I had a ton of fun during this past Summer's convention cycle. We got to see old friends, make some new ones and raise a lot of money for the scholarship. (Thanks to the folks in Boston, Baltimore and Charlotte. You're the BEST!) In case you're still read this much-dormant blog and don't yet follow me on Twitter (@mattwieringo), we're (unofficially for now) up to $3,000 annually. That may not sound like much but during a 3-year school career, it adds up. And it will only grow.
Anyway, one of the folks we caught up with was Chris Kemple. I had been promising him a pin-up of his awesome Red Vengeance character for some time and just hadn't followed through. It wasn't from lack of interest. I love retro characters like The Spirit and Rocketeer and drawing Red Vengeance would really scratch that itch. I just didn't feel like I was up to the challenge. I started the thing about 20 times and was always disappointed with what I drew. I don't work well under pressure, even the self-inflicted variety.
Then, one night, I was riding home from work after spending a little downtime admiring some Art Adams drawings online and I thought, "What would Art Adams do with this?" The answer was obvious. An ape in a tuxedo! Seemed perfect for the era in which Red Vengeance lives and, besides, sometimes you just gotta draw a gorilla in a monkey suit. I went home and had my underdrawing done that night. I thought it would be funny for my buddy and (briefly) Perhapanauts inker Christian Leaf if I threw in a metric ton of bricks and straight lines to ink as payback for what I put him through during our two-part 'Haps western. After spending six hours of three nights inking in those bricks, I feel your pain, buddy! Karma's a bitch. Forgive me?
So, here it is. I hope you like it. I had a blast drawing it. Shipping it off to Chris next week.
It's been a loooong time between posts. I've been extremely busy at work and otherwise and any drawings I've done have either been for projects I can't discuss or just weren't worth posting. I've had a lot of drawing obligations that have waited while I put in some long hours at work (including my first-ever 100 hour week) and I felt that if people saw me posting blog sketches instead of the drawings I was supposed to be producing, I'd have some 'splainin' to do.
That changed with the upcoming Boston Comicon. Suze and I are setting up at next weekend's convention (April 20th-21st if you're reading this some time down the road.) to raise money for the Mike Wieringo Scholarship Fund and so I figured it was time I stopped making excuses and drew the illustration I'd promised Bob Shaw at last year's show. I was excited because meeting my obligation would also give me a reason to post here again. Twitter has been a great place to get out random thoughts but it's not so great for posting artwork.
Then today happened.
The bombings at the Boston Marathon. I'll refrain from spewing vitriol at the monster(s) responsible because, like a lot of you, I imagine, I'm just too stunned and horrified to do anything but send good thoughts to our friends, brothers and sisters in Beantown.
The subject of the drawing made me think twice about posting it. I've not read the SANDMAN books but it's my understanding that the character in my drawing (I had to look her up online to see what she looked like) is an actual physical personification of Death.
Given today's events, you can see why I thought posting this might be in poor taste. Please know it wasn't intentional and that Bob requested the drawing a year ago, the last time I saw him. I hope you like it. I do. And that's sort of new for me. I had a real blast drawing it.
(An interesting aside. I had drawn a completely different first pass underdrawing for this piece at work and brought it home to trace up. Something came up and I set the drawing aside for a day or so. Then, one night, I came home from work to find that our scrappy little kitten Danger had, well...eaten it. Before he came to live with us, Danger was a street kitty and I guess he made himself a few paper nests. Turns out he did me a favor. I like this version much better and I even skipped the underdrawing and drew right on the board.)