Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Tag: mohawk

Storm Sunday: Craig Hamilton, Part II

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I first discovered Craig Hamilton in issue #40 of Marvel Fanfare and instantly fell in love with his rendition of Storm!  I remember being a bit confused because this story was not presented in Uncanny X-Men and yet was still part of continuity (It actully explains an untold story before Storm lost her powers and features the nasty Mystique).  I was a bit upset that there hadn’t been some kind of note in the letters page of Uncanny X-Men to inform me about this extra feature!  I started to get a bit paranoid that perhaps other stories of Storm were being told elsewhere as well!  This image is the back cover of Marvel Fanfare #40, probably because Storm’s story is told second.  The first story features Angel and is written by Ann Nocenti and drawn by David Mazzucchelli!  That cover really caught my attention due to Mazzucchelli’s bold linework and since Angel is my favorite character after Storm I immediately grabbed it!  After flipping through it and discovering Storm’s story and Hamilton’s amazingly lush and detailed artwork, I was in heaven!  I felt like this issue had been created especially for me!

Tomorrow I will share with you, dear reader, the cover and one page from Nocenti and Mazzucchelli’s Angel story as part of Marvel Fanfare Monday!  This new feature will only be up for the month of September (Yes, we are starting a day early!  How generous is that?!) as I celebrate the month of my birth!  Go Virgo!
If you like this image enough to want it in its original form, click on this smaller image to enlarge it.

storm fanfare 1Check out this splash page!  Having Storm’s face hidden in shadows really adds to the mystery and grandeur of the character!  The shape of the clouds imply so much movement, giving a kinetic quality to the overall story.

storm fanfare 2The mutant goddess descends ever so gracefully from the sky!  Check out the closeup of Ororo’s face!  The level of detail is simply breathtaking!

storm fanfare 3Storm enters a club to meet with the nefarious Mystique about Rogue.  Mystique’s trap for Storm is already set before Ororo even walks in the door.  She knows Storm is too noble to do anything less than what is right and unfortunately that is why Mystique has the upper hand in this story.  I’ve always liked Storm’s feud with Mystique and am sad that Mystique has become more of a foil for Wolverine these days.  I’m not going to post any more pages but it is worth your while to check out this underrated issue for yourself!

Craig Hamilton has a gorgeous art gallery posted at ComicArtFans which I highly recommend that you visit!  His Aquaman and Cosmic Odyssey pieces are two of my favorites!

Storm Sunday: Ken Steacy

3805049523_1d1620a393_bThis week’s pinup is ripped from the pages of Marvel Fanfare #23 and is drawn by Ken Steacy!  Storm is the epitome of severe style in this image, sporting a sliver of hair and some rather dangerous nails (I think this is the first time I’ve seen Ororo drawn with claws more befitting  Tigra or Catwoman).  I also think this is the first time that an artist imagined Storm in the salon where she got her hair cut.  Although this image tells a wonderful story, there’s no way that this is how it happened in the comics.  This looks like a very American salon and Storm was in Japan when she changed her look.  Also, conceptually I think it is smart to have a framed photo of Storm on the wall to compare and contrast with the makeover, but there’s no way the salon just happened to have a framed photo of her on their wall.  However, it works because Steacy didn’t simply leave the picture framed on the wall, he drew it broken with cracks in the wall and bits of broken glass on the ground.  The scissors flying down at an angle on the wallpaper really work for me as a design element because they speak to the action of what has happened.  This implied violence is in direct opposition of having Storm nonchalantly relaxing on the seat (not actually in it).  However, I have a hard time believing that Storm would eat fast food, even just a soda.  But overall, the whole scenario gives the character a sense of naughty fun that certainly captures the influence that Storm was getting at this time in the comics from Yukio.  All in all, this a lovely portrait of Storm, speaking volumes about the character and the times in which she was being written (1985).

