Mystic’s Giselle with David Lopez!

David Lopez is one of our oldest and bestest friends on 5 Minute Marvels. If you haven’t seen his 5 Minute Nightcrawler … and video to demonstrate exactly he created amazingness it in just 5 minutes … GO NOW.

Not only is David one of our favorite artists, but Mystic is our favorite new books in a long, long time. And, Giselle, one of the main protagonists is a character that deserves a long history in comics. This is a tremendous book for antone and a triumph for the creative team. Excelsior!

Visit David’s blog here and follow him on Twitter at @davizlopez

On a side note, there’s a been a lot said lately about the characterization and graphic depiction of women in mainstream comics lately. Honestly, I’ve said a lot about it myself on Twitter. I feel like we’re headed in the wrong directions. It’s not just because I have little girls. It’s because I think it’s possible to write and draw women who are engaging, attractive and, dare I say it, sexy without depicting them in ridiculous poses and proportions. Our heroines often look like they’d be at the chiropractor every other day.

It’s not just art. It’s really more about writing and the marketing. Female characters in superhero comics are frequently reduced to one note. They are abused. They are sex objects. They’re victims. They’re ice queens. Those are all valid aspects of a character … when they’re PART of a larger, more complex characters.

We’ve moved past the days of comics targeted at boys with raging libidos. If the stated goal is to bring in new readers, sexing it up and dumbing it down won’t get the job done.

Comics are capable of so much more than that. Unlike any other medium, they can deal with the real and the natural while existing in a world accentuated by the unreal and supernatural. They can engage readers of all ages and interests. But, not if they’re clearly aimed at a single demographic.

I’m not calling for puritanical comics. Sexuality is a part of life. You can’t avoid it. You can’t deny it. Nor should you. But, it is ONE aspect of life and personality. It’s possible for comics to incorporate sex and gender in more subtle, mature and complex ways that are respectful of women, while engaging enough for older readers.

In the end, I want comics that don’t limit female characters to sex objects or victims. I want this for my girls (and myself) now and when they’re more mature readers capable of understanding more adult topics. But, at any age, I don’t want them to feel they’re defined by sex or their gender to the exclusion of all else.

As evidence of how superheroines can be dead sexy and proportionate at the same time, I submit David Lopez. And, there’s no better examples than his work on Catwoman, Mystic and Hawkeye and Mockingbird. His women are beautiful, imposing and a wonderful blend of the fantastic and the realistic. Kudos, “Daviz”! You’re a hero of mine. Hands down.

Mockingbird by David Lopez

Catwoman by David Lopez

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Art-O-Rama! Drawing with Your Buddies

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 …)

Hawkeye … and, um, Hawkeye! by Grace (7) & Dad

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!

Thanks to David Lopez!

We’re still pretty excited over here about the Nightcrawler art and video David Lopez sent our way yesterday…so the girls wanted to give him some special art in honor of David’s upcoming Hawkeye & Mockingbird series with Jim McCann over at the House of Ideas!

Grace’s version of Mockingbird dropped by the tanning bed on her way to the sketch session …

And, one more from me … a tip of the hat to one of the operatives in the new WCA!

Nightcrawler! by David Lopez

Unglablitch! The girls and I got two awesome gifts all the way from Spain … a 5 Minute Marvel sketch from Hawkeye & Mockingbird artist, David Lopez … and a video to boot. If you visit my other blog, you’ll note that I am an unabashed Jim McCann and David Lopez fan. So, the girls and I were amazed when David sent these our way. He is an amazing artist and a rising star at Marvel and the comics world. Gracias, David … and Graciela, his partner in crime, who shot the video.

Check out David’s blog here … and remember to buy Hawkeye and Mockingbird when it comes out this June!

Here’s David’s art …

Here’s the video …

And, here is the girls’ art. I think David really inspired them to do top-notch work on everyone’s favorite fuzzy, mutant elf!