When I was a kid, my father introduced me to the history of comic strips. One of my favorites – far and away – was George Herriman’s ”Krazy Kat.” So, when I found Leroy Brown’s web comic, Icecubes, which is a nice love letter to this classic comic, I was elated. Icecubes is a fun comic infused with Leroy’s very obvious love of his characters from Peckinpaw the polar bear to Freeze the Penguin, Nooky and Eggman the Walrus (whose name is perfect for Beatles fans like me). I encourage you to check it out here and vote for it for a Harvey Award!
P.S. I included Grace’s original sketch of Peckinpaw’s head (she’s not thrilled about that), but I thought she got a great expression out of it. Hey, I’m her dad! I’m proud. Sue me.
And now, a word from Leroy …
Tonight, we draw for our pal, Janet K. Lee. We are so proud of her and the ground-breaking work she and Jim McCann did on “The Return of the Dapper Men.” And, now Janet is bringing her undeniable style to Marvel’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic, “Emma.” From an art perspective, my favorite thing about what Janet does (and what both Archaia and Marvel are letting her do) is ink and color her own work. In a world where so much is done with computers, being able to see the artist’s hand and stroke in the art is a reminder that computers help, but humans create. Janet — keep knocking ‘em dead.
A now, a word from Janet …
Ah, Pokemon Black and White has cast a spell on Maddy, George & Erin …
“We should mention that we all went to see Tangled today (celebrating Erin’s birthday requires Disney Movies), so Rapunzel makes a few cameos. George would like to mention that he actually finished in less than 5 minutes and everyone else took longer. Also, George thought that Swadloons look emo. Maddy pretty much just yells, “Kaiko!” which is the name of her beloved Swadloon in the game. Erin thought Swadloon was pretty fun to draw, but Rapunzel has always been a top fiary tale for her, so the Pokemon was totally eclipsed by the princess.
One final word on Swadloon, Maddy made another, one that took significantly longer than 5 minutes. She actually sewed herself a stuffed Swadloon. There’s a picture attached, because it’s pretty awesome.”
Dean Trippe has been a wonderful supporter of our work at 5 Minute Marvels from the very beginning. In truth, his incredible Web site, Project: Rooftop, was a major source of inspiration for us. And, if you haven’t been there lately, it’s really hitting its stride with some superhero costume redesigns from both professional and aspiring artists.
So, when he tweeted last week to say he wanted to hit us with a 5-Minute (or 25-Minute) Marvel … we jumped on it. And, it brought out the best in us. I am particularly fond of the drawing in the middle, which looks like the alien lovechild of Uatu and J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter.
And, now a word from Uatu …
WOW! The awesome lads and lassies across the pond in South Wales combined two of my favorite things in one amazing post to create the pulse-pounding incredibleness that is … 5-Minute M.O.D.O.K. Do yourself a favor and head on over to their Web site to view the works of a group of friends who get together to indulge their love of sketching and comics. This post … and the fact that they shoot Dr. Who over there … is enough to make me want to move to Wales! Thank you, guys!
And, for extra good measure, here’s my contribution to the 2011 March M.O.D.O.K. Madness, the brainchild of our pal, Brendan Tobin!
So, Maddy, Erin and George are awesome … we’ve established that, right? So, here’s their take on Superman’s Pal, intrepid photographer, Jimmy Olson. And, despite what Maddy says on her sketch … she’s amazing!
When we started 5 Minutes Marvels (by accident, mind you), Grace and I just enjoyed drawing. She reminded me how much fun drawing was and how much I’d missed it. As a child, I drew incessantly and without self-consciousness. But, then … I grew up and received the wonderful gift of adulthood … self-doubt. And, I stopped drawing.
I am so thankful to my girl for reminding me that I can draw for fun and for expression, not for perfectionism. You don’t have to be “good,” you just have to try. Our buddy, Dee, over at www.GirlsReadComics.Wordpress.com just learned the same lesson drawing two of her favorite heroines (and ours) — Black Canary and Ms. Marvel. And, then she wrote a terrific article about her experience. Thanks, Dee! Keep drawing. We’ll keep posting.
And, now a word from Dee …
This is the first of an array of new work Grace and I are doing with some truly talented artists. And, we were thrilled to start with Jordan Gibson. I first found his work over at Project: Rooftop (which is an incredible place to acquaint yourself with a wide array of artists and styles who draw for the love of drawing) and absolutely loved his take on Aquaman. You can see it here.
