“…The Cool Exec with a Heart of Steel.”

This time out, it’s the invincible Iron Man! Thanks to the recent movies, now even more people know Tony Stark’s alter ego. Obviously I’m not doing the movie version here. Instead, this is the outfit that first comes to mind for me when someone says the phrase “classic Iron Man armor” (though I realize others may think of different suits).

I can’t claim to have followed Iron Man regularly as a kid, but there were still some very cool images and storylines I caught back then that stayed with me (such as his epic battle with the giant Titanium Man!). And as far as wish-fulfillment goes, Iron Man’s a pretty cool idea: having the smarts and money to invent an armored suit which enables you to fly, gives you great strength as well as many other kinds of cool abilities and weapons. And he even made his first suit out of spare parts, right under the noses of his captors while being held hostage!

This drawing was a big experiment for me. I elected to make myself do it 100% digitally, finally give myself a project to do using my Manga Studio EX software. It just seemed the appropriate thing to do, with such a high-tech character.

Working all-digitally is a different experience. While I’m very comfortable with most other aspects of generating my art using my computer, the initial drawing is a different matter. It feels very weird to start a drawing without first picking up a pencil and a piece of paper. Almost like I can’t quite fully think or visualize clearly without those items. The feeling’s a bit like those old dreams where you’d go to school and have this nagging sensation you forgot something, only to look down and see you left your pants at home! This will take further work. But regardless, I don’t think I’ll ever want to entirely give up my pencil and paper!

This one’s for Frank, A.K.A. Iron Man Fan #1. Hope I did justice to your favorite!

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