This project was not just a lot of fun, it was a really interesting exercise in taking some beloved characters, a story that read like a cracking good yarn and putting them together using mixed media- in this case, Copic markers and coloured pencil. Having read the story and being asked to create a wrap-around cover, I had to design a composition that set up the narrative in the Darth Vader series, which begins immediately after the destruction of the first Death Star and our villain’s rather uncomfortable meeting with Emperor Palpatine to explain ‘his failure’. If you’ve read the series, try to figure out why I set it up the way I did.
This piece is in a private collection and may not be reproduced without permission.
As with anime and manga, I have been called a fan of comics. While not as touchy about that label, I still feel it is too compartmentalizing. If you have visited other postings in this website, you know there is more to me than the sum of one or two parts. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed creating works in the style of North American comics. What follows are some pieces from the archives of the old website.
FREE COMICS DAY AND OTHER REQUEST DRAWINGS
One of the enjoyable things about being involved with comics and sequential art is that I get to participate in Free Comics Day as a guest artist at Comic Book Addiction in Whitby. For several hours, I speak to fans of comics- all ages, mind you- and draw quick sketches for them while they wait. These are not polished pieces; just quick renders that the person can take away with them. It’s busy but wonderful fun and having the company of a good friend during the day makes it easier. However, the biggest thrill I get from it is the chance to talk to fans and find out what inspires them about the characters they choose. I learn a lot about what is currently popular and what stories are grabbing the attention of people these days.
Below are some sketches done not just for FCD, but also requests by fans outside the venue of the comic shop. Those lead off the next gallery, followed by the quick ‘done in minutes’ sketches at the store. Please excuse the quality of those photos. They were taken on the fly with the cell phone and like an idiot, I tended to cast my own shadow on them.
Which one of the FCD drawings was my favourite? As the compositions were often suggested by the recipients- who had some interesting mash-ups in mind, I think those were the most interesting. Hulk in a snowball fight with Olaf, Darth Vader and Chewie playing chess, Thor inviting Hulk to a dainty little tea.
In another post, I will share the creation of a comic book cover for a friend featuring one of STAR WARS’ favourite characters- Darth Vader!
I like the look of some manga and anime. I have often been called a ‘fan’ of it, which I resent intensely, because it is a label that carries baggage in terms of pre-conceptions and associations that make me uncomfortable. While occasionally I stylize my work so that people say it reminds them of manga, I rarely actively embrace the concepts completely to do work that can actually be called manga or anime.
Having said that, I posted images in past versions of the website that definitely have that manga look about them. Some of the pieces were for students to copy, feeding into their interests and giving them the chance to develop their skills. The gallery below is filled with selected postings from that era, some of which haven’t seen the cybernetic light of day in years.