Thumbodies & Thumbthings!

The girls enjoyed my fingerprint Godzilla from the other night and wanted to get into the act. And, for the first time, Mama 5 Minute Marvel, my wife, Kim, got in on the act! Awsome!

I decided to add in our typical superheroes theme into my Ed Emberley thumbnail drawings, riffing on Jim Lee’s Justice League. Sorry for the crummy pictures, the scanner is on the fritz.

Cate (Aged 6)

Grace (Aged 8) — a drawing of our family

Kim (Aged … She’d Kill Me) 

Dad (Current Age Belies Maturity) 



Wonder Woman!

As the father of two daughters, I’m more than a little attuned to the way women are portrayed in the comics I love so much. And, most of the time, I’m rather disappointed. Yesterday, David Brothers posted the first of a series of articles on the oversexualization of women in comics on It’s great and you can read it here.

In the piece, Brothers praises artist Cliff Chiang for his work on the New 52 Wonder Woman. I have to agree. She looks strong and beautiful. She has more … “heft” than previous incarnations. I can really see Cliff’s WW kicking a bad buy to the moon. But, she’s feminine at the same time. So, in honor of David and Cliff, the girls and I drew the famous Amazon last night.

And, for a little extra fun, I drew Wonder Woman again. I wanted her to be fighting someone, so I created Dr. Pork. I don’t know why. Please don’t tell my therapist.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Gracie declared Valentine’s Day a “free-for-all” and that anyone could draw anything … as long as it was about love. The girls drew funny valentines. I drew Power Girl … a character a love with a costume I hate. So, I made a slight revision. 🙂

Ed Emberley’s Watchmen

I needed to chill out and sketch a little today. So, I decided to draw the Watchmen in Ed Emberley’s style, like I did with the Avengers and the JLA. Enjoy.

Green Lantern Corps (a la Art Baltazar’s “Tiny Titans”)

When asked what she wanted to draw tonight, Gracie yelled, “Tiny Titans.” I’ve said it before … and will again: Art Baltazar’s art is an incredible way to engage kids and teach them how to find the essence of a character with simple shapes and lines. Art’s work can help develop the eye and talent of artists of any age. We can only hope that he’ll release a “How-To” book of his own. To learn more about his work at DC, check out this cool interview.

And, to see more of his Lanterns … dig this!


Dad’s Doodles – Jack Kirby’s Kobra

Tonight’s 5 Minute doodle (okay, maybe 8 minutes) is for my good friend, Josh Bowron. Knowing of my fondness for all things Kirby AND my penchant for reading “fun, but failed” comics concepts, Josh bought me Issue 1 of Kobra, which is one of (if not THE) last issues Jack ever penciled for DC.

Josh is a comics nut with wild, eclectic taste, an aspiring comics writer and a priest at my church. A comic reading priest … why did I have to wait 38 years for this? Learn more about Father Josh, his thoughts, faith and interests at his blog, Discernland. 


Gracie’s Doodles – Bat-Man & Woodie

Grace fell behind a bit over the past few days and drew Bat-Man (LEGO Bat-Man) and Woody from “Toy Story.” She used a Disney instruction guide and did very well. I love Woody’s eyes and mouth.


Dad’s Doodles – Conjunction Lantern

I’ve had a blast drawing Schoolhouse Rock with the girls over the past few days. I love Tom Yohe’s style.

While looking at the lantern from the engineer in “Conjunction Junction,” I remembered the singing Earth from “The Energy Blues” and was compelled to draw him as Mogo, the living planet lantern, and, well, the rest is history.

Dr. Canus

As a lifelong Kirby fan, I’ve been interested in Kamandi – Last Boy on Earth a long time. But, it’s always seemed a bit out of reach. I’d seen little glimpses from an issue found here or there or in Crisis on Infinite Earths and the “Brave & the Bold” TV show, but it’s long been a curiosity for me.

So, when DC recently put out Vol. 1 of the Kamandi omnibus, I bought it and dove head first into Kirby kookiness. And, kooky and fun it is. Among the characters Kirby created for Kamandi is Dr. Canus, the erudite dog doctor. And, when inviting an 8-year-old to draw with you, “Dog Doctor” is a good place to start.

Red Star! (Inspired by Art Balthazar)

Art Balthazar’s Tiny Titans book is a terrific romp for kids through the wonders of the DC Universe. When folks ask, “Are there any comics out there for kids these days?” they need look no further than this little gem.

A side benefit is for us – and for anyone working on learning how to illustrate – is that Art’s work (and that of his team) features a style that’s perfect for teaching kids and adults how to draw with shapes and how to get great expressions and character through minimal design.

Wanna have fun!?! Art’s Web site is here!

Watch Art work here!

Art Baltazar @comicvault from Hans verschooten on Vimeo.

The Outsiders!

For my birthday, Grace generously offered to let me take a trip down memory lane and draw The Outsiders. I remember very clearly visiting family for Christmas when I was about 12 or so. I was immediately drawn to my cousin Sean’s copy of  36. I was familiar with Metamorpho, but not the work of Alan Davis. It was a comic style unlike anything I’d seen before and I was entranced immediately. Since that day, I’ll buy anything the man touches. Anything. He is a master. He makes the oddest character in any pantheon amazing. Just look at this cover! You wanna read it right now, don’t you? So do I. I’m going to get my copy … which I convinced my cousin to let go of in 1986.

