behind the scenes

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3. designing superheroes

I've collected comic books since I was twelve, so occasionally I like to play around with doing something that has that "comic book feel". Usually (OK, always) I can't sell the concept because it's a little over-the-top, but hey, who says I can't have some fun designing it? Because CrossTalk magazine is read by software engineers, my idea here was to develop a superhero team that would be a homage to the old 1960's Marvel Comic's Fantastic Four issues done by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. I wanted it to have a "retro" feel to it. I did several pages of character designs, including head shots, and full body poses, and later, a mock cover. On the cover sketch, the four characters (which also appear randomly on my home page) are Chief Engineer, the muscle-bound "hands on" hero, who is hoisting some heavy equipment while his lady love, Diskette, loads up on CD's, her weapon of choice. The somewhat nerdy, yet also beatnik, Hacker sits at a terminal coding (while secretly pining away for his his true love, Diskette), and the Mouse flies through the laboratory, making the right click where needed. My intent was to really push the envelope and for one issue change the masthead to the style of either a Fantastic Four or Superman comic to complete the look. I still like this concept enough that I may have to do a full color illustration and sell it as a poster.

Another superhero group I created was inspired by the the Justice League cartoon. Using military logos as my starting point, I designed the characters to represent the different branches of the armed services: Coast Guard, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Army.