Man, it was great to collect comics in the 90's. Books were routinely selling over 1 million copies an issue, there were multiple covers for all your favorite books, and just about every character had their own comic (actually, it was really just great to sell comics in the 90's). And no one was bigger than the X-Men. The biggest artist in American comics at that time, Jim Lee, was drawing the biggest comic in world, X-Men, written by one of the most popular writers of the day, Chris Claremont. The X-Men was everything good in comics...
And everything bad.
Convoluted plots that went on and on, only to go nowhere, badly-written dialogue, and yeah, the art was great, but spawned (inside pun there) so many bad knock-off styles that, after a surprisingly short period of time, seeing any hatchmarks to indicate shadow (or worse yet, to indicate hatchmarks) drove me to twitching.
But all that was in the future. At the time of this piece of unfinished business, I was completely in love with Jim Lee's art, and the X-Men comic in general. Though I'd never be able to draw like Jim (though I've done a decent knock-off-- excuse me, homage-- in my day), I loved the action and dynamics he brought to his characters, not to mention the cool as hell poses, so I did my best to mimic that here. As near as I can recall, these aren't based on any specific poses he did- but the poses are so generic, it's hard to say that for certain (Joey, maybe you can correct me on that). Regardless, it was fun to draw, no doubt. And of course, not finish. I remember having plans for the rest of the picture (as you can see, two characters- Rogue and Psylocke- are missing, as is the logo), but not why I never finished. Probably because drawing women is tough. Was then, is now.
This picture is a great example of how my 'style', such as it is, has changed through the years. I always found a great deal to like in the dominant style of the day, whatever day that was, but I never did a great job of taking it to heart. This is probably as close as I would get to that painted-on, well-defined muscle-bound superhero look- as defined by the clean lines of Jim Lee (before the hatching, obviously)... actually, this isn't the most well-defined muscle look I've ever done- that's coming up later on, and we'll get to it, but this is probably the most super-hero style I've ever done. In some ways, I wish I could return back to this style, if only to apply what I've learned since then in anatomy and composition, with the dynamism and cleanliness of what I've done here. Clean lines, without being cartoony (as I tend to veer into nowadays).
Anyway, there's a new bit of look-back for you. More to come later this week. If I'd paid attention, I could tell you what's next... but I didn't.
Music: "International Bright Young Thing" - Jesus Jones