Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah … Batman!

It’s hard to believe that after a year of drawing together, Grace and I haven’t gotten around to The Dark Knight before today. But, after a little two-player action on the “Batman: Brave & the Bold” Wii game, we were ready to take on Gotham City’s protector. I love Grace’s take on the cape.  So enthralled was she that she forgot his arms until the last minute. As for me … I just could not figure out how to do the gloves.

But, we had a lot of fun with Bruce Wayne.


Shadoweyes by Ross Campbell

Ross Campbell was one of the very first professional artists to draw with us on 5 Minute Marvels — an awesome sketch of Domino. Check it out here.

So, it’s totally cool that Ross offered to help us kick off Year Two on 5MM with a sketch of his original character, Shadoweyes. If you haven’t seen Shadoweyes, you can learn more about her story at Ross’ site or … better yet … you can buy it at! For an extra side order of coolness, see Ross’ amazing ideas for the the New Mutants/Generation X on Project: Rooftop.

Gotta say, Grace and I have made many pals with 5MM, but Ross is in the running for “Nicest Guy in Comics.”

And, here’s our take. (P.S.  We wanted them to be extra good so, in truth, we took 10 minutes.)

Dots for Eyes

One of our favorite discoveries over the last year has been the amazing art of Maris Wicks. Her blog, is filled to the brim with awesome sauce, especially 100 single-panel strips featuring the adventures (sometimes psychadelic) of a black stick figure and a white blob with … dots for eyes.

This summer, Maris and Galen Longstreth released a children’s book through Tugboat Press called, “Yes Let’s.” Grace and Cate adore it. As it’s about parents taking their kids hiking, they think it’s about them. It’s a fun little story punctuated by Maris’ gorgeous art. And, people … it’s just $6. Amazing. Run (don’t walk) here and buy it now!  

Maris has a graphic novel coming out later this year, and we can’t wait to see it!

Mega Man by Joel Carroll

Good things come to those who wait … unfortunately, this time, we made the artist wait. Oops.

Months ago, artist Joel Carroll offered to draw with us. But, we couldn’t get it together. But, the New Year offers opportunities to try again. And, this week we decided to draw Mega Man! Check out Joel’s incredible video and this final product.

Here’s Joel’s. You can see more of his work at

And, here’s ours. Grace went Manga. I decided to go old school Nintendo!

Happy Anniversary!

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 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!

Secret Science Alliance

To prepare for Kelly Thompson’s “Ladies Comic Project: Part II,” Grace and I are reading “Secret Science Alliance” by the amazingly talented Eleanor Davis, Drew Weing, Michele Chidester and Joey Wesier. It is a tremendous book, great for kids and inspired Grace to draw the lead protagonist, the unflappable Julian Clanedar –

Underwater Vampire

The snow days continue here in Charlotte … and the kids are bouncing off the walls. Today Grace ran into the kitchen with construction goggles on and vampire teeth. And, Underwater Vampire was born. Hero or villain? You decide.

P.S. Grace originally decided U.Vampire was a boy (hence my drawing), but once she got done drawing, she said, “I know girl mermaids need a bra, but he’s not a girl, so … he needs to wear a … um … you know, I’m just gonna’ draw a bra.” It was awesome.

The Mad Hatter

It was a snow day here, so when we decided to draw a Bat Villain, naturally it was … The Mad Hatter. (Okay, so Mr. Freeze would have made more sense, but we’re talking 7-year-old logic here, people.)

I love the eyes in Grace’s Hatter … and the nostrils. The dude looks suitably crazy.

Mighty Mister Donut

This is a Grace creation — a hero who can transform himself into an animated version of any donut. Hers is spouting powdered sugar. Miner is more of a Jack Kirby-inspired champion of cosmic confection.

You have got to love a 7-year-old imagination! And, Mighty Mister Donut comes with a dance and a song she made up. I could demonstrate it for you … but it wouldn’t be pretty. 🙂

Perry the Platypus

So … I’m not much of a Disney fan, but the girls love it like crack. And, while most of the programming makes me doubt that there’s any goodness or creativity left in the world, Phineas and Ferb is legitimately funny. In the tradition of the best cartoons, 65% of it goes right over the heads of little children. Grace wanted to take on secret agent Perry the Platypus … and we had a lot of fun with it.

Superhero Girl!

When it rains it pours — three posts in one day! And, best of all — Cate is back!

Over the last couple of weeks, I have really come to love the new Web Comic, “Adventures of Superhero Girl” by Faith Erin Hicks. It is a sarcastic and endearing tale of a superheroine just trying to get started in the biz. The strip calls to mind another favorite of mine, Joey Weiser’s The Unremarkable Tree Frog (Click here to see). I thought Grace would love this character and she did.

As for what Grace is working on this week is the figure down to the waist and drawing joints, like arms with elbows. I think she did a great job. And, it was cute to hear her giving Cate advice on how to “ink” a pencil and whick pens to use.  Cate did agree to draw today, but refused to draw a nose. You know, on principle.


Last Friday, Grace and I were honored to have some of our art featured on Jon Morris’ new Web site “Cornered.” In the vein of the Covered and RePaneled blogs, Cornered invites  artists to interpret the corner images of classic comics. Grace and I chose Defenders #42. And, Check out Jon’s awesome Web site at

First Drawing of the Year: Shadowcat!

So, we’re starting the year by delivering on a debt. Weeks ago, I promised a young lady in Greensboro that Grace and I would draw Kitty Pryde. So, Carly, here you go. I wanted to draw the classic blur Shadowcat costume and Grace was enchanted by Katie Cook’s drawing of Shadowcat as cat here.

And, to prove that we’re about sketching and having fun and not perfectionism, check this out. Umm … unless Kitty’s mutant power is having her thumbs on the opposite side of her hand, I kinda’ messed that up. 🙂

Experimenting with Color

At C2E2 earlier this year, we met artist Katie Cook and bought the charming Thing/Human Torch card here. It’s been up on the bulletin board next to the drafting table Grace and I share and she drew inspiration from it last week.

We’ve been trying to learn about different drafting styles/techniques lately, and this was a good example. Grace laid down the color shape first and then went back and added the detail, just as Katie did here. Grace was very proud of this work. Sorry the Torch’s dialogue baloon cuts off. That’s the edge of the paper. 🙂 Happy New Year!

And, to see more of Katie’s work, visit