Monday, December 30, 2019

2017 Heroes Convention Despero commission by Ed Eargle

Thanks to The Fire & Water Podcast Network having their first expanded group get together, and my years long interest in attending the most comic creator-centric show left in the country, I ended up in Charlotte, NC for HeroesCon. Being anti-social, I still decided to launch a jam art project involving a minimum of eight talents intended to be completed over the three day weekend (plus almost two years for the completed linework... colors still an ongoing effort.) Anyway, I spent evenings and a few meals with those FW guys. Whaddayawant from me? Also, in between episodes of moving a single piece of art from one participant to the next, I encountered a few artists that I either knew who made the same trip (Hi Isaiah!) or wanted to try out on the side.

Such was the case with Ed Eargle, who if I remember correctly, was either listed as a vendor or otherwise did not get vetted by me before the show. I was just surveying the floor, stopped to toss through his book, and liked what I saw. I probably handed him the stack of Martian Manhuter references I'd been slinging at shows for nearly a decade now, and he likely selected Despero himself. I had a fair few Despero commissions at this point, but most (all?) were waist-up or head shots. I was probably thinking forward to the second volume of Who's Who in Martian Manhunter that I still toy with but am unlikely to ever produce (given that I can't even reliably deliver monthly blog posts.) Eargle was good with beefy musculature and thought the Kalanorian would be a fun subject.

As you can see, Eargle turned in an exceptional full color piece. I played around with the levels, so the army pants should be much greener and the skin tone is not remotely this vibrant, but the rich inks and fine feathering only get more impressive the closer you look. I love the sense of mass projected, and this is just all around a big beautiful piece. My only complaint is that I wish the whole outlining-the-figure fad would die already. This piece is so good that it is only marred by that unnecessary affectation. Otherwise, it's ready for print in a major reference tone. Like some sort of encyclopedia or secret file or something...

Ed Eargle

Monday, December 23, 2019

2015 Despero Comicpalooza head sketch by Mike McKone

Podcasting continues to dominate my free time, so I've had a few months' lapse in my hoped-for, already-not-terribly-demanding weekly posting schedule. Eh-- no promises at this point, but I would like to close out 2019 with a few highlights, at least. I've been sitting on a couple of "December of Despero" pieces for as long as 4½ years now. Since showcasing old commissions is my primary motivation for maintaining the blog (and all the Photobucket error images a primary demotivator,) I'd better push them out now before mothballing them another year.

First up is a piece from one of my favorite Martian Manhunter artists, the "Art Adams" of Justice League International annuals, Mike McKone. I told him so when I met him at the local Houston con in 2015, which I believe I have audio on that ended up in Martian Manhunter's 60th Anniversary Special Compilation and in expanded form in Amazing Heroes Interviews Episode 5. I really enjoyed the mass McKone gave J'Onzz, but he disliked his more Alan Davis-inspired style at the time, and went with a much slimmer, sleeker take on Justice League United. McKone was very pleasant, but he was only willing to do headshots at this show, not my preferred commission type. I at least wanted a very distinct head. Since McKone rarely handled Despero, and never in his initial stylized mohawk warlord form from the Detroit revival period, that was my choice. Turned out quite nice, I think. Still hoping for a figure in the future, though.

Mike McKone