A cartoon inspired by 80s stand-up video games? Yes, please. The girls have been just as enchanted by the Wreck-It Ralph trailer (below) as I am. This looks to be a trip back in time powered by sweet, sweet video game love. So, when Monday night rolled around and it was time to draw, Ralph and his sarcastic love interest, Vanellope, were a natural choice. Enjoy!
One of the highlights of HeroesCon for us was the Womanthology panel. The remarkable ladies on the panel kindly invited Grace to participate and even gave her an incredible poster they all signed afterwards. They were so nice and encouraging to her. We made many new friends – Rachel Deering, Rachel Pandich and the amazing Becka Seashols, an incredibly prolific artist. (Seriously, follower her on Instagram and just see how much she cranks out in a day … awesome). Click here to see her Web site and here to follow her on Twitter!
Becka draws lots and lots of Star Wars characters, so, tonight we drew Jabba the Hut for her!
And, here’s a photo from the panel!
HereosCon is almost here! Less than two weeks! Wow. One of our favorite friends last year was Andy Runton, creator of the Owly books. He has a joy of drawing and for fans that is absolutely infectious! He also has a wonderful habit of drawing Owly and Wormy as a wide array of characters … evidenced by hundreds of “Owly As …” sketches on his Web site. So, Cate drew Owly as a Hula Girl, Grace as a ballerina and me as The Thing & Human Torch!
Check out Andy’s incredible work on his site:
It was Cate’s pick tonight and “super bunny” was her request. We’ve drawn Hoppy the Marvel Bunny before, so we went in search of something new … and it wasn’t too hard to settle on Jojo from Ben Caldwell’s Dare Detectives who Cate thought was “super cool.”
The girls had fun, laughing as they drew … and doing a good job. We talked about using guide shapes and that Jojo’s body was composed largely of a triangle. Don’t ask me exactly why Grace has Jojo saying “Feel the Burn.” She laughed about it and said he looked pumped up. She really got the attitude in his eyes.
I am happy with the lower half of my work, but the face looks like, well, a dog. So, in 5 Minute Marvels tradition, I put up the art. But, I did take a another crack at it after the girls went to bed. I’m happier, but Jojo’s forehead should still be larger. Ben, you make it look darn easy … but it ain’t.
Check out Ben’s incredible daily sketch work here:
And, join me in praying DC finally comes to their senses and gives him a Wonder Woman book. What *are* they thinking!?!?
So, a few of our pals got caught up in our little hiatus. The first is this incredible Spider-Man sketch by 5-year-old, Charlie Breedlove. Charlie’s mom, Jessica, has an amazing site called kidsART2canvas.com where she puts her spin on children’s drawins to transform them into works of art. You need to stop and check it out here!
Charlie is a chip off the old block.
The second is a little sketch sent in by my buddy, Father Josua Bowron, who proves that priests can be geeks, too … and tremendous Dave Sim fans.
One of the main reasons we haven’t posted much of late is that Grace was rehearsing for her dance group’s role in The Nutcracker. (She played a rat and a ginger snap.) This was her second year in the show and she had a complete blast. So, when I asked her what she wanted to draw tonight, she said, “Hawkeye … as a nutcracker.” What an awesome idea! So, I joined her by drawing the original lineup of the West Coast Avengers … as nutcrackers.
The 5 Minute Marvels experience started just under two years ago when I got the Super Hero Squad Wii game … and Grace got excited and wanted to draw the characters.
So, it was a pleasant surprise when, after I bought the Star Wars Clone Wars LEGO game this week, Gracie now wants to take on drawing Star Wars. And, the style from the Cartoon Network’s Clone Wars series was perfect. So, “Draw or Draw Not … there is no try.”
