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blog of the day 29.04.2004
Webbledelook
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A-Z... animal alphabet
Sunday 14 September 2008
A fourth open A-Z has launched - this time it's Dave's A-Z of Anthropomorphic Animals, the Dave in question being cartoonist David Goodman of Bahala-Na fame.
Let's gather them so far... Garen's A-Z of Comic Strip Characters (12 Jul - 6 August); Jonathon's A-Z of Comics Characters (7 Aug - 1 Sep); Mitz's Inevitable A-Z of Comic and Cartoon Villains (19 Aug - currently up to V) and now Dave's A-Z of Anthropomorphic Animals. Fabulous.
posted 14.09.08 at 10:17 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


A-Z... the aftermath
Thursday 7 August 2008
The A-Z project turned out to be more successful than I expected. It started just because I wanted to do some daily drawing to get the creative essence flowing in the morning, but needed some kind of theme rather than just conjuring up something new out of thin air every day. This led to the idea of drawing a comic character a day, working through the alphabet, and that quickly led to the idea of having those characters suggested by others.
And that led to the idea of using Facebook, which turned out to be surprisingly well-suited for a project such as this. A Facebook group has a discussion board for user participation, a wall for announcements and a gallery for showing the results, which could then be commented upon. One element I didn't consider, originally thinking that I'd end up with a small group of 20 or so friends making the suggestions, is the network aspect - where friends of friends see what their friends are doing, get interested, and join up too, so the group ended up with about 175 members during the voting process (I tried to avoid using the word 'voting' as it brings to mind all that is horrible about modern 'entertainment' - but that's what it is, and it's a successful format, I guess).

I'd already made my own list, but once the suggestions started coming in, I decided to keep out of it in case I influenced anyone's thinking. Top of my list for A was Asterix, but I ended up having to draw Axel Pressbutton - no problem, I was a subscriber to Warrior and it remains one of my favourite comics to this day. At least I got to draw Obelix later on (I had Oor Wullie on my list). And I felt sure I'd get to draw Judge Dredd - a character I've never drawn properly before - yet I ended up having to draw Judge Death instead. Funny how people's minds work!

There were one or two I had to struggle through with less enthusiasm. While I did go through a phase reading Peanuts paperback collections, mainly for Snoopy as the rest of the strip was too culturally different for me as a 9-year old English child, I can't say that I was massively pleased to see I had to draw Linus for L (I had Luther Arkwright). The other main character I balked at somewhat was Professor Xavier - mainly because he's actually just a bald man in a wheelchair, but also because it was the fourth Marvel character, and I was always a DC kid! But it's good to be made to go beyond your comfort zone, and apart from that, the finished alphabet was refreshingly diverse. It could possibly have done with a bit more 'ethnic' diversity, maybe a few more females, and an underground comix character would have been good, but it did lead me to buying a volume of Ranma and a volume of Usagi Yojimbo after I'd read more about them while getting reference. I was actually enjoyably familiar with the majority of the characters, and had enough reference at hand.

Out of the 26 characters, 3 are from Warrior, 2 from The Beano, 4 Marvel, 1 DC (I don't count V) and 4 are from 2000AD. 6 are women, the rest male (5 are non-human). 12 are British creations, 9 American, 4 Franco-Belgian, and 1 is Japanese (though 3 characters are Japanese).

I've been asked which is my favourite, a very difficult question! Character-wise, there are so many there that mean quite a lot to me. The British comic characters from the early eighties coincide with a time when I really enjoyed my comics - so the Warrior characters (especially V and Marvelman) and the 2000AD ones (mainly Judge Death and Nemesis - I've never read Zenith, which came later). The ones I've known longest and have a great affection for would be Captain Haddock and Obelix (see this blog entry) - both sidekicks to title characters. I'm a huge fan of Leloup's Yoko Tsuno. Drawing-wise, I'm happy with nearly all of them... but they all have niggles too, which as any artist will tell you, is all they can see when they look at their own work!

posted 07.08.08 at 9:48 am in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


Z is for... Zenith
Wednesday 6 August 2008
Z is for Zenith, the hedonistic 1980s pop star and reluctant superhero who first appeared in 2000AD in August 1987. He was created by writer Grant Morrison and artists Steve Yeowell and Brendan McCarthy.

Zenith was suggested by Kelvin Green, Neill Cameron, Rol Hirst, Jonathan South, George Xydas, Davey Candlish and Jay Eales - thank you all.

If you enjoyed the A-Z project, the baton has been handed on to fellow comic creator, Jonathon Dalton, and you can get voting over at his Facebook group.

