Saturday, September 2, 2017

Original Comic Art Wish List

Just starting to get into collecting original comic art. I have some pretty cool pieces that I love and cherish but the pages below are the cream of the crop for me. No, I don't want all of them... that's just greedy and plus there's no way I could display them all. I just want one or two to be able to hang up in my office for inspiration and as a reminder of my childhood.



If you happen to know where I can go to purchase any of these please let me know. Thanks!



Uncanny X-Men #258 Page 18
This page is my favorite from Jim Lee's run on the Uncanny X-Men. It features my two favorite characters going toe to toe but it also captures more about Psylocke in a single page than other writers are able to capture in an entire run. It has everything... Psylocke's own description of her power. Her ability to defeat you with her mind but actually preferring to go hand to hand. In the first panel you've got Wolverine standing over Psylocke with his claws out ready to go to work and the page finishes with Psylocke victorious using her psy-blade to finish him off with the words "I make you forever mine." Simply marvelous!


X-Men #1 Cover B


This cover means the world to me. The gatefold is cool but it was this particular cover that opened the door for me to comic books and reading. I've written a mockumentary all about my young self and this issue right here.



X-Men #2 Page 8
So, I've already gone over my favorite Uncanny X-Men page from Jim Lee's run but this would have to be my favorite from his adjectiveless X-Men run. This page has the best looking shot of Psylocke using her psy-blade ever. If you can think of a better instance then I'd love for you to share it with me. It doesn't stop there though... she's using the blade on the greatest X-Men villain of all time. The page also features a nice shot of Rogue as well as another awesome shot of Psylocke priming her power for use. Just spectacular all around!



X-Men #7 Page 12
It's no secret by now that I am a huge Psylocke and Jim Lee fan and the first panel of this page is one of the best drawn images of Psylocke by any artist to date. The panels below are just absurd to me though. Here she is primed and ready to take on the big bad Omega Red and then a mere two panels later she's chopped in the back of the head and knocked unconscious by some regular dude. **Insert "C'MON MAN" meme here***


X-Men Annual #1 Cover


The other X-Men cover on this list holds a lot of sentimental value to me but this one is superior in every single way. If I had to choose between one or the other then it would be this one. Favorite artist and favorite team. Every character in a dynamic pose. #Grail!!


Amazing Spider-Man #1 Hip-Hop Variant

I don't know if I love art, comics, or Hip-Hop more but with this cover I don't even have to decide. An homage to A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders album which is one of the best albums of all time. Plus there's a ton of Spidey's best friends right there in the shot... Silk, Shocker, Black Cat, and James Jonah James just to name a few. Gotta love it.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Super Soul Bros.

If there's one thing I love in this world it's video game music. So imagine the excitement I felt as I'm walking through the halls of E3 and hear a live band playing some classic tunes from the old Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis days. Not just any old band... no, this band was the Super Soul Bros.


After being treated to sounds from Earthbound and Sonic The Hedgehog the band took a quick break and talked to a few members of the audience. I made my way to the pianist and asked if I could share some videos that I recorded and he was more than happy to oblige. After a couple of follow up emails the band is also allowing me to use their music on a few upcoming art videos. Sweet!

Here's a little taste of their musical skills in the form of Chrono's Theme. Enjoy!


Be sure to check out their website to hear more of their hits and to purchase some tracks.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Top 10 Overwatch Memes

The game of this generation is quickly approaching its one year anniversary so what better way to celebrate than to gather the very best memes all in one place. Right? Let's go!

[10] I'm a sucker for Deez Nuts jokes so let me just get this one out of the way.



[9] Welp, time to move...



[8] We've all been guilty of this from time to time.


[7] Let's see you get past this. *TRIGGERED*


[6] This! Especially when you're on one of those bad teams.





[5] Another one of those moments when it's time to go...


[4] When you get hit with "HAMMER DOWN!"


[3] LOL! So accurate.


[2] Never give up hope...



[1] And of course...

But wait... there's more. Don't think I forgot about all you Hanzo Mains out there...




Sunday, April 9, 2017

Greatest Spider-Man Artist of All Time

Who is the best Spider-Man artist of all time?

Let's get this out of the way really quick... it's not Todd McFarlane. I love and appreciate Todd's work but as far as Spider-Man goes, he really did not capture the essence of "Your Friendly Neighbordhood Spider-Man."



Todd's Spider-Man had webs and spiders everywhere with a mean menacing look. Looks cool for a pin-up but if this was your introduction to Spider-Man then you probably didn't get a true sense of just who the character really is.


So what exactly should Spider-Man look like? Well, Spider-Man usually has an upbeat personality. He isn't always the happiest to do his job but he realizes just how important his role is due to his tragic origin story. "With great power comes great responsibility." There's also a great deal of keeping up with day to day tasks that Peter struggles to come to terms with. Most importantly, Spidey is one of the greatest trash talkers in comics.

Does this sound like a character who should be creeping out of the shadows or hunkering down on you like a savage monster? Alright, enough harping on how Todd got Spidey wrong. Let's shift our focus towards those who got him right.



First up is legendary artist Steve Ditko. He's the guy who created Peter Parker alongside Stan "The Man" Lee. Of course he gets a nod. How can anybody have a better sense of a character over the creator? Just look at that cover. After all this time it stands up as one of the most iconic covers ever created. What words spring to mind when you see it? Responsible, free, wild, daring... all in one package. THIS is Spider-Man.


Somebody actually did come along to draw good ol' web-head better shortly after Ditko left Marvel and that would be none other than famed artist John Romita Sr. When you picture Spider-Man, you'll most likely conjure up an image drawn by this fantastic artist.



