Jean Grey – Super Model

3rd piece in my Jean Grey series.

This would be the Grant Morrison’s New X Men version of Jean. The period where they all decided that spandex was not practical for the X Men. I personally think it is a funky/modern take on their costume. This was especially for Jean, whom I think would look like a hipster Super Model in the outfit.

With this piece, I am attempting to create a piece that looks like a magazine spread. There are 3 elements in here that I am experimenting with but was never very comfortable with:

1) Fashion piece (because very simply… I am a guy…)
2) Typography… hope it looks a magazine article’s
3) Black and White renders (I always like colors more… so in the end I succumbed and added a dash of colors still…


Jean Grey with Love

2nd piece in my Jean Grey series. First piece can be seen here.

This one goes waaaay back when she was “Marvel Girl”.

I wanted to recreate a retro pinup piece. Sort of like one of those photos wives/girlfriends used to give the soldiers just before they go off into war.

Probably a piece I might revisit in the future when I get a bit better. There is a sense that something is still… “missing” although I cannot put my finger on it.

Any help in this area would be GREATLY appreciated.

Deadly Cherry Blossoms

I wanted a more “basic” look for this piece with Psylocke. I like her Asian mythos, so I went more oriental for this piece as well.

The kenji in the background means “Samurai”. I know she is not one, but the word “ninja” just does not seem to fit well into this image. Call it my little bit of… creative liberty.

Green Lantern SUCKS!!!

Or how Marvel is kicking DC’s bloated ass in the cinemas when it comes to earning brownie points from fan boys’.

To be honest, out of all the summer comic book based blockbusters, Green Lantern was the one that I was most eagerly anticipating.

And what do I get? An overly loud, grossly pointless, highly forgettable and obscenely disappointing run-of-the-mill Hollywood swill.

Looking over at exhibit B… We have X-Men: First Class that I expected to Suck. I mean, come on… They destroyed all notions of conformance with the comic books by putting Havok, Banshee and Darwin(??!!!) on Xavier’s first team; they mixed and matched (what they think are) the coolest mutants to put in the show, changing the gender and race (Angel) or color and name (Azazel/Nightcrawler) when they have to; worst of all, we have a non-bald Prof X…and that is just wrong.

Yet… in spite of all that, First Class appeared to be stronger of the two films. At the very least. it was the one that I enjoyed more…

So what happened?

I put it down to one word: Simplicity…

I believe DC’s characters have the richer history (or non history) when compared to Marvel’s…

Probably because of this, they tried to dump EVERY Obscure Comic Book History Info into this one film, sowing seeds for what they hope would be taken up in the inevitable sequel (Hello Sinestro). But since it is impossible to cram 50 years of history into one two hour film, they started taking creative “liberties” and changing comic book canon. The alternative explanation is that the writers are too lazy to read through all  50 years of comic and came up with a script based on their own understanding.

In spite of all this, they seem to expect:
A) non fans to follow
B) fans to not complain that they got the history wrong
C) everyone else to not be confused to a point where they give up

Case in point… The villains.

For First Class, we have ex Nazi Kevin Bacon, I mean Sebastian Shaw leading a bunch of evil mutant to incite a nuclear war to hasten the growth of mutanity. There are side plots.. But they are simple and does not distract from the main storyline

For Green Lantern… We have *drum roll* PARALLAX that is possessed by Krona (???!!! Or is it the other way round?) and Hector Hammond. I am a Green Lantern fan and I am hard-pressed if you want me to tell you the whole history of Parallax and Krona in two hours. It is simply too complicated and you reeeeaaally have to follow canon to understand it. YET DC tried VERY unsuccessfully to do that amidst the narrative to flesh out Hal Jordan and the rest of the Corp in that same time frame. Tall order… Is it any wonder they crashed and burned?

Also, a bit of fan service doesn’t hurt either…

Even if it is to tell people to go f*ck themselves…

I hate Grant Morrison

I hate Grant Morrison.

Grant Morrison’s story lines are weird, convulated and difficult to understand.

Before all the Grant Morrison fans out there get their panties in a bunch and accuse me of being narrow minded and not seeing the genius of His Excellency’s method in breathing new life into a genre exhausted by cliches and cheesiness, let me clarify something…

I do enjoy Morrison’s independent works. He shows people why the medium is unique in bringing to life abstract ideas and images not possible by any other. He also shows us what amazing story telling potential the medium has.

Unfortunately, my gripe with him involves all his dabbling into established franchises. To be fair, the Big 2 has been actively seeking out “sexy” (read:popular) independent creators and putting them onto projects which might or might not suit the creator’s personal style.

To be fair, some of these “imported” creators have been bloody brilliant. Examples that spring to mind includes Garth Ennis’ bloodiness and gore in Punisher and Ed Brubaker’s penchant for writing noir and fleshing out the irredeemable hero in Daredevil.

Morrison’s weirdness just does not sit well with franchised work. His decision to make the X Men wear black leather, while sexy and in line with the movie at that time, has been quickly flipped flopped once he was off the line. Batman R.I.P. while quaint, just did not appeal to me. I think my tolerance stopped at Ninja Man Bat Assassins.

Morrison’s big shakeup for the DC universe was “TECHNICALLY” killing Batman during Final Crisis.

