Thursday, April 11, 2013

Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Moondragon


Here is the original entry for Moondragon to the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe".

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I have an odd fondness for Moondragon.  As a youngster, I remember seeing her as the bald lady in the extremely skimpy green swim suit, mind-zapping people.  I wasn't quite sure if she was a good person or bad person--skating that edge between the two--but she always seems strangely compelling to me.  I haven't read too much of her current incarnation in comics; apparently, she has died a few times over the years but then, in typical comic book style, got better.  

The fact her name was Heather Douglas didn't hurt forging a connection to the character, either, as we share the same last name (which I had forgotten about until I re-read the entry).  What can I say, I was shallow as a kid... and no doubt am a shallow adult, too...  :-)

I was sorely tempted just to do the original one-piece, green bathing suit look--typically, it was little more than a green bikini bottom with a stripe running up the front on either side of the front, barely covering the nipples.  (Just do an Image Search for "Moondragon" and you'll quickly see what I am talking about.)  Y'know, go for the classics!  However, it just seemed weirdly exploitative and sexist when ever I drew it.  Bah!

The black-and-white costume was used only briefly in the late 1980's when she appeared in the comic book series "The Defenders", so I tried to go back vaguely toward the original look for Moondragon, but sort of updated.  However, I didn't really want to make it seem completely cheesecake, either (not that there's anything wrong with that, per se--Adam Hughes does it right, but I am no Adam Hughes by any stretch of the imagination), so I decided to go green-and-white for her costume, rather than just green and, well... skin. Lots and lots of skin... 

As a side note, I had always assumed that the visual look for Moondragon was based on the bald lady from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" who merged with V-Ger, but her first appearance (under the dreadful name Madame MacEvil--Ugh!) was in "Iron Man #54", in 1973.  Weird!

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STEP ONE:  Here is the pen and ink drawing (cleaned up in PhotoShop).  It was done with a Pitt Brush Pen on 11" x 14" matte finished paper.

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STEP TWO:  After it was scanned into PhotoShop, it was colored with a MULTIPLY LAYER.  I decided to go a little closer to the color scheme of Moondragon's original green costume, rather than the black-and-white one.  I also deviated from the red background of the OHMU entry to keep it from looking like Christmas gone wrong.  

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This was done with pen-and-ink on  8-1/2" x 14" paper and colored in PhotoShop.


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