Sketches - what to ask for???

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Sketches - what to ask for??? Empty Sketches - what to ask for???

Post  AlanH on Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:46 pm

In reality I'm writing this to see if I can answer my own question but Iím more than happy to take soundings from anyone interested in commenting. As many of you know I collect sketches, drawings and commissions nearly all of which can be found here -

There is a good chance if you are a comics artist who has been to a UK comic con in the last few then you are in there (and thank you by the way!). But when I first started the collection I had one small book that people kindly drew in - and they drew all sorts of wonderful things, characters they were famous for or had recently worked on or if I remembered a particular book I likedÖ I was a happy bunny.

However then I learnt about the wonders of a theme book. Basically what if you asked every artist for the same character - you get to see how each person approaches the subject matter, how the range of styles and interpretations all work. Sounds easy but there are a handful of things to consider over the character you choose -

1) The character needs to really be someone that most artist have heard of otherwise where do they start? Better still can you choose someone who people want to draw? (there is another topic here on taking reference but Iíll park that for now)

2) Despite point 1, donít choose someone too obvious i.e. Batman - everyone asks for the usual suspects and this can sometimes result in the cookie cutter approach to churning out the same sketch over and over. In my experience artists like to have the little grey cells stretched and often this brings out the best in them.

3) Donít pick someone too complicated, otherwise the artist will say ďno thanks itís too time consumingĒ - simple rule of thumb can you describe the characteristics/look in three bullets

4) Do pick someone where the head shot is distinguishable - is the bald headed man Luthor or Prof. X?

5) Try to pick someone where there has been several designs/costumes/versions - it just gives the artist scope to pick the bit they like.

6)Öand most importantly choose someone you want to see drawings of!!

So where did this lead me, well as the collection grew so did the number of books and themes.

Firstly there was The Shadow, who remains my go to guy having filled two book so far and started two more as well as other pieces. So does he hold up - heís well know; but not really out there at the moment; simply described as a big hat, big nose, big scarf; the head shot is easy; and I love the character. Overall scores well on my requirements.

Then there is Paul Gristís Mr Floppsie Whoppsie - who is sort of known to the UK crowd who know Paulís book KANE and simply put heís a man in a bunny suit! What also works well here is it generally gets a laugh from the artist.

Next came The Penguin - heís another big hat and big nose but this time throw in a cigarette holder. Whatís key here is you can go for multiple looks ranging as far as Burgess Meredith to DeVito and all the comics versions in between. Despite being from the Batman stable he isnít a common choice.

Then I had a brain wave, what if I asked for a what rather than a who? So I plumped for the Batmobile - which is in my view a character but just a bit different. The fun came here when I started to carry three toy car versions to show what the car looked like in the 1940ís, the 60ís and the 90ís. (clearly this doesnít work as a head shot!)

Once I completed The Penguin book I wanted another of the unsung bat team so the Commissioner James Gordon collection was started. Another character who ticks the boxes - I think.

So the question remains - who (or what) next? Iíd really like to choose a female character but Iím not sure. Or do I go for something quirky like Ďdraw whoever you like so long as they are holding a wine bottleí?

Anyone have any thoughts?


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Join date : 2009-06-14

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Post  Bov on Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:16 pm

very nice collection man, the batmobiles are awsome very nice idea that cos everyone has thier own version in thier head of the batmobile =)

hmmmmm female characters my favourites,

Delerium (sandman), could you immgine the veriety now that would be some collection
pheobe (wormwood, gentleman corpse)
Power Girl (JLA)
Judge Anderson (judge dredd)

even Ma Kent would be awsome =D

perhaps you could even pick a character you have a collection of and ask the artists to do a female version of that character?

after reading about your batmobile collection i thought, what about the pets in comics? i recenty read the Pet Avengers which was awsome =)

so what about Lockjaw from the inhumans or the frog thor?

Some Male characters which would be nice imo,

The Marquis
Plastic man
golden age flash


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Post  Simon on Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:14 pm

Like the batmobiles pal.

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Post  crazzycat on Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:26 pm

great collection man


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Post  Harry on Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:35 am

Love your sketchbook on comicartfans. Especially the d'Israeli Batmobile sketch. Was that a commission?

In terms of sketch book themes: I think the issue with something like a "Wine bottle" theme is that is forces the artist to do more than a head sketch. Anytime a character has to stand in a a specific scenery (remember the famous "Cliffguy") or has to hold something, you will miss some artists.

How about a group of heroes as a theme - e.g. Inhumans? Gives you a bit of flexibility.Some guys are better doing females, other can only draw men properly, so you can decide which character of the group you ask for.

The Spirit is also a character I find very interesting - although perhaps a bit close to your Shadow theme. When I asked artists to draw Spirit everybody was enthusiastic. Seems to me as if most love the work of Will Eisner.

Or how about a certain emotion - e.g. an anger theme? Or a "Scream" theme?

Have fun


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Post  danella016 on Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:17 am

can anyone help me to find anyone who can give values to my comics collection???


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Post  Admin on Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:24 am

There's the comic book price guide or just look at prices on ebay... this is a good reflection of the plummeting value of back issues. Crying or Very sad


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Post  victoertom on Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:14 am

nice , thanks for u sharinf it


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Post  victoertom on Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:41 am

I got it .It's pretty easy to understand.


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