Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Month: August 2008 Page 1 of 2

Storm Sunday: Jim Lee, Part II

Artist Jim Lee’s version of the X-Men is a treasured part of my adolescence. I have to admit that I looked forward to every issue of X-Men he drew and loved his creator owned creation WildC.A.T.S comic as well. It’s interesting to note how long his costume redesigns lasted. And whether you like it or not, Psylocke’s ninja bikini is now her most classic costume. I’m not sure what that says about the character. Anyway, I thought it might be fun to revisit the time the X-Men were stationed in the Australian outback. I really loved the original outback lineup of Havok, Wolverine, Longshot, Colossus, Rogue, Storm, Dazzler and Psylocke. The balance of male and female teammates appealed to me. Of course, we also had Gateway, Jubilee and Madelyn Pryor. Then a reformed Polaris joined after a very strange power switch (that’s why she’s so American Gladiator-ish in the pic below) and Banshee and Forge returned as trainers. A lot of stuff was going on on Muir Isle around then. Things were getting crowded again with lots and lots of characters.

Above, Psylocke and Storm look menacing with their energy powers and diva stances. I love this version of Storm’s costume sooooo much! I wish she had actually used it in the books. The choker rocks and is reminiscent of her punk era. The side cut looks visually appealing, and her ruby takes center stage to give us some sex appeal (by that I mean some skin). The shoulder pads are a bit 90s but I like them here with the baggy sleeves and cape. It’s regal, but superheroic and pin up girl at the same time.
Storm, Forge & Polaris. Storm looks amazing here. Totally gorgeous, regal, and commanding. I’ve never understood why Forge doesn’t cover up his cybernetic leg. Like, what? Does he cut of one of the pants legs every time he get a costume? Hey guys, look! I have an artificial leg! Or maybe he needs access to the materials in his leg to make stuff? I dunno. And Polaris, love that hair, girl! And the muscles! It was nice to see a girl with super strength actually look like she had it.
Jubilee, Havok, Psylocke & Wolverine (in the foreground). Jubilee was great under Jim Lee’s pencils. Loved her smart mouth and her bubble gum. She was a great character foil for Wolvie and the ultra cool (as in chilly) Psylocke.
Rogue, Banshee, Gateway (in the background) & Colossus. This is my favorite costume of Rogue’s. Actually, I like the one in the 80’s where she’s wearing the black bodysuit, a green thong and a green tank top with double belts, but this one is close enough. And no one, and I mean, no one draws Banshee’s costume with as much flair as Jim Lee. He really knew how to get those stripes to look amazing!
Storm with short hair and in the blue and gold uniform. This haircut didn’t last long, but I think it’s pretty cool. I’m not, however, a fan of Storm in this outfit. I like the X-Men when they’re in the their own individual costumes. Leave the uniforms for the younger kids who haven’t reached X-Men status yet.

Storm Sunday: Michael Kaluta

This Sunday we take a look at two images from the amazing Michael Wm. Kaluta!

This image is from The Uncanny Dave Cockrum Tribute book.  I really dig the ying/yang Nightcrawlers in the center of Storm’s lightning tinged fingers.  Storm’s face has a more androgynous look here, her nose is a bit more Greco-Roman and her lips have a more pronounced curve to them (especially the upper lip).  Her cheek bones are higher and her chin has a bit more prominence, giving Ororo a more classical look.  Also, notice how her tiara is depicted much smaller than usual above the forehead, but it extends in front of her ears to her cheekbones.

Though Storm is prominently featured in this image, the focus is really on the double Nightcrawlers, who look more demonic than ever.  By giving them more realistic anatomy and hunched, almost fetal-like posture, Kaluta has emphasized Kurt’s (the Kurts’) otherworldly mutant nature.  The realistic drawing style, combined with the metaphorical imagery makes Marvel’s mutants look rather mystical.   

Speaking of mystical natures, here’s Zatanna “conjuring a storm” by Kaluta. I’m not sure if it is intentional or not, but Storm’s detailed hands with their long sharp nails and her rather angry face remind me of Ororo’s time as a thrall to Dracula.  My intuition tells me that Kaluta probably just wanted to draw her full of weather witch intensity.  She definitely looks ticked off!  This image is a nice DC/Marvel crossover moment as well as a cute pun and it’s always great to see Zatanna!

Storm Sunday (San Diego Comic Con 2008 Spotlight): Cameron Stewart

This San Diego Comic Con, I had the amazing fortune to work at the super cool Booth #2207 featuring the critically acclaimed talented trio of artists Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart and Dave Bullock! As you can see at that link, Cooke, Stewart and Bullock all had amazing art books for sale at the booth and an incredible host of all-star talent coming to the booth for signings.

iFanboy‘s describes Cameron Stewart’s art book as “a 48-page, vibrantly colorful hardback collection of unpublished and never-before-seen pin-up illustrations, many created specifically for this edition. Also available will be WARM-UPS, Cameron’s 2008 Sketchbook (softcover,black and white), a mix of complete illustrations and rough process drawings further showcasing his single-track obsession with cute females.” You can purchase the artbook here!  Just scroll down until you see the cover I have reproduced in the middle of this post.

