Thursday 25 January 2007

Red Sonja

My knee seems to not want to get better any time soon, so I sit and work. I'm seeing another doctor about it Monday, but I'm hoping it'll be better by then.
I took a short break from my current assignment to do something for the blog: a Red Sonja.

I was just going to put up the rough pencils, but felt that it needed a little colour -- at least some red hair! I like the initial drawing, so I'll probably do something more finished with it when I have both the time and inclination.
I wasn't initially a fan of the character. She seemed silly next to Conan, and I wasn't surprised to discover that she wasn't really a Howard creation, but a bastardization of a Howard Character by Roy Thomas and co.. I DO like hot redheads, and that scale-mail bikini has its allure, so, while not a fan, I certainly enjoyed her appearance.

I was prepared to dislike Dynamite's new Red Sonja series and I ignored it for some time, until I had a number of pals recommend the collections. . .

So now I AM a fan of Red Sonja. I think Rubi's doing the best work of his career and the writing is top notch.
Heck, I even registered at Dynamite Entertainment's Forum over a month ago to say so, but I'm still awaiting a moderator to approve my membership there. Maybe someday. . .
Hmm, that last part seemed a little negative. I blame my knee!



Monday 22 January 2007

More Vampi

Gah -- this early in and I already hit a hiccough in keeping the blog steady. Excuses? Why, yes, I do have a few. I turned 39 on the 12th, losing that weekend, and had my knee go kablooey midweek (actually, it sounded more like bubble wrap popping at it twisted). I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow about the knee, but there's nothing to be done about getting older.

I did do something for the blog, on top of teaching and freelancing:a pencil drawing of Vampi. I'm intending to ink this, which explains the lack of tone and odd white areas behind Vampi, but I'll probably post a few other things first to try and get my rhythm back while I break out the brushes and nibs. I might even colour it afterwards. If I'm happy with the end result, I might send it along to Fangoria.

I feel this Vampi is more traditional than the one I did back in '95 -- I do think I have more control over her facial features and proportions. I guess that whole experience thing does eventually pay off!

Feel free to comment!


Friday 12 January 2007

Moving and Shaking with Vampirella

The latest comics industry news that has me smiling from ear-to-ear is that Fangoria Comics has outright bought Vampirella from Harris Comics. The best coverage is at Heidi MacDonald's Blog, The Beat :

My favourite part is from a previous entry, though, where Jonathan Rheingold ends up looking stupid. It's a wee bit of Schadenfreude, but a long, long time ago, I had a project killed for no other reason than JR didn't want to bother with anything started before he took over things at Harris Comics. I know a few other people treated poorly by the man, but it's really up to them to discuss that.

I had written all four issues and was drawing a special preview thingie when it got killed. I've had higher-profile and better paying gigs killed over my career, but none for the reason that the project was considered an inconvenience.

Anyway, I had recently found this in my files while tidying my studio: it was the first piece of promo art for the Time Bleeds mini series. I had only started trying to ink (it shows) and the drawing was pretty much the all I was capable of way back then.

Maybe I'll do a new Vampi for my next entry here.


Thursday 11 January 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Saw del Toro's latest film Monday night and it was even better than I was expecting -- even after having read so much critical praise. It's one of those films that just stays with you, haunts you.

Over the last few days I've found myself thinking about aspects of the film beyond the usual technical deconstruction of the story or direction I have been doing with films for the last decade or so. It's one of those films were the technical brilliance disappears into the story, I'll have to see it again to just get a better sense of how it was put together.

Mike Mignola's design is obvious in a few places, the titular faun in particular.

I'm already keeping a spot for it on my DVD shelf open.


Wednesday 10 January 2007

El Borak!

This is the first Howard character I experienced after reading his Conan yarns. I grabbed the Berkley edition THE LOST VALLEY OF ISKANDER with eager hands, wondering only in the briefest passing why the cover artist put a moustache on Conan!
I was at first disappointed to find that Francis Xavier Gordon (aka El Borak) was historical fiction (and not Conan with a 'stache), but was soon thrilled to discover that it was WEIRD historical fiction. The same level of horror and fantasy imbued the world this version of Lawrence of Arabia's world as Conan or Kull's. In many ways, Gordon is the modern equivalent of Conan, as he lacks the broodiness of the rest of the Howard characters. If I recall correctly, L. Sprague de Camp plundered at least one Gordon story in his succesful attempt to squat a portion of REH's creativity.

As much as would like to drawn any of Howard's characters in comics form, Gordon immediately follows Conan on the wish list. My ego would probably put him at the top, since fewer great artists have turned their hands to this lesser-known adventurer.

Saturday 6 January 2007

Skull-Face and Costigan

Howard's Kathulos tales are ones that held up better in memory than in rereading as I grew older. Of course, I was never a big fan of the Fu Manchu tales Howard was riffing when he turned his hand to Kathulos, so that makes a certain amount of sense. I always come back to them ever five years or so, so there must be something there.

Skull-Face, the first of the tales collected in the Berkley edition of the same name, is the closest to being a favourite. This Costigan (since there were a few characters Howard named Costigan), starts off in a haze of hashish and has a nightmarish vision of the emaciated and ancient villain in this drug addled state. It gets worse for him from there.


Tuesday 2 January 2007

Robert E Howard

I've been a fanatic for Robert E. Howard's characters ever since I read the Berkley edition of Red Nails way back when.

My perrenial favourite is Conan -- at his best when he's essentially an amoral freebooter or rogue rampaging through the edges of what passed for civilization in Howard's Hyborean age -- but Solomon Kane and Kull have their own unique appeal.

Kane, the grim Puritan, stalking the evils of the African continent in the name of God and avenging murdered pagans, how could I not love the character!

I understand there's a movie in the works and I think Dark Horse is brewing a Solomon Kane comic for later in the year, so it looks like a good time to be a fan of Howard and the character.

Monday 1 January 2007

Starting with the New Year


Decided to copy a few of my pals and start a sketch-blog for my seemingly-ever pending website. I figure that since it takes me so long to actually find the time to do any work on the site, that this easily updateable thingie would make a fine appendage to it.

Fine appendages are good things to collect!

Have to start the year off right, and what better way than to post a pic of a zombie Baby New Year!