Friday, September 30


This is the last of the short Marvel Ladies theme. This is Tigra, the cat lady hero person, who you have to think influenced the design of DC's Starfire, another orange heroine with green eyes who fights in a bikini.

Next week, we start the October theme: Spooky Monsters of Spooky Spookiness.

Tuesday, September 27

Ms. Marvel

She's an officer in the Air Force. She worked for NASA. She's an Avenger.  Can we drop the "Ms." now? Any reason why she can't be Captain Marvel?

I'm also hoping for an explanation of the stylized S/lightning bolt on her costume? I was prepared for some sort of connection to Sentry to be revealed in Marvel's Seige miniseries.

I first read the character in X-Men when she was depowered after tangling with Rogue. We older readers will remember Rogue was constantly tortured as the Danvers personality fought for dominance. That's why she went running to the X-Men for help, beginning a continuing theme of villain redemption through membership.

I almost cheated here and added stars digitally.

Monday, September 26


A few years back, for my brilliant sister-in-law in med school, I drew a bierfrau for a fundraiser. Originally the image had an agency logo on the pitcher in her right hand. That's why it's so prominent in the artwork. Bier gardens make for popular fundraisers, and this lady has been dusted off a few times. When used a second time, we removed the agency logo, and we e recycled the image again this year, with small tweaks, for a special Tex-Mex Oktoberfest fundraiser.

Come on, chili in October? That's when you need it. And what goes better with chili than German beer or local microbrews?

That's right: Bierfraus.

Friday, September 23

Dark Phoenix

I wanted to avoid what I considered the standard Phoenix poses: pointing at the viewer or hip cocked out like Ke$ha or frenzied with malice. I had an idea for a contained stance. Something to suggest she's less interested in the viewer, focused instead on whatever notions strike the cosmic superpowers.

I was pretty happy with the initial inking.

But on this side of the work, the expression seems flat, and the gloves lack color distinction from the bodysuit. Not thrilled with the sash either.

Still, we learn from sketches. I think the shading has some nice moments, but I'm still struggling with a cohesive inking veneer to the pencils. Small moves, Sparks.

Wednesday, September 21


I'm starting to see dividends in working at a larger size. It even inspires me to try backgrounds. BACKGROUNDS!

Still struggling with inking. The lines softened a bit; that front shoe looked much stronger in penciled form. But I added all the thick black spots on her arms and head and the car's undercarriage in the inking stage, and that didn't come out too badly. I'm encouraged.

Tuesday, September 20


I'm still playing with the larger size of the new sketchpad and drawing styles. You can see how I somewhat flattened the hair for a strong design element. I wanted to better define the fingers but keep the bent leg simple and save myself the aggravation of a realistic contour. That's what I need overall: simpler, surrendering to design and energy.

Wednesday, September 14

Magic WheneverIfeelikeit: Scarlet Witch

Here's the Scarlet Witch, the mentally unstable daughter of Magneto and brother to Quicksilver. She manipulates chaos magic to create unlikely events. She married a robot and magiked up a pair of twin babies she later learned were figments. Then she beset the Avengers, her teammates, with a slew of doomsday situations, destroying their mansion and necessitating a new team formation.

This is my first art in the new sketchbook which is supposedly suited for wet media -- heavier paper stock and all that -- but my Sharpie ink bled right through. I was playing around here with the new book dimensions. I didn't sketch out a composition before I started penciling, so the angle shoved her right of the page.

Friday, September 9

A Humble Recommendation

If you feel you will not escape the 9/11 anniversary coverage this weekend, and you want to navigate toward material that will truly encourage and strengthen you -- as opposed to what the majority of media outlets will try to do -- check out Scott Raab's excellent series for Esquire as he delineates the efforts to build a practical and respectful new World Trade Center amid a storm of politics and sentiment.

Go on. 

Thursday, September 8

Thoughts on the Con

So, yes, DragonCon 2011 was a fun time. The missus and I dressed again as GI Joe characters Shipwreck and Lady Jaye (as seen in this fine person's Flickr album). My pictures are here.

This is us in the parade. It was right nice. We couldn't help but smile the whole time.
1) Lots of people. 45,000 people. Once you're in the common areas of the hotels, you shuffle only. You can't stride until you make it to a guest room hallway, connecting airwalk tube, or the street.

2) This makes courtesy and patience mandatory, not just preferred.

3) Which is a lesson the football fans could have used as they were checking out of our hotel Sunday morning. The very definition of white plight is your constant bemoaning of a 10-minute wait time in an air-conditioned lobby while the valets retrieve your car. Compare this to the wait times convention attendees endured for their favorite panels.

4) Speaking of patience, I applaud everyone for not clobbering that jerk street preacher deliberately provoking those headed to the parade Saturday morning. I missed that part of the gospels where Jesus yells at children.

5) And there were a number of children at the convention, which is good and bad. Good in that they get to see their favorite characters walking about. Good in that they made for a great parade audiences; seeing their faces as we yelled the name of their costumes as we walked by was a highlight of the trip. Bad in that the foot traffic was bad enough without adding strollers.

6) And you might argue, well what about people in wheelchairs or scooters? Far be it from me to deny those folks from attending. I complimented a guy in his Han Solo outfit as we headed back to our hotels for the night. Wheelchairs are necessary vehicles. Strollers ain't. I advocate keeping kids who need them out of the high-traffic areas. Take turns sitting with them in the hotel room or escorting them to local attractions with fewer people (by a factor of ten).

7) We left our boy at home with my mom. We thought about taking a 14-month-old to DragonCon before we sobered up.

8) Much thanks to the Hyatt Regency for spoiling those of us relocated to the Omni because of delayed renovations: free shuttle service, free Marta passes, a free night at the new place, and priority confirmation for next year's con. I had rooms for the 2012 convention at the 2011 rate four days before the con started.

9) If you find yourself at that Omni, skip the room service breakfast prices and walk to the CNN food court around the block. Also, consider getting lunch at Pittypat's Porch on the Andrew Young Boulevard. It's not far at all from the con, and the food is great. They were very friendly toward the convention folks.

10) The Android version of Google Maps gets a mite confused in the heart of downtown. But it was better than the scrunched and pixelated map in the official convention booklet. Our hotel gave out a downtown map, and we relied on that to get to the con and the parade.

11) If you haven't gonen to DragonCon, go. Go in costume. It's more fun that way. Join the party; don't just watch it.

Sunday, September 4

DragonCon 2011 Pictures

This is THE picture of the show.

Shipwreck and Shore Leave. Finally.

Thoughts to come later. Now, to bed. See all my pictures here.