Archive for March, 2006

THE WEB: A treasure chest full of wonderful art…

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I was inspired to do today’s sketch by the work I discovered on Giovanni Rigano’s blog. He has a small series of black and white sketches that feature young girls in a very dark and moody organic landscape featuring rocks and flora. They struck me as both beautiful and foreboding, so I thought I’d try my hand at something like it. It’s just a quick sketch, so I’m not all that happy with it…. it certainly doesn’t have the dark charm that Giovanni’s drawings do…. but what the heck. I discovered Giovanni’s blog by EARLIER discovering Pierre Alary’s amazing art blog. That’s one of the things I love the most about the web. These days, there’s a veritable TREASURE TROVE of amazing artists keeping blogs to showcase their work. Another of my absolute favorite stops in the art blogosphere is Gabriele Pennacchioli’s art blog. Gabriele’s work absolutely amazes me. His daily sketches are a pure inspiration. Gabriele has actually posted in the comments section of this blog, which is a huge honor (Hi, Gabriele…!). The wonderful thing about almost all these great blogs, though, is that they have lots of great links to the side of OTHER amazing artists who also keep blogs. You can blog-link your way to seeing incredible art that– if you’re not careful– can take up your whole day. I know I’ve lost many, many hours being fascinated and entertained by the wonderful gems that I discover by trying these links.

The World Wide Web…. exposing art-thirsty folks like myself to new stuff every day. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Have a great weekend, all.

This is Entry 210.

Mike

The quick and the ELVEN…

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I don’t have much time today… so I thought I’d just leave you with a sketch I did of an elf warrior. Most folks who know me know what a fantasy nut I am… and yet, beyond the HAWKE character from TELLOS, I haven’t done that many sketches/drawings/illustrations of a ‘traditional’ elven character. The way that J.R.R. Tolkien breathed life into his elves and their culture in his LORD OF THE RINGS books has resonated with so many generations and made a permanent imprint on our popular culture to be sure (DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, anyone…?). I think that fantasy and the various enigmatic races and cultures and ideas that flow from that genre represents a wonderful opportunity for the imagination to escape from the dregs of reality. In a time when there’s war, religious and cultural strife…. is it any wonder that THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, the HARRY POTTER books and movies, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and so much imaginative animation– both traditional and 3-D– are so popular…? I suspect that our societal woes these days are reminiscent of those that happened in the 70′s, which was another time when fantasy in popular entertainment was King.

This is Entry 209.

Mike

NOBLE CAUSES

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Often times, the reason that many fans cite for not giving new books a try is that they’re afraid that a self-published/small press book will either be constantly late, or that they will invest their money and interest in a book, and then that book will disappear after only a few issues, leaving the fan feeling completely unfulfilled and betrayed. And yet, there are books out there that have been published regularly for long periods of time by dedicated creators that STILL don’t get the shot they deserve from fans who might be looking to try something other than comics form Marvel and DC.

NOBLE CAUSES is one of these books. Jay Faerber, against all odds, has kept putting NC out for the last several years, in one form or another. And despite that perseverance on a book with lots to offer a potential reader, NOBLE CAUSES continues to struggle for sales and attention. As the tag line on the cover says, it’s ‘SEX, SECRETS AND SUPER POWERS’ inside the covers of this comic. It’s not a book for young kids, that’s for sure. But it’s a wonderful story about the NOBLE family– a family of super powered people, who are likened to the Kennedy family with a similar mix of tragedy and scandal– only they’re superheroes instead of politicians. There’s lots of intrigue and great character development in every issue. It’s the kind of fast-moving, soap-operatic, high action book that can hold its own with the best that the long-underwear set has to offer. You can tell that Jay loves these characters even as he puts them through hell. And the artwork for the majority of the most recent monthly incarnation has been wonderfully created by Fran Bueno. I’d never seen his work before NOBLE CAUSES, but it connected with me immediately. Unfortunately, Fran is leaving the book… but Jay has found another great artist to fill his shoes, so the book will continue to look terrific.

Look– if you’re looking for something fun and interesting to read, and you’re a superhero fan, you just can’t go wrong with NOBLE CAUSES. I highly recommend it, and I’m constantly amazed (and disappointed) that it doesn’t get the sales and recognition it deserves. Check it out, folks….!

This is Entry 208.

Mike

A little too LIGHTNING LASS….?

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I was playing around with another design for a character that would tie into the sketch/concept from my last post– but she ended up being a little too much like LIGHTNING LASS from the LEGION OF SUPERHEROES. That’s what I get for just sketching without thinking. I didn’t even have a definitive character or concept in mind for her when I began drawing, other than the vague idea that she might tie into the team I’ve been thinking about. And so, I suppose my subconscious brought in more LEGION than I was intending. Serves me right for not having a plan. I like the drawing, regardless, so I thought I’d post it anyway. Maybe I’ll color it and submit it AS a redesign for LIGHTNING LASS to PROJECT ROOFTOP. PR was created by Dean Trippe and Chris Arrant. After the wildfire that was the BATGIRL meme from a couple of months back, they had the great idea to create a site where various artists could submit redesigns of established comic book characters. I think it’s a terrific idea, and Dean and Chris have both invited me to participate. I’ve been wanting to since they first contacted me about it– but time’s been very tight.

This sketch might be the spark (spark….. get it….? LIGHTNING LASS…? Spark….?) that helps me get something done for their site.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

This is Entry 207.

Mike

Wednesday quickie

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I’ve got a lot to do– so I’ll have to leave you with a quick post today. This is a sketch I worked up recently for an idea I’ve been playing with about a futuristic team of teenaged heroes. Kind of a LEGION OF SUPERHEROES riff….. but with lots of odd twists and differences. Like most of the ideas I come up with, I’ll probably never get around to doing anything with it…. but it’s fun to play with these ideas once in a while– to at least do the occasional sketch of the character/s. It’s a sad reality that I don’t have either the time nor the energy to produce all the different comic book ideas/stories I have rattling around in my head. Maybe one day I’ll try to work up some sort of anthology book of all the concepts I’ve been brewing over the years. Sort of a MIKE WIERINGO PRESENTS kind of thing. That way I could at least have a short story that features each of the characters and concepts I’d like to play with.

Hmmmmm…. the more I think about that idea, the more I like it……

This is Entry 207.

Mike