Tuesday, January 31, 2012

R.I.P. Al Rio

Dear readers,

I am reposting parts of my interview with Al Rio in his memory.  We lost a talented artist today and he will truly be missed.

And now, my interview with the talented artist, Al Rio.

superWhat is your name and where are you from?

Well my full name is Alvaro Araújo Lorenço do Rio, and I am of the capital Fortaleza in the state of Ceará. Brazil.

What made you decide to draw for a living?

During my life I did a lot of things and I always studied drawing and dreamed to work with art. When the great opportunity came I didn't let it pass. In spite of taking years looking for my dream, I never gave up.

Today I see everything that has passed and it was worthwhile, because I love what I do.

It is if I am a movie director or a magician. I feel very happy creating art and I feel proud when the people speak about me. I thank God every day for the the present he has given me.


Who is your favorite character to draw?

My favorite hero is the Spider-man, I identify a lot with him. In second place Daredevil. 

Who is your favorite artist or inspiration?

It is difficult to say, because many inspired me to be what I am today. But dividing in phases everything began with:

John Romita (Senior)

Gil Kane

José Luis García-López

Bryan Hitch

and many others.

Do you have a favorite piece of art that you have done ?

I think it depends on what I am doing. Every day is a different day, with every year that passes I rejuvenate.

I have a taste for renewing because I am always seeking something new.

bizarroI really love your version of Bizarro, do you have a favorite villain or  hero?

My favorite villain, Victor von Doom. I like his style.

What advice can you give to anyone who may want to illustrate as a career?

Well, do you want the truth? A great comic artist has to be very disciplined, responsible, punctual in their deliveries, because the work is hard and it demands you are healthy and have a good disposition.

Mainly - love what you do.

Al Rio.



Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to the beautiful and talented Mia.


Happy Birthday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mr. Freeze by Badeaux

Another look at Brandon Badeaux's Mr. Freeze concept designs for the Batman: Arkham City video game.


Freeze rear view

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Noel Cypress as Summoner Yuna

My friend and fellow geek Noel emailed me and let me know she had a new set up on her site.  So, I told her that I would share some of the teaser pics with you, my readers.  If you like what you see, click on her photo to the bottom right to check out more of her work.





DC Vertigo presents The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


DC Vertigo cover art for Book 1 by Bermejo

Embrace Hellfire by Crimsonsea

My Spider Sense is Tingling by Nebezial

From the wonderful mind of  Nebezial.


Pokelanterns by Milo619

Move over Pokemon! 
Make room for the PokeLanterns.
Brought to you from the mind of the artist known as Milo619.

Harley Quinn concepts by Badeaux

Here is some more of the lovely artwork that went into creating Harley's look for Arkham city. 
All work in this post was done by Brandon Badeaux.

More Faces


Harley Design


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Catwoman concept by Badeaux

As promised, here is another piece from Brandon Badeaux's designs for Arkham City.


Monday, January 23, 2012

A closer look at Solomon Grundy by Brandon Badeaux

As you know I interviewed comic artis Brandon Badeaux about his designs that were used for the Batman Arkham City game.  Well, Brandon gave me a lot of artowrk to use but they all didn't fit in the interviews.  So, each day of this week I will post some more artwork to show the design process that was put in creating each character.  Since today is Monday, I decided to share Solomon Grundy first.


Grundy rear

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Talking Arkham City with artist, Brandon Badeaux

Greetings all!

The interview I did with Brandon Badeaux was so good as well as detailed I was able to make two posts out of it.  As you read in the first interview, Brandon did some work for the Batman: Arkham City game.  Well, here is a more in-depth look at what it took to design such kick-ass characters!

