Saturday, August 25, 2007

Make Mine M.O.D.O.K.!

It has begun!

I've sketched out 30 of these little bastards, now I have to ink them and send them off to Upper Deck, who will then randomly pack them in with their 'Marvel Masterpieces' collector sets. They've got some great artists contributing original art sketches. Guys like Travis Charest, Eric Canete, Chris Bachalo, Andrew Robinson, and Ryan Ottley just to name a few! How I wormed my way onto that talented list, I'll never know! I was just going to do little head sketches (do you know how hard it is to draw on a tiny trading card? I'm used to working 10"x15"!), but Eric has set the bar so high, that I'm going to try to step it up and do full body shots! Damn you Eric! You are way too good! He packs enough energy and detail into every card, it looks like a full sized cover shrunk down!

Everyone seems to be doing the mandatory Spider-Man, Wolverine, etc. sketch cards. So I'm going old school with characters like M.O.D.O.K., Blackbolt, Man-Thing, The Destroyer and all the off-beat characters that I love but no one remembers! Remember The Human Fly? That's right, you heard me, The Human Fly AKA The Greatest Superhero in the World.

I only wish Marvel still had the licenses for ROM and The Micronauts! Damn!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Elvis Has Left The Building...

30 years ago today, on August 16, 1977, Elvis Aaron Presley died. He was many things to many people. "Who built the pyramids? Elvis! Who built Stonehenge? Elvis!" Mojo Nixon understood, in his classic song Elvis is Everywhere.

A few of my favorite verses from that song:

When I look out into your eyes out there,
When I look out into your faces,
You know what I see?
I see a little bit of Elvis
In each and every one of you out there.

Lemme tell ya...

Elvis is everywhere
Elvis is everything
Elvis is everybody
Elvis is still the king

Man o man
What I want you to see
Is that the big E's
Inside of you and me!

Soon all will become Elvis.
Everything everywhere will be Elvis.
Why do you think they call it evolution anyway?
It's really Elvislution!

Long live the Elvislution!

Loss of Inspiration

I woke up Monday morning to stumble into my studio with a cup of coffee and answer emails while waking up. The first one was from Tim Townsend, and it carried the report from Newsarama: "The comics industry lost a luminary this weekend - Mike Wieringo passed away Sunday of a sudden heart attack. Details are still sketchy as of this time, but according to close sources, the acclaimed artist had chest pains at some point during the day and called 911, but the responders did not make it in time." I was stunned. Unbelievable. It felt wrong somehow, like I was still half asleep or hadn't read the news correctly. He was only 44.

I had only known Mike through emails and conventions, but he was an inspiration to all of us in comics and the kindest person to talk to. His personality shown through in his art; innocent and playful, dynamic and heroic, passionate and stylized in such a way as to make it all look effortless. So much so, he posted a sketch a day on his blog. A sketch a day! He inspired me to do the same. I lasted maybe three days. He loved what he did, and it showed through in everything that he did. His drawing looked fun.

I was lucky enough to ink him on one occasion, on this Batman and Robin commission. I don't really have time to ink comics much any more, but when I was asked "wanna ink Ringo?" I jumped. Of course I did! And I'm glad I did. I got the chance to touch a piece of his art, one page in a huge body of work that has touched us all. Thanks Mike. You were one of the best.

Someone once said of Mike, "he draws like we all wish we could draw." That sums it up perfectly for me. The only consolation is the work he left behind. It's bound to continue to inspire artists and amaze children for generations to come.