Friday, September 30, 2016

2014-2016 JLI, Saturnians, & Other Friends Artist Jam

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October of 2014 was my last month of daily posts, ending a run of eighty-six months total (or in normal people terms, seven years & two months.) I tried to do another month last year for the 60th birthday and came up six days short, so I'm pleased to accomplish the full thirty with this attempt, closing out roughly two years of celebrating the diamond anniversary to & from the actual date.

There's no kidding myself anymore, though. With that "61" officially stamped on J'Onn J'Onzz's lifetime card yesterday, I have done all I can do for that milestone. Plus, honestly, as much as I love the Martian Marvel, I'm really looking forward to shifting focus toward Wonder Woman's 75th year in action (which is apparently also a diamond jubilee, because everyone gives up after 60 years and figures diamonds are forever after.) I've done a lousy job on my Amazing Amazon podcasting and blogging, so I'd like to make up for that.

Don't think I'm forgetting the Alien Atlas though. I've completed a few of these jam pieces, and will continue to work on those I haven't in 2017. I have entire jams done that haven't seen the slightest reference here, and new standalone commissions as recent as earlier this month. Heck, I just now remembered that there's a well liked Bronze Age DC artist with my mailing address who should have something Martian flavored in to me in time for the holidays. I'm pretty sure there will be at least weekly posts in October, most likely completing another jam that's been teased here (although there's still a little space left, so maybe I can squeeze one more character in later?) Samhain should inspire some sort of special themed podcast here, and following shows should manifest roughly monthly-to-bimonthly for the following year. I'll only ever dial down the intensity of my efforts related to the character from time to time, but never shut them down entirely. I know my role.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 Who's Who in Martian Manhunter Vol I Downloadable Reference Resource

Download as CBR/ZIP file

Download as PDF

To commemorate the 61st anniversary of J'Onn J'Onzz, The Idol-Head of Diabolu proudly presents Who's Who Martian Manhunter Vol I...
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe was one of comics' foremost and beloved reference books. Unfortunately, it didn't have much to do with the history of the Manhunter from Mars beyond the hero's own entry. This free fan publication seeks to change that, offering a recreation of listings for previously unrealized character entries in the style of the original 1985-1987 comic book series covering characters and concepts from J'Onn J'Onzz's six decades of publication history.
I recommend the CBR, which may have turned out okay, but I definitely screwed up a bunch of the size ratios and file types on the PDF I had my girlfriend pull together for me, because I'm too cheap to pay Adobe for the priviledge. All of the text was written by me pursuing an accurate reflection of the characters' published appearances in comics.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Martian Manhunter's 60th Anniversary Special Compilation

Martian Manhunter's 60th Anniversary Special
A Celebration of the Alien Atlas


So I wanted to take the four hours, twenty-two minutes of the two Martian Manhunter's 60th Anniversary Special Podcasts, combine them with thirty-three minutes of additional interviews, and somehow cut that nearly five hours worth of material down to one hour for a YouTube video. Well, even excising most everywhere I had spoken, all the ads and audio clips, even elements of the interviews, I only got it down to a little over twice that length. But never mind, because between my antiquated and expired video programs, I couldn't manage to convert that much audio and one static image to a file YouTube would take anyway. Well, screw it, I dumped that audio I labored over the weekend trimming down onto the more popular The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast feed, and I'm walking away before I invest any more time or money into that sinkhole. Enjoy?

