Monday, December 21, 2009

Proof That I Have Too Many Comics.

While sorting through my comics, I found Amazing Spider-Man #124 (1973)...

...Marvel Tales #101 (1978)...

...and Power Records #10 (1974).

It's the same freakin' story!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Blooper, Indeed.

I recently ran across this book, printed in 1969, The Dictionary of Bloopers & Boners.

Before you get the wrong idea around what the book is about, let me show you a couple of excerpts from the book's forward.

It goes on to examine how such things can occur.

In the body of the book, some of the entries have an accompanying cartoon.

It's a fun read highlighting misused words or ideas from various sources. The dedication page has a single statement on it...

A nice sentiment. It could only be better if it had a cartoon to go with it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It isn't easy being green.

She-Hulk has green blood. It drove me a little crazy when Greg Horn painted many She-Hulk covers, during Dan Slott's great run, that gave her red-rimmed eyes. To me, she merely looked like a red-blooded girl painted green.

That may be why the green-skinned woman in the newest Star Trek movie looks merely painted to me too.

I'm just saying.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weird Marvel Comics Ad - Ricochet Racers!

I recently ran across Marvel Spotlight #32 (1976) in my basement. The bottom blurb states "Positively the most shocking ending you'll read this month!"

Well, I flipped through the story and wasn't very shocked. I think the blurb might be referring to the actual last page in the book, an ad. It shocked me in its oddness. Click to enlarge.

I don't know how you feel about it, but in my head, it reads something like this...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Random Moments from Old Comics, #2

I'm still organizing the comics in my basement. I'm going through the Marvels first. Here's a few things I've run across....

Those Aren't Enhanced? Really?
There was a fad in the early 90's of using "enhanced" covers to help sell comics. There were covers cut into shapes, covers with shiny inks or foils, covers with embossed images, and combinations of each.

Below is She-Hulk #50 (1993). The logo and "50" broach are embossed and printed in silver foil. She-Hulk's flesh is printed in green foil, but not embossed.

The layout of the cover has never made sense to me. Why would a big, blank area be the center of focus, unless the original plan was to also use emboss? I Photoshopped a version of what, I think, someone must have chickened out of doing...

John Byrne purposefully did a fun-loving, cheesecake book. I'm not sure if the above picture was the original intent or not, but it doesn't seem much tackier than what DC did with embossed silver foil in 1993 on Lobo #1.

Unreasonable request + Deadline = Short Cut
Marvel Team Annual # 4 is a light-hearted story written by Frank Miller and penciled by Herb Trimpe. It contains a full page image where Spider-Man says, "Look at them! Hundreds-- thousands of people, all screaming for our deaths!"

If Mr. Miller planned this as an entire page, I suspect he wasn't expecting to see a giant Spider-Man head filling it! Instead of showing thousands of people attacking, drawing the horror on Spider-Man's face is an effective time saver. Too bad he wears a mask.

Things We Should Never See, Part 3.
Here's Modok as seen in Marvel Team-Up #104 (1981).

Below is how we see him later in the book. Modok shouldn't have a body. Even if he's smashed out of his equipment, he just shouldn't.

It's like seeing Galactus without his helmet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I always feel like somebody's watching me.

I bought the recently-released Watcher figurine. He's been making his way around our house. He is consistently being placed in rather inconspicuous places, waiting for someone to notice his piercing gaze. That person then moves him. He has even shown up in our bathroom!

I guess we should stop. It's kinda creepy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Art 102

There's a story behind this very old, sketchbook cartoon of mine. Read it, then decide if you care to read below it.

(Click to enlarge.)
Both characters represent me. I drew this in college, when I was 19-ish. I grew up in rural Arkansas and never had an art class until college. I sketched this cartoon immediately after leaving a class one day. It was a direct reaction to my struggle with which art was truly good and which art was not. A teacher had told me to be more "intellectual", a phrase I use in the cartoon. It may be the only time in my life that someone has accused me of under-thinking anything. (If you actually know me, that last sentence will make more sense.)

I stand by the writing in this, although the art's rather, um, crappy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Moments from Old Comics

I've started alphabetizing the many comics in my basement. It is, of course, impossible to organize old comics without flipping through them. I thought I'd share interesting things as I run across them. Here's a few in no particular order...

Look what Nightcrawler did in 1979!
From Marvel Team-Up #89...

Please no longer give Spider-Man the credit for inventing cool upside-down lip locking.

Something We Should Never See, Part 1.

This is the Vision. He's an android.

In Avengers #137 (1975), we see him in a bathing suit!

There's something weird about it. I didn't even know his "costume" came off!

Something We Should Never See, Part 2.
Galactus is an awesome, near-incomprehensible force of cosmic proportions.

In the first Hercules limited series, issue #4 (1982), we see the Big G with his helmet off!

It's like looking inside someone's underwear drawn. It just feels wrong.

Truth in Advertising (for once)!
I found the below ad in Machine Man #6 (1978). I'm showing it because the hype actually turned out to actually be true! The "best" was yet to come. This was right before the book's most famous years. (Click on it if you'd like to enlarge it.)

Plus , it's a great image if you like the original New X-Men.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Captain America Original Art

I've decided to ebay a piece of John Byrne/Joe Rubinstein art from Captain American #234. Before I sell it, however, I thought I'd list some of the things I enjoy about it. (Edit: No longer on ebay. Sold.) Click on it below if you'd like to see a larger view.