From there, I found Jordan’s Web site and the love affair really caught fire. He has a fun, clean, classic and deceptively uncomplicated style. But, as any artist will tell you, simplicity of line and design is never, never simple. Check out Jordan’s Website here.
We’re a week late in getting this up on the blog, but our buddies, Maddy, Erin and George, sent in these tremendous Pokemon drawings. And, they came a little note:
A little over [two weeks] ago this thing happened: Pokemon Black and White came out here in North America and proceeded to eat our entire lives. Seriously, we took bets on how many hours we were going to play, collectively, that first week and guesses ranged from 25 hours to 125. We played 130 hours. So, that’s why we haven’t drawn much. And it also explains our first set of drawings.
We like to team up when it comes to Pokemon, each of the three of us started with a different Pokemon, so when it came time to draw we each drew our starters. Erin had Oshawatt, Maddy had Snivey, and George had Tepig. We’re really proud of how these turned out. George says “Pokemon rule!” Maddy (who has already “beaten” the game) tried working in ink this time and she regrets that she still needs to learn that ink leaks through the paper (the kitchen table also regrets this). Erin loves her sea otter guy, and wishes he knew a move as awesome as the one she made up for this drawing.
Not that I want to seed the competition or anything … but over at Facebook, Cheerios has a cool (and very short) contest going on. The site says: “What would the Original Cheerios mascot look like? What would their name be? What superpowers would they have?” Three drawings will be chosen and turned into a comic book poster!” The winners get their heroes drawn by ComicTWART original and Johnny Recon creator: Mitch Gerads! The art has to be posted on Cheerios’ Facebook page by tomorrow. So get going!
So Grace and Cate got going. Cate went with “Big Puffy,” who turns bad guys into Cheerios … and people eat them.
Grace drew Little Ms. Nutritious who spits Cheerios into bad guys’ mouths. They fall in love and head immediately to a grocery store … where they steal the Cheerios and Ms. Nutritious has to arrest them. Hey! They are bad guys, after all.
According to Grace both heroes were created by inventor and crime fighter, Dr. InfoMental, who combats evil with his cosmic ring and steel spoon! So, I drew, too.
Okay … so it was inevitable. Eventually, you had to know we were going to draw Captain Underpants, infantile hero of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. Grace just finished “Frankly, Frannie,” (which she absolutely loved) and decided to pick up “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey. And, she hasn’t been disappointed.
She’s almost done and we decided to draw the titular hero. I cheated and drew the villain of this piece, Dr. Diaper. Come on, he looks a Weeble-Wobble version of Larry Fine from the 3 Stooges … um … in a diaper. How could I not?
For kids learning to draw, Captain Underpants is terrific as he presents a fantastic lesson on how to draw with shapes, as he’s essentially a circle and an oval with arms and legs.
UPDATE! A word from Scholastic:
The family and I celebrated my mom’s birthday today, so Grace and I decided to create a superheroine in her honor. As “Mimi” likes ladybugs, we just jumped in with a name and no idea of a design. Grace went with a super-intelligent bug that controls armies of smaller ladybugs. I went with a Blue Beetle/Bat-Man-themed character (with pigtails).
Our good buddy, Tara Abbamondi, (whose graphic novel, “Puddles,” we are eagly anticipating) graciously jumped in with her flapper-inspired crime fighter. I LOVE IT. Now, I want to start writing Lady Bug Lady stories set in the roaring 20′s! Tara, it’s GENIUS! So, if you’ve enjoyed her work, jump on over to Tara’s Web site and fall in love even more: http://gingercurls.wordpress.com/
UPDATE! A word from Tara:
Last year, I picked up a copy of the 2006 edition of America’s Best Comics and was introduced to the incredible short story, “The Amazing Life of Onion Jack” by artist and instructor Joel Priddy. In just ten pages and a deceptively stripped down art style, Joel simultaneously creates a story that provides commentary on the history of super hero comics and compresses the entire journey of our hero, Onion Jack. Oh, and he is able to create a rich universe of fun little characters that left me wanting more, but knowing that to get more would betray the entire character and magic of this tale.
Joel’s style and his characters were a natural for Grace. She loved picking through the panels to decide who to draw. And, so did I.
In the meantime, check out Joel’s work at www.JoelPriddy.com and his frequent contributions to http://www.tencentticker.com/projectrooftop/
I love Dan Slott’s writing. He had me at “hello” with the two first attempts at “The Sensational She-Hulk” with Juan Bobillo and Paul Pelletier. I bought all issues of his criminally short “Thing” series. And, I was onboard 100% with “New Avengers: The Initiative” for the entire ride. So, his “Big Time” storyline has me back with Spider-Man for the first time in many years. And, with that was the reminder that I really love the character of Felicia Hardy, The Black Cat … well, I should classify that. I love the idea of the Black Cat as a foil for Spider-Man. And, I dig the idea of a character who lives right on the edge of heroine/villainess and who adventures more as a lark than a calling.