Captain Carrot with Jon Morris!

Tonight’s post combines two favorites … Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew and Calamity Jon Morris – the brilliant illustrator behind Cornered and DC Fifty Too (which, if you haven’t read … shame on ya’).

Jon’s been a friendly collaborator over the course of 5 Minute Marvels. When we suggested Captain Carrot … he already had one in the can he was planning to put on his own blog. How’s that for kismet? Hey, DC Comics, here’s a fantastic property to bring back! I had so much fun drawing Cap, I drew an extra picture of his magical partner, Alley-Kat-Abra.


Watch the video above and 50 seconds in you will find something familiar — a drawing by 5 Minute Marvel co-founder and my daughter, Ms. Grace Miner. It’s an exciting achievement for her. And, I’m excited to announce that Grace will be one of the child contributors to Womanthology, a massive anthology comic showcasing the works of women in comics. The book is created entirely by over 140 women of all experience levels. And it’s taking the comics world by storm.

Just two weeks ago at ComicCon, a fan questioned DC Comics Executive Editor, Dan Didio, about the lack of female creators participating in the DC relaunch. He responded by asking her who she thought he should be talking to. Now, I wasn’t there, and perhaps it didn’t sound as bad coming out of his mouth as it reads in print. Maybe he was having a bad day. But, Dan, there are hundreds of female artists who could help your books innovate and reach new audiences. Maybe some male readers aren’t ready for that, but it’s their loss. And, Womanthology is aptly timed to demonstrate that.

When Womanthology creator Renae De Liz issued an open invitation to women to contribute to her idea a few weeks ago, I can’t imagine she dreamt it would generate the response it has. And, when she tentatively sought $25,000 in funding on Kickstarter, I know she didn’t think they’d be pushing $100,000 with 71 hours to go. She has shone a light on the amazing work women are doing in comics. And, she’s demonstrated that mainstream comics are lagging behind.

Grace is thrilled to be a part of Womanthology, and I’m proud of her. But, most of all, I am grateful to Renae for the opportunity to show Gracie that there should be no barriers to her creativity, especially not one founded in gender.

Please click this link and help Womanthology reach $100,000:

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 – illustrating 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.

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!

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!

Happy Birthday, Kelly!


Almost two years ago, when we were trying to get a fledgling little Web site called 5 Minute Marvels going, Grace and I came by someone who would go on to be a cheerful supporter of ours and a trusted friend — Kelly Thompson of Comics Should Be Good! and 3 Chicks Review Comics. She’s been our biggest supporter and a ready ear for many, many ideas.

In honor of hir birthday — and her devotion to strong women in comics — we draw more Jack Kirby creations, Big Barda and the Female Furies. (Psst! Kelly, all of them have high collars … just for you.) We drew two Bardas for her — helmet and no helmet.

And, Cate wanted in on the act, too. She’s on a kick drawing characters from the Little Mr. and Little Ms. books … so here’s Little Miss Birthday! (Yes. She’s a real character.)


Travis Morgan the Warlord! by Jamie and Tyler Cosley

Yes! One more and it’s a trend … Jamie and Tyler Cosley are back with more father/son awesomeness with Travis Morgan, the Warlord, from the 70s DC book by comics legend, Mike Grell.  

I have fond memories of this comic as the first 12 issues came in a box I inherited from my Uncle Andy when I first started reading comics. Fun stuff. Beautiful art.

When Jamie submitted this, he said, “Tyler won this round.” Amen, brother. That’s great stuff.

Green Lantern by Jamie & Tyler Cosley!

We’re excited to present the very first submission to 5 Minute Marvels by artist, Jamie Cosley, and his son, Tyler. You can check out Jamie’s blog, featuring his Webcomic, Cody the Cavalier, at

In honor of the release of the ring-slinger’s movie, starring Van Wilder himself, Tyler suggested they draw Hal Jordan. And, the results … well … amazing.

Jamie’s a talented artist, but methinks we’ll be seeing great thinks from young Tyler in years to come. But, Tyler, next time pick Alan Scott, the one true Green Lantern! Real Lanterns are afraid of wood, not yellow.


Cassandra Cain!

I’m a big fan of the “3 Chicks Review Comics” bi-weekly podcast by Sue of DC Women Kicking Ass, Maddy of When Fangirls Attack and Kelly Thompson of 1979 Semi-Finalist. (Grace isn’t in on this one. It’s not exactly “G” rated.)

A pervasive topic on the podcast is the badassery (and lack of continuous use) of Bat Family member Cassandra Cain, who was recently given the mantle of Black Bat. So, for our favorite 3 Chicks … we draw!

Catwoman for Stephanie Buscema!

One of the very first pals we made on 5 Minutes Marvels was amazing artist, Stephanie Buscema, who drew Scarlet Witch and Wasp with us. You can see it here!

