I just got all five seasons of the Wire, around christmas for like 50 bucks.
I’m trying to learn the art of the caricature, and these are characters I sort of love. So heres my labor of love.
RIP to Prop Joe
The following is the offspring of two Avengers. One being Thunder Strike, a guy who stood in for Thor for a while. The other is a chick named Magdalene, who was pretty much a Marvel analogue for Big Barda, from Kirby’s Fourth World.
This is from Round 4 of Comic Book Resources Project CBRunway. The theme for the week was John Hughes’ classic teen film from the 80s,”The Breakfast Club.”
We had to make the archetypical characters, the Brain, The Princess, The Basket-case, the Jock and the Criminal, into Super Heros. After selecting a number between one and five I was assigned the Jock, Andrew Clark, played by Emilio Estevez. The character he played was an athlete on the wrestling team in detention because he duct taped some poor saps butt cheeks together.
So my approach was to give him the basic super hero strongman look and add a few touches from the movie. He has typical wrestling gear, a mask and his varsity jacket from the film. Here’s the inked drawing.
As the Gym Class Hero, Andrew Clark dons his varsity jacket and wrestling uniform to take down the bullies and creeps at Shermer High School redeeming himself for having once been a locker room bully. He asked the “Brain” to soak his costume in “chemical X” to make them more durable, the treads on his wrestling boots are reenforced with a metallic rubber to help him keep his ground and his mask is worn under his headgear, because it looks a little less silly that way. His belt is a novelty belt he got on line, a replica of the championship belt from his favorite pro wrestling company and his fingerless gloves are padded to protect his knuckles, and not leave bruises on wrongdoers.
Here are some more graphics for the Stunning Beeboy and his supporting cast of malevolent MCs. The new banner above incorporates Beeboy’s emblem, a stylized letter B with wings and a stinger jutting out of the bottom curve of the letter. A pretty good hero insignia if I do say so myself. This element and the goggles are the most enduring of Beeboy’s look. I’ll see if I can find the original sketch I did in color pencil way back in 1996. Here’s the Emblem in all it’s glory.
Here’s a nice little graphic with the Logo, Emblem and a fun sketch of Beeboy.
And now for a villain I haven’t introduced yet in the prose. He’s Beeboy’s oldest enemy, I came up with him shortly after Beeboy. Back when I created him I called him Rah-Rah, which was what we called loud and brash thugs around the way, inspired by one of Redman‘s verses, because I love me some Redman. Get his albums Whut? the Album, Dare is a Darkside and Doc’s Da Name and you’ll find out why. Anyway, Rah-Rah wasn’t a name that could endure, Redman has been off the airwaves for a while and I wanted a name that would have staying power. Thug-O-Nomics just popped into my head and I never looked back.
Thug-O-Nomics is the quintessential studio gangsta rapper. Tough in the recording booth, but the first to run from a fight. He’s excessive and gaudy and really likes gun talk, but never really ever owned one, or held one. His Medallion is two Glock 9s with silencers attached to the letter S, made to look like a dollar sign, it symbolizes that he gets his money through acts of violence. I think it’s the best thing in the world.
Take a look below and tell me what you think.
If you’ve been enjoying my blog you know I f*cks with the Comic Book Resources Forums hard body. One of the forums I visit a lot is their Artist and Writer Showcase. There are regular competitions there and I submitted some original pieces to the most recent CBR Draw Off, it was Avengers-centric to honor the highly anticipated movie coming out later this year from Marvel’s film studio.
I submitted two pieces, one a solo shot of Hank Pym as Antman and the other a group shot with Antman, Wasp and the Black Panther. My thought process for my entries was to try to make the uniforms/costumes look like the film studio would translate them for the film. For examples I looked to the existing films and how they approached the costumes. With Iron Man the costume is about as direct a translation as you can get, with Captain America you could see the elements of the main Marvel Universe(616) and the Ultimate Universe as inspiration for the costume. Hawkeye’s is pretty much a direct adaptation from the one worn by Clint Barton in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. For Pym I went with the color scheme from the original costume from his Tales To Astonish and Avengers appearances and used some elements of Scott Lang, a reformed criminal that later took on the Ant Man identity. Here’s a rough sketch I have where I was working out some kinks.
