Friday, December 21, 2012

Spider-Man Unmasked?! 1976 Albert Bigley Comic Art?! Marvel?!

Look at what my vast team of researchers has just unearthed! Here's another one of my meticulous comic cover re-creations, drawn by me at age 11, in 1976! My love for the fabulous artwork of John Romita, Sr. was, even then, firmly entrenched in my heart and mind, and you can sure see that in this drawing! Using the cover to this Spider-Man reprint as my guide, I just had to imitate the way JRSR drew Spidey, Peter Parker, his pals, and even their snazzy (tho very dated by '76) clothing! Romita excelled not only with high-flying superhero action, but in drawing "real people," folds, locales, and backgrounds! Everything drawn by him seemed wonderfully perfect! Click to below to enlarge!

Note how often I erased and re-drew Spidey's "sad" eyes, and the clothing
on the characters! I also couldn't resist changing (gasp) Stan Lee's snazzy
cover dialog! I also recall hating drawing on graph paper!
But, when that was all ya had...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

FANTASTIC FOUR?! 1976 Albert Bigley Art! Human Torch! Marvel Comics?!

Presenting yet another attempt, by me, to drawn the ever-fabulous Fantastic Four! Sure, this ain't bad for an 11-year old in 1976, but how wobbly can ya get? Where is the Thing's thumb? To what is Mr. Fantastic anchored? What's the deal with the Human Torch's sqishy hands? And--is that the Invisible Girl or the Invisible Man?! Sheesh! Click to enlarge!

I was going for a 3-D feeling of depth here, hence the quartet stepping out of (and overlapping) their "frame..."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spider-Man vs. The Sandman! Huge 1976 Albert Bigley Comic Art! Marvel Comics?!

Dig this huge (11 by 17 inches!) pencil drawing I did at age 11, in 1976! Here we have a harried Spidey facing off against the sinister Sandman! Looks familiar, does it? That's right, I lifted it unashamedly from the cover of the then-spanking-new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #154! I simply wanted a large poster of this cover, another stellar example of the art of the incredible John Romita Sr., and it was up to me to make that poster a reality! This gem even has tape on it, from when I had displayed it! Click to enlarge!

You can tell I really struggled with the heads and faces, wanting to capture
Romita's perfect renditions fully!  He's still the Spider-Man artist to me!

BONUS! Look below to see the actual 1976 cover that inspired my own incredible (?) re-creation!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's a Bird, It's a Plane--It's SUPERMAN! 1966 Broadway Musical--On TV in 1975?! DC Comics!

Sure, we now live in a world awash with tons of multi-media versions of the famed superheroes, from big-screen films, TV shows, video games, and even musicals! But--didja know that a sensational Superman musical was mounted during the dizzying era of the 1966 BATMAN TV show? An ambitious Broadway play called IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN made waves during that "pop art" period, and it featured a host of great actors/singers involved in a high-camp extravaganza that looked to ride the coattails of the unbelievably popular live-action capers of his fellow Caped Crusader! The Supes show was re-staged in 1975, and ran as a late-night filler, starring David Wilson as the Man of Steel! Click below to take in all of the info about both the Broadway show and the TV version! 

Like most large plays and musicals, the Playbill guide for this show was gayly 
festooned with caricatures by the amazing Al Hirschfeld! Note that the play 
co-starred Jack Cassidy (David Cassidy's dad), and Linda Lavin (later to helm 
ALICE for CBS)!The above comes from the rare 1973 DC tabloid, AMAZING 

I somehow missed all of this in 1975, only mere months before the debut (also 
on ABC) of two new WONDER WOMAN live-action specials! Could it have 
been the late hour in which ABC had slotted this presentation? This 
TV version also starred David Wayne ("The Mad Hatter" from BATMAN),
and Loretta Swit (from M.A.S.H.)!

You asked for it--here it is! See the 1975 broadcast of this little gem now! Just click here!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Batgirl and Robin! 1975 Albert Bigley Original Comic Art! DC Comics?!

This time, I present a fabulous (?) full-color image, drawn by me at age 10, in 1975! Inspired by their titanic team-ups in the then-new BATMAN FAMILY comics, here is the "Dynamite Duo" themselves, Batgirl and Robin! The teaming of these two in comics was kinda exciting, as Robin had left behind his Batman-sidekick status years earlier, and (even to my young eyes) Batgirl was much easier on the eyes than her male inspiration! I had a lot to learn about male and female anatomy when I created this drawing (in colored pencils, yet), as an oddly-proportioned Batgirl appears to swoop in and lob a smoke-bomb at a gigantic dragon, thus saving the Teen Wonder! Click to enlarge!

Notice my attempt to add some sorta background, with a wrecked 
building and street, and a bystander running for cover!

BONUS: Below is the official early-70s "Batgirl" logo, created by artist Don Heck! I doubtless used this as my inspiration for the above logo seen on my 1975 "masterpiece!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Captain America! The Step-by-Step Making of a Custom Halloween Costume! Marvel Comics!

I've dressed as Marvel Comics' Captain America in past Halloween seasons, making my own custom costume, but was never fully happy with the results! This year, I decided on a different attack, using the "Cap" from the recent CA movie as my visual goal! Click below to enlarge each step-by-step pic!