This is a special one. About six months ago, we learned about the amazing Emma T. Capps from our buddy Tara Abbamondi. Emma is an award-winning artist and storyteller. She has distinctive style, a signature character, a line of greeting cards, robust Webcomic and the respect of the industry. Oh, she also just happens to be a teenager. Amazing and inspirational. (P.S. She also manages to be a first-class Doctor Who fan, too.) You can see a cool time-lapse of Emma at work here:
Emma graciously agreed to sketch her character, Chapel Smith, and Chapel’s pet hedgehog with Grace and me. It was an honor.
We expect to see great things from Ms. Capps for many years to come and hope to meet her in person some day!
I am sorry to say that this sketch has been on the shelf for a while. Grace and I worked on it earlier in the year … and its some of her best work … but, for some reason, it didn’t make it onto the blog.
This is our take on characters from two incredible webcomics:
These are really fun, creative comics and I encourage you to check them out today!
Tonight’s post combines two favorites … Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew and Calamity Jon Morris – the brilliant illustrator behind Cornered and DC Fifty Too (which, if you haven’t read … shame on ya’).
Jon’s been a friendly collaborator over the course of 5 Minute Marvels. When we suggested Captain Carrot … he already had one in the can he was planning to put on his own blog. How’s that for kismet? Hey, DC Comics, here’s a fantastic property to bring back! I had so much fun drawing Cap, I drew an extra picture of his magical partner, Alley-Kat-Abra.
Grace and I got a very nice, little surprise over the weekend — these fantastic drawings of Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers all the way from the UK by illustrator/designer Jason Garrattley and his nine-year-old daughter, Eden. Great stuff, guys!
Jason runs some incredible blogs you should check out … well … right now:
- KirbyVision: the fan art blog affiliated with the Jack Kirby museum
- BetweenClarkAndHilldale: Jason’s blog with his art and design work
- AncientAndForever: an AMAZING Dr. Who fan art blog
We were excited today to receive a sketch of Caspar the Friendly Ghost … and a packet of awesome SWAG from NC illustrator, Loston Wallace, with whom we drew Krypto with recently.
Grace has been away for a few days and was ready to pick up the pencil and get cracking. Casper is a great character for artists learning to draw with shapes.
As for me, I decidpied to draw Atlas Comics’ knock-off of Casper, Homer the Happy Ghost … complete with halo.
EXTRA BONUS! Loston was kind enough to send along some Krypto coloring books on which he worked and to include original doodles of Streaky the Supercat. Enjoy! And, check out www.LostonWallace.com
We love following daily and weekly sketchblogs and have made many friends at incredible blogs like Cornered, ComicTWART and Bristolwhip. So, we were excited to surf our way over to a new sketchblog with some awesome new talent — Spitballin’ Comics. Check them out now!
We were doubly excited when Michael Walsh asked us to participate in this week’s theme … Jack Kirby’s supreme creation – MODOK!
Grace had a lot of fun with this one … and I think it shows in her work. Great expression. Good pencils and tight inks. I was still having fun with my classic funnies/comic book character mash-ups and decided to blend everyone’s favorite blockhead, Charlie Brown, with everyone’s favorite flying head.
Earlier this week, I was joking with Joel Carroll on Twitter about using Sluggo from “Nancy” to create “Lil’ O.M.A.C.” After that, I got a yen to draw famous DC heroines as classic comics characters. Little Lulu as Wonder Woman, Lucy Van Pelt (from Peanuts) as Black Canary (don’t forget BC’s blonde hair is a wig, too) and Nancy as Big Barda. And, I dedicate it to my friends, Kelly, Maddy and Sue at 3 Chicks Review Comics.
It was a lot of fun aping the styles of comics legends John Stanley, Charles Schultz and Ernie Bushmiller.
It’s been a few days since our last post. Sorry, I was on the road last week and I missed a very important date — THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF GRACE’S FIRST FIVE MINUTE MARVELS!
