Monday, June 27, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Everybody in or around comics is talking about the DC Relaunch, so I decided to try to draw the Superman redesign to see if I could make it look good… because it is just a bad design. And I've always thought that, even a bad costume design can look ok if done by a good artist, and maybe a little reinterpreting and tweaking. Not that I consider myself the best person for the job, but I wanted to give it a try. I ended up having to change the design more than I planned to, but, let's face it, it's just bad. The worse the design, the harder it is to make it look good, I think.
I still got rid of the "underwear on the outside," which seems to be the most significant change in the redesign, but I just couldn't do those armored boots. Everybody knows less is more when it comes to a costume/outfit. I tried to keep the general shape of the boots, which mimicked the original design, anyway. The next big design change were the seams, which I learned were actually lines of armor, which is just stupid, so for me, they will be seams. I noticed more of the new "seams" in the blue areas when I started drawing them, and decided some just had to go. I tried to keep the main ones, though, since they are a majority of the modernization of the suit. The vertical lines on the sides look great on most modern superhero designs, most noticeably to me on the Wolverine redesign by John Cassaday. Wolverine's new costume, while I still prefer the brown and orange, is more modern looking, but I remember not even noticing that his costume had been changed at first. The same kind of seams were used on Batman's new Batman, Inc. design, too, and look fine. Another example where I barely notice the redesign at first. I guess that's the key, to make the changes so seamless(intend the pun, or not to intend...?) that the classic iconography is not lost. My friend suggested looking at the new Supergirl redesign for cues, because it's great, so I took some seams from her elbow area(which actually create the impression of a joint in a toy figure), and these shapes ended up mimicking the shapes in the boots. I drew the symbol after Jim Lee's style on the new JLA cover, but, ended up keeping more of the serifs on the "S," because without looks too much like Kingdom Come Supes, and with that context, seems darker, and more cynical.
The pose, and figure is just lifted from a Joe Shuster drawing, because I've always liked the classic look of the first versions of Superman. I've seen where his symbol in those earlier strips even has a black background behind the "S," instead of yellow, like the Kingdom Come Superman, but that just made the costume seem like an alternate version, not the "real" version of Supes. I was thinking of putting that black instead in the belt, where I left out most of the extra shapes, since they were ridiculous. In the end, I'm pretty happy with the results, and will probably ink and color it soon.