Monday 17 August 2009

Fanboy Monday: Capturing Man-Thing!

Lately I've been filling my sketchbook with some of my favourite characters from various pop culture franchises in a very fanboy-ish manner. So for the month of August, expect each Art Monday to feature something fun and different from usual Flying Trilobite fare.

Created for Marvel by Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas and artist Gray Morrow (who has an awesome name), Man-Thing is a swamp creature that is arguably representative 1970's comic world's fascination with monsters. A living mass of swamp matter who burns evildoers with an acidic touch, Man-Thing was scientist Ted Sallis who has lost his humanity and mind. Steve Gerber is generally credited with doing the seminal Man-Thing storyline, though I was a big fan of the art and writing in the 1997 series by J.M. DeMatteis and artist Liam Sharp.

Despite the science-y beginnings, Man-Thing is often used as a more or less supernatural guardian of realities, and changes form in his travels out of the swamp. He meets tons of mainstream Marvel characters, from Spider-Man to the Thing to Howard the Duck.

I know there are a lot of comparisons with DC's Swamp Thing, but I love this character's look. The weird facial tendrils give him both the look of a being of vines and an elephant. In this drawing, I thought I would have Man-Thing being captured by some sort of quartz, and being frozen to the ground. I also gave him a big belly, and little "eyelashes" similar to the sweet-scented drops on a carnivorous sundew plant.

Colour? I'm not sure...

Next week: ??

- - - - - - - -

Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.
Man-Thing is copyright and trademark to Marvel Comics.
This is a fan homage, not a licensed illustration.
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traumador said...

this is my fav of the marvels. i'm a big fan of vengeful environment monsters! man-thing while having the better visual by far, sadly loses out to DC's swampthings writing (thinks to Alan Moore's work on him)

i also caught up with mike today... your email never made it through to him (probably his over active spam filter again, it has eaten a thing or two from me too).just thought i'd give you the heads up on that development, and i'll get in touch with you about the details tomorrow.

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks for the heads up, Traumador!

Vengeful environment monsters have never been more timely. I think a cool storyline would be to turn the global warming vengeance on its head, and allow for Man-Thing's swampy domain to actually get bigger, like he enjoys it.

At least until the Gulf Stream shuts down and he freezes over.

Sean Craven said...

This is really interesting -- I know you aren't a Swamp Thing reader, but the way you really beefed up (as it were) the botanical side of the character is great.

It also makes me think of the way Steve Bisette and John Totleben reworked Swamp Thing. Here's a sample.

They did much better work but this is the best image I can find online in a couple of minutes...

So are the sundew lashes functional?

(As an aside, the missus has some sundews and pitcher plants in the garden. That's my gal!)

Anonymous said...

Of all the Marvel characters, this "Man-Thing" is the one I know almost Nothing about! I think I like him! Nothing like a good Environment monster to keep you entertained, eh, Glendon? lol! ;)

Glendon Mellow said...

Sean, ask the missus to throw the sundew an extra snack. On me. I'll pay you back after I finish getting rid of these fruit flies in the kitchen. *thwack! *

That Steve Bissette pic is nice. I'm going to try and tackle this one in colour, and I came up with a nice icky-awesome Man-Thing idea I'll try to get to soon.

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks for checking it out Raptor! Man-Thing basically has no brain, but responds to emotion as a stimuli the way Venus flytraps snap shut when you tickle their hairs.

Zachary Miller said...

A wild Man-Thing has appeared! Man-Thing is sleeping. ZACH threw some food! Man-Thing woke up! ZACH threw a Safari Ball.

Oh, almost had it!

Man-Thing ran away.

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