Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Daily Sketch - Don't Mess With the Beard

This is (most of) a character sketch I did for a good friend, visually designing the Dwarven cleric he's currently playing for a Pathfinder campaign. It was specified that the cleric had taken an Orc head as a trophy, that his hammer was emblazoned with the letters "MC", and that that he wore scale mail. Oh, and a long braided beard, which I chose to weaponize. Nothing like having a carved stone spearhead braided into the end of your soup strainer. There was also a request for a personal insignia, which I haven't quite gotten too. These things are tricky, you know, creating random symbols that still have meaning (preferably hidden meaning that can be woven into many inside jokes to come). When I do get around to the design of this symbol, it will be added to the shield and on a banner hung from the battle-standard frame on his shoulder yoke.

"Nobody tosses a dwarf!"
- Gimli

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Daily Sketch - Stand-up Guys

So, in continuing with the flavour of the previous two days, here's both of our aged actors, together. The first two (yesterday and Friday's) were prep for these, caricatures I was commissioned to do for the school paper. The topic of the article: fashion sense of matured actors. Pacino dresses like a shmo, and Walken wears his pants up around his armpits. I'm rather pleased at how they turned out; I'd love to know what you think!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Daily Sketch - Al Pacino

On the theme of aging gangsters, here's another. Apologies for the eyes, they aren't quite right. He just looks like an overly haggard Gandalf.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Daily Sketch - Christopher Walken

It's not much, but I like to think I got the eyes right...

...and the hair.

One Helluva Week In Comics - February 22nd

I've also posted this on my Comic Vine profile, which you are welcome to check out at http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/vitaeleous/blog/ . It's where I geek out on a daily basis. On a weekly basis, I'm going to start reviewing the comics I've read that week. Should be a pretty chill review, no expletives or slander, just a little honest musing.

I'm a little behind in picking up my pull this month as the issues trickle in, but it's been a stellar week for reading nonetheless. I only just decided this week to start collecting the New 52 Green Lantern. The introduction of Simon Baz last year had me intrigued, and I jumped in with issue #12. I kept pulling back issues off the shelf whenever I wandered into the shop, and the character was keeping things interesting. Johns had, once again, made a valuable and worthy addition to the GL mythos, and I was loving it. So when I went in this week I picked up #14-16, in which Simon singlehandedly gives the entire Justice League a run for their money, finds the bugger that put him in this fix in the first place while using a basement full of homemade explosives to fend off an alien army, and does the impossible with his ring. Johns' writing is solid as always, and Doug Mahnke's art carries the sort of vibrant vitality appropriate to this title; I wouldn't settle for less, honestly. I decided it was high time I added this title to my monthlies, ironically just days before it was announced that Johns is leaving the title...that, however, is another story. For those of you as yet unfamiliar with Simon Baz, I must recommend you pick up Green Lantern and give it a shot.

After paging through a Marvel: Now preview book I decided to jump on the bandwagon and give it a go. It's been a while since anything new by Marvel really caught my eye, so these first few issues have been a rather pleasant surprise. Secret Avengers #1 is brilliant, a move from the team we gaped in awe at on the screen to a much more covert initiative. A little less explosive, and a lot more shadows. It feels like a crime comic rather than a supers story, which is a move I've been hoping to see marvel make with S.H.I.E.L.D. for a while. It's happening, and it's happening in style. Also from Marvel: Fearless Defenders #1, which is shaping up to be a wild ride. Those of you who know me or have read the little bit of stuff I've written should know that I take a pretty academic approach to comics literature. Part and parcel to that is numerous discussions on feminism in comics, and this series is going to become a major part of that tradition. Our protagonists are exclusively female (thus far), badass, wily, and, well, lesbian. The dialogue is flawless and the panels are just a blast to look at. I'm looking forward to seeing where this story is going on a large scale, but also to hearing the response from the feminist comics scholars among us. Joss Whedon would be proud.

Then there was the random and entirely pleasant discovery of F.J. DeSanto's DC miniseries Insurgent. This wasn't even on my radar until a few days back when I picked it up on a whim at the shop. I am ever so glad I did. The art might not be everybody's cup of tea, but the writing is rock-solid. There are so many terribly written comics on the market today, being able to sit down with something this well-scripted is truly a breath of fresh air. The story presents a gritty look into a drastically dystopic future where cybernetics have turned people into weapons against their will. And then shit hits the fan. I won't say much more than that; you're just going to have to read it for yourself. I believe the first two issues are out, four still to come. It's a shame something this solid is only being presented as a limited run; there's a ton of potential here for a quality story that would outstrip most of what DC is publishing these days. Ah well. You can't win 'em all.

On the webcomics front (an area in which I am woefully behind), I was introduced yesterday to Nimona, the whimsical genius of illustrator Noelle Stevenson. It follows the adventures of wannabe supervillain and shapeshifter Nimona in a hi-tech yet medieval world inhabited by...you know what, nevermind. Screw the synopsis. There are political intrigues, dragons, jousting, and biomechanical arms. Now go read it (http://gingerhaze.com/nimona/comic/page-1)

Oh. I also drew a dwarf with a weaponized beard. Stay tuned for pictures.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Daily Sketch - Basta's Head

Sorry, I missed a day there. Last night was D&D night, most consistently my favourite evening of the week. There was much swordplay, a giant slug monster made of garbage, and rather a lot of stumbling around the dark before encounter a diety in the form of a tall, rugged figure in a rawhide hat and a poncho with clown make-up and a clockwork smile. In honour of my players' many wanderings down dark passages inevitably inhabited by something that wants to eat you, I am posting the head of one my friends' past characters, on a stick. The candle was my addition; James, I apologize, but it seemed the thing to do.

"My character has the highest charisma score! I'm a natural leader."
"One: 'charisma' does not equal 'knowing what the hell you are doing', two: you can't be our leader. You have no pants."
-Marcus and Chuck, Chainmail Bikini

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Daily Sketch - M.O.C.K.

I can't claim complete credit for this idea. I ran across a comment somewhere in the most steampunky depths of Facebook that made mention of a "militant order of corseted knifemakers". I checked the entire internet to the utmost of my capabilities and found no other mention of such a thing. And so, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you M.O.C.K., The Militant Order of Corseted Knifemakers.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Daily Sketch - Psycho

This one's a continuation of yesterday's sketch, a series I've started based purely around this aesthetic of power coming out of people's faces. Because that's the way my brain works. Enjoy!

"Beauty is not only a terrible thing, it is also a mysterious thing. There, God and the Devil strive for mastery, and the battlefield is the hearts of men."
- Fyodor Dostoevsky

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Daily Sketch - Angels and Demons

To be fair, I've had this one around for a little while. But it's the sketch I'm posting today, so there!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Daily Sketch: Ahziz

Alright, here's a test to see if I can actually post a drawing a day. How long will it last? We'll see. Here's the first, a character called Ahziz from a D&D campaign I wrote a little for about two years ago. An ex-corsair, he now runs one of the most lucrative and resourceful mercantile outfits in Khorvaire. For a longer bio, you'll have to visit his page at http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/dragons-last-flight/characters/ahziz . Enjoy!