In designing the costume I was thinking about what actor I would want to play Pym. I was searching online for fan casts and someone had Anthony Michael Hall as the Vision or something. I didn’t agree with that, I think he’d be a great Henry Pym, he already created an Artificial Intelligence he couldn’t control in Weird Science, was the nerd in Breakfast Club and has some genre relevance from the SciFi channel series Dresden Files and his bit part in the hugely successful film, the Dark Knight. He’s a nerd with an edge, old enough to be an expert in an obscure field of science. He’s a great fit in my eyes. But with Joss Whedon at the helm, I wouldn’t be mad at Neil Patrick Harris, though I’d say he’s too much of a comic actor at this point.
With T’Challa, the Black Panther, the king of Wakanda, a sovereign African Nation that has never been conquered or colonized, I was over thinking things. Wanting to use elements of African art, I delved into books about African Ceremonial Masks, Military Dictator’s Garments and traditional Zulu garb. I couldn’t stick to one idea until the last minute. Here are a few pages of sketches of the design progression.
These here focusing more on the mask as the central element of his design. There are so many wonderful mask styles to choose from, the Benin had some interesting things going and there were some phenomenal South African masks as well, but I didn’t think that would work on screen. So I looked closer at the Zulus.
The traditional animal skins are replaced with light weight but durable armor that he wears over a body suit. I liked the basic look more, so I went with that and this is what I came up with.
Now ideally I’d want Djimon Honshu to play this role, but he’s getting up there in age. He might make the perfect T’Chakka, T’Challa’s father, but I think we need someone a little younger, although RDJ is killing it as Tony Stark and he now spring chicken. I’d sat Chiwetal Ejiofor would be good here, he’s got acting chops and he’s worked with Whedon before. With Whedon you could see his ability to do action sequences and in Red Belt he really made me believe he’s a genuine force to be reckoned with.
For Janet Van Dyne, I don’t know what artist to credit with the costume design she had most recently, but to change it at all would be a crime, so I left it as is. Which fits the movie universe, because Scarlet Johanson’s Black Widow is pretty much identical to the comic book interpretation. There was no need to go through a design process here, so here’s the Wasp I went with for the competition.
For the Wasp I was thinking Mila Kunis. Short, cute, and well known. And cute, did I mention cute? But then I saw another fan casting that just made sense, Morena Baccarin. She already has the short hair, or did in the remake of the V mini-series and she to my surprise I find out she went to my High School. That trumps everything to me. So these were the characters I drew. Here’s the group shot I used in the competition.
I’m not sure which artist did the Avengers Mansion in the background, I found it with Google Image Search. I’m guessing it’s from Avengers Dissembled so that would mean Deodato. Anyway, I thought it fit. And I was right, I won the competition with one vote. Yay me, the grand prize, an assortment of Comic Books from the 90s. Some of which I’m sure I own. I worked at a comic shop in the 90s.
Anyway that’s that. Hopefully this momentum from winning with urge me forward for the rest of the year. If not, guess I’ll have to find some tiger’s blood.
Just a run through for Logo Designs for the main antagonists in the first Beeboy story. Working on some art work now for a possible cover and some pin-ups to print the short story for sale around the way, maybe at local comic shops. As we know no rapper/musician/comic book character is worth much without his merch, so of course I had to hook up the villains with menacing and/or regal graphics.
For Mogadishu, as described in the story a bloodied military stencil letter M, bullet holes optional. Showed my Lady Friend, she prefers the non perforated Mogadishu logo.
Beeboy Created by Baqi Abdush-Shaheed ©
Mogadishu and King Midas Created by Baqi Abdush-Shaheed and Glenn Bryant ©
Logos TM & (C) Baqi Abdush-Shaheed aka Chuck Spears
Bethany makes her way into the city with the resurrected Judge Leminsky just behind her. At this hour there are few onlookers. A great many of the people out at this time are out to seek easy prey. Bethany is counting on just that. She tells her zombified judge, ‘‘in life, you served as one who condemns based on the verdict of others; at my service you will act as executioner. I am the judge and jury.”
To test and strengthen their bond she is searching for criminals to punish, as many as she can find. Every streak of blood that touches the judge’s gavel binds his will to Bethany’s. During the first attack she commands, the judge shows hesitance. She has to urge him to finish off the would-be purse-snatcher. Some of Judge Leminsky’s sense of scale still remained. But it didn’t last long. The next target was attempting to rape a woman in a dark alley. At Bethany’s command he rushes forward lifts the criminal up by his throat and smashes his gavel repeatedly at his pelvis, pulverizing bone as he tightens his grip on the rapists throat muffling his screams.
