Saturday, August 19, 2017


I've been spending a lot of pleasant hours participating in the Facebook "Legion of Super-Heroes" fan forum. For those who aren't comic book fans, the "Legion" depicted in DC Comics is a group of teen-age super-heroes in the super-futuristic year 3000. Each member has a limited super-power, except for Superboy, Supergirl, and their cousin Mon-El, who have lots of powers. Some members have odd powers, like being able to block gravity or change the color of things at will. An empowered character tries out for a place in the Legion. This young man, "Stormboy," can control the weather, rather like "Storm" of the X-men but far less glamorous. The problem with Stormboy was that he would faint or even be at risk of dying if he saw a rainbow. Badly constructed magic, I'd say. So he failed the entrance exam. I have solved his problem here by giving him special goggles that he would use in case a rainbow formed, which would filter out the colored light that harmed (or appeared to harm) our young wind-walker. Also I loved his costume, a cloud grey tunic and pants far away from the jazzy, revealing garish outfits of the rest of the Legion. Stormboy only had a few pages in the Legion saga, but I remember him with fondness.

Marker ink on sketchbook page, colored in Photoshop, 3" x 5 ", August 19, 2017.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Roma interior details 1975

I had my colored pencils with me everywhere I went when I roamed through Europe in 1975. I still bring some version of a colored pencil art kit when I go places. These two vignettes were done inside the residential section of the American Academy in Rome, whose courtyard you have already seen. You could find that timeworn shelf anywhere in the world, but the glass lamp and ornate orange window frame are definitely Italian. That orange frame belongs to a building next door to the Academy, housing priests of the Claretian order. 

Colored pencil on Fabriano smooth paper, 6" x 8", 1975. Please click for a better view.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Japanese Gentleman Bids Farewell

As you can see from any inspection of my artistic output, I would much rather draw buildings than people, since architecture is my specialty. When I have to draw people or animals, I always put buildings first as the background. This is the closing illustration for the story I mentioned last posting about the Japanese detective on Darkover. The Free Amazon, his temporary partner in sleuthing, watches the gentleman walk away, never to appear in her life again. The architecture here is an Italian village, re-built on an alien world.

Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 6", spring 1984. I sure have used a lot of illustration board in my years as an artist.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Japanese Detective on Darkover

Some time ago I mentioned that among the endless archives of Darkover fan writing published in 'zines was a story featuring a Japanese detective stationed as part of the occupying Earth force on the planet. This character, whose name I have forgotten, is based on the movie detective character played by Peter Lorre, "Mr. Moto." In the story, the elegant and erudite Japanese is forced to live in rustic circumstances, where he has built a teahouse environment to remind him of home. In the case he must work with a Free Amazon, whose uncouth ways he dislikes, and finally to teach her some manners he performs the Tea Ceremony for her. I had no idea how a Japanese Tea Ceremony was done, so I bought a couple books for research purposes, which I still have, 33 years later.

Original is black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", winter 1984.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mid-Century Moodle remix

After scanning and Photoshop coloring, I color in the tiny drawing with "conventional" coloring and re-scan it for the blog. Here is the "remix" of the "Mid-Century Moodle" from earlier this month. I think this one looks better than the earlier one though the colors in the earlier design were more "authentically" mid-century modern. 

Going through the myriad photos of my family history I love to see the design of the artifacts that the family had in their homes. Some of them are quite chic but others are ordinary. I have not seen any avocado green appliances yet.

Original drawing in black ink, colored with colored pencil and markers, 4" x 3", August 2017.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Wonder Woman of TV

With all the miserable things happening this year and indeed this week, I thought I'd retrieve a vision of goodness and power with an image of Wonder Woman. This is the famous  Lynda Carter, in the role of Wonder Woman popping out of the TV. This is what we followed on TV back in the mid - 70s, not grisly nihilistic sagas of blood, guts, and monsters. This is from a fan article I illustrated many years ago. You saw more of these little vignettes earlier. One of these days I'll get around to seeing the recent Wonder Woman movie.

Black ink on illustration board, 4" x 5 1/2", January 1981.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Ogre of Kallitechnia

One of the weirdest features of seemingly Utopian Kallitechnia were the ogres and the battles that the citizens fought against them. As the Client described them to me, Kallitechnians in their youth and young adulthood were required to do battle with a series of musclebound, monstrous-looking ogres, in order to gain fighting skills and courage to face adversity. The ogres were played by bodybuilders from the outside world who were paid to come to Kallitechnia and play their role, dressed in "primitive" gear and costumes and wielding what appeared to be crude weapons. At the time of the ordeal, which was kept secret until the moment, Kallitechnians were sent through a constructed forest environment where they were attacked by ogres. The utopians had to fight back with whatever they could use from their environment (presumably placed there by the contest runners). The main question for me was, were these battles for real or was it non-lethal and symbolic? The Client didn't answer but my assumption was that the whole ogre battle was staged and designed to scare rather than actually hurt either group of participants. Here is my concept drawing of an Ogre in full ugly regalia. 

This Ogre marks the end of my Kallitechnia series as published in this Blog.

Ogre original is black ink on illustration board, 7" x 10", spring 1998.