Welcome to Super Blog Team-Up 6! Has it really been three months since the last SBTU? I guess time flies while life’s kicking you in the gut! Seriously, lately things have been insane. I’m grateful that I have this blog as a creative outlet to help me unwind.
The theme of SBTU 6 is “Top Ten.” All the contributors have come up with cool comic-related Top Ten lists. I must thank Karen Williams of Between the Pages for suggesting that I do a list involving my hobby of collecting comic book convention sketches. Since a number of SBTU 6 bloggers are doing Avengers-related lists to tie in with the release of the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, I decided to assemble my top ten Avengers sketches.
I’m a long-time fan of the Avengers comic book series published by Marvel Comics, and I started an “Avengers Assemble” themed sketchbook in 2007. Okay, I’m not too enthusiastic about some of the stories from the last ten years or so. But there are many classic stories that have been published in the decades before, and numerous amazing characters have been members of the various Avengers teams. The Avengers are the perfect subject for a convention sketchbook.
Narrowing it down to ten picks was difficult. I’ve gotten over fifty sketches in this book so far. There are a few that just missed the cut. If you asked me again next month I might come up with a different list. I also didn’t include a couple of pieces that were commissions, where the artists has the sketchbook for a few days and created detailed illustrations. I will probably spotlight those in some other post in the future. If you are an artist who contributed to this book and did not make the list, please don’t be offended! I also posted these in chronological order because I couldn’t make up my mind which one was the best. Without further ado, here is my list of top ten Avengers sketches:
1) Scarlet Witch by Richard Howell Once I decided to start an Avengers sketchbook, I knew that I wanted Richard Howell to start it off with a drawing of the Scarlet Witch. As a teenager who saw Wanda drawn by Howell in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents #60-63, I thought it was the sexiest version of the character I had ever seen. Of course, Howell had also penciled the twelve part Vision and Scarlet Witch miniseries a few years before which I later read via back issues. To this day, I still consider Richard’s depiction of Wanda to be one of the most beautiful in the character’s history.
I was thrilled that I was able to kick off the sketchbook with this lovely portrait by Howell. He also drew / lettered the “Avengers Assemble” title page for the book that appears at the top of this post.
2) Black Widow by Hannibal King Hannibal King is good at illustrating tough, sexy women. When I asked him if he’d draw the Black Widow, he smiled and said “You just made my day.” Obviously he’s fond of the character, which was good news for me. King proceeded to create this stunning pencil illustration. While King was drawing this, I looked through his portfolio. He had done some incredible pieces featuring Captain America, Nick Fury, Val Fontaine, and Hydra. Someone at Marvel ought to give him a S.H.I.E.L.D. story to illustrate ASAP!
This sketch was later printed in Back Issue #26. Head over to the TwoMorrows Publishing website for information on that magazine, as well as other quality comic book-related publications.
3) Wasp by Brian Kong Brian Kong drew a whole heap of very cool Avengers sketch cards, including several of the Wasp. When I asked Kong if he’d do a drawing of the Wasp, he asked “Which costume?” Because, oh lordy, Janet Van Dyne had had soooooo many different costumes over the years! One of my favorites was the one George Perez drew her in during the early 80s, and again in the late 90s. I asked Kong if he could draw the Wasp in that, and he grinned, responding “I was just about to suggest that one.”
I’ve seen Kong at a number of NY area conventions over the years, and obtained several sketches from him. This one of the Wasp is probably my favorite. He did an amazing job on it.
4) Warbird / Ms. Marvel by Taki Soma Back in 2008 Taki Soma was also drawing Avengers sketch cards, and so she had a book full of Marvel reference on hand. I flipped through the Avengers chapter, saw there was a profile on Ms. Marvel, and asked Soma if she would be able to do a sketch using that. I was very happy with her depiction of Carol Danvers. Soma is definitely a talented artist. In the last few years she’s collaborated with her husband Michael Avon Oeming on several projects.
5) Jocasta by Andy MacDonald It was his excellent work on NYC Mech that caused me to ask Andy MacDonald to sketch Jocasta. He draws incredible robots and sci-fi tech. I just knew he’d do a great job rendering “the bride of Ultron.” I always liked the character, and in the past wished she’d been an Avengers member for longer (I was thrilled when Dan Slott featured her in the Mighty Avengers series). Jocasta has such a distinctive visual, as well as an unusual backstory (inspired by Oedipus Rex, naturally).
MacDonald really captured the character of Jocasta, both in terms of her look and her personality. It’s a very expressive piece. This is another sketch that was published in Back Issue, appearing in Jarrod Buttery’s article on Jocasta in the robot-themed issue #72.