Garen's A-Z of Comic Strip Characters started life as a Facebook group where members each suggested the name of a character beginning with that day's letter. The one with the most votes would be drawn by me that morning. You can see the finished gallery here.

posted 06.08.08 at 1:24 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


Y is for... Yoko Tsuno
Tuesday 5 August 2008
Y is for Yoko Tsuno, the young Japanese electrical engineer and adventuress who operates out of Belgium, often with her accomplices, Vic and Pol. She was created by Roger Leloup and saw her first appearance in Spirou magazine in September 1970.

Yoko has so many terrific outfits to choose from, but I ended up going for one of the Vinan uniforms from Vulcan's Forge. Special thanks to the following for suggesting one of my favourite bande dessinée characters: George Xydas, Irene Mar, Murray Ewing, Elyssa Campbell-Barr and Linda Wada.

posted 05.08.08 at 4:41 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


X is for... Xavier
Monday 4 August 2008
X is for Xavier, Professor Charles Xavier, telepathic genius founder of the X-Men. His legs were rendered useless after an alien creature, a Quist named Lucifer, dropped a stone block on him in the Himalayas. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and made his first appearance in X-Men no.1 in September 1963.

Well, I have to admit... a man in a wheelchair wasn't the most fun thing to draw first thing on a Monday morning! I've only myself to blame, of course, but the following people can share the responsibility as they voted for him... Jay Eales, Kelvin Green, Rol Hirst, Irene Mar and Thalia Proctor... thank you! :-)

Go and check out Sarah McIntyre's foray into the world of A-Z, as Vern the sheep wasn't very happy at not making the grade for V (despite 2 votes), and this has now been rectified.

posted 04.08.08 at 1:05 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


W is for... Wonder Woman
Sunday 3 August 2008
W is for Wonder Woman, the Amazonian princess created by William Moulton Marston, who made her first appearance in All Star Comics no.8 in December 1941. Her Lasso of Truth was made from the Golden Girdle of Gaea and her indestructible bracelets are from the shield of Aegis.

Just beating a particular favourite of mine, Oor Wullie (though I also like Wonder Woman!), the Princess of Themyscira was suggested by Linda Wada, Elyssa Campbell-Barr, Karen Leach, Murray Ewing, Irene Mar, Uriel A. Duran and Lisa Naylor - a high proportion of female voters! Thank you all.

posted 03.08.08 at 1:41 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


V is for... V
Saturday 2 August 2008
V is for V, the Guy Fawkes-masked vigilante who set out to destroy and dismantle the power of Norsefire, the ruling fascist political party in a late-nineties Great Britain, and he was the mysterious inmate in Room V at Larkhill Resettlement Camp, where he was experimented on with the 'Batch 5' compound. V for Vendetta first appeared in Warrior no.1 in 1982, created by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, the story being completed in a series for DC Comics a few years later.

V received twice as many votes as his nearest rival, Archie Comics' Veronica, coming from Davey Candlish, Jay Eales, Frazer Diamond, Rol Hirst, Richard Wainman, Tim Overton, Gústav Sigurbjörnsson, Pádraig Ò Méalóid, Linda Wada, Kathryn A. Laity and Jonathon Dalton.

posted 02.08.08 at 12:35 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


U is for Usagi Yojimbo
Friday 1 August 2008
U is for Usagi Yojimbo (aka Miyamoto Usagi), the rabbit ronin who wanders 17th century Japan in search of wisdom and adventure. He was created by Stan Sakai in 1982, making his first appearance in Albedo Anthropomorphics in 1984.

Each day I will be choosing a character from those suggested by the members of the Garen's A-Z of comic strip characters Facebook group - if you want to suggest any, please feel free to join in.

Usagi was suggested by Frazer Diamond, Paul Harrison-Davies, Jay Eales, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chris Cox, Davey Candlish, Elyssa Campbell-Barr, Sarah McIntyre and Jonathon Dalton. Many thanks!

posted 01.08.08 at 11:17 am in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


T is for Tank Girl
Thursday 31 July 2008
T is for Tank Girl, created by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett and making her first appearance in Deadline no.1 in 1988. She drives her tank (also her home) around a post-apocalyptic Australia, enjoying anarchic high jinks with her mutant kangaroo boyfriend, Booga.

Each day I will be choosing a character from those suggested by the members of the Garen's A-Z of comic strip characters Facebook group - if you want to suggest any, please feel free to join in.

Tank Girl got twice the number of votes of second-placed Tesla Strong, thanks to Elyssa Campbell-Barr, Sarah McIntyre, Thalia Proctor, Alex Hughes, Jay Eales, Kelvin Green, Frazer Diamond and Rol Hirst.

posted 31.07.08 at 1:39 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


S is for Spider-Man
Wednesday 30 July 2008
S is for Spider-Man who first appeared in Amazing Fantasy no.15 in August 1962, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. When teenager Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, he discovered he'd gained arachnoid powers, including superb strength and climbing and jumping abilities. He soon decides on a life of crime-fighting after the murder of his uncle Ben.

