This Post was lovingly updated on July 19 2013 and contains a massive “How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way” tutorial at the end of the post! Enjoy True Believers!
Transmission Date: Nov. 13 2012
If you were a fan of comics at any point during Your childhood chances are you took a crack at drawing your own comic book. I was no different. I would pencil through large sketchbooks in a couple of days drawing the heroic adventures of the characters that inhabited my own personal universe. Pad after pad was consumed with rough to to three panel drawings of what I thought at the time was work far superior to any of the big twos efforts. I didnt need and editor or a damn comics code authority, In my Universe there were no rules and I was publishing (To an audience of one..me!) the best comics out there an was just waiting to be discovered by Marvel or DC comics. In my mind my heroes were the strongest super powered beings with the coolest costumes. What were DC and Marvel waiting on knowing that my talents were hidden in a three dollar newspaper paper bound sketch pad you might find today in a Dollar store for a buck. Looking at my work now I can see why the call from DC and Marvel never came but being a kid from the years of 8-14 I probably didnt know any better. This was my world and I was its Stan Lee. “With Great Power Comes Great Comics!” As with any good artist you have your inspirations.
Art spoke to me as a comics child, and it is what would be the deal breaker between a good comic or a bad one. If the art sucked then the book sucked. It would not matter that the writer was an Alan Moore type, if the art was bad then Alan Moore sucked too! My influences as a kid were the usual suspects. In the early 80s it was John Romita Sr., John Byrne, Frank Miller, Jack Kriby,Jim Aparo, Steve Ditko, and even Mark Texieria and Keith Giffen. As the times changed and we got to the 90s you would be a liar if you said you were not influenced by Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen, and Jim Lee. These guys were my comic book heroes. They just didnt draw comics they made them leap off the page with an intensity and exciting style that lived in that world for the some 30 pages in front of you.
My comic book tastes were all over the place. I bought what ever I could which was not a lot considering my comic book store was more or less a pharmacy or a Convenience Store with a spinner rack or two. Two stores really catered to me though and actually got all of the titles from the big two and even great runs of indy companies like Comico, First, NOW, and Malibu. I had my core books. Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Legion Of Superheroes, GI Joe, Transformers, Star Wars. Indy books like Grendel, Robotech, Justice Machine, X-Mutants, and The Elementals. Later down the road in the latter years of my collecting twilight it would be prominently Valiant and Image books like Savage Dragon, Spawn, YoungBlood Harbinger, Bloodshot and Magnus Robot Fighter.
I had a nice collection of comic books, at the time the biggest collection in my community. I had a fabled 7000 book collection that contained several rare gems. The Amazing Spiderman #129, The first Punisher appearance, Hulk #180, First Wolverine (Cameo), several old Gold key books, and early numbered issues of Spiderman, Batman, X-Men and Superman. I was a comic book fan and proud of it. I proudly wore my Joker T-shirt to school. I carried my Batman school book bag, my Star Wars lunch tin, hell I was Big Bang before Big bang was cool.
So I was surrounded with Comics and I loved to draw them as well. My closet was filled with sketchbooks full of my favorite artistic creations, I had created a Universe all to myself that I later dubbed the “RIVAL” Universe. Almost on a daily basis I would grab a stack of my favorite comics and get my pencil and let loose my creative juices.
The basis of all my creations was a character named Mudslinger, which is best described as a military Ironman/Halo type. No real superpowers, but was the pilot of the best war machines and vehicles that I could design. A sharpshooter whos preference was using a series of hand guns, mostly UZIs cause I could draw them pretty good. He was the head of a yet to be named government secret military that specialized in taking down super powered threats. In a weird twist GI Joe actually a release a mail in action figure that the name escapes me that was a full helmeted character which was an EXACT clone of Mudslinger. I was stunned. I will include the pic of the ad if I can find it for this blog.