It was January 18, 2010, and I had just unlocked Ms. Marvel on the Super Hero Squad Wii game, and Grace was inspired to draw. And, a family tradition was born. And, here it is …
I know I’m a proud father, but Grace has come a long way in a year … learning what she can about anatomy, facial features, drawing with a pencil, inking with a pen and learning the most important lesson of all — having fun while drawing. To celebrate the year, here is our first anniversary take on Ms. Marvel. I think it’s fun to see how Grace has progressed. Along the way, I remembered how much I love to draw. And, Grace has reminded me to have a good time and not be a perfectionist.
We had no idea the journey this little blog would put us on and how many friends we’d make along the way — Colleen Coover, Maddy and Erin, Ross Campbell, Stephanie Buscema, Ming Doyle, Evan Shaner, Adam Koford, Dan McDaid, Mitch Gerads, Chris Eliopoulous, Kate Beaton, Francesco Francavilla, Chris and Laura Samnee, Jon Morris, Joel Carroll, Alexis Farjado, Chris Houghton, Tara Abbamondi, Katie Cook, Ben Cohen, Janet Lee, Joey Weiser, Dean Trippe, Jen Richards, Ryan Cody, Jason Garrattley, Nathan Fairbairn, David Lopez, David Gallaher, Jill Pantozzi, and more. The fact that these amazing individuals and many parents embraced this concept of kids drawing comics was amazing. And, a whole lot of fun. Watching Grace walk around a convention and hand out art is amazing. There is a pure joy and lack of self-consciousness about that gets lost with adulthood. I hope she never loses it.
But, there are no better friends of this blog than my lifelong pal, Jim “Uncle Jimbo” McCann and Kelly Thompson of www.1979semifinalist.wordpress.com. Jim restored my love of comics and has encouraged Grace, and Kelly has believed in us early on, guided us and has had flawless timing in encouraging us to keep going. Thanks to you both. You are wonderful friends.
And, there is no more appropriate way than to end with Kelly, who joined our celebration with a Ms. Marvel of her own. You’re awesome, KT!
It’s been a few days since Grace, Cate (YES! She’s back!) and I last posted, but we’ve been busy.
Last week and this, Wednesday brought us comics from our friends Jim McCann (www.JimMcCannOnline.com) & David Lopez on Hawkeye & Mockingbird and Chris Samnee (www.ChrisSamnee.com) on Thor: The Mighty Avenger.
And, Evan Shaner (www.EvanShaner.com) created an awesome Mary Marvel on his blog. So, Grace and I decided to draw for our buddies. And, Dan McDaid, my fellow lover of all things Kirby and Doctor Who (seriously, he and I were seperated at birth) proposed the Sandman for www.ComicTWART.com
Away we go!
Kudos to Jim and David for breathing new life into two characters who have lived on the fringe of the Marvel U. for many years. I have always loved the Phantom Rider (Long live the Rangers!), but Dominic Fortune … not so much … until now. Jim and David have made him the Han Solo of the Marvel spy game … and I look forward to his brief appearances almost as much as I do for Hawkeye & Mockingbird — my two favorite comics characters. That’s some feat.
And, what can I say about the majesty that is Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Marvel’s new Thor book for reads of all ages? I know … BUY IT! Daniel Von Eggidy at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find (our comic shop in Charlotte, NC) called it “Frank Capra’s Thor.” Man is he right. From Chris’ playful art, to the lush colors by Matt Wilson and writing by Roger Langridge, this book is everything that got me into comics into the first place. It just has a great heart. And, that’s somewhat hard to find in comics these days.
This week, a fave — Ant-Man — showed up to battle, then befriend Thor. So, we drew. Grace knows Ant-Man’s helmet is silver, but she got to use the “grown up” black marker to ink her work … and she took full advantage.
And, finally, Evan “Doc” Shaner — the world’s most passionate fan of Fawcett/DC’s Captain Marvel — put an awesome drawing of Mary Marvel up at www.EvanShaner.com. We were inspired. Grace’s Mary looks a little weary, but I love the way she drew Mary’s eyes … and she spent a lot of time on the hair.
