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 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!

Spidey! by the Wahl Family

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.”

Jack Attack! by Jack Williams (5)

A few days ago, Grace and Cate had a play date with their buddies Ella and Jack and, of course, superhero drawing was in effect. Jack gave us the drawings below. And, I must confess a partucular  fondness for his M.O.D.O.K. Go Jack!

Ms. Marvel! by Ella Williams (6)

A TREASURE FOUND! This sketch of Ms. Marvel was done by Grace’s pal, Ella, on the train on the way home from HeroesCon in June. It got lost in a pile of art unearthed tonight. And, it’s fantastic.

The heart-shaped lips? You know you think this is adorable.

The New Spider-Woman! by Grace (7) & Dad

At San Diego Comic Con, the House of Ideas revealed a glimpse of the new Spider-Girl by Paul Tobin and Clayton Henry. Grace and I dig the spikey hairdo (kinda reminds us of Cate) and the wild ponytail. So, we drew her. Enjoy!

The Incredible Hulk! by Irfan (8) & Hisham (Dad)

Okay, this wins the award for the drawing that came the furthest distance – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Wow. When we started our little blog, never did we think …

I love this drawing of the Hulk from a father and son team!

Avengers Academy! by Grace (7) & Dad

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

Doctor Strange! by Jen Richards

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.

Nick Fury! by Grace (7) & Dad

It’s no secret that Grace and I are fans of the gentlemen over at www.ComicTWART.com. Last week, Mitch Gerads, creator of Johnny Recon over at www.PopGunPulp.com and 5MM fan suggested 60s Nick Fury, the Marvel Comics ultra-spy created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and rendered forever cool by the genius Jim Steranko. So, we thought we’d play along with our 5-Minute version of ol’ Nick.

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!

Mister Hyde! by Grace (7) & Dad

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 …

The Green Goblin! by Grace (6) & Dad

Grace wanted to go with a classic Spider-Man villain tonight … the Green Goblin. (Or, “Gobby,” as ol’ Spidey likes to say.) I can say with every ounce of humility, Grace blew me away on this one. Her Goblin is great. Mine looks like he has cauliflaur ear. 🙂

Jack of Hearts! by Grace (6) & Dad

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 Incredible Hulk … and Juggles! by Grace (6) & Dad

BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT!!!!! (Okay, you probably didn’t.)

Today on Twitter, writer Paul Tobin suggested that The Hulk should have a pig named Juggles as a sidekick. As Grace had already invented Scratcher, an animal sidekick for Tigra, she loved the idea and wanted to draw it. And, of course, we used a drawing of The Hulk by Paul’s Wife, Colleen Coover, as a guide … http://www.colleencoover.net/?p=566

Enjoy it, True Believers!

Ms. Marvel! by Ella Williams (6), Grace Miner (6) & Dad

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.

Namora! by Grace (6) & Dad

This is only one of many, many sketches Grace created for HeroesCon. In fact, as we were at the convention, she walked around sketching and handing her “2 Minute Marvels” to grateful folks as we walked along … as well as original art we created for 5 Minute Marvels.

This sketch of the Sub-Mariner’s cousin (um … kissin’ cousin) Namora was done for editor of Marvel’s “Girl Comics,” Lauren Sankovitch, whom Grace and Cate met at C2E2 in Chicago. Hiya, Lauren! Hope you dug this as much as we did drawing it!

Captain America! by Augusten (5) & Nathan Fairbairn

Marvel colorist, Nathan Fairbairn, and his son, Augusten, are back with a killer drawing of the Sentinel of Liberty– Captain America!

There must be something in the air. The girls and I drew Cap as well …

3-D Man! by Grace (6) & Dad

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!

The Mighty Thor! by Grace (6) & Dad

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!”

Spider Iron Man! by Spencer (8) & Heather Armstrong

Imaginative new art from Spencer Armstrong and his mom. Here’s the story behind the art:

I ran across your “5-minute marvels” on a blog ( http://www.liquidtreat.com/ ) a few days ago and thought my son would love it. He is always drawing his favorite characters at home, at school, in the car, at restaurants…you get the idea. Anyway, I shared your project with him and he loved it. He decided to come up with a Spiderman/Ironman hybrid after seeing Captain Turtle on your site. He loved the idea of blending characters.

Nice work, Spencer! Send in more! And, if anyone else has an idea for an amalgam hero … SEND THEM IN!

Hawkeye! by Maddy (15), Erin (23) & George Wahl (10)

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.

Screaming Mimi! (and Klaw) by Grace (6) & Dad

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.” 😛

The Mighty Throg! by Chris Eliopoulos

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.

Thanks, Chris!

Black Widow! by Grace (6) & Dad

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.

Wasp & Scarlet Witch! by Stephanie Buscema

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.)

Galactus! by Cate (5) and Dad

After a long week at school, the girls were bushed tonight … so they took the night off.

Never fear, though. We have some art on standby for the nights were even 5 minutes of sketching feels a bit too long. And, oh, what a sketch. The hungriest dude in the universe … GALACTUS!

Iron Fist by Jen Richards

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 …

Namor! by George (10), Erin (23), Mom & Maddy Wahl (16)

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!

Iron Man! by Damon (8) & Adam Koford

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.

Egghead! by Cate (5), Grace (6) & Tim Miner

It was Cate’s pick and, while thumbing through a book on the Avengers, settled on one of their more … ahem … storied opponents — the evil Egghead. And, I think it helped produce some of their best work yet.

Wasp by Grace (6) & Tim Miner

We drew Giant Man a few weeks ago … and, now, Gracie wanted to take down Janet Van Dyne herself — the Wonderous Wasp. And, why wouldn’t she? Like Grace, the Wasp rarely ever wore the same costume twice.

Spider-Man by Riley (5), Keagan (9), Tamara & Brad McKinney

And, the aware for togetherness goes to … the McKinney Family!

Wow. This submission is the truest expression of what 5 Minute Marvels is all about … and entire family drawing the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man together. Fantastic. I can’t wait to see the next one.

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!

Hulk! by Wyatt (4) & Stephen Locke

They’re back! This time, the father and son duo take on the Green Goliath … the Incredible Hulk. And, Stephen was having so much fun, he showed what an extra five minutes and a little color can do to accent the image!

Spider-Man! by Savannah (2 1/2) & Dad (Ben Cohen)

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.”