Sunday, January 30, 2011

Check Out This Mother....Box

Mister Miracle Concept Drawing From the Jack Kirby Museum
When I was child I loved super heroes. Okay, I'm not fooling anyone, I still love them. The problem was that there weren't many action figures depicting them. Then in 1984 Kenner released it's Super Powers line. To this day the Super Powers figures are some of the best representations ever molded into plastic. They had good likenesses and excellent playability.

I had quite a few growing up but one day I realized that none of the characters I owned had capes. It just seemed wrong to me. A super hero should have a cape. When my birthday rolled around with dollars in hand I went to the store on a quest for a caped hero. Lo and behold the only one they had was Mister Miracle.

Mister who? I had never heard of this guy, but he had a cape and that was important to me at the time. Little did I realize that I had stumbled on something beyond awesome. The figure also came with neato keen hand shackles and from the card backing I learned he was an escape artist with a somewhat punny alter ego of Scott Free.

If Apokolips can't hold Mister Miracle what chance to handcuffs have?

It wasn't until years later when at art school, I became obsessed with all things Jack Kirby. During that period I learned about the Fourth World stories and Mister Miracle's place in them. (As a child I thought Darkseid was just some stone guy with an unhealthy obsession for Wonder Woman.  Something many of us can probably relate to. ) I won't go into the details of the New Gods as there are plenty of places on the internet which do a better job than me. Needless to say I find them to be some of the most inventive stories of the time. Seriously Orion is Darkseid's son? What a revelation to have a hero be the son of the villain. I wonder if anyone else has used that as a plot device?

So there you have it. You never know when those childhood impulses lead to amazing discoveries. It also turns out that the figure is rather rare with all his accessories and can fetch top dollar on eBay. Not that I would ever sell him.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Odd Morning

so... yeah.

Here's the dorkmaster general having a good time in the front yard of one of his many mansions.

I don't know. These things come to me in flashes. And who doesn't like breakdancing?

Bill went dark, moody and excellent, I went silly. I decided to draw the pristine "Party" version of the toy instead of my tired Tijuana Prison model. I don't know if I even met my own challenge. While this is definitely still Mego Ironman, I feel like I cheated somehow.

Color has never been my strong suit, and this piece is no exception. My eyes don't work like most people's so I'll be interested in what colors you say I actually used. I drew him probably 15 times before this version. I had him trapped in a bottle, outrunning demons, hiding behind a bush, and throwing up. The dancing was more fun to finish, believe me.

He's probably on his way to TJ here, and SO EXCITED about it! Watch out's gonna be a rough morning.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Was A Cold Dark Evening

The stranger at the bar had been there for what looked like far to long.

Okay so I went in a very different direction for this piece. When I saw Kir's challenge my first thought was "Iron Man? I got this!" and then I read the rest of the post. Those last photos made it look as though Mego Iron Man had just woken up in a Tijuana prison after a long bender. This took my brain on a weird journey and what started out silly became darker and darker. So when it came to inking I got out an old dried out brush so I could get that chunky look. I original did some coloring with watercolor but that didn't turn out, so I recolored on the computer.

I gotta say that I love Kir's figure looks like he's wearing some worn out turtleneck vest. I tried to capture that. Again a weird piece for a weird challenge.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mego Ironman


Second challenge: MEGO IRONMAN!

With demise of the print editions of Wizard and Toyfare today, I remembered my fondness for this often silly version of Mr. Stark. Ironman was heavily featured in Twisted Mego Theatre as seen here:


I don't remember receiving Ironman, and as the doll was made in 1974 and older than I am, I know he wasn't purchased for me. That said, I don't even remember PLAYING with him. Rock on, Kir. But he entered my collection sometime in elementary school. I did keep him and he followed me to college and now stands proudly next to Hellboy and dozens of others on a shelf in my studio.

My version is a little worse for wear, missing the chest button and belt. But he's still awesome. And as his head is a bad reuse of Dr. Doom, I laugh that he has a nose.

Photo: me

The challenge is to NOT draw Ironman in all his awesome potential, but to draw THIS guy, nose and all. This should be interesting.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


He's a happy little bounty hunter. Yes he is.

I'm surprised that if he had a bounty hunters cash flow (and no need to eat) that he hadn't modified himself more. This is me helping him along. I think I may draw a second upgrade, just for kicks.

Fabulous work from Mr. Kuffel, Eh? Eh?

Zuckuss Sketch

Well here is my finished piece. Not as good as I was hoping but I did a few things that I'm rather proud of. First the camera angle is one  that I've always struggled with and I thing I pulled it off. Second I wanted a high contrast image and again I think that worked. I've already seen Mr. Bostic's piece and it's grand.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

His Name Was Zuckuss

For our first challenge, it seemed fitting to go back to that great childhood inspiration, Star Wars. Most of my early playing years were spent with the Kenner Action Figure line and I thought I pick out one of my personal favorites, Zuckuss.

By Zuckuss, I mean the droid fellow from the Kenner line. These days they have renamed him 4-LOM following the standard droid naming schemes. I originally knew him as Zuckuss and he will be so forever in my mind. If we are going to follow every little update/change in the Star Wars universe, we'd have to go along with the force being caused by some microscopic parasite.

Zuckuss may seem to be a strange choice considering he's in the lower half on the coolness scale for bounty hunters. (Official order: Boba Fett, IG-88, Bossk, Zuckuss, 4-LOM, everybody else, Dengar) The reason being goes back to my 7th birthday. I was having kind of a bummer of a day. Birthday's weren't really a big deal in my family. We never had those big pig parties with tons of neighborhood kids and a clown. The average event consisted of the birthday child getting to pick what they wanted for dinner and what kind of cake they would like for dessert. I had numerous siblings who were all much older and living elsewhere, so those gathered consisted of my folks, one sister and me.

So the day of I was sitting in the living room drawing and feeling kind of blue, when my eldest brother pops in for a visit. This brother also happened to be my godfather and much to my excitement he happened to bring me presents. He casually handed me a shopping bag (K-mart if memory serves) and inside was Zuckuss and a Mini-Rig. An action figure and a vehicle?!?! Well this totally turned the day around.

Back in the day we didn't have a lot of information on the characters. The Expanded Universe for better or worse didn't exist yet. All I knew about him was that he was a bounty hunger, had a body like C3PO and came with a big gun. The biggest gun to date in the toy line. If droids were cool an evil droid with a big gun was the coolest. He was immediately put in charge of my stormtroopers and set about causing mayhem for Luke and Han.

Of course I didn't just play Star Wars with my figures and his design let well for cross play. I would do pretend fantasy stuff where Zuckuss would be the Black Knight or superhero adventures where he was a stand in for Brainiac or other evil robots. All this cemented his place as one my favorite toys. During my older collector years I've picked a few more versions of the character, but the original Kenner figure will always be my favorite.

So there we have it. The first challenge posted, soon to be followed hopefully some art. I know this will be a difficult character for me at least because I am better with organic type characters, but as I mentioned the point is to become a better artist.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mission Statement

Another art blog enters the world. Nothing to shake a stick at, but there are a few things which we hope will make this a fun place to visit. First this is a collaborative blog. Mr. Bostic and I will be challenging each other to draw/illustrate various subjects. Each challenge will be prefaced with an article on the subject.

To begin with the subjects will toys, but we will expand the framework to include comics and other things we like to collect. This basically gives me an excuse to talk about my favorite stuff while still attempting to improve as an artist.

Coming Soon: The First Challenge!