Disney Princess Team Up Week: Jasmine of Agrabah!

That genie needs to get back in the @#$% bottle.

That genie needs to get back in the @#$% bottle.

I’m okay with the art above, but only. There’s a whole lot that I’m feeling picky about. I really like the angry Jafar Genie, but in the attempt to capture the Disney comics style (done by Marvel) of the early 1990’s, I feel like something got lost. Jasmine’s hair bugs me…I was looking for the uniformity of solid color that the comics and animation art have, but wound up with a cross hatch like effect. Our hero has the stiff, somewhat campy posture of surprise that I was after, but something about it bugs me. Dr. Pony is about to rage into pony Hulk, but again…not happy with it. Oddly, with such a busy cover, its seems empty compared to the three before it.

The whole week has taught me that drawing in the Disney “house style” is a skill unto itself, and that covers are very, very hard to compose. You have a page, and you WANT to fill it…but you need to intentionally leave space for trade dress and logos. There has been so much that I want to jam into these, that the trade dress has been an issue.

The Princess Jasmine post was actually important to me because Disney’s Aladdin was the first Disney animated film that I seriously liked. Not just from a critical standpoint of animation, but as a film that I enjoyed. I may revisit the artwork above with that in mind, with the feeling that I want to do it a kind of important respect.

The composition was done at the Reed Settlement “investment school” training. The point of the training is to familiarize the staff with the demographics of the school to such a degree that they are irreplaceable, and thusly immune to the effects of the upcoming “Reduction in Force” layoff notices. That is not to be confused with school site budgetary downsizing, which is an entirely different kettle of fish.

The training was not as odious as you might imagine. The fact is, there are many interesting statistical features to the school’s demographics that really need attention. It’s a school with special needs based upon where it is, the socioeconomic realities of the clients, and the ethnic backgrounds of the population. Too few teachers go in as “crusaders”, having seen a film about teachers that was made by Hollywood…failing to understand the grim realities of the environment.

The training did a good job of presenting those facts, without making the matter supremely discouraging. The school day itself may have done that, which is another matter entirely.

Still…the problems that are endemic to the school are in part problems like the genie…powerful, out of control, and very hard to put back in their bottle. School districts try to throw money at the problem, but money isn’t a solution, it is only a tool. Very little of that money actually makes it to the level where I teach…something to bear in mind when you go out and vote, True Believers.

Without logos and trade dress.

Without logos and trade dress.

Feeling like I wanted to do a little bit more toward this, in part because i was oddly unhappy with the art above, especially compared to Easter Island and Alderaan, I drew a “B” piece. Once again I was struck by how hard it is to capture the Disney feel, in part because the lines have such distinction…but there are few of them. I used Disney Princess art as a reference, mainly because that version of Jasmine has more complex hair (I really wanted to get her hair more right) and a better dress with more glitter. The whole effort prompted an impromtu art class with about a dozen kids, which was the only really good part of my school day today.

Check it out…

I'm happier with this than the lead art piece.  Just saying.

I’m happier with this than the lead art piece. Just saying.

Still…I wanted to also continue the subplot of criticizing Hawkeye. Yep…I’m STILL on that. In this case, for a really glaring point that Bendis recently grafted onto his character. At some undisclosed point, his wife, Mockingbird, was kidnapped by aliens (those pesky Skrulls) and replaced.

They worked together, lived together, had marital problems, and she gave his life for him….and he never had an inkling that she might be an alien imposter.

Wait…whaat?

It kind of retroactively tarnishes the emotional impact of all of those stories. Interestingly enough, Mockingbird is Barbara Morse, currently a character on Marvel’s “Agents of SHIELD.” Considering that Disney/Marvel seems to not own the rights to the Skrulls, she might wind up immune to that ignominious fate.

Good question, Hawkeye.  I'm thinking that the answer is "yes."

Good question, Hawkeye. I’m thinking that the answer is “yes.”

Oddly enough, as a result of being brought back, then promptly killed again and definitively revealed as an alien…the actual Mockingbird has been returned to mainstream comics, as well as the TV series. Don’t ask me to try and make too much sense of it…it’s one of those things that Marvel kind of says, “Let’s not talk about it, okay?” and lets lie until no one asks.

Kind of like the way that my school district deals with disciplinary issues for students. If we stop talking about it, it must eventually all go away, right?

Next Issue….actually not yet drawn! Who knows what it may be!

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