Comics, Concept Art, Creative Ideas...

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Crime-Master takes aim at Spider-Man!

This is one of the two paid commissions I'm doing for Rick Foster, or as he's known on the internet "Grandpa". Rick has been very supportive and enthusiastic about my art. We have similar tastes in comics (we both love this obscure 1960s Spidey villain, The Crime-Master, and the next piece I'm doing for him is The Shadow!!!).

I really appreciate the opportunity to do make a little money while getting my feel for these characters. Like I said, The Crime-Master is a favorite of mine, but I came to understand the character more through this drawing. I've always seen him as a gangster, but what really came through to me as I drew him, is that he's a blue collar gangster. He's not The Rose, whom is a Spider-Man villain from the 1980s whom also is an underworld character who wears a suit and a mask, but whom is rich, stylish, and powerful. The Crime-Master wears drab colors. For some reason I'm seeing him as old school Irish-American. He's a small time gangster, muscle, with bigger ambitions; hence the mask. I also think he's smart. He's been in the trenches, he's a survivor and there's blood on his hand. He has perspective. If he had been allowed, he could lead the mobs and he's brutal enough to do what it takes to hold power. Unfortunately for him, because of this social class and ethnic background, that's not a role open to him through the mobs. Hence the mask, which allows him to grab for power without becoming a target.

And here are my original pencils, which I thought I'd show so people can see how my art evolves. Sometimes it's not apparent to me what's working and what's not until the piece materializes in ink. I'm disappointed to lose sight of Spidey's right arm, but the perspective just wasn't working on that and I think the piece is stronger without it. These are actually really tough poses to draw. There are still a few decisions I'm not sure I made the right choice on, but there is a time when an artist needs to step away so he can meet his deadlines.

Please show Rick your support by shopping at his comic shop, if you're in his area. I spent some time with him on the phone this week and he's a really nice guy. Rick's store is:

Grandpas Comics
34161 RT.45

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