I learned that David Trampier, one of the classic Monster Manual artists, passed away last month. Here’s my recreation of his iconic image of a Lich from MM.
I was forced to draw a succubus for a new project I’m working on so I figured it was a good time to pay homage to David Sutherland’s version in the original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.I first saw it at a very impressionable age and definitely recall it Stirring Feelings.
A drawing I did in honor of my friend and cartooning colleague John Kovalic’s birthday. HUZZAH!
My pal J.K. Woodward did this terrific version of Marla the Barbarian who you may recall from my Lower Regions. I like seeing other people draw my characters (http://comicbookalex.com/WallofFame.html) and seeing them done in J.K.’s style is amazing.
Check out his behind-the-scenes-look at how he did the painting. I can’t wait to hang this one up!
I watched the movie Fire and Ice and found it surprisingly fun to watch. I mean, don’t get me wrong: it’s poorly written, adolescent, sexist junk but it has a primitive quality that made it very interesting view. It’s almost like they put a 12 year-old metalhead in charge of a big budget animated movie—it features monsters, bloody fight scenes and a mostly-naked woman moaning a lot. I laughed out loud during the awkward dialogue between the hero and mostly-naked woman, a classic example of two characters falling in love because they’re the leads of the movie, rather than any genuine chemistry between them. If I didn’t know better I would suspect it was a conscious effort to parody the mindset behind adolescent power fantasies but given that it was created by Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta you know these guys are true believers.
In general I’m opposed to rotoscoped animation but in this case it added a funky, dreamlike quality that fit perfectly with the tone of the movie. The fight scenes were especially well-done, and the pleasure those stoned animators felt drawing mostly-naked woman is pretty palpable.
See you next Tuesday!
COMMENTARY: The big statue is, of course, a tribute to the cover of the original D&D Player’s Manual. The idea of a magical creature somehow being trapped in a gem a character can find also strikes me as a real D&D item. Since I usually played the dungeon master (who runs the game) I was always aware of how many hidden things the players would never discover.
Behold, the mighty Beholder!
Tomorrow I’ll be at the big Wild Pig Con in Somerset, NJ (http://wildpigcomics.com/index.html). In addition to copies of Box Office Poison, Tricked and A Kidnapped Santa Claus I cooked up a bunch of sketches like these which I’ll be selling for $20 a throw. Plus, the brand new Box Office Poison #78 mini! Come by and say hello!
Posting that Erol Otus-inspired image yesterday got me in a nostalgic mood and I thought I’d mention two other artists whose work I also liked from those classic Dungeons & Dragons days:
Jeff Dee: Dee’s tended to work in a super-clean style without a lot shading and cross-hatchery. Looking back, it reminds me of Paul Smith, my favorite X-Men artists.
Bill Willingham: Obviously, Willingham is familiar to a lot of comics readers these days as the writer of the popular (and good!) series Fables but one thing that disappointed me about that series is that Willingham didn’t draw it as well, since I’ve always enjoyed his artwork. In addition to D&D, he (and Jeff Dee) developed the superhero RPG Villains & Vigilantes.
Did this drawing today & realized it was an unconscious homage to Erol Otus