...being the blog of steve kirkendall egomaniac-about-town

27/02/09

Fri-llustrator-day – Four!

Batman Year 100 by Paul Pope

Today’s illustrator is the unspeakably talented Paul Pope. Writer, illustrator and according to a female comic fan I know, a very handsome devil. Creator of THB, 100% and Heavy Liquid, he’s influenced by some of my favourite comic artists like Toth, Kirby, Torres, Pratt and I believe, Milton Caniff.

I only discovered him in 2006 (I know, late again) and have collected his stuff ever since. He’d got a monograph out now and that’s well worth a look. And of course you should get the collected Batman Year 100 his sci-fi take on on the Dark fella for DC (see pic above).

Keep your eyes peeled for his two upcoming books ‘Battling Boy’ (also being developed as a movie) and ‘La Chica Bionica’.

Read Paul Pope’s blog here. Image © 2006-2009 DC Comics.

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20/02/09

Fri-llustrator-day – The Third

Portrait of Hal Drake by Seth

Today’s illustrator is the Canadian cartoonist Seth. I discovered his work on a cultural visit to Amsterdam with the Virgin Money Studio a couple of years ago. In between the galleries, museums and bars, Me, Rob and Davy spent a magical 3 hours in Lambiek, Europe’s oldest (best?) comic shop. And there on a book display in the middle of the floor was ‘Wimbledon Green, The Greatest Comic Book Collector In The World’.

I snapped it up at once. A lovely hard-backed book, it contains some beautiful retro brush-rendered drawings (I started inking with a brush and believe me, it’s a real craft). The drawings illustrate fabulously designed characters, taking you along a story that is as charming as it is hilarious. Seth is probably most famous for his ‘Palooka-Ville’ stories, but Wimbledon Green remains my favourite.

Above: Detail from a portrait of Hal Drake on page nine of ‘Wimbledon Green’ © 2005-2009 Seth.

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18/02/09

Body battered, bike bashed

Me as Batman with my head through a wheel

(Or How I Am Turning Self-Pity Into An Artform).

In a vain attempt to keep fit, I started to cycle the 5 miles to and from work last November. It’s a bit of a nightmare (convoluted route, remembering all my gear, finally stop sweating after 2 hours) but it’s a great thing to do. I don’t do it everyday, but I did get into a nice routine of 2/3 times a week.

Adding to the small fortune I have already spent on cycles and cycling equipment since then, I bought myself a new bike last month. Before this week, I had only ridden it once due the recent bad weather. As I am getting a bit lardy, I decided I would ride it this week as it was half term and the roads would be quieter. All was going well until last night, when I came off my bike, not once, but twice.

The first time, my front wheel slipped as I joined the pavement (that’s sidewalk to any American’s reading) followed by me hitting the tarmac (that’s pavement to any American’s reading). Shaken and angry, I got up and continued my journey. After about 2 minutes I noticed that the highly expensive and only-just-replaced halogen front light wasn’t working. Uttering dark anglo-saxonisms, I started fiddling with it while riding along then, BANG, I found myself on the ground again. As I was trying to sort my light, I didn’t notice that the people-carrier in front of me had stopped. And I had carried on and left a me-shaped dent in its back-door.

As luck would have it, a passing student cyclist helped me up and started to examine my bike and the driver got out and asked if I was OK. She was very sympathetic as her husband was a cyclist. I was a bit bashed up and had cut my right eye so the lady driver took me home after the student cyclist took my front wheel off and helped me put my bike into her car.

When we got back to mine (I’d rung ahead to let my family know) we gave the driver a cup of tea and I went off to shower. We all swapped details. Then she left to go to work and I went off to A+E (that’s ER to any American’s reading) getting home just in time to catch ‘Mad Men’.

This morning I felt like Batman after a hard night. I went to work and related my sorry tale (nearly all of the studio are cyclists) and I found a nice email from the student cyclist in my inbox. Then my wife rang to say the driver had called to see if I was OK. And apart from a dented ego, I am.

