So, where is the art?

Ah, summertime. One would think that with all the time in the world, we’d get some mad art done. But, alas, silliness has taken hold. We have amazing art in hand from the uber-talented¬†Captain Chants (AKA Chantal El-Bikai), but tonight was not the night. Chantal, I beg your indulgence. I think this video says it all about¬†their state of mind this evening. ūüôā I promise we’re drawing tomorrow!

My Neighbor Totoro! for Joe Bowen

Grace and I were delighted to receive the incredible drawing of Totoro from Hayao Miyazaki’s film “My Neighbod Totoro.” It’s a film we’ve never seen, but after drawing Totoro, Grace wants to. And, I’m thrilled.

The art came from a very talented artist, Joe Bowen. Joe’s¬†rendition of Gizmoduck from Disney’s Ducktales was recently featured on “Best Art Ever.”¬†This led us to Joe’s blog, which offers an incredibly diverse collection of art and … drum roll … his “Scott Bakula vs. The World” riff on Scot Pilgrim. Awesome. Check out his site: http://joebowenart.blogspot.com/

And, Joe gave us great advice for artists of all ages and skills: “Don’t be afraid to try new things! If you’ve gotten pretty good at drawing with a pencil and pen, try painting! Try digital art! There are sooo many great mediums, that sometimes it’s creatively refreshing to try something completely foreign.” Thanks, Joe! And, for you …

MODOK & MOBLOCKHEAD! for Spitballin’ Comics

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.

Dad’s Doodles – DC Women as Famous Funnies Females

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.

Calvin & Hobbes! with Philip Murphy

I’m going to wax a little “comic book political” for a moment, but when you look at gorgeous images like the one to the left here, it’s mind-boggling to think about the fact that DC Comics has trouble getting Wonder Woman right. When I saw it up on Comics Alliance’s “Best Art Ever” last week, I had to reach out the artist of this work … Irish illustrator, Philip Murphy. Check out his DeviantArt page here.¬†

And, to my great pleasure, he turned out to be just a nice a guy as he is an artist, suggesting we draw a common inspiration – Calvin & Hobbes. He killed it! And, to make it more fun, my dad, who introduced me to C & H drew with us!

Philip passed these words of wisdom on to the girls and me:Don’t get bogged down in a single art style. Try different ones. I see a lot¬†of people drawing in an anime style now which is great. I love anime and have nothing against it, they can do things in that style that others can’t but, there’s a lot of amazing other styles out there. Think of it like ice cream. If day in day out all you eat was strawberry flavour, things would get pretty monotonous. So why not change it up with some vanilla? Don’t be afraid to try new styles you might end up liking or even making a new one.” Thanks,¬†mate!

Krypto the Superdog! with Loston Wallace

We had the very great fortune of finding the work of Loston Wallace over at KirbyVision, where some of his amazing, Kirby inspired work was recently featured. Loston has had an extremely varied career Рillustrating everything from Flash Gordon and DC Licensed Products (like Krypto!) to Elvira and Lorna, Relic Wrangler.

What is really great for us (and any artist) is Loston’s ability to provide clear instruction on illustration.¬† Case in point, his “How To’s” on drawing the Superman Logo or The Thing from the Fantastic Four.

Here are some great words of encouragement from Loston: Drawing should be fun, and that’s the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re putting pencil to paper.¬†¬†If you’re having fun when you draw, you’re doing it right! Drawing is also about learning on the job.¬†¬† Every time you draw, you get just a little better at it.¬† That, I can guarantee.

Click here to see more of Loston’s Work. And, look below our work for tips on drawing Superman’s faithful hound, Krypto.

How to Draw Krypto the Superdog (from Loston Wallace):

  • Krypto’s snout is straight on top, and round on the bottom to form his mouth.
    His actual nose is kind of shaped like a slice of watermelon, and is a very similar shape to his snout. It’s straight on top, and round on the bottom like a circle.
  • Our Super Dog pal has three small freckles on his snout, stack triangularly with one on top and two on the bottom.
  • Krypto’s lower lip only extends about half the distance of his nose just under his mouth.
  • Krypto’s eyes are circular in shape, and his pupils are large dots.¬† Usually, two little marks under the eye farthest from his snout are used to indicate his cheek when he smiles.
  • The Dog of Steel has thick, black eye brows that kind of look like check marks. In a 3/4ths view, the outer most eyebrow tends to be more of a chevron shape.
  • The top of Krypto’s head is only slightly rounded. When the top of his head meets his snout, the outline shape of his head might look a little like a playground slide.
  • Krypto has two ears of course, and both should be visible in a drawing. The ear that is farthest from Krypto’s snout tends to look like an upside down triangle with slightly rounded edges. The other ear closest to the snout is much different in its shape. It more closely resembles the number 7, and even looks similar in shape to one of Krypto’s feet!
  • Krypto has a long neck that is more narrow near the head, and wider as it connects with his torso.
  • Our dog’s body is kind of interesting. The Super Dog’s chest is round and larger than his belly. He has almost a whistle like shape to his torso.
  • When drawing Krypto’s arms (front legs) remember that they taper sort of like a baseball bat. They are wider at the top, and narrow at the ankles.
  • Krypto’s feet look similar to the head of a golf club. The bottoms of his feet are straight and flat, with the heel of his feet coming to a point. The area near the toes rounds upward from the bottom and curves back into his ankle.¬† His back feet are longer than his front paws, and are flatter on top.

Stitch! (for Priscilla Tramontano)

Just a few weeks ago, Project: Rooftop, the dead center of awesomeness in this universe, featured¬†some amazing redesigns from Brazilian artist, Priscilla (Pris) Tramontano. She is currently working as a colorist on IDW’s Transformers books, but she is an incredible illustrator of her own rite. Check out her fantastic body of work on her site here.

