Sunday, September 30, 2012

2008 Zatanna convention sketch by Marcio Takara

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Marcio Takara

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2012 “JLA by George Perez” Elongated Man Commission

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Aric Shapiro is a comic art collector with the good taste to pursue a series of Justice League of America member spotlight commissions in their full Satellite Era glory by George Pérez...
"Ralph Dibny, how I've missed you!! Ralph is a character that George drew so well; I can look at this drawing and wax nostallgic about a character long since gone. Another Perez masterpiece."
There's a whole slew of Detroit favorites in Shapiro's gallery, which I'm sure I'll revisit for this blog at a later time. I chose to feature the Elongated Man piece because Ralph doesn't get enough love here, and Dibny is one of the heroes most classically "on model" of the set, though it bears noting that the Stretchable Sleuth was never model pretty to begin with.

2012 “JLA by George Perez” Commissions

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 Gypsy Comicpalooza Commission by Lane Montoya

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Lane Montoya set herself apart from the many manga influenced artists at Houston's Comicpalooza convention by offering a gothic sensibility and by favoring a more "hard" sci-fi look over the fanciful approach I was seeing elsewhere. Qualities of her style and subjects recalled films from directors like Ridley Scott and Chris Cunningham, so I really wanted to see her do a character from within that realm. Despite the edgier approach, Montoya's work also had an undeniable femininity, so I figured the best subject would be a heroine.

Probably my favorite story arc from the Ostrander/Mandrake Martian Manhunter series was "Rings of Saturn." Princess Cha'rissa was a comrade and lover to J'Onn J'Onzz as they struggled against a Saturnian plot to assassinate Prince Jemm, Cha'rissa's betrothed. I felt Montoya improved on Tom Mandrake's loose, sketchy design for the character. I was extremely impressed with the piece, especially when you consider that it's an 8½" x 11" full figure in color for just $35. She even puts them in a self-sealing polypropylene magazine bag (not those cloudy polyethylene numbers) with a backer board bearing a sticker/business advertisement. It's pretty neat.

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Princess Cha'rissa by Lane Montoya

I had a few other subjects that hadn't worked out with other artists, but I felt bad about trading one half naked alien girl like Cha'rissa with another like Cay'an. Instead, I figured the Princess' intended from the "Rings of Saturn" arc, Jemm, would compliment nicely. On the down side, with the slight instruction of "again," Montoya provided another straightforward full figure. I haven't been a big fan of the ripped Jemm of recent years, preferring him as an exaggeration of a gangly teen, which Montoya captured here. The board couldn't quite fit it all though, and from a distance the cut-off near the ankles makes him look squat. Aside from that optical illusion, I think it's swell. I like Jemm's delicate features and slim build. The red flesh tones really pop, and my favorite element is the swirling, shimmering cape. It has the effect of appearing translucent with prismatic purples that look quite cool.

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Jemm, Son of Saturn by Lane Montoya

For Montoya's final commission, I handed her a batch of reference pages I'd had printed up, and let her choose her own subject. If I recall correctly, she gravitated toward Gypsy immediately, based on the Sal Velluto art used for her button on this blog's sidebar. I told Montoya that she could draw Gypsy however she liked, in any costume she chose, or even a mingling of several looks. As you can see, while Montoya kept some of the ethnic flair Velluto brought to the character, there's a lot more of Chuck Patton's original design. Thank Google for that. Cleaned up and streamlined, I think Montoya offers the Gypsy we might have seen had she stayed in the game after Vibe and Steel fell victim to Professor Ivo. It works as a costume, but unlike her comics debut, I can believe a girl would actually wear this. I also like the Latin flavor, and should she return in the New 52, I'd prefer a "Cynthia Reynaldo" to Cindy Reynolds. Pretty and exotic, I was very happy with how Montoya capture the youngest Leaguer.

For more, be sure to check out Montoya's deviantART page

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dragon*Con 2012 Vixen and Zatanna Cosplay Gallery by Shag Matthews

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The next time The Irredeemable Shag takes over 600 cosplay pictures at probably the biggest con south of the Mason-Dixon, somebody please remind me what a total pain in the ass they are to sort through. Detroit was reasonably well represented by the usual suspects this year. All the Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and Batman pictures can be found at their respective blogs. No Steel or Gypsy noted. I held out some hope for Vibe, as the guy got his own cartoon (under 5 minute division, admittedly) but no bueno. The Vixen cosplayer above stalked through dozens of group shots, but this was her only solo pic, although you can also see her tangle with a Red Lantern.

I think that this was the first African-American Zatanna I've seen, which was a nice change of pace. As usual with conventions, there were far too many Zatannas in Atlanta for me to spotlight all, or even most, of them. I have this kind of quirky/kind of rude thing I do when I'm going through a cosplay gallery. Whenever I come across a pack of Zatannas, I dub them "DeZees" (as in "disease," or "the zzz") Ladies, I'm sorry, but there are simply too many Mistresses of Magic running around in top hat and tails. Zee just lost a solo series where she wore a costume I haven't really seen in the wild. The New 52 look pretty much started during Flashpoint over a year ago, so I should be seeing that somewhere. A hipster on a budget could probably pull together Come Together fashion. The slightly more kinky classic look from the Seven Soldiers mini-series would be nice. The criminally underrepresented blue & white costume is certainly an option. Wear the baggy old Sindella suit if you're shy, or the silly Tom Artis "vampire" suit from that one issue of Secret Origins. Expand your horizons. Anyway, here's a trio of Zees that happened to be in one shot. I counted at least eight just in Shag's gallery.

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John Zatara set up a house at Hogwarts? Who knew?

As always, a big thanks to Shag for his photographic efforts and his generosity in sharing them. Additional gratitude to Superhero Costuming Forum for setting up these photo shoots every year. And now, the link roll...

Dragon*Con 2012 Cosplay Galleries by Shag Matthews

Sunday, September 9, 2012

2007 Zatanna commission by Arthur “Art” Adams

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"I love how Arthur does a little twist on Zee's classic look with the rad boots and cool little charms on her waist chain. But, for me it is all in her adorable face! Makes me smile!!!"
Arthur "Art" Adams