Over at www.ComicTWART.com, the weekly theme is The Sandman … and how many choices there are. Most of the TWARTers have gone with the DC hero, Sandman – a great choice. But, I think Dan McDaid, who proposed Sandman, was leaning toward the Marvel villain Sandman. So, we chose to go in that direction and to draw him in his late 60s/early 70s costume designed by Jack Kirby. Ah, feel the Kirby Krackle!
I know I’m partial to her work, but I love Grace’s Sandman here. He just looks like so much fun to be around … like a day at the beach. (Oh, that was a truly poor choice of words …)
One final drawing of the night. We’re only a few short months away from the release of “Return of the Dapper Men” by Jim McCann and Janet Lee through Archaia Comics, two good friends of 5 Minute Marvels. Click here to pre-order the series.
I have to say, I am proud of this one from Grace. Janet Lee’s style requires very subtle shading (and a GIGANTIC bag of Prismacolor markers) … and Grace imitated it very well!
Grace and I had a lot of fun with the “Draw Gronk!” contest…and we wanted to have another draw-a-long.
So, we’re building a super team … adn we want you to help us populate it with your own creations. Give us fun super heroes to make this the bestest group of metahumans in the universe — The Super People (& Super Pets) Society!
This contest is really for kids and their parents, but, adults without kids, if you want to send in art, you are welcome. But, remember, this is for kids. So, tone down the sexuality and the darkness. They have a long time to get into that sort of stuff.
Send us a drawing of your hero by Sunday, August 14, and include answers for the following:
- Hero Code Name
- Hero Secret Identity
- First Appearance
We’ll pick the leader of the team from the entries and see if we can’t get folks to draw it with us!
To get you started, here are a few Gracie and I cooked up –
- Hero Code Name: Iceberg (by Grace Miner)
- Hero Secret Identity: Pengiun Pop
- Powers: He can shoot ice at the bad guys.
- Origin: He was granted his amazing powers by “Mopey,” the snow elf.
- First Appearance: Amazing Alaskan Stories #13
- Hero Code Name: Dude Fromage (by Tim Miner)
- Hero Secret Identity: Gary Gouda
- Powers: Super strength. Super cheesy. Super stinky.
- Origin: While on a tour of a cheese factory, chemist Gary Gouda fell into a vat of spoiled milk. The chemicals in his pockets mixed with the milk and transformed him into a mighty mountain of cheese.
- First Appearance: Tales of Culinary Catastrophe #5
- Hero Code Name: Mother Nature (by Grace Miner)
- Hero Secret Identity: Avia
- Powers: Can animate flowers and trees and uses her branches to attack humans who cut down or abuse trees and plantlife.
- Origin: A careless forest fairy didn’t realize that as she swung her wand while walking amongst the trees and hit one with an errant bolt of magic, transforming her into the wooded avenger, Mother Nature.
- First Appearance: Avia’s Mysteries #1
- Hero Code Name: Gi-Nor-Mouse (by Tim Miner)
- Hero Secret Identity: Skittles the Mouse (& his creator, Dr. Farcus Boxleitner)
- Powers: Um … he’s like a really,really huge rodent. With a mask. And a scientist riding him. Duh.
- Origin: After years of research, scientist Dr. Farcus J. Boxleitner created a formula that would revolutionized farming creating enormous fruits and vegetables — a feat which could solve world hunger. Instead, he used it to transform his lab mouse into a gargantuan. And, then he accidentally lost the formula. So, now he fights crime. Well, the mouse fights crime. Farcus just rides him. That’s why Gi-Nor-Mouse wears a mask. He embarrassed about the whole Farcus riding him thing.
- First Appearance: Thrillectomy #47
And, speaking of leaving things behind, Grace, Cate and I were treated to this sketch of Doctor Strange by our friend and previous collaborator, Jen Richards (www.twitter.com/mockingnerd) some time ago. I am sorry it took so long to get it up, but I think it inspired Grace to do some really solid work on Dr. S’s face.
