Friday, June 22, 2012

My art: Valkara the Reaver

This is my character Valkara the Reaver as she appears in Skyrim. Valkara has been with me in this basic form for nearly two decades, and she frequently becomes my character of choice in such games. I've taken some liberties in the depiction of the armor and weapons she is using. The game does not include the proper hairstyle, nor does it let me get her physique to the level it is supposed to be, but I've depicted her as she should appear here. Click here to embiggen.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tribute to Ray Bradbury

It's exceedingly rare for the death of someone I've never even met affects me more than just token sympathy for the loved ones they've left behind, but the death of Ray Bradbury is different. I feel like I've lost a member of the family. I grew up reading his work, and he has always been a towering inspiration to me. (Yeah, I know, me and about 50 million other daydreamers...)

Obviously, I had to do SOMETHING in tribute to this man whose wonderful imagination gave me so much. So much has already been written by people far more eloquent than I, however, so I decided to draw something inspired by his work. It surely won't be the best piece of art you'll see this week, but it is uniquely mine, and that will have to be enough. No one else would have done it in quite the same way. It's the best way I can think of to honor his memory in my own small way.

Family Reunion is inspired by one of my favorite stories, Homecoming, which can be found in the wonderful October Country collection. Obviously, I highly recommend it. Click here if you wish to see an embiggened version.
Rest well, Mr. Bradbury.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight digital comic series kicks off today

DC's new Batman series Legends of the Dark Knight begins today.
It's available here, and it's just 99 cents per issue. This digital-first comic series tells Batman stories by various high-profile creators who are unburdened by current continuity. This means that literally anyone can purchase and read a random issue of this series and have no trouble diving right in. Yesterday, DC announced the creative team lineups for the first six weeks of the series:

June 7 – “The Butler Did It” written by Damon Lindelof with artwork by Jeff Lemire

June 14 – “All of the Above” written by Jonathan Larsen with artwork by JG Jones

June 21– “The Crime Never Committed” written by Tom Taylor with artwork by Nicola Scott and Wayne Faucher

June 28 – “Crisis of Identity” Part 1 written by B. Clay Moore with artwork by Ben Templesmith

July 5 – “Crisis of Identity” Part 2 written by B. Clay Moore with artwork by Ben Templesmith

July 12 – “Crisis of Identity” Part 3 written by B. Clay Moore with artwork by Ben Templesmith

Longtime Batman comic readers will recall the original Legends of the Dark Knight series that launched to coincide with the release of the first Burton Batman film in 1989. It focused on telling stories set in the Year One era, and eventually evolved to the point that it would sometimes feature stories that took place completely outside of continuity. The beloved series came to an end in 2007, and DC soon launched a similar series, Batman Confidential. For whatever reason, this new series never seemed to have the fire of its predecessor, and it too was cancelled in early 2011. Luckily, this new digital Legends of the Dark Knight series looks poised to follow in the spirit of the first comic series to bear that title.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Before Watchmen begins tomorrow!

As a certain TV ad may have reminded you, DC's epic Before Watchmen project kicks off tomorrow, with the debut issue of Darwyn Cooke's Minutemen. Personally, I can hardly wait. The level talent involved is staggering. Despite Alan Moore's ravings-- I've made my feelings clear as far as his stance is concerned-- the project is sure to be a massive hit. I still see a lot of people around the internet claiming that we're basically supporting every corporate entity who has ever screwed over an artist by supporting this project, but that is ridiculous hyperbole. Honestly, I get as indignant as anyone about the shabby state of affairs in the comics industry when it comes to how the creators of decades-old beloved characters have been compensated-- r not-- for their creations. Frankly, however, I do not feel that the Watchmen issue falls into that wide-ranging category. Moore was given every opportunity to be involved with this in some way-- seriously, the powers that be at DC have gone to monumental lengths over the years to try to appease him-- but he would have none of it.  He holds his Watchmen characters, who he co-created with artist Dave Gibbons using the Charlton stable of characters as a springboard, sacrosanct and inviolable. Meanwhile, he has become a purveyor of what amounts to pornographic fan-fiction featuring the beloved characters of other creators, and fails to see the irony in it all.

Some of you may avoid the Before Watchmen project like that plague, citing creator's rights, or whatever.
While I am very sympathetic to creators who have been mercilessly put to the screws, I just don't feel this is one of those cases. Ultimately, as with religious discussions, this is just one of those topics where none of us are at all likely to convince anyone with an opposing viewpoint that their way is the right way. We must each decide for ourselves what our attitude will be toward this project. Personally, I'll be reading them all without an ounce of guilt, and either enjoying them or not based on their own merits, free from any influence by the controversy surrounding the very existence of these comics.