Sunday, December 27, 2015

Rautia winter scenery

Used to regularly make ads for the hardware store Rautia for Salon Seudun Sanomat newspaper, from small front page pieces to more cumbersome whole spread 'collages'. However, this is the only one that stuck with me (no doubt because it required some more creativity than usual) and which I personally most care for: made this wintery mood image for their Christmas greeting by 'painting' some snow and ice on a summery stock photo from Kotitalo (one of their affiliate ready-made house manufacturers). It must have been running in their front page Christmas ad annually for at least 7 years now, iirc, maybe more. Most recently few days ago, this very Christmas.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Gotham urban scenery

Mockup of a supposed artbook (or an in universe 'photobook' maybe?) to display illustrations from the world of Batman, 2006 - 2007. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Batman universe was always the city of Gotham itself, which occasionally took center stage over the characters in drawings during the time I was active within the fandom.

Below: Jason Todd (the 2nd Robin) on top of a Gotham high-rise. Drawn on A2 sized paper. I'm amazed of my past self with the details on this one: the readable billboards ("Zesti Cola", "Fuji", "Premier"...), the statues on the buildings and the Aparo Expressway bridge on the far background (as seen on further detail in a drawing below). This also includes a little easter-egg: Batman, surrounded by a flock of bats, watching over the whole scene on top of the pointy tower building, only really visible in the line art before colors. Jason's "Rebel Kind" shirt is also a callback to the Batman / Detective comics from the 80's, where such a poster can be seen on the wall of his 'hideout'.

Above middle: IIRC, this was my last 'proper' Batman piece before interest in the fandom faded in the advent of DC Comics' continuity altering event, "52". Appropriately titled "Last Summer". Never got around coloring this, but I do love the ridiculous details again. Characters depicted are Tim and Steph. Above bottom: Aparo Expressway. I remember always trying to pinpoint the exact location the scenes in my drawings took place on the map of Gotham that DC provided with some of their comics (a curious observation about the appearance of that map over here btw). Somewhere there was an expressway named after artist Jim Aparo. This is actually supposed to be a Nightwing fan art of sorts - as you can 'clearly' see, there's a tiny creature sitting on the beams of the bridge there: that's Dick Grayson, the first Robin, aka Nightwing later in life. Some of the details on this piece too can only be seen by getting close enough and brightening the image, like the distant harbour silhouette, lights of a passing ship on the horizon, or the writings on the posters (callbacks to minor details in existing comics too).

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Robin renewed

Somewhere from 2006 to 2007 my interests on hobby front took a turn from more manga inspired sources to American mainstream comics, and thus also artistic projects mainly concentrated around the DC comics' universe, and specifically within the 'Batman family'.

This is one of the works from that time. A geekish fact that I cherish here: this was likely the very first fan made artwork of the Robin's then new red and black outfit - hastily done overnight right after the first official images of the renewal went online, and published the very next day.

Inked pages for a Robin fan comic, 2007. True to the American mainstream comic form, the pages are empty of balloons and sound effects, which would be digitally added later in the production. For those with enough knowledge of the fandom and who might wonder: the characters depicted are the Robins Tim and Dick. As often the case, I seem to have exhausted myself with concentrating on minute details of the gear and surroundings: zippers, shoelaces, clothing seams, brand tags, street adverts and notice bills etc. (Tim appears to be wearing DC sneakers - fun detail I must congratulate my past self for *haha*).

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Phoenix T-shirt

T-shirt design for Marvel Villains contest on, depicting X-Men's Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix. The idea here was, that the character herself would form the Phoenix emblem on the shirt.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Spirou - Piko

In 2007 I spent brief time revisiting beloved characters, that were - along with Asterix, Lucky Luke and Tintin - a staple part of library literature in childhood: Spirou and Fantasio. I've long wanted to do more with them still, but somehow just haven't gotten around to it... yet.

Above: "Home Again". Always thought Spirou's wardrobe should suit an active man. I liked the approach Janry had with him for more active wear, but most of that neglected the original look in all but coloring, and I liked to expand upon this with 'sporty wear' that would still reflect the look of the classic bellboy outfit by using familiar elements like the black stripes. Thus probably more time went into planning the gear in this piece (and otherwise), than drawing the actual image: this study for different styles of shoes for example - sneakers that would give the appearance of the character's original 'spats look' (which I always found a rather too formal wear for the kind of adventuring that went on in the comics). Fantasio's pink slippers are totally 'canon' though, and that doorway / livingroom configuration comes from Franquin's run on the comics.

Above: an idea after the cover of "Rayon Noir" by Janry. And a silly compilation I remember I gathered by flipping through all the Spirou albums, scanning and editing the separate images and putting them together... just to make a desktop I used maybe couple of weeks. Got a giggle out of it though. Below: subtle differences or just ridiculous standards? Red headed reporters / adventures, and shoe designs.

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