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.
Like a lot of children of the 70s and 80s, my education on drawing cartoons was largely shaped by the masterful Ed Emberley. I had five or six of his books, which break down the complex art of drawing bodies and faces into simple shapes and step-by-step instructions. I loved it.
So, naturally, as we’re working on both drawing with shapes and faces, Grace and I spent some time with Mr. Emberley’s books. She really took to it and was able to understand his lexicon. I decided to have some fun and draw the Avengers as Ed might have!
One of the real joys of this blog is that the girls and I have met some people we really like. One of them is up and coming artist, Jordan Gibson http://twitter.com/#!/superbatgibson).
After seeing his work on Project: Rooftop, we drew Red Robin with Jordan a few months ago. He has an incredible style that’s modern, while recalling the simple joy and color of the classic age of comics. Bright times ahead for him.
Grace and I were thrilled to meet Jordan at HeroesCon last week. He shared a booth with another of our favorites, Dean Trippe. Jordan drew the incredible Hawkeye and Mockingbird below for Grace … and it turned out to be his first con comission ever. We were honored! So we drew Mockingbird, too.
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!
Hold on tight, True Believers! The amazingly fun and talanted Wahl family is back with this amazing ode to your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man! And, while all of it is fantastic, you have to admit … someday you’re going to be reading comic drawn by Maddy Wahl! Here’s here lead in to this art:
“We got quite a few for you today. My birthday was like a month ago and I got my family and some of my friends to all get together and draw Spider-Man with me! (Ultimate of course. He’s my favorite! (: ) I’ve been savin Spidey for something really special and I was not disappointed. We got 10 whole adorabible Spider-Men… Nar, too tired to describe all o’ them but from Dad’s bearded Spider-Man, to Erin’s chicken eatin’ Spider-Man, to Brieanna’s Spidey chillin’ with bats, nannerpusses, and gosh knows what else, they all awesome.”
I was able to buy a pack of brush pens on sale … and I’m totally in love. So, I’ve been making a few 5 Minute Marvels on my own.
First up is a new costume for Valkyrie in response to an open request from 1979 Semi-Finalist’s Kelly Thompson. I happen to agree with her that it’s 2010 and … well … steel breast cups are out.
And, then I decided to explore the differences between DC’s Etrigan the Demon and Marvel’s Gargoyle. Turns out there aren’t many. But, I love them both.
The only thing Grace loves more than superheroes? TEEN-AGED superheroes. So, she jumped at the chance to draw the entire crew of Avengers Academy by Christos Gage (www.ChristosGage.com) and Mike McKone (www.twitter.com/Mike2112McKone) — Finesse, Mettle, Striker, Veil and Hazmat!
What about Reptil, you say? Well, Grace chose to omit him. But, she promises that, “I’d draw him with a dinosaur head …” Stay tuned.
And, read up on Avengers Academy here: http://marvel.com/news/comicstories.11568.i_am_in_avengers_academy
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 http://themockingnerd.blogspot.com/ and fall in love.
So, this one’s at the request of our buddy, Phil, at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, our hometown comic shop and organizers of the awesome HereosCon show in Charlotte, N.C.
In honor of Jim McCann and David Lopez’s “Hawkeye & Mockingbird” #2 hitting the shelves yesterday, Phil asked for Hawkeye. (Please. Twist our arms.) So we doubled up with the Clint Barton and Kate Bishop versions. Enjoy!
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 …
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 http://www.EvanShaner.com
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.
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.
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.
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!”
George took his turn to pick the one, the only Hawkeye … my favorite comics character of all time and the star of the new book, Hawkeye & Mockingbird, by 5MM buddies, Jim McCann and David Lopez. Maddy and Erin chose a traditional path, while George was inspired by the cartoon stylings of Chris Giarrusso! Bullseye, guys. Clint would be proud.
It’s been far too long since we had a submission from the Wahl girls and George, but it was well worth the wait! They took on Puppy from Chris Elipoulos’ Franklin Richards comic. And, they threw in a TARDIS for good measure. Love it!
And, speaking of pets, Grace felt Tigra was loneyly and needed buddy. So, she created Scratcher. And, she insisted he have a hat that was “like the guy on ‘Sonny with a Chance.'”