The first volume of The Apocalypstix, written by Ray Fawkes, illustrated by Cameron and published by Oni Press is now available!  Get your copy today!  Also, keep an eye out for Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye by Stewart and written by Grant Morrison.  Check out Cameron Stewart’s site here and stalk him on MySpace here.  Read the Wikipedia entry on him here and learn all about his Eisner-nominated series The Other Side he created with writer Jason Aaron.

Cameron drew this GORGEOUS rendering of punk rock mohawk Storm on the last day of Comic Con in spite of being exhausted and overworked.  I am forever grateful to him for this piece which is a scintillating gem in my collection of Storm drawings.  I love the soft yet powerful eyes of Ororo in this drawing.  The details of light on her nose and collar studs are great touches.  What about those perfect lips?! And that mohawk is beautiful!  I’ve simply run out of adjectives to adequately describe how happy this artwork makes me.  Thanks, Cameron!

This is the cover of the artbook you need to purchase here.

One of my favorite images from the aforementioned artbook.  I love how Cameron is able to give his women a streetwise flair for fashion.

San Diego Comic Con 2008 Spotlight: Dave Bullock

This San Diego Comic Con, I had the amazing fortune to work at the super cool Booth #2207 featuring the critically acclaimed talented trio of artists Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart and Dave Bullock!  As you can see at that link, Cooke, Stewart and Bullock all had amazing art books for sale at the booth and an incredible host of all-star talent coming to the booth for signings.

iFanboy‘s bio of Dave hits all the high notes:

“Animation Director DAVID BULLOCK (credits include the lauded film adaptation of Eisner-winning graphic novel The New Frontier, and the upcoming feature Star Wars: The Clone Wars) announces the release of BULLOCK- ART WORKS, his first-ever art book at Comicon. The book contains a selection of David’s original, creator-owned artwork, as well as character designs and development art from his work as an animation director, and traditional comic book and pin-up art.”

All the images I’m showing in this post are from BULLOCK- ART WORKS.

Be sure to check out the upcoming Age of the Sentry mini-series which will feature covers by Dave!  The series is written by Jeff Parker and Paul Tobin and drawn by Nick Dragotta and Colleen Coover!

The highly kinetic cover to BULLOCK- ART WORKS features a kick-ass Robin!  Check out those treads!

Dave draws a gorgeous rendition of Blackfire, Starfire’s ne’erdowell sister from Teen Titans Go!

And finally, I present my favorite image from the book!  Bullock’s Batman is rendered beautifully as he jumps from rooftop to rooftop.

San Diego Comic Con 2008 Spotlight: Darwyn Cooke

This San Diego Comic Con, I had the amazing fortune to work at the super cool Booth #2207 featuring the critically acclaimed talented trio of artists Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart and Dave Bullock!  As you can see at that link, Cooke, Stewart and Bullock all had amazing art books for sale at the booth and an incredible host of all-star talent coming to the booth for signings.  The images from today’s post are all from Darwyn’s artbook Retroactive, which iFanboy describes as, “a beautiful 48-page collection of selected art produced over the last ten years, from Darwyn’s time as an animation artist through to his current career as a superstar comic book writer/illustrator. The book collects all-new, never-before-published art, rarely-seen material, and some sketchbook pages, with most being finished, full-color illustrations.” 

Besides selling his artbooks and attending signing after signing, Darwyn announced his new project: adapting the “Parker” series crime novels by Donald Westlake (under the pen name Richard Stark) as a series of four full-length graphic novels for IDW Publishing.  IDW’s official press release is hereComic Book Resources and Newsarama (among many, many others) also have more information.

The cover for Retroactive.

Artwork from Justice League: The New Frontier graphic novel.  The cartoon movie adaptation of this work has been nominated for an Emmy!

My favorite image from Retroactive is a scene from Justice League: The New Frontier.  I was very happy to see it represented in the art book!

This image of Green Lantern and Carol Ferris invokes a sense of wonder that I always get when I look at Darwyn Cooke’s work.

You can see a partial bibliography list of Darwyn’s work here.  Dunno how accurate it is since it’s Wikipedia.  I definitely recommend his amazing work on The Spirit, especially the Batman/Spirit one-shot.

San Diego Comic Con 2008 Spotlight: Jason Aaron

If you’ve been reading Ghost Rider lately you might know about Jason Aaron, one of comicdom’s rising writiers.  Or you might know him from Scalped, the ongoing Native American crime series by Vertigo Comics.  Or you might have read some issues of Wolverine by him or maybe you’ve read the first issue of his three issue Secret Invasion stint on Black Panther.  I sincerely hope, dear reader, that if you are unfamiliar with his work that you seek it out and support this amazing writer (especially Scalped, it’s truly gripping).  Jason was also nominated for an Eisner for his work with Cameron Stewart on the Vietnam War mini-series The Other Side.     

