Friday, April 24, 2009

April showers (part four of four)

As the month of April begins its gradual fade into May, we conclude our month of Comic Art Fridays dedicated to our — and, let's be honest, everyone's — favorite weather-marshaling X-Man, Ororo Munroe: Storm, as she's known to friend and foe alike.

Last week, we showcased a Storm image penciled by Mark Beachum and inked by my good friend and comics industry stalwart, Bob Almond.

Here's another one.

When I purchased the original pencils of last week's featured piece from Mark Beachum, Mark included in the package an additional sketch with a brief note of thanks. This sketch, presenting a strikingly different version of Ororo than the drawing I bought, was simply but deftly drawn, and quite beautiful.

It was also a nude. Not surprising, given that much of Mark's artistic output these days falls under the banner of erotica.

Those of you who've visited here on Comic Art Fridays for any length of time, or have browsed my online gallery at Comic Art Fans, have probably sussed out that I don't collect nude art. I wouldn't consider myself a prude, nor am I in any manner opposed to the creation, ownership, or display of nude art in general. It's merely an area of artistic expression that my collection isn't intended to represent.

It seemed a pity, though, to completely hide Mark's lovely sketch from the world, just because I wouldn't have a place for it in my gallery in its original form. So, Bob Almond and I put our heads together, and decided that Bob would create an inked version of Mark's sketch that incorporated some minimal costuming. Bob drew his inspiration from a design that Geof Isherwood developed for this Common Elements commission entitled "Stormbringers," featuring Ororo alongside Michael Moorcock's epic fantasy antihero, Elric of Melniboné.

Geof's original model for his Storm was Adastra, a character created by the legendary Barry Windsor-Smith. At one time, BWS (as his fans call him) had been assigned by Marvel Comics to write and draw a miniseries featuring a youthful Storm in her native African environs. Due to the time-honored "creative differences," Marvel decided not to publish the story Windsor-Smith came up with, so the artist changed the character's name to Adastra and published the book (retitled Adastra in Africa) himself.

Isherwood, who counts BWS as one of his key influences, retconned Windsor-Smith's Adastra back to her Ororo origins for the drawing above. Bob Almond incorporated the basic elements of Geof's design into his embellished version of Mark Beachum's sketch.

Ideas... the gifts that keep on giving.

And that's your Comic Art Friday "Storm front" for April.


2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous Bob Almond offered these pearls of wisdom...

Thanks for the kind words of support, Michael. I had an exceptional time inking these!

(If I was going to be a nitpicker, for the credits I'd say that Beachum's drawings were actually 'sketches' and my work was 'finishes'.)

Didn't you have more Storm's in your gallery? I would've imagined this to be running for more than 4 weeks;-)

Bob (pickingnits) Almond

1:08 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Bob: I guess we'll have to stop calling you "King of Inking" and start referring to you as "Picker of Nits." :)

I do, in fact, have more Storms in my gallery. The purpose of this month-long feature was simply to spotlight four of my Storms that haven't been seen on Comic Art Fridays previously.

Thanks again for the fantastic finishes on both of the Beachum pieces!

1:30 PM  

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