragedy, a lot of sadness. Things don't go right for him. He's a bit like Charlie Brown. He keeps trying but his victory is that he manages to survive. He hasn't won yet.

The storyline is a sequel to the Crime-Master saga of the 60s. The story adheres only to the continuity established by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko together outside of the current Marvel Continuity or the retroactive continuity added by writers and artists since. The concept itself would be a dream project for me, not something I expect to work on anytime soon but something I would aspire to after making a reputation for myself.

This first page, the splash page, was designed almost two years ago and sat unfinished until I recently decided this concept was unique enough to put together as a portfolio. Each of the following pages will focus on a different key-character in the story, including Peter Parker, The Green Goblin, The Crime-Master, Betty Brandt (finally getting her due), J. Jonah Jameson, Frederick Foswell a.k.a. the man called Patch, and finally Spider-man himself. The different character focus will give me a chance to show my range in storytelling.

This page was designed in an over-sized Sketchbook filling the page from corner to corner before being removed to be scanned. It was actually drawn two years ago and I just recently applied color to it when I decided to put this portfolio together. The following pages will be drawn and inked on hot pressed premium quality bristol board. When I present those pages I'll go into the story concept a little bit more.

The original art for this page is for sale in my ebay store.

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