I look at these additions to the vaunted Thing sketchbook and I think to myself that these might just be the best group of five in the entire book. Then I think that I tend to think that about just about any group when I see them. It's still worth mentioning, though.
Let's take a look at the goods, shall we?
Dominic Vivona - New York Comic Con 2010
I met up with fellow FUBAR creator at the New York Comic Con and foisted upon him the first challenge I'd ever posed for the book. Whenever someone does a sketch, I make sure to tell them that they can do whatever version of the Thing they'd like - but they usually end up drawing their version of the classic, cigar-smoking Thing. That's not bad, mind you, but I decided to add some variety to the book and ask Dominic to draw the much-maligned She Thing, formerly the second Ms. Marvel.
Dominic had a heck of a time with it, drawing a couple versions before settling on what you see above. He did a great job with the costume (check out the sash!), and the flowers are a nice touch.
I'm not going to go near the "Female Thing" line.
Jacob Chabot - New York Comic Con 2010
Jacob and I each had a story printed in Dark Horse's Strip Search anthology a few years back. Since then, he's really made a name for himself with "The Mighty Skullboy Army" and several Marvel projects like "X-Babies".
Jacob did a short story in a recent Strange Tales miniseries where the Thing and the Human Torch grow mustaches, and I mentioned how much I liked it to him before handing him the book.
I bugged Jacob way too often during the day as I had plans to give the book to one more person - probably to the point where he hates me now - but wow! Look at that artwork. It's got a speech balloon and everything!
Danny Cruz - New York Comic Con 2010
Danny spent the weekend at the Wagon Wheel Comics booth for last year's New York Comic Con. I planned on asking him to draw in the sketchbook earlier, but he didn't end up getting a chance until there was about an hour left in the show.
I asked him to draw another variation of the Thing - the spiky "Pineapple" version from when he was powered up for a bit - and he really delivered. Rarely does the Thing look so mean!
C. Martin Croker - Xcon World 2010
You might recognize the name C. Martin Croker from his work as both an animator and a voice actor - he's played Zorak and Moltar on Space Ghost Coast to Coast - but he's also a big fan of Ben Grimm (and Kirby creations in general, though who isn't?).
I spent a good deal of time chatting with him and distracting him from doing other work over the three-day mini convention, and on Sunday I got him to draw this beauty for me. I love the brow on this one.
Thomas Scioli - Pittsburgh Comic & Collectibles Show 2010
Tom Scioli is best known for his work on the Image Comics Godland series, where he channels Jack Kirby every issue. Tom also drew a cover for Teddy and the Yeti #3, so it was great to meet him in person.
Knowing how Kirby-esque Tom's artwork is, I asked him to draw an "early" Thing (when he looked more like a monster and less like an awesome rocky guy) and he drew this piece reminiscent of 1961's Fantastic Four #1 - the torn spacesuit is a great touch!
That's 40 total sketches I've shown so far, and we are just about caught up with the entire book - I've got one more sketch after these, so I just might wait to show it until I get more (hopefully soon). This sketchbook is something that I started on not much more than a whim, but has quickly become one of my more prized possessions - not just because of the artwork itself (though there is that, too), but because of all the great stories and memories behind them. I've decided that if my house ever catches on fire, this is one of maybe two things not living that I'd try to get before jumping out of a window or whatever.