Storm Sunday: Bret Blevins

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The above image is a pinup from a Marvel Fanfare issue by Bret Blevins (artist on The New Mutants from 1987 – 1989). I love the quiescent mood he’s established with this piece. Storm has taken off her gloves to hold a dove, finding a moment of peace for just a moment as the moon bears witness. I enjoy the kinetic elasticity of Blevins’ characters (especially when he draws Magik). The features of his characters are more elongated and exaggerated, like one would more normally find in animation.  I remember receiving the cover of The Uncanny X-Men #219 in the mail and kind of freaking out about the cover.  The X-Men looked so crazy, like evil crazy.  The issue tells a story from Havok’s point of view and has a very “what is real?” and “what memories of mine are true?” kind of vibe (Psylocke, under Storm’s orders, erases Havok’s mind to protect the secret that they aren’t really dead like the world, at the time, believes).  Blevin’s exaggerated bodies and and facial expressions really enhanced the mind trip aspect of the reading experience for me.  You can check out what Bret has been up to recently on his blog, where he showcases many of his sketches from life model drawing. 

Here’s the same image in its gigantic scanned glory in case  you want to add it as your wallpaper.  I think it’s a lovely image that really captures the earth goddess aspect of Ororo.

Storm Sunday: Dan Brereton

Storm_&_Rogue_(by_Dan_Brereton)
Nobody brings the spooky and the sexy the way Dan Brereton can! This image of Storm and Rogue from their punk rock days is a true gem!  Those eyes!  Those curves!  Those amazing eyebrows that go on forever!  Okay, I have to admit, I love Dan’s work.  There’s just something simultaneously ethereal and hard-edged about his lush paintings.  His characters have a strong presence that feels both realistic and animated to me.  Rogue looks like she’s ready to fly out of the picture and throw you around (And who would mind, really?).

Storm Sunday: Mohawk Rawk

Seriously, what Storm said.  My apologies for being late.

These last three weeks have been rich with activity for yours truly, dear reader.  WonderCon chewed me up and spit me out and it’s taken me this long to get back to regular online activity.  Specifically, I found myself reevaluating all of the projects in my life and how to get to the heart of what matters most to me.  I feel that this blog which started out as an homage to my favorite superheroine has now evolved to being more personal.  Certainly, my opinions and ideas about Marvel’s Merry Band of Mutants have always been expressed with a heartfelt honesty, but they have always been relegated to the comics world, not so much my own.  Once I started to put out buzz about Princess Witch Boy, I felt a shift.  I realized that I needed to work more on promoting my work and not as much about a character that is owned by a corporation.  

X-Men is a franchise.  It’s a giant marketing machine and frankly, I find myself almost always disappointed with how my favorite character is represented, whether it be movies, cartoons, video games or the current comic books.  So, instead of bitching about that (astute readers may have noticed it is not my style to hate on others’ works on this blog;  that’s something you’ll have to hear in person), I’m putting my energy toward the things I can affect.  That means working on my own characters.  That means making comics.    

My secret cache of Storm images is almost spent, and  I no longer search the internet every month to find new images.  Yes, I read anything with an appearance by our favorite weather witch (and I scour Previews for her, trust), but I don’t think every appearance deserves a mention on this site.  There’s simply too many iterations at this point.  Which Storm are we following?  Is it the one in Astonishing X-Men, Black Panther or Uncanny X-Men?  They are not the same character, dear reader.  Warren Ellis, Reggie Hudlin and Matt Fraction are simply not on the same page (pun intended) when it comes to writing Ororo.  She say and/or does things in one comic that do not make sense when read in another (sometimes in the same month of publication!).

Also, the days of the X-Men being their own corner of the Marvel Universe are over.  Now we have microcosms within microcosms, crossovers and more crossovers.  Look at the above cover to X-Men Annual #9.  At the time, this title and New Mutants was the only way you got to keep up with Ororo’s adventures (Yes, I know about the infinite guest star appearances that the X-Men made–and continue to make–for sales, but this is where you followed the happenings of this character).  Do you see how many characters are crowded into that upper left hand corner box?  That was the extent of the characters that X-Men comics included at that time.  If that was done today the whole cover would be awash in a mutant multitude thanks to all the characters populating the X-verse.  Too much.  