A brief overview of the Sleuth from Outer Space's history shapes a variety of interviews with comic creators and show business talents covering six decades of J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter from Mars' career as an alternative to mainstream super-heroes, who nonetheless stands as a founding member of the world's greatest group of champions, the Justice League of America. Abridges three episodes of The Idol-Head of Diabolu Podcast, 15, 20 & 27, focusing on the talents who have loved and supported the Alien Atlas since 1955 as they appeared in exclusive interviews and others culled from across the internet.
Audio Source Credits

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2015 Miss Martian Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch by Mark Bagley

There isn't much I can say about Mark Bagley that you haven't heard many times before. He was the winner of The Official Marvel Comics Try-Out Book competition, which was legendary in the 1980s as a one-stop shop to learn every major four color discipline on actual industry standard art boards. He began working regularly at Marvel in the early '90s, making his name on The New Warriors before becoming the defining artist on Spider-Man for millennials beginning with a long run on Amazing and ending just a few years ago on Ultimate. He also had a run at DC, managing to cover most of their icons, including J'Onn J'Onzz. Personally, I've always liked how Bagley draws young people and women with a bright, optimistic quality. That's also a good summation of M'gann M'orzz, who I think may have turned up in Trinity under Bagley's pen, but I wanted one for myself regardless.

Mark Bagley

Monday, September 26, 2016

2015 Jemm, Son of Saturn Space City Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Dietrich Smith

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Okay, so I was aware of Dietrich Smith's work from the late Chromium Age moving forward, but was most impressed with his more recent color work, which is what made me decide to ask him to draw K'hym J'onzz for the family portrait jam. I really liked that, so then I went back and asked him for Jemm, Son of Saturn on another jam piece. I also dug that, so I tried to go back one more time at the same show for a solo piece, but by then he was all booked up. Another show comes around the following year, and I've got him pegged to draw Carter Burke from the movie Aliens at a point when I thought I was going to do a series of jam pieces, but plans changed so that I only got one done. So maybe, hopefully, I can finally turn Smith completely loose on a piece all his own next year?

I'd gotten Jemm done once before, but I felt he played such a major Alien Atlas-specific role in "Rock of Ages" and in the two most popular story arcs in Martian Manhunter's eponymous 1998 series that he deserved representation in the jam. I'm glad for it too, because this is a very regal prince with his high collar and billowing cape. This was another instance where the jam had a big chunk of space that needed to be filled to feel "done," and Smith absolutely took ownership of that property with a gorgeous spread across that real estate. I never give artists J'Onn reference with the "vampire" collar because I don't feel it suits the Sleuth from Outer Space, but Jemm was created with one, and here he rocks it like a ruby peacock. I love the shading, and looking at it again makes me hanker for that future Smith work!

Dietrich Smith

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2015 Glenn Gammeron Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Adrian Nelson

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Adrian Nelson is another local artist that I can reliably call upon for excellent work, which to date has included commissions of Bloodwynd, Ma'alefa'ak, H'ronmeer (and other art finishes on the J'Onzz Family Portrait,) & Private Ricco Frost from the movie Aliens. This time, his subject is Glenn Gammeron, intergalactic bounty hunter with mysterious ties to J'Onn J'Onzz that date back to the plague which claimed most life on Mars. This was my second pass at a piece featuring the sketchy character, who once took on Despero and should absolutely return to that Martian Manhunter fold for further adventures. I love Nelson's take on the character, which vaguely recalls Larry Stroman, and the scans don't do justice to his crosshatched shading.

Adrian Nelson

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2013 Martian Manhunter “The Challenge of the Alien Robots” color art by Enrique “Quique” Alcatena

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Cuando el Detective Marciano, acompañado por su amiguito interdimensional Zook, corría sus aventuras en las últimas páginas de Detective Comics primero, y de House of Mystery después. Cuando era el gran Joe Certa el que ilustraba los guiones de Jack Miller...

When the Martian Manhunter, assisted by his interdimensional tiny sidekick Zook, lived his adventures in the back pages of Detective Comics first, and house of Mystery afterwards. When the great Joe Certa illustrated Jack Miller´s scripts...
Enrique “Quique” Alcatena

