Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Tag: pinup

Storm Sunday: Michael McDaniel

Storm by Michael McDaniel
While scouring the web looking for images of the X-Men’s resident weather witch, I stumbled upon the artwork of Michael McDaniel.  I did not find any personal information about this artist, and it doesn’t appear that he has any published comics work to his credit.  He seems to be primarily making a name for himself as a pinup artist.  The above image of Storm is definitely a more classic look for her, but with a touch more muscle than I am used to seeing Ororo portrayed (at least before she went punk rock).  I like the expansiveness of the pose and the way McDaniel illustrated her hair and tiara.  I do think the cape is a bit too small, but we can blame that on unstable molecules.  For another version of Storm by McDaniel check out SwanShadow’s blog.

Johnny Storm by Michael McDaniel
Here’s a whole ‘nother kind of Storm in the form the Fantastic Four’s resident hothead, Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch (as portrayed by Chris Evans).  I like the art board that McDaniel uses.  The texture gives his work a rough edge which is nicely contrasted with the smooth lines.  The design element of the yellow rectangle gives this image an advertisement vibe.
Shang Chi by Michael McDaniel
More beefcake is on the menu as McDaniel draws his version of Shang Chi, Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu!  Again, I really enjoy the pencil gradations.
Michael McDaniel Zatanna
DC’s Zatanna, Mistress of Magic is casting a spell on you in this sassy pinup.  McDaniel certainly has saucier versions if you are interested.
Superman B&W Pencil
Superman doesn’t seem to be in much of hurry to get into his full costume, does he?  Caught in mid-transformation, this image of Clark Kent is really all about the musculature (and maybe the pin stripes of his shirt).  I’m getting a definite 80s Nagel fashion illustration influence here.
Isis Pencil by Michael McDaniel
Oh, Mighty Isis!  McDaniel gets into depicting the intricate jewelry of this DC Comics’ heroine.  She looks resolute as she flies powerfully through the sky.
Conner Kent
One last slab of beefcake in the form of this Brandon Routh inspired Superboy.  Apparently, it’s very important that you check out his superhuman six pack!  If you are into good/bad girl/boy artwork, then check out more McDaniel artwork here.    Cheers!

Marvel Fanfare Monday: Terry Austin, Sandy Plunkett, Mike Zeck & Rick Leonardi

Marvel Fanfare Monday was only supposed to last through September, but I simply cannot pass up the chance to share some more pinup gems with you from that short-lived series!  As always, click on an image to see it larger!Cloak & Dagger by Terry Austin Marvel Fanfare #18 Terry Austin gives us a serious take on Cloak and Dagger (not that they were really ever happy go lucky) with this image from Marvel Fanfare #18. I like how he uses the white of Dagger’s outfit as a design element that contrasts with the darkness of Cloak’s hand.   This is simplicity and elegance in one amazing portrait.

Punisher by Zeck Marvel Fanfare #45This Punisher pinup by Mike Zeck from Marvel Fanfare #45 spotlights Frank Castle posing in front of a wall of graffiti.  Zeck is often remembered fondly for his work on Punisher as well as “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” and Secret Wars (he and Rick Leonardi designed the black Spider-Man suit).  I loved his work on G.I. Joe as well!

Scarlet Witch by Sandy Plunkett Marvel Fanfare Sandy Plunkett‘s rendition of Scarlet Witch is beyond fierce!  Surrounded by animals in the wild, she is a force with whom to be reckoned!  This image is from Marvel Fanfare #45, the all pinup issue!

Colossus by Rick Leonardi Marvel Fanfare #45Colossus is bursting through Russian words in this image by Rick Leonardi (also from Marvel Fanfare #45).  There’s an amazing gallery of his art here.  I especially love Leonardi’s work on The Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants and Cloak and Dagger!

Check back next Monday for more pinups from four different Marvel Fanfare artists!

Marvel Fanfare Monday: Ken Steacy

Cloak & Dagger by Ken Steacy Marvel Fanfare  #23

Cloak and Dagger strike a pose reminiscent of Dirty Dancing in this illustration by designer Ken Steacy. Perhaps Dagger took ballet before she ran away with Cloak? I don’t remember their origin clearly.  I do like Cloak’s stoic stance in contrast to Dagger’s pirouette.  You get a sense right away that these two are partners even if you aren’t familiar with their relationship.  

