In seventh grade my friend Ronnie and his brother Rich introduced me to the world of comic book collecting. They already had an impressive box full of comics in their little plastic sleeves and all- and that is when I discovered the X-men. Back then (@ 1982-83) I believe the artist was John Byrne, and inked by Terry (?) Austin (at least we spent the next few years hunting down their back issues at the nearest comic store). Mr. Byrne’s drawings heavily influenced our own drawing techniques (all of us were pretty decent at sketching). Rich had the most “professional comic artist” look to his drawings… and I do recall he was especially fond of the female X-men, Storm and Phoenix, and even more fond of endowing them with gi-normous boobs.
On a serious note, I had noticed that there was sort of a “formula” for drawing comic characters… their anatomy, musculature, proportions, etc. Byrne’s drawings remind me of those little wooden puppets with movable parts you see artists use… even the shape of everyone’s heads was sort of oval. Basically, everyone was a carbon copy, but slight differences made people unique, be it height, hair style, size of mouth, size or width of eyes, a wrinkle here or there… you know what I mean. I think it helped me to learn to pay attention to proportion and to exaggerate poses to heighten drama and a sense of movement.
So this week I felt like returning to my comic roots and drawing new sketches from the recent Marvel movies. Wolverine was our favorite, and we had many conversations on who should play him in a movie. Back in the day, Robert Deniro was the favorite, especially after his psycho performance in Cape Fear. When it was announced that an unknown Aussie soap opera actor would play the coolest mutant ever, I admit to thinking “…and Hollywood destroys yet another popular character”. As it turned out, the guy they picked was pretty darned good, and now I cant imagine any one else in the role.
I was quite pleased with the way this one came out… here is Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine: