Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day!

Happy Father's day! This is my first one I get to participate in! I'm starting to get a better picture, and better appreciation for all the fathers out there as my own baby gets ready to join my wife and I outside of the womb soon!

So for this post, it's a mix of comic book geeking-out as well as some Bomb Squad sketches I've been digging up as I try to put together the sketchbook version of issue 2. I've got a ton of stuff in the home office. It's a mix of piles of paper from sketches, old collage artwork and of course my comic book collection. So when I start tidying up the place, I can't help but get lost in nostalgia when I'm putting things away (and most times I get trapped and lose all track of time!).

Issue 3 of the Bomb Squad is a spotlight on the robot of the group, Mur. I took out the initial character design sheet I did for her in the beginning, and realized her shape has really changed when I got to draw her in the comic. I think I might try to conform to the initial design more in the third issue, since I liked that more, but we'll see. I dug up the old Character sheets I did for Kid Hotshot and the Chief too.

Mur, The Chief and Kid Hotshot
I found myself flipping through some books from my shelf just for kicks and I grabbed Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli, The Art of Nick Cardy and lastly, because Comixology has a 99c sale this father's day weekend, my early issues of Starman.

I don't think I ever grew up reading any of Nick Cardy's books, I just remember reading about him. I stumbled onto his art book in a used bookstore, and I really liked his stuff. I like the way he drew his women's faces and flipping through it recently I noticed my wife's features look like a Cardy girl! I showed it to her and told her she looked like Aquaman's wife. I don't think she found it quite as amusing as I did! Anyhow, I married a Cardy girl!

Nick Cardy is awesome.
I took advantage of Comixology's father's day sale this weekend and bought some early back issues of Starman to round out my 'collection'. I ate up Starman as it was being published back in the mid-nineties. I really dug Tony Harris' art and James Robinson's writing could do no wrong for me. It's gotten released in hardcover format recently, and I've been tempted to buy it, but honestly I have no space! I was missing a few issues in the beginning of the series so it was really nice to pick them up at 99c a pop and fill in the holes. So, I've be reading those gaps and flipping through my issues back and forth and it's been such a delight to be transported back to that time. What a great series. It has such a distinct flavor of modernizing an old franchise and yet holds onto it's roots and appreciates it and honors it at the same time. I love the series so much I actually drew a pin-up for it, as my entry for "favorite superhero" when Wizard had a contest back in the day.

Some of Tony Harris' early Starman work.
I don't really know what I was expecting when I picked up Asterios Polyp when I first saw it, but it's a good book. Definitely very different from your traditional superhero type book and even your indie type comic honestly. It challenges what traditional conventions you see in sequential storytelling from it's colors, style, layout and down to it's lettering. I don't think that it would be for everyone, and my brain still gets a workout as I read it, but it's always engaged me whenever I read it. And that's always a plus in my book.

I liked this splash page in Asterios Polyp
I also picked it up because I had David Mazzucchelli as a teacher at the Rhode Island School of Design when he taught a sequential storytelling class there, so I wanted to see his latest stuff. I really doubt he'd remember me, but I had a good experience in that class, even though honestly, in hindsight, I really shouldn't have! I liked doing the assignments but I was never the best draftsman there. So my stuff had some moments but for the most part, it didn't look so hot. In fact one of the comments from David at the end of class was: "Learn how to draw". You'd think I would've sworn off drawing from then on or at least be forever angry at him, but strangely enough I didn't flinch when I read that. I was like "Okay, awesome! David Mazzucchelli just told me, ME! To learn how to draw! Yes!" Haha, yeah I guess I was starstruck!

Anyhow, as I get older, I come to understand that there's quite the distinct possibilty that I would never be that awesome at drawing. But I will never give up on trying. Another teacher I had at RISD (Tony Janello) has said something  about how there are like thousands of horrible drawings in every artist. And a few good ones too. But to get to the good drawings we have to draw those thousands of bad one first. So maybe I have more than a few thousand bad ones in me, but who cares? I really do enjoy drawing and specifically doing sequential art, that I think even if everybody hated it I would still be drawing.

I don't really have a choice, I find it very fulfilling when I draw and I think I become more balanced when I do it. When I don't? Just ask my wife, I get real crabby when I don't get any creative time in! Anyway, that's it for the ramble. Thanks for lasting this long! A Happy Father's day to every father out there. I have joined your ranks and am slowly understanding just the kind of hard work it takes to be one. And I really do appreciate, now more so, what my Father did for me. The neverending battle continues!
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