Tuesday 28 June 2011

Whatever Happened to Those 99 Red Skulls?

Some of you might recall I was working on doing 99 Red Skell sketch cards for the Captain America set, but I've never posted any of them.  The reason is I didn't manage to finish them by the deadline and didn't realise I missed the deadline until after it had passed.

I did learn never to try and do 99 full colour sketch cards for practically nothing and meet deadlines for real work.  I was using every shortcut I could think of -- rendering them in batches, actually redrawing another card I liked -- but it wasn't enough.  I'm not sure how the other people manage to find the time to do that many cards on top of their other assignments (and many of them do far more than the head shots I typically do), but I was finding the cards were starting to suffer.  I never even managed to find the time to open the box of Kree/Skrull cards before that deadline passed.  There's no way I can reasonably accommodate more than colour 25-50 cards over a few months with my schedule as it is. If nothing else, I learned my limits here.

Anyway, I figure I can share what I did manage to do over the next little while even though they'll never reach the collector market.

Here's a batch of the penciled cards.  I'd lighten these with a kneaded eraser before using the markers on them. They'd all be taped into a group of eight cards, I'd draw the Skulls then tape the edges down to an 11x14" sheet of illustration board so I could move them around without handling the cards themselves.  I used a fair amount of liquid frisket to block out the heads before using a marker-airbrush to tone the backgrounds.  Lots of Copic work and pencils crayon noodling later I'd call it quits.

Here's a batch of more-or-less finished cards - -actually only happy with a few of these.  The lower card on the left side was one of the first I did -- the quality drop is pretty obvious after that, I think.
More later. . . .

Friday 24 June 2011

Gene Colan's Dracula

Gene Colan has passed away.

Even though every report or reminiscence about the man described him as kind, giving and wonderful man,  I'll leave it to others who actually knew the person to talk about him.  I only know him through his work, which was a revelation when I first encountered it in the pages of the two Nathaniel Dusk series published by DC back in the 1980s.  I had seen his work prior to that, and I was impressed with what I saw of his work translated through the hands of his inkers, but it wasn't until I saw his pencils that I really experienced the power and energy  in his drawings.

Now, nearly thirty years later, it's easy to Google samples of the man's pencils and I have a certain envy to the starting artists getting to see so much so easily, but, my so-called deadly sin aside, I encourage all to take the time to surf the net for as much of Gene's work you can.  Perhaps order some collections of his work.

I certain nothing would make him happier than knowing he's still entertaining and enthralling comics audiences even after passing away.

A while ago a bit of an artist meme started with all sorts of talented folks taking their hand to inking a specific sketch of Dracula Gene did.  I was initially planning to participate, but found I was actually too intimidated by the task.  The news pushed me past that this morning.
So, even though I still feel inadequate to the pencils, here's my inks over the legendary Gene Colan's pencils.  Once the Canada Post lockout has been resolved I'll likely auction this off to benefit The Hero Initiative.

 A more direct comparison:

And, for anyone interested in taking a hand at this themselves, a large scan of the pencils.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

It Takes a Hero

 Just got an email reminder about Hope:  The Hero Initiative.  They've sold out of half the print run and looking to push the rest out the door. The full color, 188-page softcover has a cover price of $19.95 and can be ordered from retailers with the Diamond Order Code DEC101038.

Jeff Telofski and Keith Brett wrote a charming little story and it was fun to draw, colour and letter a story again -- I think it's only the second time I've done that.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

A Colour Vampirella Sketch

I guess drawing all these Vampirella cards has played on my affection for the character to the point i'm drawing her for warm-ups as well.  I mentioned I did a Vampirella sketch based on the Black Cat card-puzzle -- this is it, but coloured a bit in Pshop.

Now I'm tempted to redraw this as a two-card Vampirella sketch card -- I think if I draw this pose enough I'll get good at it!