April 1, 1998 (but this isn't a joke)
As I discuss in my "Thoughts At Three AM" for this issue, Fanzing's
aim is to train all of its contributors for work in the comic book
industry. And it is with that in mind that Fanzing launches its
first art contest. As anyone can plainly see, all of our contributors
are extremely talented when it comes to drawing the Flash moving
at superspeed or Superman flying through the air, but comic book
work requires a lot more than being able to render flexing muscles.
One of the best lettercolumns I have ever read was in Booster
Gold #3, which I still remember though it ran a decade ago.
In it, Dan Jurgens talked about how he reviews the work of comic
artist wanna-be's all the time at conventions. Though most can draw
a rippling-muscle Superman or Batman perched on a gargoyle, they
can't draw a passable car to save their butt (I'm paraphrasing,
obviously!) In his words: "And for the next guy who comes up
to me at a convention and shows me a wowie-zowie picture of Batman
sitting next to Aunt Clair, who is eating a bowl of Fruit Loops,
I will actually waive my Portfolio Review Fee." Now, Jurgens
was just trying to fill space until the letters for his new comic
book arrived, but that advice has always stayed with me.
A comic book artist can't JUST draw superheroes, he (or she) must
be able to realistically render automobiles, rocket ships, homes,
skyscrapers, scenery, trees, ordinary people, walruses, planets,
meteors, a can of tuna, boom boxes, cats, magazine stands, historical
costumes, Sherman tanks, cavemen and Lord knows what the writer
is going to ask for next month. If Superman lifts a car over his
head, will you be able to draw the undercarriage? If Batman is locked
up in a zoo with a Bengal tiger by Catman, can you draw the tiger?
Can you also draw the hippopotami and the ostriches in the background?
For that matter, can you draw the dirty food dish with the kibble
around it and the smelly blanket wadded in the corner?
So here's the challenge:
- Create a piece of artwork in which the superhero of your choice
is, in full costume, performing an everyday activity. Doing laundry,
gapping his spark plugs, ordering lunch at Country Kitchen, pumping
gas, vacuuming the house, wrapping presents, changing the cat
- Send it in to email@example.com
by April 1, 1998.
- I and two other judges (to be determined later) will pick the
best one. We'll be looking for attention to detail and natural
movement. The results will be announced in the April issue.
- The winner will receive a certificate and $20 worth of comics
of their choice from the selection available at Comic
Entries must be in a digital format such as GIF, JPG or BMP (scan
in your drawings if necessary). All acceptable entries will be shown
in the April issue. Have fun!
Article © Michael Hutchison
Layout and text © Fanzing 1998