I got the opportunity to chat briefly with Jason at the San Diego Comic Con and being a good sport, he not only signed my sketchbook for me, but he also drew this funny Ghost Rider/Punisher cartoon!  Thanks, Jason!

Check out Jason Aaron on his site here.  Stalk him on MySpace here.  Now go pick up a copy of Scalped.  Now!

San Diego Comic Con 2008 Spotlight: Joshua Middleton

The day before I left for San Diego Comic Con, I shared a bit of art by the amazing Joshua Middleton, but little did I know that I would get the chance to meet the man himself!

Below is a sketch he drew for me of the character Adam from Steven T. Seagle and Becky Cloonan’s American Virgin (Vertigo Comics).  Joshua’s site is here and you can learn about American Virgin here.  This is the cover that Joshua drew that made me fall in love with the character. Of course, once I read an issue I fell in love with Becky Cloonan’s drawings of him as well!  Go get American Virgin from your local comic book dealer!

Thing is, I used that cover as a focus for a story I was writing in graduate school since he somewhat resembled the main protagonist.  I must have stared at that image on my wall for at least two years (I bought two copies of the comic and ripped off the cover of one to hang up)!  So, it is a great treasure to have an original drawing of the character who inspired so many late night writing sessions!

Thanks, Joshua for an amazing sketch!

Look at those soulful eyes!  This is a character who obviously thinks deep thoughts (and has great hair to go with a big brain).

San Diego Comic Con 2008 Spotlight: Grant Morrison

You know what really frustrates me?  When I mention comic book superstars to my non-comic reading frineds and they say, “Who?”  That drives me bonkers.  It’s like what can I do?  Shove comics in their hands?  Plant them in their houses?  Give them as presents for their birthdays?

Anyway, I came back from San Diego Comic Con totally blissed out and my non-comic reading friends were all like, “What happened to you?  Who did you meet?”  And when I mentioned Grant Morrison, their faces went blank with ignorance.  I mean, GRANT MORRISON!  It’s ridiculous.

So, at a signing at the Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart and Dave Bullock booth, I got to be elf to Grant Morrison’s Santa Claus (It’s a lot less sordid than it sounds, unfortunately).  I ushered fans in and out of the booth as they chatted up Grant and got him to sign their copies of Seaguy, JLA, X-Men, Final Crisis, Batman, The Invisibles, Animal Man, etcetera.  Beforehand, Grant and I had five minutes to talk about Lord Fanny, drag, magic (particularly sigils) and the power of intuition.  Definitely the most amazing five minute conversation I’ve had in a long time!

In addition to dispensing wise counsel to all who visited the booth, Grant kindly signed my sketchbook and drew me this sweet sketch of Batman!  Give Grant’s newly updated site a visit!  I most definitely recommend you read his POP MAG!C section!

Also, check out this Publisher’s Weekly interview with Grant!

San Diego Comic Con 2008 Spotlight: Jimmy Palmiotti

While working at the Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart and Dave Bullock booth at this year’s San Diego Comic Con (more on that soon, I promise), I got the chance to meet Jimmy Palimiotti!  Jimmy’s a man of many talents and projects and is a well known writer, editor and creator.  You can check out his official bio here (along with the super-talented Amanda Conner and the illustrious Justin Gray).  Jimmy’s wikipedia entry is here and after you check out the work he’s done and order his books from your local comic dealer and watch Painkiller Jane on the SciFi channel, you can stalk him on MySpace.

I really enjoyed my brief chat with Jimmy as he hung out with the artists of Booth 2207 and was especially delighted when he graciously agreed to sketch this portrait of the Punisher for me.

Frank’s looking grim and gritty in this piece, just the way I like him!  Gotta love the stubble, the jacket collar and that raised eyebrow.  I think this drawing really encapsulates the rough and rugged emotional character of Frank Castle!  He’s a potent combination of handsome and dangerous! Much gratitude to Jimmy for this great sketch!

Storm Sunday: Mark Robinson

While I do have lots more amazing drawings from San Diego Comic Con 2008 to share with you, dear reader, I thought it would be cool to first share this amazing Storm drawing that artist Mark Robinson was so kind to draw for me at this past Wonder Con!

Now that’s a hot piece of art right there, folks! There’s a lot of movement in this piece. Storm looks ready to invoke some hurricane winds! Her eye makeup is amazing and I really dig how tall the mohawk is! I also love how Mark’s added a few punk rings and bangles to Ororo’s regular choker and bracelets! This is 80s fashion at its finest! *grins*

I’d love to promote Mark’s upcoming work, but didn’t find a site for him when I Googled his name. If you know where Mark Robinson can be found on the web, please drop me a line and let me know!

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