Creative Christmas: I Am Groot

Halfway through the Beetlejuice pictures another image popped into my head.  I watched a ton of Guardians of the Galaxy during the holidays and the idea of drawing a baby Groot was just too tempting to pass up.  It would give me a chance to practice color and see how much I could play with the new medium.

This one actually went so fast I didn’t have a chance to take pictures of the process.  Like many of these I wasn’t used to the methodology so about four times during the drawing I thought I’d ruined it.  I did manage to get a picture of the finished version:


I didn’t have a brown pastel at the time so I ended up mixing my own.  It worked relatively well even if it came out a bit green.

I added the glowing parts after I finished and found the composition to be a little left-heavy.  Plus it gave me a chance to try something I couldn’t do in pencil.

I was pretty happy with it for a spur-of-the-moment picture.  And it got drawing Groot out of my system!

Sources of Inspiration: The Majesty of Marvel

Marvel Movies – How to do a Comic Universe Right

I’d like to drag the world kicking and screaming from Batman worship for a bit and snap everyone into reality. He’s kind of a bore and to quote Ben Yahtzee Kroshaw, he’s always the dullest character in everything he’s in. That expands to most of his movies (not his 90s animated series though which was GREAT) and DC in general seems to make movies that are so severe and so serious with themselves they are difficult to really enjoy.

Marvel on the other hand somehow gets it exactly right…and I find their expanded universe on film to be an extreme source of inspiration.

I haven’t really been in to reading comics since I was about 20. I think it’s a valid creative art form but many of the stories at the time were so hashed and re-hashed I felt I’d seen a lot of the best there was to offer. I’ve seen a few here and there since and even read some newer Judge Dredd material but nothing captured me like the Fatal Attractions and Age of Apocalypse stories in the 90s.

But Marvel MOVIES have been doing just about everything right recently. From the great X-Men franchise which, despite a single rocky entry, has had its ship righted and full sail since the excellent First Class to the absolutely stunning achievement of the Infinity Wars story they’ve been building up to for years now.

I can’t remember any other franchise in history that has crossed so many stories, so many characters, and so many genres to tell what will end up being one, super, super-hero story. Furthermore, Marvel has the wherewithal to know NOT to make every movie a super hero story. DC hasn’t gotten the hang of that… Even at their best with films like The Watchmen DC’s tone is such a drag it’s hard to say the movies are “fun” to experience.

They can be space stories, science fiction stories, fantasy stories, social justice stories. Marvel turned the entire “comic book” genre on its head with these movies. Even critics who often excoriated films based on this so-called ”childish” material, now have found how broad and operatic these narratives can be.

For me, I see how even minor stories, LIKE Guardians can be utterly re-invented and turned into something we’ve never seen before, and even better than expected. How a universe can be moulded to fit a medium, and how vast a universe can be…even when only experienced in 120 to 180 minute blocks. I’ll list a few of my current personal favorites below:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: It’s better than the Avengers. That’s right Joss Whedon lovers… It’s better. More fun. More action. Clever without being snarky, funny without being brash. It’s heart but doesn’t wear it on its sleeve. It’ll even bring a tear to your eye. It’s everything we LOVED about Star Wars minus everything we hated about it. No melodrama. No choppy writing. Everything fits, and everything works. I watch it more than any of the others.
  • X-Men: First Class/Days of Future Past: I can’t decide which of these two films I like better. First Class was a stunning study in the dichotomy of opinion. Militants versus peaceful protests. Marvelous acting. Amazing story telling and perfect casting. Days of Future Past brings everything we loved about the first Bryan Singer ­X-Men movies and combines it with everything that made First Class such a revitalizing shot to the franchise. Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellan and James McAvoy/Michael Fassbender Xavier/Magneto relationships and actor choices are phenomenal. Oh and Quicksilver. Terrific…
  • Captain America: First Avenger/Winter Soldier: I thought I’d HATE the first Captain movie. A hero known as a goody-goody just couldn’t be appealing could he? Yes he can. You cheer for him because though he becomes a hero he does it for the right reasons and uses his abilities in the right way. WWII sci-fi story WITH Hugo Weaving as Red Skull?! Oh and Hayley Atwell. Yeah. Worth it. Winter Soldier is the Bourne story. Good guys may be bad…old villains may be able to help… Action packed and one of the tightest stories I’ve seen on screen in a while.

