Wednesday 3 July 2019

...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.


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