Way back in Shazam #15, (100 Pages for only 60¢, baby!) Lex Luthor teamed up with Mr. Mind to defeat Captain Marvel. Had they won, they would have turned their attention towards the Man of Steel. So instead of just drawing Mr. Mind, I thought I would represent this villain team-up.
This started off as a sketch of Captain Marvel villain, Doctor Sivana, in my sketchbook. Then I thought I would ink it on bristol board, so I enlarged it and light boxed it to the 11" x 17" board. I decided to add the good Captain and the ray gun. Then noticed that the big shadow that was filling the top right would be a good place for logos. So a bit of scanning and light boxing again and I had the logos penciled in. But what about the issue number? Thanks to a Google search I found that #35 was the last published issue of SHAZAM and that it was bi-monthly. So this is now the pencils for the "lost" issue of SHAZAM #36, (Aug). Inks? Maybe later. Hope you enjoy this!
I have a couple of quick news bits to get out of the way today. First off is I have added some artwork for sale on my Big Cartel site. These are pieces you have seen here and if feel so inclined you can purchase them there.
Second, I am accepting commissions. I have two on my list right now, one of which will be finished next week. If you are interested in a commissioned piece, please email me at gene_gonzales(at)mac(dot)com with the word "Commission" in the subject line.
And finally, Mary Marvel. Mary is my second favorite heroine, right behind Supergirl. I just felt like drawing her this morning. Then after scanning her, I put some color to her in Photoshop. Nothing fancy, just quick.
I hope everyone has a marvelous weekend. And if not marvelous, I hope it's at least merry. (See what I did there, Royce.) :)
Chlorophyll Kid is another founding member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. He has the ability to make plants grow really fast. Yup, that's it. He carries a variety of seeds around too, just in case a particular plant is needed. Once he tossed some catnip seeds to the ground, made them grow, and used it to distract Streaky, the Super-Cat. Poor Streaky never had a chance. As they say, "If you don't tell your cat about catnip, who will?"
I've never been a big fan of what was done to the Subs in later years. Except when Ty Templeton drew it. When Chlorophyll Kid was drawn with an extra 80 pounds and put in the goofy tree suit, I really didn't care for it. Yes, the Legion of Substitute Heroes were goofy in powers, names, and costumes. But no more goofy than some Legionnaires. So to draw this piece, I went back to the simple costume that the Kid wore in some of the Adventure Comics run. Let's have a little respect for the Subs, shall we. :)
Night Girl comes from a planet that is in perpetual darkness. Her scientist father gave her super-powers, and because of a crush she had on Cosmic Boy, she tried out for the Legion. Unfortunately her powers only work in darkness or deep shadow and she was rejected. Night Girl then became one of the founding members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, a group of Legion rejects who have proved themselves as a valuable resource for the Legion of Super-Heroes on more than a few occasions.
This is ink, and Copic Marker on 11" x 17" Bristol Board.
Just an idea I did in my sketchbook today. I did the quick logo and text in Photoshop. In case it's unclear, those would be the Legionnaires hanging upside down on each side of the Emerald Empress. An inspection of the guard, as it were.
I did a few modifications to the outfit she has worn in the past. I think of the cloak being heavier, less cape-like, more regal. And she has a semi sheer full length skirt. It's not an outfit for fighting, but then I never thought the Empress should do any physical fighting. Not with the Emerald Eye of Ekron at her side. And I thought she would treat the Eye like a loving pet or servant. It would always be within arms reach not floating around above her head like it is usually shown. Most of the time she would be touching it in some fashion. Just some thoughts. Maybe I will get around to doing a finished piece with all the logos and text in place.
Spider Girl tried out for the Legion of Super-Heroes way back in Adventure Comics #323 (1964). Her power is not spider based, it's having wild hair that can do her bidding. Unfortunately she almost killed a couple of Legionnaires during her try out. She later joined the Legion of Super-Villains and even later became a hero, if I remember right. This outfit is based on the Mike Grell update of her original costume.
