Wednesday 3 July 2019

...Super-You! Face On...

OK - I pencil sketched a few unsuspecting faces from the disc of Denver Trust members - time get out the marker and see who's who...


Len as Wolverine!

Terry as Cyclops!

The Enchantress!

Peter as Captain America!

Secret Identities...

...Hero or Villain?..

I said "No".  

Terry Wright at the the Denver Trust offered me various dates to carry out a third presentation or demo evening with the Denver Trust. 

I said "No" several times.

My first presentation - 'A Pictorial Pen & Ink Journey' - had me discussing my Norfolk work and passing around original artwork to one and all. 

My second demo - 'Good or Evil? You decide!' - I split the audience into two groups, and we designed two opposing characters - Denver Dan and Evil Edna.

What else was there to do? - How could I follow 'Good or Evil - you Decide!'?

And then the lightning bolt hit me - why not design superhero or super-villain versions of the Trust members themselves?!

When I asked Terry for some photographs of the members - I expected the Fantastic Four. A disc featuring 34 members in various poses (including Fen the cat) arrived - I got the Legion of Superheroes! 

I set about producing drawings of the unwitting participants, and designed a couple of comic book style flyers to lure them to the Norfolk nexus of cosmic creativity - Denver Village Hall!


Margaret and Stan



I prepared a series of pencil layouts from a random selection of twelve 'volunteers' from the photos, which I could expand into a variety of costumes and characters - Project Second Genesis was ready to go.

Teresa & Len

On the evening, while the group enjoyed early evening refreshments I began with a marker to sketch in the first layout portraying Dawn Camp as the New Gods warrior woman - 'Big Barda'. Owing to either third night nerves, stage fright (or both), I found it difficult to relax, and the drawing was not as strong or confident as I would like it to have been. 

The drawing was less New genesis, and more Apokalips. 

Still - got to start somewhere...

Dawn as Big Barda.

With the full attention of the audience I realised it was time to go for it, and chose to continue with a drawing of Trust member Len Algar, who although unable to attend, would dominate the evening in his absence as none other than Weapon X (or Weapon L if you prefer) - Wolverine!


Len Algar as Wolverine!

Various names were heckled for this new version of Logan, Lenarine got less votes, so we went with - what else - Lemon Meringue!

Unintentionally, the next candidate for reinvention was also absent - Len's wife Teresa. Well, while we were on the subject of Wolverine, I had to mention that there was now a female character called Wolverine. So why not carry on the family tradition and give Mrs Algar a set of Adamantium claws?

Don't ask me why cakes, but we went from Cheesecake to TeresaCake to - well you know...

I just draw 'em.

Teresa as T-Cake!

Right - I've got a bold confident line going now - I'm giving as good as I get to the various hecklers in the audience (you know who you are) - I'm kind of on a roll. It's time for The Valkyrie!

While Len and Teresa were absent on two counts, Valkyrie model Dawn more than made up for it as she was present twice. OK - two photos of the same person - I thought it was two different people. 

Here she is in her second reincarnation as the one and only original Valkyrie AKA The Dawn Rider!

Dawn as the Valkyrie.

I offered the group Stan and Margaret as the next prospective superheroes or villains - but this time they said "No" - "Let's have someone who's here tonight!" 

Hmmm. Who could I draw now? Ahh - Treasurer Gerry Ryan. How about Gerry people?

I searched the audience for an answer and caught a glimpse of my Dennis the Menace drawing from the Menace, Mischief and Peril Demo.

Dennis/Thanos - inspiration for Gerry!

And that's how Gerry became Thanos! The Auditor!!

Gerry as the Auditor!

It was somewhere near the end now - it seemed to be going well so I asked if they fancied another drawing. There was a moments silence, and then a unanimous 'Yes!"

The final layout was for Eileen. Two weeks earlier I held a 'A Pictorial Pen & Ink Journey' in the same village hall for the Denver Ladies. Eileen was also in attendance then, and mentioned the forthcoming 'Super-You! Are You Hero or Villain?' Trust demo and 'Whip Lady' in the same breath. 

Well that was it for me. Having previously conjured up Denver Dan and Evil Edna, I was haunted for fourteen days by who, or what the Whip Lady might be...

Needless to say the comments and suggestions came fast an furious. Here she is in all her glory - the Whip Lady herself, alias Cup Cake!

I can't lay all the blame on the members - I thought Dave in the front row said 'tutu' - and drew accordingly. When asked again Dave said he had said 'two-tier cake' ( as in jump out of ). I explained that in the rarefied atmosphere by the easel - I can't hear so good...

1st appearance of Big Barda - 1971.

A big heroic thank you to all members - those whose likenesses took part, and those whose suggestions guided my hand. 

And those - who striking a dramatic pose - unwittingly took part while being somewhere else entirely, (proving you can be in two places at once).

1st appearance of Valkyrie - 1970

Thanks also to Terry and Toad whose persistence brought me back a titanic third time. 

...ready to make it a fantastic fourth.


