Thursday, November 22, 2018

Stan Lee Remembered (Part II)

Stan Lee Remembered (Part II)


SPOILERS for "Avengers: Infinity War".  And the "Mr. Stank" is a reference to the Stan Lee's appearance in "Captain America: Civil War", where he has a delivery for "Mr. Stank", rather than "Mr. Stark".  So, the seeming typo is intentional.

I'll be honest: I'm really not sure what I think about this cartoon.  I am conflicted.

On the one hand, it really seems disrespectful to someone for whom I have a deep appreciation.  I still smile every time he shows up in a movie cameo (with the best ones being in "Deadpool" and the trailer for "Deadpool 2"--with the classic line "Zip it, Stan Lee!"--and "Guardians of the Galaxy").

On the other hand, it was one of the first things that popped into my head after I heard Stan Lee died.  It was completely unbidden, like Ray's vision of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man as the manifestation of Gozer the Gozerian, in "Ghostbusters" (1984)--with probably the same rampant destruction to my career.  But, then I remembered I really don't have a career, so here it is!

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Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Stan Lee Remembered

Stan Lee Remembered


Stan Lee was one of the main pillars of comic books, alongside Jack Kirby, and helped to create almost all the major characters that built Marvel Comics: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, The Avengers, Iron Man, Black Panther, X-Men, Thor, Daredevil, Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, and more than I could easily list.

His writing was a bombastic, less than subtle, and corny as H-E-Double Hockey sticks.  However, it also worked in a weird way.  There was an alchemy when he worked with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Buscema, and other giants of the industry.  A synthesis that was missing when they went on to do other works, or their own projects.

He did have a problematic side when it came to claiming the lion's share of credit for creation of characters (after all, every Marvel Comic started with "Stan Lee Presents...").  And, while I am a greater fan of Jack Kirby, Stan Lee's importance was nearly as great.  He was avuncular and humorous in interviews, as well as a huckster of sorts, but a huckster for comic books.  He was probably one of the only comic book creators people could recognize--the literal face of comics, if you will.  Without his ceaseless promotion of comic books, I have to wonder what the state of comic books would be today.

He always had dreams of writing the great American novel, but perhaps he accidentally wrote something even more important.  His influence on world culture cannot be under-estimated.  He helped to shape a modern mythology, and in one-thousand years I'm sure people will still be quoting "With great power comes great responsibility", not realizing it was born in the pages of a comic book.

Excelsior, Stan!

'Nuff said.

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STEP ONE:  I used a chalk brush in Painter 2018 to rough out the portrait of Stan Lee.

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STEP TWO Here is the finished digital painting.  I mostly used the chalk/charcoal brushes, and some airbrush and blending brushes.

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STEP THREE:  I thought the painting looked a little "cut-out" and thought I should engage some lost edges.  By smearing out the shirt edges with a palette knife brush, it pushed more focus on the face.  Which, depending on if you think it was a successful painting, may or may not be a good thing.  :-D

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This was done digitally with Painter 2018

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Inktober Halloween Round-Up - 2018

Inktober 2018

Here's the summary of Inktober for 2018.  I surely would have gotten a lot more done if I wasn't so busy digitally colorizing each of the pen-and-ink drawings--which surely defeats the intention of Inktober.  Oh, well.  I'm sure I'll be doing the same thing next year, too.  I've never been much of one to listen or follow directions.  Such an attitude has sure rocketed me to the current mediocrity I enjoy... Well, "mediocrity" is surely an overstatement.









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All were done using a #10 brush and Pro Art Pro-4100 ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock (with a minor assist with a .5mm black gel pen on a few of the drawings and ruling the borders).

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Inktober 2018 - It Conquered the World (1956)

Inktober 2018
It Conquered the World (1956)


Just under the wire, here's my last Inktober B-Movie drawing of the month.  This time for "It Conquered the World (1956)".  It was a movie which, along with "Invasion of the Saucermen (1956)", "The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1956)", and "Plan 9 From Outer Space (1956)", did the most to form my taste in movies as a kid.  (Although, I can't say the use of "taste" is more misplaced than it was just used in the prior sentence.) 

Here are the usual steps I did to finish the drawing...

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STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils, done with an ebony pencil on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  The inks were done using a #10 brush and Pro Art Pro-4100 ink.

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STEP THREE:  After it was imported into Photoshop, it was colored over a Multiply layer..

