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18 January 2008

Image is Everything!

Back in the early days of Image Comics, some of the creators ran "fan art" pages in the back of their books. Readers were encouraged to send in their renditions of characters, with the best ones being picked to be printed. As this was in the prehistoric times before email was common, this naturally had to be done via snail mail. Being an ardent buyer of Image at the time, I produced a couple of drawings, but by the time they got where they were going, the books had stopped running those features. Nevertheless, I think the drawings were pretty good, and still hold up now. Here, then, is my take on a couple of favorite Image characters.

First up, Spawn himself. Arguably the most successful Image creation, and certainly Todd McFarlane's best work (while he was still doing it all himself). Spun off to a movie, cartoons and no end of merchandise, the character is proof of the potential that lies in comic books, if there's a good business mind behind the pencils.

Next, naturally, there's Spawn's nemesis, Violator, in Danny DeVito evil clown mode. This guy is just pure fun to draw, as he's somewhere between a leering gargoyle and a bigfoot cartoon. To this day, I have no idea why someone thought John Leguizamo was a good choice to play the character in the movie. Anyone care to enlighten me?

Finally, a couple of WildC.A.T.S. characters, Warblade and Voodoo. This is a series that has been brought to life by some of my favorite creators...creator Jim Lee, artist extraordinaire Travis Charest and so-brillint-I'm-conviced-his-head-is-full-of-stars writer Alan Moore. The 'Cats was the Image series I kept reading long after I had quit all the rest. While it has not reached the marketing potential of Spawn, it seems to have held to a more consistent vision, making it more of an artistic triumph...well, as artistic as you can get with a group of "underwear perverts", anyway.
Here, Warblade rebuts the possibility that his morphing metal claws bear any resemblance to a certain adamantium-laced X-Man:

Maybe one of these days, I'll be fortunate enough to have a book picked up by Image. It would be a fanboy's dream come true to be counted among such a talented group. Meantime, I'm content to mess around in their sandboxes when time allows.

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