Arisia Rrab with Joel Carroll!

 Last week, 5MM buddy, Joel Carroll, posted some incredible drawings of the Green Lantern Corps on Twitter. View them in their emerald glory here!

So, the girls and I contacted Joel and decided to draw Lantern Arisia with him. After all, what little girl could resist this spunky, fashion forward lantern? Not Grace and Cate.

I decided to be cool, take a few extra minutes, and try some forced perspective. I didn’t like it. No worries. I drew again. I still didn’t like it and got frustrated, which is something I keep telling the girls not to do when we draw. We’re supposed to be having fun and learning.

And, then it hit me … the whole process of 5 Minute Marvels has provided many teachable moments for the girls about hard work and patience. The artists the girls and I admire have honed their skills over the course of years and lots of sweat equity. And, they never stop working on and learning about their craft.

I’ve only been back drawing a short time. So, I have many, many bad drawings left in me as I learn. And, that’s a piece of wisdom I can share with my girls.

So, there’s only one thing for it. The girls and I just need to keep drawing and learning … five minutes at a time.

And, now a word from Joel!


The Red Tornado!

Created by Sheldon Mayer, the original Red Tornado is often credited with being one of the first female super heroes. Forgotten for many years, Red Tornado, AKA Ma Hunkel, has had a bit of a renaissance of late. While I think Grace’s whole drawing is great, I especially love the cape. 

Calvin & Hobbes!

I was 12 years old when Bill Watterson started Calvin & Hobbes. My dad, who loves comics strips with a terrific passion, brought home the first compilation of C & H and said, “You’re going to love this.” And, I did.

Like so many others, I was entranced by the wild abandon of Watterson’s imagination, the brilliance of his craft and his respect for his audience’s intelligence. Opening the Sunday funnnies to see Calvin & Hobbes in color was a weekly tradition.

When Watterson and Gary Larson (The Far Side) stopped producing their strips in 1995 and disappeared like the J.D. Salingers of the comics world … so did my interest in the daily funnies … and a bit of my childhood.

A few weeks ago, the boys over at Comic Twart did a week of homages to Calvin and Hobbes and the memories came flooding back. And, they inspired Grace and I to draw. Check out their work over at ComicTWART!


Characters from “Yes, Let’s!” by Maris Wicks

When I started blogging a few years ago … before the birth of 5MM … a Google image search for a photo of Thor led me to this fantastic drawing by Maris Wicks. I’ve been a fan ever since. The girls, too.

If you ever want to see how far you can push artistic limits in a one-panel comic, you need to check out Maris’ 100 Themes. It’s genius.

Last year, Maris teamed with Galen Longstreth for a picture book called, “Yes, Let’s.” Grace and Cate are convinced it was written about our family — although I have no idea who they think the two boys in the story are. Last night, we drew the characters they think are based on our family. If you have a kid in your life, go to and buy a copy of this tremendous book for a mere $6! 


Harley Quinn!

Grace and I have been working on anatomy for a while now, so we decided to work on facial expressions. Artist Joe Quinones has an amazing way of capturing a wealth of emotion in his characters’ faces.

On his Web site, he takes pains to demonstrate how he uses photography of himself and his friends, including artist Maris Wicks, to guide his work. Joe’s work provides great inspiration if you’re working in the art of faces.

If you haven’t seen Joe’s work for Marvel and DC (Notably his Green Lantern strips for Wednesday’s Comics), swing on over to his “interweb blog” and get great insight into how he works.


Dad’s Doodles: Unremarkable Tree Frog and Thievery Girl

If you’ve spent any time checking out this blog, you’ve probably figured out that Joey Weiser is a favorite in the Miner household … from Cavemen in Space to Mermin to Tales of Unusual Circumstance and Monster Isle. Some of my favorites are his stories of The Unremarkable Tree Frog and his unrequited love for his nemesis, Thievery Girl. Tree Frog’s dating prowess felt very, very familiar … and that ain’t a good thing. 🙂

Check out Joey’s work at his Web site —


Dude Fromage … Homage!

Okay, so when you’re essentially a fan art site, you don’t usually expect to get fan art … but that’s exactly what Grace and I got from our pal and curator of March MODOK Madness, Brendan Tobin.

