For the life of me I cannot make a Jack Kirby homage sketch without doing a poor imitation of his technique. The unbridled energy is infectious in the most refreshing way. I almost didn’t do the WakeUpAndDraw challenge today, thinking I had just too much on my plate, but then I realized that the graphic novel I’ve been working on
borrows steals some of his visual language directly, I realized it would be unconscionable to not do something. Below are some of my previous imitations, shameful as they are…
Some of my blog readers may know that my dad, Dan McConnell, inked Marvel Comics in the 90s, including X-Men #1 (thepizzahutedition). I worked on a few Marvel issues a couple years ago as an assistant (either assisting with background pencils or background inks), but never credited. However, this time assisting Karl Kesel on background inks for Fearless Defenders #4AU I will receive my first credit in a Marvel comic for some of my inking, further establishing me as a “chip off the old block.” I was hoping to get a glimpse of what the colorist did with the inks and today I was rewarded with this Preview on CBR. I had a hand in only two of the preview pages there, the rest of the credit goes to the extraordinary talents of Karl Kesel and the colorist, who appears to be unlisted in the preview. Phil Jimenez, the penciler, had something to do with it, too, and of course the writer Cullen Bunn. Anyway, check out that preview and I’ll proceed to curb my enthusiasm for being a small part of the corporate machine.
I went to the Stumptown Fest on Sunday, and had a great time meeting up with friends of old and making some new ones. Yesterday for some reason was a rocky road at the drawing board. The stuff I was working on was not coming together, so I did this sketch inspired by the husband/wife duo who have been drawing X-Men character sketches of late. Great stuff! I HEART the awesome X-Art of Jesse Hamm and Anna Sahrling-Hamm. (Click the names, view the blogs, thank me later;)
I managed to do a little drawing during ECCC. I started this Dr Strange (reading Lovecraft) without a commission request and kept chipping away at it, but didn’t finish until I got home. The Creeper piece was done for an entire sketchbook of Creeper drawings. There were some really nice pieces in that book, and yes, I was intimidated. I wanted to have rain pouring down on the Creeper through the grate in true Ditko fashion, but fortunately for the sake of time and sanity my table mate, Dennis Culver, talked me down from that ledge. It takes experience to get comfortable sketching at conventions, I’ve found. I’m amazed to see people who crank them out in the double digits. Some artists manage to get commissions before the show and do a lot of the design layout prior, so they can focus on the rendering exclusively during the Con. That’s a sweet arrangement. Anyhow, I did a couple other commissions and if you, Dear Reader, were the recipient and want to send me a scan of the piece to post on my blog, please do so (find my email top right of this page). I had a request for a Sandman in another sketchbook, but the timing didn’t work out. I wish I had asked to see the book, though, and I’m wondering which Sandman it was. I assumed Gaiman’s…but which Gaiman version…hmm, apparently I wasn’t prepared to do a Sandman. Oh, but next time I will be;)
Yeah, I’ve taken this Sketch Challenge seriously. It’s been a terrible distraction, but also a great inspiration and I’ve really enjoyed playing in the sandboxes of my peers. This week we’re celebrating Jonthan Hickman and Dustin Weaver’s S.H.I.E.L.D: Architects of Forever. Dustin works at Periscope, and he’s almost always down there when I make my rare appearances. I do most of my work from home, but I rely heavily on the studio in other ways, and picking Dustin’s brain and looking over his shoulder as he plows through page after page of dynamic drawing has really helped me out with my own efforts. So, anyway, I wanted to do a SHIELD piece and I knew I couldn’t get away with doing it the “Weaver-Way,” so I took liberties with the Tesla character and his muse?/guardian?/dove woman. I drew her sort of morphing into her dove form. Something about it reminds me of Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix, and that has to be my subconscious at work because I know Dustin is a huge Tezuka fan. HUGE.
If you can make out the signature at the bottom right of the drawing you’ll see that I credit Dustin as well as the legendary Jim Steranko. This is my lack of willpower at work, Dear Reader. I told myself I wasn’t doing a Steranko send-up when I went into this, but as you can see, I failed miserably. The conversation with myself sounds quite a bit like the conversation that Tom Waits has with himself on Nighthawks at the Diner, you might know the one, he ends up “taking advantage of himself” or “making the scene with a magazine.” For me it started with, “Why don’t I just put a little op art behind Tesla?” and before I knew it I’m drawing clocks and shadow dudes. But in my own defense, I realized I had to put the shadow dudes in because… well, let me put this little diagram together for you. Take a look…
See?! Am I crazy or does it seem that we may find out who Steranko’s shadow men are after all these years. I guess that still doesn’t explain the bike wheels, but Hickman and Weaver’s SHIELD isn’t over yet. And I’m enjoying it, if you can’t tell.
Here’s the thumbnail of my drawing (pre-Steranko brain seed). There was something that I liked about this little Tesla sketch so I ended up scanning/enlarging it to the 11×17″ board.
Now, it’s time for you to be wowed by Dustin Weaver artwork. Go here: http://dustinweaver.blogspot.com/ or here: http://dustinweaver.tumblr.com/ . Lucky you! 😀
I’ve got a few things lined up this week that will keep this blog percolating with new content. A few posts will be appropriate for Halloween … like this one! Here’s a costume idea for you: Tigra! Defender and champion of the Cat People! I drew this with an alcemical mixture of materials I found around the studio. Watercolor, gouache, color pencil, ink, and even crayon were combined with a little sexy sorcery to create this 11×17″ piece of original art available on eBay to benefit Bradley Angle–the 1st domestic violence shelter on the entire West Coast. The auction for this piece begins on ebay and culminates with The Women of Wonder Day on October 30th. Here’s the link for my piece, but you can find a bevy of beauties available for your consideration here.
My piece doesn’t come with the tiger print frame, or the bowl of fruit, or the chia pet table, but hopefully this helps you imagine a context for this piece if you acquire it with a contribution to the Bradley Angle Foundation. This upcoming week of blog posts may sound a little like a pledge drive, but hopefully you’ll do me the honor of checking in and I’ll try to keep things interesting with all new artwork and the occasional bonus posts like this:
An excellent costume idea for Fido!
My wife saw this over my shoulder as I was coloring it and it wasn’t clear to her that the figure above is the same as the man, Dr. Strange, in the trance. I think I may have failed in that regard. While an out of body experience can be disorienting I didn’t intend for the depiction to be. I think I should have used the candle smoke in a way that suggested a more dynamic change in the mental state of the character. Plus I should probably try to experience a trance first hand. See you in the outer realms…
Here’s another late sketch for the Periscope Sketch challenge. See the others here: Periscope Tumblr . I haven’t seen the movie yet, but everything I’ve heard points to a good time at the theater.
Below are the grey wash drawings sans color. 11″x17″ on bristol.