This is ink and while gel pen on 11" x 17" bristol board.
Another Legion reject today. Infectious Lass and the people of her world are super-contagious, carrying millions of different germs. But they are immune to them and they can transmit any disease they carry to others. Yeah, just ponder that one for a moment. :)
After slapping Star Boy with the common cold during the demonstration of her abilities, she pushed it just a bit farther by hitting him with a stomach flu and dropped him to his knees. Unfortunately she hit him with too strong a dose and Star Boy had to go to the infirmary. Personally, I think he was lucky, imagine the variety of diseases at her disposal that she could have given him. Superboy rejected her on the grounds that they can't accept a power that could suddenly put all the Legion on the sick list. That didn't make sense to me as a kid. Any Legionnaire could be dangerous if they went around using their powers on the others. Infectious Lass wouldn't be attacking Legionnaires so why the worry? I think he was just grossed out. I like the name Infectious Lass too. It make me think of infectious laughter or something fun and positive. Probably why she didn't use the code name Disease Damsel. That just doesn't put a nice spin on the power.
If you are not familiar with the Legion of Super-Heroes, there is a time honored tradition of heroes wanting to join and being subjected to a try-out. Most fail miserably. Most common reason for rejection: Applicant can't control his or her power. Then there are those like Arm-Fall-Off Boy. Don't ask.
Porcupine Pete falls into the majority of applicants that can't control his or her power. He didn't know how to aim his quills. Sending heroes, villains and bystanders diving for cover every time he uses his power isn't going to cut it. Even as kid I wondered why the Legion didn't screen these applicants better. They should never even get to the stage of endangering anyone in a try-out situation if they can check the box on the application that says "I have complete control over my ability". But then we wouldn't see applicants like Eyeful Ethel. Don't ask.
A couple of days ago I used Twitter to crowd source for ideas for blog posts. I got a number of good ones. Porcupine Pete was suggested by Travis. I believe Porcupine Pete was created by Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum, but don't hold me to that. Thanks for the suggestion Travis! (Travis also owns this piece as of this writing)
I inked the piece with a real brush. Not a brush pen or a marker. Not that it's a big deal. I used to always ink everything with a brush. But then brush markers got so much better and I started messing around with those. This was a back to basics piece. I had fun doing this way and I ordered some more brushes since I finished this piece.
Below is the rough sketch and the pencils for this piece.
I am continuing the New Gods theme for one more day. Granny Goodness was suggested by Little John when I used Twitter to get suggestions for todays post. I got a couple of other good suggestions that you will see over the next couple of day. Thanks Little John!
This is an inked sketchbook piece that I finished in Photoshop.
Staying with the unofficial New Gods theme of late, today is Mister Miracle. Rough sketch in my sketchbook, ink and color in Photoshop. I really think this would be Young Mister Miracle. Wouldn't an adventure comic feature Scott Free growing up on Apokolips be pretty cool. I wouldn't make it "all ages", I would make the content no harsher than what I grew up with and I think it would work. :)
Back in the day, Elektra was a pretty popular sketch request at conventions. That's changed, at least for me. I can't remember the last time I drew her. But today I spent about an hour sketching and painting her in Photoshop. The process for this one differs from yesterday's Plastic Man post in that I didn't do any pencil roughs. I just started a digital doodle and ended up here. Rough and messy is how I would describe this piece. And it's subject for that matter.
This started off as just a doodle in my sketchbook that I decided to digitally paint in Photoshop once I scanned it in. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. No reason for the lady behind him other than Plas is a ladies man. ;)
Below is the initial sketch from my sketchbook.
Also I want to say thanks to everyone for making the effort of leaving comments here on the blog. I know it's easier to respond on Twitter/Facebook/Google+ when I post the update there, but having your comments and our conversations here will make it nice when I eventually archive this blog. So thanks again!
This one came to me in a dream. Almost. A few nights ago as I was drifting off to sleep I had this image of Supergirl flying. Mostly I saw her face almost exactly how I drew it above. I worked on that face for hours. Starting in my sketchbook, scanning that, redrawing it in Photoshop a few times on different layers till I got it where I wanted it.
