Last drawing for 2022, a tribute to my favorite Batman—RIP Kevin Conroy!
(**Note: the background is taken from a screencap of the Batman:TAS opening credits)
So, last year I drew redesigns of Kwannon and Betsy from the X-Men, then decided to draw a psychic fusion of the two, and the first drawing above was the initial result. When I stepped back, I felt like something was off with it, and the more I looked at it, the more I disliked it. Finally I decided to scrap the drawing, and I never posted it (until now). (At the time, I decided to start over and complete a more streamlined and straightforward attempt–click here to revisit that result along with my drawings of Kwannon, Betsy, and Logan)
But back to the bad one 😆… it’s a pretty weak, cluttered composition, and lacks the sketchy energy of the character redesigns I was doing, yet also falls short of being a more polished drawing. I think it was a case where I was feeling a bit ambitious and got carried away with that momentum, yet failed to balance it with sufficient forethought and planning. I know that for my own process, I need to take care of composition and planning issues as early as possible–thinking “I’ll fix this as I go” pretty much never works out.
Anywayzzz, I recently stumbled back on this drawing while sorting through my files. With the benefit of some distance, I felt it was an interesting artifact after-the-fact… a byproduct of the process. And the story is maybe worth sharing just in case anyone else is out there kinda whiffing it on the first try? 🤔😆
When I was a little kid, Kang the Conqueror was the action figure from Secret Wars who I didn’t recognize and had a funny shaped helmet (I wasn’t reading comics yet). When I was a little older and devoting all my meager allowance-based resources to comics, I still didn’t ‘get’ the character.
A few years later and that all changed when Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco’s Avengers Forever came out, and finally I understood the greatness of Kang the Conqueror. No shortage of credit goes to Kurt Busiek for his epic writing, but of course today my mind is on Carlos Pacheco who we lost yesterday. An incredible artist and storyteller, every single panel that he drew was a masterpiece, and every character was a star. Gone far too soon, RIP.
Happy Batman Day! This design goes along with my ideas from the Sons Of The Bat drawings that I did a zillion years ago. I should probably update those… 🤔
My dear dear friend Joshua Williamson has just launched a Substack newsletter: joshuawilliamson.substack.com
You may know him from his incredible runs writing The Flash and Robin, his acclaimed creator-owned comics Birthright (with Andrei Bressan) and Nailbiter (with Mike Henderson), or maybe his current juggernaut mini-series at DC, Dark Crisis. Now you can get the latest updates on all of his projects (including a lot of exciting things in development), and if you subscribe to one of the paid tiers, there are going to be extra perks, advance access to the new Nailbiter anthology, and some exclusive collectibles!
Josh asked me to help him design a mascot for the newsletter, so allow me to introduce Super Scary! Illustrations by me, and graphic design by John J. Hill.
Super Scary’s skull insignia is going to be on some of those aforementioned exclusive collectibles, like these limited edition pins! Please check out Josh’s Substack for all the details!
Started sketching this during a work call and decided to clean it up real quick. From “Bart the Genius” (7G02), I believe this was the first appearance of Radioactive Man (in our universe, not theirs 🤓). I took some liberties of course, but what’s important is the super weird color scheme. 😎
Check my Instagram post for the reference. Also, here’s the last time I drew Springfield’s favorite superhero.
Quick sketch drawn for a friend who loves Peter David era Smart Hulk as much as I do! David’s fun, witty scripts, brought to life by the gorgeous art of Dale Keown and later Gary Frank really solidified my love of comics!
Kitty! (and Lockheed!)
Another warm-up/costume redesign! It is probably very obvious by now that I tend to go very traditional and generally more streamlined when it comes to superhero costumes. And ALWAYS add a katana if applicable, of course.
Warm-up/redesign from the weekend. Had to go with the mohawk! 😎
Last year I started doing some quick superhero redesigns as warm ups, and Kwannon was the first, followed quickly by Betsy Braddock. I really like the idea of having both Kwannon and Betsy around. And I like to think Betsy kept up her ninja skills even after being returned to her own body. Honestly you could fill several story arcs just dealing with Betsy and Kwannon’s lives after finally getting their own bodies back!
With superheroes people always debate which version is better, but my answer is always that I just want all of them. Give me Hal AND Kyle, Miles AND Peter, Barry AND Wally AND Jay, and of course Kwannon AND Betsy. And the great thing about superheroes is that you really can have your cake and eat it too! Just that sometimes that cake is another cake in disguise, or a clone, or from an alternate dimension, etc. 😉
The next one is a little off-book… Kwannon and Betsy discover they can temporarily fuse their minds and bodies to transform into the entity known as PSYLOCKE—in this form their existing powers are drastically multiplied, but the fusion can only be maintained for a short period of time. (To be honest, when I drew this I was thinking of Steven Universe style fusions, it didn’t occur to me until I was done that psychic fusions already have a precedent in X-Men comics with Onslaught. 😅)
And here’s a Logan too. Shout out to old school whiskers and smaller ‘ears’!
So I thought the Star Trek tattoo from a few months ago was the first time my art had been turned into a tattoo, but I forgot that a few years ago Kara, commissioned a Deadpool from me for her husband Jake, and he liked it so much he had it inked:
So that’s two tattoos from my art so far, but the next one is definitely the first time I was commissioned specifically to design a tattoo! My good friend Scott wanted to pay tribute to his own personal Battle Cat, the late great Apollo, and I was more than happy to help…
It’s humbling to see folks want to put my doodles into permanent display on their bodies, and amazing to see how the tattoo artists translate my work! I’m talking to a few more friends about this kinda stuff, so who knows, maybe this will become a regular thing for me?
I was thinking about Simon Baz and the idea of Green Lanterns + guns, then I was thinking of the traditional Green Lantern Corps uniform with white gloves and what other characters wear white gloves and then this happened:
– RE: the ring-construct weapons… I dug up photo reference of various weapons at angles that would work for what I had in mind, arranged them fanning out in a somewhat wing-shaped collage (I bit that idea from one of The Expendables movie posters), then I did a simplified sketchy trace-over.
– The costume is basically an inverted Hal Jordan/GLC uniform mashed-up with Frank Castle’s traditional Punisher costume.
– I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that after drawing Green Lantern characters for two weeks I randomly felt compelled to draw a super nerdy crossover. This isn’t the first time I’ve drawn an unlikely Green Lantern mash-up! (Previous incidents: HERE, HERE, and HERE)
Okay, back to regular GL characters, there are still a lot that I want to draw!
Just sketching up some of the Green Lantern cast…
– I draw really long necks.
– Pay no attention to the completely wrong perspective on Alan Scott’s lantern.
– John Stewart has been around for so long that you could give him his classic hairstyle back and it would be hip again (so I did exactly that).
– I was trying to draw a more classic Abin Sur, but he doesn’t look enough like an alien.
Haven’t seen the movie yet, but I like Harley Quinn’s costume in Suicide Squad. I wanted to draw a version of it that was in traditional Harley colors with a more streamlined cartoony look. There’s a dash of the Amanda Connor roller derby version in there, and the tattoos are inspired by the excellent cosplayer Katy DeCobray!