Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I had so much fun drawing Darkseid the other day, I thought I’d share some love for his Marvel counterpart, Thanos. I don’t know for sure if Jim Starlin was inspired by Kirby’s creation when he birthed this big bruiser but there are some similarities.

I think I’ve mentioned Mike’s love of all of Starlin’s work back in the Seventies. And how he used to practically trace Starlin’s work in the WARLOCK and CAPTAIN MARVEL series in his developing years. When we were dealing with Mike’s massive comic book collection back in ‘07, his Starlin CAPTAIN MARVELs were some of the very few books I kept that Mike didn’t work on. I already had my own copies but these were special books.

It took a while for Mike’s love of Starlin’s stuff to rub off on me because I liked the more accessible guys like John Romita, Sal Buscema, Gil Kane and Ross Andru. At my age, I knew the art was good but it was a little over my head. And the stories...forget it. Now, Do I love that stuff.

I had a blast drawing this sketch. I don’t think it’s wishful thinking to say I see a lot of Mike in there. It probably has less to do with me trying to emulate him as it has to do with the fact that he was so influenced by Starlin. As I was drawing this, I kept referring to scans of Starlin’s work to get costume details right. I think it’s just a case of shared influences.

I didn’t ink it because my penciling has been suffering because I’ve been doing most of the drawing in the inking stage lately. Since I’m going to start back drawing the PERHAPANAUTS pages I still owe Todd and Craig, I thought it would be nice to get in some practice doing more detailed pencils.

Speaking of pencils...recently, through Rich Woodall and Rod Hannah, I became aware of Ken McFarlane’s ink job over my Hunter sketch from a couple years back. Christian had already given me a beautifully inked version that he’d done. Finding out that someone else had done the same thing was pretty flattering. And, to be honest with myself, Ken really improved the drawing. This kind of thing doesn’t happen to me often and it’s the little things in life...

So, thanks Ken!

I’m hoping I can keep up the sketching but I just don’t know. Next week, we move into our new space at work and they’ve spent a lot of time and money removing as much comfort and privacy from our work environment as possible. We’re going from something like this:

To something more like this:

I’m hoping that, once I figure out my comfort zone, I can get my groove back. We’ll see.

Okay, that’s it for now. Later.


Heywood Jablomie said...

Oh man this piece is awesome!!! I've always loved me some Thanos he just has this vibe about him. He's gotten a bum treatment here and there thru the years. Great work Matt!!

Good luck with the new work digs.

DonsSword said...

The thing that kills me about the "open" work environment, where no one really has a personal space, is that the world class agencies that pioneered this as a solution for creatives actually rolled it back because it just doesn't work.

When you work in "creative," and the amount of time spent at the office consumes your life, you need to have touch points that remind you of your life beyond your job. Sure, I understand that "certain" agencies don't believe you have a life beyond being subservient to them, but sometime you need to do something other than work. Places like Google that consume your life, do so by bring the rest of your life back to you with all the special benes and perks they offer, and that is what is missing from many of these work spaces that are trying to emulate what the big boys do--its a half implementation.

Matt Wieringo said...


It's putting the "nauseam" in "ad nauseam."

Warren said...

Thanos... Love that baddie!

And while a cubicle might not be the best environment to work in, yeah, the big open space doesn't look conducive to the development of ideas. But you can't tell management types anything once they get something in their heads.

PJ said...

One word about your new work scenario: plants.

Get as many as possible to build a slightly green space around you. On your desk, aside your desk, anything you can possibly do to improve the space.

As far as Starlin goes...

I think it would be hard pressed to describe the impact Starlin had on many comic fans back when he was doing Captain Marvel and later Warlock (Strange Tales).

Steranko did the same thing several years earlier.

I can vividly remember those special books... the ones that made me a lifelong fan of the genre. In particular, Captain Marvel #26 from the splash page with Marvel smashing through the door in the background and Lu-Ann inthe foreground, to the Thing, to Super Skrull and the final reveal of Thanos. Or CM #29 just stellar stuff.

Christian D. Leaf said...

Nicely done, 'Fus! Can't believe I didn't see this until today.

Captured ol' Thanos quite perfectly I'd say. Especially the codpiece. Oof!