A new Dance from a couple Sound Off Records All Stars from the Beeboy Universe
King Midas from the Stunning Beeboy Universe has little in common with the figure from legend, beyond his affinity for gold. My King Midas goes a step further, he has the platinum touch. He’s a braggadociuos rapper that is enraptured by all things that glitter and build status. Not very violent or street, but has street cred and built his reputation as a battle rapper. I’ve had a few looks for him, but I’m trying more of a cartoon style, like easy to animate with detail. Here’s a rough character model from blue line to full color.
I made his song, Crowned Victorious by looking into the catalogs of his real life rap analogs, Kanye West and MF Doom. Along the way I stumbled accidentally on the bass line to The Boogie Down Productions classic, “The Bridge is Over,” while hitting keys on the “piano” Threw that in the mix and sang some weird hums before landing on a heavily tuned refrain of Crowned Victorious. I thing it comes together well enough, I freestyled for eight bars keeping on the topic of what King Midas represents. I thing the record cover below would work for this fictitious artist.
Here’s the track.
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 a frequent volunteer at MoCCA, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, located in the SOHO neighborhood of New York City. It’s a nice place to look at some original artwork from some of the greats in the Comic Book and Animation fields. The museum helps legitimize the art forms and gives enthusiasts a more high brow place to gather than the local comic book shop. I also attend the Big City Dare2Draw pretty regularly too, The Dare2Draw is interesting in that comic book artists gather to sketch models in action poses, and network. There is usually an informative panel discussion as well, with professionals giving their insight on the industry. Last night I participated in both events at the same time and it was pretty fantastic.
The Dare2Draw was held at MoCCA and I was there as a volunteer, setting up, moving walls and museum fixtures and more interestingly handling original artwork from Bob Kane the creator of Batman, Neal Adams one of the most brilliant artists in the industry, and the work of other artists that have been instrumental in the telling of Batman’s story since 1939. The pieces were delicately handled as the gallery space was moved so we could make room for all the artists to get a good view of the models.
The guests didn’t get to see the back breaking set-up, but here’s the view they did get.
The Museum got pretty full and it was just about time to get some figure drawing in. But before that Dare2Draw host, TJ Glenn, The Urban Swashbuckler, welcomed the artists to the event and made some announcements about future events and introduced the panelists and other special guests, including famed DC Comics artist, Kyle Baker. Baker, the seated gentleman taking off his jacket, is known for his work on the all ages Plastic Man series, and his gritty Hawkman segment in Wednesday Comics.
When the models arrived I stopped taking photos and started sketching. The figure drawing exercise is broken down into 3 secgments, the first is a series of ten poses with a two-minute duration, followed by four 5-minute poses and concluding with two 10-minute poses. I’m not showing all of the sketches, but here are a few of mine.
All in all it was a good time, even with the heavy lifting that followed the event. We had to move the walls back into place and store some dusty metal planks. But, you know when you can’t be philanthropical with money, do it with time and muscles. The next Dare2Draw is March 28. 2012 held at Different Directions at 417 West 57th St. MoCCA’s gallery hours are 12:00Pm until 5:00PM, Tuesday through Sunday. The MoCCA Art Festival is takes place April 28-29 at the 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY.
Check their websites for upcoming events.
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.