Comics, Concept Art, Creative Ideas...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spider-Man In Color

I shopped this one around the web a bit, because I wanted to get the color just right. I'm pretty happy with the result, so here it is. My goal was to create an iconic piece of Spider-Man art, and I may not quite be at that level yet, but I think it's an honest attempt.

The original art for this piece is larger than standard original comic art size. I'll be listing it on my ebay store later this week. I'll probably list it at $250, which is more than I think a collector would be willing to pay for an unknown artist's work, but the inks are hyper-detailed and I have enough sentimental attachment to sit on it until I have more of a reputation (at which time maybe I'll sell it for quite a bit more). If there's any immediate interest, let me know.

Also, since I don't own the characters and Marvel doesn't own the artwork, I can't exactly sell posters of the image, but if anyone does want me to print out a display size giclee print for them, let me know and I'm sure we can work something out.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Spectacular Spider-Man Gets Dimension

First off, before anything else I want to mention that the drawing this image was rendered over was not one of mine. It's important to mention because I do not want to be accused of plagarism. This image was rendered over character design sketches for the animated Spectacular Spider-Man animated television series. The reason it's show here is because I brought it to a whole other level with Photoshop, and I wanted to show off some of what I'm capable of rendering with Photoshop.

I've made no secret that my preference is for traditional illustration styles, but when I say preference, that does not speak a distaste for digital imagery. In fact I enjoy playing with it quite a lot and there is quite a bit I am capable of doing with it that goes beyond some of the normal things that I've seen. In this particular case, I was sitting up last night, enjoying some down time, about 8p.m., I looking at some images on the web, and almost without thinking I decided to render one of the images to make it look more "3-Dimensional". The next thing I knew it was 2 in the morning. Sadly, that's kind of what being an artist has done to me. Instead of catching up on my sleep, I get absorbed in little projects, many of which I have no intention of using, and in this case, not even the rights to use, other than for self promotional purposes.

Someone might point out that I'm using a transparency in the armpit webbing and one might think that this violates my declared pet peeve of transparencies overlapping graphic black line, so let me clarify here, there are no solid lines in this illustration. It is my opinion that graphic images should stay graphic, but in an image, such as this. There is no black line. What might appear to be a line around the figure are dark "glows", and soft shadows. In life, images are rarely focused so that a line is graphic like the black outline. I love ink lines. It is my favorite way to render anything and I have super protective about line integrity. But this is not ink and there are no graphic lines shown here.

Anyway, I have to say, I think that this animated Spider-Man series, is brilliant. I love the design. I love the very retro approach to the original source material. There are always things about shows like this that I could identify how I'd do it differently, but this is, for sure, the best animated Spider-Man series I've seen to date.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Shadow

I'm not exactly sure where my appreciation for the character of The Shadow started. I think it probably came from one of the TwoMorrows books, maybe a collected edition of one of the early Comic Book Artist magazines. Whatever the case, it was Denny O'Neil and Mike Kaluta who first hooked me into the character. There's something about Kaluta's art on The Shadow that totally turns me on. He's another one of those artists from the 70s that it seems criminal to have been all but forgotten.

My interest in the character grew even more when I started doing research about the Pulps. I was fascinated that it seemed virtually ignored that the alter ego that The Shadow was normally associated with, Lamont Cranston, wasn't his true identity in the Pulps at all, but another alias that he acquired from one of his agents. His real name was Kent Allard, although you'd never guess it from most of the media out there.

I'd love to be able to work on The Shadow. My way of looking at these characters is always to draw them as the exist, not to redesign them, but to modify my style to best suit the character. The Shadow is a character that I think could look so freakin' badass! He's totally untapped right now and it's a shame because, like Batman, this is a character that has enough universal appeal that he can endure. The fact that he hasn't so well I think is more a sign of a lack of understanding in his potential.

My take on the character here is very much trying to preserve the look and characteristics of the old pulp covers as well as Kaluta's style on those early DC issues. I very much like using solid blacks as a design element, as this is a character that lurks in the shadows. I take a more realisitic approach to The Shadow, than I do with Spider-Man, but I tend to distort the features so as to give it a surreal quality.

I've turned this into a plug for the podcast WordBalloon for a couple of reasons. One is because I'm a big fan of John Siuntres and even though I've emailed him before I'm sure he doesn't know who I am. So I'm hoping that he'll just take notice of me, as well as to draw attention from anyone else out there (unfortunately an artist has to be a pimp and a whore to get attention). The other reason is because I'm such a fan of that podcast I'm hoping that my admirers will check that podcast out.

Also, I'm using Tim Sale's comic font in this (that you might recognize from the show Heroes), so hopefully both Siuntres and Sale will forgive me if they see this. I do neither justice but I am a great admirer of both men's work.

One last thing, I post on the forums for a couple of other podcasts and have friendly relationships with those people. Just so that those people don't think I'm not loyal to them, I have other items in my head for specific shows, and I'll be doing you injustice soon as well...