I have an idea for a thing… that I will not get into right now… but something I wanted to do was use some inspired-by-real-life local locations with this. Given what I know and what you do not know, the place to start was with an old comic book store. Capitol Comics of Raleigh, NC, opened back in 1986 on Hillsborough St in downtown Raleigh, NC. Many years later they opened another location out past Crabtree Valley Mall, but a few years back they closed the original location and consolidated to just the newer one. Sadly even the building where the original location opened no longer exists! I worked at the original store location many years ago, and the owner Ken Pleasant has always been a class guy. I’ve also met and worked with lots of good people that I met through the years working and shopping at Capitol Comics.
I believe I’m mostly done here with the front of the store, complete with trademark easily-recognizable Spider-Man sign. There was originally an awning across the front of the store but I can’t find any pictures of that at the moment, so that is in the TBD later pile for now. I’d also like to draw the right-hand side of the store and I have plans to also pull back a little and create a semi-perspective look because that will allow me to also show the building next door that has a classic bulldozer sign on its roof. For those interested, below is a closer look at the Spider-Man sign, which I also have attempted to recreate as close to the original as my available source photographs would allow:
I don’t want to say too much about my eventual plans for all this… but it could involve some further decorating of the insides of the store (as seen through the windows) and some looks at the interior as well. Stay tuned! I’m hoping to keep a sliver of the past alive through the creation of a whole ‘nother thing as I get the time to work on it. Please let me know what you think (especially if you’re local to Raleigh, NC and are familiar with this store) and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
So… there are a lot of comic book TV shows on right now. It’s something of a renaissance of comic book heroes on TV. I’m watching most of them, at least the ones on traditional TV and not the ones exclusive to streaming services to which I don’t subscribe. I hadn’t drawn a new picture in a little while, so over the weekend I tackled this one.
This is, of course, Supergirl… and I had a promotional still of Melissa Benoist from the CBS TV show to use as reference. She does a really good job in the role, and the show itself is generally entertaining. She’s the second person to be grabbed from the Glee TV show (Grant Gustin plays the Flash on the CW) to play a DC hero. I wonder who might be next?
I tinkered with this one for quite a while. I tried something a little different with the nose than I was doing last year. Basically, less line-work and more shading. I like how that turned out. The more I look at it the more I’m happy with it, though initially I wasn’t sure I had captured the actress in the likeness as much as intended. I was sure I had successfully drawn a pretty woman, but wasn’t sure I had drawn the one I meant to be drawing!
Please do let me know what you think, and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Most of the time, I start and finish my art digitally, and almost always as vector art. Sometimes, to get a more organic look, I will start with a pencil sketch that I scan in and then render the vector-art over that. I have also been trying more recently to do more completely hand-drawn from start-to-finish works. All of these processes yield different looks to the final art.
One thing I had not done, prior to this weekend, was ink over the pencils of someone else. A conversation on the Digital Webbing forum inspired me to give it a go. In a case of fortunate timing, someone on the forum posted a nice high resolution scan of an Adam Hughes Vampirella sketch. I am a fan of Adam Hughes work, so this felt like a good thing to tackle as my first attempt at finishing the pencils of someone else.
Here is the original Adam Hughes sketch for comparison:
And here is my digitally finished + colored version:
Adam’s original sketch has some details and shading that I dropped out in my rendering. The digital inking is all vector art, which means I can scale and do other things fairly easily with this later if inspiration strikes. If you look closely you will see minor tweaks here and there between my final version and the original sketch. One thing that particularly bugged me was her left hand and the position of the fingers. It never looked completely right no matter what I did to it, but I settled on a position that didn’t drive me batty anymore… 😉
Famously, comic book inkers don’t always get the credit they deserve. Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, there are numerous examples out there of various inkers finishing the same penciled original where you can get a really good idea of just what each individual inker brings to the table. Also, some pencillers lay down more detail than others. Some teams of penciller + inker work better than others, as each compliments the other’s style in a more cooperative way. Part of what led me to this experiment was sometimes being dissatisfied with my inking of my own pencils. I wanted to see what it might look like mixing my instincts with someone else. Look for more of these collaborations as the mood strikes me.
Please let me know what you think, and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
You might remember a while back I posted a pin-up submission I did for the Fist of Justice. As part of that creation, I had to also draw a version of their logo design. I have since gone back and tweaked that logo a bit to make it more accurately reflect the design they use for the comic book.
It’s always hard to let go of something as being done and sometimes there is a good reason for that, as I believe this version is stronger than the version I originally used for my pin-up submission. Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
I’ve been participating for a while now on the Digital Webbing forums. They have discussions on all areas of comic book creation, and the folks behind the forum produce comics themselves! You might remember them from such things as when I recently posted about their Kickstarter for a Fist of Justice trade paperback that completed on June 1st.
One of their stretch goals was to be a trading card set, for which they had requested pin-up submissions. Unfortunately that stretch goal was not met, though the trade paperback itself was fully funded! I created a couple of variations on a theme that I submitted to them for this project. While it’s possible one of these might see use in a different form in the future, for now I wanted to drop them onto my blog so you have a look at something else I created recently.
Click the images to see larger versions. The core concept is essentially the same in both versions; that being, an action figure all minty in its sealed packaging! I prefer the second version, incidentally. I think the bubble plastic on the packaging looks better, and I added some additional accessories for the action figure.
Please let me know what you think of either version. Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Here’s a Kickstarter project from Digital Webbing Studios that you really ought to take a look at, especially if you’re a fan of comics from the 1970s and 1980s!
Fist of Justice is a love-fest for classic comic book stories. A totally retro-style superhero dropped into the modern era. Fist of Justice: Changes is the second trade paperback in the series, clocking in at 128-pages of full-color goodness! There is also a brand new comic featuring character Amy Andrews as the Fist of Justice that is only available via this Kickstarter project. It’s all brought to you by Mike Imboden and Eduardo Savid, plus a host of others.
Click the image above to be taken to their Kickstarter page for a full accounting of the trade paperback and the pledge rewards. This Kickstarter project is in the stretch run, ending on June 1st, so don’t delay… support the Fist of Justice today!
Fist of Justice is also on Facebook, so be sure and check them out there too!
Free Comic Book Day – 05/02/2015
Just a heads-up for anyone near a comic book shop that this weekend is the annual free goodies celebration! Remember to stop by your local shop on Saturday and see what they have to offer. Anyone who hasn’t been in a local store in a while, there is no better time to find one and drop in!
For anyone in Raleigh, NC I always recommend Capitol Comics on 5212 Hollyridge Dr. Full disclosure, I worked there many moons ago… back when the Earth was as new. Wait, that’s Star Trek… but seriously I did work there (technically at a different location) as one of my earliest jobs while in college. The owner Ken Pleasant isn’t ironically named at all… he makes nice people seem mean by comparison!
There will be guests and free stuff and even a raffle to benefit a good cause. If you stop by there this weekend be sure and let Ken know it’s my fault you’re there! 🙂