Comics, Concept Art, Creative Ideas...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Full Batman Art

Okay, this is the image that some of you were savy enough to get your own personalized copy before the due date yesterday. I pulled an all nighter last night to get this done before the Windy City Comic con today.

I'm super f-ing tired... Hopefully I don't fall asleep behind the wheel. Luckily I have a place to stay close to Chicago.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Batman Teaser Image

This image is actually a very small part of a much larger Batman Illustration that I'm putting together that I will be printing as a very limited edition signed and numbered giclee, for the purpose of self promotion at the Windy City Comic Con, this coming weekend. This is the first comic con I'll be checking out, after 25 years of collecting comics, so I'm kind of excited about it, despite the fact that I'm going by myself and will probably be brooding in a corner alone.

The main reason I wanted to do this was to try to catch the attention of the Around Comics Podcast guys, whom I've been enjoying listening to when I work out at the YMCA. It's not the only comics podcast I listen to, but it's one of my favorites. That Tom Katers guy from Wisconsin cracks me up. Anyway, as part of my desperate attempt to grab attention, each one of these prints, besides being numbered, are listed as a personalized proof. So there will be the Tom Katers proof, the Chris Neseman proof, etc, as well as The Dark Towers Proof, for the comic shop that hosts their podcasts. And then there will be other podcasters, stores, and comics professionals that I will gift their own proof to.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mysterio, Master of Illusion

This commission of Mysterio is requested by Chris Johnson, and I want to thank Chris for supporting my art by subscribing to my art blog.

I have to admit, while I love the way Ditko drew the character, no other artist has made the character appeal to me (perhaps Quesada's version in Daredevil). I think it's probably because he hasn't aged well. His visual appearance, to me, is a mix of 50s EC Sci Fi and Horror, which is exactly what I love about the way Ditko draws the character, and exactly what's missing from any other incarnation of the character.

What's more, the character himself is very dated. Mysterio was a movie special affects artist whom used his techniques to create illusions. Well, all that is done with computers now, although if we're honest, most of these tricks were never in the realm of what Mysterio could do, so the change isn't so much that Mysterio isn't as real as he was back then, it's that comics take themselves so seriously that they take this stuff to literally. None of that is a problem for me, as I prefer comics that sort of have a timeless presence to them, without references that set them to a specific date. Even in the 60s, Ditko's Spider-Man did not exist in the literal world of that time, and if you look at things like The Batman Animated series of the 1990s, there was a surreal mix of 1920s and modern elements. That's really the kind of surroundings I'd like to see Spider-Man placed back into.

In drawing this, I wanted to keep Mysterio's body small, so that he didn't look like a muscle man. I paid a lot of attention to the way Ditko used his hands, it was distinctively different than the way Dr. Strange did, less quirky, more bold and commanding. He was also drawn very upright and almost stiff looking. His arms never looked loose. His poses have that very rigid movements, almost like the Nazi soldiers used.

While I do love Ditko's design for Mysterio, he's not on the top of my list to use, and that's probably because I prefer the crime-elements to Ditko's Spider-Man over the the more fantastic elements. While Spider-Man is not Batman, I think, when done right, he inhabits the same sort of environment. Still, the visual affects Ditko used are so cool, that I'll probably play around with drawing Mysterio again. Thanks Chris, for suggesting this, and pushing me to try something I wouldn't have on my own. Often I discover my appreciation for a character when I draw them.

Chris, by the way, hosts the Amazing Spider-Cast, which is a podcast about Spider-Man. If you're interested in checking that out, I believe this link is the site with all the info.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Crime-Master Takes Aim at Spidey, in color

Here's the Spider-Man commission for Rick, finally colored. I've written a bit about the Crime-Master already, he's a character that's almost completely untouched since the 60s, and to which I envision a lot of potential. It's a real danger bringing this up, because you see, what's going to happen, is that someone is going to happen across this blog and suddenly The Crime-Master is going to become the "it" character before I get my chance. Well, I call dibs, you here that Steve Wacker, I have dibs on the Crime-Master. No one except me is talking about him anywhere. So if suddenly, after I start drawing him and telling my vision, he suddenly becomes the big Spider-Man villain, I better get a nod.

This piece is a little dark, but I felt it had to be. I really wanted to make the point that The Crime-Master is more of a blue color villain. I see him as an Irish Mobster, a low man, muscle, whom isn't happy with his place, hence the mask and the schemes. He's cunning, and no principles or loyalty and he'll betray your in a heartbeat. Like I mention somewhere on my forums, in his one storyline (unless you count retcons in Untold Tales of Spider-Man), which I do only for those stories) it's often forgotten that he's the one whom double crosses The Green Goblin, not the other way around. In fact, The Goblin seems very idealistic about his partnerships, and seems diapointed when they go wrong, which is the lost appeal in the early Goblin, that he was the "geek" of the villains who didn't get respect. The Crime-Master is the badass who hangs out at the wall that all the other kids stay away from because he's always kicking someone's ass. So the Goblin and him come together out of mutual convenience. But, the Crime-Master proves to be to uncontrollable for the Goblin, he double crosses him, and becomes a real wildcard.