We were ecstatic when she agreed to draw with us, sending the watercolor of Disney’s Stitch above. Beautiful.

And, she sent along some advice for artists of all ages:

Drawing is what I love the most. That said, I’m always drawing, studying, practicing, getting inspired by everything around me, things that I love and by other people’ work. “Not a day without a line drawn.”

Thanks, Pris! You inspired us.

Giant Monsters!

The theme over at Comic TWART is Giant Monsters … one of my favorite comic genres. I showed the girls a bunch of old Jack Kirby monster covers. Grace suggested we create our own monsters. Seriously brilliant.

Cate created “The Poofinator,” an alien who uses her untamable hair to attack humanity. Grace chose “Gracezilla,” a monstrous half cave girl/half ballerina who hits people with clubs and sticks her tongue out at them. I pulled from my campus theatre experiences to create “Dramaaa,” whose giant, histronic tears¬†will drown the world. Too much fun!¬†¬†

EmiTown!

Emily Lenox writes and draws a beautiful and engaging weekly diary comic at www.EmiTown.com. Emi’s¬†art and insight are combined with truly creative panel structure and an effective use of two-tone coloring … which is a favorite style of mine. And, it’s earned her apt acclaim.

I showed the girls¬†Emi’s “Army Cats” today and they loved them and wanted to draw. I think it’s one of our best collaborations to date.

Power Girl!

Today, our buddy Joel Carroll received some much-deserved praise on Comics Alliance for his amazing work. It was exciting to see it.

PG has long been one of my favorite heroines … but for her sarcasm and pure love of being a superhero, not for her … ahem … assets. I’ve wanted to suggest Power Girl to my girls for a long time, but the right image just hasn’t presented itself. We’re trying to raise our girls without a seriously whacked out body image … and most depictions of PG don’t really help with that. Especially¬†the¬†– “Boob Window” in her costume.¬†¬†Thanks, Joel! We had fun with this¬†one!

Click here to see more of Joel’s work on his TumblR site!

Gleek!

I know there’s a lot of mixed emotions out there about the Wonder Twins, but how can there be anything but love, love, love for their¬†precocious¬†little pet, Gleek? Okay, I know how. He’s totally¬†annoying.

But, to a little girl who enjoys the softer and more colorful corners of the superhero universe … blue alien monkeys are da bomb! Grace had fun with this one and I think she nailed Gleek’s¬†mischievous smile.

Belated Birthdays — Gracie & Evan Shaner!

So we’re a little behind on wishing Happy Birthday to two important people at 5 Minute Marvels. The first is Gracie, who turned 8 last Thursday. She wanted to celebrate by drawing her superhero identity, Saving Grace, in a new costume. I drew her as a teenager.

The second is for our pal Evan, Doc Shaner, crazy good artist and the world’s mightiest fan of the¬†world’s mightiest mortal, Captain Marvel! For him we draw the diminutive menace of Mr. Mind … a brilliant creation¬†from C.C. Beck!

Zorak in honor of Comic TWART!


The boys over at¬†Comic TWART¬†are a common source of inspiration for Grace, Cate and me. This week, they’ve chosen the 60s catroon show, Space Ghost. I know it’s cool that Cartoon Network gave The Ghost and his crew new life in the 90s with a comedy riff … but I always loved the original¬†show as a kid, especially the colorful character designs by comics/cartoon legend, Alex Toth, and the stoic vocals by Gary Owens.

We thought about drawing Space Ghost himself, but the girls saw Zorak, the talking mantis … it was over.

Cornered … The Liberty League!

Artist Jon “Calamity” Morris runs one of our favorite comic art blogs out there — Cornered! To celebrate the Fourth, Jon put out a general call for patriotic entries and the Liberty League, featured in Marvel Premiere and The Invaders in the 70s, was calling out to be drawn. Featuring Timely Comics characters — The Thin Man, The Red Raven, Jack Frost, The Whizzer, Ms. America and The Patriot (as well as The Blue Diamond) — the League is one of those little corners of the Marvel U. just bursting with color and fun.

Visit Cornered to see great July 4 art from Jon, Michael Lynch, Brendan Tobin, Flynn Nichols and Brodie Brockie!

Yankee Poodle!

We’re not quite done being patriotic today. We bring you the incredible Yankee Poodle!

Grace had a good time drawing this character and I think it shows in her work. My relationship with this character goes back to my earliest experiences with comics, being given a copy of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #9 while trick-r-treating¬†one year in Nashville. I really dug all¬†the colorful characters, but Yankee Poodle, with her white afro¬†speckled with stars¬†really stick¬†out to me.¬†Dear, DC Comics, please bring these characters back for kids. They’re great!

American Barbarian!

¬†Grace and I decided to celebrate America’s birthday by drawing Tom Scioli’s¬†new character, American Barbarian.¬†Grace’s quote of the session was, “This dude should be Captain America’s brother with that hair!” What American Barbarian IS all about is Tom Scioli’s¬†postapocalyptic loveletter¬†to Jack Kirby, Thundarr the Barbarian,¬†80s/90s Nintendo games¬†and He-Man … which, for me, is an intoxicating mash-up. Check out the comic as Tom draws it at AmBarb.com

I first saw Tom’s work on Godland with Joe Casey and have followed him since, really digging his¬†Xeric Award-wining solo¬†project, “The Myth of 8-Opus.”

I’ve had the good fortune to meet Tom several times at HeroesCon, and he’s always been nice to me and to Grace and extremely enthusiastic about his work. Check him out!

P.S. I really like Grace’s nose here (shades of Grace’s love of Maris Wick), but we did have a chat that his legs should at least be longer than his … ahem … loincloth.¬†¬†