But we all know that Bruce Wayne was too big to kill. Everyone knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne and Bruce Wayne is Batman. Nobody expects DC to try to establish Dick Grayson as Batman. It was simply a matter of time before Bruce Wayne returns as Batman.  Batman came back for a cameo as a zombie in Blackest Night but he couldn’t stay to play. So the question on everyone’s mind is “Where the hell is Bruce Wayne?”

If you pause to think about it, Bruce Wayne had not featured prominently in the DC Universe in some time. He “disappeared” along with the other Big 2 for a year during 52. And quickly after, he was “killed” in Final Crisis.

Personally I am starting to warm to the concept of Dick Grayson as Batman. Bruce Wayne’s Batman, while not Superman was invulnerable, in his own way. He was dark and scary and totally BadAss. He could take on serious big guns like Darksied and even Superman through tactical (and Toys… i mean equipment) superiority.

Back to Grant Morrison. The latest issue of Batman and Robin marks the start of the “Return of Bruce Wayne”. So far in the series, we’ve already seen the Batman of Britain, the Squire (Robin of Britain), Doppelganger Batman, Lazarus Pit-rified Batman, Failed Clones of Batman, dead Batwoman, revived Batwoman. Morrison seemed to be writing wierd for wierdness’ sake again.

That is until issue #10. All the Batman storylines of the past 2 years seemed to be finally coming together. True. The issue is still weird as hell, but it seems to suggest that minor plotlines and unresolved issues from Morrison’s run on the whole Gotham franchise ties down to one big bomb that is going to drop on us in The Return of Bruce Wayne.

I know a whole lot of weirdness is going to come down from that. But maybe, just maybe, I might enjoy this Morrison run.

Comic of the Week – Week of 27 Aug 09

No, I’ve not slacked off for the past 3 weeks. I was away for work.

I’ve been catching up on the previous few weeks of comics and not surprisingly, Blackest Night continues to be brilliant.

Even the side series such as Blackest Night: Superman and Blackest Night: Batman impressed, which is much more than what can be said for the side series of other Mega Crossover events these days.

The inclusion of the crap talking Deadman to the  uneasy alliance between the new Batman and Robin is simply… awesome. I was going to complain that too many of the classic Batman Rogue Gallery seemed to be dead, maimed or rendered lame these days, then along came this little ditty…

Blackest Night Batman, rogue gallery, ventriloquist, batman rogue gallery

Brrrr…. what is it? Chills running down my spines is what it is.

Blackest Night: Superman took a very different direction from the other Blackest Night books so far. At the core of it all, Blackest Night is a book about zombies, and conventional wisdom dictates that zombies are commonly associated with… slasher flicks. And what would be a better place to base a slasher flick than the small American cornfield town of Smallville?

blackest night, Superman, it's a bird

Also, it’s the first time I’ve seen an individual running so many colors on the emotional spectrum as seen by Black Lantern Kal L.

Blackest Night Superman, color spectrum, superman

As for this week’s entry… to be honest, I am still waiting for my Secret Warriors to come in. I was very sure that THAT or Green Lantern #45 (being a Blackest Night book. Did I mention I adore the series right now) would be the books to top the charts this week. So before, I procrastinate any longer with this week’s entry, I decided that we should just move on.

Green Lantern #45, while good, focused too much on the War of the Lights in space. While it fleshes out Sinestro even more (if you can believe it. The guy has a Corp named after him) as a character, not much happened on Earth, which I felt was where the real fun is.

My problem with the War of the Lights is that there is too much baggage. Too many characters running around that is simply over the head for casual (really) fans like myself. There is too much history to catch up on that I simply cannot be bothered for the moment.

Ditto for Batman and Superman. I just know that the new Batman *spoiler alert?* is Dick Grayson and the new Robin, Damien Wayne. Superman’s New Krypton is a story line that I have not even begin to wrap my brain around.

Don’t even get me started on the X family of books. I cannot get who’s dead and who’s not anymore.

That is the reason why those books have not been on the Comic of the Week list so far. Though to be fair, Detective Comics this week is kind of  brilliant. Like the continuation of the Dark Prophecy for Batwoman.

That is why I’ve decided to cheat a bit and put a Trade Paperback as my Comic of the Week.

Presenting Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.

Walking dead, Vol 10, kirkman, rick, zombies, what we become

Yes, it’s another zombie book but an uber brilliant one. It is not so much the brain eating brain-dead-guys or the hack-slash gore (I hate gore) that are cool, as the interactions between the various survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Kirkman just uses the scenario his exploration into the (sometimes dark, somewhat hopeful, always… human?) human psyche in this ongoing soap opera series.

The TPB is at its 10th volume right now, and I think we have just began to comprehend how far this rabbit hole really goes.  By this volume, the main protagonist, Rick is not so much an anti hero anymore. He is just a Survivor like everyone in the book. Nothing more. Nothing less. As the world continues to trudge around knee deep in zombies, we began to see, through Rick’s interactions with new found Survivors and his current crew, what being a Survivor truly entails. It is not a pretty sight. But one you cannot stop starring at.

Highly recommended for… well… EVERYONE. Even those that don’t normally like zombies. Trust me, it’s worth it.

And yes, I trade wait for this series. For one thing, I cannot justify the money output for a black and white series every month. For another, I am pretty sure the anticipation from the month to month cliff hangers will kill me.

Speaking of zombies, apparently Marvel decided to hop onto the bandwagon with this as well.

X men, Dead will rise

Apparently Dead Mutants will rise.

Wish we could say the same about originality…