It’s probably being made, RIGHT NOW!!!
I had an idea for a character on the way to see Stallone’s new shoot ‘em up, Bullet to the Head. It was for a character that was simpler than other characters and stories I’ve been developing. It was an insect based character, I just love those. Anyway the character’s theme is based on roaches, filthy disgusting roaches. He’s a pest to the criminal underworld.
The idea here is to do one page stories akin to the old Hostess snack ads from the 70s and 80s.
The comics would feature a villain of the week an we catch the action just as it’s about to get resolved. For the first issue I have the hero fighting a squid themed villain, Carl O’Marley, PHD. The Roach is trapped and has to find a way to escape. That’s all I thought about going in before laying out the action in a thumbnail.
The following images show the thought process for framing the second installment of The Red Roach. As in the case of the first strip, I just thought of a basic situation and laid out some interesting ideas for images based on the characters I wanted to use. This time I used the Pigeon as the antagonist. She’s just your basic winged flyer, bust so is the Red Roach. Again I start with the basic idea of them flying and I have to find a way to resolve it in a few panels. I decided I’d rather not have him hit a woman, so she had to crash into a wall.
You can go ahead and follow the Red Roach and his continuing adventures here at theredroach.wordpress.com.
The Recluse is another child of my brain. I’m switching gears from Beeboy, to do a tighter character piece. Straight forward story telling, not the overwhelming multi-media nightmare that Beeboy was becoming in my mind. The Recluse is going to have a leaner cast and just be a twist on a familiar character. Her’es a logo I think fits the mood I’m trying to set. Simple, eh?
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.
I may have mentioned that I am a member of the forums on Comic Book Resources. There’s an annual Super Hero design/redesign competition on the Artist and Writer Showcase section of the forums called Project CBRunway and this is the 7th “season.” I’ve participated in the competition a few times and it’s something I look forward to every year. This year hopeful participants had to submit basic costume designs for a hero and villain based on ourselves using a basic template model sheet. I went with the basic themes of positivity and negativity because these are drives and attitudes we all share, but when the mood shifts too far in one direction, you aren’t behaving like your normal self. First I got to work on the positive aspects using the mathematical symbol for plus(+) as an insignia and using bright colors, baby blue, white and yellow to show a positive attitude. And I used the minus(-) sign for the villain and inverted the colors on the computer to come up with that color scheme. Anyway, here’s my submission.
MattBib, the moderator of this section of the forums acts as Tim Gunn and gives us wild ideas for our weekly challenges. For the first challenge he came up with the name “Sounds of the Silver-Age” wherein the contestants had to pick an iconic Recording Artist from the 1960s and give that person a super hero costume from the silver-age era of comic books. Comic Book scholars and collectors understand the silver-age to be the period between the late 1950s to the early 1970s. In this period comic fans were introduced to the updated versions of the Flash and the Green Lantern over at DC Comics and Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four… well let’s say just about all the really popular characters over at Marvel Comics.
That’s what comics looked like in the Silver-Age, and as for the Music Icon from the 60s, I chose Jimi Hendrix. His look lends itself to the fantastic automatically. His dress was that of a gypsy pirate, with an attitude to match. Hopefully I don’t have to give him too much of an introduction, I’m guessing enough of you are experienced.
To distill Jimi to his most memorable visual components there were a few details I wanted to keep in mind, the Afro, The Bandana, The Goatee and the Vest. There are pictures out there where he doesn’t don the vest or bandana/headband, but in my head that’s what he always wore. A lot of fans say that he was known to keep a tab of LSD in his bandana for storage, but he would occasionally wind up tripping as his sweat dissolved the tab(s) leading the substance to seep into his system through his pores. As with many of the other contestants, I went to the his catalogue of songs for inspiration for his costumed identity. He’s got so many songs that would be great super hero names, Little Wing, Dolly Dagger, Stone Free, Night Bird Flying and Voodoo Child. For a while I was set on Voodoo Child. The lyrics to the first verse sound epic:
With that bravado and cockiness as fuel I began sketching out his look. I tried bell bottom pants for him and frilly cuffs for his shirt sleeves but that was still saying Rock Star and not Super Hero. The one thing from his signature look that I could borrow from to make him a super hero was his bandana. I just rolled the headband down over his eyes and added some goggle lenses and boom, Super Hero. But nothing really came to me though that said Voodoo child and the Internet wasn’t working so well, so researching the symbolism of Voodoo wasn’t going to work out. Also I couldn’t get the Marvel character Brother Voodoo out of my head. Below are some rough ideas/sketches.
Voodoo Child wasn’t working out for me as a character and I didn’t have much time to work because the deadline for this challenge was creeping up on me. For some reason I considered Purple Haze. Time was working against me, so I threw together a quick simple cartoony sketch on some Borden and Riley vellum paper without a solid character model and design to work from. As simple as it was I really liked it. I was watching Adventure Time so that world of mirth and excitement may have slipped in and made me feel good about everything. It’s kind of like what I’d imagine an LSD trip to feel like. So from the sketch it was scanning time, soon to be followed by some coloring in PhotoShop. Here are the results.
I could have gone down the coloring road all night, but it was late and I had to get this in on time for the voting thread to go up. To me A was too much like the Wonder Twins. B was a step in the right direction and C was a step in the wrong direction, ugh. D although it’s basically a simple color swap of A really made things pop for me. It’s what I went with for the challenge. Check out the Project CBRunway: Challenge 1 voting thread and check out the other entries as well. If you’re inclined to vote I won’t stop you. The voting poll allows you to vote for multiple designs so no pressure.
And just for my Ungowa Soul Power visitors here’s a slightly modified image of Jimi Hendrix, The Purple Haze.
At my good friend Rah Unique’s (@rah_unique) recommendation I began following the Pull Pile Podcast on Twitter and Facebook. Okay for the uninitiated a pull pile (or pull list) is a list of comic books that collectors subscribe to at their Comic Book Store. Most of you may remember being able to pick up comics at your local candy shop, super market, news stand or 7/11. That distribution model is long gone, Comics are primarily found in specialty Direct Market and Hobby stores. So the podcast is about the new releases the two hosts pick up every Wednesday, the day new releases of comic books are sold. They also discuss films and television series and other related media.
So the hosts of the Pull Pile Podcast The Head and Winthrop Chesterton wanted to create a new identity and presence online with a new logo and some original artwork. They reached out to their fan-base and followers on various social media platforms. I answered the call and they got in touch with me and told me what they needed. Here’s what they had a friend put together to give me a rough idea for what design challenges I had to meet.
The great thing about this is that these guys knew what they wanted and were able to clearly demonstrate what they needed from me. So I pretty much hopped on this as soon as I could, because although I hadn’t met them personally I felt like these were kindred spirits, I saw their tweets, listened to their podcast and there was even some interaction online. They use the hashtag #letstalkcomics to ask fans questions about comics, the characters, the creators and the industry in general. So as I said there was already a bond, a sense of fellowship. So I showed them some roughs that I worked on in Adobe Illustrator.
I started with the familiar old DC Comics logo as inspiration. Then I modified it to a series of Ps with the number three taking up residence in the curve of the letter P. Being comic fans they went with the DC bullet, and the masthead was a simple design with layered bold letters reminiscent of the silver-age of comic books, which is around the late 50s/early 60s, where the Justice League of America formed and The X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man and other well known characters were first introduced or revamped.
I was told to move forward with these designs and gave them a swatch of these designs with different color schemes. Here are a few that they liked.
I used the banner on their podcast as inspiration for a few color schemes. They really seemed to appreciate that.
With that done it was on to the illustrations and the mock comic book cover. The characters were definitely interesting and fun to draw, one has no face, like The Question and the other, an over large cranium, like Megamind. I feel a bit longwinded at this point, so I’ll just show the final product. I know bandwith is a little crazy in some places and too many images can slow ya down, so here you go.
I put the comic on a bed of classics and maybe spent too much time rendering the headphones, but I like the work and more importantly so did Winthtrop and The Head.
And that my friends is that.
Hopefully I get more (paid) work in the future to showcase, it was fun and I wish these guys all the success in the world. If you’re a fan of comics follow them on twitter, listen to the podcast and tell ‘em @Countbaqula sent you.
