Friday, February 4, 2011

Craig's Sketch

Despite my recent scheduling wows, I actually find myself in the rare position of having two drawings ready for posting. I’m going to be frugal and save the first of them for next week, in case I get bogged down again. The second, you can see posted above.

Craig Rousseau, PERHAPANAUTS and KORVAC SAGA artist extraordinaire, gave me his sketchbook to look at the last time I saw him at the Baltimore Comicon. Inside were some eye-poppingly beautiful Avengers-themed drawings by such comics luminaries as Richard Case, Howard Porter and Eric Canete, among others. There was even an awesome Hulk drawing by PERHAPANAUTS colorist Rico Renzi. While I was wallowing in awe and envy, I dimly heard Craig say something that sounded like he wanted me to add one of my drawings to it. Turns out I wasn’t hallucinating. Craig actually wanted me to add a Mafus Special to his collection. And he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

I was incredibly flattered but also terrified. I spent more time trying to figure out how I could sneakily draw something on loose paper and glue it in than I did figuring out what to draw. Because I already knew what I wanted to draw.

Quite possibly my favorite issue of THE AVENGERS ever is Volume 1, number 160. Drawn by George Perez and Pablo Marcos with a story by Jim Shooter, it had everything a kid could want in a comic. Shakespearean melodrama, pulse-pounding action, costumed heroes actually in their costumes and, best of all, lots and lots of KIRBY DOTS! The story featured the reveal that the Grim Reaper was Wonder Man’s brother and was also the last time Wondy appeared in his classic costume. I was never sure what that strange design was on his abdomen but I fell in love with the character from the first time I laid eyes on him. He was always “my” Avenger. Well, until they gave took away his costume and gave him the ridiculous red safari jacket. In preparation for this drawing, I dug out an old copy and read it. Though some of the dialogue reads a little fan-fictiony, the story holds up and the art is as beautiful as I remember. There was something about the books Marvel put out back then that made even that single-issue story feel epic. If asked, I would have sworn that “The Trial” story was spread over three issues instead of the done-in-one that it was.

I tried to recapture some of the feel of AVENGERS #160 in this drawing. I was actually quite happy with the pen and ink drawing but I feel like it lost something when I colored it. There were some mighty fine color illustrations in Craig’s sketchbook and, to be honest, I was trying to live up to the standard set by some of those guys. I think I fell quite short but you can’t say I didn’t give it my best shot. I tried to get fancy, mixing colored pencils with markers. I probably should have experimented elsewhere. Thankfully, I stopped before I ruined it. I hope you like it.

This marks the last of my promised sketches and frees me up to wrap up the last few PERHAPANAUTS pages. After that...HAND ME DOWN HORROR!

And don’t forget to root for my Packers this Sunday. My stomach’s starting to turn over a little as we get closer to the big game. Thankfully, I’ve just found out I don’t have to work this weekend thanks to some meetings that got moved. So I’ll be watching with the rest of you.



craig rousseau said...

dude, i can't tell you how much i LOVE this... you rock.

(and since my horse is outta the running, i'm rooting for green bay!)

dicecipher said...

That is awesome. LOve seeing Wonderman in his original costume. Can you draw the one Perez gave him?

Warren said...

I love this drawing! Grim Reaper looks characteristically diabolical and Wonder Man looks like... well... Wonder Man! And I think the colors look good (at least in the scan). Also, you're very subtle when it comes to defiling. I bet Craig can't tell he's been defiled at all.

Adam Hutch said...

Nice creepy vibe!

Brian said...

Great job.

Matt Wieringo said...

Hey, dicecipher. Thanks for the compliment. While I love Wonder Man, I have to say I wasn't a fan of Perez's redesign. Still, I like it a lot better than anything that came after. So maybe in a while, I will give it a shot. Just for you. Thanks again.