Like most artists (I imagine), I have folders full of ideas that never seemed to come to fruition. That doesn't mean they're bad ideas (well, not all of them, at least), just that they're ideas for books, stories or paintings that I never get time to finish. Life, it is said, is what happens when you're busy making other plans.
One such idea that still looks attractive after a few years was that of doing an Image Comics style "update" of some classics of literature, starting with that most bloodthirsty of Shakespeare's works, "MacBeth". This was inspired by seeing some of Travis Charest's work in a Green Lantern Quarterly, making me realize that the aesthetic of guys like Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld could really be rendered in a beautiful way.
Being a longtime reader of Shakespeare, I thought a great way to introduce the Image generation to classic literature would be to render it up in the modern style, but retain the original dialogue. I thought, and still do think, that the play would translate well with a good set of pictures to show the considerable action.
Below are some of the concept sketches I did for that book that never really got started, let alone finished. It probably never will be, now that I see someone has beat me to the punch with an anime version. Still, these old sketches are interesting and fun to look at.
First, we have a rendering of Duncan, the old king, much inspired by John Gielgud (the only actor I've ever seen admit to making up Shakespeare dialogue on stage because he forgot the lines):
Next, there's Lady MacBeth, in Big Barda inspired couture, with hips and thighs that only Jim Lee could love....
Somewhere, I've got a copy of a cover mockup I did for this book. If I can find it, I'll scan it in later. Meantime, I'm off to work on my reimagining of "Jane Eyre" done as a Vampirella-style pinup book.