Friday, August 31, 2007

Exoskeleton for a Disembodied Brain

Almost certainly torn from the same notebook as this piece, we see before us my concept for a suit to help disembodied living brains live a more normal , active life... kinda like a Rascal, but more so.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hang In There: a Story Treatment

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I never actually submitted this to 20th Century Fox. I mean, there's no romantic interest, little opportunity for product placement, and the third act just fizzles out. But maybe if I were to rework it with an eye toward the Sundance market...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The tiny, awkward X-wing seems very much an afterthought, added to lend some sort of drama to the static frontal view of Lord Vader's souped-up TIE fighter. I don't think it succeeds.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Three Sailors, a Civilian, a Robot, and a Caveman

Regrettably, I have no actual joke to go with this set-up. But it would have to be a heck of a joke, I'm certain! The robot is one of several that I drew in that period mounted with threatening syringes... I don't know where that was coming from. Perhaps there was something like that in a trailer for Demon Seed?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Beast with Nine Fingers

Either that or he's brandishing a large spider.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Derivative Robot with Pistol

This fellow's head seems to be a variation on the "Death Star Droid" (with some kind of gadget emitting an electrical arc added on his forehead), while his legs come from Force Commander. The background is fairly perfunctory...note that the small rocky hill is in fact too small for the door built into it. It looks like I tried to fix it by adding a tiny doorway at the bottom to turn it into a tall building off in the distance that's awkwardly placed in front of a mountain, but the horizon line betrays me.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Men in Profile (Some Fanged)

It's the old "let's draw random shapes and try to turn them into stuff" bit! Always a winner.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Note with Incidental Colonial Viper

If I thought anyone would believe it, I would claim that the Viper was drawn specifically to illustrate the note. A (possibly) interesting side note: later that year, I would dream that I'd received a life-size prop Viper for Christmas (on my grandmother's front lawn with a huge bow tied around it), and the rest of the dream was concerned with the monstrous impracticality of owning such a thing, and my ambivalent feelings about this albatross of a gift. I believe this may have been prompted by an article in Starlog tracking the fates of a couple of similar life-size rockets offered as contest prizes in the '50s, but it may have actually been before I read that. It was perhaps my least fun toy-related dream ever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Snoopy, Baby Linus, and Not-Baby Linus

The early, more dog-like Snoopy stars here, both solo and with baby Linus in a drawing referenced from the Jan.10, 1954 Peanuts, that I first read in Good Grief, Charlie Brown, and which may be more readily seen these days in The Complete Peanuts 1953-54. The other baby kinda looks like Swee'pea, but I think I was just trying to extrapolate my own character from Linus' wardrobe. A side note: it was a late-in-the-game decision to try to figure which book the strip appeared in, but upon making a long-shot attempt to see if it was in one of the small number of Peanuts paperbacks we have in stock at work, I found it in the first one I opened! It's kismet, I tell you!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Manic (Possible) Robot with Hat

I bring up the possibility of this fellow being a robot because he seems to have rows of rivets across his torso, and, though it doesn't reproduce here, he is drawn entirely in silver and gold crayon. I can't say how what appears to be a frog (or possibly bird) leg fits with my theory. This is the next page in the typing paper pad after The Happy Fisherman.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Man with Floppy Head

I don't think his head is supposed to be a banana, or that those are Frankenstein neck-bolts sticking out, but I'm not going to rule either possibility out. I'm curious whether the appendage at left was intended as leg or tail, but I can't provide a definitive answer to that question, either.

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's Special Mystery Guest Artist Day!

This was in a batch of comics I bought today at the store that were found in the attic of an old house being cleaned out here in town, mostly dated between 1958 and 1961. The kid didn't write his or her name or any explanatory text anywhere on it, so I can't speak to the original intent- a skull wearing bunny ears? Richie Rich's girlfriend Gloria with her face ripped off? It almost reminds me of Dr. Syn, though that's unlikely. Whatever the now late-middle aged artist intended, the result is pretty spectacular.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Happy Fisherman

Actually, the fisherman's mood seems pretty neutral. That fish is pretty happy, though.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Portrait of an Oaf

Possibly Bert, but more likely just an oaf.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Swamp Jogger

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. That is in fact the Swamp Thing participating in the jogging craze of the turn of the decade, wearing au courant (for 1982) jogging couture, and stepping in a dog turd as a an apparent homage to the ouevre of noted auteur de chien-merde Al Jaffee. What can I say? It was the '80s, man.
I was crazy for Swampy and Berni Wrightson in general in this period, although both were disappointing me with their then-current projects...Wrightson with his tepid and stiff Creepshow adaptation, and Swampy with his wretched movie and tepid tie-in comic (which would soon after the time I drew this piece take a radical turn for the better). I vividly remember riding the 20 or so miles to the (long-since demolished) Belvedere Theater in Anderson, SC to see the movie, rereading my back issues in anticipation. I also remember riding home in sullen silence, feeling like a chump.
I've got a good number of other drawings of ol' Swampy (drawn in the Bissette/Totleben mode), but they fall outside the time period this site covers. Indeed, this is straining against the boundary fence as it is.