Grace was much taken by Screaming Mimi on Super Hero Squad! Or, as Cate called her, “Joker’s Girlfriend.” This is a proud Father moment as Grace sketched Mimi compltely by memory Sunday night. Cate chose to abstain on the grounds that, “I don’t really feel like drawing crazy hair.” I tossed in a Klaw for good measure.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is, in fact, a drawing of the villain who would become the hero “Songbird,” not a depiction of Grace’s grandmother, also known as “Mimi.” 😛
Chris Eliopolous, writer and artist of the webcomic Misery Loves Sherman and Marvel’s Lockjaw & The Pet Avengers and Franklin Richards series, dropped by to share this incredible 5 minute sketch of The Mighty Thor from when he was transformed into a frog. Check out his Web site here: www.MiseryLovesSherman.com
Grace was joined by her good buddy Ella Williams on this sketch. And, we had a ball drawing this.
Grace and Cate were a bit “superheroed” out … so we’re on to the animal and insect kingdom. They wanted to do lions. Grace did King Lion (Leo). Cate drew “a kinda’ lion you’ve never seen before” … ahem … flower … And, I drew Ms. Lion, the fiesty, little dog from the “Pet Avengers” and the old “Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends” cartoon. What can I say? Old habits die hard.
Cate wanted to take a break tonight, but Grace and I are getting ready for “Iron Man 2.” In interest of full disclosure, we took 7 minutes.
P.S. Our buddy, Kelly Thompson, regularly blogs about how much or how little the Black Widow’s costume is unzipped. I decided to be chaste, but open it up a little to be able to draw the cool zipper collar. Hope you approve, KT.
Okay … so this one was exciting. Another artist from Marvel’s Girl Comics, Stephanie Buscema, was kind enough to take time to draw with Grace and Cate … and just look at the result. Those pics of Wasp and Scarlet Witch are terrific. Take a long look at them and see how, in just five minutes, Stephanie both added her own style and brought out the true personality of these time-honored characters. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the result of countless hours or practice.
To see more of Stephanie’s artwork, please visit her web site — http://www.stephaniebuscema.com/
Stephanie is a tremendous illustrator whose star is truly on the rise. And, she is related to Marvel Comics royalty. Her grandfather is legendary Marvel artist, John Buscema, co-author of my personal bible for comic art How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Whether you are 5 or 55 and want to form a solid foundation for comic art (or art in general), buy this book and read it cover to cover.
Thanks, Stephanie, for your time and for exciting Grace especially to do some strong work of her own.
Cate wasn’t quite up for a double-header. (Umm … no pun intended.)
Bloggin’ is a funny business. You start out trying to “say” something. And, you end up doing a lot of listening. Two of the best buddies I’ve made on the Interweb are Jen Richards (AKA @Mockingnerd) and her beau, Kevin Spooner (AKA @TheBlackSwan). Jen is really, really cool and the #1 Mockingbird fan on the planet. And, she a hell of an artist. Check out her drawings at http://themockingnerd.wordpress.com/
And, now … THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST
And, the girls were inspired to do this …
And, one to grow on …
This one was a real treat for me … and I for you, too. Four sketches of Marvel’s Namor the Sub-Mariner … a character who, along with the Human Torch, established the modern Marvel universe. There is a lot to love in this offering from the Wahl family … from George’s playful “Speedo” on Namor’s trunks to Sue Storm on the Fish-O-Vision in Erin’s to the power of Mom’s and, let’s face it, the fantastic composition and talent Maddy used. And, from what I can tell from her e-mail, Maddy was the instigator of this sketch session … and her passion shows. Methinks we have not heard the last of the talented Ms. Wahl.
Wow. Seriously. What can I say. THIS is why we started 5 Minute Marvels. Thanks, Maddy. It was a privilege to put this up. Don’t be a stranger! PEOPLE, PLEASE TREAT YOURSELF & CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO EXPAND IT!
Tonight, we received a surprise submission by Damon Koford and his father, Adam — AKA Ape Lad. Adam is an gifted cartoonist I have followed on the Web for many years … and I suspect you have, too. Adam is a fantastic example of someone who combines skill, technology and tenacity to make themselves a success. And, from Damon’s art below, it’s easy to see he’s a chip off the old block.
Adam has cranked out an impressive library of daily work with his Laugh-Out-Loud Cats strips for many years. The strip combines the nostalgia of Krazy Kat with modern, pop culture references to brilliant effect. I am most impressed at how fresh Adam has kept it. Okay … now look at the drawing below and then head over to Adam’s Hobotopia blog to check out the Cats yourself.
A note from Ben:
“In the left section there is an isolated layering of circular shapes. That is his finger. The large mass of webbing, that is his
mask, which has a central point in the lower right…take your pick (we think of this as the spot between his eyes). In this webbing are darker, tight squiggles and an outlined spidy-eye. These are all his eyes…much more spider like then your typical two.”