Bethany smiles and thinks, ”Soon Cobb, soon you will feel the hammer of justice. Soon will my husband be avenged. Before your death rattle sounds, I will show you your beating heart.”
Mackenzie Cobb is searching for his next victim, Lawrence Winchester, the officer that arrested him before he could finish of Bethany. Before his dark spell could be cast and her heart and soul would be his forever. She was his student in the occult, but after months of longing for her, he discovered she was married to another, someone not worthy of her beauty, wisdom and talent. Someone who wasn’t Cobb. Someone who had to die, Humberto Corazon, and his death were perfect. Cobb could still taste the flesh of his beating heart, the warm blood trickling down his throat. The Officer wouldn’t have such a distinguished death. It would be slow and painful. He planned to puncture both of the officer’s lungs and stand over him as all breath escaped him. Mack Cobb remembered what precinct Officer Winchester worked in from the arrest and decided to attack him after his shift. As Officer Winchester leaves he thinks he hears a rustling in the nearby bush but thinks nothing of it, and decides it’s probably a squirrel or other harmless creature. He makes his way to his car and drives for a bit when suddenly; a man leaps out in front of the vehicle, causing Winchester to swerve wildly and crash into a mailbox. Lawrence Winchester stumbles out of his car with small shards of glass in his face making him quite the bloody spectacle. Mackenzie Cobb, the man that leaped in the officer’s path rushes toward Winchester and tackles him back down to the ground. He puts his knee on the officer’s neck as he searches his pocket for his ceremonial knife with the hilt shaped like the head of Baphomet. He growls, “Officer Winchester, I have come as promised to evacuate your soul from its mortal vessel. As I have the judge. I showed him mercy and made his death quick. But you, you touched me; you handled me like a common criminal. Your death will be slow, painful and indelicate.”
Cobb’s soliloquy gave Winchester the moment he needed to gather his senses. As Cobb was Fumbling for his knife, Winchester was wriggling and contorting his body to escape the bind he was in. He freed his arm just as Cobb was about to stab him in the chest. His arm blocked the first blow, startling Cobb. Though the pain was agonizing he reached for his gun and fired it near Cobb’s ear. The deafening gunshot made Cobb release his grip and Winchester made it back to his feet, wiping the glass and blood from his face with one arm while he brandished his gun with the other. “Cobb, I fired these shot blocks away from a precinct. I’m sure they’ll be a patrol car here in about a minute, is that going to give me the slow death you want?” Winchester screams like a wounded beast, as if to dare Cobb to continue the assault. Which Cobb does, he notices Winchester is still struggling to see clearly, so he lunges at him with the blade, stabbing him in the gut as police sirens can be heard wailing nearby. Winchester drops his gun and folds to the floor as another officer exits the patrol car, hands clasped on his Gloc. “Put the knife down, sir, and put your hands on your head.” Cobb gestures as though he’s slowly putting the knife down and throws it at the officer. His aim is wide of the mark but it gives him just enough time to slink into a nearby alley. The driver of the squad car gets out and attends to Winchester, while the other gives chase.
“Larry, are you alright, can you speak?” says the officer. Winchester says, “It’s Cobb. Don’t let Mike go after him with out back up.” At that utterance an agonizing scream is heard. A voice familiar to the two officers; Officer Mike Allen is surely dead and Cobb is still on the loose. The Officer calls for back up and an ambulance as Winchester fades into unconsciousness. As the EMTs are putting Winchester in the Ambulance, another officer finds Mike Allen’s corpse. Scrawled in his chest is, “Winchester, you’re next.”
I locked eyes with Mogadishu despite the chills I felt seeing how furious he was. I could hear his breathing becoming more shallow and rapid. It was a symptom of his anxiousness. His mind was moving just as rapidly. Suddenly he glanced to his right, then turned to look back at me and lunged toward me with a howl. I was sprawled on the stage before I knew what hit me. Then I heard the gunshots. Moga got off me and asked if I was alright. He told me I owed him one.