Friday, September 23, 2016

2015 The Alien Robots Space City Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Antoine Mayes

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Up until this month's Amazing! Houston Comic Convention, this was the last piece of Antoine Mayes art I had to offer on the blog, and my favorite of his many contributions to the jam. Featured are the villainous automatons of “The Challenge of the Alien Robots” from Detective Comics No. 317, July 1963. I really like the architectural boxiness (with foundational cracks) that gives way to an animation-type anthropomorphization with the slanted, louring "eyebrows." Plus, that one in the foreground is spitting fire. Unlike the loose arrangement of rectangular modules from Joe Certa's original story, Mayes creates a modern day armature of evil that looks physically functional and ready to go Chopping Mall with its long (bladed?) fingers and dynamic pivot points for maximum aggressive response. Mayes chose all of his own subjects from a copy of Showcase Presents and went wild with the scale and chimeric variety of old school rampaging menaces, shaping the totality of the piece and selecting fun creatures I might otherwise have neglected in my fatiguing pursuit of the same handful of Skittle Martians I keep doling out for.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

2015 Iwangis, The Creature King Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch by Erik Arreaga

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Iwangis was the villain in one of my favorite Silver Age Martian Manhunter stories, and especially out of the ones from the period where he was searching for the Diabolu Idol-Head (though it was never definitively stated whether the Creature King was connected to the device.) Seems other folks like him too, since he won our 2014 March Madness vote. I wanted someone cool for this piece, not just for the character, but because the overall jam was shaping up nicely. I was into Erik Arreaga's style, and his strong Sam Kieth influence was very well suited to the giant furry master of stone menageries. He strikes the right balance of menace and mirth as the monster reaches its paw out toward the viewer. I love all the crazy detailing and frenetic energy of this piece, and should definitely enlist Arreaga for a more substantial commission in the future!

Erik “Phour Nyne Guy” Arreaga

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2014 Princess Cha'rissa Comicpalooza Jam Sketch Detail by Chris Beaver

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Chris Beaver is one of the artists I return to again and again for commissions, because he hit it out of the park first time out to bat with The Human Squirrel at 2012's Comicpalooza, a fun piece I was fond enough of to make a color copy and have framed next to my desk at the old apartment. He followed that up a few months later at Space City Con with Hunter Commander J'en, and the following year with one of my absolute favorite commissions ever, Kishana Lewis. I can't get a scan to capture his beautiful color work in that piece, so sometime I need to either take it to a professional or hang the original. Most recently, he contributed to this year's Aliens 30th Anniversary commission series with Corporal Cynthia Dietrich, but we sadly had a dry spell in 2015 because I'd committed so much time, effort and especially money to a series of jam pieces begun in 2014. Beaver contributed two black and white pieces to two separate jams begun that year, one hero and one villain. The heroine is Princess Cha'rissa, fiancé of Jemm and secret lover of J'Onn during murderous intrigue between the red and white-skinned Saturnians. These damned jams won't be done until 2017, and as I'm piecemealing them character by character all this month with plenty to spare, I've reserved the remaining space for new artists and the new year. It's all well and good, because what I really want is to plot out another full color piece like that Kishana Lewis, hopefully next year...

Chris Beaver

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

2015 Bloodwynd Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Oliver Banks

It's been over four years since Bloodwynd was referenced in a significant way on this site, and even that was to defend him against accusations of being the Second Worst Justice Leaguer Ever, which was majorly harsh. I like Bloodwynd well enough to have a solo commission, and certainly wanted to include him in a jam of associated characters. Bloodwynd has an undeservedly bad rap, and I really need to get his biography page done to help vindicate the character (though legitimizing his messed up origin will take a better man than me.) Speaking of, artist Oliver Banks did an even better job here than on the previous year's Green Lantern Guy Gardner, and it's a shame it took me two years to spotlight his work. I dig the dude's attitude, imposing size, and the way his cape drapes around the character below him. Banks also incorporated the thick gray border around that character into shading on Bloodynd, which unfortunately doesn't translate well to the scan. I was able to contrast the blacks solid without completely obliterating the shading, but it's darker and much coarser than in the original, and I apologize for the distortion. He does look spookier for it, though.

Banks wrote of the piece, "High class collaboration," and if you'd like to see his Martian Manhunter, look no further.