Yes that’s not all of them but those are the ones that find their way onto my Bravia the most. I’m not telling the entertainment world anything it doesn’t already know…but those seeking inspiration don’t have to look far with this material out there.

Fun at the Nashville Comic Con and Expo

Some things can’t wait. This post is one of those things.

Instead of a traditional story of the month, we decided to talk about the Nashville Comic Con and Expo we attended this past Saturday, Sept. 14. It was actually our first take pics, spend-lots-of-money con!


Robert EnglundRobert Englund: I can’t speak for our whole group, but hearing Englund tell stories about shooting the Nightmare on Elm Street movies or share his feelings on the reboot was a real treat. Englund is a cool dude, and he loves the entertainment industry. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. I was blown away by the number of kids ages 10 and under who stood at the mic and asked him questions about his movies — it just shows that the slasher movie is alive and well. Englund treated every fan with the same respect and gratitude his fans showed him.

Costumes: I admit I was impressed by the costumes people walked around in all day. Sure, there were some standard ones you’d find at a party store, and then there were the costumes. The ones that made you stop and ask for a pic because they were so freaking cool. We all were so inspired by the ones who dressed up, we all decided to dress up for the upcoming Wizard World Comic Con in October!

This guy’s costume came complete with lights and sound effects!

The Crowd: Everyone was so unbelievably nice. There was no pushing, no fighting, and no attitude. It was a large group of people who were there to have fun. I did not see one person decline a photo op; it didn’t matter what they were doing at the time. The artists talked to you without pressuring you to buy, and you could walk away with almost anything signed.

Merchandise: One tip: bring cash and lots of it. It was no surprise there were dozens of vendors, but the amount of items they brought with them surprised me. There was SO much cool stuff – and it wasn’t just comic books. We found clothes, figures, games, accessories, artwork, hair bows, posters, weapons, stuffed animals, and almost anything else you can imagine.

Master Sword
My son bought a replica of the Master Sword. It’s almost as big as me.
Raven: Teen Titans print
Awesome Raven from Teen Titans print that I framed the next day.

We did miss Maggie and Glen from The Walking Dead, and I would have liked to have stayed for the costume contest, but I can see how the first time can be a little overwhelming. Thousands of people wandered all over the area, and you could easily spend 20-plus minutes at every table browsing through stuff or talking to artists. If you have never been to one, plan to spend at least a few hours there.

If you attended the event, we’d love to hear about your experience, and don’t forget your tickets for Wizard World. Who knows … maybe next year RevPub will have a booth!

100th Post: And Now for a Taste of Things to Come!

When Raven and I started RevPub we wanted to have an outlet for all of our random thoughts, opinions, and interests.  We love posting our topics every week and find lots of new topics and threads we can follow and share with our readers.  Though we enjoy our weekly posts we never lose sight on our true goal, and that is to find a venue for our creative works.

Last October we introduced our first (and for me monumental) publication, Lil Horsemen #1: How Death and War Postponed the Apocalypse, a story I wrote as a teenager finally brought to full-color life as a graphic novel.  This was only the beginning of things and we have more Lil Horsemen and other series to come.

This post, as it’s our one-hundredth, I thought it would be a good time to share what we have in store for this year and beyond.

In the Spring/Summer of 2013 we’ll introduce the second adventure of Grimmy and Skirmish in Lil Horsemen #2: The Soulless Shoes.  This issue will introduce the other two Lil Horsemen, Smally Pox and Faminista.

(Sorry for the scan quality, I only had access to a consumer scanner this week…)

Below is the first design of Smally Pox!


And Faminista with her lil dog Fam-Fam:


By the end of this year we also hope to introduce the first installment of a continuing, more traditional, graphic novel action series, Bloody Bantam IV.  Introducing the gunslinging swordsman character, Bantam IV, aka “Quad the Merciless!”  I’m truly excited about this series.  I have the story arch planned and this, unlike the random fun of Lil Horsemen, is more of a traditional narrative.

These major projects aren’t all; we also have planned several new post series; a few one-shot comics; at least one more BIG Lil Horsemen adventure and several mini-adventures; new t-shirts and merchandise; and eventually the series to which Revenant Publications owes its namesake…

Here’s to 100 more posts!  Thanks for reading!