Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Gimme One With Everything"

I've done a lot of work for Wizard magazine and their related publications like ToyFare and the no-longer published Inquest Gamer. Mostly goofy editorial stuff with nerdy geeky pop culture icons like superheroes, sci-fi movie stars, cartoon characters, etc. - the most popular of which were all the feature article illustrations I did with dozens of characters interacting together in one scene. The Wizard staff always referred to them as "Where's Waldo" pieces. I always called them "just draw everything" assignments.

Click on any of the images for a super-sized version and please do not use any of this artwork without permission.

This was the first one I did  "The 80's Strike Back!" and I think one of my first pieces for Wizard ever as well. I'm not sure why they asked me to do it as I had NOTHING like it in my portfolio at the time (I maybe think the original artist they had lined up either dropped out or wanted more money or was too busy). I was given a typed list of characters, asked to place them in a club/disco setting interacting with each other, but otherwise to "go nuts", which is the best thing you can hear when doing work-for-hire art. I wrote about this piece in an earlier blog post.

"Adult Swim Pool Party" About once a week some know-it-all 13 year old posts a comment on my Deviantart account about how dumb I was for not including or any other number of characters in this piece. This was for ToyFare and the article was about all the Adult Swim action figures that had been made at that point in time, which is why there are "only" 40 or so figures in the picture, and not every character from every show ever. I love the Venture Brothers and Home Movies too, but there aren't any toys of them (at least when I drew it) , so they aren't in the picture. Dear 13 year olds: art cannot travel through time. Sheesh!

"Where's Guy Gardner?" I'm not a big Green Lantern fan, but this one was fun, filling it up with all the well know Green Lanterns, homages, and green themed characters I could think of. Oh, and in case you're wondering, Guy is hidden on the far left, halfway down, behind Kilowog's hand. You're welcome.

"Banshee's Wake". Banshee is a somewhat obscure Irish member of the X-Men who was killed as part of a big storyline and Wizard commemorated the occasion by commissioning a drawing of Irish comic characters and real-life characters like U2, Oscar Wilde, attending his funeral. Yes, I know Groundskeeper Willie is Scottish, not Irish, which is why he's getting kicked out. And no, I don't know why Power Man is there - maybe the original Power Man was Irish? Do we Irish have a rep for being racist or something? I don't get it really, but the editors insisted he be included, so there it is.

A whole mess of dead comic characters sprinkled with real-life famous dead people. Tried a different approach to the layout of this one, which I didn't think was very successful. Since the time of drawing this I think at least half of the characters have come back to life in one way or another. The editors wanted Johnny Cash and Ray Charles as the stage band, but screw that, gimme The Ramones! The bar is modeled loosely after Southpaw, a music club in my neighborhood.

"The Geek 100" I didn't quite understand what the focus of this article was - I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be about Easter Eggs, or just cool moments or what - it was like it had A.D.D.

Black vs Black. Oh boy - this one had the potential to get me in a LOT of trouble, but people really dug it. The characters of Black Panther and Black Adam both got married at the same time, in Marvel and DC comics, respectively, in essence "a double booked Black wedding", which character with Black in their name was invited to: Black Manta, Black Lightning, Jack Black, Men in Black, etc and of course Black Sabbath as the house band.

"Greatest TV Cartoon Characters of All Time" This one is my favorite, and I think the most successful by far, but ugh - that Mighty Mouse still bugs me, he just doesn't look right. I just assumed Homer would be #1 and took it from there. The composition is based on Gustav Dore's famous etching of Moses with the 10 commandments tablets. For the most part I agreed with the editor's choices, but for record, I didn't want to put Anakin Skywalker in - that was an editorial choice, and in my first sketch Samurai jack was in his place (who I ended up putting in the background anyways). The 2-D Clone Wars is a great work of animation, but I just think all Star Wars post-Return of the Jedi has been a epic train wreck of awfulness, plus the cartoon had only been on for a few months so I thought it didn't yet deserve a place amongst the greats. I was also told to cut the girl Wonder Twin, but keep the guy, which was odd (at least I didn't have to draw that stupid monkey). I can't stand Scooby Doo, but I won't argue he doesn't have a place here, so I just drew him very small.

"The Limbo Lounge". Another Dead Super Characters piece. This would be a pattern. This was a rush job - wish I could have spent more time on the background.

"Hot For Teacher" This article was about teaching the rules of the most popular CCG games at the time: Magic the Gathering primarily.

"Super Hero Movie Trivia" Opening illustration for a trivia quiz about Superhero movies and tv shows. Celebrity likenesses aren't really one of my strengths, but I'm proud of the way this came out.

"Know Your Ninjas" Famous ninja characters from TV, movies, video games and comics. I forget what the article was about exactly.

"Stilt Man's Funeral" Stilt Man is a D-list Marvel super villain so his funeral was attended by all the D-list super villains I could think of. Note murderous vigilante The Punisher running into the room drooling like it's a steak dinner with all the trimmings. There's a step-by-step tutorial of this somewhere else on the blog.

"Beach Party" Another article about toys, this one on action figures based on animated cartoons.

Jeez, only 14 pieces? I feel like I did way more than that, maybe some will turn up in the future.

EDIT October 28, 2009: Found another one, for Star Trek. Sorry about the text on it, it's the only version I've got:

Expect more posts like this soon - I'm overhauling my online portfolio and will be archiving a lot of my older artwork here on the blog. Oh, and again, please do not use any of this artwork without permission - I worked really hard on it and I'm just posting it here in great detail for people to look at and enjoy, not so you to turn it into t-shirts or whatever. Of course you already knew you weren't supposed to use ANYONES artwork without permission - but a friendly reminder never hurts, right? Thanks.

1 comment:

Dhriccardo said...

I picked up the Guy Gardner print in Charlotte this weekend. It's great!