Venom… I remember when he first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man. Eddie Brock (the first Venom) had a big toothy grin like some kinda Looney Tunes character.
Then his face evolved developing fangs and a long, slobbery tongue and a penchant for eating brains. Venom then began sporting a huge, unhinged jaw. Made him look much more monstrous. But it made me wonder what happened to Eddie’s face underneath. Did his jaw unhinge? What exactly did this alien symbiote costume do to him?
Guess it would take a scientist to explain.
After years of being one of Spidey’s most insane enemies and a brief stint as a psychopathic, vigiante anti-hero, Eddie Brock died of cancer. The symbiote costume was auctioned off by mobsters and Mac Gargan (formerly the Scorpion) became the new host for Venom.
This suit (under Gargan’s “control”) has been going nuts making Mac a humongous, hulking mass of muscle as Venom or the lithe, slender form as “black costume” Spider-Man for Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers. I’ve found this new “Mac Gargan” Venom far more insidious and crazy than I think the original “Eddie Brock” Venom ever was.
I have been receiving several requests for Venom sketches at conventions. He’s a really fun character to draw. You can kind of forget about the man underneath (to a degree) and have lots of fun with the different design elements: the monstrous fangs jutting at different sizes and angles, the prehensile tongue, the jagged “Spidey” eyes. I like that he’s so much larger than Spider-Man. I feel it creates a great visual contrast.
So, I was at a convention recently and played around with this piece as a warm up. It gave me a chance to really go crazy with the rendering. I scanned it in a couple of days ago and thought I’d share it with y’all.
When I started collecting comics in 8th grade, Marvel had recently introduced 2 new, unique heroes, Cloak and Dagger. I first encountered these characters in their first mini-series. Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson were teen runaways that met on the streets on NYC. They became friends. They were abducted by drug dealers experimenting a new drug on runaways. Though previous kids died from the drug, Tandy and Ty had latent mutant abilities awakened by the drug.
Ty developed a connection to a dark dimension, contained by his cloak, he could teleport himself and others through. But it gave him a hunger that could only be sated by light that would be stolen from those that entered his cloak.
Tandy gained the ability to project light and throw psionic “light daggers” guided by her will. These daggers can steal vitality of an opponent or have curative effects. As an endless source of light, Tandy could project enough light to stave of Ty’s hunger.
Ty and Tandy began a war against the drug crime trade and an aid to young runaways as Cloak and Dagger.
One of the great things about this mini-series (and beginning of their first regular series) is that this is where I became a fan of artist, Rick Leonardi’s work. Rick has a great sense of form and movement to his figures. His storytelling is strong and exciting. His detail and line work give plenty for the eye to play with. I consider Rick Leonardi one of my biggest influences in my comic book art career.
I recently decided I would try my hand at drawing these 2 classic characters. It’s fun to draw characters I’ve enjoyed reading since I was a kid. As I draw them, it takes back to those memories of first discovering them. I remember getting a big box of Marvel comics each Christmas of my teenage years. My mom would order the pack of 30 Marvel comics from the JCPenny Christmas catalog. I’d spend the next few days devouring those stories. I think that’s how I came across my first issue of Cloak and Dagger.
I love coming across a Cloak and Dagger comic from a bargain bin to help complete my run. It’s a fun treasure hunt to my past.
So Dawn and I were invited to a Christmas party with a White Elephant gift exchange.¬† We were to make a present (or buy a gift around $20) and anonymously place it under the tree.¬† It’s a gift exchange similar to the Christmas episode from The Office Season 2.
So I decided to draw up a pic of Spider-Man to mat and frame and contribute as my gift.¬† So on Thanksgiving night, while Dawn and I are watching some TV, I get to work on my art piece.¬† Dawn is trying to figure out what she should bring as a gift for the gift exchange.
She turns to me and asks for a piece of artboard, a pencil, and some Spider-Man reference.¬† She’s about to throw down her rendition of Spider-Man to mat and frame and give as her gift.¬† We both kicked back on the couch (with ESPN’s World Series of Poker 2009 Day 1 on the TV) and went to work on our masterpieces.¬† Dawn says her artistic skill peaked in 5th grade…¬† Heck!¬† I wasn’t drawing this well in 5th grade!
Dawn Nauck's Spider-Man
I was really impressed with Dawn’s vision and execution.¬† She had a pose in mind and did a very good job of achieving her goal.¬† There is some nice movement in the gesture.¬† She’s especially proud of how Spidey is pointing his toe.¬† I think the “Ta-DAHHHH!” really speaks to Spider-Man’s quippy personality.
Dawn encouraged me to critique her work.¬† Though she wasn’t willing to make all of the changes I suggested for Spider-Man…¬† (What a prima donna!)
I also suggested some backgrounds to take advantage of some of the negative space.¬† Dawn started rattling off ideas of rainbows and unicorns.¬† Man!¬† I would’ve LOVED to have seen that.¬† But she ran out of time.¬† Maybe in her next drawing of a popular Marvel Superhero?¬† Iron Man?¬† Wolverine?¬† Fisty Claw?
As soon as she creates her next visionary masterpiece, I’ll be sure to post it!
When I first started collecting comics in 8th grade, Hercules was a member of the Mighty Avengers at Marvel Comics. I knew who Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man were, sure… But my first thought was, “What’s Hercules doing here?” To my 13 year old mind, he solely belonged in Roman mythology, running around performing tasks. You know, getting golden apples and stuff.
The more I read the Marvel version of this character the more I liked him. He brought his “old skool” Roman way of thinking to present times. He was confounded by our modern marvels. He was always flirting with and wooing the ladies. And the man loved to party, raising his mug of whatever would pass for ambrosia with a hearty cheer or toast to a friend.
I liked how jovial he could be with his fellow teammates at Avengers’ Mansion at one moment. But then he could be as serious as all-get-out when it was time to knock heads with Kang, The Masters of Evil, or whatever menace decided to rear its ugly head.
I’ve been enjoying his adventures as part of the current Mighty Avengers series. But I have been remiss to pick up his adventures when he took over the Hulk’s series turning it into Incredible Hercules. I hear it’s a great read. Time to score some trade paperbacks!
This piece was drawn with pencil and Sharpie markers on cardboard.