I’m not a huge fan of the hyper-sexuality modern writers and artists have placed on Felicia … but she was a lot of fun to draw. And, I think she has amazing potential as a well-rounded character. Plus, Grace rocked this one out, if I do say so myself.
UPDATE! A word from Dan Slott:
Okay … time again for an unabashedly proud poppa moment. Now that Grace is in second grade, she has fallen head over heels in love with reading. Last year, there was no problem getting her to draw, but to read outside of homework … ? Not so much. It’s so cute now to see her laying in bed reading herself to sleep. It’s a fantastic sight.
This week, she’s reading one of the “Frankly, Frannie” books by A.J. Stern and illustrated by Doreen Marts. When it came time to draw last night, Grace wanted to go with Frannie. And, when I looked up Doreen Marts, I was amazed to see that she worked for Marvel Comics! How perfect is that!?!?!
You can check out Doreen’s Web site here: http://www.doreenmarts.com
UPDATE! A word from Doreen Marts:
The Wahl/Kelly/Miner challenge rolls on. My pick tonight – - Spitfire. I have loved this characters since digging back issues of “The Invaders” out of flea market 25 cent boxes as a kid.
The idea that superheroes were instrumental in the Allies winning WWII fascinated me (and still does). And, it gave rise to a number of characters, like Ms. Spitfire here, who live on in the Marvel Universe. (Except, sadly, the Crusaders. )
It didn’t take much convining with Maddy, Erin and George … and comic magic was made! And, big congrats to Maddy on being accepted into three art schools!
Sometimes, the best ideas take a little time to germinate. But, this one — well, it’s so blindingly simple, I don’t know why it took this long to materialize. For over a year, we have been posting the work of our buddies in Minnestoa — Maddy, Erin and George. But, we have never really drawn together. Until now …
We’ll be challenging each other on a regular basis. And, first up was Power Pack! Born in the 80s, this comic wasn’t a mega-hit, but the adventures of the Powers family keep coming back, most recently in a group of Marvel Adventures limited series. The group of made up of Alex (Zero-G), Julie (Lightspeed), Jack (Mass Master) and Katie (Energizer).
All five drawings are great … but, HOLY COW, MADDY! That’s great.
On a side note, I had the pleasure of meeting June Brigman, the original Power Pack artist, at HeroesCon last year. That is one amazing, talented and classy lady!
Last week, we called for open requests on Twitter. One of the first suggestions to come in was Mr. Sean Cassidy — The Bombasitic Banshee.
Banshee started his life like many of Marvel’s best heroes (like my beloved Hawkeye), as a villain. But, this pipe smoking Irishman was soon added to the X-Men roster and has been an underutilized fan favorite for many years.
We opted for his original appearance, which was much closer to his namesake — a shrieking ghost. Great suggestion. We had a lot of fun.
We had a request from our buddy Jen Richards, the Mockingnerd, for Namora, cousin of Prince Namor — The Sub Mariner. Recently, she’s resumed an active role in the Marvel Universe as a member of the Agents of ATLAS. Thanks, Jeff Parker, for finding a role for this classic character from the golden age of comics.
Grace and I opted for her original design by Ken Bald and Syd Shores. We hope you enjoy.
P.S. I must admit … I really had a hard time with her hands on this one. The clock was not my friend.
I am way, way, way too late in getting up this incredible art by our longtime friends and collaborators – Maddy, Erin and George. I’ve been so remiss, that they’ve gone and started their own blog … which is sure to packed with awesomeness. I am so excited for them and hope you’ll check out and favorite – http://wahlgreen.tumblr.com/
As for this art, this is what the guys have to say:
We billed this as our double-sized Valentine’s Day Spectacular, because we took ten minutes to draw two people, but we had so much fun drawing our subjects (and we cheated so much on the first set) that we did a second group of pictures, making this a QUADRUPLE-sized Valentine’s Spectacular of the only people we could possibly draw on Valentine’s Day: Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman.
Lois Lane is one of Erin’s favorite characters. Erin grew up wanting to be a reporter and Lois Lane was always a model of what she wanted to be. It doesn’t hurt that Lois and Clark and the height of adorableness. Also, she thinks next year we should draw Big Barda and Mister Miracle.