To enjoy more of Jen’s awesomeness, head on over to
and fall in love.
In honor of our Pal Chris Samnee’s new all-ages Marvel book, Thor: The Mighty Avenger, coming out today, Grace and I drew Thor’s opponent in the book — the super ugly, Mister Hyde. Nothing is more fun than drawing a villain with poor dental hygene.
Check out Chris’ amazing Thor sketches over at his blog, www.ChrisSamnee.com. And, BUY THE BOOK!
And, since Chris asked fans to send him photos of them picking up the book, we decided to do a little video …
Tonight, Grace and I wanted to do something special for our buddy, Evan “Doc” Shaner, an incredible artist who is on the verge of blowing up. Check out his site here:
In addition to showing his mad skills over at Comic TWART, Evan created a fun series called 1990 Gettysburg, about a boy and his imaginary friend, Abe Lincoln. The strip has a fun cast with characters like F. Scoctopus Fitzgerald and Eastwood Moon-Face, who we drew tonight. Check out 1990 Gettysburg here:
Happy birthday, Evan!
Tonight, we took on another of Joey Weiser’s creations … MERMIN! I love Joey’s style. There’s a lot of craft that goes into developing a style as clean, simple and composed. And, it’s ideal when working with younger artist on how to compose full figures with shapes. Looking at Mermin, Grace built with shapes first tonight, in lieu of jumping in on a specific detail in the face.
I also included her first take, which she did not like. But, I think it’s really good and shows how she’s graduated to starting with a colored pencil and going back with a marker to “ink.”
And, check out Joey’s work on Mermin, Monster Isle and Cavemen in Space at
Tonight, Grace and I decided to draw in honor of our bestest buddy, Kelly Thompson, who celebrated her birthday by giving 5 Minute Marvels a bunch of shout outs over at “She Has No Head!” at Comic Book Resources and her own super awesome blog, 1979 Semi-Finalist … and then she nominated us for a Kreativ Blogger Awards! Thanks, Kel.
In honor of Kelly and her constant quest for more realistic and positive and … GASP! … three-dimensonal portrayals of women in comics, Gracie and I decided to draw female heroes in Art Baltazar’s style from Tiny Titans. Happy birthday, Kelly. You truly are the best!
I am sorry it took so long to get these up, but am thrilled to present the sketches we received from artists of all ages. Clearly, Katie Cook’s new character, Gronk — a big hearted monster, inspired lots of fun and love in our artists.
It was a hard call, but Katie and the 5MM team are happy to announce 10-year-old, Mollu Wasielewski the winner of our first contest. We hope to see more from her!
And, until then, drop by www.KatieCanDraw.com to enjoy Katie’s work and, of course, Gronk!
Okay, so I’m excited about this one. When I really started looking at artist Web sites, one of the first … and favorite … sites I found was that of up-and-coming artist, Evan “Doc” Shaner. And, it isn’t just me … or Grace (she LOVES Evan’s rendition of the Agents of ATLAS) … the whole interweb is falling in love with this guy and his work. We expect great things from him. Check out his work at
You’ll understand why I was so jazzed to finally get 5 Minute Marvels from Evan, who visited his nephew last week. Here’s a fun passage from his e-mail:
“…Aaron’s 3 years old. There were some really funny conversations during the drawing, for instance Aaron was drawing Human Torch and accidentally filled in one of his eyes. He decided that the Human Torch now has to wear protective sunglasses “because the bad guys have laser beams”. There was a bunch of stuff like that but I can tell you the rest some other time maybe.”
These are great.
Buried in that box of old comics my dad gave me was a ragged copy of Mystery in Space #103 – the debut issue of this odd hero. Like Metamorpho, his body is divided into four quadrants. This time, an unlike astronaut is “zapped” by four different alien species at one time (don’t you hate it when that happens?). The net effect was that he was granted a share of each of their special abilities and became … ULTRA, THE MULTI-ALIEN.