Thursday 25 April 2019

Super Orb, Iron Girl, Spider-Hulk and...EasterFox!

Driving into sunny Ely this morning, I had no idea that within a matter of hours I would be on the return journey home, having co-created/visualised Florence's Iron Girl, Felix's Spider-Hulk, Callum's Super Orb and Tindalls' Easter Fox! 

And sent Jackson home in the company of Batman, Spider-Man and Iron Man! 

Not necessarily in that order.

But I'm getting way ahead of myself - I've covered the beginning, and the end - let's have a look at the interesting bit in the middle.

As usual I've taken half my studio with me. Not entirely necessary on this occasion, since my demo venue was Tindalls Art & Graphics - had I forgotten any materials such as Promarker, Layout Pad or Blu or White tak - all were within easy reach.

Anyway, having unloaded numerous character designs, sketches, markers and greetings card - I set the stage for creation. 

No howling wind or driving rain, no thunder or lightning. On the hottest April Easter weekend on record there's no darkest night, only brightest day - inside Tindalls it's cool and it's creative.

...I figure if Captain America and Spider-Man can't persuade 
you to come in - I spell it out for good measure...

Taking Jemma's cue from a message in the Tindalls diary, I begin drawing a character wishing a 'Happy Easter' to Tindalls colleagues in the Cambridge and Newmarket stores from the Ely Crew via none other than the EasterFox (in the guise of Captain Marvel).

So there I am sketching away - not quite sure what to draw, when in walks Callum - ready to create. He knows all about his character - his name, his pose, his Egyptian heritage and the sign of the Illuminati! 

'Course he doesn't tell me this all in one go. We have to work at it - draw it out. Callum tells me what's next - I draw it. He's the brain - I'm the hands...

First we draw in the boots Captain America style, only longer so when they fold down they have a buckle and strap at the knee. Hands are raised grasping a huge glowing orb, at the centre a smaller brighter orb. 

Egyptian head guard with a triple unicorn at north, east and west. Blank eyes. The sign of the Illuminati on his forehead! Oh yeah - hanging at his side a mammoth broadsword in a leather and ruby scabbard. 

Following Callum's instructions - using a Promarker I first colour in the rays emanating from the orb, boots, horned helmet and face mask. We get dynamic complimentary colour action using greens and reds, and purples and yellows

And now - the One and Only --  SUPER ORB!  

Callum asks me if maybe he could get to take the drawing home? People - I would have to be Thanos to say NO. YES - if you create your own Hero or Villain - you have to take them home!

I get back to the EasterFox drawing - it's making a little more sense now. I reckon that she's probably holding a glowing  Infinity Egg  - possessing a power for which there is absolutely no defence - Chocolate!

I get this far when I see five year old Jackson and his parents walk in. Unfortunately Jackson does not have the time to create a hero with us today - but I cannot let him leave empty handed. After I've given him a Spider-Man and Batman sketch he tells me his favourite superhero is none other than Iron Man.

I return to the EasterFox sketch, drawing in an open masked fox's face, adding crimson, yellow and blue to the face and costume. I use dazzle rays and Kirby Krackle to enhance the Infinity Egg - almost done!

Before I can illuminate the word balloon, I'm joined by Florence and Felix. They also do not have time for a full colour drawing, so I suggest a black and white drawing each - which they can colour at home. 

Florence asks for a female version of Iron Man, and Felix wants a Marvel mash up of Spider-Man and the Hulk.

Introducing -  Iron Girl and Spider-Hulk!!  

Back to EasterFox - I quickly block in the word balloon colours, creating a reversed out effect, and letter in the character name - 'EASTERFOX'...

  Finally - a big hand for... The EASTERFOX!  

A big thanks to Callum, Florence and Felix for all their creativity and enthusiasm, staff Jemma, Alyssia and Harry at Tindalls for all their support and tea, and Mark for inviting me back for more!

The next day I received an email 
with a couple of great drawings attached...

...Florence's coloured in drawing of IRON GIRL...

...and Florence's surprise drawing of everybody's 
favourite friendly neighborhood 

Wednesday 13 February 2019

...Minestrone Soup...

...Minestrone Soup...

OK - Friday the 1st February was Hourly Comic Day
wherein any participants draw a journal oriented comic strip 
every hour depicting what is happening on the hour. 
I think I've got that right - and of course it is during waking hours 
(are remembered dreams are allowed...)

I had a very busy Friday, so made notes planning to tackle it in the week.

Along comes Saturday 2nd and I'm making fresh soup. 
 So this is more like 'Momentary Comic Day'
Here's 'Minestrone Soup - The Comic!' 

It's not the easiest thing to prepare soup and draw 
at the same time, and I'm real slow anyway. 

 Needless to say it took me twice as long. 

I know what you're thinking - 
'Where's the celery prep, the oregano and bay leaves?' - 
'What happened to the washing up?' 'Is it still cooking?' 

I realise this is only half the story. 
You want Answers. You want Solutions... 
You want soup!

All I can say is - 

'To Be Continued!'

- The Power of Three -