Tuesday, October 24, 2006

They couldn't have had any particular artist in mind, could they?

Over on 'Lying in the Gutters' at Newsarama, Rich Johnston reveals Marvel's 'Original Artwork Policy.'

From the letter,

There is a fine line between homage and a rip-off -- Make sure you are firmly on the side of using your own creative elements. A simple rule of thumb is to consider whether someone looking at your drawing and the reference material will think that one is a derivative of the other. If so, you have gone too far and taken too much.

Congrats to his swipe file if this is indeed the result.

For me at least, it had gone beyond wondering why a certain artist could justify what he was doing to why on earth Marvel seemed content to let it go on. Yes, he sells buckets of comics but a company as anal about it's property as Marvel should be showing a bit of respect for the property of others, shouldn't it?

Hopefully this means a little less pornface in the future.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Batgirl; More goodness from Johnny Lightning

I'm becoming a serious fan of this guy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

This is how to draw Supergirl.

Over on the Drawingboard.org forums an 18 year old by the handle of Johnny Lightning drew a couple of pictures of Supergirl. Fantastic pictures. He gave me permission to post them and you'll see why I desparately wanted to;

Aren't those just exactly what Supergirl should be? She's strong, confident and standing in a classic and powerful pose. She's wearing a uniform instead of a stripper costume and those gloves...I love that. Gloves mean business. Heck, she's even got a practical streak and has pulled her hair up out of her face. Johnny said, "I tried giving her a
touch of my own personal style of female anatomy." Johnny, I just have to say that I wish most comic book artists had your style. Your version of Supergirl is now the standard I'll be carrying around in my head to judge all the other versions by.

Please don't hesitate to leave adoring comments for him here. He deserves our encouragement.

White Tiger Research.

Since White Tiger is coming out soon I thought I'd post a list that co-writer Tim Liebe was wonderful enough to give me in the comments section of my previous White Tiger post. It's a list of Daredevil books they, "considered germane to writing WHITE TIGER." Tim also warned that some of it is tangential. But if you're unfamiliar with the character and want to get caught up, as I do, before her series hits the newstand this is what you need. Here's the list;

DD eps germane to WT:

DD 38 - 40 - Hector Ayala arrested for murder, trial, conviction, death

DD 44 - mention of "Officer del Toro" (male? Angela's relative?)

DD 45 - introduction of Special Agent Driver (pre-Angela as partner)

DD 47 - introduction to Sano, Driver in flashback w/Kingpin (again pre-Angela)

DD 48 - Agent Driver questions Murdock in his bedroom, sees Milla sleeping there

DD 49 - Agent Driver arrests Bullseye after DD beats the crap out of him

DD 56 - Murdock gets an (unsuccessful) intervention by Cage, Spidey, Strange and Reed Richards
Driver is shown surveilling Murdock
Murdock confronted by Sano

DD 57 - Murdock fights (as Murdock), beats Sano while Driver and FBI surveillance van watch
FBI backup shows, Murdock disappears - Driver comes out of van and sees Murdock gone
Milla tells BUGLE's Ben Urich she and Matt are married

DD 58 - Driver and "Special Agent del Toro" on Yakuza Task Force interrogate Sano - ANGELA'S FIRST APPEARANCE! (Driver calls him "Sano Orii")

DD 59 - Sano gets out of jail while Driver & Angela, in Driver's car, watch - Driver references Angela being his new partner
Driver bad-mouths Matt to Angela ("Murdock is a piece of crap - he's clearly Daredevil" yada yada yada), Angela disagrees w/him
Yakuza shoot up Driver's and Angela's car, blow up car, killing Driver - Angela gets clear and shoots back
Ben Urich and Foggy reference "Yakuza gone wild" in aftermath of Driver's death
Matt visits Cage, apologizes for his behavior during the intervention and asks for Cage's help - Cage forgives him and agrees to help
Sano at hangout spews large plans - when DD, Cage, Iron Fist and Spider-Man come callin'!

DD 60 - DD, Cage, Iron Fist and Spider-Man clean Sano's Yakuzas', and Kingpin's former minions', clocks
DD tells Sano to pop his MGH so DD can beat the crap out of him one-on-one (Sano calls himself "Sano Ren" here)
DD and Sano fight, DD turns beaten Sano over to cops
- Sano confesses killing Driver and where the MGH lab is (under duress?)
- Street cops, unlike Feds, are good w/how DD does things
- DD tells cops to apologize to Angela for not saving Driver's life
Milla confronts Matt over what Foggy told her of Karen Page's death (GOOD ONE, FOGGY!), leaves Matt

DD 61 - 64 - Black Widow shows up in Matt's apartment hiding from US Government
BW tries to get back together w/Matt, Matt tells her he's still married even though Milla filed for annulment

DD 64 - Matt signs annulment and gives to Milla in person, telling her he still loves her

DD 65 - Fury offers Matt a job w/SHIELD, Matt says "No", Fury says "Offer's still open"
DD 65 - Angela is on Task Force Murdock (as was Driver? unclear)

DD 67 - Angela investigates murder in strip club related to "former Kingpin" Bont (who kidnaps Matt to prove he's DD)
DD 68 - Angela reaches out to Matt re: WT amulets for the first time (Foggy seems to have a crush on her)
- Angela explains she's Hector's niece (Matt wouldn't KNOW this already?)

