Fish-Flavored Baseball Bat

It's a John Cleese reference.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Musical Sketch #3

Still one of my favorite contributions to the musical sketchbook: Craig Hamilton's color-pencil portrait of Steve Ditko's Shade the Changing Man transforming into the Vertigo version, to a David Bowie soundtrack. Beautiful.

Golden Age Sketch #3

Golden Age sketch #3: Joe Phillips' rendition of Hack O'Hara, a two-fisted crime-bustin' taxi driver from Crack Comics. A very dynamic sketch.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Musical Sketch #2

And now, the second drawing in my musical sketchbook: Larry Welz' Cherry (formerly "Cherry Poptart" until legal action was threatened), accompanied by the obvious Neil Diamond song. (I admit, it's an odd juxtaposition to follow that Don Rosa Uncle Scrooge piece, but at least he kept it clean.)

Golden Age Sketch #2

The second piece in my Golden Age sketchbook: Captain America (complete with the original shield) by Adam Hughes. (It would've been too cliche to ask him to draw Phantom Lady...)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Musical Sketch #1

I started off the Musical Sketchbook by asking Don Rosa to do an Uncle Scrooge sketch, accompanied by a line from the Cabaret tune "Money Makes the World Go Around." Rosa outdid my expectations with a beautiful color piece...setting the book off to a great start.

I'll be sharing some more of my Musical Sketches (along with the Golden Age sketches) in the days to come...but I'd also enjoy reading some of your ideas for character-song match-ups. Who knows, perhaps you might guess some of the pairings I've already got, or you might inspire something for me to commission at DragonCon this weekend...

Golden Age Sketch #1

My Golden Age sketchbook got its start when Martin Nodell appeared at an Atlanta convention in 1992. When one of the key creators of the Golden Age is appearing and doing sketches, who better to open up your blank book? And with that for a start, the theme just fell into place.

Convention Sketch-a-Mania

Since 1992, I've been collecting convention sketches in two separate sketchbooks with distinct themes. One sketchbook is devoted to Golden Age characters, while the second is a collection of "musical sketches"...drawings captioned with song lyrics or titles that fit the characters.

This Friday, I plan on going to DragonCon...I don't know yet whether I'll be able to get any sketches in either book (though I'll certainly try).

In the meantime, I've decided to start scanning and sharing my sketch collection from both books. I hope you enjoy them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Randomness Rules...

Another fun idea posted over at Random Panels (I don't know whether this is a full-blown meme yet, but I'll do my best to make it one): Taking the HeroMachine generator (an on-line tool that lets you create your own heroes by mixing-and-matching assorted features, costume parts, and even animal sidekicks! Brandon's epiphany: It's a lot more fun to just hit the "random" button and see the character that results from that.

While you can click the "Randomize All" button to spontaneously generate your new character, I found it more enjoyable to build them up one random element at a time.

Here are the characters that resulted from my experiments. (Sorry the first one's cropped too close to show her feet; I made that one before adjusting my screen resolution so that the full character showed up when I hit PrintScreen. And as you can see, it wasn't until the third try that I decided to use the "background" feature.)

As if that isn't wacky enough, now comes the fun part...coming up with names and/or backstories for your new characters. Or possibly having a cerebral meltdown trying to make sense of them. And this was Brandon's true stroke of genius: He let his readers offer their own suggestions. So, I'll follow suit.

Do you have any ideas who these people (and I use the term "people" loosely) are and how they came to be?

Monday, August 21, 2006

The League of Extraordinary Gentle Memes

I just can't resist, I'm taking part in another one. On Bully's blog, Comics Oughta Be Fun, the little stuffed bull proposed his ideas for a modern-day League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, combining characters from contemporary fiction into a super-team just as Moore & O'Neill did with Victorian literature. I posted my ideas there, but I thought I'd put them down here as well.

I went with a late 60s/early 70s setting, mainly because I REALLY wanted to use Augustus Mandrell...and since Mandrell was already an assassin of great skill and repute in World War II, a present-day League probably wouldn't show him at the best of his ability. (Then again, if there's anyone who could be a nonagenarian adventurer, it would be Mandrell!)

So, here's my League, utilizing Bully's archetypes ("The Leader," "The Rogue," "The Muscle," "The Mystery Woman," "The Guy with a Boat," and "The Mastermind"):

The Leader: Billy Jack (from the '70s movies by writer/director/star Tom Laughlin). A pacifist, spiritually enlightened ex-Green Beret and master of hapkido. He strives to live in peace, but when he sees injustice or racism, well...he just goes BERSERK!

The Muscle: Shell Scott, the happy-go-lucky private eye from Richard S. Prather's series of detective novels. Thinks Billy Jack just needs to relax and stop taking himself so seriously.

The Rogue: The urbane assassin and master-of-disguise Augustus Mandrell (from Frank McAuliffe's novels "Of All the Bloody Cheek," "Rather a Vicious Gentleman," "For Murder I Charge More"). Has no scruples, but finds his colleagues amusing.

The Woman of Mystery: Miss Brunner from Michael Moorcock's "Jerry Cornelius" novels. An enigma even by the standards of Moorcock's head-trippy worlds. Has no patience for Shell Scott's womanizing and lowbrow quips.

The Guy With a Boat: Fred, the captain of the Yellow Submarine (from the animated Beatles movie, of course). He's slightly dithering and easily flustered, but oh, the psychedelic panoramas his craft can visit!

And the Mastermind behind the league: None other than the boy genius himself, Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, working behind the scenes because he knows his youth would keep the team from taking him seriously.

(I was tempted to propose Alan "Mollymauk" Musgrave, as played by Roddy McDowall in the 1966 movie "Lord Love a Duck," as the Mastermind, but decided that was too obscure, even for me. Besides, Mollymauk's genius was single-mindedly devoted to the betterment of one person (Tuesday Weld's shallow social-climber Barbara), so he probably wouldn't bother organizing a League unless it would somehow benefit her.)

EDIT: After a few days, I suddenly had a much better idea for the Mastermind, and it's even one who could go by the traditional nickname/title "M." The Mastermind behind my league would be...Miss Jane Marple!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Meme, I, Self, and Eye

Participating in yet another meme: The MyHeritage celebrity-look-alike program. I believe this was started by BeaucoupKevin, though I first encountered it on Sleestak's site.

I uploaded this photo taken of me with Brian Bolland from a convention a few years ago:

And now, my results:, I most closely resemble Jena Malone (73%), followed by Laurence Olivier, Matthew McConaughey, Kareena Kapoor...damn, I've already forgotten who the next two are...Arnold Schwarzenegger, and finally Keith Haring. What does it say about me that I'm more excited about looking like Keith Haring than Matthew McConaughey?

Now, the big question...what about Brian Bolland? Well, here are his results from that same photo:

Scott Bakula, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Colin Farrell, Luke Wilson, Alexander Borodin, Anthony Quinn, Albert Einstein, and Johnny Depp.

I don't know why, Solzhenitsyn seems the most appropriate out of those...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Spot the Canadian comedy reference!

While I'm at it, here are my contributions to another great comics meme that's going around: Tom Kalmaku's Casebook from Progressive Ruin.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

In One Word...

You may have seen the "Bat-Blank" meme from Random Panels, either at its source or in any number of blogs that have used it. Never let it be said that I can't jump on a bandwagon with the best of 'em...