Sunday, January 3, 2010

J. Bone on Professor Arnold Hugo

Just before Thanksgiving, artist J. Bone confirmed in an interview with Comic Book Resources that our own Professor Arnold Hugo would be appearing in Super Friends second anniversary issues. To celebrate, the issue will be jam packed with DC Universe mad scientists, and J. Bone will move beyond covers to draw full interiors. Here are some relevant excerpts from the interview, discussing Sholly Fisch's script:

From the solicitations and your blog, we see that #24 features all of DCU's mad scientists gathering together on Oolong Island. Did Sholly give you certain villains to use or did he let you go searching?

Sholly definitely supplied a list of villains, and pretty much every one of them has a villain spotlight moment in the story. I'm not exactly well versed in the extensive list of characters in the DC universe, so there were plenty villains I'd never even heard of. Many of them are incredibly alike in appearance. I tried my best to give each of them at least one unique physical characteristic in order to differentiate among the many bald dudes in lab coats. I like that Sholly pulls from old DC "Justice League of America" stories to populate the kid-friendly world of "Super Friends."

Who was your favorite to draw, and what do you like most about him or her?

On any given day I loved drawing Mr. Mind, Professor Hugo, The Ultra-Humanite, and the Terrible Trio – Fox, Shark and Vulture. I treat the trio as anthropomorphic, which I don't think is actually how they are in the original story. Hey, there's a talking worm, I don't think kids are going to have a problem with a talking shark.

But if you were holding a transmogriphier ray-gun to my head I'd have to pick...The Fox? No, Ultra-Humanite. Yeah... definitely Mr. Mind.

The article spun off from sketchbook post at J. Bone's Blah, Blah, Blog!, including a sketchbook section:

Super Friends #24 marks my two year anniversary as cover artist on this most excellent book! I asked if I could draw the interiors for that reason. I also wanted to draw the guts because Sholly had, once again, written a super fun story. So many super villains, so many characters I'd never even heard of but wanted to draw...

All right - onto the mad scientists. I sketched all of these guys for an upcoming project (I'm sure you'll figure it out by the end). A lot of these characters I had never even heard of but kinda grew fond of 'em after a month of drawing them... Hugo Strange I knew but not Prof. Hugo! I loved drawing Prof. Hugo's gigantic head on his wee body. He shows up an awful lot in the, project.

The artist finally came clean...

Personally, I love J. Bone's take. Hugo is squat, like in his original Detective Comics #306 appearance against Batman and Robin, as drawn by co-creator Sheldon Moldoff. Yet he also has the Sinatra-esque haughty distingué of the Joe Certa look. I have reservations about how vertically challenged J. made him (he could box with Zook!) but I'd appreciate the opportunity to fancast my mancrush Peter Dinklage as someone other than Dr. Psycho, so there's your silver lining. That, and it will have been almost exactly FORTY-THREE YEARS since a new comic story saw print with the character. Too bad he'll be a Batman/Justice League foe again, but hey, better than than hitting decade number five in limbo, right?

Super Friends #24 ships on February 10. If you folks would like to read on, here's that CBR article and the links to J. Bone's first and second blog posts. And no, I don't think Hugo will be trying to irradiate President Obama in order to force him to repeal the estate tax. That's more of a Luthor move...


LissBirds said...

Oolong Island! How I looooove evil mad scientists. The Oolong Island arc in 52 was my favorite of that series.

I already have a soft spot for the Johnny DC titles so I'll be picking this up anyway. (What can I say? I like doing the little puzzles and reading the kids' letters.) I'm very happy to see the creators of Super Friends are so enthusiastic about their title--it just warms my heart. :)

Hugo looks great...I'm glad J. Bone chose drew him in a double-breasted suit. That just completes the look.

But wouldn't it be nice, though if, in celebration of Prof. Hugo's return to comics after 43 years, they could complete the Super Friends team by adding a certain Martian?

Diabolu Frank said...

Yes to all of that. Make that happen. I mean it!

LissBirds said...

*sigh* Workin' on it, Frank. Just gotta complete my vast droid army before I can become Supreme Dictator and institute a nationwide devotion to all things J'onn J'onnz. Unfortunately, I can't afford any more responsometers on my salary.

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