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Topic: Insert Appropriate Freddie Mercury Reference - 05.05.07 Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Andy Mokler
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Joined: 20 January 2006
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 10:02am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Great piece, JB.  I'm very impressed with the contrast between the heroes and everything else.  The Champions pop right off the page and are the obvious subject while the villains and background are there in a complimentary way that don't distract the eye or blend everything together into a bunch of lines(Perez).

Who is the female character at the bottom right of the picture(just under the Angel)?

All of this Queen talk reminds me that I've wondered if there is a CD soundtrack available of Highlander.  Anyone out there know?

Thanks again for sharing JB.

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Larry Bonds
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

"Don't stop me now! I'm having such a good time!  I'm having a ball!"
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Jacob P Secrest
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Thanks to William Roberge, I had no idea what the Freddie Mercury
reference was (not remotely familiar with the team in question, so didn't
recognize them as the Champions).

Good work as always JB.
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Derek Muthart
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Joined: 10 September 2005
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

JB has been on fire lately.  Really like this one.
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Chad Carter
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

 

Man, I love Ernie Chan on that CHAMPIONS cover. Hercules looks like he's having WAY too much fun in the commission.

The Champions seems to be one of those teams that would work with someone who digs them, now, as opposed to when they were extant in the '70s. The stories weren't that great, and yet I still look at the Champions very fondly. I never even READ a Champions story, growing up, yet I consider them so unique to the 70s and what comics were about at that time. Strange.

I still say a kind of retro-70s Champions series, with art by Sal Buscema or somebody like that, could work today. And Black Goliath really should have been with the Champions. That's a perfect fit. Good call.

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Bob Simko
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

That's a f&#%ing GREAT Hercules....
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

The Champions seems to be one of those teams that would work with someone who digs them, now, as opposed to when they were extant in the '70s. The stories weren't that great, and yet I still look at the Champions very fondly. I never even READ a Champions story, growing up, yet I consider them so unique to the 70s and what comics were about at that time. Strange.

***

Bill Mantlo used to say that he felt the Champions could have been every bit as successful as the X-Men if only Marvel had "got behind them" as it did with the mutant book. I'm not entirely sure that's true.

Working on this piece -- drawing the Champions for the first time in 30 years -- I was first struck by the fact that the dynamics of the shot did not "fall out of the pencil" the way most commission pieces have. I remembered, too, that working on the book was a similar experience. The way the characters interacted did not flow in the same way as we saw in the FF, or the X-Men, or even the Avengers.

Thinking on this, I realized it's probably because this is such a mismatched team. It should have the weird-but-works chemistry of the early Defenders, yet in this case the weird outbalances the works. The powers and abilities of the characters don't form a working synthesis. They don't compliment each other, but kind of overlap in odd places, with gaps in others. Not sure why this is. Groups like the JLA or the Avengers have the same kind of mismatching, with supremely powerful beings (Superman, Thor) battling alongside "normal" humans (Batman, Captain America). Yet -- in the Champions it doesn't gel. And that the book lasted only 17 issues tends to underscore the fact that it was not "speaking" to the majority of fans.

Which is kinda too bad --- tho if the Champions had been successful, I might never have found my way to the X-Men.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 10:38am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Very cool commission! It's great seeing you draw those characters as a team again, JB!
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D. Alan Allred
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Joined: 28 August 2005
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

John-
I love your work on these pieces especially your line weights in inking.
I went with your example and bought some Faber Castell Pitt pens. My
question is this: Which pens of that line did you use on this commission?
Thanks.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Terrific commission. Love the way JB renders the internal mechanisms of the Sentinels like striated muscle.
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Chad Carter
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 11:47am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I was never a big Ghost Rider supporter. Despite his cool appearance, he's almost too oddball within the Champions context. GR's abilities are kind of vague, to me. He needed to be more, well, Wolverine-like in order to provide real contrast to "good" guys like Warren and Bobby. But GR is played more superhero than hellborn, so he's bland here.

Hercules is the resident hot-head and strong-man, so he's more than enough Ben Grimm/Hulk/uncontrollable aspect for the team. Ghost Rider is overkill, maybe?

I know it's probably sacrilege, but here's a What If scenario: Angel is relegated to the background; he's the money, he's the "figurehead", but he isn't involved in every Champions mission.

Ghost Rider is honorary member or whatever, but doesn't appear unless there's a mystical enemy. The group's "Dr. Strange".

Black Widow leads the team. She's the stradegist; and as far as Herc is concerned, she just needs to point him in a direction and set him off.

Hercules, Black Widow, Iceman.

What the team needs, I think, is Tigra and the Whizzer.

Tigra provides another woman for the Widow to link with, plus Tigra's far less "serious" and would provide a nice comedic relief on a team lacking humor. Plus the banter with Hercules would have been priceless.

The Whizzer gives the Champions a speedster, but also age and experience.

He's a tough guy, kind of in the Ted Grant mode. He's the kind of guy who gets in Herc's face when the Olympian is out of hand, snaps at Angel for being a prima donna, dislikes and distrusts the Widow for being a Russian "spy".

It would work, I'm telling you.

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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 05 May 2007 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I went with your example and bought some Faber Castell Pitt pens. My question is this: Which pens of that line did you use on this commission?

***

Most of the heavy line is done with the brush (B). The rest is M, except for the most distant background details, which are S.

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