Thursday, August 15, 2013

2013 D'Kay D'Razz Comicpalooza Commission by Lane Montoya

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I spent an awful, awful lot of money at Comicpalooza 2012, and had to cut way back this year. Unfortunately, that meant that instead of three sweet commissions from Lane Montoya like Princess Cha'rissa, Jemm, Son of Saturn & Gypsy, I could only have one. On the plus side, my favorite subjects to give Montoya are extraterrestrial femme fatales, which in the case of the Vile Menagerie tends to translate as buck nekkid alien chicks. If I tried to get her to pull a hat trick on those, I'd look like a perv, but spaced out I can probably get away with Cay'an, Bel Juz, Bette Noir, or in this case, D'Kay D'Razz.

If you read the Martian Manhunter segments in Brightest Day, let me say sorry and that I feel your pain. It was after all voted next-to-worst in a 2010 Newsarama poll. But if you did read it, you'll recall that D'Kay D'Razz was introduced as a mass murdering Martian whose arrival on Earth via Dr. Saul Erdel's teleportation beam predated J'Onn J'Onzz's. In fact, Erdel secretly brought the Manhunter to Earth specifically to stop D'Kay, though he never mentioned it and D'Kay went into hiding for sixty years and a daughter was invented for Erdel to serve up the exposition and *ping*... I'm sorry, but I don't remember what we were talking about. I suspect a fuse just popped in my brain.

I visited Lane Montoya's table on Saturday, but she'd snuck off to see Patrick Stewart speak on stage upstairs before several hundred people. I'd just come back from seeing Avery Brook's presentation in one of the adjoining rooms, so I chatted with the artist's mom for a bit about his time as Hawk on Spencer for Hire. It was nice to talk about non-geek stuff at a con for once, and given Brook's ability to never answer a Star Trek question when he could just use it as an opportunity to talk about anything else but, I suspect he might have liked that too. Once Montoya got back, I found out that she was still charging a paltry $35 for her work, for which I chastised her, and I was happy to hear that she recently ghosted some coloring on an Image book. Hopefully we'll see her name properly attributed in a credit box soon.

Montoya produced a full color piece on heavy stock 8½" x 11" paper with a backing board inside a self-sealing protective polybag. Despite appearances on several variant covers and on interior pages throughout most of Brightest Day, no artist had ever clearly depicted D'Kay D'Razz in full figure. I'm thankful that Montoya was able to comb over the various issues of the series I had brought as reference and come back with a clear model image. There was a slight miscommunication where "serial killer" became "assassin," which is where the swords and armbands came from. As I mentioned to Montoya, she'd inadvertently created a companion piece to Andy Kuhn's sword-wielding Ma'alefa'ak, which amused me to no end.

Truthfully, I was happy for their lending a colorful flourish to the piece with that elaborate handle. Otherwise, D'Kay as a character is all about the green, with the only breaks in color coming from being covered in the blood of innocents and creating mouths on parts of her body where there shouldn't oughta be none. The request for a simplified figure prevented Montoya from going that route, and unfortunately my scan muddling her darker, richer and more consistent skin tone in the original art. Other areas that didn't translate digitally are the fine feathering along the contours of D'Kay's muscles and the light textural gradiation from the white/pale yellow center of her eyes to the outer pink/red. I especially like the facial features and the shoulders, but the whole piece turned out great!

Montoya asked that I redirect folks from her previously linked portfolios to her new tumblr feed, where there are... hmm. Those are some NSFW full frontal detailed buck nekkid extraterrestrial femme fatales, aren't they? Okay, so I won't think twice about getting Cay'an next year, then...

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