Hand and Foot

Here’s a dual post to cover last Friday as well as today. I had two pieces of sturdy cardboard lying around, so I grabbed some markers and did these two pieces:

 
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Sketched in color pencil, lineart inked with a Sharpie, silvers filled with a Sharpie, and reds and blacks filled with Marks-A-Lot markers.

I’m sure similar such cross-over pin-ups have been drawn before, but I thought this wold be fun! (For those who don’t know, Eastman and Laird’s TMNT was inspired by Frank Miller’s seminal run on Daredevil.)

Sons of the Bat… Parts 4 and 5 (of 5)

(Previously: Parts 1 and 2, Part 3)

Today we move out of the realm of Batman’s adopted sons, and on to two of his actual genetic offspring.

The son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, Damian Wayne, AKA The Demon:

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  • Age: Mid 20′s
  • Damian has matured as both a man and costumed hero, and left the nest a few years ago to travel the world. After the apparent final death of Ra’s al Ghul, Damian seized control of the League of Shadows with the instrumental backing of his mother, and the assistance of his father and ‘brothers.’ Under Damian’s leadership, the League has become a force for good, though he and his mother are constantly battling splinter factions who wish to remain true to Ra’s al Ghul’s ways. Damian is still competitive with his brothers, but the interactions have lost their antagonistic edge. Of particular note, he and Tim have eased into a very friendly dynamic (Oracle has assisted the new League of Shadows countless times), and he has surprisingly become quite the big brother to Terry (however Tim is apparently the only member of the Bat-clan who knows that Damian and Terry are actual brothers).
  • This backstory combines elements from standard continuity, as well as aspects of the Kingdom Come version of Batman and Talia’s son.
  • Damian is still prone behave imperiously, so red is a fitting color, I think.
  • The cowl is something of a hybrid between Thomas Wayne’s masquerade bat costume and Ra’s al Ghul’s demon mask–a nod to both of Damian’s grandfathers. The V-shaped brow is an element from Damian’s Redbird costume, to add an element of his own identity on top of his dual heritage.
  • The rest of the costume combines elements of Damian’s Robin costume with Ra’s al Ghul’s high-collared cloak (modified to bring it in line with the cloaks of Red Hood and Oracle).
  • His scimitar is a hard light construct.

Up next is Terry McGinnis, AKA… Batman??

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  • Age: Early 20′s
  • With Bruce Wayne comatose and in critical condition after a battle with a coalition of Batman’s greatest rivals, Gotham is in need of a Batman. Terry McGinnis, having served as Robin to Bruce’s Batman for a few years, thinks he’s the least likely candidate for the job. However, Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damien all have unique roles to play as their current alter egos, and they urge Terry to take up the mantle. It was possible that they would have come to this consensus regardless, but “the Robins” don’t realize that Tim subtly nudged them towards this decision because he was the only one aware that Terry is actually Bruce’s son. With no knowledge of his true heritage, Terry agrees, knowing that he will be backed by the four men who have become a second family to him.
  • This isn’t a redesign at all! The only thing I changed was the color of the belt! To be honest, I wasn’t always crazy about the Batman Beyond costume, particularly the use of red. But it grew on me over time, and now I think the red is very appropriate for Terry’s hotheaded youthfulness. By making the belt yellow, I hoped to tie the colors of Terry’s costume to Damien’s costume. A subtle indication that the two have more in common than they realize.
  • The wing technology (shown in retracted position) was already being field tested by Nightwing, but the suit itself is a brand new piece of experimental technology.
  • His retractable claws are hard light constructs.

Well, that was a fun series of designs to draw! I have a lot more ideas for this imagined alternate continuity. I realized yesterday that I actually need to add two more Sons of the Bat. Of course I fully intend to (eventually) follow this series with Daughters of the Bat (there are at least 6 or 7 to draw). Plus there are several characters who don’t quite fit either category…

(In closing out this series, I have also closed out my post deficit! Returning to regular posting, the first one for this week will be up late Tuesday or early Wednesday. After that, let’s see if I can get back to posting at regular intervals.)

