Monday, January 3, 2011

Out Like a Lion...

...In like a big #@$&ing carnivorous African feline. Since 2011 has come in, occupationally speaking, much the same way 2010 went out, meaning busy as hell, I didn't bother with New Years resolutions this time. I realize my chances of exercising more, drawing more or getting more done around the house are about as likely as my being elected President of the United States. So, rather than add any more stress on myself, I've decided not to worry about any of that and just do the best I can. Since I already have four presentations due this week at work (welcome back!) that probably won't amount to much.

That said, I did have this past weekend off and was feeling a little too lazy to get much done. So I spent the day at the drawing board finishing up a Thor illustration I'd been promising to Christian's daughter Lilah for about six months. Lilah is my goddaughter and so I took the promise seriously. But Thor is one of those characters you just have to "get" to be able to draw properly. And I really struggled with it. I was never much of a fan as a kid. He just didn't seem "superheroey" enough for me. He had long hair, bare arms, carried around a hammer for Pete's sake, wore a helmet that couldn't possibly stay on his head and talked like Gadzooks from "Rudolph's Shiny New Year." It took me, no exaggeration, about 30 preliminary sketches before I got a composition I liked enough to proceed with. And after a couple of false starts, about 30 more. Finally, I went back through the prelims and found one I couldn't remember why I'd rejected and went with it. And above is what I ended up with. I hope Lilah likes it. It's got some problems but still kind of like it. It's one of the largest finished pieces I've done at 11x17, full bleed.

I owe Lilahkins a debt of gratitude, however. Because, in the course of trying to get a feel for Thor, I've discovered some great books I'd, up until now, ignored. I've picked up some ESSENTIALS volumes and the recent "THOR: IF ASGARD SHOULD PERISH" hardcover featuring incredible John Buscema artwork. And I've been reading the recent series with Oliver Copiel's Thor redesign. And also Chris Samnee's overlooked, underappreciated THOR THE MIGHTY AVENGER that all of you should have been reading but weren't. With the THOR movie coming out soon, I'm really glad I had a chance to discover how great all these old stories are before seeing Hollywood's version.

Anyway, I hope you like the drawing and I hope you had a great and safe New Year holiday. Next up, a Sovena Red sketch for Rod Hannah.



Christian D. Leaf said...

Forsooth! Yon illustration is a mighty one indeed!

Warren said...

Thou art a skilled craftsman, indeed.

For a mortal.

Heywood Jablomie said...

happy new years matt!!
(can't believe i missed 2 posts!!)

thor came out awesome! totally love the pose you went with, great job!!

and holy shnit they redid the conan soundtrack??? that's one of my all time fave cd's-my wife makes fun of me to no end when i listen to it....

sorry to hear you're swamped, but sounds like you got to have a great christmas!

Adam Hutch said...

Happy 2011!

Nicely done, Matt! I like how that came out, and as an almost life-long Thor fan, I may have to hit you up for one next time I see you at a con. :)

What do you think of Copiel's redesign? Personally, I like the design itself (nothing beats the original, with Simonson's armor as a close second), but he draws Thor's face too squat for my tastes.

You're dead-on about Thor: Mighty Avenger. It's a fun, beuatiful read and I'm sad to see it go.

todd said...

that is some nice thor!
ever the traditionalist, i get a little hinky when they feel the need to re-design and update costumes--if it organically comes out of a story that, for example, spidey needs a new costume on an alien world that will later turn out to be a symbiotic emotional vampire, i'm in! (as long as they don't drag it out too long...which they did.) but always take me back to the basics when you're done. so what if thor's helmet always looked like it should be knocked off, and what ARE those big circles on the front of his tunic anyway--it's comics! it works 'cause they draw it that way!
anyway, sorry for going off on a rant on your blog, brother--
LOVE that THOR!! lilah better get that framed and then bolt it to the wall.

PJ said...

Nice job, for some reason I’m reminded of Steve Rude.

Rowan's Dad said...

Very cool Thor Matt...hope you are finding 2011 is treating you well...looking forward to seeing some new art as you get the chance...your stuff keeps getting better and better (also glad you got a chance to re-discover the Mighty Asgardian's stories)
-Mike G