DEE (dee dee) EM (em em) CEE! (cee! cee! cee!) or Suckuh Em Cee, just call him SIRE! 

     Sometime ago, I was contacted through Shawn Martinbrough ( artist for Thief of Theives, a Robert Kirkman joint) and Eric Battle (of Aquaman fame) that a cool PuertoRiciño named Edgat Miranda RODRIGUEZ was looking for artist to help him with a cause through his Somos Artè Creative Studio (www.somosarte.com) using comic styled illustrations to bring attention to an art showing he had approved by Marvel.   Even got Joe Quesada (EIC) into the game and it went off without a hitch. Got media attention that crossed from comic art into hip hop music with MTV used as a vehicle to get the word out.  It was a crowning success for him, and it showed me the perseverance of a man.  
I donated the 90’s version of Storm from the X-Men in her vintage Mohawk.   It was a cool iconic shot.  I’ll post that soon.  
From time to time when time permits, Edgardo and I keep in touch and you can see if you ever talk to him, he wants to be in comics.  So I guess after he managed to get within airspace of the legendary rap artist and pioneer DMC, HE THOUGHT…..” Wouldn’t it be cool to get Darryl to be a superhero and he ACTUALLY love that idea?”  

Well, he didn’t say ” no”.  😉

I get an email from Edgardo telling me his plans to really do this thing right and he hatches a plan with DMC to create a graphic novel company that will house hip hop with the comic art culture and wants me to do an homage cover for him.  He has this cariño for iconic covers from the 90’s.  He wants me to mimic Frank Miller’s Dark Knight.  

I got no problem with THAT.  

SO HEARS THE THING….. In replicating Frank Miller’s art, you get to get in his spirit.  He’s ultra-interpretive. And in order to draw the way Frank does, you know he had to understand the process of drawing correctly in order to go full technique to “cannibalize” that process. And STILL make it look awesome.  Like King Kirby.  

I had great fun with this piece.  And it was great to work with DMC (Darryl Makes Comics) as a company.  I’m sure DMC was laughing in joy seeing a dream like this fulfilled with artists that are serious about the craft.  

There are at least 34 different covers done by many artists from various places on this planet, from various homages to iconic covers.  If you’d like to check them out, hit his website in which Edgardo is the Editor-in-Chief….. http://www.dmc-comics.com/.
Here’s my contribution.   
   

 

DREAMWEAVER 4 (Riding the Heavenly Dragon)

A couple of weeks ago, my wife learned that an ex co-worker of hers passed away from many physical complications due to some health issues and some surgeries.  Not a good combination. And he was fairly young.  

His name was Christopher Pecoraro.  

He left behind a son with the same name and some great artistic talents of his own.  

My wife told me his son was a big fan of mine and she thought it would be great to hire me for a commission.   

You know my wife wasn’t paying me.  Lol.  

But she told me those that were close to him that Chris enjoyed many things, but one of his obsessions was DRAGONS.  They wanted something with him and dragons.  So, I thought how coo it would be to surf a dragon to Heaven and Chris’ Father in pure ecstasy enjoying the ride.  Make it happy.  Make it glorious.  It should heal as much as bring closure.   

Which I’m truly all about.   Let the work do the hugging. 

So I went to work on it.  And when I finished, what my wife saw in disjointed layers became the virtual hug I was looking for.  

I don’t get to draw dragons much.  It’s ashame.  Because I dug it.  And so did Christopher, Papa Chris’ son.  

I got reports of holding back tears, and laughing, to the surprise of how much I captured not just the look of Chris, but his spirit.  

That is the prime compliment to any artist.  It just makes us want to draw more.  

In comics, many artists have to be constantly annoyed over people who don get it critiquing your work.  In the real world, the people who SEE it, get it.  And when you’ve affected their lives with but an image, it’s the food that fills our stomachs.  It rejuvenates us as much as it brings joy to those who are the recipients of our alms to their personal pain or craving of imagination. 

The DEFINITION of being a DREAMWEAVER.  

SO, to son Christopher, through my wife Jennifer, I’m glad I was a conduit of joy in any confusion and grief you’re going through.  Be the man your father was.  Make him proud. 

Wrench the planet with your talent. 

And ride the Heavenly Dragon. 

These are comments that just makes you keep drawing. Especially from Chris William Pecoraro, Christopher’s son. 

  

And here’s the commission.  

Enjoy.  

   

Christopher in detail

   

DoDECA CON 3. Was it MISSOURI Or Joy?:)

I got a call from Eric Moran… Also known as The Smoke from his wrestling days…

COSPLAYER SUPREME.  So SUPREME, it seems he got Dan DiDio, executive Editor of DC Comics to make an actual character of him named Freighttrain.   This real life superhero does cosplay for the people of DoDECA Con every year since they’ve started.  But couldn’t do it this year because he was overbooked with his engagements,  and asked Myself, Joseph Illidge ( writer and editor of many DC comics books like The Batman and long time bestie) and Larry Stroman, who helped to create a comic called Tribe in the ’90’s and also worked on a slew of X-books for Marvel including Alien Legion….