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Done with Pen-and-Ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock / Digitally colored.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Inktober 2018 - Blood of Dracula (1957)

Inktober 2018
Blood of Dracula (1957)


Yet another terrible B-Movie from my misspent youth.  From the makers of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" and "I Was a Teenage Frankenstein", comes "I Was a Teenage Drac..."  No, wait, "Blood of Dracula" (1957).  C'mon, people, the title was right there!  You could have at least finished the naming convention for the series...  

It is the same basic plot of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf", involving hypnotism used to turn the leading teenage lady into a vampire.  It also had the same writer as "I Was a Teenage Werewolf", so I'm sure it was just a coincidence.  However, instead of a crazy werewolf costume, in this case it was crazy eyebrows and eyelashes!

The year was pretty busy for American International Pictures (AIP), the studio that cranked these B-Movies out.  When they saw a fad, they leaned full into it--hard.  They beat that horse 'til it was dead, became undead, and then was dead again.  And then beat it some more.

I did this with the drawing process as the previous posts.  So, here we go...

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STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils, done with an ebony pencil on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  The inks were done using a #10 brush and Pro Art Pro-4100 ink.

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STEP THREE:  After it was imported into Photoshop, it was colored over a Multiply layer.  Like all the previous ones, the coloration is deliberately stylized.

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Done with Pen-and-Ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock / Digitally colored.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Inktober 2018 - I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957)

Inktober 2018
I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957)


Yes, yes, Frankenstein is the name of the scientist and NOT the Monster (to steal a joke from Frank Conniff, the **REAL** monster is the one who points that out).  Anyhoo, "I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) was the obvious follow-up to "I Was a Teenage Werewolf", released about 6 months later.  And, it is yet another terrible B-Movie I watched as a young, impressionable child.  These type of B-Movies also helped to form my tastes in movies, culture, and other media, but let's not think about that.

It involved a teenager in a car accident, a doctor who's last name happens to be Frankenstein, an alligator pit used to dispose of any hapless and accidental witnesses, and the hideously disfigured teenager brought back to life trying to find a new face.  It also had a neat trick where the last minute of the movie was in color (something used again by the same company in "How to Make a Monster" (1958), in which the Teenage Werewolf and Teenage Frankenstein get to fight each other... and features masks from "Invasion of the Saucer Men" and... but I digress.)

And, sure, in the color portion of the movie, Teenage Frankenstein was more the red color of a boiled ham, but the promotional posters had him as green, which is where I decided to go with the drawing/digital coloration.

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STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils, done with an ebony pencil on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  The inks were done using a #10 brush and Pro Art Pro-4100 ink.

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STEP THREE:  After it was imported into Photoshop, it was colored over a Multiply layer.

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Done with Pen-and-Ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock / Digitally colored.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Inktober 2018 - I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

Inktober 2018
I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)


Hey, another pen-and-ink drawing based on a terrible B-Movie from my youth!  This one is the classic (HA!) "I Was a Teenage Werewolf".  It starred Michael Landon as a hot-headed teenager high-schooler who is hypnotized as part of an experimental treatment, only to have it turn him into a homicidal, titular teenaged werewolf.  Most of the time, he transforms when he hears a ringing bell or alarm, which I'm sure I could turn into some sort of Pavlovian Dog/Wolf joke if I tried a little bit harder--or if I even tried at all!

The movie is not good, of course, but then again "quality" and "discernment" are two things which most assuredly would never be applied to my childhood.

Below, are the steps involved in creating the drawing... which are almost identical to the previous post.  And the post before that... and all of Inktober, for that matter.  And I'm sure it'll pretty much be the same for the next post, too.  (SPOILERS!) 

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STEP ONE:  The pencils were done with an ebony pencil vaguely scribbled on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  The inks were done using a #10 brush and Pro Art Pro-4100 ink.

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STEP THREE:  After it was imported into Photoshop, it was colored over a Multiply layer.

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Done with Pen-and-Ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock / Digitally colored.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Inktober 2018 - The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)

Inktober 2018:
The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)


It's another... um, "classic"(?) B-Movie from my childhood: "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" (also known as "The Head That Wouldn't Die").  This one involved a car accident in which the wife is decapitated and kept alive (against her will) by her neuro-scientist husband in a liquid-filled tray.  He spends his nights trying to find her a new body to transplant her head, but she'd rather he just allow her to die.  Men!  They just don't listen, am I right, ladies?  