Moral: Don’t keep fit, keep fat.

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13/02/09

Fri-llustrator-day – part deux

Techno Tuesday strip by Andy Rementer

Today’s illustrator is Andy Rementer from Philadelphia, PA. I discovered him through Noisy Decent Graphics a few weeks ago. Like last weeks subject, Jochen Schievink, Mr. Rementer draws in a lovely naive style with wonderful hand-lettering.

Check out his other site, Techno Tuesday (see above), where he posts a weekly strip poking fun at geeks and geekery.

Fab gear, Mr. R!

PS. All images © 2009 Andy Rementer.

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06/02/09

Fri-llustrator-day – part one

Illustration by Jochen Schievink

Even though it’s bad form and really lazy to repeat content from another site, I feel I have to be lazy and follow bad form to mention this fab illustrator I saw on It’s Nice That.

Jochen Schievink has everything – fab drawings, fab colours, fab lettering. The last point being crucial as his work is almost all about hand lettered typography as it is about the drawings, which are beautiful, clean and icon-like (as the above excerpt from his 2008 1st Prize entry for the Fumetto Comix Festival proves). He has a designers eye for colour and composition like so and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was also a designer on the quiet. Or even on the loud. See more of Jochen Schievink’s great illustrations here.

Oh, and the title of this post is ’cos I thought it might be nice to start a fun Friday thing featuring an illustrator that I really like – I’m going to call it Fri-llustrator-day until I’m embarrassed into making up a better name for a it. Good weekend, y’all.

All images © 2009 Jochen Schievink.

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04/02/09

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Superbarrio!

Andy B send me this link to the World Superhero Registry – kapweeng!!

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03/02/09

The Brave and the Bold

Batman figure from 'The Brave And The Bold'

I forgot to mention another part of my comics-related goodies haul yesterday. It’s this BATMAN action figure from Cartoon Network’s ‘The Brave and the Bold’ animated series. I couldn’t resist it – the character design reminds me of the way Dick Sprang drew Batman in the 40’s and 50’s. Check out those fantastic eyebrows and that amazing chin!

Close up of Batman figure from 'The Brave And The Bold'

I have to shame-facedly admit that I havn’t seen this series, ’cause we don’t have Cartoon Network on our telly, but if you’re interested, there’s a sample to watch on the US Cartoon Network site. And what a great theme tune!

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02/02/09

To boldly go...

Spock and Kirk from 'Star Trek' Comics published by Gold Key

Part of my haul of comics goodies this weekend included two volumes of the collected reprints of the ‘STAR TREK’ comics published by Gold Key. Published a year after the original series started (but ending in 1979, the year the first movie was released) it features the adventures of the original, classic crew of Kirk, Spock, McCoy et al.

I used to have a Gold Key ‘STAR TREK’ comics annual that I found on a dump and I brought it home because I loved the drawings – although unfortunately, I had to throw it out after a while as it made my bedroom stink. I was always sad that I had to let it go, so when I saw these volumes I just couldn’t resist. Illustrated by Nevio Zaccara and Alberto Giolitti and written by a variety of writers (including Len Wein) these comics went to parts of the galaxy more boldly and far-flung than the series ever did. Re-reading them over the weekend, I was again enchanted by the illustrations and also had a few laughs at the slightly incorrect details. For example, characters’ jerseys were often the wrong colour (even changing from the cover to the inside), the ranking on sleeves was never quite drawn properly and landing parties carried rucksacks and water bottles like 20th century soldiers – see pic below – even phasers were in holsters instead on being stuck on the hip!

Panel from 'Star Trek' Comics published by Gold Key

Another interesting thing I noticed was that they were borrowing designs from ’2001: A Space Odyssey’ for things such as space stations, like so:-

USS Enteprise from 'Star Trek' Comics published by Gold Key

However, if you ever come across these comics, collected or otherwise, I recommend you buy them.

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