Friday, June 11, 2010
Damn Dirty Apes
During all the craziness leading up to last weekend’s Heroes Convention, I foolishly started a sketch that was intended as a gift for Jeff Parker. I had listened to an interview between him, Gabriel Hardman and John Siuntres that was ostensibly about AGENTS OF ATLAS but which degenerated into a great discussion of the 1960’s-1970’s PLANET OF THE APES film series. I’ve always loved those movies and, when Hardman mentioned how much he loved the opening scene of ESCAPE (as do I) I knew I had to draw something. My intention was to knock it out quickly and then give it to Jeff at the convention. Alas, an inevitable all-nighter at work the night before prevented me from finishing it and then the half-drawn sketch got misplaced while we were packing so I couldn’t work on it during the show. I felt a little foolish walking up to Jeff, giving him the big build up and then...nothin’. Jeff gave me a look not unlike the expression one has when one realizes that an elderly relative has lost their mind. He patted my forearm and offered to go get my shawl. I never saw him again. Which is too bad. That hall got a little chilly in the mornings. Could’ve used that shawl.
This week has been just as nuts but I had a few minutes today and finished inking Cornelius, which was all that remained to be done. I thought I’d go ahead and post it while I had the time. The likenesses are a bit off but I kind of dig it. I hope you do too. Is it poor form to post a drawing before presenting it to the giftee?
I mentioned in the last post that I’d gotten a Nova sketch from Franco (thanks to a timely heads-up from our friend David Tilly) and here it is:
I love it. Especially the bullet-shaped head. He struggled with the costume a little and did some corrections before inking. But that actually made me happy. I love that almost nobody from whom I get sketches knows who Nova is. I almost wish that Marvel hadn’t done anything with him since the ‘70s. He’s never been as good as he was then though I really enjoyed that Erik Larsen/Joe Bennett series a while back. The new series is decent but I really can’t stand the new costume (although at least there are no red straps and buckles) and with his new popularity (Secret Avengers? WTF?) it’s only a matter of time before he’s inevitably over-complicated and screwed up.
As the show was winding down, my buddy Warren Newsome hooked me up with a quick Nova headshot that he knocked out in about 30 seconds which I find pretty darned impressive.
I guess he didn’t because he promised to email me another attempt when he got home. True to his word, this was waiting for me when I got home Monday, along with another version colored by his son Eric. Eric, you may remember, was the first person to ever ask me for a convention sketch, fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine. Thanks guys! These are great!
One of the things I love about comic conventions is seeing what tools everyone is using. This year, Suzanne excitedly pointed out that Steve Lieber was using a Pentel brush pen that I’d noticed at an art supply store a couple of weeks ago. It was fairly expensive ($16 retail compared to about $3 for the Pitt pen) so I didn’t want to just buy it on blind faith. I never got up the nerve to ask him about it (again, I suffer from a mild case of SAD) and he had a constant flow of admirers in front of him anyway. But then he posted something about the pen on the John Byrne forum and that’s all it took. I picked one up at an art supply store on the VCU campus today. I’ve only messed around with it a little but it’s really cool. I can’t wait to try it out for real.
Okay, that’s all for now. We’ve got my parents coming for a visit this weekend but I may try to squeeze in some of the World Cup. I’m not a futbol kind of guy but I like watching the big sporting events even for sports I don’t really follow. Anyway, have a great weekend everybody.
Posted by Matt Wieringo at 1:27 PM