Sunday, December 18, 2011
Ever wish you could remain a teenager forever? Archie Andrews did!
This month marks the 70th Anniversary of Archie and his Pals and Gals and the whole line of Archie Comics. Making his first appearance in Pep Comics #22, Archie, Betty and Jughead were around thirteen years old when they first appeared but by the time "Archie Comics #1" would hit the newsstands a year later the gang would be around sixteen as we know them today.
Archie and his Friends have lasted almost as long as the super-hero genre that dominates the the comic book industry. Even though these characters never grow old, they do change with the times and that makes them as popular today as they were with your parents.
To think that the gang from Riverdale High School lived through the Big Band Era, Rock and Roll, Psychedelic Music, Disco, New Wave, Punk, Grunge, Hip-Hop and on and on.
And not to mention Radio (which Archie had a successful series that lasted for ten years), Television (with numerous successful animated series) Film, Internet, etc.
And let's not forget the very successful rock group (spun off of the Animated TV series of the 60's) "The Archies"with their number #1 smash, "Sugar, Sugar".
Archie Comics and IDW Publishing are putting out some wonderful books celebrating these great characters and the people who have worked on these comics. I suggest you check them out, they are GREAT reading.
Happy 70 Years to Archie and his Friends, and especially my favorite member of the gang Jughead.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
This month marks the 50 anniversary of the First Family of Super-heroes, Marvel's Fantastic Four.
In the first issue we were introduced to Reed Richards, the stretchable Mr. Fantastic, his girl friend Susan Storm, who became the Invisible Girl. We also meet Sue's hot-headed little brother Johnny who becomes The Human Torch and of course Ben Grimm, The Everlovin' rockbound Thing. These four individuals, changed by Cosmic Rays set the stage for Marvel's revolutionary comics that would change super-hero comics forever!
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby gave the world super-heroes who acted like you and me and just because they had extraordinary powers didn't mean they didn't ordinary problems.
In the few years that followed, Stan and Jack (and a whole other stable of talented writers and artists) gave us a brand new universe that looked familiar but was populated with Marvels that protected our world. And the special part of these Marvels (and who they were as individuals) is that they could be you or me.
I love the Fantastic Four and even though they only exist in the "Funny Books", I feel close to these characters because they are so real and that I could be a part of their family in some small way. The Fantastic Four ARE a Family first and a team of heroes second. THAT'S what makes them special.
Or should I say "Marvelous"?
NAH! Make that FANTASTIC!
Monday, August 22, 2011
This month marks the 70th Anniversary of the first appearance of Plastic Man in Police Comics #1.
Created by Jack Cole, Plas was former small time hood Eel O'Brian who during a heist was shot and bathed in experimental acid. O'Brian fled into the woods and passed out only to awaken days later in a monastery. The monks who lived there had treated the Eel's wounds and brought him back to life.
While recouperating O'Brian discovered that the strange acid had affected his body and he could now strecth his body great lengths and change into different shapes.
Being moved by the kindly monks unselfish act, O'Brain swore to use his new incredible powers to fight crime and make up for his past misdeeds.
Eel O'Brian was no more and so was born the strechable super-hero, Plastic Man!
Plas was created by Jack Cole who had a background in gag cartooning and used this talent and his great sense of comic timing to tell the hilarious tales of Plastic Man's fight against crime.
Cole's run on Plas is one of the great highlights of the Golden Age of Comic Books and have been reprinted in the DC Comics Archive series of books. I highly reccommend them.
Plas is still going strong today. He is a member of the Justice League of America and has been recently featured in the Batman The Brave and the Bold animated series on Cartoon Network.
I love Plas and he is one of my favorite super-heroes. Anytime I want a fun and entertaining read, I pick up a Plastic Man Comic Book and enjoy the ride.
Happy Birthday, Plas!!!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
This one page "gag" is from the current run of the "Looney Tunes" comic book #89. It was published around the time in the aftermath of the attacks on 9-11-01.
But giving blood is a good idea anytime so let's follow Bugs' advice and donate today!
Monday, March 7, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Today is the Anniversary of the birth of one of Comics greatest innovators, Will Eisner. Eisner was there at the dawn of Comics Books and helped shape it into the medium that it is today.
Not only did he create one of comics most enduring characters The Spirit, the debut came in a special comic book section that was in Sunday newspapers.
Eisner was one of the first to experiment with the layout of the comic page using it to effectively to tell his stories. He was also a master of mood and lighting and the use of shadow play that few have ever been able to duplicate.
And his slash pages had few equals. Every new Spirit story started with the hero's name used for the background or buildings, wind blown papers, puddles of water and blood and so many, many more uses of stylized lettering.
Eisner is also credited with creating the Graphic Novel, a complete novel told in comic book form or the phrase he coined, "sequential art".
He was also a scholar of the medium, helping people learn the full use and potential of telling a story with sequential art.
Today Google is honoring Mr. Eisner with it's logo done like Eisner did with the aforementioned Spirit splash page.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
These two sketches are something new I'm trying with a color outline. As much as I like a good, thick black outline with some proper weight to it, I also like to switch it up once in a while. Of course achieving this means drawing the darker color outline first, then adding the lighter shades of hues.
Now working with markers (Berol-Prismacolor, old Design Markers and Sharpies) when you do this the light colors are going to run and bleed from the darker outline, even if using marker paper.
From working with xerox copies of my artwork when coloring them, I know that mostly the black ink will not run...most times. So I got the idea of coloring the outline using the appropriate colors, then making a copy of it, then finish the copy with the lighter hues.
For my first experiments with this method I used an old sketch of Muttley I did a copy years ago and a Harvey Eisenberg inspired drawing of Huckleberry Hound.
Here are the end results. I would love to hear what you think.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Recently I found a box full of artwork from the early 90's. During that time I did a lot of drawings featuring the Looney Tunes characters. Some of the art in the box was preliminary sketches for commission pieces.
The character that I got the most requests for was the Tasmanian Devil. During this time Taz was very popular, having the animated series and a big merchandising push.
This is the first of a group of drawings I did of Taz for t-shirts, paintings, tattoos, etc.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Here's a sketch I back in the 90's of Tweety and Sylvester. This is part of a compilation painting I did of the Looney Tunes characters.
This is a recent sketch of Sylvester Jr. in a familiar pose.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sometime ago I posted this sketch of Bugs Bunny that was drawn by Chuck Jones for his 1943 cartoon, "Super Rabbit". I got this image from the wonderful Chuck Reducks Blog run by Jones' family.
I love any opportunity to ink my art heroes and finding this pencil sketch of Bugs by Jones was like finding gold (especially this being so early in Bugs' career). Above are my inks over Jones' pencils after a little bit of clean up and tightening the lines.
Above here I xeroxed my inked piece and colored it using Berol-Prismacolor Markers. This was a sheer delight for for me. In my opinion Chuck Jones was the greatest animation director of all time and this opportunity to ink the masters pencils was a true honor.
I hope you all like it as much as I enjoyed working on it.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Above is a sketch I did of Charlie Brown as he looked in the first few years of Charles Schulz's Peanuts. I love these early looks, and it is also fun for me to look in the collections of early strips and see how the characters have evolved over the years.
This past Monday (January 4, 2011) Stan Lee received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This of course was for his huge body of work in the field of Comic Books and the characters that he created/co-created that have also become successful in television, cartoons and movies.
To this there is only one thing I can say: