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.