Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Entry 268: Gremlins & Blood Wulf
So I share a studio space with my pall, Ben Bates. Ben is a comic creator. He was my collaborator on Bebop & Rocksteady and he's done a bunch of Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, My Little Pony, and Ninja Turtle comics. I spend a lot of time with him. Both of us just sitting in a little room drawing away. While we draw we often talk. Mostly we talk about things we've watched and read, but sometimes we challenge ourselves to conceptualizing and break a story. This is a lot of fun and often we come out of it with a lot of ideas. Sometimes those ideas are things that we can save for some future project. Sometimes we're actually talking about real work stuff. But sometimes we just have some fun thinking of how we would tackle an existing property.
Not long ago we got on a kick of brainstorming how we might handle a whole bunch of different properties. We came up with a lot of sketchy ideas for Predator and Aliens and Predator vs. Aliens. I actually started developing an idea that I think could be a pretty cool Alien on-going series.
None of this stuff will ever happen mind you. I'm never going to do an Alien comic. It's just too much work to pour into someone else's property. But it's fun to think about none the less. Plus a lot of these ideas can easily be transformed into an original concept.
Anyway, I asked Ben what he would do with Gremlins. "If you could do a Gremlins comic, you have complete control, no editorial meddling, what do you do?" I think because there has never been a Gremlins comic, this one got us a little more pumped than a lot of other. We ended up hashing out almost a whole Gremlins story.
I was enjoying the idea so much that I drew these Gremlins sketches you see above.
On the subject of creating your own take on an existing property, I was recently thinking about Brandon Graham's take on Prophet and Joe Keating &Sophie Campbell's Glory. Both of those are, of course, Rob Liefeld properties. I never read the original Prophet series, but it's clear that Brandon and company have really done their own thing with it. I find myself asking if it's even really the same thing at all.
The one Liefeld character that I think I could really sink my teeth into is Blood Wulf. I only ever read his first appearance in Darker Image, but I remember liking it. I like those old Lobo comics that inspired the creation of Blood Wulf and I think I know how that kind of character should work. Thinking a bout this inspired me to draw this Blood Wulf drawing. I wouldn't want to change what a Bood Wulf comic should be. My instinct when thinking about working on an existing property isn't to reimagine it, making one thing into something else, but rather to lean into it. Figure out what that thing was supposed to be, what it really wants to be, and then try to make it the best version of that thing. I think you can see this philosophy in Bebop and Rocksteady.
I'll end by saying that I can't imagine circumstances where I would be making an Alien comic, or a Gremlin comic, or a Blood Wulf comic... Who knows though. Never say never, right?
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