I’m still going through the missing files I have to replace. The logo I’m posting today is the one I used as a solo rapper. A.B. Do Well was the name I went by, and occasionally still use when in the company of those that remember and respect the name. Not a huge group of people, but definitely a sincere group. The name A.B. Do Well was a combination of things, it was a play on my actual name and a mission statement. A.B. is Abdul-Baqi, the name my mother gave me. It’s Arabic and Islamic, Al-Baqi is one of the 99 attributes of Allah, it means The Eternal/Enduring. Abdul is a title in arabic meaning (devout) servant or slave of God. So my first name translates to The Servant of the Eternal (God). Do Well is my intention and/or practice of making sure I put my best into all of my endeavors. Whatever I do the goal is to do it well. A.B. Do Well when pronounced all together sounds an awful lot like Abdul. That was the thought process behind the stage name way back when I was 19 or 20.
As for the logo I was keeping with the esoteric/mystical theme from the group Sight Beyond Light. For that I took the initials from the group name, SBL, and fashioned them into the All Seeing Eye, which is usually associated with the Eye of Horus and typically is a symbol for the sun. It also alludes to the Third Eye, which is a symbol for higher understanding and enlightenment. For A.B. Do Well I borrowed the symbol of the Masons, a very widely known fraternal order that is for some reason considered a secret society. Their symbol is the compass and the square, tools for designing and architecture. The roots of the Masons is in building, generally with stones. But the compass and the square to me represent taking the long view and exercising proper and precise planning to achieve wondrous and dynamic goals that leave an indelible mark on society. That’s a great symbol and philosophy to adopt. A but lofty, but if you don’t dream big, you don’t achieve big. Anyway, here’s a pic of the recreated A.B. Do Well logo.
Nice and simple, but I didn’t use the square because I was saying I had a more rounded view. YOu know how it is, you think you know everything at 20. More than people that have been around long enough to know better. More than ancient orders that have had centuries to think and plan. But like I said, lofty.
I was thinking this is a little to basic and played around with a nice new image based on a more modern logo for the Masons.
I kind of wish I played around more with the logo when I first created it. I’m really liking the update. I guess I have an excuse to start rapping again. This logo shows some growth and refinement. Pretty slick.
Well I’m sure I’ll have another lost logo up soon. Until then, Peace, be well and Do Well.
I made a bunch of iMovie videos for some of my old songs to put on Youtube a few months back. They’re on my video page here, if you haven’t seen ‘em check ‘em out, they’re fun low budget takes on the songs I barely had money to record.
But anyways, I fully intended to make one for P & Q back then too. The chorus talked about the if P then Q theory of logic learned in basic algebra, or Sequential One,and I wanted to use the text book Sub-Conscious and I used when we were in high school. A book pretty much every high school student in New York City used since the late 80s. Integrated Mathematics, Course I. I couldn’t find an image for the book online for the life of me, but mysteriously I found it yesterday. I only looked for it because my friend Rah Unique (@rah_unique) tweeted that he was now playing the song using the hash tag #NP, and he shouted me out @countbaqula. So, I found it and it’s very low resolution, but it was enough to make a mock book cover for the song.
I took this and made this:
I may have gone a little to crazy trying to distress and age the book, but I was a man possessed. I was so happy to finally get a basic image that I played around with it for hours. After making the cover it was time to go ahead and make the video. And there it is below, for you viewing pleasure.
Not much to say here, this was the logo I came up with for Low Tech Records,the indie record label my rap group, Sight Beyond Light. We used it to press up our first single, New Beginning b/w Illusions; that I spoke about in the last post, and a few other projects. Sub-Conscious released his first full length album, Lyric Lovers Deluxe, on Low Tech Records. I made a little promo album for Sight Beyond Light titled Vanishing Point of View and later pressed up A.B. Conversations, my solo project as A.B. Do Well that was sold hand-to-hand for the most part. I put a few up on CD-Baby, but like only a few I also had some up at a few digital retailers, they’re now closed though. But I still have a Myspace page up as A.B. Do Well. I don’t look at that page much, but you can.
So I think I’ll tackle the A.B. Do Well logo next time around. See you then, if not sooner. I’ve been working on on pages for The Stunning Beeboy and set up a different site for a web-comic. I know you all are on pins and needles, anxiously awaiting his debut, don’t worry he’ll bee here soon.(see what I did there?)