1. What was your design process for Harley Quinn? Did you design alternate costumes for her?

HarleyHarley Quinn was tricky for me I knew where I wanted to go with her but no one could get on the same page with her Rocksteady had their ideas, DC and Warner with theirs so both Carlos and I both worked on her and she ended up a hodgepodge of both of our ideas. Originally in the treatments they wanted her to look like a dominatrix which I wasn’t too keen on so my approach was to steer them in another direction though I have no real say in the outcome but I really love this character and I frequently see fans that loved those old comics I did with her so I really wanted some of that to come through. So my initial idea was to give her a Mardi Gras flare drawing inspiration from the harlequin clowns of the carnival season here keeping much of the original design from the cartoon series in place including the mask and ears and focused on adding more intricate lace and pearl beading to the costume adding a few modern accessories like shoes that actually had a heel that could provide some spring in her step. But I was told it looked like a renaissance fair and so the uniquely New Orleans look got scrubbed in favor of a more contemporary and sexy look and we were told that the hood wasn’t going to make it in. So it was back to the drawing board for a more contemporary modern flare so I focused on her face and hair to help inform the rest using colored ribbon and hair jewelry to form the iconic shape to her head that we are all familiar with and in all honesty these heads looked better than the hat. I think I did about nine or ten heads and unfortunately none were used, but if I did her in the comics again I can change her look throughout the book to match her mood. So there are elements of my design there and elements of Carlos’. But I really enjoyed the process for her even if she was the most difficult to nail down. But she ended up with a lot less skin showing that the original treatments which I was pleased with. But if I can I like to use new Orleans as the stand in for Gotham whenever possible we have old architecture, a culture that has some scary looking clowns with warehouses full of Mardi Gras floats containing stuff that could belong to the joker or Max Zeus, a broken down amusement park abandoned before Katrina, but ravaged by the storm. Some extremely nasty looking neighborhoods that could substitute for the narrows, a marsh outside the city where you can imagine Solomon Grundy lurking around and some big churches mixed in with the skyscrapers in the CBD. It’s perfect! so when I think of the joker or Harley my brain instantly thinks of home.

2. How many versions of each character did you have to do before DC and Rocksteady settle on a final design?

It depended on the character Harley and the final boss got more than fifteen drawings each while mister freeze I hit the nail on the head pretty quick, I mean I did more than one quick sketch but they picked my favorite design which I label with a big star and an email saying, “ Oh! Pick Me! Pick Me!!! So… not hundreds, but more than one.

3. Which character took the most revisions until you got approval? Did any of your character designs get approved immediately?

I think we were labled as consultants in the game credits so in some cases I never got approval in others it was instantaneous but there are a ton of opinions when 3 major companies are involved as opposed to one so wowing everyone can be a difficult prospect. Catwoman I only did a few drawings of mostly because I think they had her nailed down already which had a nice texture and look to the costume despite the web-o-spheres complaints of sexism she looked like the comic book Darwin Cook Catwoman. I did something a little different and went high tech with the hands and feet giving her toe shoes with retractable claws and Nano-fiber muscle bands to add strength to her grip of her hands and feet and I created a hardened helmet with ears that looked pressed to the head like an angry cat and added a tiny backpack to put her loot in. and I also did a contemporary motorcycle look for her with a biker helmet that looked a little cat like and a leather jacket.

Solomon Grundy was quick as well but there aren’t that many directions to go with his look.

Grundy4. My favorite character in the DC Universe is Solomon Grundy, What was your inspiration when you were designing him for the game?

Ideally when tackling him I think of who he was juxtaposed with who he is… so initially you have to think of the hulk mixed with a zombie that’s been rotting out in the marsh. And that informs his naked body but his clothes have to remind you of who Cyrus gold really was a wealthy business owner from a bygone Victorian era so this make his clothing a period piece design for me. though the final design came quickly, his clothing was changed ever so slightly for the game removing some of the decayed ornate embroidery, tattered vest and under shirt, barnacles, seaweed, and swamp critters on him for fear that he would look too Pirates of the Caribbean. In the end the design is very similar to what I originally produced but with a slightly more simplified clothing. This was a design that I did around an initial idea that they had for how batman fought Grundy. Originally they wanted to have batman tear pieces of Grundy off, I think with the Bat claw which I would have loved to see, but agreed might have been a tad gory for some of the fan base. The inspiration being that Cyrus gold kept getting chopped up into little pieces and dumped in the swamp where he would be revived. So the big veins originally carried swamp water mud and mosses and the stitches were meant to be popped, to pick him apart piece by piece. But his drawing turned out as one of my favorites because I’m big into bodybuilding so anytime where I get to draw an unnaturally muscular humanoid that couldn’t possibly exist I’m all over it.