As much as I love Romita, he always drew Spider-Man a bit too bulky for my taste so I can't really give him the crown. Many may disagree but I feel Spidey should be lean as he zips through the city not looking like he's been hitting the gym with Batman.

Through the years several spectacular artists came along to draw Spidey rivaling the two celebrated artists mentioned above.


 Joe Quesada

 Humberto Ramos

 Rick Leonardi

 Olivier Coipel

Mark Bagley


Joe Madureira

All of these gentlemen are deserving of their own praise but as far as the BEST Spider-Man artist of all time... there can only be one in my mind and his name is Mr. Erik Larsen...



Let's take a look at Erik's art and note just what he does to give Spider-Man the energy, sizzle, and pop that he deserves. The image above is one of the best ever at capturing exactly who Spider-Man is. You can feel the power from Spidey's fist that knocks the Vulture back as he glides through the splash page to deliver a swift kick to Electro. Erik also wrote the issue so you can observe just how methodical Spidey is while giving the classic one liners all at once. All of this in one single panel! I challenge you to find anything close to the genius exploding from this page.

Oh, but one single page doesn't make you the greatest Spider-Man artist of all time. A picture is worth a thousand words and my words can never do Erik's art justice so I'll leave you with thousands upon thousands of words below...


  
  
  
  

Think I'm wrong? Let me know who you think the greatest Spider-Man artist of all time is in the comments below...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Why Comic Books Are Important

Meet Victor, a typical nerdy 10 year old kid who loves drawing, video games and sports. Sounds like everything is all good in the hood... except for one huge problem... Victor HATES to read.

Here is an exclusive photo of scrawny Victor (left) flexing his bones with Magneto and his good buddy Kenny at his second Comic-Con... oh yeah, and there's a not quite so agile Spider-Man falling over in the corner:



Did I mention that Victor hates to read? That's going to be key later on. Alright alright... just making sure.

In Victor's fragile young mind the X-Men look like this:



A highly 70s/80s influenced group of characters thrown together to kick major tail. *YAWN* This may have been the pinnacle of the X-Men for many but not for the new Gen-Xer kids of the 90s like Victor. Oh no...

So, imagine Victor's surprise when he walks into a comic book store perusing for art references and he stumbles across this gem:



Victor thinks to himself "X-Men #1? Aren't they approaching issue 300? I'm familiar with Colossus but who's this guy with a stick? Most importantly, who is that ninja babe on the bottom right? Hubba hubba!"

Remember, Victor is a 10 year old kid who grew up in the 80s so terms like "hubba hubba" and "babe" were spreading around the schoolyard like wildfire.

Victor flips through a few of the pages and sees this epic shot:



"Wait wait wait... Did she just ninja kick the helmet off of Magneto? *GASP* TOTALLY AWESOME!!"

Sidenote: Victor was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the time. Give him a little bit of credit. At least he didn't exclaim "COWABUNGA, DUDE!" Also, observe the lack of vocabulary in Victor's statement due to his disdain of reading.

"I must learn more about this ninja chick," Victor thinks to himself.

Annoying several comic book connoisseurs throughout the shop, Victor begins to haggle his mother "Mom mom mom mom mom... can I buy this comic?... please... mom mom... I'll do anything... dishes... clean my room... laundry... you name it... mom... pleeeeease..."

Victor's mom smirks and begrudgingly agrees to buy the greatest comic book of all time for him.

Sadly, Victor never did those chores he promised his mother. Shame on him. He did however go on to read his comic book and several others on a journey to find out as much as he could about his new favorite team the X-Men and that one ninja babe. On that journey Victor discovered the joy and wonder that can only be unlocked through the power of reading...

All thanks to a single comic book...



Friday, April 7, 2017

5 reasons WonderCon is better than San Diego Comic-Con

WonderCon is my favorite comic book convention. Yes... even greater than San Diego Comic-Con International. You may be wondering how a Con that is half the size and that offers less talent than SDCC be considered better. Let's find out, shall we?



Cosplay

The number of people dressed up in cosplay may be greater at SDCC but the cosplayers at WonderCon all tend to gather in one central location making it easier to check out and take pictures. You're also much more likely to bump into your favorite cosplayer at WonderCon than you would at SDCC due to the epic gatherings. Check out some of the shots I took during the show right here.



Panels

Is there a panel that you're dying to see? At SDCC there will be thousands of other people that want to see the same panel so you'll most likely have to line up and wait far in advance just to have a chance to get in. This limits your time spent doing other cool things drastically. At WonderCon you can usually waltz right in just as a panel begins.



Exhibit Hall

Imagine a place that is so jam packed that you have to pause every few steps or bump into people at every intersection... now picture being able to walk from one side of a convention center to the other with a comfortable stride. The red pill is SDCC and the blue pill is WonderCon.



Talent

As mentioned earlier, there isn't nearly as much talent at WonderCon as there is at SDCC but due to the lower attendance you'll have a much better chance of striking up a meaningful conversation with the talent there. Remember quality is better than quantity. The show also tends to focus more on comic books rather than Hollywood so that's a bonus for nerds like myself.

Atmosphere

Due to several of the factors listed above people are generally in a much better mood at WonderCon. This goes for pretty much everybody from artists to cosplayers to attendees. You'll catch people smiling, singing, and dancing in every direction you look.

Conclusion

Having said all of that... is WonderCon actually a better show than SDCC? Welllll... no. The exclusivity, the thrill, and the excitement of SDCC will never be topped by any other show but if someone managed to merge the best of both worlds into a single event... that would be Nerdvana!