August 12, 2009

Marvel 70th Anniversary Party & Sketch Covers (WARNING: bad artwork ahead)

I went to the Marvel 70th Anniversary party held at my local comic shop last night.

It was a lot of fun and I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen for a while. We ate cake, which was good, and we decorated the cake, which was a LOT of fun.

Here's a picture of the cake:
The artwork was done by some of the artists who were at the party. I can't remember who did what, but you'll notice the Thing, Ghost Rider (drawn by my friend Andy Jewett), Human Torch, and Spider-Man (drawn by my Oz/Wonderland co-creator and artist Casey Heying). I also got in on the fun, drawing one of my favorite Marvel characters:

That wasn't the ONLY artwork I did, though. A special comic to commemorate the anniversary was put out by Marvel. The Marvels Project #1 went on sale at 9:00 PM on Tuesday across the country as many comic shops put on anniversary parties. One of the variant covers was a blank sketch cover. Now, the artists who showed up at the party last night are all talented guys and did some awesome sketches of things like Two Gun Kid, Stan Lee, the Avengers, G.I. Joe, and a number of other Marvel characters.

Not content to just sit back and watch, I decided to get in on the action. Of course, I couldn't just do a sketch . . . a drawing by me just isn't going to stand alone. I'm a writer. There's a reason you will probably never ever see me referred to as a writer/artist.

So if I was going to do this, I had to rely upon what I could do. Write. If my drawing was going to have any value, it would be in a different context. So here's what I drew:

The "Avengers Assemble" gag was the third one I drew. I like it, though. It's fun.

Here's the second one I drew. I got the idea from two sources: first, one of those awesome artists I was talking about drew an incredible sketch of Two Gun Kid riding through the Old West, and I made a joke like, "Hey, awesome Lone Ranger"; second, I just yesterday was reading Maurice Horn's book Comics of the American West, specifically a section about masked cowboys and the glut of them that appeared in the '40's and '50's, ripping off the Lone Ranger in an attempt to capitalize on superhero comics. (I'm reading the book because of my new-ish webcomic, Ace of Diamonds, which takes a public domain comic series about one of those masked cowboy rip-offs and "remixes" it -- I'm rewriting the dialogue and the plot but retaining the artwork to create a something new.)

The first one I drew is probably my favorite, though:

I love Aquaman and Sub-Mariner. Aquaman is the one DC character I'd like to get a chance to write. Sub-Mariner I like as a character, although I don't have the same desire to write him. However, I can't STAND Sub-Mariner's costume. I love that costume he wore in the '70's with the fin/wings and the jacket. The Speedo styled shorts with the shell belt buckle? Ugh.

Anyway, I had a fun time. Casey and Kelly know how to put on a fun party, and it was interesting to see the different people who came into the store for the festivities.

~ Ben

August 10, 2009

HOLY COW!!! Disney concept art for Rapunzel

I was just shown this short slide show from

I have to say, I'm a HUGE fan of looking at concept art. Since I'm a writer and not an artist, this may not seem to make sense, but I do get a lot of inspiration from looking at books of concept art for movies. My favorites are The Art of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, The Art of the Lord of the Rings, and The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook. It's inspiring, and sometimes kickstarts the old imagination when I'm "blocked".

Anyway, here's some AMAZING concept art from the new animated Disney princess movie, Rapunzel:

Isn't that just gorgeous? I cannot wait to see that on film!

In looking at that, I'm reminded of the original "Disney princess" movies, which were simply sumptuous in their design.

I'd love to see concept art from Sleeping Beauty. I love that movie, although to be honest it's not the most compelling of the Disney movies, it's the most beautifully designed.

Anyway, back to Rapunzel. It looks like a return to form for Disney, in style and tone anyway. Let's see if they are able to make it as compelling a story as well.

~ Ben

August 6, 2009

NARNIA NEWS: Dawn Treader's dragon head revealed!!!

Hmmm . . .

Some photos have been taken of the dragon head for the Dawn Treader -- the boat the Narnians use to in their journey from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

I'm looking at these pictures and I'm having a mess of thoughts.

Part of me thinks it's gawdy . . .

Part of me thinks it looks like it may be perfect . . .

And a BIG part of me is just plain happy they're making this movie!!!

Here's a link to the photos:

The mouth of the dragon is open, and in the book people could crawl up in their and use it to fire arrows on enemies.

The more I look at it, the more I can imagine that ship looking very nice on film.

~ Ben

Twitters you'll never see . . .

"Twitter is down right now so I'm talking to a friend."

~ Ben