Tag Archives: Jack Kirby

Doc Bruce Banner, Belted by Gamma Rays…”

I was talk­ing with a good friend recent­ly, and he raised a ques­tion. “How come you aren’t draw­ing more of those clas­sic Mar­vel or DC char­ac­ters for your site? You real­ly should be doing more of that stuff.” I had to think about that. There’s real­ly no good rea­son why I haven’t, because I do love that mate­r­i­al. Maybe it’s just one of those things where you’re so close to it, you can’t see it. Or maybe it’s because there are just so many oth­er things I also want to do. Any­way, this post is an attempt to start rec­ti­fy­ing the situation.

It seemed like it might be fun to take a shot at the Hulk. Sur­pris­ing­ly, I haven’t real­ly drawn him all that often. Hulk’s been around awhile. He’s achieved that rar­efied stra­ta of comics char­ac­ters where even many non-comics-read­ers know who he is (thanks to the recent movies, the TV show, and even the Hulk episodes of the “Mar­vel Super Heroes” car­toons back in the ’60s).

There’ve been a num­ber of takes on the Hulk over the years, but if you’ve vis­it­ed my site much, it prob­a­bly won’t sur­prise you to find out that I grav­i­tate towards the ear­ly ver­sion of the char­ac­ter, as visu­al­ized by Jack Kir­by. There’s just some­thing very fun and pri­mal about that Hulk. He felt more like a wild card, unpre­dictable and mon­strous (appro­pri­ate, giv­en all the mon­ster comics Mar­vel was pub­lish­ing not too long before). I thought I’d try to cap­ture some of that ear­ly wild­ness, with­out nec­es­sar­i­ly com­plete­ly aping Kir­by. While it can be a lot of fun to do that, it seemed like a good idea to try to keep a lit­tle more of myself in there this time.

A big thanks to my friend Mark for sug­gest­ing I expand my horizons!

Before “Before Watchmen”

The image I’m post­ing this time is not a new one (it’s already over in the Gal­leries side of my site), but I’ve had some friends make the case that with DC Comics doing all their “Before Watch­men” books right now, it’s a good time to call atten­tion to it anew here on the front page.

There’s a sto­ry behind this piece. A friend of mine in the ani­ma­tion field, Lance Falk, has these sketch­books he pass­es around. They have art by some amaz­ing artists. Chances are if you can think of some big name artist, Lance very like­ly has art by him or her in one of his books. Way back when we were work­ing on “The Real Adven­tures of Jon­ny Quest” togeth­er, Lance asked if I’d be will­ing to do a sketch for his then-cur­rent book. It’s both huge­ly flat­ter­ing and daunt­ing, once you see the lev­el of work oth­ers have done.

Lance sug­gest­ed he might like to see the Watch­men done as if Kir­by had drawn them. I wound up mak­ing a whole cov­er pro­duc­tion out of it, as if it were done in the mid-’60s. Lance was very hap­py with the end result, and I was huge­ly relieved that it was well-received.

Fast for­ward some months lat­er (maybe even a year), and I find out that this sketch­book had been cir­cu­lat­ing fur­ther. It had crossed orig­i­nal Watch­men artist and co-cre­ator Dave Gib­bons’ path in Lon­don. When I first heard he’d seen the book with my draw­ing in it, I must admit I was tak­en aback. But Lance assured me that Mr. Gib­bons actu­al­ly got a big kick out of what I’d done. Once again, I was huge­ly relieved.

Fast for­ward to more recent times, and the pub­li­ca­tion of Mr. Gib­bons’ book, Watch­ing the Watch­men, which com­piled all kinds of back­ground mate­r­i­al on that piv­otal work. He appar­ent­ly liked this Kir­by Watch­men cov­er well enough, he asked me if I’d mind his includ­ing it in the book. What do you think I said? 🙂

Thanks much, Lance and Mr. Gibbons!

The Ultimate Comic Strip

I see this mon­th’s zip­ping by, and as busy as I am, I’m just not at a point where I can post any­thing cur­rent and new yet. So instead of that, here’s some­thing old that might be of interest.

This was done while I attend­ed Art Cen­ter in Pasade­na, back in the ear­ly ’90s. Some of the specifics are lost to time now, but I had an illus­tra­tion class at the time, and for our final, we were to do a self-por­trait. The para­me­ters of the assign­ment and how you could inter­pret it were wide open.

I was­n’t sure what to do, how to approach it, and was wrack­ing my brains. Until one of my friends in the class made the off­hand com­ment, “Oh, you’ll just do yours as a com­ic, right?” It was one of those fore­head-slap­ping moments. I was too close to it to see the solu­tion myself, though it was the obvi­ous way to go in the eyes of my friends in the class who knew my inter­est in comics.

And this was the result. Though I think I draw a bit bet­ter now (I did this twen­ty years ago now?! Yeesh!), I still kind of like this. I think most artists can relate, at some point or anoth­er. Any­way, enjoy! I hope to have some new cur­rent work to post next time.