Monday, August 17, 2015

Points from the Paint: Clarissa vs. Fanny!

Here is a couple of unpublished pages from c. 1993 featuring Clarissa James (Ms. Megaton Man) and Donna Blank, the Phantom Jungle Girl, shooting some hoops on some suburban driveway. This sequence was intended to be a part of Bizarre Heroes, and I don't know why I was too lazy to ink the sparse backgrounds and finish them up (including the last panel with Jasper Johnson, Rubber Brother). This scene offers some important backstory to the Phantom Jungle Girl and her historical origins and I still may use it as a flashback scene in some future project.

What is unusual about these pages is that they are largely inked with a Hunt #102 crowquill pen and some brush on plate finish Bristol, which inks a lot smoother than the usual medium surface Bristol I used with brush. It is also significant that my female characters tended toward more realistic proportions much earlier than my male characters. Prior to this, I tended to make everyone cartoony so as to match the unwieldy proportions of Megaton Man, a tension that I struggled with for far too long. One of the reasons I always found some release in drawing Ms. Megaton Man was precisely this release from the feeling that everything in the Megaton Man narrative had to appear exaggerated and humorous. By this time I was growing comfortable with the idea that things could be light and humorous (and character-driven instead of parody-driven), and drawn in a less forced way.

Friday, August 14, 2015

1989 to 2015: Early Ms. Megaton Man Sketch Finally Finished!

Here's a newly inked and colored pin-up of Clarissa James, Ms. Megaton Man, and Stella Starlight, the See-Thru Girl, developed from a 1989 sketch. I scanned the original, fleshed out in pencil and Sharpie pen, then further refined on canary yellow tracing paper, and finally inked on Clearprint Design Vellum.

1989 is significant because this would have been one of the earliest Ms. Megaton Man sketches. The fact that I can still make something of the pose shows how significant the character was for my development. Ms. Megaton Man allowed me to get closer to something like a realistically-proportioned superhero style and away from the humorous style that I never found satisfying for the secondary characters surrounding Megaton Man.

The final colored in Photoshop
The rough sketch blown up next to the pencil elaboration

The final ink on Clearprint next to the refined rough on canary yellow tracing paper
The original 1989 sketch. Something about this gesture seemed worth developing further!
Final linework on Clearprint Design Vellum
The sketch elaborated with blue and graphite pencil, and tightened with Sharpie fine line pen .03 mm

The drawing refined on canary yellow tracing paper

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Is Two Ms. Megaton Man of Color In Color Two Too Many?

Clarissa James confronts Aja, new mascot of the Megaton Mice, who has similarly donned the familiar red, yellow, and blue leotards of the Megaton Man franchise. This scene is from #6 in the new Megaton Man series I am planning.

Colorized tight rough sketch (not final art).

Kozmik Kat, mentor of the Megaton Mice and Aja, tries to keep the two Ms. Megaton Mans apart.

The original sketchbook concept and the tightened rough on canary yellow tracing paper.

The original sketchbook rough on the right, with the scanned and blown up print-out on the bottom left, with the final ink on Clearprint Design Vellum on the top left.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Secret Origin of Clarissa, In Color!

Here's the moment of truth from Bizarre Heroes #13 (Fiasco Comics Inc., September 1995), in which Clarissa James learns that she is the love-child of her African-American mom and Clyde Phloog, the Silver Age Megaton Man! (What can be said? Opposites attract!) In color for the first time.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Origin of Ms. Megaton Man!

These two contiguous panels are from Megaton Man Meets the Uncategorizable X+Thems #1 (Kitchen Sink Press, 1989), originally published in black and white. (I've colored them up for a pitch for the new Megaton Man material I'm creating, either as a new series or graphic novel.) They depict the momentous origin moment when Clarissa James realizes she has somehow gained Megapowers, and subsequently dons the primary-colored costume of the Man of Molecules! Clarissa has always unleashed a certain dynamic energy in me when I draw her, and these panels are a great example, where I was trying to go for a decided Jack Kirby/Big Barda feeling! Ms. MM had a major role in Bizarre Heroes in the 90s, and will have an even bigger role in the new Megaton Man storyline, featuring everyone's return to Megatropolis and the formation of a new Megahero team, the Doom Defiers! Stay tuned for more developments.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Of Color, In Color: A New Clarissa Pose for Memorial Day Weekend

I can't help but noticing that whenever I post a Ms. Megaton Man sketch (a character whom I love to draw), it always gets significantly less views than even a lame but new piece of Megaton Man art (a character that is fun but whom I am more or less obliged to draw). Hmm. What exactly does this say about American society this Memorial Day weekend?!? I always wonder when I post a drawing, does color (vs. black and white) make a difference? (Does being of color make a difference?!) Discuss amongst yourselves...

At any rate, here is a drawing I made of Clarissa, developed from a toss-off warm-up pose from my sketchbook. Enjoy!

See Clarissa in action with Megaton Man and the Knight Watchman!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Salon des Bandes Dessinées and Aztec Beach Volleyball?!

Here are the exercises Frank Santoro led us through last night at the Pittsburgh Comics Salon, held at Lili's Cafe in Polish Hill. The theme was 3-panel and 4-panel comic strip timing (à la Charles M. Schulz). Naturally, I defaulted to a Ms. Megaton Man sequence, which segued into a beach volleyball game held at an Aztec ballcourt (isn't that a mainstream genre already?). Now I'll have to turn this into a story!

 Update: The 2 x 2 layout I started at Lili's and completed this morning:

To be continued ...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sketchbook Spring Training!

First inking of the spring (a bit rusty)...!

The top sketch is mostly Hunt #102 crowquill; the bottom three are Sharpie Pen (non-permanent).