Monday, November 26, 2018

The Ice Queen

I thought it about time I post some of my recent art here. I did this for a class I took this year. Final was produced with PITT black markers and Studio 71 alcohol-based color markers.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stan Lee is gone

News that isn't unexpected, yet still difficult to hear. I can't express how I feel, yet I feel I must try.

Stan Lee is proof that art can have a serious positive impact on the lives of those who consume it. He was a great writer and speaker, and he became great by doing things his own way, not following the crowd. He was humble about his success, though he hyped his products in any way he could, as a great salesman should. He helped create a Pop Culture world with the Marvel Universe.

The man wasn't just a writer, editor and creator. He was an American treasure!

Need I add:


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Phantom Stranger review and drawing

I recently completed reading the Showcase Phantom Stranger vol. 1 from DC Comics. I haven't read much of the Phantom's exploits, but I always thought he was rather interesting. Here's what I think now:

The earliest tales of the Phantom Stranger, created during the 1950s, were much less mystical than what the character evolved into. The Stranger had the ability to appear and disappear, but other aspects of the adventures were not magical at all, and the presence of Doctor Thirteen, the Ghost Breaker, ensured they would stay so, as the good Doc was a great debunker of all things supernatural. The stories changed when DC brought the character back in 1969, revealing the true mystical nature of the Stranger, and poor Dr. Thirteen was pretty much relegated to comedy relief, claiming the very obvious magical goings-on were tricks. Eventually, the Doc was given a backup feature, which works better. Since I really enjoy real-life debunking, I think there's room in the DC universe for such a character. Just because there's real magic in DC, doesn't mean there isn't fake stuff, too!

As for the Phantom himself, he really is an interesting character. He's in a constant battle with evil, trying to help regular people resist bad tidings.
But what makes the character different and interesting is that his true identity and origin are never revealed. But in to what really inspired me to write about this topic: Jim Aparo!

Jim Aparo drew many Batman-related comics in the 80s and into the 90's. I read Batman and the Outsiders for a while, and Batman around the time of Death in the Family. I always liked Aparo's Batman. However, I never knew about his run on PS. Aparo's Phantom Stranger is absolutely beautiful! Magnificent storytelling, and awesome use of back and white. It sets a mood, and tells a tale! Just about perfect.

And I was also inspired to draw my own Phantom Stranger sketch:

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!