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Thursday, September 03, 2009
 
  Posted by Andy Bennett on 9/03/2009 10:57:00 AM :

       Art for All: Delirium

Here's the latest entry in the Art for All series, sharing various one-off sketches and commissions I've done recently. This time - Neil Gaiman's DELIRIUM.

It's no secret that I'm crazy about Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN series from DC (and later, Vertigo). In fact, I get more requests for commissions of those characters than pretty much anything else. It gets hard to come up with new takes on the same seven characters, so I turned this one on its head - literally.

Delirium, youngest of The Endless, is one of the more colorful family members. She is scatterbrained and easily distracted; she often forgets the thread of her conversations, and comes out with offbeat and seemingly inconsequential observations. She's most famous for her role in the "Brief Lives" storyline that appeared in the pre-Vertigo Sandman #41-49, featuring art by the divine Jill Thompson.

This piece, unlike most others, was drawn in a sketchbook. It is 11 x 14", and drawn with a ballpoint pen and a brush pen, with a bit of white-out here and there for effect.

For more information on commissions, drop by my gallery on deviantART or my website.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009
 
  Posted by Andy Bennett on 8/27/2009 01:30:00 PM :

       Art for All: Phantom Stranger

Here's the latest entry in the Art for All series, sharing various one-off sketches and commissions I've done recently. This time - THE PHANTOM STRANGER.

I'm a big fan of DC Comics' supernatural characters—Constantine, Swamp Thing, The Spectre, etc—but was oddly completely unfamiliar with the Phantom Stranger, apart from his appearance in Neil Gaiman's Books of Magic series.

The Stranger has a pretty cryptic history. In fact, he's one of the very few characters whose origin story has never actually been revealed. He first appeared in the 50's in his own short-lived solo series, with art by the great Carmine Infantino. As the years went by, he was featured more prominently in the DC Universe proper in titles like Justice League of America, Swamp Thing, and Detective Comics, among many others.

According to his Wikipedia page, In his earliest appearances, the Phantom Stranger would prove supernatural events to be hoaxes. In later stories, the supernatural events were real and the Phantom Stranger was given unspecified superhuman powers to defeat them. He later appeared in various other DC Universe titles, sometimes as a major participant; in others, the Phantom Stranger just appears and gives advice or warning to the featured heroes. Occasionally he serves simply as narrator. In some stories, he seems to be answerable to a mysterious Voice, implied to be God, or the Lords of Order.

And after all this time, he never got tired of that turtleneck and disco-era medallion.

I love doing commissions of characters I am not at all familiar with, as was the case here. I went for a high-contrast, shape-driven piece, as opposed to my regular line- and texture-heavy approach.

This piece, like most others, is 9 x 12", and drawn on Strathmore cold-press watercolor paper. For more information on commissions, drop by
my gallery on deviantART or my website.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009
 
  Posted by Andy Bennett on 8/20/2009 10:33:00 AM :

       Art for All: Hellboy

Here's a new entry in the Art for All series, sharing various one-off sketches and commissions I've done recently. This time - Mike Mignola's HELLBOY.

Hellboy debuted, to the general public, in 1994 with the 4-issue mini-series "Seed of Destruction" at Dark Horse Comics. It was released as part of Dark Horse's "LEGEND" line, and co-written by fan favorite John Byrne. At this stage, Mignola wasn't nearly as well-known as he is today, and I'll tell you - I bought those comics strictly for the backup story, Arthur Adams' "Monkeyman & O'Brien". Little did I know, Hellboy would eventually become one of my favorite comics of all time.

Since then, it's been nothing but upwards for Mike Mignola and his creation. Hellboy comics are still being released today, as well as a spinoff series, B.P.R.D. There have been 2 feature films and 2 animated DVD films, and the momentum doesn't appear to be subsiding.

I did a commission of the B.P.R.D.'s Liz Sherman a couple of years ago, an the owner came back for a Hellboy this time. It's not easy trying to put your own mark on a character that is so intimately associated with Mike Mignola's illustration style, but I've given it a go. This is a larger piece - 11 x 15". Click for the bigness...

Typically these pieces are 9 x 12", and drawn on Strathmore cold-press watercolor paper. For more information on commissions, drop by my gallery on deviantART or my website.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009
 
  Posted by Andy Bennett on 8/13/2009 10:32:00 AM :

       Art for All - Wesley Dodds


Without trying to sound too self-serving, I think I'll start a series sharing various one-off sketches and commissions I've done recently. In addition to my frequent comics projects, I like to decompress by doing single-image character pieces. This way I can try out new techniques and tools, and get in some drawing practice as well.

I just got back from Chicago Comicon this past weekend, so I'll start this off by sharing some commissions I produced over the 4-day marathon.

This was the first—booked via e-mail several days before the show—Wesley Dodds, the Golden-age Sandman.

First appearing in 1939, Dodds (as The Sandman) was an original member of the Justice Society of America. Wielding his signature gas gun, and relying on prophetic dreams, as well as highly honed detective skills, The Sandman prowled the streets, subduing criminals under cover of darkness. The Sandman used a World War I era gas mask to protect himself from the effects of his own sleeping gas.

After various incarnations over the years (including a stint by Captain America creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby), Dodds was featured in his own solo title in 1993 at DC/Vertigo when Matt Wagner and Guy Davis launched the film-noir Sandman Mystery Theatre. He was even ret-conned into Neil Gaiman's "Dreaming" continuity in 1995 in the one-shot special, Sandman Midnight Theatre.

It's no secret that Guy Davis is one of my heroes, and Sandman Mystery Theatre was one of my favourite comics of the past 20 years, so this one was a pleasure.

Typically these pieces are 9x12 inches (sometimes a little larger), and drawn on Strathmore cold-press watercolor paper.

More to come! For more information on commissions, drop by my gallery on deviantART or my website.

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