Wednesday, March 21

Know Your Monsters

I was just sent an advance copy of The Sarcastic Voyage Guide to Monsters And Also Robots, a tidy encyclopedia debuting at Seattle's Emerald City Comicon. The show runs March 30 to April 1 and features many events by the Sarcastic Voyage tandem of AAlgar and Matt, including karaoke and live performances of their two podcasts, Sarcastic Voyage and Post Atomic Horror. You can find them at table E-12 in Artist Alley.

You might remember that it was this podcast that gave me the chance to assemble the greatest 1980s cartoon cast, and that resulted in two pieces of artwork I posted hereabouts: the guys and the women of 80TEAM80.

I also have artwork in the above tome. I drew the entry for a classic type of monster, and the piece came out pretty well. I'll tease it proper once the book opens wide after the convention, and I'll link to their online store where you can buy the book.

EDIT: The online SV store book link is here. Artwork to follow.

Thanks again to the SV guys for letting me play in their sandy box.

Wednesday, March 14

Lunchtime Sketch: The Joker

I grew up with the 1970s Joker, a dandy in a long overcoat and gigantic pimp hat. He looked like Madame, the celebrity dummy act from the '70s.

I mean the one on the right.
This Joker was violent and mercurial with a definite code of conduct. There was method in his madness, and that predictability allowed his relationship with Batman to be the standard hero-villain dynamic. It was only when Joker was made so very dark and insane (crippling Batgirl in an effort to drive Commissioner Gordon mad, for instance) that Batman likewise had to become dark and angry to balance the binary pair.

I've no problem with, say, the Heath Ledger Joker. For every distinct Batman iteration, we'll have as many Jokers. There's room for that in the Bat mythology; you can pick and choose from the spectrum. I like what Grant Morrison did with the two in Arkham Asylum, for instance. There, Joker was practically a drag queen. Morrison also introduced the idea that Joker had a super-power, an elevated degree of insanity that helped explain why there are so many Joker styles: He invents himself anew. He's a quantum crazy brain. I can dig that.