Friday, October 9, 2009

Joker and Harley Quinn after Quitely

So, I love Frank Quitely's take on Batman and Robin. So much so that I decided to do this impression of how Quietly might draw Gotham's other dynamic duo. This is the first time I've ever tried to mimic another artist's style and while I wouldn't make a habit of it, it was really kind of fun.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Several Dark Nights Later...

I'm just BATTY for the new Arkham Asylum game.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Real Eddie

Some of the characters in Abnormals are actually based on real people. For instance, the idea for Eddie was inspired by real-life entertainer Marcelo Eduardo deSardes. Hailing from a small village just outside Gibraltar, deSardes became very popular during the early 1900s as part of a sideshow act that would eventually break into the top Vaudeville circuits. To this day medical science has no explanation to describe the genetic anomaly that gave deSardes his trademark appearance, only that it is unrelated to hypertricosis (a rare genetic condition that causes over-active hair growth). Some believe it was just a fancy make-up job-- others believe that it's just a poorly photoshopped picture. You decide!
Marcelo deSardes as a young man, circa 1904.

Edward "Eddie"  Klay of Abnormals, circa now.

Little Eddies.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Building Character

Well I've been busy-busy working on my comic, Abnormals, and I'll be posting the whole first issue once I've finished the whole thing (instead of uploading a page at a time.) But in the meantime, allow me to present these concept sketches of my crazy crime-fighting super team starting with... the new and improved Paradoc!

Man of mystery. That's where I started when conceptualizing The Paradoctor. A man of mystery, but an eccentric man of mystery none-the-less. He's basically Howard Hughes, David Bowie, and Willy Wonka, all rolled up into a super-hero. Armed with a derby, a hovercraft, a vapor-gun, and a belt of various test-tubes and super-science devices, The Paradoc is ready to study or combat any super-natural occurrence.

The characters in the Abnormals are costumed crime-fighters but i wanted their gimmicks to be a little more... abnormal. Doll-Face is perhaps the most unorthodox example. Mainly, I wanted her to be the opposite of most female super-heroes, who tend to wear super-tight, super-revealing spandex and leather (not that there's anything wrong with that, if Superman can pull it off, so can Wonder Woman). Doll-Face on the other hand wants to play off her enemies' preconceptions and hopefully catch them off guard. She's pretty cute, but she's also pretty tough.

I wanted the ultra-limber Contortionist to look the most like a vigilante crime-fighter. The idea is that he was fighting the good fight on the streets of Curio City long before joining up with the other Abnormals. To him the whole costumed hero thing is a romantic ideal and he is attracted to the idea of a secret identity and a double life. By the way, he has white tights, not bare legs. It gets cold in the city at night.

With Eddie, I wanted to create a superhero whose special power would be absolutely of no use to him. Characters like Beast and Nightcrawler from X-men tend to compensate of their unusual appearances with great physical capabilities. Eddie has the physique of a pre-pubescent girl and the self-confidence of a wet noodle. I also really like the idea of a furry guy who wears turtlenecks.

John Stone, aka The Slate, is a man of little embellishment, so the disheveled detective look suits him just fine. If you look at some of the earlier posts on the blog, you'll see that I've decided to make him a little more distinct. Initially, I wanted him to look like a living greek statue-- this human physical ideal that contains thousands of years of human emotional damage. That idea is still at the heart of John Stone, but I've now designed him so that his features betray a little more of his hardened personality. Despite his loner mentality, he's still a very strong, sturdy character. I started by giving him the powerful square nose, and worked out from there. Now he resembles the stone figures from more ancient civilizations.

These are some early concepts (not super early, but that's for another post). As you can see from my other drawings of the Paradoctor, his look has changed quite a bit. Then again, he is sort of the David Bowie of crimefighters, so some of these other fashions may come back...

Not-So-Lovable Rogues

What's a team of Paranormal Crimefighters without a gallery of Paranormal Rogues? Below are a few of the villains that will be terrorizing Curio City with what the police call "Crimes of an Abnormal Nature". 