5. Which was the greater challenge, designing the more iconic characters or the lesser known ones?

 If I’m designing for a book neither is challenging if you let their story inform the way they look. But for a big budget game they all present problems because you have to think about how the light will catch the outfit and how it will move. And for this game I had to go slightly less realistic than I would have if I were designing for the Christopher Nolan movies. Some were challenging but so fun you don’t even notice, others so iconic that you go blank. I’d say my brain went blank the most with Two Face partly because his look really hasn’t changed all that much throughout the years and partly because they had a direction that they had settled on I think before I got to touch him. I did a number of designs in the beginning but doing something new really isn’t going to happen. So my focus was on the burns and how to make them appear realistic so it was about researching what a severe burn really looks like and then using that information to make something more closely familiar with what we all know. I really had hoped to do a full suit with a patchwork on one side of different gangster suits of various pinstripe materials taken from other mobsters he had murdered, with blood and ash and gunpowder running up his gun hand to inform the viewers what had happened in the past. But they wanted a sleeveless look that went from a mess of tangled tatters to no sleeve and pant leg at all but this was more about how to actually animate a series of tatters which I assume is not easy to get the physics right on. The only stamp I tried to leave was a phantom of the opera mask bolted to his head that looked like a creepy version of the iconic coin he carries with etch marks over the eye which was well received but we all knew that it just was too much a departure from the character that everyone knows. So I guess that’s a really long way to say iconic is harder for a larger viewer base.


Derf's Domain is proud to be the first to have exclusive designs of Clayface.

6. I also understand that you designed Clayface as well. How challenging was that?

Clayface1He was extremely difficult because at the end of the day they all felt right. Being a shape-shifter means that he can look like anything and doesn’t have any clothes so its basically about the face and basic anatomy. I ended up doing more drawings of him than any of the others fortunately he takes the least time to draw than anyone. So it really wasn’t a big deal. Though at the end they choose the first two designs I did the first drawing I did became the big Clayface and the second became the little multiples that batman slices up with the sword. So I thought that was pretty funny after all the hemming and hawing over him that we all did. I really liked that drawing that Carlos did in the first game but I knew they didn’t want him to be fat with the big double chin which I like for the character. So most of it was designing the head for me and how he would move or divide. some ideas they liked but were too much of a pain to make work like the no feet idea as though he were constantly falling apart when not concentrating too hard, he would be perpetually followed by little hunks of clay that wanted to be back on the whole of his body like in terminator two. Others were that his mass wouldn’t change just divide so a giant arm became three people but would be missing if sent out to fight batman, the one they liked the most but didn’t’ make it into the game was that his skin would be boiling and bubbling with faces of his, “characters” trying to get out. in the end I think this sounds a hell of a lot easier to do in a comic than make happen in an animated format. But this idea was in almost all of the drawings in some case they were just faces in others a whole hand or leg would reach out trying to escape and in others they would be a fully formed multiple that looked like a school girl or police officer. But he was fun and felt like lumping clay together and felt almost like I was doing lazy sculptures, I love sculpting and find it cathartic. But every drawing looked like Clayface to me so I didn’t even know which one I liked, none screamed to me, “hey it’s obviously me... pick me!”

7. Sticking with Clayface, were you allowed to use your creative mind to make cool weapons for Clayface to mold out of his body? If so, what can we expect?

I really didn’t want to go out of the scope of the cartoon here so I always went with blunt instruments that were iconic like the pendulum blade or morning star and all of those made it into the game. I always picture him smothering me to death or filling my lungs with clay so my drawings were more about how he moved and let them go more creative with the arsenal. The one weapon I liked the most was a drawing I did with him standing behind a curtain while he creates a little stripper dancing on a stage for a group of men he’s about to eat while her little muddy foot prints show you where she’d been. Obviously that would never make it into the game but as far as weapons go I think of his best weapons as his characters why stab you to death when he can lure you in with the promise of a pretty woman’s affections, then before you realize what’s happened… wham!


Interview with Brandon Badeaux

1. What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Brandon Badeaux and I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana.

Two Face2. Where might my followers recognize your work?

 I’ve work on a bunch of comics that nobody has probably read I’ve had small runs on Superman, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, the Authority, I’ve done fill in issues of Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Wetworks, and done covers for Gears of War, Resident Evil and a few others. Most recently I worked on designing the villains for the Arkham City multi platform video game.

Hopefully sometime soon I’ll be able to publish the creator owned project that I’m currently developing.