DD 69 - Flashback to DD, Spider-Man and Hector as WT meeting and fighting Doc Ock
Continuation of scene in DD 68 where Angela asks for Matt's help (confirms Hector's sister Awilda from 70s WHITE TIGER is her Mom, and references Hector's trial and death)
- Angela says she ASKED to be put on the Murdock Task Force
- Angela says she's planning to quit the FBI
- Matt has her meet him at St. Catherine's at 11 PM - shows up as DD and gives her her first lesson (jumping across street, fighting him)

DD 70 - Continuation of scene in DD 69 - DD and Angela fight, and Angela gets to whale on DD some
- DD brings her along to foil a bodega robbery - and leaves her to do it herself, which she does very well!
- "That's why - costume's a symbol. Good luck." - DD
Angela finds Matt chained up and beaten up in DD outfit, Bont (who took MGH) dead from a heart attack after not breaking Matt's will
FBI (w/out Angela - bunch of guys I don't recognize) neither accepts nor refutes Foggy's and Matt's story that Bont must've believed what he read in the GLOBE, and tortured Matt as a result

DD 76 - Kingpin tells Ben Urich he's negotiating w/FBI, claims to have "The Murdock Papers" (written evidence Matt's DD)
Milla shows up at Matt's office, wanting to reconcile
Foggy sees BUGLE headline of Fisk's tell-all

DD 77 - FBI Director tells Angela he's going to deal w/Fisk to get Matt
- Fires(!) Angela when she objects
Black Widow tries to intercede for Matt at SHIELD, is told by Acting Director Maria Hill Matt's going down
Matt and Milla are sleeping together when Electra shows up!

DD 78 - Matt and Electra fight and Electria tells Matt to turn on his TV
Milla freaks and runs outside in her underwear
- FBI "National Director" is on TV saying he expects to have evidence to bring Matt down
Kingpin makes the FBI ND squirm for a bit before agreeing to help him
Widow shows on rooftop and she and Electra have a bit of a squabble before agreeing to join forces and help Matt
ANGELA shows up to help out (boy, that is one crowded rooftop!) - says she's out of the FBI, and wants to help
Bullseye goes for Electra w/his playing card of death

DD 79 - DD throws Angela off the roof so she breaks her arm and is out of the fight (nice guy)
DD asks Widow to find Milla, get her out of the country
DD and Electra kick the crap out of Bullseye
- But Bullseye manages to kill a female bystander first
DD is shot by one of Kingpin's people so he'll have to go to Night Nurse and the FBI can arrest him there
- There are NO "Murdock Papers" - Kingpin made the whole thing up to get out!
- Kingpin has FBI ND pressure Ben Urich to reveal Night Nurse's location

DD 80 - Matt is arrested by the FBI at Night Nurse's

DD 81 - FBI ND has his people arrest Kingpin
FBI ND tells Ryker's Island Warden he intends to leave Matt and Kingpin in there to kill each other(!)

DD 81 - First Appearance of DD 2.0 (some guy running around in DD's outfit, pretending to be him)

DD 87 - Matt, having escaped Ryker's Island with Punisher's help, confronts DD 2.0 - who turns out to be Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist
- Danny was hired by persons unknown (he assumed Foggy, but was wrong) to impersonate Matt

No I've got reading to do! Thanks Tim.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Emma Frost and homeschooling.

This is off on a tangent but it's sort of cool when you see a piece of your life referenced in a comic book. This is from the strangely good Emma Frost series. She's in a college class and homeschooling comes up. And it's not about the nutty christian wing of the homeschooling family...It's John Holt!

John Holt was an educator in the 60's who came to believe that school wasn't simply inadequate for kids but actively hindered their learning. He coined a term, "unschooling," that at first meant homeschooling but has now come to represent a style or subset of homeschoolers who sort of chuck the idea of lessons and formal schooling out the window in favour of natural or child-led learning. It's what we do in our house and it's changed my ideas of what learning looks like and even how I learn.