King Midas and his street team, the 14 Karats ran up in the club guns blazing. I don’t know how I didn’t notice. I must have been too focused on what Mogadishu was going to do. I felt a buzzing in my head, but I just figured the danger was coming from Moga. King Midas had it in for both of us and he wasn’t taking any chances this time. He was supposed to be here to judge the battle and it completely slipped my mind entirely once I saw what Mogadishu looked like in person, all six and a half feet and near three hundred pounds of him. I kicked Midas’ ass last week and beat him in the battle. Mogadishu and King Midas had a long-standing beef. That’s when it hit me that this battle was a set up. Midas was going to up his rep by eliminating two of his enemies at once. But Mogadishu saw it coming and I’m pretty sure he just saved my life. I did owe him one, and it was mere seconds later when I would come to repay that debt.
One of the 14 Karats jumped up to the stage with a golden knife and slashed at Moga. I kicked that fools fronts in, grabbed his arms and threw him at two of his partners that were approaching the stage. Moga nodded his head at me and cracked his knuckles. ”It’s a problem in here now, fam.” That’s all he said then he rushed at some of the remaining Karats, dispatching them quickly with world shattering punches to their faces. He was making a beeline for King Midas, who was still firing shots wildly in the club. It was surreal, some of the Karats were still coming for me and I was so ready for the ruckus.
I was a blur, my pop and lock jabs and windmill kicks were making short work of these henchmen? His crew? Other than canon fodder I really don’t know what to call them. One came at me swinging a golden pipe, trying for the back of my head. I dropped back and bent my knees like I was doing the limbo and his swing landed wide off the mark. Then I rested my hands on the ground and kicked him in the jaw. Another leaped at me with a katana. I rolled to my left picked up a microphone stand and used it to deflect the sword which got stuck in the middle of the pole. As he was struggling to remove it I tossed the stand to the side got him in an arm bar then slammed his face on the ground with more force than was probably necessary.
Mogadishu didn’t seem to be having as hard a time with these goons as I was. There were about 10 of Midas’ flunkies scattered around the dance floor of the Ziggurat club. One was lodged inside of a turned over speaker, another was shoved headfirst into the drywall. His legs were all you could see. Moga ripped this spot up and now he was lumbering toward King Midas who was trying to reload his Gloc before Mogadishu could get to him. Moga reached into the back of his pants and pulled out what I swear was a cannon. At the sight of that gun Midas dropped his gun and ran for the exit. Moga stood still raised his gun and took aim. I heard a loud crack like thunder as Mogadishu let off one shot, missing Midas but obliterating the window and blowing the passenger side door off of an SUV parked in front of the club. Midas was still running and Moga yelled out, ”You’re a dead man walking Midas. Gunning for me twice. Twice? But your bitch ass can’t shoot for shit.”
I was like, ”Yo Moga, ease up man. There are still people out there; you might hit one of them. I’ll go after Midas and, I don’t know, drag him to a precinct or something.” Moga gave me a mean scowl and said, ”Jail, nah man anything less than the emergency room is better than he deserves. Personally I’m trying to toe tag this cock gobblin’ boxer streak sun of a bitch.”
We were arguing about it long enough for Midas to get away and for us to hear sirens approaching. I said, ”I understand if you want to shake the scene man, but I’m going to give the cops my statement and try to help out here with the clean up.” Mogadishu looked at me with a doubtful smirk on his lips.
“Man, just when I was starting to respect you, you say some old punk shit like that. I respect your skills though.” Looking over his shoulder at the wreckage of the bar and the broken remnants of King Midas’ crew, Mogadishu says, “Yeah, I guess I’d better get out of here. If the cops ask, I bounced as soon as mo’ foes started shooting.”
He gives me a pound then walks up to the shot up SUV, hotwires the engine and drives off with the passenger door slamming open and shut as he heads back to Brooklyn, turning the corner to avoid the oncoming police cars. The bartender and host crawled out from behind the basement door, and seeing as I was the only rapper still there, he gave me the prize money. I take some plastic handcuff strips out of my pouches and start locking up the unconscious 14 Karat Gang before the police arrive.
What a heck of a night.
The host calls us up to the stage. I walk up when I hear my name.
