Monday, March 15, 2010

Joe the Barbarian

I don't believe I've mentioned it previously on my blog, but I'm a big comic book fan. If I could afford it I would read anything and everything comic related that I could get my hands on, but since I'm a broke college student I restrict myself to only the really good stuff.

Recently, one of the series I picked up is called Joe the Barbarian, written by Grant Morrison with the art by Sean Murphy. At first it was the name of the writer, Grant Morrison, that drew me to the series. I've liked a lot of his previous work he's done on the Batman story arcs and I've been reading his most recent series Batman and Robin every month. But what has really been the focus for me on Joe the Barbarian is not the writing, even though I think it's very interesting so far, it has been the art by Sean Murphy.

I have fallen head over heels for Murphy's art work. His style is very distinct and I love the detail he puts into almost every page of JTB. Of course, just liking what he has done on JTB so far wasn't enough for me, I had to find out more about him and what other projects he's involved with on his website. There, I found more sketches he's done and a link to his deviant art page, but one of the things that's interested me the most is his sketches for a graphic novel he's writing called Punk Rock Jesus, which has a very interesting concept behind it.

If you're into comics, or you have a good appreciation for art then I definitely suggest you check it out, it's worth a quick look at least. I've always held a strong appreciation for things art related because I never considered myself to have a talent for it.

As a result, every once in a great while I get the urge to be creative, whether it's drawing, writing, or just playing random chords on my guitar until something cohesive comes out of it. This time I wanted to draw, after being so inspired by Murphy's work. So, I hunted down a black ball point pen, (I've found that for me these are so much better to draw with than pencils, especially for shading), and started drawing the cover to JTB #2 since it is my favorite one so far.

This is how it turned out:

Here's the original:

I'll be honest, I didn't draw the cover from memory, I had the original right next to me as a reference, but even so I was incredibly surprised at how well I think it turned out. In no way do I consider my sketch nearly as wonderful as the artist's but for me, I was impressed. I've never thought I could draw well, part of it being I'm too much of a perfectionist when it comes to that sort of thing. I wish I could create original stuff half as good as this copy is, but all in all this was a big achievement for me.

Altogether the drawing took about 3 hours to do. The hardest part was trying to get the shading right, which I'm still not completely satisfied with (See? Perfectionist.) but I'm not going to tweak it anymore, because if I do I'll probably end up ruining the picture. It was a lot of fun and definitely released some of the creative energies that have been building up for a while.

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