PowerMan. Not the most original character name I will admit. This was one of my most ridiculous creations that looking at it today was a mix of Doctor Strange, Wonder Man , and Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees. Powerman didnt age well as the sides of his disco hair do were greyed like Reed Richards. He was my Mystical superhero. It was never delved into how or why Powerman had received his powers but he could emit huge circles and blasts of power from his two hands. Power so intense he wore sun glasses day and night to protect his vision. Okay he wore them cause I thought sunglasses made all heroes look cool. Powermans main nemesis was a sadistic killer who wore a large african tribal mask named..ready for this..HELLMASK! Powerman debuted in a 4 issue limited series. As a fan of Marvels 1980s limited series I did the covers to these books all in this concept. Issue 4 showed the unmasked Hellmask which turned out to be…some burned up dude. Powerman went on to join various Super Groups after that.
MEGA MAN/MECHAMAN Hollywood movie Star David Drake is made a Superhero celebrity when he is filming a big budget superhero flick called “Mega Man”. Drake in full Mega Man costume uses his high powered rocket pack to foil a jewelry heist while in the mean time a huge superbad guy ravages his way through a city. Who can stop him? Well all the citizens beg for Mega Man to come to the rescue. David wages a war with himself hating the celebrity he has become returns home to his small town where he is inspired by his mother to go after this crazy Superhero dream and go stop the threat to the city. The Bad Guy who remained unnamed in the issue was a complete rip off of Man Mountain Marko from Amazing Spiderman. The last page of issue is a swipe of Amazing Spiderman #73 and is to be continued. This comic was actually a high school final art project which I will say earned me an A plus off the back of John Byrne and John Romita Sr. Thanks guys. Mega Man of course was also the name of a popular 80s Nintendo game of the same name. So sadly Mega Man became Mecha Man and went on to join several superhero teams in my universe.
Of Note as well would be MaddHouse which was the Punisher of my Universe…literally the Punisher. MaddHouse was a shameless Punisher rip off with long hair and balding forehead and a lighting bolt tattoo! He even wore the exact Punisher suit except his skull shirt had cross bones behind them to ward off comparison. He was the ultimate shade of grey, he was a tweener who could not be trusted and was inspired by The Joker, The Mark Texieria Punisher and Micheal Ironside (Actor). Maddhouse appeared all over my comic books and crossed over with every character I ever made. His background was simple he was a disturbed war vet who had become a concern to society and was tortured by acts he committed as a soldier. He was locked up in an asylum which he easily escaped to the underground waging a one man war against those who MaddHouse decides needs to be eliminated. I was building my own Legion Of Superheroes and I loved it!
My main characters often interacted with heroes from DC and Marvel. Batman, Superman, Vibe (I know..I know), Spiderman, Cable and Wolverine all made cameos. Batman actually left the Outsiders to join my own SuperTeam THE NEW OUTSIDERS. Nobody laugh please. Batman would be joined by Blue Devil , Mudslinger, Mega Man and PowerMan and a few others who rotated in and out of the roster to battle the evils of my Universe. Lex Luthor, The Joker, and Darkseid all were vanquished by the New Outsiders. Years later looking back I wished I had never given up on my artwork even if it was for my own enjoyment. Like Jason Todd (DCs infamous 2nd Robin) however all my creations were locked away in a box and for all intents and purposes were dead..
As I got older my drawing got less and less frequent until eventually my universe was put away once and for all in a big box of my art work in my basement. On my bucket list is to one day just do my own self published comic book with my own characters, but for now and for the purposes of this blog my Universe remains locked away. One day my friends I will bring you all back to the page for one more mission. So who ever you are, and if you are in trouble, if you can find them then you can call.. The New Outsiders.
This entry is dedicated to any comic book fan who has ever dreamed to be a comic book artist or creator.
Update: July 18 2013: Well all repairs are going well on the SuperHero Satellite after a major hiccup with the images in WordPress. Apologies to the folks who faithfully visit this blog but it has been a real task redoing all the posts however as part of the fun I get to update some of my favorites ..like this one!! Enjoy these extras not included in the original entry!!
My favorite comic book drawing aid as a kid was this book! I have studied it for hours and just love it..so as an extra.for those next gen comic book fans enjoy these next tutorials!