Friday, January 17, 2014

Thing sketchbook, part 15

The fabled Thing sketchbook is back for another round.  Let's see what's in stock for this round!

Carl Yonder - Beyond Comics signing 2013

Carl is a fellow FUBAR creator and a driving force behind the comic "Pirate Eye" from Action Lab Comics.  As he was in attendance at Beyond Comics for our big FUBAR signing, I of course harassed him into adding this great image to the book.  As Carl is the artist on a pirate-themed comic, it seemed only natural that he would draw the Blackbeard Thing from Fantastic Four #5.  It's the second of its kind in the book, but it's got a flair all its own.

Eric Spohn - Beyond Comics Signing 2013

I asked FUBAR artist Eric Spohn to draw in the sketchbook at a criminally late hour, as everyone else was either packing up or out the door, and all he did was draw a full figure rendition of the Thing in his favorite punk rock gear.  It's very Frankenstein-esque, moody and dark.  Certainly not bad for the last minute.  I'm glad Eric was willing to wait around!

Jeff McComsey - Pittsburgh Comicon 2013

This entry is very much a showcase item within the book.  My goal with the sketchbook is to get a wide range or styles from a varied number of artists, to the point that no one artist has more than one sketch in the book...until now.  Here are the reasons I broke my rule:

- because this is actually on the inside front cover, serving as a frontispiece for the whole book as opposed to being "just" another entry
- because Jeff is my friend and who else can you abuse if not your friends
- because, honestly, who else could I have hogtied into doing something like this?

What we have here is a partial cover recreation of Marvel Two-in-One #50, a classic Thing tale from the likes of Byrne, Perez and Sinnott:

Jeff spent the better part of three days at the Pittsburgh Comicon sketching this out until it was perfect, and man, how awesome it turned out to be.  An early warning to Jeff McComsey: the book has an inside back cover, too.

In order to draw this cover, Jeff had but one demand...

Jeff McComsey - Baltimore Comic-Con 2011/Pittsburgh Comicon 2013

...Jeff told me that I had to let him "finish" his previous sketch from the 2011 Baltimore Comic-Con.  I, of course, didn't think that it needed to be finished, but then he handed back this with such added depth.  For reference, here's the earlier version:

And we can see the difference between the two versions.  A heck of a bargain, if I can say so.

Rusty Gilligan - Pittsburgh Comicon 2013

Rusty Gilligan was one of my first collaborators in comics, inking the short story "The Deep" for the book Leesway from Ronin studios, which was...what, my third publication?  Something like that.  Rusty is a Marvel inker who worked on some classic books and famously worked with Stan Lee on some projects.  I got to meet him in person for the first time at the Pittsburgh Comicon, and he was kind enough to draw this classic Thing with a familiar street sign and balloon quote.

Barry Kitson - Pittsburgh Comicon 2013

Getting a sketch from Barry Kitson is a test of endurance.  As I learned in 2012, Kitson will graciously provide free sketches for anyone who is brave enough to wait in line for one.  He takes loving care with all the work that he does, and that means that sometimes a single sketch will take over an hour (or longer) to complete.  Due to the fact that Kitson is not a robot and conventions are not open all night, only a small handful of convention-goers leave with some art from him.  It's a fun tradition that requires one to get in line as early as humanly possible.

I gave it my best to wait in line for Kitson on the opening Friday of the 2013 Pittsburgh Comicon, but try as I did, I was only fourth in line by the time I got to his booth.  Because of this, I waited four and a half hours to land this watercolored sketch, but now that it's over, I can say that it was worth it.  Kitson put on a great show and I'm thrilled to have him add another piece and another story to the Thing sketchbook.

I bought some production artwork from Kitson's FF run while I waited in line, for a great price.  Since he worked on several issues of the title, I asked Kitson to draw the Future Foundation symbol in the corner of the page, to which he obliged, meaning that this is the first sketch of this version of the Thing in the book.  It counts, I tell you!

If Barry Kitson comes back to the Pittsburgh Comicon for the next go-round...I might just have to get back in line.


Okay, that's that for this time.  Hope you enjoyed seeing the latest sketches of the Thing!

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