Monday 10 August 2009

Fanboy Monday: Cloak & Dagger sketches

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.

Cloak & Dagger are two of my favourite Marvel Comics characters, created by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan. The duo are teen runaways who were forced to take a fictional, experimental synthetic heroin, which unleashed their powers. They have fought alongside superhero staples such as Spider-Man, the Punisher and Dr. Strange in their efforts to stop the drug trade, lead normal lives and rescue the innocent. I drew these two in my trusty Moleskine Folio book.

Cloak's real name is Tyrone Johnson. He's a nice guy, a stutterer and he suffers from low self-esteem. When he is Cloak, he can travel through darkness, sweep the guilty into his cloak and the demons within will feed on their guilt. Or their "light". Or their minds. It's a bit vague, which helps with both science-y and magical plots. Unlike his alter-ego Tyrone, Cloak is haughty, brooding and does not stutter. Both as Cloak and Tyrone, he worries he's not good enough for Dagger, on whom he depends to feed him with light to keep the demons inside his cloak.

Tandy Bowen is a rich kid who ran away, and met Tyrone at the bus station. She was an excellent dancer, at one point became blind (with some well-researched stories about what that's like by writer Terry Austin). She can throw light 'daggers' at criminals and infuse them with a sort of pure goodness, painful to their evil bodies. The blindness got better.

Costume-wise, these two represent for me comic characters at their most iconic. Cloak's deep blue and black costume with only his human face -invariably with glowing eyes, and sometimes deep lines- is mysterious and spirit-like. I wanted to show here that his cloak is not always a solid article of clothing, but more unreal, like a piece of fabric you could be lost in.

Dagger on the other hand has one of the only excuses for a superhero to be wearing tights. She's a dancer, and in battle usually gracefully leaps toward the villain hurtling light-daggers at the foe. The deep cutout dagger shape on the skin-tight costume gives her an almost scandalous look, which really doesn't come out in her personality. And I love that weird circle around her right eye.

These days, usually both male and female comic characters have unrealistic bodies, but Cloak's swirling costume, and Dagger's skinny physique are different from that.

Hmm. I will see what I can do about oil painting these two and using Gimp to assemble the final piece.

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Next week: more Marvel!
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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery *** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***
Cloak & Dagger
are copyright and trademark to Marvel Comics.
This is a fan homage, not a licensed illustration.


Jason Thibeault said...

I am such a fanboy. As soon as I saw the top of Cloak's head I came as close to a squee as any self-respecting adult male would ever allow himself, before even scrolling down. Beautiful art!

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Jason! I hope to do the colour version justice.

Sean Craven said...

Boy, I remember the good old days when people had the decency to keep their vulgar habits under wraps, but now it seems as if fewer and fewer people are willing to go to the trouble of feeling ashamed of reading comics.

Most excellent, sir. I look forward to the color versions. Fully rendered or colored line drawings?

I have to say that I was a little taken aback by the news about poor Bill Mantlo, though. Seemed as if one day he was writing half the Marvel line, then poof. Well, now I know.

Glendon Mellow said...

I should be painting Cloak in oil, with some planned digital textures and painting. Dagger may be fully digital, and I will put them together.

Mantlo's tragedy is just awful. Such a distinguished career, I hope he knows how much people still enjoy his work. Micronauts was great.

Kevin Zelnio said...

Way to bring back the memories! I loved cloak and dagger. I always thought they had one of the most interesting back stories in marvel comics.

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Kevin. These two are still around now, but somehow feel old school to me too.

Anonymous said...

Those are pretty good, Glendon! I happened to have one of those Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness books about the whole Spider-Man story and the franchise! It's cool and has a section on those two, but....*clearing throat* think Dagger's pretty cute! *blushes*

Glendon Mellow said...

Raptor, DK books are amazing. My nephew and I pore over the Star Wars Visual Dictionary all the time.

And sure, Dagger's cute. As I mentioned, on another character her costume would be scandalously hawt, but the way she's written she tends to be more reserved.

I haven't read much with these two in a long time though. Perhaps that's changed.

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