First of all, the inks are truly beautiful. If Joe Rubinstein was never a fan favorite, he should have been.

Second, the cool thing about owning original art, is that you'll notice mistakes that you'd never notice by merely looking at the printed book. For example...

The first panel has been whited out at the top. It was apparently drawn too high on the page. (A lettering issue, perhaps?) In the printed comic, the panel is lower, but slightly crooked. It must have been copied and placed a bit carelessly. (Yes. It's subtle. Have I ever mentioned I art direct for a living?)

Also, one of the panels has the lines of the door frame drawn through Cap's shoulder. When I first compared it to the printed page, I was surprised to find it there too! I shouldn't have been.

Original work, as an artifact, tells a story by itself. You can often see the history of decision-making told by white out, blue lines, or unerased pencils. You can see the "hand of the artist" in the variation of the black inks. The page above has Zip-A-Tone applied to it, which was a cool fad for a while.

I'm going to miss seeing original art, as more and more work is created solely on the computer.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Nighttime secrets"

A doodle from one of my sketchbooks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Batman vs Spectre!

I'd forgotten I had drawn this. My last post reminded me. You can see how my art style has changed, if you look at the two Spectres.

Right before creating Halo and Sprocket, I submitted a story idea to DC Comics. It was about Batman's first encounter with the Spectre. I won't take you through the entire plot, but it was basically about how Batman was grounded in "real life," while the Spectre was a purely metaphysical character. I wanted Batman to win against impossible odds as circumstance pits him directly against the Spectre. Toward the end of the story, Batman uses Bible verses, from Genesis, quoting how Jacob wrestles with an angel/God. Batman challenges the Spectre in the same way. Jacob wins in the original story, so guess who wins in mine!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I've got Spectre covered.

I picked up Showcase #61 at a recent, local comic convention. The cover has always interested me. Just look at it...!

After buying it, I decided to do my own version of it for Covered Blog. (A blog I always enjoy.) I also recently did a Tigra one. See my newest entry here, or simply look at it below. Click to enlarge.

I gave "Shathan" a hairy chest because he has one in the interior pages. The cover's only a metaphor for the inside story. No one actually gets hit on the head with any planets. (I must admit I was a little disappointed.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Doodle on my new Wacom tablet

As an artist, I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I've only had a mouse for my computer these many years. I finally broke down and got a very cheap Wacom tablet. Nothing fancy, just a "Bamboo". I doodled something that recently occurred to me. When we consider people attractive, we take a portrait of their heads, don't we?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That Wacky Billy!

I came across this item recently. Back in '90 I used to work with an individual who was quite gullible. At some point, I wondered just how gullible the person was, so I altered a panel in the newspaper comic section and said, "Have you seen today's Family Circus!?! I Xeroxed it!"

The person's response was sincere. "Oh wow. I wonder why he would do that? Do you think he's having trouble at home?"

I later confessed what I did. I'm a softy at heart. Sort of.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Tigra You Never Saw

I've admitted I'm a Tigra fan on this site. Apparently, in current Marvel continuity, she has been abused with all sorts of unfortunate circumstances. In the early 90's I had submitted a 6 page Tigra idea to What the..?. Marvel showed interest in it and then What the..? was canceled. End of that story. This was during the time period when John Byrne was doing She-Hulk and Tigra wasn't being used in any comic.

I find the ending of my proposed story a bit interesting, considering Tigra's current situations. Below are my old roughs, so judge them kindly. (Yes, I'm too lazy to actually draw the whole thing just for the benefit of my 8 readers. I did give the first panel, above, the finished treatment...) Click to enlarge.

The fourth panel below was supposed to be a boob joke.

I remember being disappointed in myself for making the obvious hairball joke, but I felt it was obligatory.

At the time, everyone was making Wolverine rip-offs, so I had to do one.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Deadman should stop solving murders...

...and spend all his time possessing slow people who clog traffic by driving in the %&$@# fast lane! Make 'em move over, Boston!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I've got Tigra covered.

If you've never checked out Covered Blog, it's an enjoyable site. Artists do their own interpretations of comic covers. Being the Tigra fan that I am, I decided to send one in. You can see it there here, or look at it below. Click to enlarge, if you like.

Here's the original 1975 cover by Howard Chaykin and Bernie Wrightson.

I've always wanted Tigra to be a fun-loving character whose cat-like curiosity gets her into interesting predicaments (including fighting monsters). I'm not sure what Marvel's take on her is. Bad-luck slut, maybe? I haven't truly kept up with what's happening with her lately. I suspect I don't want to know.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

An Awesome Comic-Con Sketch! (Not Really.)

On my road trip to San Diego, I ended up in a doctor's office, in Oklahoma City. (I'm fine. Thank you for your moment of curiosity.) The doctor explained things to me as he drew on the rolling paper that covers the examination table. I asked if I could keep it. He said, "Sure," as he graciously torn it out and signed it. It's pretty big. 10.5" x 10.5".

The story gets more complex. I didn't make it to San Diego, but it doesn't end sadly. I ended up having a great vacation in the Palo Duro Canyon, Texas, and the Rocky Mountains, Colorado! Here's a couple of pictures from it...