I wanted the villains in Abnormals to range from the terrifying to the just-plain-bizarre. Hive Head here, is a little of both. This bee-themed villain has a voice as sweet as honey, but let him get too close and he'll turn you into one of his drones (pictured to the right). His nickname in high school was "Sticky-Fingers" for a reason.

One of the first villains introduced is The Gingerbread Man, a brutal gangster who injects his victims with a petrifying serum that reduces them to a brittle and dried up corpse. 

Hansel and Gretel provide some of the most powerful hired muscle in Curio City, imported from Germany of course. These terrible twins get their start working as henchmen for The Gingerbread Man.

Mr. Ka is one of the big-time mob bosses in Curio City. He rarely gets his own hands dirty, but his influence in the criminal underworld is substantial. 
The Puppeteer factors into the Abnormals story in a big way. Aside from being a creepy psychopath, he'll be directly involved with Doll-Face's origins.

Among the Puppeteer's toy henchmen are a robotic Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. See if you can figure out which one's which.

... and lastly, these are some different heads of villain types. Many of my criminals started out this way. There is also what appears to be an evil version of the Paradoctor... hmmmm....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Beach Buds

In non-comic news, I recently sold this pastel piece I did of my brother and I at the beach. I entered it into the Prouts Neck art show up in Maine, which is regularly attended by none other than actress Glenn Close! I actually have photos of her from the show, but I'll resist posting them so as not to sink to the level of the Paparazzi. 

happy campers

Well I just finished my second summer of teaching art at camp, and it was really a lot of fun. During the first half of the day, I got to help my students develop their own awesome cartoon characters and then in the afternoon I took requests and did drawings for some of the kids in the other classes. Lucky for me, most of them wanted superheroes, but I did get in some good practice drawing characters from Magic the Gathering too (apparently it's as popular as ever these days). After a while, it occurred to me that I might post a few on my blog, so I scanned a couple before I gave them away. Also, the signatures were the kids' idea, and I was very flattered. I don't normally do a lot of fan art but I have to say, it's really fun. 

One little girl requested "owl man" so I drew the movie version of Nite Owl. If she was referring to the Watchmen, then that's one hip 4th  

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Character Spots

The Doctor Is In!

Introducing "The Paradoctor", the world renowned paranormal scientist  and founding member of The Abnormals. Unfortunately, he can no longer survive outside of a specific contained atmosphere and is often confined to the Abnormo-Plane, unless he wears a special type of gas-mask/respirator. He's also a snappy dresser as you can see from these two ensembles. No, he is not a "steam-punk" version of Rorschach. You wish.         

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Prime Time

In honor of Transformers 2: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen. This drawing references the noble, fatherly Optimus Prime, as opposed to the sword-wielding "I want your face you Decepticon scum" role-model the movie gives us. 

The Abnormo-plane

I know, it looks like if Apple designed a hamburger, but it sports that fancy "Abnormals" logo.

Second City post

Curio City at night...

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Big City

Here's a little teaser for the next post. Behold Curio City: the stage upon which the bizarre tales of The Abnormals unfold... 

Friday, June 12, 2009

Curiouser and curiouser...

I was going through some of my old sketches and decided to take the opportunity to show some of my process. The three pages below illustrate key scenes of Alice in Wonderland. Each illustration starts out as very rough thumbnail. From there, I do a more detailed pencil sketch and then a revised drawing on toned paper. I use some white charcoal on the toned to paper to add a little value and then I scan it into the computer for the final version. Using Photoshop, I push the value structure and add color. I also touch up any other drawing issues I may notice by this point. I like working this way because each stage forces me to reexamine the work and make improvements.   

page 1

page 2

page 3

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hardex Say: GRRRRR!

Here is a work-in-progress of a new comic featuring the futuristic Super-Cop HARDEX!
Stay tuned for color... 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Second Post

Here's an up close and personal look at some of the characters in the last post.

Here's the appropriately named John Stone. Sure it's not the most creative alias, but Stoney here isn't the most creative guy. Snazzy dresser though. 

Eddie's one hairy guy. Maybe I should have called him Harry...

Doll-Face sports kind of a Princess Leia hairdo. I may revise that a little.

Stay tuned for a look at more Abnormals including Jumping Jack (seen in the last post, on the right) and The Doc.