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!

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A Very Dapper Contest …

Just before Thanksgiving, Jim McCann (A.K.A. “Uncle Jim” — hey, my wife and I are only children, so we adopt aunts and uncles for the girls) stopped by on his way from a signing at the very cool Acme Comics in Greensboro, N.C. And, it gave me an idea … it is time for a contest!

Jim is the author of the amazing new graphic novel, Return of the Dapper Men with Archaia. He creating it with his longtime pal and uber-talented artist Janet Lee (who just got tapped by Marvel to draw Jane Austen’s “Emma”!). And, if you haven’t seen it, you need to get on it and order your copy here!

So, here’s the deal … adults and kids, get your Dapper on. Draw your best Dapper Man (or, in our case Zoe the Robot Girl and Ayden the curious young lad) and send it to tim_miner73@hotmail.com by Monday, December 20. Jim and Janet will pick one winner for best child (1-12) art and, well, one from everyone else. The winners will get an original sketch by Janet!  Have fun! 

To get you started, here’s what Grace and I drew!

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 …)

Return of the Dapper Men! by Grace (7) & Dad

One final drawing of the night. We’re only a few short months away from the release of “Return of the Dapper Men” by Jim McCann and Janet Lee through Archaia Comics, two good friends of 5 Minute Marvels. Click here to pre-order the series.

I have to say, I am proud of this one from Grace. Janet Lee’s style requires very subtle shading (and a GIGANTIC bag of Prismacolor markers) … and Grace imitated it very well!

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.

Spider-Cat! by Janet and Ethan Lee (8)

This is a terrific submission from Janet Lee, artist of the upcoming series, “Return of the Dapper Men” with Jim McCann at Archaia. She and her eight-year old son, Ethan, created the next member of the Spider Family … SPIDER-CAT! Complete with song! Check out Janet’s Web site here.

Here are her notes:

Here’s Spider Cat, as dictated to me by Ethan Lee. He now has a nemesis, so there may be more coming.

So:
Concept: Ethan Lee (age 8)
Pencilling, Inking, coloring, lettering: Janet Lee

And our song:
Spider Cat, Spider Cat,
Does whatever a Spider Cat can,
Got no webs, he has claws,
Why’s he do it? Just because!
Look out! Here comes the Spider Cat!

In addition to drawing, Grace and Cate came up with their own version of the Spider-Cat song:

And, then there’s this …

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!