Adam “Batman” West, 1928-2017

Batman66byJTJR2017

There have been different takes on Batman over the years since his introduction in Detective Comics #27 (1939).  Adam West’s take from the 1960’s TV show was probably my first introduction to the character, if not the Michael Keaton/Tim Burton take.  I use to watch the show every afternoon, back in my childhood.  As I grew older, I had a chance to see him in person twice: once at a convention, and again at a college event.  He was one of nicest people to meet.  When I heard about his passing last Saturday, I was taken by surprise.  I reflect back on the good memories he’s left us and how glad I got to see him before he passed away.  Rest well, old chum.  You will be missed.

WonderGal & The Wonder Woman review

WonderGal01

I made a quick digital artwork of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman over the weekend with the release of the film. Having seen the film already, I can safely say it lives up to the positive word of mouth it’s been getting.  It is indeed one of the better comic book movies out there, especially for the DCEU, which needed a victory after the previous three films.

You could make a comparison between this and films like Captain America: The First Avenger (hero with a team fighting in a World War setting) and even Thor (hero from another place who goes on a “fish-out-of-water” journey). However, even if you were to watch them all together, you’ll find that Wonder Woman feels a lot different than the latter two. While it had some humorous moments in the film, there are also some serious moments, tackling areas including humanity, the horrors of war, and so forth.  It felt more like watching a war film that just happens to have a super heroine in the mix.

The actions scenes were enjoyable, especially when they go into No Man’s Land (as seen in one of the trailers). Any flaws I found was mostly in the effects, such as the heroine’s Lasso of Truth. While it is a practical effect and very convincing looking in some parts, it’s when it’s used in action, where it looks to be drawn in, frame-by-frame.  However, these flaws did not hinder my movie going experience.

Overall, the movie was a breath of fresh air from the divisiveness and negativity that DC/WB’s been getting with the last three films. I grew to enjoy Man of Steel more after a few viewings (aside from its mass destruction), I liked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (The Ultimate Edition specifically), Suicide Squad I don’t care much about (you can have that). Wonder Woman is one of the better DC films along side The Dark Knight and Superman: The Movie.

Simply Rocket Raccon w/ Baby Groot

SimplyRocket01ByJTJR2017

Saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 over the weekend. The movie to me was like a bag of Skittles: Sweet and colorful.  The visuals, scenery, characters, and music were the strongest parts of the movie. While it had a few flaws, such as pacing and minor effects, it didn’t distract me from my viewing experience.

The visuals and most of the special effects were very rich and vibrant.  This was especially noticeable with the scenery, especially when they show the planet Ego.  However, if there’s one flaw I had in this area, it was an effect during the third act.  Without spoiling too much, it occurred on Earth, and it felt like something out of an early 2000s blockbuster.  Nevertheless, it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the movie.  Other areas, such as character interaction, also caught my interest.

A lot of the interaction between characters was great.  I had no trouble following the separate story lines with each character.  While the character of Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) had some funny moments, it was Drax (Dave Bautista) who was the funniest in the movie.  It seems just about everyone had an interesting moment in the movie.  Pick any character, regardless of how big or small their role was,  and you’re likely to find an interesting (if not favorite) moment.  Even as small a role as say one of the Ravagers, you’ll probably go, “Ha ha! That was funny what happen to them.”

Overall, I had a good time watching the movie.  Though there a few flaws, I didn’t hinder my movie going experience.

May the Fourth Be With You with Slave Leia

SlaveLeiaByJTJR2017

This was a piece I actually started back in January, after I heard about the passing of Carrie Fisher. I was trying to come up with an idea for a tribute picture. Originally, I was going to do a face portrait of Leia from The Force Awakens, but I was unsatisfied with how it came out. This was another take, based on the memorable outfit in Return of the Jedi. Halfway through, I stopped because I didn’t think anyone would be interested. So, I decided to put it aside, and went onto do other projects (hence, Snowy Knight). After a while, around the beginning of May, I was looking back at some of my unfinished work. With May the 4th happening now (as of this post), I decided to open up the project, finish coloring, and just post it out there.

Superman Reborn

SupermanReborn01

This was a little side project I did over the weekend. Based on Superman’s costume as he appears recently in the comics.  Kind of like how DC updated it to look more similar to the classic, with a few tweaks.

Cyanna Starr vs. The Magents of Order

CyannaStarr01_titleD

Non-title version available here. Credit to Juan Hodgson for the title font.

I want to say this is my contribution to the Retrowave trend, but rather it’s more of an inspiration on a couple things I’ve seen or heard lately.  I don’t have plans for a comic series at the moment.  All I could think of right now is the premise: After regaining pieces of her old memory, a woman takes down the corporation responsible for stealing her former life.  This took about 4 weeks to finish, including preproduction art, multiple takes, and a few breaks in between.

Work Process

  1. The idea came from several sources, including:
    • Atomic Blonde trailer – Female protagonist
    • Wonder Woman trailer – Glowing weapon
    • Hotline Miami (game) – Music and action
    • Beyond the Black Rainbow (film) – The Magent’s helmets
    • Tron (film) & “12:51” by The Strokes – The light trail of the whip
    • “Starboy” by The Weeknd, feat. Daft Punk – The ambient cinematography
    • “Roller Mobster” by Carpenter – Feel and influence
    • Nerve (film) – Lighting
    • Retrowave – General influence
    • 1980s – Apparel
    • CMYK (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black) colors – Inspired names
  2. I started by drawing out the main character, including her outfit and face.CyannaStarrConcept001CyannaStarrConcept002
  3. Drew 4 different poses. Ended up going with the fourth one.C7P4VPfVsAAEXLV
  4. Drew the final pose on pencil and paper. The inking was done digitally using the pen tool.CyannaStarrRough01
  5. Later drew the “Magents” character sheet with a couple helmet designs.RobotHeadConcept
  6. The Magents were drawn in digitally.
  7. Background was done digitally as well, using guidelines and the pen tool.
  8. Coloring, tweaking, and other effects were done in separate layers and groups (main character, back enemies, from enemy, background). This was done so I could adjust and move the assets around as I see fit. However, this caused the file to be much bigger (like over a gigabyte).

Coloring From The Past: Wonder Woman Rebirth

 

 

WonderWomanRebirthbyJTjr2017

This was an art piece I did the line art last year, but haven’t been able to color until later.  The reason behind this was because I didn’t have the coloring experience I had when I worked on both the Batman and Logan pieces.  With the recent release of Wonder Woman trailer online, I went back to my earlier work, more seasoned than before.  The coloring process took about a day in a half to complete. It involved using layers, masks, and channels. The channels were used to distinguish line art, flat colors, and levels of shading (this took the longest) for selection purposes. The layers and masking were used for the color shading & tweaking, effects, and creating ambience.  By the end, I was more satisfied with how it came out the second time.