Say what you will, he is a visually interesting character … and a lot of fun to draw.
Grace wasn’t so much into self-portraits, but she DID want to take on Jack of Hearts, an (sniff sniff) dead Marvel character from the Avengers. I was never a huge fan, but did grow to really like the character when Geoff Johns wrote him … just before he died. Now, Grace and I are hoping for a miraculous return.
And, I have to say, this represents some of Grace’s best work to date. She is really getting much stronger with facial details.
BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT!!!!! (Okay, you probably didn’t.)
Today on Twitter, writer Paul Tobin suggested that The Hulk should have a pig named Juggles as a sidekick. As Grace had already invented Scratcher, an animal sidekick for Tigra, she loved the idea and wanted to draw it. And, of course, we used a drawing of The Hulk by Paul’s Wife, Colleen Coover, as a guide …
Enjoy it, True Believers!
The sketches of Ms. Marvel were done while basking in the afterglow of awesomeness that was this weekend’s HeroesCon in Charlotte. Grace and Cate were joined by their bestest buddies, Ella and Jack Williams, and their father. Ella is a fan of all things fun and Jack is a budding member of the Mighty Marvel Marching Society. I thought he was going to pass out.
Grace and Ella sketched on the train home. Grace drew Electric Girl (her own creation) and The Thing (both of which she gave away) and Ella created this amazing drawing of Ms. Marvel, make all the more awesome that it was done on a MOVING train.
So, inspired by Ella, Grace and I returned to where 5 Minute Marvels started … with a sketch of Ms. Marvel.
This is only one of many, many sketches Grace created for HeroesCon. In fact, as we were at the convention, she walked around sketching and handing her “2 Minute Marvels” to grateful folks as we walked along … as well as original art we created for 5 Minute Marvels.
This sketch of the Sub-Mariner’s cousin (um … kissin’ cousin) Namora was done for editor of Marvel’s “Girl Comics,” Lauren Sankovitch, whom Grace and Cate met at C2E2 in Chicago. Hiya, Lauren! Hope you dug this as much as we did drawing it!
Marvel’s “Agents of ATLAS” series is breathing new life into some great characters from the earliest days of superheroes. I have loved these characters since I read What If… #9 as a kid … I guess Kurt Busiek and Jeff Parker loved it, too, as they brought this team into the regular Marvel universe in the Avengers Forever limited series and now the ongoing ATLAS title. Thanks, guys!
HeroesCon is here in Charlotte, NC and the 5MM Girls and I are pretty jazzed about it. We have lots of sketches to share with artists and … when Grace heard her buddy Chris Samnee was in town, she wanted to draw for him. So, we chose the Odinson, start of Chris’ new all-ages series, “Thor: The Mighty Avenger!”
Tonight, it was my pleasure to achieve a boyhood goal … I spoke with legendary penciler/inker Joe Sinnott for 45 minutes on the phone. He was everything I’d hoped he would be. Engaging. Charming. Kind. And, full of so many stories about his 60-year-old career in comics. And, at 84 … he’s not done yet. He and Stan Lee still create the Sunday Spider-Man strip in newspaper syndication together.
It was so much fun … Grace and I decided to draw the Silver Surfer (who he helped create with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee) for Joe … complete with lots of cosmic squiggels. (Psst … I may have spent 7 minutes.)
And, check out Joe’s work at www.JoeSinnott.com … AMAZING!
Cate’s a little focused on pizza right now … this is her third time drawing pizza this month. So, we each had our own interpretations. Cate drew a pizza pizza. Grace drew a Pizza Man. And, I decided to draw Pi-Zah! the Herald of Galactus with pepperonis standing in for the Kirby Dots. What are Kirby Dots? Why, educate yourself here …