Each day I will be choosing a character from those suggested by the members of the Garen's A-Z of comic strip characters Facebook group - if you want to suggest any, please feel free to join in.

Spider-Man was a slow-starter, but soon picked up the votes thanks to Rol Hirst, Andrew Cheverton, Kelvin Green, Mark Bickley, Thalia Proctor and Elyssa Campbell-Barr.

posted 30.07.08 at 12:52 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


R is for... Ranma
Tuesday 29 July 2008
R is for Ranma Saotome, created by Rumiko Takahashi and first appearing in Shūkan Shōnen Sandé (Weekly Shonen Sunday) in 1987. Ranma fell into a cursed spring while on a martial arts training expedition with his father in China, resulting in him taking on the form of whoever last drowned in that pool - in this case a young girl 1500 years previously (his father fell into the spring of a drowned panda). Ranma transforms into his female form whenever he comes into contact with cold water, while hot water reverts him to male.

Each day I will be choosing a character from those suggested by the members of the Garen's A-Z of comic strip characters Facebook group - if you want to suggest any, please feel free to join in.

Ranma is the first A-Z manga character to make an appearance, and his girl form was chosen to increase the female presence within the project. Rupert Bear came a close second with 8 votes, but was beaten by Ranma with 10 from Neill Cameron, Laura Howell, Jenni Scott, Linda Wada, David Chua, Tim Overton, Uriel A. Duran, Jay Eales, Kelvin Green and Jonathon Dalton. Thanks all!

posted 29.07.08 at 1:26 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


Q is for Quinch
Monday 28 July 2008
Q is for Quinch... Ernest Errol Quinch, teenage rebel companion to Waldo "D.R." Dobbs, whose antics include evolving life on earth and shaping its continents in order to take revenge on a fellow college student who snitched. Their first appearance was in a 2000AD Future Shock, in prog 317 in 1983, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Alan Davies.

Each day I will be choosing a character from those suggested by the members of the Garen's A-Z of comic strip characters Facebook group - if you want to suggest any, please feel free to join in.

The A-Z voting panel had to get creative with Q and came up with some great suggestions. Quinch was suggested by Kelvin Green, Davey Candlish, Dave Shelton, Neill Cameron, Stephen Prestwood and Paul Harrison-Davies.

posted 28.07.08 at 10:51 am in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


P is for... Phoney Bone
Sunday 27 July 2008
P is for Phoney Bone (Phoncible P. Bone), a manipulative miser who gets chased out of Boneville, helped to escape by his two cousins, Fone and Smiley Bone. He was created by Jeff Smith and first appeared in the Ohio State University student newspaper, The Lantern, in the proto-Bone strip, Thorn, in 1983, though the Bone saga proper started with Cartoon Books in July 1991.

Each day I will be choosing a character from those suggested by the members of the Garen's A-Z of comic strip characters Facebook group - if you want to suggest any, please feel free to join in.

Though Peter Parker came a close second with three votes, Phoney Bone won with four and was suggested by Mitz, Frazer Diamond, Gústav Sigurbjörnsson and Uriel A. Duran.

posted 27.07.08 at 10:35 am in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


O is for... Obelix
Saturday 26 July 2008
O is for Obelix, boar-eating, Roman-bashing, menhir-delivering friend to Asterix the Gaul, who fell into the magic potion when he was a baby, thus giving him a lifetime's supply of super-strength. Obelix was created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, and made his first appearance in the first issue of Pilote in October 1959.

Each day I will be choosing a character from those suggested by the members of the Garen's A-Z of comic strip characters Facebook group - if you want to suggest any, please feel free to join in.

Obelix garnered a lot of support for 'O', with twelve votes. They came from Elyssa Campbell-Barr, Linda Wada, Murray Ewing, Dave Chua, Frazer Diamond, Lucy Crookes, Thalia Proctor, Uriel A. Duran, Jay Eales, Richard Wainman, Chris Cox and Davey Candlish - thanks all! (Apologies for the lack of links today... not enough time...)

posted 26.07.08 at 1:38 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


N is for... Nemesis the Warlock
Friday 25 July 2008
N is for Nemesis the Warlock, the alien freedom fighter battling the intolerance of Torquemada's Termight Empire. He was created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill and made his first appearance in 2000AD in 1980.

Each day I will be choosing a character from those suggested by the members of the Garen's A-Z of comic strip characters Facebook group - if you want to suggest any, please feel free to join in.

Nemesis was suggested by Murray Ewing, Neill Cameron, Linda Wada, Jenni Scott, Patrick Brown, George Xydas, Kelvin Green, Simon Perrins and Stephen Prestwood. Thanks everyone.

posted 25.07.08 at 12:06 pm in A-Z comic characters | permalink | |


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