Semi-Related Topics: Johnny Monster and the New York Comic Con

At the peak of my vile plague I was barely blogging and missed out on telling you all that Johnny Monster #2 was solicited. And now Johnny Monster #3 is available for order in the current issue of Previews.

Johnny Monster #3 (of 3)
Story by Joshua Williamson
Art and Cover by J.C. Grande
32 pages FC $3.50 April 15

The peaceful habitat Johnny Monster created for the monsters has been invaded by violent mercenaries causing utter chaos! As a result, the largest monster the world has ever seen has been unleashed on New York City on a quest for revenge! Only Johnny can stop him… but does he want to? Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to this monster-ous mini-series!

Check out the covers to both #2 and #3, drawn by the talented J.C. Grande and colored by yours truly:

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Be sure to ask your local comic shop to order Johnny Monster #3! It’s on page 170 of February’s Previews catalog, and the Diamond order number is FEB09 2437.

Annnnnd, if you happen to be attending the New York Comic Con, be sure to drop by and visit Josh Williamson (writer of Johnny Monster, Dear Dracula, and Necessary Evil) and Vinny Navarrete (Dear Dracula penciller, Necessary Evil inker, and Johnny Monster logo designer). Those young ruffians wil be sitting with Shadowline at the Image Comics booth.

Post Script: Make sure you check out the Shadowline website, which has a cool Johnny Monster animation at the top of the page.

Flashback Tuesday!? Booooooo!

Drawing myself in a bacta tank must have helped, because I’m feeling much better. But I’m terribly short on time this week. Here’s a sketch from quite a few years ago, inspired somewhat by a slick-looking billboard that I saw on Olympic Blvd every time I drove home from ye olde daye jobbe. That billboard was up for so long it eventually faded to the point of being nearly unrecognizable.

This was completely done in Photoshop. I really should probably post more pieces like these–not super old stuff from the archives, but spontaneous sketches that aren’t so planned out. Thinking aloud stops here.

PLEASE READ: On a serious note…

Now, I don’t really talk about anything serious on this blog. I talk about seriously nerdy stuff, but I never talk about serious topics. Today, I thought I’d make a little exception–I hope you all don’t mind if I get a little personal, and a little serious.

Some time ago, I suffered a great loss. No one died, but it was a great blow to my morale… and in a way, my innocence died. I realized how fragile happiness can be. I found myself lacking motivation. I was anxious and listless at work. In short, my heart was broken. Over time, I healed–the loss faded from the forefront of my mind. I moved on, but I never truly forgot.

But recently–as I suspect you all know by now–something amazing happened. Something big. This didn’t just affect me, but the whole world. A move that gave me a reason to hope, to dream… to live again. The loss that I had suffered, was now erased, and replaced by something more stable. Something beautiful, and inspiring.

Of course this loss and subsequent inspiration that I’m talking about is the death of Scrabulous and its recent rebirth as Lexulous.

I have a reason to live again. Praise Thor, god of thunder and wordplay! I think that’s right, isn’t it?

Spring is not in the air

Here’s something I whipped up a few months ago… I had some notion of holding on to it until the spring, but I’m a bit short on time these days and in need of a post:

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I sketched this out in non-photo blue pencil, and inked it with a Sakura brush pen. The idea for this illustration just randomly sprang into my head, and I decided to use it as an opportunity to try some new Photoshop techniques. Um… enjoy?

That Girl(?) is Poison

Today’s post is for yet another re-design challenge at the fan-art forums. The thread is here, my post is here. The first round voting threads are here and here (my entry didn’t get enough votes to proceed), and the final vote is here.

Apparently, in an issue of the UK He-Man comics, Hordak disguised himself as the “Dream Mistress,” and tried to deceive Stonedar… Stonedar didn’t fall for it (lucky for him). [Place your own cross-dressing joke here]

I chose to interpret the Dream Mistress as a shapeshifting entity who works for Hordak as a spy and saboteur. Here she/it is, in both Horde (right) and non-Horde (left) garb:

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The non-Horde version isn’t significantly altered, so I threw in the Horde version as a re-design (or alternate costume, at the very least). The pose is rather generic, pretty much just a minor variation of a standby that I go to when drawing women (or shapeshifters that look like women). I was a bit short on time for this one.

Army of One

Sometimes people (such as Kevin) suggest that I draw things. And I do. I just take forever to get around to finishing and posting said things. Here’s OMAC, done up old skool:

I was kind of strapped for time, so I just grabbed this piece because it was already drawn and prepped for coloring. I actually ended up having fun pulling this one together, even though it’s pretty simple.

Yet Another…

Green Lanterns seem to pop up on my blog with surprising frequency. Here’s Guy Gardner, the hot-tempered and loud-mouthed hero:

I drew Guy as kind of a rough-looking, broken-nosed, tough guy–this is how he was most often depicted in the 80′s and 90′s. More recently, Guy tends to be drawn as better looking, which is apparently more accurate to his original appearance.

The pose I gave him is awfully stiff… and his torso is too short. Bah!

The Big Oh-Two

(Posted early for the New Year)

So, I’ve now been at it on this sketchblog for two full years! Please, hold your applause until the end of the post. I just want to take a second to thank anyone and everyone who’s dropped by to take a look or leave a comment. I hope you all stay tuned, I’ve got plenty of nerdy sketches left in me yet.

