Monday, August 27, 2018

Goblin Necromancer

This is a drawing I did to figure out the character that appeared in Mutant Elf chapter 15: Ghost Story. Thought I'd post it here because it wasn't used in the actual story.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Review: Apama vol.2

I recently finished reading volume 2 of the adventures of Cleveland's greatest new hero, Apama! Apama is the comic I called "the comic I’ve been waiting for for years"  after reading the first issues in the initial collection. The adventures continue in volume 2, and just get more offbeat and quirky, while keeping the Bronze-Age feel that worked so well in the first volume.

For the life of our main character,  Ilyia Zjarsky (secretly the super-powered Apama) Volume 2 is almost too brutal! Writers Ted Sikora and Milo Miller never give Apama much of a break. Our main character is trying hard to be a hero, but he's really having trouble living out his dreams. He's unable to stop the evil Regina, for example. In fact, Ilyia seems pretty scared of her, and I think I would be too! Also, Apama can't keep his love life together, and his super-persona is becoming the least liked hero in Cuyahoga County!

I was surprised with the twists in the love life of our protagonist. I really thought his pairing with Vica was something special. Now, not only does she flee from his affections, but we find out her attraction to him may be the result of the Apama spirit, and not Ilyia's great personality.

And I can't write this without mentioning "Ten Cent Beer Night", a hilarious story based on the all-to-real disastrous promotion the Cleveland Indians once attempted. The results of which in the Apama world are even worse!!

The art by Benito Gallego is as good in vol.2 as it was in the beginning, and I found myself often staring at the pictures and forgetting to read on in the story.

Finally, I must mention the Tap Dance Killer, the greatest creation since Apama perhaps. She's a great villain who isn't really a villain, and she's funny and scary at the same time. I also read the first issue of the Tap Dance Killer spin-off comic, and she's even better as the start of her own book, as it fleshes out the character even more. Nicolaus Harrison's art isn't the same as Benito's, and I honestly like Benito a lot more. Harrison could use more organic inks, with less of a scratchy look. Storytelling is very solid, though!

Now I'll try to write a conclusion. How's this: Apama continues to surprise me, with plot choices I don't expect. an almost too real journey of our main character trying to be a hero, and super art that melds perfectly with the writing style to create something the likes of which hasn't been seen since 70s Marvel. I hope this encourages others to do great super-hero comics also!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Spider-Man and Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko, the artist who created the iconic look of Spider-Man, recently passed away. Though just about everyone has already written about Ditko's impact on comics, let me add my thoughts.

Ditko is often mention third in importance in creating Marvel Comics. That is, besides Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko was the most responsible for the look and feel of what became the Marvel Universe. I think putting him third is appropriate. Anyone who thinks it's an insult to be listed directly after Lee and Kirby is crazy. Ditko's supreme ability to write with his art, including plotting many issues of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, helped Stan Lee get the Marvel Universe off the ground. Spider-Man was the character that needed Ditko, because Ditko could make him look like a gangly teen and not an adult athlete, and Ditko's web design has stood the test of time as a great look for a costumed crime fighter.

I would not put Ditko on my list of the top 10 best artists, and I do think I like John Romita's take on Spidey better overall, but that just shows that Ditko couldn't be best at everything. But he more important and influential than many people know.

Here's my take on Spidey. I tried to give him very Ditko-like eyes, which I don't normally do.