I took a break from working on my Wonder Woman book over the weekend to finish a piece for the Kaiju Attack Show in Barcelona, Spain. It’s always an honor to be able to participate in a group show especially one curated by Emilio Garcia & Mark Nagata. What I like even more when I can find the time to do a show is the nice mental break it gives me from what can sometimes be a ” Groundhog Day” monotony. And the freedom to do whatever I like, in most cases draw my favorite subject matter, monsters and heroes.
Ogon Bat, also known as Golden Bat, Fantaman or Phantoma is one of my favorite comic book heroes of all time. He was created by Japanese writer Ichiro Suzuki and artist Takeo Nagamatsu in 1930 so he pre-dates Batman and Superman. Considered Japan’s very first Super-hero, he first appeared in either a pulp style magazine or for the time, a popular one man, traveling show in Japan known as Kamishibai, in which big cards of art (or comic book style panels) are shuffled thru a viewer as the story is told to live audiences. You can read more about Kamishibai in an earlier post here.
Know as the protector of Atlantis and “god of justice and protector of the weak”, Ogon Bat had a maniacal laugh as he thwarted evil and villains, thoroughly enjoyable in the 1960s anime and 1966 Sonny Chiba live action film. The animated series featured a young orphan girl, Marie Yamatone, who discovered Ogon Bat in a tomb. Whenever she or her family were threatened by danger, her tears and cries for help would reawaken Ogon Bat. Weilding his cane and leaping thru the air in his billowing cape, Ogan bat came to the rescue. A scary skull faced fellow laughing like a loon, helping fellow man… doesn’t get any better for me.
For this piece, which I’ve been sketching out sporadically for a few weeks, I choose a simple medium that I’m most comfortable with and can work efficiently in, pencils and markers. I also choose to illustrate it on tracing paper for a few reasons, I love the texture it gives the subtleties of my pencil work and because I can get really interesting effects with a marker on the surface which isn’t porous so the marker stays wet for a short time allowing me to move it around, rework it or get splotchy bleeding effects kind of like watercolors, and I can work super fast in it.
The last image I choose to post above this text was the head detail of one of my initial sketches in pencil and marker. I always end up liking my quick, impulsive and gestural roughs a lot more than my final illustrations. These quick sketches always have a dynamic, kinetic and emotional quality that I can never seem to replicate.
I need to gather all the sketches I have buried in folders and compile a sketch book that’s nothing but the first roughs of my ideas on paper.
The show runs June 17th thru 31st 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.