Sons of the Bat… Part 3 (of 5)

It’s Friday night before a long weekend. I don’t know what you nerds are doing, but I’m posting a blog about a Batman character. Jealous?

Continuing in order from the previous segment, here’s Tim Drake, AKA Oracle:

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  • Age: Late 20′s
  • When Barbara Gordon returned to action as Batwoman, it only made sense for someone else to take up the mantle of Oracle and provide information and support for the heroes of Gotham. Initially Tim took up the role as a temporary position while injured, but he assumed the role permanently when he realized how well suited he was for the task. Since becoming Oracle, Tim has been working closely with Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox to research and develop new technologies. Perhaps most notably, Tim was instrumental in the development of the hard light melee weapons. Tim keeps in shape for the occasions where he must return to the streets and rooftops of Gotham. This isn’t a regular event, but it happens often enough that the criminal underworld now fear Oracle’s agility and precision as much as they fear the reach of his intelligence.
  • Tim has had several costumes in both comics and animation that have dropped green out of the design, leaving red as a dominant visual. As stand alone designs, they were fine, but the color red just doesn’t suit Tim in my opinion. Tim is well-adjusted, centered, and cerebral–he’s much more of a green than a red. It’s those same attributes that lead me to assign him the vacant identity of Oracle.
  • The emblem on his chest is very similar to Barbara Gordon’s Oracle symbol, but modified to resemble the “face” that was often found on Batmobiles (and other Bat-vehicles) of the 40′s and 50′s, just as I did with the Red Hood’s emblem.
  • I always thought of Tim as being a little bit more “kung-fu” than the rest of the Batman family, probably because his early adventures and rogue’s gallery featured a lot of DC martial arts characters, so hopefully the costume reflects that.
  • Overall this costume is strongly based on his original Robin outfit, as a reminder that Tim will always be strongly associated with that alter ego, arguably more so than anyone else. While many “mainstream” fans of the Batman franchise will think of Robin as Dick Grayson, I think most actual comic readers think of Tim as Robin, and Dick as Nightwing. But I digress.
  • I purposely excluded visual nods to Tim’s current Red Robin costume–I actually like that costume a lot, but it always felt too reminiscent of Doctor Mid-Nite, and the emblem felt too reminiscent of Hawkman’s.
  • Tim’s signature close combat weapon (a bo staff) is now a hard light construct.

As you can see, I had a little bit more to say about Tim than Dick and Jason. Just around the time that I was really getting into comics, Robin #1 came out, and Tim quickly became one of my favorite characters. I think I followed Robin longer than any other monthly book.

(2 more missed posts to make up. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap up this series in the next few days and close out that debt! We’ll see…)

Sons of the Bat… Parts 1 and 2 (of 5)

I know, I’ve continued to be bad at updating my blog in a timely manner. However, at least this time I can say that it’s because I was actually drawing and coloring and I didn’t want to stop to write a blog post!

Today I’m presenting the first two parts in a series of re-designs of Batman’s many “sons.”

I’ve been thinking about Batman a lot since I watched The Dark Knight Rises (which I loved). My enjoyment of the movie really just led me down a path of remembering how much I love Batman and his extended ‘family.’ I started doodling Batman characters in my spare time, and it wasn’t too long before I started messing with their look.

My doodles started taking shape when I started to think of them as an assignment for a hypothetical cartoon series. These re-designs imagine a future timeline combining elements from the comic book continuity (pre-New 52) and the Bruce Timm animated universe. For context as to how far in the future this timeline exists–Damian Wayne is in his mid-20s. More on him in a future installment!

For now, let’s kick things off with Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing:

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  • Age: Late 30′s
  • Dick is the heart of the Batman family. He stepped out of Batman’s shadow with ease and confidence, and is his own man. Even-handed, approachable, and reliable, he’s a de facto big brother and field commander to the other heroes.
  • Color symbolism is very important in these costumes. I kept Dick in black, blue, and yellow, because it symbolizes that he’s completely graduated from Robin status, and he is truly Batman’s peer.
  • I brought the collar back as a nod to the first Nightwing costume, which was itself a nod to the Flying Graysons’ costumes. It’s a subtle reminder of Dick’s non-vigilante heritage.
  • Batman Beyond-style retractable wings allow for gliding.
  • Batons are hard light constructs which can materialize almost instantaneously.
  • The crescent eyes, scalloped wings/capes, and hard light weapons will be unifying motifs through out these re-designs. I definitely didn’t want to stray into the realm of matching uniforms for these characters, but I did want a few elements to tie everything together visually. Additionally, the wings and hard-light weapons are there to help push the idea that this is a future timeline.