Basically we read a lot, play a lot and take it for granted that the kids will learn what they need to learn. It looks a little funny at times. Car games are where my 8 year old plays with algebra and though she has a little trouble with reading words like 'this' or 'which' she breezes through 'millions of species'. And the kids pick things up one time and retain it, no drills or constant practice needed.

Anyhow, I wonder if the writer on the series was a homeschooling parent. I must look into this. If anyone's interested I've got some links.

Life Learning Magazine (An unschooling magazine - free PDF downloads of past issues)

John Holt and Growing Without Schooling

Radical Unschooling

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hawkeye of the Young Avengers

So I finally read the Young Avengers run and I admit, I really liked it. Lots of great characters, good stories and good art. I especially liked Kate, the unpowered young woman who decides to become a superhero simply on the strength of her will. Well...Until I read the Young Avengers Special that had short 'motivation' stories for all the characters. Now I'm a little put out because Kate's story really took away from Kate's character.

She was attacked. Possibly raped. That's why a nice girl would want to run around with a bow and arrow when she should be shopping and talking about boys! I get it now!

Actually, I got it before. Kate wanted to run around with a bow and arrow because she wanted to. Because she knew she was capable and wasn't a person to wait to be rescued or wait for someone else to do the rescuing. This is the girl who, when faced with armed bad guys and having the police AND superheroes ready to save her STILL decided she needed to take the situation in hand and stab her assailent in the leg to take him out. This is the girl who entertained no doubts about her ability to be a superhero despite a lack of powers or intense training. This is the girl who got on a superhero team by pure force of will.

Kate didn't become Hawkeye because of the half-assed, overused motivation of striking back after an attack. She became one because that's already who she was. Kate knows herself and what she is capable of and pushes herself and others without entertaining a doubt of her ability to acheive her goals. She told off Captain America when he threatened to get in her way. Captain America!

Hopefully that dumb little origin will be buried. Hawkeye is who she is because that's who she is and that's all I need to know.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Michael Turner's Homework.

Lookee what I found (it pays to be a homeschooling mom)!

Comic Book Character lesson plan

Level: Grades 5 to 7


In this lesson, students look at how male and female characters are depicted in comic books. Using a Comic Book Analysis sheet, students will record the attributes of male and female comic book characters. As a class, students will record common attributes on a master sheet and discuss what messages about men and women are reinforced. In groups, students will be asked to design and create a non-stereotypical comic book character.

It's availible in a PDF download. I think Greg Land should get a copy too. However, I recently saw a bit of Tarot; Witch of the Black Rose and I think the lesson may a little too advanced for Jim Balent.

Fat Wonder Woman

With all the recent kerfuffle over Wizard and how females are drawn in comic books I thought people might like to take a look at a couple of sites that challenge the norm.

Fat Wonder Woman. This blog has been posting different artists' ideas of what Wonder Woman would look like if she gained a few pounds. There are a few with themes of gluttony but the majority depict a strong and/or sexy overweight superhero. Here's a quote from an interview at Pop Culture Shock with the blogger, Jamar Nicholas;

"I remember when I was a teenager and I had those girly posters from the Spencers on my wall, but now, In the real world, you find that most of that is make-believe, and you learn to understand that real women have believable, real-world shapes and curves. Wonder Woman is, for all intent and purposes, is supposed to be the ideal woman."

Another one along a sorta similar vein is Ruben Esq's Sketchblog. This guy loves to draw cheesecake...Big cheesecake. They aren't superheroes and the pictures aren't appropriate for the young or prudish but it's just so damn nice to see an artist with an eye for the lines a bigger figure can produce and an obvious love of the fuller figure.

Much love to Jamar Nicholas and Ruben Esq.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Wonder Woman vs. Superman

A great thread at Z-Cult FM discussing who would win in a fight to the death. Weird I know but these guys put forward good arguments that show a lot of respect for WW. Most seem to think WW would put poor Supes down if she needed to.

From Seakay;
"I'd have to agree, Diana is a Warrior. She would have a level of ruthlessness that Supes doesn't. If we go back to the Tower of Babel arc in JLA, her biggest weakness was the ferocity and determination in battle where as Supe's was a form of Kryponite.

Wonder Woman beat Batman in one issue of JLA in a sparring match IIRC and in her own book took down a large chunk of JLA whilst blinded.

She is far more of a martial warrior than Superman, she could take him down ( I don't mind saying this as I'm a massive Supes fan) as he would like pull his punches., even when he doesn't she's shown she can hold her own against the likes of Doomsday and Darkseid."

I can't tell you what a relief it was to read a thread with posts from guys that GOT Wonder Woman. I shouldn't be TOO surprised as I know from experience the guys at Z-Cult tend to be more mature then fanboys I've encountered on other sites. And yes, I'm Alpha Dawn.