Power Pack by Ken Steacy Marvel Fanfare #23

Power Pack wrecks a diner!  Steacy does a great job communicating each character’s personality through body language and props.  The dragon detail in the background is amazing! I wonder if that man looking over the booth is Steacy or a friend he drew in the picture.  Steacy’s attention to detail can even be found in his signature which is stylized to fit the Asian restaurant theme.

Guardian by Ken Steacy Marvel Fanfare #23

Guardian from Alpha Flight flies high!  Salute!  I’m going to take a wild guess and place this image before the time that good ‘ole James Hudson blows up (the first time).  Oops! Spoilers from the 1980s!  I like this image.  It’s clean, slick and powerful.  I like the juxtaposition of the planes with Guardian, but I wonder if instead of flying with them, he’s really just in their way.

Fantastic Four by Ken Steacy Marvel Fanfare #22

The Fantastic Four are a family that just happens to be the world’s most amazing superheroes too!  Here we get a small slice of home life as Reed and Sue return from a night out and find their son Franklin perched on the Thing’s knee.  Franklin is, of course, reading about his family’s adventures in a comic book!  How meta, yes?  Check out Sue’s hair!  That is a serious 80s flashback!

Doctor Strange by Ken Steacy Marvel Fanfare #23

Doctor Strange enters a strange dimension where everything has turned into a slick advertising campaign!  Okay, that might not actually be true, but that’s what it looks like to me.  From the hyper-stylized face of the woman in the background to the pattern on the green suit of the man in the foreground, this world looks like a Nagel painting got smashed up with Lisa Frank stickers and an Atari video game.  The good Doctor’s expression is one of bewilderment as if even he cannot fathom this strange ad world.   I enjoy Steacy’s take on Doctor Strange.  He really nails the cloak details and the image on his shirt.  The hair is a bit too slick for my tastes, but that’s my only quibble. 

You’ve seen Ken Steacy’s take on mohawk Storm, right?

Marvel Fanfare Monday: Craig Hamilton

Craig Hamilton knows characters.  His portraits of superheroes pare down each character to their most classic elements.  Take Dark Phoenix for instance.  The dramatic arrangement of her arms is perfect for a character of her tumultuous history.  The weight of her power bears down heavily on her as her fiery aureole majestically engulfs her.  This is a woman consumed by her own intensity.

Click on any of the images to view them larger!  Then you can better enjoy Hamilton’s amazing linework!
Nightcrawler is a charming man despite his unusual appearance.  He channels his hero Errol Flynn in this image with a swashbuckler bent to his body language (The hoop earring is also a nice touch).  I love the added detail of the fading smoke from his recent teleportation.
The Scarlet Witch and the Vision used to be quite the power couple before a few dismantlements (him) and mental breakdowns (her) left their relationship in shambles.  I prefer to think of these characters in their classic forms from this time.  Wanda is looking confident but contemplative (a far cry from her recent depictions) and the Vision stares with glowing eyes that reveal his android nature.  I love that Hamilton chose to emphasize the etherealness of both characters by having Wanda floating and the Vision phasing.
Hamilton’s version of Cloak and Dagger is stunning, truly representing the core essences of Tandy and Tyrone’s struggle with their respective super-powered polarities.
Lockheed hovers above the intangible Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat).  Kitty has always struggled with a costume that works for her and most people do not refer to her by her Shadowcat codename since she has gone through so many, so it seems appropriate to have her depicted in regular clothes for her portrait.

Colossus shows off his organic steel muscle definition in a rare display of exhibitionism.  Usually, Piotr is quiet and reserved, slow to anger but a powerhouse when tested.  Colossus (alongside Nightcrawler and Storm) are among the most unique and iconic of the All-New, All-Different character designs.
Ka-Zar, Shanna the She-Devil and Zabu relax in their Savage Land home.  There’s a little something for everyone in this amazing illustration.  Ka-Zar isn’t usually depicted so beefy, but I have no complaints.  Everything about this piece from character to composition works for me.

I saved my favorite for last because it showcases everything I love about Craig Hamilton’s work.  Not only is he true to the characters’ designs and histories, he creates the most beautiful arrangements in which to place them.  The multiple layers of setting (rain on the window, the windowpanes, the figures,the fabric & the smoke from the incense burner) give the artwork depth and density which an esoteric character like Doctor Strange really needs.  Also, Hamilton excels at presenting the natures of the relationships of characters to one another.  Clea is Doctor Strange’s disciple, but she is also his lover.  Even if this is your first time viewing these characters you can tell that they have something very special together.

The spotlight shines on another amazing artist on next week’s Marvel Fanfare Monday!

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