Saturday, April 18, 2015

Remembering Herb Trimpe, 1939-2015


When a comic book creator from my childhood passes away, I like to remember them by looking through their old stories and drawing their characters. It’s a way to honor them, but also help deal with the sadness.

And it is a sadness. Sure, I remember their wonderful careers, the sheer joy I get from their work, the inspiration it gave me as a child and  continues today. But it’s sad because these are real people, with families and friends and daily lives. They die and many people, in addition to their loved ones, will miss them.

Somehow, we fans can get very attached to our favorites. Not just their work, but we read interviews with them over the years, learn about their behind-the-scenes moments in the comics biz, discover things about their private lives beyond comics. We sometimes get very lucky to meet them in person.

We get to shake their hands, introduce ourselves, talk to them one on one. If we’re artists, we might even share our work, or tell them how they influenced us. Course there’s also time for an autograph of a favorite comic, maybe even a photograph with the artist. If we’re lucky, we may even get a little drawing from them.



Herb Trimpe passed away last Monday. He was 75 years old, active on the convention circuit, and still drawing the occasional comic. I had the good fortune to meet him back in 2012, and I did all the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph. He was a sweet man, extremely personable and sincere. And happy. Happy like the way his comics made me feel, happy in the way his art appeared to me... He was happy.

I’m sad he’s gone now, sorry that he’s no longer with his family, friends and us. But I’m happy that he created so many stories, happy he was so good at what he did. Happy that he persevered the many roads his life and career took.

My tribute drawings here include Red Ronin and Godzilla, from his run on Marvel's GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS. He told me he had carte blanche in designing Godzilla for the comic, so he left his imprint on that character for all time. And Captain Britain, another 1970s assignment for Marvel, one of his best designs, and in my opinion, one of the best designs of any comic book character. Bold and splashy and vibrant, and also very direct in getting the essence of the character across.

Friday, April 10, 2015

World's Finest: My tributes to the Superman and Batman Families

Over the last several months, I drew a variety of Superman and Batman related images in my sketchbook. I'd look through their histories and pick characters from their Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages, finding ones that I liked and wanted to take a shot at.

There's been some amazingly imaginative and entertaining stories there, so getting a chance to explore them has been fun. Here's the whole collection of all 20 drawings!



Superman, the Man of Steel
 
The Dynamic Duo: Batman and Robin

Composite Superman Batman

Catwoman

Supergirl
 
Bizarro Krypto and Bat-Mite

Lex Luthor

Nightwing and Flamebird from the Bottle City of Kandor

Negative Batman, Zebra Batman & Rainbow Batman

SuperBaby & BatBaby

The Batman and Superman Revenge Squad

Titano vs The Super Mobile

Batgirl

Ace the Bathound Vs Bizarro Mr. Mxyzptlk


Anti-Superman and Anti-Batman
Jungle Batman and Robin & Mogo the Bat Ape
The Batman of Planet X

The Batwoman

The Joker and Bizarro Batman

Bizarro and Mr. Mxyzptlk

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pre-order the SON OF THE COMIC POP SKETCHBOOK!

"Damn, I love Javier's work... for it's boldness and unpretentious spirit. His colors and brushstrokes are direct and straightforward. What you see is what you get, no apologies, no pretense. and it's Magical. There is an innocence when one's work is so honest. Awesome!"

Artist Ted Seko, Spongebob Squarepants


I'm currently taking pre-orders for my new sketchbook, THE SON OF COMIC POP SKETCHBOOK. Here's the front and back cover:


This new book is 80 pages, in color and b&w, and filled end to end with sketches, color drawings, production art, character designs and even a few short comics, two of which have never been printed in a book before. Sample a few pages:




I've even dug up some of my drawings from my high school days, so you can see what my teen years produced in terms or cartooning. A lot of the art in the book has commentary by me, sharing my thoughts on a particular piece or discussing choices I make in character designs.



You can pre-order the book for $20, which includes the shipping. Also, if you want to collect some original artwork, I'm making available several pages from my actual sketchbooks. 8.5" x 11" original, full-color drawings of mine that are actually printed in the book. You can buy these in combination with the book. Visit the Los Comex Webshop to see the pages available and to place your order for SON OF THE COMIC POP SKETCHBOOK.

Your pre-orders help me pay for the initial print run, and you're saving yourself the shipping cost which I'm not adding to the price of the book. Every book comes signed, with a small sketch by me. So thanks!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here comes 2015!

2015 is just around the corner.
Instead of doing the usual 'year in review' (which you can actually revisit by reading my posts made throughout 2014, just check out the Blog Archive on the lower right-hand side of this post), I'm going to give you a little preview of what I have in the works.


I'm working on a new sketchbook, my first since 2010's COMIC POP SKETCHBOOK. The new one will be 80 pages and will feature b&w as well as color pages. A good chunk of the material will be artwork from my sketchbooks done in the last 4 years, but I've also been digging through books going back to 2006. I've even found a stack of artwork I did back in my teen years, so you'll get to see some of my earlier work (like The Crusader!)




There will also be two comics I've done recently that'll see print for the first time in this book. It's been fun going through all the artwork, so now I need to finish up the compilation and order a proof copy from the printer. My best estimation is that the book would be available by February. I'll keep everyone updated via social networks.





The other project I'm working on is my first EL MUERTO trade paperback, which will compile stories from KING SIZE EL MUERTO, EL MUERTO MISHMASH & EL MUERTO:DAZE OF THE DEAD Pt. 1. The book will include the all-new material for Pt. 2, which I've decided to include in the collection instead of printing it up as a single issue.


A couple of the comics are now out of print, so I figure it's best to make the whole saga available in one collection. Haven't decided on what the cover will be, but I drew this sketch based on an initial idea. We'll see....



Here's a look at some of the artwork:




Still more work to do on this story, then there's the process of compiling all four issues into one book. But that's what I do, make comics!




I'm probably looking at a Spring release for the EL MUERTO collection. Beyond these two books, I know there's another Latino Comics Expo to plan for. As usual, there's several other things in the pipeline in varying stages of development, so we'll see how those pan out.

As for other comics work, I've found in the last few years that I tend to spontaneously whip up a new comic book when I get hit by the muse. I know I want to produce another round of short stories (2, 3, maybe 5 pagers) throughout the year, so expect those to pop up periodically.

Thanks for sharing your time, interest and money with me this past year! I create my stories because I want to see them take a physical form as a comic book, and I'm always appreciative when folks enjoy them.