I was shocked the other day to find one of his mock-up covers starring Dude Fromage, a giant, super-strong chunk of stinky cheese I created in the sixth grade and Grace and I drew here last year. If only I could go back in time and show this to Sixth Grade Tim … okay, that and to tell Sixth Grade Tim to buy stock in Apple and to slow down on the pizza freshman year of college.

People, click here to enjoy the majesty that is B. Tobin!

And, now a word from Dr. Fab himself!

Khensu the Space Kitty!

Grace’s request tonight was, “Can we draw a superhero that’s an animal?” (That’s a fairly frequent request. 🙂 )

So, we returned to some familiar territory and drew Khensu the Space Kitty from Mike Maihack’s amazing comic, “Cleopatra in Spaaaace!” Mike’s a prolific artist and you can see tons of his work on his site here and Bristol Whip, a new comic art blog collective that features the work of other 5MM pals like Joel Carroll, Dean Trippe, Jon Morris and Ming Doyle.

And, if Khensu doesn’t satisfy your need for animal superheroes, try Mike’s Cow & Buffalo


And, now a word from Mike Maihack!

Owly & Wormy!

Tonight was Cate’s pick and she went with Andy Runton’s Owly & Wormy a fantastic comic for pre-readers. The folks at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find introduced me to Owly a few years ago when Grace expressed an interest in comics before she could read. Since, their school library and our local library have picked up the books and I am led to believe that they are hot commodities. As she says, “They don’t tell me they like it, I just know it.”

Click here to learn more about Owly and Wormy and read free Owly Webcomics.



And now a hoot … ahem … word from Andy Runton:


More stumbling upon coolness …

The girls wanted to draw a guinea pig and we went looking on Google images. There we found cool art for Guinea Pig: Pet Shop Private Eye … the adventures of Sasspants, who solves mysteries in the pet shop where she lives. The book series were written by Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yu. We haven’t read them yet, but are looking forward to it.

Grace and Cate were instantly enchanted by Sasspants’ feaux hawk and it inspired them to some of their best work, yet!


And, now a word from Colleen Venable!

Baby Wonder Woman & Supergirl!

So, Cate’s a bit obsessive. When she jumps into a thing … or back into a thing as she has with 5MM, she does so full bore. Such was the case last night, which started out as “I wanna draw Captain America as a baby.” Google Images handily pointed us to Agnes Garbowska’s Deviant Art page: |
They’re so amazing and so cute, how could you not draw them?

But, stopping … not for Cate. She decided to draw every chacracter on Agnes’ “Cuties” page. And, she did. But, those are posts for another day. 

P.S. Grace and I drew Agene’s characters from “Imagination Station, ” here.

And, now a word from Agnes Garbowska!


“In brightest day, in blackest night,
no evil shall escape my sight!
Let those who worship evil’s might,
beware my power.. Green Lantern’s light!”

You know, we’re not too jazzed up about the Green Lantern movie in the Miner house. (A little too CGI for us.) But, I love the GL Corps and all the wackiness and color of the various members that flesh out their ranks.

When Cate saw Tomar-Re, one of the oldest and most alien Lanterns, she said, “Let’s draw that lizard bird man.” So, we did. 


Stout! (from The Unsinkable Walker Bean)

One of the absolute best graphic novels I’ve read over the past several years has been Aaron Renier’s The Unsinkable Walker Bean. One could be tempted  to dismiss this book as “Harry Potter on the High Seas,” but it’s so much more than that and filled with characters and imagery adults and kids can love.

Case in point … Stout, the ship’s stawlart steampot who springs to life when properly heated. He’s a fun little character and one Grace enjoyed drawing. Grace has been working very hard at learning to draw with shapes (as you can see with the pencils under her inks) and it’s payin’ off!

I highly encourage ya’ll to go here and read more about the book on Aaron’s Web site. Oh, and pick up a copy while you’re at it!

Spectacle! (from “Superhero Girl”)

So, it’s no secret that we’re big, big fans of Faith Erin Hicks’ weekly Web comic, “The Adventures of Superhero Girl.” Grace, Cate and I drew Superhero girl a few months ago, and tonight sketched her new pal, Spectacle, who premiered on the strip last week.