However, I do recommend that you check out these previews for Astonishing X-Men in which Storm kicks major butt!  See?  I’m still paying attention, and I will be sure to pass on things I deem important to share.  Warren Ellis’ writing on Astonishing definitely counts.

So, now that I’ve got things back on track, you will be seeing Part III of my WonderCon report, a lengthy essay on my experience cosplaying as Black Widow at said convention, and much more.  Sunday posts will alternate between being about Storm of the X-Men and yours truly, STORM.  Who knows, you might get a mix of both.  Nothing like a little gust of Weather Goddess in your Princess Witch Boy or a dash of Princess Witch Boy in your Weather Goddess, right?

 

Storm Sunday: Paul Smith

Paul Smith took over the pencilling duties on Uncanny X-Men after Dave Cockrum‘s departure. His run lasted from issue #165 through #175 (with the exception of #171). For a comprehensive list of Paul’s comic-related work visit his wikipedia page. His animation background is evident in his style of drawing, especially his creator owned work, Leave It To Chance (written by James Robinson). There’s a nice cover gallery of some of his work here and a very cool drawing of Storm here. This image above is Smith’s version of the costume designed for Storm by Alan Davis.

One item of interest regarding Paul Smith’s version of Storm is that he drew he with a wider nose. Seems not that big a deal maybe, but Smith’s Ororo actually had some African features to her. Most artists draw her the same as any other Caucasian female superhero, almost as if there’s some kind of face template that they use in hopes that the costume and the colorist will help the reader differentiate who’s who. And even though Smith followed Cockrum on the title, he didn’t quite capture the exotic qualities that Cockrum imbued Storm with. However, Smith’s clean economical lines gave Storm a softness that and strength that matched Chris Claremont’s storylines. Paul Smith also got to debut Storm’s punk rock mohawk look which was a radical departure for the character in terms of attitude and appearance.

Paul Smith draws Storm terrorizing Florida with her weather powers.

Storm Sunday: Craig Hamilton

I remember picking up an issue of Marvel Fanfare simply because it had Angel on the cover and being pleasantly surprised to discover that the second story starred Storm! The first story was written by Ann Nocenti and drawn by David Mazzucchelli and the second one was written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Craig Hamilton. It featured a punk rock mohawk Storm meeting with Mystique to discuss Rogue’s future. The story took place before Storm was hit with the neutralizer that stripped her of her powers (which was meant for Rogue). In fact, we learn that Mystique (through the help of her partner Destiny) knew that whoever tried to help Rogue (who had run away to Mississippi) would suffer the fate meant for her. Mystique, of course, did not reveal this to her hated enemy Storm. I remembered loving the art and wished I could find more than just pinups (like this one of Scarlet Witch & Vision) in the back of future Marvel Fanfare issues. My online searches did not come across much online presence for Craig besides this Art Gallery and this YouTube video interview.

The above drawing is unique because it’s a marker sketch and it shows Storm in an evening gown with opera sleeves like you’d expect from the Black Queen. The addition of the punk bracelets is a nice touch because it adds an edgy element to the elegance of the fashion. I also like how Craig chose to title it “Ororo” instead of “Storm,” making this drawing more of a character study than superhero portrait.

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!

Storm Sunday (San Diego Comic Con 2008 Edition): Mark Brooks

I had the pleasure of meeting artist Mark Brooks at Wonder Con last year (He actually recognized me from my MySpace friend request and we got to talking;  I guess this shows that stalking folks you like on MySpace can result in positive results).  I spent some time chatting up Mark and his amazing wife Lisa at their Artist Alley booth at this year’s San Diego Comic Con International.  Both Mark and Lisa are super fun and friendly.  I had a great time talking and laughing with them and wish I could have done more.  My thanks go out to them for being such a big part of my first SDCC.  And to top it all off, Mark drew me this sketch of Storm from his favorite era of our weather goddess’ tenure as leader of the X-Men.  I love his rendition of Ororo.  She’s certainly giving off a no-nonsense ‘tude!

Check out Mark Brooks on MySpace (He has a lot of information about other ways to keep in touch with his projects and art on there) and pick up a copy of Ultimate X-Men by Marvel Comics to see his work!

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