Up next is the troubled Jason Todd, AKA Red Hood:

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  • Age: Mid 30′s
  • Whatever may have transpired in the past, Jason has found some degree of redemption and inner peace, and he’s now ‘back in the fold,’ as a trusted member of the Batman family. However, he’s definitely the “Wolverine” or “Raphael” of the group–a maverick who does what he sees fit and frequently comes in conflict with the others.
  • This probably doesn’t qualify as a re-design, really it’s just a minor tweak of the Frank Quietly-designed Red Hood costume. To me, the white, black, and grey represent the ill-defined boundary between right and wrong, which plays into Jason’s persona perfectly. The red symbolizes Jason’s connection to both the Joker and Robin, but also represents the violence in Jason’s life.
  • I did however change the emblem on his chest from a skull to a more abstract face. It’s meant to invoke the “face” that was often found on Batmobiles (and other Bat-vehicles) of the 40′s and 50′s. Just a little something to tie the design closer to Batman’s visual motifs.
  • In imagining a rehabilitated Jason Todd, his appropriation of the Joker’s former identity as Red Hood is even more powerful. I’ll probably always think of The Killing Joke as the definitive Batman story, so the poignant irony of Red Hood as a ‘good guy’ really strikes a chord for me.
  • His kris is a hard light construct, and a nod to his past connection to Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows. No longer armed with pistols, his holsters hold non-lethal weapons–perhaps a dart gun and a taser?

I should mention that the pieces in this series are colored with a Photoshop gouache brush setting that I picked up from an excellent tutorial on DeviantArt.

I’m having fun with these, so I hope you’re enjoying them as well, dear reader. I would say tune in again, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, but I’ve been posting so erratically, I can’t guarantee the time. But I guess it is the same Bat-channel no matter what. Listen, I’m over-complicating this. Just come back soon, okay? THANK YOU!

(These 2 drawings cover the end of last week and the beginning of this week. Still hanging in there at 2 missed posts, BUT, it looks like I’ll be able to zero out that deficit with the rest of this series. ALMOST THERE.)

The Anti-Life Equation and HIMYM

I’ve been doodling a revised costume for Darkseid on and off for several months (because that’s how I entertain myself), but I finally hunkered down and drew a finished sketch:

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You’ll note that I have changed Darkseid’s mini-skirt into a tunic over leggings. I kept the go-go boots though, because girlfriend can pull them off. The Omega motif refers to Darkseid’s Omega Beams naturally, but also refers to, you know, the end of all existence. I imagine this as some sort of triumphant future version of Darkseid

I have been sleeping poorly, but on the plus side, I’ve been drawing a lot while marathoning How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. The show is not without its faults–but the cast is strong, and the narrative structure is compelling. I confess that after shotgunning five or so seasons in the span of less than two weeks, I’ve started to get wrapped up in the lives of these characters. Also, I get emotional if I’m alone and have been sleep deprived. So when the episode about the death of Marshall’s dad came on at 2am while I was drawing Darkseid, yeah, I cried like a little baby.

I DENY THE ANTI-LIFE EQUATION, DARKSEID! WITH PERFORMANCES BOTH MOVING AND LAUGH-INDUCING BY EARTHLINGS SUCH AS JASON SEGEL, I SEE THAT EXISTENCE IS NOT FUTILE! DO YOU SEE, DARKSEID!? EVEN A WEIRDO RECLUSE SUCH AS I WILL SHED TEARS FOR THESE FICTIONAL MORTALS!

I DENY YOU, DARKSEID! I DENY YOU!

Okay, time for bed.

(Still behind by 2 posts! Working on it!)