3. I understand you did some concept designs for the Batman Arkham City game. How did that come about?

 I originally got the offer right before the first game, Arkham Asylum, launched the preorders sales were strong enough to justify a second game and they immediately began development, I was working for Wildstorm at the time, who were charged as the consultants for the first game but because this sequel was so large in scope they wanted another pair of eyes on the project. And they asked me to do a number of renditions of some of DC’s iconic villains. I like to think they asked me because I have a habit of trying to alter a characters costume every time I draw them but I can’t really say why they choose me over others.

4. Which characters did you design?

 I did renditions of Two Face, Mister Freeze, Solomon Grundy, Harley Quinn, Catwoman and the Final Boss character which if you played the game you’ll know who he is but I think we’re still on media blackout.

Freeze5. Who is your favorite character from the game?

Honestly… Mister Freeze. When I got my copy I furiously played through to get to all the parts with him in it. The design turned out to be exactly like my drawing, save for one small change which I think was done to make him less terrifying. When I originally designed him I made him frostbitten so his nose and ears were missing and everyone seemed gung ho about that idea but I’m assuming it was just a little too scary for a younger audience who would surely be dawning the cowl. But seeing the suit move around on screen was really rewarding. He has a tragic storyline that sometimes gets lost in the comics when he turns in to a cackling villain, but the story of him trying to cure his wife from a disease that he created while he becomes more monstrous in order to fund that research is a sad tale that makes him almost an antihero. And because that story is so strong you can actually make it come through in the design. So my goal was to lose the cartoonish Beaker over his head in favor of a big cumbersome refrigeration unit on his back, which acts visually as his burden, this weighty monstrosity on his shoulders, and to compliment that we went with a spindly leg armature which makes him appear out of balance while keeping that high-tech flare. The frostbite would eat away at his flesh so that even if he cures his beloved wife he will never be the same again. He was just plain fun and because most people think of him as cheesy he was the one I really felt I could leave a stamp on. So I was glad he had such a big role in the game and he was my first character design for a big budget project so he’s my favorite.

Freeze rear view
6. What projects of yours can we expect in the near future?

I’m currently working on a creator owned series that I wrote the plot for and the first few issues of, while the lights were out during hurricane Katrina but for some reason I never had the ability to take some time off from working to really focus on. It has limitless storytelling potential as far as I’m concerned so I hope to be able to have a long run on it after the first arc is complete. So keeping my fingers crossed I’ll be able to build something from the ground up and actually own a property.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cosplay of the Day

Gamora from the Marvel Universe

Unknown Cosplayer

Cosplayer: Unknown at this moment
Photo: David Ngo

Moon Knight Monday

Jason Copland

Moon Knight by Jason Copland

Lego Kombat


mortal Kombat


X-men #24 by Adi Granov

The Sentinels are coming, the Sentinels are coming!

X-Men 24 AdiGranov

X-men #24 by Adi Granov

Who will win?

X-men vs the X-men...who would win?
The story has been done before in the past witha peaceful solution.
 Will their be a mutual respect this time?
Why are they fighting in the first place?
Who knows (except those of us reading the books, lol)?

Xstanction Teaser AdiGranov

AvsX teaser by Adi Granov

Birthday Wishes

This birthday wish post goes to a talented and beautiful cpsplayer.
Happy Birthday DJ Spider!

DJ Spider

Birthday Wishes

Sending birthday wishes to a very talented colorist, Buffy Gibson.
Happy Birthday Buffy!

Buffy Gibson
Artwork: Marcio Abreu
Inks: Tom Schloendorn
Colors: Buffy Gibson

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New 52: Aquaman

#1It's been a while since I did a review on the comics I am reading so, I decided to talk about a comic I am really loving right now.  DC Comics the New 52 Aquaman has been a breathe of fresh air.  In the past, I know people gave Aquaman fans a hard time.  Hell, I was one of them (Sorry Old Man Logan).  But I got to say I am enjoying what I am reading as well as seeing.  I am proud to say I am an Aquaman fan.  In fact, maybe that was the whole goal of DC for the new 52.  Why?  You ask.  Because now I want to check out some of the original stories from Aquaman's past just to get a complete look at what makes him so cool. 

I highly recommend this book to comic lovers everywhere. 

So far, I give this title 10 out of 10 stars.

Get your copies today!

Cosplay of the Day

The always love Giorgia as Litchi