Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Confederacy of Unprecedented Fellows:
For Jeremy Bastian's Birthday, I did this piece for him. A while back, he and I had fun thinking of who would be the members of an 'anti-Leauge-of-Extraordinary-Gentlemen'. In the cartoon Challenge of the Superfriends, the heroes faced the Legion of Doom, a group of supervillians where there seemed to be perfect match-ups for their superhero counterparts: Aquaman vs Black Manta, Wonder Woman vs The Cheetah, etc.

In coming up with foes or counterparts to Alan Moore's literary comic team we settled on three immediately. To face off against the brute of Mr. Hyde, we would have Frankenstein's Monster. For the sea battles, Capt. Nemo would square off against Captain Hook (and perhaps a bit of stolen Neverland Magic). And for the consummate hunter Alan Quartermain, who better than the villainous big game of Shere Khan.For counterparts for Mina Murray & The Invisible Man, Jeremy & I struggled for a bit. 

The Headless Horseman came up and so did the Wicked Witch of the West and for a long time it was what we settled on. But as I started to work on this piece, I didn't like those two figures. First off the comparisons were weak...The Horseman was missing a head so there was a bit of overlapping visual to the Invisible man...but the correlation ended there, and Mina and the witch were both female, but shared no other threads. And secondly, both characters were written into literature by American authors and felt as treasonous to the Leauge's sensibilities as the 2003 movie (with Tom Sawyer being added so that American audiences had a character to relate to).

With Mina, I thought of the parallels between her and Christine Daae from Phantom of the Opera. Both characters are engaged to seemingly perfect milk-toast men, are kidnapped & seduced by passionate & horrific strangers, and are returned to their lives somewhat changed for the experience. However, I couldn't bring myself to make Christine a villain in any light. But that track did get me to consider the Phantom as a counterpart to the Invisible Man. Both are manipulators and work best when unseen. For Mina I ended up going with Irene Adler, a love interest of Sherlock Holmes and an adventurer in her own right.

For the process of this piece, I followed my typical routine. I started with sketching bits in my sketchbook. I then scanned those and manipulated them in Photoshop into a digital composite image. At that stage I mirrored some characters, fixed a few proportion issues, and added text & some design elements. The layout was printed and using a lightbox I was able to see it through my bristol board where I inked the piece. The inks were scanned and I colored the piece digitally setting flat colors first and then rendering the image using the dodge (lighten) and burn (darken) tools.

2012 Appearances:
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept 8-9
New York Comic Con: Oct 11-14
Detroit Fanfare: Oct 26-28
Thought Bubble: Nov 17-18


Max West said...

This is genius. I honestly believe this has potential as a one-shot.

Rev Cpt Samuel Flint said...

Definitely. The plots and schemes here have such potential -- and do tell of the brawls between the Monster and Hyde!

Mike said...

My oh my that is a lot of dodge/burn!

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