The figure in my head was to be much larger. Her arms would be extending off the page, her body filling the board and her face being the focal point. But I modified that idea as I started to draw. The rest of the piece came to me as I was drawing it. Then I thought this would be a fun "variant" cover of Action Comics 285, buildings on each side of her, crowd cheering and Superman flying behind and to her left. Instead I went with her flying with birds. Egrets to be exact. I don't know if or when I will finish this, but I'm glad I got the idea down. And it spark other ideas.
While doing all this I thought of a couple of variant themes for comic covers. One being where you take the back up feature and make it the cover feature. Or take any cover and come up with a way to make it into a DC romance cover. I did a quick example below of the romance angle. It's a story where Matter-Eater Lad leaves the Legion. It new concept doesn't have to be a real scene from the story, just take the story and twist it a bit. Flopping the lead for this book would mean the Shadow Lass/Night Girl back up story would be on the cover. Fun idea?
Side note: This published cover actually did mix up the lead and back-up titles. "Last Fight for a Legionnaire" was the lead.
Here is the finished commission. I completed it this afternoon. As I have said before, I love drawing and painting the Legion. Thanks to Michael for this commission.
If anyone is interested, I am open for commissions for the month of August. I can take on a few painted pieces and/or inked pieces to be completed around the end of the month. Contact me at gene_gonzales (at) mac (dot) com. with your ideas.
This was done in watercolor on an 11" x 17" sheet of Arches Watercolor Board.
Sorry for the blurry photo, don't have time to wait for paint to dry in order to scan and I have plans this evening.
This is where I am at as of this afternoon with the Shrinking Violet commission. I would have been farther along but I had made a mistake with the costume on the first board. Hard to get a good reference for it but my friend Tom came through with some panels and I noticed that the initial design for this costume is in the back of the Great Darkness Saga hard cover. Key word in that sentence is "initial". Though I kept referencing all four images I had, I know I referenced the sleeves and gloves of the "initial" design and not the printed, and final design, because I got the arms and gloves wrong. So what can be done? Back to the drawing board and back to the painting. That's okay, these things happen. But I want to get it right. :)
First real attempt of drawing something from scratch on my iPad 2 using Sketchbook Pro. It was fun. There is a steep learning curve to all the finger commands. For the actual drawing and coloring I was using a stylus. The tough part about the iPad is that it is not pressure sensitive so it doesn't work like a Wacom tablet. Seems that someone would come up with a pen that reads the pressure put on the pen and in turn that signals the app on the iPad. Maybe with a Bluetooth signal? If I knew how to do that type of programing and manufacturing, I would be all over it and make a million. :)
Here is the finished commission for Travis. Since the Princess is using her power to create an illusion of Karate Kid, I let the bottom of his figure break up, and I left his right side simplified. So most of him looks as "real" as her, but since she is not done, he is not complete. At least that is what I was shooting for with this. :) Thanks to Travis for the commission. I told him him the email that doing commissions of the Legion is like hanging out with old friends. And it's true.
This was done in watercolor and some color pencils on an 11" x 17" sheet of Arches Cold Press Watercolor Board.
Another sketchbook day. I spent most of the day painting. The Princess Projectra/Karate Kid painting is almost done, and the Shrinking Violet will be done over the weekend. I'm about a week behind my own self imposed deadline for these, but sometimes work pops up that I can not turn down. It has been fun painting today though. :)
I really try not to waste time. When I eat lunch, I tend to doodle. When I am scanning, I draw. So when I had to export a really large file, then compress it, then upload it, I pulled out the sketch pad and started drawing. Never really sure what I am going to come up with is part of the fun. Today, Black Widow just happened by. Just a quick idea I put down in Col-Erase pencil, ink, and Copic Markers on Strathmore Drawing paper. I kinda like it. Though I can see the influence this last weekend had on me as far as clothing material goes. ;)