And on that note–I started this blog with an illustration of Skeletor, so here for my second bloggiversary, at last, is Skeletor’s mortal enemy, the hero of Eternia, He-Man:

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My take on He-Man is primarily drawn from the cartoon version, but with a few minor creative liberties. I rendered the red elements on He-Man’s baldric as Korodite crystals, and made the straps on the baldric a darker color. I gave him slightly longer, more unruly hair (with sideburns), instead of his original, inexplicable, pageboy hair cut. I wish I hadn’t drawn the legs so hyper-elongated. But I am happy with how the colors came together.

Also posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Number One Super Guy!

Dear Cartoon Network/DC Comics,

Please let me write and draw an action/comedy Hong Kong Phooey comic book, in the style of 2-D fighting games like Streetfighter and Darkstalkers. I promise to be your BFF. And if we have Capcom make a 2-D fighting game as a tie-in, we will probably make a kajillion dollars.

Sincerest Regards,

Fun Fact: Hong Kong Phooey was voiced by the late, great, Scatman Crothers, who you might also recognize as the voice of Jazz from the original Transformers cartoon. RIP, Scatman.

BONUS POST: Johnny Monster Cometh!!!

Well, what have we here… the current issue of Previews… under Image Comics and Shadowline

Johnny Monster #1 (of 3)
Story by Joshua Williamson
Art and Cover by J.C. Grande
32 pages FC $3.50 February 18

Johnny Monster is the world’s foremost super-star monster hunter, but what the world doesn’t know is that he was raised by the same monsters he’s “hunting”! Now, in order to save his adoptive family…he must fight them! Johnny Monster mixes Tom Strong with Godzilla movies by way of Tarzan and the Phantom to create a compelling and different monster mash! From the acclaimed writer of Dear Dracula and Necessary Evil!

Another offering from my crony Josh, with art by a new collaborator, the talented J.C. Grande! Johnny Monster promises to be a really fun comic, but let’s face, what I’m interested in is ME ME ME. Josh asked me to color the covers for Johnny Monster, and it was really the first time I colored someone else’s art. It was an interesting experience, and I’m pretty happy with the results. Here are J.C.’s bare inks, alongside the finished cover, with my colors, and a very slick logo by Vinny:

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Be sure to ask your local comic shop to order Johnny Monster #1! It’s on page 168 of December’s Previews catalog, and the Diamond order number is DEC08 2275.

Happy Holidays, I’m a Forgetful Moron!

It occurs to me that I promised a bonus post today. And have not delivered. Well, it won’t be up by the end of Friday (which is in a scant few minutes), but it will be up before you wake up for Saturday morning cartoons. Tune back in in a few!

Kage Kuringoru Densetsu

(Posting early for the holidays, tune in on Friday for a bonus post… )

Josh says this in IM:

[23:25] JOSH: next time you guys do a sketch off
[23:25] JOSH: i’d like to see ninja santas

So you get this:

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KAGE KRINGLE, the Shinobi Santa, gives razor-sharp kunai to all the good little ninjas at winter time. He also gives razor-sharp kunai to naughty ninjas… kunai which are delivered to their hearts. So be good, for goodness sake.


Horrible Post Title #063885: Owl or Nothing

A quick note about the posting schedule for the rest of the year… the second sketch for this week (normally scheduled for Friday) will go up on Wednesday December 24th. Friday, instead, will see a bonus post featuring something that’s a tiny bit different from my usual fare.

Next week, however the second sketch will go up a day early, in the wee hours of New Year’s Day (Thursday), as has become a tradition here.

I’m sure you’re all terribly enthralled by the ins and outs of my post scheduling. Here’s today’s subject, She-Ra’s ally Kowl, in both cartoon and toy forms:

As is my custom, I repurposed the significantly differently-colored toy version into a new character. Corujito, as best as I can figure, means “little owl” in Portuguese, which is how one of the international releases of Kowl was named (using my Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction, I’m going to guess it was the Portuguese and/or Brazilian version). I decided to spell it Korujito, just to give the name a bit more of a connection with Kowl. Korujito’s gem and title derive from the play feature of the toy, which I guess was some kind of color-changing gem that ‘answered your questions’ with different colors–I suspect it was a mood ring-like decal, like the old faction sigils on Transformers. But I digress.

* * *

PROFILE: Kowl’s young nephew, KORUJITO, is a “chosen one” of their people. He was born with the ability to divine possible futures through the Oracular Gem, an artifact used by seers and oracles throughout the history of Etheria. Korujito is but a child, however he is wise and serene beyond his years.

HISTORY: Korujito is part of an emerging group of young heroes who have become protectors of Etheria while She-Ra is posted in Eternia. The rulers united under the Rebellion consult Korujito’s clairvoyant powers when they are faced with grave decisions, and his serene counsel has been invaluable to the stoic and conflicted protector of Etheria, Starburst. Korujito is a frequent companion of the impulsive Princess Sorciela, and Kowl seems to spend an inordinate amount of time keeping the two of them out of trouble.

* * *

Kowl is also posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

And Korujito is also posted here on my variants thread