Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Captain Amegatonman and Bucky Barrage: A Recent Commission

A recent commission request from Mark Martin's personal art dealer and consigliore Michael Beaver, who informs me that he collects sketches of old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artists who had work published by Mirage Studios back in the 1980s (which I somehow qualify as, although it was so long ago I forget exactly how!). His theme: Captain America! So Michael has compiled a sketchbook of various turtle artists drawing the red, white and blue Avenger. No problem! So the sketchbook arrived last week by armored car, and this is what I drew:

Here is the double-paged extravaganza I produced, with Stella Starlight (The See-Thru Girl as Cap) and Megaton Man as Bucky. I thought the white leggings on Stella balanced the arms (I never understood why Cap had white arms), and she is blond like Steve Rogers, so it made a certain amount of sense. Changing Megaton Man's cowl to white is a choice I'm less certain about, but I thought it would get lost in all that blue otherwise. I should have made Bucky's buttons more like those on Meg's cape!

I suppose Captain America is one of my favorite characters (although he is so iconic I tend to think of him more like Santa Claus or Uncle Sam, and hence, not a "character" at all in that sense), if only because three of his more important artists - Jack Kirby, John Romita, and Jim Steranko - were so utterly influential for me.

Mike also enclosed a couple of items to be autographed: the first collection of Megaton Man #1-4 from Kitchen Sink Press (1990), and Shell Shock, an anthology of TMNT by Mirage (1989), which features the first appearance of Bizarre Hero Pteranoman (the entire story appears here). So I had to add appropriate sketches.

Here is the pencil sketch of Stella I drew on the largely-blank dedication page of the Megaton Man Kitchen Sink collection. In the past such things would escape (as far as I was concerned), never to be seen again, but today it is easy to snap a photo as documentation, so why not? Now, instead of a personal experience for Michael, I can ruin it by posting it on the Internet!

Here is the ballpoint pen sketch of Pteranoman that I drew on the Shell Shock table of contents page (the title page was already filled with autographs from contributors to the anthology). My contribution, "Teen Techno Turtle Trio," was the first appearance of what Michael aptly describes as "the Paleo Dark Knight."
My thanks to Michael Beaver for letting me a part of his personal Sentinel of Liberty on a Half-Shell menagerie, and for allowing me to reproduce the above images!

Please note: I have done a number of commissions in bound sketchbooks as comic book conventions over the years, where fans will leave their treasured books with me in artist's alley and pick them up later (this is fraught enough, if only because in the melee of conventions it is sometime difficult to locate these fans later, especially in the closing hours of an event). When working remotely, at home, as I do in the case of Internet requests, I prefer to draw commissions on loose, quality paper stock of my choice, not bound sketchbooks that already have numerous and irreplaceable masterpieces by famous artists already contained therein, if only because of the enormous emotional strain of drawing under such nerve-wracking conditions! I only undertook this commission because Michael had armed guards standing over me the whole time to make sure I did not drip ink on any of the other sketchbook pages!

Please note further that if your commission request involves a bound sketchbook, it will entail additional surcharges just for insurance and catering the armed guards!! Thanks for understanding.

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