Oh, yeah, and not only can she talk, but she also develops telepathy!  There's also an Igor-type assistant that is a large, monstrous guy.  Well, you can guess the rest of the story, I'm sure.  Hijinks ensue with murder, revenge, and all the rest.

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STEP ONE:  The pencils were done with an ebony pencil on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  The inks were done using a #8 brush, with an assist with a 0.5mm ballpoint gel pen.

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STEP THREE:  After it was imported into Photoshop, it was colored over a Multiply layer

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Done with Pen-and-Ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock / Digitally colored.

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Inktober 2018 - Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)

Inktober 2018:
Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)


Yes, "Invasion of the Saucer Men" (1957) is schlockey and terrible, but when I saw it as a 6-to7-year old, I found it terrifying.  I was a dumb kid, who watched terrible movies as long as they had aliens, monsters, or robots--as opposed to now, when I'm a dumb adult who watches movies as long as they have aliens, monsters, or robots.  (Just kidding, I don't really get a chance to watch all that many movies/TV shows, these days.)  But, "Invasion of the Saucer Men" made an indelible mark on my childhood, and gives me an inordinate fondness for B-Movie monsters.

I watched it again recently and saw a lot of the movie was played for laughs, but I guess I was too focused on the aliens and must have mentally checked out for the other parts.  Also, the scare factor may have been influenced as I watched them on my own as a kid, late at night, as part of a TV show called "T.J. and the A.N.T. (All Night Theater)" on WLUK-Green Bay in Wisconsin.  It played B-Movies, cartoons, and old syndicated television series throughout Friday nights and into Saturday mornings when cartoons would come on.  Yes, a childhood wasted.

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STEP ONE:  Here are the quick pencils, done with an ebony pencil on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  The inks were done using a #8 and #10 brush, with a little bit done with a 1.0mm ballpoint gel pen.

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STEP THREE After it was imported into Photoshop, it was colored over a Multiply layer

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Done with Pen-and-Ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock / Digitally colored.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Inktober 2018 - Robot Monster (1953)

INKTOBER 2018
Robot Monster (1953)


OK, "Robot Monster" from 1952 is one of the, um, "classic"(?) B-Movies.  Ro-Man, the gorilla-bodied monster with the fishbowl/diving helmet is the quintessence of B-Movie Monsters, if you will.  

There are times when every bit of something, from inception to completion, is just broken and every fork in the road taken goes the completely wrong direction.  This is one of those examples, and yet there is a goofy charm about Ro-Man which always pulls my attention.

The movie is mostly boring, but when I saw it as a kid on one of the late-night creature features, the titular Robot Monster was strange enough that it held my attention whenever he was on screen.  Ro-Man kills almost the entire Earth's population with a death ray, leaving one family and a couple other people alive.  Robot Monster chases said family, creepily falls in love with the daughter of the family, more chasing, something, something fake dinosaurs fight, it was all a dream.  The End.  Or was it?  Or was it?  Or was it?  (If you've ever seen the movie, those last three questions will make marginally more sense.  But, only marginally.)

Just for fun, I threw in a vague skull inside the helmet, ala the movie poster for "Monster Robot". It was cooler that way.

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STEP ONE:  Here are the hastily scrawled pencils, done on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  The page is the inked page with a 1.0mm black gel pen and #10 brush with Speedball Super Black ink.

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STEP THREE:  After it was scanned into Photoshop, colors were added over a Multiply layer.

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Done with Pen-and-Ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock / Digitally colored.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Inktober 2018 - The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)

INKTOBER 2018:
The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)


Well, well, well... It's time again for Inktober--that time of year when we are challenged to dust off our ink bottles and brushes and put 'em to use.  In my case, I generally like to mash-up Inktober and the swiftly approaching Halloween and do up pen-and-ink drawing of various monsters throughout the month.  Usually--but not exclusively--of the B-Movie variety.  And this year will be no exception!  Of course, I also scan 'em in and usually colorize them to a limited extent, which is sort of against the idea of Inktober, but that's never stopped me before.

This time around, it is semi-humorous take on "The Brain from Planet Arous" (1957), featuring staple of B-Movie monster fare, John Agar.  He becomes possessed by Gor, a... well, a brain from the planet Arous.  There is another brain from planet Arous which is hunting Gor and... oh, why go on?  It really is a terrible movie, but one from my childhood which I remember with vague, morbid horror.  Mostly because I found anything brain-related to be existentially terrifying.  And there is a LOT of boring stuff to wade through, just to get to the few minutes of monsters.

