Monday, July 26, 2021

Drawing for Dollars: Supporting the Cartoon Art Museum

In a parallel universe, I'm at San Diego Comic-Con right now drawing sketches to raise money for the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. Since I'm in the plague universe, I and many other cartoonists are doing the same thing at home (as we did last year). Here's how it works: you pay CAM $10 or $20 for a drawing by your favorite artist, and we'll do it and mail it to you.

My dance card filled up surprisingly quickly, so I'm sold out. The nice thing about doing these at home is that I can take my time and find proper references, unlike at the San Diego Convention Center where people are standing there waiting, the wifi is lousy, and I'm desperately trying to recall what Chewbacca's face really looks like (a dog/gorilla?). Got some strange requests this time but enjoyed them all! Four of the five paid a bit more for color, but since I had the watercolors out I just tarted up all of them. I will inscribe them as requested before mailing.

Thanks to everybody who commissioned a piece from me to support a good cause!

Request: "Tom Strong--battle worn, flying his jetpack please." The Tom Strong character is cool, kind of an old-school throwback "science hero" type, in the mold of my own Cap Crater. I couldn't find any reference of him flying a jetpack, but he often scoots around in a backpack-helicopter thing, so I went with that.

Request: "The Atom Indigo Lantern (DC Comics character)." My knowledge of The Atom begins and ends with the SuperFriends era of TV cartoons, but apparently Ray Palmer's been through some stuff since then, including a whole "microscopic barbarian king" and "sort of like a Green Lantern except purple" phase. Interesting career choices. I like drawing the fiddly bits.

Request: "Marvel Superhero." I emailed the customer to ask if he had a particular favorite, and he replied that he liked Hawkeye. Gather around, kids, while I show you what Hawkeye looked like in the comics before Jeremy Renner played him in the movies. I've always loved the character myself and have doodled him for decades. I was pretty proud that I thought of him shooting a bullseye through the "O" in "Cartoon."

Request: "John Carter, Warlord of Mars please, with alien dino ride." The challenge here is that John Carter is a pulp hero who's had a lot of different interpretations over the years. Specifying "Warlord of Mars" led me to the comic book with that subtitle, so I modeled mine after that version. Gave a lot of thought to what a Martian dinosaur might look like: red skin for camouflage, wide webbed feet for running over fine sand. The orange peak in the background is pure fancy--Mars has none of those--but it reads as "alien planet" so works for me.

Request: "The two garbagemen (Dick Miller and Robert Picardo) from 'The Burbs,'" which is a 1989 Tom Hanks movie. My first thought: what a weird request. Then I found a couple of clips of these guys online and saw the appeal. They're only on screen for a minute or two, but were a very funny comic duo, kind of a Laurel and Hardy. I think it's my favorite.


Mike Beede said...

Just read about the project this morning and checked and there was no one I felt I had to have a sketch from. Now I see what I missed out on—ten bucks for a couple hundred dollars worth of art! Hopefully next time I won’t be asleep at the switch. Some beautiful stuff, Brian.

Brian Fies said...

Thanks very much, Mike! I'll try to give some advance notice next time, this one kind of snuck up on me. CAM always recruits a good batch of artists to help the cause.

Jamie said...

I ordered the 'Burbs piece, and am super happy with how it turned out! Such a cool event. Love that Hawkeye, too!

Brian Fies said...

Jamie, Oh good! I'm glad you like it. The garbagemen were a challenge! It'll be in the mail as soon as I get the address label from CAM, should be any day now. Thanks for writing.