A Random Assortment

As is occasionally my custom, I will draw some gift/thank-you sketches for my various cronies and co-horts. Here is a selection:

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From left to right:

Yes, that’s two back-to-back posts on this blog referencing ALF/Melmac. What can I say, I’m living the dream.

(For those tracking my productivity deficit…

Let’s count one of these sketches as last week’s missed second post, and then count another two of these as the two posts for this week. The Rocketeer is a gimme, since I’ve drawn commission busts of him before–my policy is that “repeats” don’t count towards my weekly posting quotas. That leaves one “extra” sketch, which will bring my total deficit down to 3 missed posts.

I’m getting there, slowly but surely. I know this pedantic accounting is interesting to no one aside from myself, but please humor my attempts at staying statistically productive.)

A Polaris-izing Issue

So back in the early 2000′s, I believe this was when Kia Asamiya was drawing X-Men, Polaris had her outfit redesigned drastically. The result was that she looked a lot like Morrigan from Darkstalkers:

 
I drew this for my pal Molly last weekend at Comic-Con. What you’re looking at is actually a photo snapped from my ancient flip-phone, rather than an actual scan. For a old-ass phone, it takes pretty decent photos!

Okay, time to sleep.

(This counts as post #2 for this week, so I’m keeping steady at a deficit of 4 missed posts.)

Leftover Commission! Oh Donny boy…

How much better would that title have been if I posted this last Friday like I should have? Alas.

 

I guess this post is still somewhat timely, given the internet’s collective plotzing at the news of Michael Bay saying he will make the Ninja Turtles into aliens. Personally, I’m not too bothered about it either way.

Leftover Commissions! Spoilers and Repeats…

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I had two requests for today’s leftover commission:

For a long time, Robin was one of my favorite ongoing comics, so naturally, Stephanie Brown (Robin’s ally and sometimes love interest) became one of my favorite characters. I prefer her as Spoiler, but she’s still fun to draw as Batgirl.

And at no extra cost to you, dear reader, here are some more leftovers, which happen to be repeats of some of the commissions that were not leftovers:

 

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From left to right:

I have a few more repeat requests in the bank, but I’m saving those for a themed post…

BERSERKER BARRAGE

During the course of working on all the Help The Cheerleader character busts, I would occasionally take a break to draw… a character bust? Man, what’s my problem…

At least I had enough sense to switch up the routine by coloring this one digitally. I actually hit a point where I was really craving the feel of working in Photoshop, so this was a good break that helped me stay fresh and ready to get back into working with markers.

I generally prefer Wolverine in his brown costume with larger ears, but recently I’ve become more appreciative of the smaller ears and whiskers that he sported in his first appearance.

Also, even though I was a staunch Wolverine fan long before the Marvel/Capcom games, I can’t ever think of him without thinking of this:

Leftover Commissions! The Bat and the Breaker… and the repeats.

(Oh hey, I was supposed to start posting twice a week, wasn’t I? My holiday schedule has been a little crazy. To make it up to you, I’m posting a little extra today. ALSO, make sure you tune in on New Year’s day for another post and an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT.)

So, here’s the part of the Help The Cheerleader commissions that I haven’t really talked about yet… in addition to the 108 commissions that I completed and delivered, a lot of people who requested commissions never answered my follow-up emails. Which is no big deal. But as it turns out, I still drew a lot of those commissions while I was waiting to hear back from people. In fact I finished like 30 of them.

._.

The lesson here, kids, is never work on the project until you’ve heard back from the client/donor! Anyways, no harm no foul. I’ll be posting the leftover commissions over the next several weeks (possibly months), and at some point I will probably be selling them off. Stay tuned for details! For now:

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From left to right:

ALSO… did I mention that within the leftover commissions, there were a few repeats?

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From left to right:

  • Batman
  • Batman
  • Batman
  • Batman

The Batman sketch that was paired with Bane was the last of the 5 Batmans in this post. The 4 Batman sketches directly above are shown in the order that I drew them, from left to right. The general way I drew Batman (and in fact, all of the commissions), is patterned after a Batman that I drew earlier in the year. Y’KNOW, IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN THAT SORTA THING.

That’s all for now. Please do tune in on New Year’s day for another post and the aforementioned IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!