There is a scene in which the possessed John Agar character blows up an airplane with his mind.  While it was obviously a model on a string, I did appreciate getting to see a couple of the exploded pieces of the plane swing back into frame--still on the string which held it up.  Although, the brain monster special effects were pretty spooky to a young, six-year-old John Douglas.  But, then again, most things were, I suppose.

Did I mention that The Brain from Planet Arous seemed to have a somewhat pervy interest in John Agar's wife and all things carnal?  The less said, the better.  But, while comically inept, there is still a charm to the monster B-Movies of my youth which remind me of a simple time for a simpleton, like myself.

Future Inktober B-Movie monsters will probably not be quite as cartoony as "The Brain from Planet Arous", for it is difficult to take a floating brain with googly-eyes seriously... even for me!

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STEP ONE:  Here are the quickly scribbled pencils, done on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  This is the inked page, done mostly with a G-Pen crow quill and #10 brush with Speedball Super Black ink.  There were also some lines thrown in with a .5mm black gel pen.

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STEP THREE:  After it was scanned into Photoshop, color and lettering were added over top on a Multiply layer.

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Done with Pen-and-Ink on 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock / Digitally colored.

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Akira / Charles M. Schulz Mash-Up

Akira / Charles M. Schulz Mash-Up
Linus/Tetsuo Transformation


I guess I'm still in a Charles M. Schulz state of mind.  And, with it being the 30th Anniversary of "Akira" (an anime I sought out shortly after it was released on VHS for rental back in the day--as well as the manga when it was being released through Epic Comics, and eventually the giant, phone books of the series), I thought it would be amusing to mash 'em up.

In this case, it is Linus as Tetsuo in the beginning of his transformation.  Originally, I thought about doing it as Charlie Brown saying "Good Grief!"  But, then I thought it would be better to have Linus, and he could use his blanket as the "cape" and his hair would vaguely resemble Tetsuo's (well, that may have been a little optimistic).  It seemed to work better, in my humble opinion.  I may still do something right-and-proper for Akira, as it is a series for which I have a great fondness.

Also, completely unrelated, this is something weird for me: I had my own brush with the Mandela Effect this evening.  For the longest time, I thought "Charles M. Schulz" spelled his last name "Schultz"--right up 'til a few hours ago.  In fact, my fingers still automatically type it out that way.  Now, I could just say it's a case of me not paying careful attention as a kid, assuming it is spelled in the more classic manner, and having my stupid brain just insert the "t" that I always assumed was there; nope, rather than admitting I'm a total, complete dumb@$$, instead I'll postulate an alternate-universe/quantum something-something/time-travel mix-up.  So, there!

That said, I went through this morning and updated my obvious, previous posts and fixed the spelling to "Schulz"--well, aside from a couple drawings which have "With apologies to Charles M. Schultz" on them, where I'm afraid my shame will still be on display as I'm too lazy to fix it at the moment.  Good grief!

For fun (your definition of "fun" may vary), below, I actually decided to include the steps for making the picture.  It shouldn't be quite as cumbersome as the trying to do the last post of the O.M.A.C. / Charles M. Schulz Mash-Up.  So, for those of you interested, here ya go!  For those of you not interested...  Um, well, it's still there.

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STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils, which I did on a 1,500px x 2,100px canvas at 300dpi.  

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STEP TWO:  Here are the digital inks.  I used a slightly modified G-Brush from Clip Studio Paint to ink the drawing, typed in the text with a Comix Heavy font, and created the dialog balloon.

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STEP THREE:  I colorized the drawing in Photoshop on a Multiply layer.

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STEP FOUR:  Because I liked the distressed effects in the previous post, I thought I'd do it again.  In this case, the color-Mulitply layer was duplicated on top of the original one, with a 4pt Color Pixelation filter applied to it; it was changed to a Lighten layer and opacity was dropped to 50%.  Then, on top, I had a scan of a cracked, yellowed paper which I placed on top, changed to a Darken Layer, adjusted the Levels to bring out some of the texture, and dropped the opacity to 40%.  

To post it, the resolution was dropped to 1,000px x 1,400px at 200dpi, and called it "Good 'nuff!"

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This was done with Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop.

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