Below: The goal: a costume much like the second "battle" version worn in the CAPTAIN AMERICA 2011 movie!

Below: The actual "cosplay" outfit I used, tho I only incorporated the mask, top, and shoulder pouch belt from this costume!

Below: Not satisfied with the bulky off-white under-shirt as seen in the film, I opted for a form-fitting athletic top for the white shirt and sleeves, adding my own painted-on red vertical strips on the sides...That not only adds more much-needed red color to the outfit, but has a slimming and heightening effect..

Below: I already had a gun-belt from a previous Cap costume attempt, and added that...

Below: The inner top/vest added...

Below: The "shoulder pads" are added, which involved tightening the arm straps and attaching the red "suspenders" via velcro patches I affixed to the white shirt!

Below: The lower back portion attached to the rear of the gun belt....

I added store-bought "Cap" gloves, but with red/black "snowmobile gloves" over them...

Below: With the leather helmet added, along with the store-bought shield, here is the finished outfit!

Below: Avengers Assemble! The Thing, sadly, once again sulks in the background...

Below: The mask/helmet fits fabulously, with no vision or sight issues at all!

Below: SHIELD leader Nick Fury (Paul Brigham) drops by, to hold hands with an enlightened Captain America! 

Below: Cap's main 1940s squeeze, Peggy Carter, portrayed by my own wife, Allyson Bigley!

BONUS! Look below to see my past kooky CAP costume attempts! This one from 2003 or so, using the "Graphitti Designs" Cap shirt, a home-made shield (made from an old 50s snow sled, hand-painted, and later re-painted and used as a shield toted by a roman soldier in a church event), and a ski mask/painted face mask combo!...

Below: More recent 2010/2011 shots, using much of the above materials, but a store-bought shield, painted helmet and motorcycle goggles, and gun belt!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Robin, the Teen Wonder! 1976 Albert Bigley Art! "SOFFK!" DC Comics?!

Another blast from my past! This time, it's a riotous Robin pencil illustration, done by me in 1976 (at age 11)! I was trying to imagine and design a group of possible scenarios that would look swell as model kits, complete with nice 3-D dioramas and backgrounds, much as the fine Aurora hero kits were presented! Alas, it was all simply wishful thinking, as the Aurora folks had already made (and re-issued) their one and only Batman and Robin kits by then, but...Dig those speed strokes and ghost images! The "Teen Wonder" is belting that poor thug (or is he supposed to be the Joker?) so hard, his gun (or smoking candy bar) is being sent flying! And, is that blood coming offa Robin's left glove?! Yikes! Click to enlarge!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Green Lantern! The 2011 Model Kit--Built! DC Comics Greatness!

Here is my latest finished and built-up model kit--Green Lantern! This swell new 2011 kit comes from the fine folks at Moebius Models, a firm that's released great new figure kits, and exacting re-issues of the older Aurora ones, too! Their "GL" kit is in the manner of those other mid-60s DC Comics offerings, in scale, attitude, and overall look! Let's get started, as I take you on the step-by-step building process!

Below: The unassembled kit, in it's original green plastic, ready for building! Dig that nice transparent green "power-ringed" hand! The figure (tho overall well-designed and sculpted by the talented Joe Laudati) was a bit over-muscular and "cut," so I sanded away (and flattened) some of the ab muscles on the figure...

Below: Here's the base, including GL's evil robot opponent (tho the little guy looks awfully chummy)! I used some brown, black, gray, and white spray paints, in order to create a mottled "rubble" effect! Also added were some bits of rock and sand, some dark and light "splatter," and other bits of texture!

Below: The finished base, with silver and gold paint carefully applied to the robot! Some 
details were filled in using inking/technical pens, more added rubble, and 
overcoats of gloss (on the robot), and matte sprays (on the ground surface)!

Let's move on to the GL figure! 

Below: After sanding a few seams, and applying a nice hi-gloss "metallic black" to the finished figure, I used Silly Putty (!) to mask off those areas, then came in with a nice "metallic lacquer green," for those portions of the famous costume! Once dry, the Putty comes right off! 

Below: The head detailing begins!

Below: The finished figure, with translucent "power-ringed" hand, ready for attachment to the base!

I did a bit of "dry-brushing" to the hair and face of the figure, creating 
subtle light and dark areas...A bit of brushed-on gloss for the hair and mask...

I wanted the figure to "hover" much closer to the base than the kit suggests...The two figures just seemed too distant and disassociated (as if they belonged to separate kits), so I angled the joining portion of GL's right hand and power-ring effect in such a way so the figure could be nearer the base...

I hand-painted the chest insignia (what a pain), altho I almost went with a computer-generated sticker! I kept the white gloves a flat matte, to contrast with the other parts of the more reflective and bright costume! I kept the name-plate in its original green, using technical pens to fill in the black background...

Overall, a very well-done kit, by a company that recalls and loves the original Aurora superhero kits of the 60s and 70s! The designers (including comics fan and artist Terry Beatty) really went for (and succeeded in) re-creating the feel of a Silver Age GREEN LANTERN comics cover as drawn by Gil Kane! I hope they make many more such model kits, featuring those characters who never got a shot at all-plastic stardom!