The girls loved the glasses and her ginormous ponytail, which Cate decided was rainbow colored and the source of Spectacle’s powers. 🙂

And, now a word from Faith Erin Hicks!


Ducky Momo!

CATE IS BACK! I am very excited to announce that our ongoing talks with perpetually striking artist, Cate Miner, have reached a very satisfactory conclusion resulting in her return to the 5MM fold. And, there was much rejoicing.

Tonight, we present Ducky Momo, a throwaway character on Disney’s Phineas and Ferb that the girls and I love. Ducky is Candace’s favorite cartoon character and the embodiment of all things Pokemon … but not … ’cause that would be copyright infringement. And, the House o’ Mouse don’t roll like that.

Marvel High!

High school. Superheroes.

For Grace, a child who has seen High School Musical, like, a shameful number of times, this is a match made in heaven. So, baby, it was time to draw.

I was goofing around on J. Bone’s Web site a few weeks ago and came across this drawing from 2007 — another awesome all-ages concept that never made it to the page. (Grrrrrr!) There must have been something in the air, ’cause Project: Rooftop found it and posted it, too. Man, this is awesome idea! If only … if only… J. Bone, we salute you!

P.S. If you look closely, you’ll see that Gracie is working on joints with lines and circles! The girl is working hard and it’s paying off.

Squid Girl!

If you’ve spent any time exploring the world of Web comics, you’ve likely come across the rich world of Denver Burbaker’s Tales of a Checkered Man. Denver’s work ethic is amazing and his site is a shining example that Web comics are an art form all themselves. Frankly, it’s nothing short of inspirational.

Another impressive aspect of Denver’s site is his incredibly robust fan art section, which features new installments every Friday. That’s mad love, people. Mad love. So Grace and I decided to join in with our renditions of Squid Girl!


So, DC lost me over a year ago on Blackest, Brightest, Biggest, Loudest, One Fish, One Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Day … but I have been mildly interested the wide range of lanterns out there. And, if anyone could get me to want to draw a cruel little ring wielding kosmic kitty filled with hate … it’s Joel Carroll.

Grace and I both went with kindler, gentler Dextarr. Maybe there’s hope that the Guardians can bring him around for the Green Eggs and Hector Hammond mini that’s sure to come out soon.


UPDATED: The Inhumans!

 One of the blessings of blogging is meeting incredible people. Among the first folks who reached out to me … and then to Grace … in the world of internet comic afficionados was artist Brendan Tobin. We share a love of all things Kirby and the quirkier side of comics.

His work is just, well, fun. Over at his blog,, he cranks great work. I can’t help but think we’ll see great things from him someday.

But, through all this, he’s never drawn with Grace and me for 5MM. So, it was an easy pick to go with Kirby’s Inhumans. Click here to see Brendan’s great post on how he created this art.


And, now a word from Brendan Tobin!

The Element Girl!

If you haven’t found your way to the nexus of internet awesomeness created by “Calamity Jon” Morris … well … shame on you. Go there now and, maybe, there’s a chance you can be saved:

Jon also started a fantastic compliment to Covered, entitled, Cornered, where Jon and guests (including Grace and me) pay homage to the the corner cover art of yesteryear. (Man, I miss it!)

Jon’s been a pal and agreed to draw a fun character from the Silver Age of comics … The Element Girl. Yep, a female Metamorpho, folks. Enjoy.

Lois Lane – Girl Reporter!

Oh, what could have been …

Dean Trippe has been a tremendous friend to us at 5 Minute Marvels. He is an incredible artist and a creator who sees the best in comics — the most wonderous, magical potential in comics. Potential that can reach the kid in all of us. I only wish the powers that be would realize what he could do for them.

Case in point … Lois Lane, Girl Reporter, a pitch Dean made to DC comics to bring the adventures of a teen Lois, Clark and Bruce to young adults. To read more about it, go here.

Well, DC may have passed on this (Grrr… shaking virtual fist in frustration), but we can dream about it. And, as Grace and I did, we can draw it, too. And, we can see Dean’s incredible work here and over at Project: Rooftop. Dean … we couldn’t love this more.

And, now a word from Dean Trippe!