…To step into his shoes at this bazaar, help some people get set on the right track by showing them all the ropes of breaking in into the comics biz.

And it was a touch odd at first after we got there.  Less on the comic front more on the COSPLAYER Circuit. But some great things came out of it,….. Joe, Larry and I got to know the people of the area.  And they were eager to meet us and eager to learn about the process of not just comics, but of finding out their own futures.

One of them being a really cute fifteen year old young woman who just may be taking her sophmore classes from her high school at M.I.T.   That young woman impressed me the most.  And blame me for going all “DADDY” on her and arming her with some knowledge on not being pressured by young men in a way that would make her lose her forward steam.

The treatment we got from there was awesome. And there’s media coverage with an article written about the occasion by a columnist named ALICIA STICE.

CONGRATS to TONI WESTBROOKS-TAYLOR and Husband for a successful launch.  They raised over 1100.00 to feed hungry families.  It still needs tweaking, but if they did a bit more and it’s cohesive too,  they’ll have a comparable con that could take on everyone.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/local/local-convention-gives-students-a-taste-of-geek-culture/article_03e944f5-c210-57e5-a85b-62c3ec4a931d.html

Check out the article!  And then some of the pics of me, Joe, Larry, and CosPlayers Dave Turner, husband to the Amazing Ivy Doomkitty and the beautiful Samantha Wolfe below!


  
  

  

DREAMWEAVER 3 (or What time is it, Ben?)

So…. One of my business partners wants to do something nice for a friend. 

BEN.  

And she has a request that I turn him into a superhero.  Or a Supervillain!  They have powers too…!

The weird request comes next when she says her homeboy wants time powers. 

TIME POWERS. 

How the HAYUHLL do you draw “TIME POWERS?”

Do YOU know what they look like?  Maybe glowing hands?  Lit up eyes? Twinkly spirit fingers?

Incandescent light spewing from his mouth?

Eh.  

Thank God for computers. 

I did a little mix media with some elbow grease and BAYUHM!!!

Ben now has powers. 

Hallelujah.   

KRAKÓW!! 

  

the DoubleSplash 1

The DoubleSplash was the rage of the 80’s and 90’s. Everyone “art-ing” in major comics wanted to have at least one book where they could drive their fingers into nubs drawing mega-images of the character they loved to draw. Some would have whole books with nothing but splash, DoubleSplash or even a triple gatefold.
I was one of those guys where DoubleSplash would be as far as I can go. Because I knew ME. LORD KNOWS that I would try to fill as much of those pages as possible and although you can LOVE to draw, there’s a sense of anxiety in accomplishing it.

Sometimes, unless you really have something to prove, you just want it to be over.

But the art of the doublesplash is purely to create a mimicked experience of a broader wide-angle shot of cinematic proportions. And I’m a storytelling kind of guy. It’s a great tool. Which means whatever it takes to tell the story, i’ll accomplish it. I stopped doing pinup style splash/DoubleSplash a long time ago. And because of that, I have to think more. And draw more.

This particular DoubleSplash came from the second installment of my 2 issue run on DC Convergence: JLA Detroit. This opportunity to finally get to draw these characters fulfilled a notch on the wish list for me. And that was a “What If?” What if I drew in the ’80’s with what I knew now? And these two books were an answer to all that.

This here is the snapshot of a scene about to explode. Where I come from, they call it “things about to break off in here”. And it’s a classic tension in comics and animation/cinema. So many things can go wrong opening it up to this scale, and if you’re a person who loves a challenge, you salivate.

The Justice League of Detroit vs. The Heroes of the Tangent Universe.

This took awhile, but I dug my teeth into it. Believe it or not, composition is the thing that took the longest on this piece. I needed this to be as close to my mind’s eye as possible. And you have to know how hard that is. It’s the bane of an artist’s existence. I must have redone the concept of the page(s) 5 times before jumping in on it. It was taking FOREVER. THE PROCESS can be unforgiving.

And then again….

So are deadlines. :).

This is pages 2 and 3 without the color of the amazing SNAKEBITE.


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The Valiant connection

    it seems that another collected graphic novel from Valiant Entertainment is out now that has the collected works of many great artists that’s helped those comics become GREAT.  

You may not be able to tell with the Byline, but the Bloodshot Zero I did some time ago… My name isn’t in the credits but I figure I can add that correction here. 🙂

So as I had mega fun with that book, you should order that book and have a ton of enjoyment with those stories.  