Steph’s on her way to HeroesCon in Charlotte this weekend and we’re excited to meet her for the first time in person, so we decided to draw Catwoman in her style.

Visit Steph’s Web site and follow her on Twitter!

And, now a word from Steph!

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. 


“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. 


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.

Red Robin! with Jordan Gibson

This is the first of an array of new work Grace and I are doing with some truly talented artists. And, we were thrilled to start with Jordan Gibson. I first found his work over at Project: Rooftop (which is an incredible place to acquaint yourself with a wide array of artists and styles who draw for the love of drawing) and absolutely loved his take on Aquaman. You can see it here.

From there, I found Jordan’s Web site and the love affair really caught fire. He has a fun, clean, classic and deceptively uncomplicated style. But, as any artist will tell you, simplicity of line and design is never, never simple. Check out Jordan’s Website here.

Superman and Lois!

I am way, way, way too late in getting up this incredible art by our longtime friends and collaborators – Maddy, Erin and George. I’ve been so remiss, that they’ve gone and started their own blog … which is sure to packed with awesomeness. I am so excited for them and hope you’ll check out and favorite –

As for this art, this is what the guys have to say:

We billed this as our double-sized Valentine’s Day Spectacular, because we took ten minutes to draw two people, but we had so much fun drawing our subjects (and we cheated so much on the first set) that we did a second group of pictures, making this a QUADRUPLE-sized Valentine’s Spectacular of the only people we could possibly draw on Valentine’s Day: Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman.
Lois Lane is one of Erin’s favorite characters. Erin grew up wanting to be a reporter and Lois Lane was always a model of what she wanted to be.  It doesn’t hurt that Lois and Clark and the height of adorableness. Also, she thinks next year we should draw Big Barda and Mister Miracle.

Wonder Woman!

Grace and I got a nice surprise today when artist and animator, Alisa Harris, agreed to draw with us this morning … and then had the art in about an hour later. Wow! Talk about a Wonder Woman! Grace had a lot of fun drawing the Princess of Power. I chose to use a Mike Sekowsky image from an old, old issue of Justice League of America for inspiration.

Alisa, we had a lot of fun with you today. Thanks for your incredible support. And, ya’ll, check out Alisa’s extremely varied and impressive body of work on her blog

UPDATED! A word from Alisa Harris:

Bat-Mite & Harley Quinn!

It’s only been a few days since we received an amazing Superman piece by our new Pal, Matt Hughes, from Swansea in the UK. Today, we are proud to share two fantastic sketches from his daughters, Lorien and Elinor — Bat-Mite and Harley Quinn, two of our favorite residents of the Bat-Verse.

Here at 5MM, we have just a little bit of a soft spot for fathers drawing with their daughters. So, keep it comin’, Hughes family!

Starman & Stargirl!

Several weeks ago, talented cartoonist and blogger Cathy Leamy approached us with an offer to draw Starman with us. So we decided to make it a family affair with three generations of cosmic heroes.

Cathy, thanks for drawing with us. It was a lot of fun. And, all you readers head over to Cathy’s site and enjoy her work —

UPDATE! A word from Kathy Leamy …

Vixen! (Justice League Detroit Version)

I know it’s in vogue to think of Vixen with her cool, modern hairdo, but I like to remember a time in the mid-80s when Vixen hung out in Detroit with the Martian Manhunter and a group of F-list heroes calling themselves the Justice League. And, Ms. Vixen rocked out the same hair style as Wolverine. Grace agreed.


Another amazing collection of art from Maddy, Erin and George (with special guest star Jessica!) Maddy writes:

So we are all so cool that we got together on a Friday night to bake a Rainbow Cake, watch Young Justice, and draw. Our friend/Erin’s cousin Jessica Peery is -here, so we have four pictures for you this time instead of three! After some discussion and Erin decimating the others in a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock we picked the most wonderful current Batgirl, Stephanie Brown.  Steph happens to be the only character in all the world that Erin is good at drawing (MaddyNote: Erin is a liar.), so she is uncharacteristically happy with her picture.  Maddy and Erin share a love of Steph, mostly because she is adoabibble (Maddy’s term), bricks people in the face, and behaves like we would if we got to wear the Bat: super excited. That’s why our Batgirls say the same thing. Jessica thinks drawing Batgirl was fun, and that any deficiencies in her drawing is because she is sick.  George just started playing Kingdom Hearts for the first time, so we had to pry him away from the PS2 with a crowbar and the promise of cake, but he liked using sound effects, Ka-Pow!

The Mad Hatter

It was a snow day here, so when we decided to draw a Bat Villain, naturally it was … The Mad Hatter. (Okay, so Mr. Freeze would have made more sense, but we’re talking 7-year-old logic here, people.)

I love the eyes in Grace’s Hatter … and the nostrils. The dude looks suitably crazy.

Hawkgirl & Hawkman

Grace and I did these a while back. Grace’s main concern on these was experimenting with flesh tones … which she learned are very tricky. Been to the tanning bed recently Katar?

On a personal note, I really do love the design of Hawkgirl’s costume. Like, a lot.