Thursday, June 30

Starfire Sketch

I really really really can't draw hair. It's a failing of my already meager art skills, and I picked a sketch subject just to face that whirlpool. I don't consider this sketch a triumph over hair, but a step in that direction.

Starfire here was introduced in the early '80s reboot of DC's Teen Titans, the sidekick supergroup. This was seen as DC's answer to Marvel's X-Men, which was beginning its ascent to THE franchise for Marvel for the next 20 years. I happened to get into regular comic reading just as New Teen Titans was launched, and I followed the book for a good while. Starfire -- the tall orange alien in a purple bikini -- may have had a great deal to do with that.

I should note that artist George Perez got around her giant head of hair (which he designed) by drawing it as an amorphous blob with random curls breaking its contours.

Next time: action poses!

Tuesday, June 28

Magneto Sketch

I doodled this out a few days ago.

It knew it was somewhat of a static pose, but I hoped I could build a mood as I fleshed it out. That just didn't happen. It's stale. His right arm adds nothing to the composition, and the expression is blank.

This has more drama. The pose and eye contact engage the audience, and the foreshortening adds depth despite the lack of background. That thumbs's clunky, but the helmet lighting came out pretty well.The fabric definition is mild, but for a sketchbook inked doddle, I can live with that.

Monday, June 27

Bossk Office: Green Lantern

Ladies and gentleman, I am not a qualified film reviewer. I know that I like and what gives me the icks. I have the critical mind of yogurt. Thankfully, I have found the perfect twosome to hash out the strength and weaknesses of movies, the 1980s and 2000's versions of a bounty hunter from Empire Strikes Back.

Folks, this is Bossk Office.

Chipper Bossk: Green Lantern

Surly Bossk: Green Lantern.

Chipper Bossk: I can't believe they made a Green Lantern movie.There were scenes during the film that were overwhelmed by my shock that I was watching a Green Lantern film. They couldn't compete with my astonishment.

Surly Bossk: Among other things. Your glee -- 

Chipper Bossk: I didn't say I had glee.

Surly Bossk: Your glee couldn't whitewash an awkward collage of  cliche and confusion of audience. What could have been a decent  mainstream film, a fun time for the family, is a stiff kids movie. Because  the kids will ignore the formula and marvel at the visuals.

Chipper Bossk: The potential is there.

Surly Bossk: And the greatest sin this movie commits is adhering so closely to the comics that the obvious goofiness of the source material  becomes blatant. The constructs our hero builds to fight the bad guys are so needlessly complex that he seems apathetic to the danger to others around him.

Chipper Bossk: I did like the cast. They seemed invested in it.

Surly Bossk: I blame the filmmakers. Here's an example: In order to  get to the eye-popping visuals early, they give us a narration of the  origin of the Lanterns. This includes the origin of the man bad guy. The movie gives us the villain's origin again halfway through. But because we get the skinny on the Lanterns upfront, the hero has to play catch-up to the audience, and his mind-blowing discoveries are old-hat to us.  

Chipper Bossk: The effects are nice. The money is all on the screen.

Surly Bossk: Yeah, but they have no emotional wallop because the story has no surprises. Actually, scratch that. The film does surprise me  by introducing a likable nephew for the hero, a young kid who is never  seen  after our hero emerges despite the easy home run of seeing them enjoy his new powers. How could they miss that?  

Chipper Bossk: Bet that's on the DVD.

Surly Bossk: Which will come to stores much quicker than they'd like because this film ain't long for theaters. 

Chipper Bossk: The best thing that can be said here is that the film is disappointing for being exactly the kind of comic book movie that the best comic book movies rise above. We're accustomed to more from our comic movies, and that's a heartening progression for us comic fans.

Friday, June 24

Vampi Sketch

I clearly don't know what I'm doing. Not only have I have drawn Vampirella for the very first time, but I didn't bother to draw her chestal accoutrements, and that's approximately 60% of the character's appeal (leaving 35% for her tush and 5% for her fangs). I have failed at small-time female comic character sketching.

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Here's the new trailer for the Captain America movie. It continues to look a little flat -- as in "those sets look like backlots" -- but the low-budget retro style harkens back to Rocketeer and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Hopefully it won't be as middling as The Shadow and Phantom. Those films couldn't elevate themselves beyond the stifling doldrums of b-movie cliches. I think Marvel will be happy if it makes $70 million, just as long as it properly prepares audiences for next year's giant Avengers film.

Hugo Weaving is getting all the nice genre-film gigs, and I like to imagine him laughing manically on a pile of his own action figures.

Thursday, June 23

Batman Sketch

Behold the Batman.

It's a delicate balancing act to get those ears at a length that doesn't make him look like a spork. In the lingering debate about Batman with or without visible eyes, I vote for the opaque, white mask lenses. It provides mystery and avoids the cinematic horror of facepaint showing where the mask doesn't cover the skin around the eyes. How does a quick-changing superhero have the time to apply that makeup with such care? Does he use a paint roller?

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I just found this video of a book-and-record I had as a kid. Sit down for about 15 minutes and look at that fine 1970s comic art. It's a little Neal Adams and a little John Buscema. See if you can explain why Conan sounds like a dad from a 1950s radio show.

Wednesday, June 22

Kitty Sketch

For some reason, when I draw Kitty Pryde, I think of her hair first.

Monday, June 20

Breaking In

Welcome to the new new

Didn't you update that website like two weeks ago?

Yeppers, but it kinda stunk a lot, and the limited page options made the site unwieldy. You'll find everything here that you found on the old site, and I'll bring back some extras from the site's olden days of yore.

The new site will feature sketches and peeks at new works, including comics in the works for next year's convention season.