Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Here Comes--The Comic Bookmobile?! 1973 DC Comics on Wheels!

You've heard about it, mentioned thru hushed whispers. You've wondered about it, this tale from the past that smacks of urban mythology. But it was all shockingly real. DC Comics did attempt a bold new run at comic book distribution, in the sweltering summer of '73! The long-time funny book firm hit the streets with the far-flung and kinky Comicmobile! Taking their cue from ice cream trucks (and note the confusion from such, in the article below) and library bookmobiles, actual vehicular vendors (like future comics scribe Bob Rozakis and Bat-film producer Michael Uslan) set out to meet the frenzied fans face-on! In the enterprise, they got to see who was buying what (and who wasn't buying what)! An amazing experiment! Click below to enlarge the astounding article, savagely torn from the pages of AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS!!

Above: Can you imagine? Not just the latest comics coming to you, but the
sensational superhero merch of the day! Some only glimpsed in
house ads back then! And--back issues? Wow!

Above: What an amazing (if limited) opportunity to see who bought what!
Entertainment firms always yearn for such valuable info, since it enables
them to aim their content (and printing amounts) more precisely!
And--Who knew PLOP! was such a fan fave?

Above: Comics publisher Bruce Hamilton poses next to the Comicmobile!
Wanna see those van-adorning stickers up close? Click here!

BONUS: Read Bob Rozakis' own recollections of his days 
behind the wheel of the riotous rig right here!

BONUS BONUS: Want another retro reciting of the glory days 
of the DC Comicmobile? It's all in this awesome issue of BACK ISSUE!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hawkeye! The Making of a 2017 Cosplay! Avengers! Marvel Comics Madness!

After whipping up colossal cosplays of Captain America and Batman '66 (click here), I set my sights on another colorful costume creation, one I've longed admired! I decided to tackle the titanic task of bringing a real-life version of Hawkeye into the world! Of course, to me, only the Silver/Bronze Age Hawkeye would do, (forget that deadly dull AVENGERS movie version) with his amazingly wonderful and eye-catching threads from that period! Zing along below to follow my step-by-step process! Click images below to enlarge!

Above two images: From the early 70s, here are two covers
that supplied me with some of my first glimpses at the (once evil)
archer! I based my costume on this look!

Above: Using a commercially available Captain America
pull-over wool mask, I brought out the black dye, to get
started on Hawkeye's head mask, but...

Above two images: My inky dye just wouldn't cover all the
lighter mask elements, so...I added a cut and customized semi-rigid
Captain America (him again?) mask, covering the un-dye-able
areas of the head mask...

Above two images: Once cut and trimmed and the two masks
are merged, I sketched in the famous "H" design, using paint 


Above four images: Now to add the famous flared eye-mask portion,
but...None of these seem just right. Too large and cumbersome...

Above: That's more like it! A smaller, more stylized eye-mask (crafted from foam) worked much better!

Above three images: Now to begin work on the tunic! Starting with a
sleeveless gray garment (one I felt could best evoke, but not exactly
copy, Hawkeye's tunic/yoke combo), I  removed the front pockets,
then broke out the purple dye. Then the black paint. Then the
black paint pens. Then the purple paint touch-ups. Then...

Above two images: A basic archery set would provide the bow and arrows...
Being mindful of comics convention hall weapons restrictions, I used only
the rear ends of each arrow (painted the appropriate colors, natch), to
glue into the hollow quiver...

Above: Also in regards to con regulations, I knew any arrowhead even
somewhat resembling real arrow tips would be a no-no, so it was
time to create a very obvious "stunt" arrowhead! A portion of
a plastic water blaster (part of a kid's toy) would do well, after
some custom paint!

Above two images: What about the character's iconic wristbands?
Using "can cozies," I cut and customized my way to the right look
and fit! Some "hammered finish" and purple (and gloss coating) spray
paint applications, along with added shapes and stencils, and...

Above: Western boots were customized with
added "pirate/buccaneer" flaps, all hit with
matching purple hues...

Above: Uhhh...Loincloths were created. Yeah.

Above three images: At last! After months of work, I get my first
look, with (almost) all the costume pieces together! Not bad! A few
tweaks here and there and...

Above: Taa-daaaa! Ol' Hawkeye makes his public debut, at Heroes Con 2017!
Along with the above created costume pieces, I added black leggings, a
customized quiver, upper arm bands, and a customized belt!

Above two images: After initial public outings as ol' Clint Barton, I was
told something was missing. That's right. Younger comics fans wanted
to see me re-enact the cover to 1982's AVENGERS #223, with a tiny
Ant-Man riding one of my arrows to a swiftly-reached destination!
Once I found a tiny lil Ant-Man figure, away we went! The above
homage cover was assembled by fellow graphic designer
Edward Fields!

Above: Yep. Just had to homage this famous panel..

Above: How I felt after the months of
making the costume! Fit to be tied!