6) Black Panther by Sal Abbinanti Atomika creator Sal Abbinanti was drawing some amazing, rather surreal color sketches at the 2008 MoCCA Art Festival. He certainly did a great job on this one. Not even having a fire alarm going off and he building getting evacuated by the FDNY when he was halfway done with it threw him off his game. I suppose you could say Abbinanti was “on fire” with this one! He really went all out, and it shows.
7) Patriot by Ben Granoff I really did enjoy the various Young Avengers miniseries, even if they did come out infrequently. The team had some cool characters, including the current Patriot, Eli Bradley. I saw independent artist Ben Granoff‘s work on the small press series We Were The… Freedom Federation published by Bag & Board Studios, and I was impressed. Indeed, he drew an amazing illustration of Patriot. This one totally surpassed my expectations.
8) Hercules by Chris Giarusso I’m a fan of Chris Giarrusso, creator of Mini Marvels and G-Man. He seemed like the perfect choice to draw Hercules, the mythical and mirthful Avenger who is never more happy than when he’s busting heads together, or knocking back a large flagon of mead, often doing both at the same time! The reference I had for Hercules had the character grimacing, but I asked Chris to draw a smiling Hercules, adding “Pretend he’s just left the bar or something.” Chris literally ran with my suggestion, and here we see Herc with a frosty mug of beer in hand, having a grand old night on the town!
9) Hawkeye / Kate Bishop by Ed Coutts Here’s a great sketch of Kate Bishop, another member of the Young Avengers, and co-star of the Hawkeye ongoing series featuring her teamed up with the original avenging archer Clint Barton. This was drawn by Ed Coutts, a very talented artist. His work has appeared in a number of issues of Femforce from AC Comics. He renders very beautiful women. I’ve met Coutts at a number of conventions and acquired several nice sketches from him.
10) Ant-Man / Scott Lang by Jacob Chabot Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man, is drawn by Jacob Chabot. This is the costume & helmet Scott wore when he was a member of Heroes for Hire, and when he first officially joined the Avengers (I wasn’t a fan of his “gas mask” helmet that briefly followed). Chabot he drew a very cool sketch of the character. I love the inking on this piece.
Scott Lang has a new solo comic book currently running, and he’s scheduled to make his cinematic debut in the upcoming Ant-Man movie. That gave me yet another good reason to include this great sketch in this top ten list.
11) Ultron by Chris Duckett Ultron, that murderous mechanical menace, arch adversary of the Avengers, and current star of the silver screen is superbly rendered in this pencil illustration by the talented Chris Duckett from the Bronx Heroes team of creators. If you ever meet Duckett at a convention, I recommend getting a sketch from him. He does fantastic work.
What’s that, you say? This was supposed to be a top ten and not a top eleven?!? Bah!!! Ultron laughs at you humans and your silly rules! And soon Ultron will rule the world, humanity will be destroyed, and every single entry on this list will be a different incarnation of his mechanical brilliance! Until that day inevitably comes, weak creatures of the flesh, you will have to learn to accept that there is an extra entry to spotlight the supreme genius of Ultron 🙂
I hope everyone enjoyed this top ten (um, top eleven) countdown of Avengers convention sketches. You can see scans of the entire sketchbook at Comic Art Fans… http://www.comicartfans.com/galleryroom.asp?gsub=43066
Be sure to also visit the other fantastic blogs participating in Super Blog Team-Up 6…
- Longbox Graveyard: Top 10 Super-Dogs
- The Unspoken Decade: Top 10 Avengers Moments of the 1990s
- Legion Of Super-Bloggers: Top 10 Who’s Who Legion Entries
- The SuperHero Satellite: Top 10 DC Comics Titles That Ended Before Their Time
- Flodo’s Page: Top 10 Green Lantern Ring-Slings …That Don’t Appear In Modern Continuity
- Fantastiverse: Top 10 Avengers Greatest Super Battles
- Mystery V-Log: Top 10 Avengers Covers
- Idol Head Of Diablou: Top 10 Most Important Martian Manhunter Villains
- Marvel Superheroes Podcast: Top 10 Avengers Age Of Ultron Tie-In
- Chasing Amazing: Top 10 Favorite Moments Of The “Chase”
- Between The Pages: Top 10 Wackiest DC Comics Covers
- Bronze Age Babies: The Top 10 Bronze Age Characters (x2!)
- Too Dangerous For A Girl!: Top Ten Worst Heroic Haircuts
- Vic Sage Via The Retroist: Top Ten Comic Character Deaths
- I’m The Gun: The 10 Best All-Star Squadron Covers
Two thumbs up to Charlton Hero for organizing this whole shebang. As always, it’s been a blast!