BONUS SWAMP THING MOVIE-RELATED AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ANECDOTES: A family friend at the time worked on a lot of movies shot in the Charleston area, and worked on Swamp Thing. He was on the scene when a good number of the cast and crew were apparently busted for coke possession (I don't recall the specifics). We were visiting at the time of the filming, and went with him to a sneak preview of Raiders of the Lost Ark, wher he pointed out to me that we were sitting maybe three rows behind Adrienne Barbeau herself. Around this time, he also gave me some script pages to study (I was interested in working in the industry at the time) from Larry Kasdan's new script. It was some time later when I was sitting in a theater trying to figure out why portions of the movie seemed so familiar, and realized it was the script I'd in its completed form as The Big Chill.

Friday, August 10, 2007

In a Haunted House

Ghosts at the window! Ghosts coming through the giant keyhole! Ghosts walking through walls! Invisible Ghosts! Ghosts passing through what's probably a vault door!! GHOSTS! GHOSTS! GHOSTS! GHOSTS!


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sketches Toward a Never-Realized Monster Suit

I was very interested in constructing some sort of monster suit for myself until I did further research into the price of "Fun Fur", which pretty much put the kibosh on the whole affair. I expect that the latex feet and chestpiece would have been beyond my 12-year old skills, anyway.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


"G"....that really says it all, doesn't it? It had better, because that's all I'm going to say.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


As much as I admired (and still admire) Robby the Robot, I don't think I ever attempted to actually draw him as a child, seeing that as too daunting of a task. I was right--it is. I attempted to draw Robby without accurate reference last week for a young friend of mine, and...well...let's just say that it's a good thing that preschoolers aren't the most discerning audience. Still, I would frequently adapt aspects of Robby's design to my own ends, and this is clearly an example of that practice

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Mummy Walks Among Us

I'm not clear as to whether the mummy is reaching out to strangle the viewers or just waving "hi" to us, but he seems to be in a good mood, regardless. This is a companion piece to this post and this one, for those who are keeping track.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

More Fun with Drafting Implements

What better use of a fancy protractor thing than to make a drawing of said protractor thing?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Dial "H" For Hero (conclusion)

(Continued from here and here.)

While I recall at least a couple more designs (one was a flying woman with big hair like Starfire, and I recall a sort of girl version of Polar Boy... there may well have been more), this is the last one of these designs that I can lay hands on. He's basically the Atom crossed with Ferro Lad, plus a cape. His atomic thingies are probably intended to be a Captain Atom riff, but the result, regrettably is more reminiscent of Firestorm.
These might or might not have made the grade if I'd had any follow-through, but we'll never know. As it is, the only marks I left on the world of comics in my teens were a letter in Neil the Horse and a mention in Cerebus. C'est la vie.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dial "H" For Hero (part two)

Here we have the second of my never-submitted character designs, as explained in part one. I don't recall if Chris and Vicky ever changed their ethnic makeup in their transformations, but I apparently thought that Chris might work well as a black pirate guy with some sort of magic sword. I don't know if his peculiarly cross-eyed nipples are part of his super-powers or not. Man...that tiny head is traveling into Liefeld territory, isn't it?

Tomorrow: even more!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Dial "H" For Hero (part one)

Dial "H" For Hero was a fairly obscure DC Comics series created in 1965 about a teen-ager who found a magical gadget shaped like a rotary telephone that, when the letters H-E-R-O were dialed on it, would transform the user into a variety of superheroes. If this seems kinda similar to Ben 10 to you, you're not alone. Anyway, after a long dormancy, the strip was revived in 1981 with a new gimmick... now, the goofy contrived heroes (and villains) would be created by the readers. The winning contributors got t-shirts. I don't know off-hand how many if any of the winners ever worked in the comics industry, but there was a winning entry from famous comics dilletante Harlan Ellison. I wonder if he still has his shirt? I sat down at my grandmother's house one evening with pens, paper, and a copy of How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way and turned out a stack of submissions, none of which I ever bothered to send in. I know there were more than I now have, but I've got a few left with which to embarrass myself. Though, frankly, these characters aren't any lamer than, say, Shadowhawk. But here, you be the judge! I give you.... FIRESTARTER!

Okay, so the name's kind of lame....but in my defense, this was the dawn of the "grab the nearest noun and trademark it" era of superhero nomenclature, and I basically lived in bookstore, so Steven King titles were staring me in the face constantly (though I've never read the book or seen the movie). The costume's kind of a Gil Kane riff and I suspect that the stylized flames were intended as kind of Steve Ditko-ish.
Tomorrow: more of the same!