Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Entry 284: Fan-Art

Hahaha I just started writing this blog entry and it went way off the rails. I wanted to simply talk about fan-art and I went down a path where I started philosophizing about art and shit. And I looked up, saw that I'm posting a picture of a Ninja Turtle, and thought, "what am I doing?"

So anyway, I deleted all that.

Hey look. I drawded a Ninja Turtle!!

Working on "Rocksteady and Bebop Destroy Everything" gave me the urge to draw a turtle. In fact, in B&R DE! I am drawing the turtles a little. So that puts this piece in almost a work/warm-up category rather than fan-art... but whatever. The last time I drew a Ninja Turtle for fun was probably in 2003. I think I would really like to do just one issue of the Turtles-- if I could write it, draw it and color it. I think that would be a blast.

Speaking of "Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything!" Ben Bates and I did a short interview about it you can find here:

Dynamic Forces Interview: Bebop & Rocksteady

 How bout some more fan-art?

I really enjoyed the television series The Killing and I recently re-watched this series with my wife and was reminded how much I love Linden and Holder. They’re like real to me.

I think you could actually make a good comic out of this sort of property if you approached it like a Naoki Urasawa manga.

I recently read Barry Windsor-Smith's ParadoxMan.

ParadoxMan was one of three stories BWS was telling in his series Storyteller. The series was never finished. I wish BWS would come back and finish this story. Honestly, I think the comic industry might finally be ready for something like Storyteller. He should re-publish it through Image and finish the series.

Here’s my sketchy (I never intended to go this far with this doodle) ParadoxMan / Barry Windsor-Smith fan-art.

BWS had a huge impact on me with his Weapon X, but if I’m going to pay tribute to the guy, I’d rather draw something of his.

Once again, I return to the Wildcats. I've talked enough about my history with Wildcats in past entries. So... yeah, these were fun...

Actually, it is interesting to continually return to drawing something you are a fan of. It's like marking your progress. Drawing Grifter and Zealot this time felt different than any other time I've drawn them and the reason is because I'm a better artist. In drawing these characters again, I could see and feel all of the new tools and skills I have acquired over the years... Wildcats is the door frame that I mark my artistic growth on. 

This is a very different story.

I've almost never drawn Superman. The reason is because, well, I've never been a Superman reader. I enjoyed the first two films and I remember liking what I saw of the animated series, but it could never be said that I'm a fan of Superman. So this isn't fan-art so much as concept art for a kind of "take" on Superman. I got to thinking how Superman could be interesting to me. He's old fashioned in ways that seem uninteresting to me, yet when you try to remove the old fashioned qualities he not only ceases to be Superman, he also starts to not make sense as a character altogether. He's old fashioned from the ground up. I believe that, to make a satisfying Superman, there are fundamental elements that simply have to remain intact. 

So, I got an idea in my head that you could keep Superman as the same character but change the way he is visually depicted. Instead of having a modern take on his character, have a modern take on him visually. Not by changing his costume (the costume is as fundamental as his character) but by change the point of view. I got to thinking that I would be interested in making a Superman comic If I could make him sexy. The idea was to try to create a kind of female-gaze. 

As Clark I'm imagining him as a kind of Jeff Goldblum type. Not bumbling so much as awkward. Perhaps odd, like he doesn't notice or know obvious things but is real sharp about certain other things. I wouldn't make the Clark personality a disguise. I find that to be a pretty unsatisfying idea. I would make it his real personality. Like he actually is socially awkward and he really doesn't notice certain things, but he's real good at being Superman and in doing it his awkwardness recedes. 
To me, this approach is an identifiable idea. Being awkward and odd is something many people can identify with. I don't think they could identify with the idea of putting it on as a charade, but I do think many people can identify with being good at something where their confidence rises and they become a different version of themselves.

Anyway, who knows if there is anything satisfying about this approach. In a way, I really wouldn't know, because I'm not a Superman fan. All I can say for sure is what might make me a Superman fan. 

Let me know what you think in the comments. 


  1. I love your take on Superman. The awkward angle would be interesting one to take.

    1. Thanks! Who knows, maybe I'll pitch something some day.

  2. I 2nd the take on Superman; YES many people out there (myself included) would identify with the awkardness/confidence angle.

    1. Seems like a natural idea. It plays right into the who fantasy of having super powers and a secret identity.