Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Good Friend, Sandy..

I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to a longtime artist friend of mine: Sandy Plunkett..
Some of you may have noticed his name in the Links section, on my Blog? Though more of you likely, probably have never heard his name before?.. I'm convinced that this is due to change!

Charles "Sandy" Plunkett was born October 18, 1955. He spent his childhood growing up in New York City. And before he'd even finished high school, he had begun drawing comic-book stories professionally!
Here's what the man looks like..He made his debut in the comic book world in the late 1970s, creating artwork for 'Gold Key Comics'. But eventually, also completed assignments for Marvel and DC Comics, too. Thru the 1980s and 1990s, he did a lot of cover work for Marvel. And even wrote his own stories, for their EPIC Magazine imprint..
Sometime around 1990, Sandy made a move to Athens, Ohio. A small college community, where Sandy earned a solid reputation as "the Town Artist.." Working on all manner of art-related jobs: creating CD covers, wine labels, bicycle touring maps, brochures, political cartoons, business logos, and t-shirts..

Together, we've cultivated a really enriching (weekly) e-mail conversation, that's lasted over a decade. It's not often you get to connect personally with an artist that you've grown up admiring.. So, I consider myself quite lucky! We enjoy talking about everything, of course. But particularly about Art, including our own..
Here's another example of Sandy's artistic prowess.. He gave the 'Original Art' for this t-shirt design to me, after I did him the favour of hosting a number of eBay Auctions on his behalf..
In 2005, I talked local convention organizer: Kevin Boyd, into bringing Sandy up to Toronto as a Guest Artist, for a comic-con. I helped pull together a Poster for the event, using some of Sandy's CONAN artwork. And Sandy even conducted a very successful seminar on "Inking", at the show. I think he was a bit embarrassed, by all of the fawning attention? hah
I'm the guy wearing the goofy grin.. Yikes, bad photo alert! To my immediate Left, is another good artist friend of mine: Dominic Bugatto, who seems to be closely scrutinizing some of the artwork Sandy brought with him.. And I think that's Ruth Tait, behind us?
The reason I feel that Sandy may be adding a few more fans, in the near future.. Is that in April of 2010, OHIO UNIVERSITY Press is planning to publish a 224-page book featuring a lot of the artwork from Sandy's own private sketchbooks.. The tentative title for the project, is: 'The World of a Wayward Comic Book Artist - The Private Sketchbooks of S. Plunkett'.. Here's a prelim of what the cover is supposed to look like:

Both a softcover & a limited-edition hardcover release, are planned. The book will feature a 'Foreword' written by one of Sandy's artistic heroes: Michael Wm. Kaluta. And the contents will include almost 400 selected artworks, from sketchbooks that Sandy has kept thru the past 20 years!
The drawings are said to cover a wide range of styles and subject matter; though all are rooted in the visual vernacular of illustration, comic art, and popular art of America. Evincing influences as diverse as Thomas Hart Benton, Frank Frazetta, George Herriman, and R. Crumb.
Images of creatures, both real and imagined, fabulous characters, and dreamlike worlds that are juxtaposed with studies from Plunkett's own life.
The book will also feature an updated interview with COMIC BOOK ARTIST's Tim Barnes, provides fascinating insights into Sandy's artistic process..

Recently this short 6-minute has been posted to 'YouTube' to promote the project:

Keep yer eyeballs peeled for this tremendous book, come the Springtime.. I promise you it'll be worth it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Deconstructing the Frazetta Female - Pt. 1

Hello again, folks.. Sorry for the long delay, since the last post!

Today, I thought I'd present a couple of drawings that were an attempt to edu-ma-cate myself.. On why exactly I find the women in Frank Frazetta's comic-book work, so durn appealing?
My first guess is,-- that it has everything to do with his take on Proportions..

I'd really like to be able to (eventually) draw women like the ones Frazetta drew in his early comic-book career. So to examine things more closely, I decided to grab a few classic poses of some of the women that appeared in Frazetta's 1952 comic-strip: "JOHNNY COMET".. Set them up, along (and build) a formal Turnaround -type model sheet.. To better see how I can construct them, myself. As well as find out what precisely, makes them tick!

Here are some of my results:
It's important to remember, that I'm talking about Frazetta's comic-book work, and not his oil paintings. The women he painted in those, are probably more recognizable to fans.. And I enjoy them, too. But those Female figures, are much more fleshy & exaggerated. And for me (at least), are somewhat too caricatured, to be useful as an effective Female model for telling a story anywhere outside of a Fantasy setting..
As you can see, I kinda copped-out on the pure Profile view. But you get the general idea..

I guess my conclusions were, that despite a few unique nuances in the Legs/Hips/Waist.. The overall approach was similar in many ways to the classic versions that Andrew Loomis presents, in some of his educational drawing books.
I should add that I also referenced my very favorite Frazetta book of all time, to fill in some of the details.. The 1973 oversized Russ Cochran 'UNTAMED LOVE' book, reprinting four of Frazetta's 'Personal Love' romance stories..
It's an absolute classic collection!! And if you can still find a copy on eBay.. I'd definitely advise you to grab it!