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.


Warren said...

Email me your mailing address and I'll send you the original Nova drawing.

And I had a great time hanging out with you guys. It's good to have someone to stop and talk to who I don't feel like I'm bugging the hell out of. (Pretty sure I bugged the hell out of Mr. Garney, but it was fun to watch him draw.)

Wish I could make it up to Baltimore later this summer.

Rich Faber said...

Hey Matt,

As per your previous post, it was great hanging with you, Suze, and the gang. So glad we did that food court breakfast too! It was cool seeing the breakdown on the floor. I'll be posting my nearly identical show floor picture as soon as I write up my con report. Um... is a week later too late...?

Please let me know how you like that brush pen. As we talked about, I'm looking for a good one myself, as I'm dissatisfied with the Memory pens and the Pitts too. I'll have to do some more with the Sakura to see if that suits me, but in the meantime, I hope you'll do a little review on this one. Thanks!


Parker said...

Hey, I like those apes! Lots of personality, well done! You crazy old lady.

todd said...

beautiful, beautiful apes~!
i can see that you sat there and just absorbed not only their facial and bone structure--their ape-ness--but also, their personalities--you've imbued each one of these wonderful characters with that glint in their eye, the set of the mouth, that made them each an individual! wonderful, matt!
i haven't sat down and watched all the movies back-to-back-to-back, like you just did, in a long time...but your piece here makes me want to!! thanks! awesome job!

Dewback13 said...

Enjoyed seeing you and Suzanne in Charlotte, I think the kids and I saw more of you on the elevator than the con. Man it was busy, we did so much but still felt like we missed getting to see so many people.
Just had to comment on the Planet of the Apes piece, I too am a huge POTA fan and this piece ROCKS! Franco was awesome Gretchen got a Thing sketch and Aisling got a Starfire.