Sunday, May 03, 2009


Free Comic Book Day, an annual, national event for the promotion of comic books, was yesterday. Local and phenonmenal store Heroes Aren't Hard to Find always puts on a great party that includes reginal artists doing free sketches also. It really is incredible seeing all these talented people willing to put in their time and not charge for sometimes near-finished pieces. The amount of work and detail some of these individuals put in is incredible. And the Heroes owner, Shelton Drum, and his staff are always fantastic, even on such a crazy day for them .

I have a sketchbook that has the theme of "monsters." I just ask artists to draw a monster of their choosing (or sometimes if I have a specific monster in mind, of my choosing). Here are the cool sketches I got this year plus two from last year that I haven't had the opportunity to post. The other sketches in my book are posted in this entry my now-defunct blog The Silent Accomplice.

2009 Sketches

Jason Latour (The Expatriate, Loose Ends) was doing color pieces and did this great Gene Colan-esque version of Hammer Studios Dracula. He knew "it couldn't be Bela Legosi." So, you get a white-haired Christopher Lee-type version of the Count. There's so many things I love about this piece from the hand outreaching in a cool 3-D effect to the way the mouth gapes open to his use of colors, especially the blue shading.

Here's a neat comparison shot I found on the web later of Christopher Lee in Horror of Dracula. Just to reiterate, Jason didn't have any comparison shot when he drew the sketch (he was something of an Encylopedia Brown, as dubbed by Chris Brummer), so it's uncanny how well he captures the feel of this version.

Nat Jones is known for his horror comics work with Steve Niles, on Spawn, and Frank Franzetta's Death Dealer, so it was a no-brainer to ask for a sketch of a monster from him, which resulted in this muck-encrusted mockery of man. Pretty dern creepy and a great add.

Chris Brummer (Gotham Central, Loose Ends) struggled for a moment to think of a suitable monster before coming up with this wonderful rendition of Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie
(Gary Oldman) Dracula. Clicking on the image will make it larger where you can see the wonderful detail in the chalice and the face of Dracula. What you won't be able to see, unfortunately, is the slight color of silver color in his eyes, giving the actual drawing another depth of eerieness. I think the serpentine depiction of the shadow does a great job of both evoking the scene in the movie as well as freshly and somewhat differently representing the predatory and evil nature of this seemingly harmless old man.
2008 FCBD Sketches

Tony Shasteen did this wonderfully detailed werewolf. My favorite part of this drawing is the eyes, which contain some wonderful fine details that make the picture almost seem alive.

Brian Stelfreeze surprised me somewhat coming up with this great Bride of Frankenstine. He began sketching and I had no idea what he was doing - I thought maybe Medusa or a harpie but when he got to that famous shock of hair I knew he had taken inspiration from the previous page's Frankenstein's monster to create this beauty that you can also hear screaming.

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