Yes!
ChrisCross is indeed in this graphic novel!

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/05/20/new-arcs-for-ninjak-x-o-manowar-and-rai-in-the-valiant-solicitations-for-august-2015/

   
 

“KING”KIRBY-Forward

In honor of King Kirby, I’m posting two of his coolest monsters I did in Superman and Batman 84 before the line of books were cancelled. It’s amazing the power that still comes from his images even if you’re drawing it in your style.
 Happy Post-Birthday, Jack!
 And thanks for the billions of oodles of inspiration. 🙂
 
 #kingkirby
 #kirbymonsters
 #DC
 
 


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The SMALLVILLE warm-up

When I got the call to work on SMALLVILLE season 11 in comic form a couple of years ago,  I got excited because I thought it would be great to finally test my drawing skill in drawing likenesses in a superhero format based on what was seeded by television and established for ten years.  Mind you, A great feat by any standard.  People don’t expect a series of any sort to make it five years, which pretty much guarantees syndication, and guaranteed back money for all involved in that show, but you go ten years, we’re talking something special.  

    It’s why I wanted to push that envelope and prove I could do such great feats myself.  So I started to prep.  I went for direct likeness by collecting a half a gig in photos on my computers “SMALLVILLE file folder ” and studied the hell out of everyone to make sure I could draw them effortlessly.  I felt I accomplished the drive-by.

But I would later find out that my efforts would be in vain because the actors couldn’t have direct likenesses drawn and published.  I think it’s some weird contract thing.  I feel people should see the sketches of the actors in SMALLVILLE through my eyes. And what could have been.  

 

The PATIENT BILL LAIT

   I throw some BIG ups towards  facebooker and client Bill Lait for his patience and his understanding in the length of time it took me to finally get his commission done. 

There were a ton of obstacles…. Personal family things and deadlines …. That halted the process of this being done and he was chill through the whole period.  So when he asked me to do his Space Ghost vs Thanos Illo…. I was definitely going to add some features I normally charge for, but I figure he deserves some extra love.  Big deadlines that strangle an artist to very strict living styles is the bane of every freelancer, and THE Bill Lait took it in stride.  No worries, no fear.  

I added Blip, the squeaky monkey and unfortunately, the composition kept me from adding Jase and Jan, so I added marker tones.   

So three cheers to Bill Lait!
(Click to expand)

  

DREAMWEAVER 2: Lonnie Lowe’s E. P. I. C.

Welcome to the second installment of many DREAMWEAVER columns to come. This posting is a bit of a twist. As I’ve been taking on commissions, some have been about fulfilling a dream of drawing another artist’s character(s) as if it were being prepared to be drawn in a comic. Something like having a pro draw your stuff says many things, but for the most part, it inspired me so much , I’d go home and go create more in the hopes of actually working with these professionals on that level.
Trust me, the day you hear Walt Simonson call you “son!”, you know you’ve made it!

In any case, this is a commission that wound up turning into a cover. Lonnie Lowe Jr. is an aspiring entrepreneur who decided he wasn’t going to wait for the Big Two to snag him. He wanted to take life by the horns and create his own I. P.
He’s already ahead of the curve. A lot of people argue about not getting the dream, Lonnie is one of those that went to go make his dream happen. I can definitely help out a brother trying to do THAT regardless of anything standing in his way.

Lonnie has a concept called E. P. I. C. (Earth’s Protector in Crisis), a brand new comic series from his Indy comic book company Dark City Comics. The story centers around college sophomore Christopher “Chris”Tayborne, a young and talented archeology major, that through a series of sudden twists and turns lands his hands on one of the most powerful weapons in the known Galaxy The Alpha Bands. In the same breath he also unleashes a power back into the world that it hasn’t seen for thousands of years and has long since forgotten. Once these powers are release the planet goes from ordinary to extraordinary in a matter of minutes changing the scope of the entire globe and almost immediately creating our Alpha human population thus setting the events into place that give life to the Dark City comics Universe.

It sounds like a great action filled book ready to burn rubber.

This is his reference for me filled with other covers done and sketched costumes of the character.


See, told you! Looks like this has great potential!

So here’s the buildup of my version of his cover starting with open pencils, then inks. He has someone who colored the piece…..


All in all the cover for his concept E. P. I. C. Came out pretty well, and once again a dream fulfilled to have a seasoned pro draw his character.

If you’d like a commission, you can hit me up in the messenger area at http://www.facebook.com/chriscrossrex or email me at thunduhchild@yahoo.com, and let me weave a dream for you!

If you’d like to know more about E. P. I. C. , you can go to http://www.darkcitycomics.com

As artists and writers, let’s help each other sell each other’s dreams to those who need them. 🙂

(And click the images to expand )


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