”Coming up to the center square, BEEBOY!” the announcer proclaims followed by a smattering of applause. I earned some respect here because last week I took down King Midas to get my spot tonight. King Midas is the guy with the five times platinum album and all the radio play. His record label is co-sponsoring this event. The fact that I’m getting all this love tonight is pretty cool. It’s quite a boost of confidence. Then the host calls Mogadishu to the stage. Dead silence. He stomps across the club like I’d imagine a T-Rex would while hunting its prey. The crowd is standing stark still as though he actually were a T-Rex and can only spot them if they move. I gotta admit, shit is pretty tense right now.
In the eternity it takes for him to get to the stage it gets to be that all you hear is the sound of his feet stomping accompanied by the faint drum of the crowd’s heart beat and their shallow breaths. His last footstep leaves him standing four feet away from me staring directly at me. Practically looking through me. He has a deep squint as he examines me, I feel as though he’s picking me apart in his mind. Luckily I’m wearing a mask and dark goggles or he might have seen me blink.
Even if he does have lyrics, I’m sure intimidation was a huge part of him making it this far in the battle. His breath is fogging up my goggles from four feet away. He’s got a strategically ripped black T-shirt with a blood red capital letter M in the center with the military stencil lettering style made to look like splattered and dripping blood. He’s got a camouflage T-shirt wrapped around his head like a turban and is sporting a very grizzled beard. The turban matches his BDU pants. To complete his look of menace he had on some “butter tims” the typical Brooklyn boots. Tan Construction Timberlands laced only half way up with the tongue hanging over the front. They look brand new and yet worn out at the thought of being on Moga’s feet. Like he’s somehow kicking his own shoes ass every time he takes a step. I shouldn’t feel sorry for a person’s shoes, but I tell you, I don’t envy being in their position.
The Announcer waits for the noise from the crowd to die down after our introductions. When he feels he has control of the audience he explains the rules of the battle. There’ll be a portion of the battle that we go back and forth for 8 bars apiece. After that we Each have to freestyle based off of whatever the host pulls out of a bag and finally we each have to spit our best a capella, up to 48 bars. I’m a little concerned because this wasn’t part of the last battle and I never put any energy into reciting my verses a Capella. I also generally keep my verses to 16 bars. I guess I’ll have to mash a couple of verses together and hope for the best. It turns out that Mogadishu is up first and he’s relentless from the gate.
He begins by staring me down and gesturing in an effort to make me flinch. His efforts do not go unrewarded. The crowd erupts in laughter and begins to taunt and mock me. It’s not a great feeling. I guess the goodwill I believed I had when I came in didn’t amount to much.
Look who they let out the beehive dressed like the queen
Hey Beeboy, you’re looking mighty good in them jeans
Spray that Raid in your grill, A.K. to your grill
Pest control Terminex put grenades to your grill…
Shit! Mogadishu isn’t just threatening me; he’s also thoroughly going in on my gear and general appearance and quoting Eddie Murphy and he’s only getting started. I expected the threats and all, but not punch lines and wit. Wit delivered stone faces and menacing, but I think I know what to do. All I have to d….
“Ooh,” the audience howls in unison. I don’t even know what this bastard just said. I was thinking too hard about what to say. Now I’m up and I don’t even have a solid strategy. This is not where I want to be at all. But the DJ scratches the record, crosses the fader and plays the next beat. It’s the instrumental to “Shook Ones” by Mobb Deep, usually a crowd pleaser. But I think the DJ is trying to play me because I flinched earlier. Damn, I have to stop over thinking shit. I just gotta go in.
Moga, you pack artillery but lack delivery
I spit, and split you down the middle with symmetry
Your mom must have gotten boned by a Howitzer
Or maybe a gorilla fucked the shit out of her
Explains you, looking like an ape in tank top
All that gun talk But I bet you shoot blank shots
How tough are you now, softer than sponge cake
All you can do now is stand around with the dumb face
On the last line I make a slack jawed dumb face, which is lost on the crowd, because I’m wearing a mask that covers my entire face. They get the gist of it though.
“Get ‘em Bee!”
The Response from the crowd got me open. The two of us were on equal footing now. I was feeling good about this battle again. Then I took a look at his face. It was far from a “dumb” face. It was more of an, “I’m going to thoroughly destroy this Mother Fucker, right here” face, a face that combined hatred, anger, determination and joy. I was the object of this intense emotion. Some people have all the luck.