Curse You, Red Baron!

This was super hard to draw.

I’ve always really loved Charles Schulz’ “Peanuts,” especially the bizarre fantasy life of Snoopy the dog. Often, he imagines himself to be the “Famous World War I Flying Ace,” at odds with his nemesis the Red Baron. We never see the Red Baron, only Snoopy on top of his dog house.

I always really liked the designs of the airplanes from that time period…they are very much like complicated, motorized kites. Modern planes are sleek, jet engine propelled darts that fly through the air. They look like they should be able to fly, they have a very bird like shape. Biplanes and triplanes though…they feel much more like they are in the air almost by accident, the shapes are almost oddly whimsical to me.

The idea here, in terms of the art, is simple. We know that Cap doesn’t land or stop her own flight very well, and she doesn’t have any power like heat vision or energy beams. I wanted the feeling that she was stopping her flight with the support strut of the plane, at a pretty high level of speed, and using that for some kind of Captain Kirk style drop kick. I think the whole thing came across well.

That is actually the Red Baron’s famous plane. Getting the reference together to get that right, and set up the drop kick, took a lot of preparation. That’s a big part of the reason I didn’t post an image yesterday…this took more than a bit of planning.

The Red Baron himself was a bit of a chore. He’s getting kicked in the arm because I wanted his face and goggles to be visible, to identify him. Still…he’s pretty @#$%ed. Cap has to be moving at a pretty sharp velocity, and she’s wearing those penny loafers, which have a pretty hard heel to them. Those sensible shoes need to be carrying a ridiculous amount of momentum, because, well, science.

I’ve been wanting to draw some kind of aerial fight scene with Cap and a plane from this era for a while, so that was the whole driving force here. Vehicles are hard to draw, and practice is everything. Granted, Cap can just blow through a plane of this era pretty easily (they really were a lot like kites), but that’s not the point of the exercise.

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