Oliver Banks

Monday, September 19, 2016

Podcast- Comics Bulletin & Alex Ross on the Cusp of J’onn J’onzz’s 61st Anniversary

Episode #29

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or directly download an art-tagged MP3 from the Internet Archive

On October 8, 2014, the website Comics Bulletin published a discussion between Bryan Stroud and the famous painter of Marvels and Kingdom Come in the article Alex Ross Talks About the Martian Manhunter on the Cusp of J’onn J’onzz’s 60th Anniversary. Nearly two years later, with the Alien Atlas' next birthday imminent and with the help of an online text-to-audio program, Diabolu Frank joins their conversation...

We enjoy dialogue on the red planet, so here are our non-telepathic contact options:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

2001 DC Direct KINGDOM COME: MARTIAN MANHUNTER Poster by Alex Ross

The series of painted, full-color posters by Alex Ross (KINGDOM COME, BATMAN: WAR ON CRIME) continues with this dynamic portrait of J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter. This 22" x 34" poster is designed to be displayed on its own or be placed side by side with others in this series.

$ 7.95 US
To the surprise of no one, I bought this poster new, but waited the better part of a decade to finally get it framed and hung on the wall. Since I moved, it hasn't yet returned to a wall, and presently is sitting on the floor in a stack of over a dozen other framed comics related pieces I haven't committed to geeking up my current study. It's an exposed space visible from the common area, and I think the girlfriend would prefer we get a door installed to obscure my shrine first. I'm getting sick of it lying around though, so maybe I'll just hang it already. Also, the image above is not an actual poster, but a trim of Ross' original full sized piece made to best approximate the poster. I'm not breaking out mine, and for some odd reason, all the photos online look like crap.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

2013 B'rett Comicpalooza Commission by Johnny J. Segura III

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When I first met Johnny Segura at the 2012 Comicpalooza, he burned through a hot streak of fantastic commissions with Scorch, Professor Arnold Hugo, and L'lex Xanadar, leader of the Devil Men of Pluto, and he followed up in 2013 with Miss Martian. I was a bit surprised when he got experimental with B'rett, but I had been pushing it with the uniformity of the other pieces, so I can appreciate his wanting to try something different. For starters, we shift to a landscape, allowing the yellow Martian to swing wide with his gun arm for a gangster pose, complete with hand wrap. I tend to see B'rett as something of an old west sidewinder who'd shoot you in the back if you looked like future trouble, so this would qualify as a more contemporary take on that type. With a pronounced scowl, he demands in a word balloon "Ya lookin' at me, TOOTS?!?" Perhaps he was addressing M'gann M'orzz and that Kawaii thing she's doing with her eye in that year's earlier commission? Speaking of the newest super-heroine being adapted to television this year on the CW network, is it just me, or does B'rett's cape kind of look like the promotional poster for Supergirl season 2?

Johnny Segura 3rd

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 Ma'alefa'ak Comicpalooza Commission by James Ferry

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Ma'alefa'ak is the evil twin brother of J'Onn J'Onzz introduced in Post-Zero Hour continuity as the creator of "H'ronmeer's Curse," the plague that wiped out Martian civilization. As "Malefic," he continued to menace the Martian Manhunter until his apparent demise. To date, Ma'alefa'ak is the only villain created to fight the Alien Atlas to be adapted by an outside medium, via the animated movie Justice League: Doom.
After Ferry's jam contribution featuring The Master Gardener of Mars, I figured I'd get another good looking Who's Who style profile image, this time of Malefic. See, I liked the Doom cartoon redesign a little too much and gotten a bunch of commissions of it instead of how he looked in the actual comics. However, Ferry wasn't satisfied to meet that expectation, and instead exceeded it with a fully realized work of art featuring a sea of floating reverse-teardrop rocky (icy?) masses floating in midair while Ma'alefa'ak malefically (an actual word I had to research, because "meleficently" is not one) contemplates Jodorowsky's Incal as big fluffy clouds roll by. The Mœbius influence is obvious, and appreciated, because this piece is the closest I'll ever get to owning a Jean Giraud original. It's a beauty!

James Ferry