Sunday Bonus Post: Don’t @#$% With Me Bro…More Skeletons

Our first view of this uniform in color.

Our first view of this uniform in color.

This posting is more about process than content. Granted, the stress of this school year, and the already rocky organizational start, might prompt a sane individual to go find the nearest Gin bottle…but the idea here was more because apparently, I annually in the late summer seem to return to the “Drinking With Skeletons” composition. I was in fact, very happy with the first one, which is probably why I keep coming back to it.

That…and the idea of drinking with skeletons. Skeletons can’t actually absorb alcohol at all, so they are really just pouring the booze right through them, unable to get drunk. No matter how awesome your superpowers…skeletons are winning that contest, hands down. The crew of the Black Pearl, a bunch of pirate skeletons, are just throwing all that rum on the Ground.

The artwork above is a full redo, from the ground up, of the original art, done about three years ago. I remastered the original for comparison, basically filtering it the way I do the current images, below:

It's this kind of thing that shows me real change in process and line work.

It’s this kind of thing that shows me real change in process and line work.

Also…everything was tonally brighter then. I was happier with the school and the work, and it shows in the art, I think. Deciding on the colors for the new, very tactical street level uniform was hard. I thought it should be black, but dingy, which is harder to do than you might think. Unlike the lightning bolt jacket from last year, which is shiny and new, this needed to suggest rough use, and underground activity. Also, I wasn’t sure how to go with the Skrull Death’s Head. Initially I thought white, like the Punisher’s logo…but that seemed derivative and also not smart. The big ears are still on it, so there would be an outer layer of skin, right? Then I considered red, for a large number of reasons, and still am considering it for future images, where appropriate. I actually shied away from red because it is the official color of the Teacher’s Union, which I tend to be at odds with.

Bringing me to the green that Skrulls usually are. “Secret Invasion” showed us a large number of graphically killed Skrulls, and they stay pretty green, so it seemed on point enough.

The unfiltered color roughs.

The unfiltered color roughs.

Interestingly, this piece is less about being humorous, years later and redone, than it initially was. I’m having real trouble managing stress, and the ethics of what I do and who I work for. In terms of tone and line work, I think that came out this time, which is interesting about the emotional content of the process. When I did the original, I was actually periodically laughing out loud while drawing it. Here, in my current time frame, there was more of a catharsis, a grim satisfaction.

The black and white inks.

The black and white inks.

I’m also only two days ahead in drawing at this point, so everything is more timely and topical. It’s a very interesting change from the summer, and very much alters the emotional content of the line work. Every now and then, I like doing this kind of “behind the scenes” process post. Hope you do too, True Believers.

Next: Your Haircut, My Enemy!


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