Friday, November 06, 2009

Mad Science and an Honorary Super Friend!

First up is an older sketch, drawn last year when old man Obama won his wayinto the White House and into the hearts of Americans and Canadians alike. Now, I hear he's not doing so well. He hasn't done enough in a year, hasn't fulfilled all of his promises, etc... I won't go gettin' all political but I always figure let's give a guy a chance. I've done a lot of work by 'committee' and it is not at all easy to deal with everyone's opinions/notes/demands and all I'm doing is drawing a kid sitting in a classroom (for example)! This guy's trying to run a country!

All right - onto the mad scientists. I sketched all of these guys for an upcoming project (I'm sure you'll figure it out by the end). A lot of these characters I had never even heard of but kinda grew fond of 'em after a month of drawing them. The Sivanas - I knew them from Shazam comics. I never really noticed the overbite and squinty eyes before. Was Dr. Sivana supposed to be a caricature of an Asian stereotype? I try to be hyper-aware of cliched portrayals of race so I toned down the buck toothedness in this family as I drew them. Just in case!
Hugo Strange I knew but not Prof. Hugo! I loved drawing Prof. Hugo's gigantic head on his wee body. He shows up an awful lot in the, project.
Okay, never heard of these guys but they were by far my favorite to draw! The Fox, The Shark and The Vulture! How amazing are these guys that they're mad scientists. I don't even know what they did that was so science-y but just the very fact that I got to draw talking animals was enough to make me just mad (as in "in love") with these guys!
Dr. Cyber - never heard of her. But she showed up in an episode of Justice League at some point and had, therefore, been given a Bruce Timm design. Easy enough to translate that.
Dr. T.O. Morrow - Inventor of the Red Tornado. I know him from my Super Powers Red Tornado toy packaging. A villain creating a Hero? How is that even possible?
Dr. Tyme - Old clock head! I basically just went with his original look, mixed with the Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon version of the Clock King. I wonder which one came first?
Prof. Rigor Mortis, I.Q. and Louie the Lilac. First two both had a fun look I played with a little. Louie - the only reference I had for him was a photo from the old Adam West Batman tv show. Did he ever appear in a comic? I dunno! So I tried to work the actor, Milton Berle, into his look. I don't know that I was successful but I dug his ski-slope nose and spats.
Maxwell Tremaine seems more like a villainous hunter than a mad scientist. I imagine him running the island I read about in "The Most Dangerous Game". A story I first read in high school. Love the eye patch!
Hector Hammond apparently can't move. He uses his villainous mind powers to commit evil acts. Because he's immobile, and his first name rhymes with (Hannibal) Lecter, I drew him strapped to a dolly. In the actual issue he's been given a Segway...I figure that way he can get around on his own, using the power of his mind to control the personal mobile unit.
The Brain is a favorite Doom Patrol villain. He's supposed to be in a jar carried around by Monsieur Mallah (an intelligent gorilla). But, I couldn't resist sticking him in a mechanical body you might see in an episode of, oh I don't know...Dr. Who!
The gorilla brainiacs! Ultra-Humanite and Gorilla Grodd. Grodd has already appeared in an issue of the Super Friends...not that that has anything to do with my reason for drawing all of these characters. Not at all.
Moving on...the Ultra-Humanite, like Dr. Cyber, had a Bruce Timm-ed version from his appearance in the Justice League. I went with it but tried to give him something a little extra and used him often in backgrounds throughout the issue.

These guys are all scientists in the DC Universe? No wonder it's all screwed up :)



TJ Lubrano said...

Wow! These look really cool! There are quite a lot of mad scientist, I haven't heard of either! Thanks for sharing ^_^! Take care!

mattcrap said...

dude- REALLY great post!

This one's got all kindsa bang for yer buck...and I don't remember paying! I think Tremaine looks great and hands down THE BEST UltraHumanite i've ever seen!

James Figueiredo said...

Hi, J!

These look SO COOL, man! LOVE the gorillas and the Sivana family, especially.

And how's the sketchbook coming along?

J. (another one)

P.S.: Just saw a bunch of pictures on Darwyn Cooke's blog, which one of them fellas are you, if you don't mind me asking?

P.S.2.: LOVED the cover you did for the WOlverine 100 project thing! :D

Johnny Bacardi said...

I don't think the Sivanas were intended as Asian stereotypes, because really, in those old Beck and Schaffenberger stories they don't look that way despite the squint and overbite (to me anyway)...still, it was the 40's, so you never know.

Dr. Cyber started out in Wonder Woman during the late 60's-early 70's Mike Sekowsky de-powered era, and looked like pretty much your standard issue nefarious evil female spy type, nothing like Timm's re-imagining.

Finally, I'm pretty sure Louie the Lilac was created just for Milton Berle on the 60s Batman TV show, like many others that didn't come from the comics (King Tut, The Archer, the Bookworm, Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, Egghead, etc.). Your version looks very cool, though- would love to see it inked and colored!

I'm done being Mr. Know it all now, thankee!

Jon McNally said...

Super-solid depictions of these scientists, J! Gosh, I'd never thought of the Terrible Trio as a troupe of mad scientists, but I guess they do have the requisite skills.

Bob Lilly said...

Clever character drawings. These are great. Supposedly, bad guys are not supposed to thing of themselves as bad. You also seldom see a bad guy who is really dumb (unless he is a henchman). Good villains are the life blood of hero stories, so it is cool that you are so good at doing them.
Come visit.

Anonymous said...

These are great J!

James M.

MPH said...


These are GREAT. I love to see your design work (and it is starting to rub off on mine!).

I really, really like your style. I hope we eventually see you on a monthly book. That would kick ass.

Best wishes,


j. said...

TJ Lubrano - Thanks! My pleasure to share :)

Mattcrap - Ha! Thanks, man.

James Figueiredo - Sketchbook got delayed a little while I finished up some work and my computer repeatedly crashed. New computer now and I'm back on track. (moving too slow, though...gotta get crackin')
I'm wearing a green hat in one of the pictures (also pulling a face there...but I was mid-face and end up looking like a half-wit)

Johnny B - Thanks for the info, Mr. Know-it-all! :) Want to see Louie inked? You will. Colored, too!

Jon - I'm gonna have to look up the Justice League story in which they appear! I played them more like well dressed gangsters than science-guys! Hope you're doing well, man! :)

Bob - Thanks. You're right...same thing applies to insanity. If you think you're insane you're probably not. The truly insane are convinced it's everyone else who's nuts! :)
Oh, Terrax, villain of the FF, is pretty dumb.

James M. - Gracias!

MPH - Hope my design is rubbing off in a good way. A monthly would be fun. Right now I'm really enjoying the freedom to do many different things. But I've asked to draw more Super Friends because I just love that book.


MPH said...


Super Friends is the best book that DC publishes right now! I really LOVE the issues that you've done, and I keep them ON my drawing board for inspiration (and the issue of Batman: Brave and Bold, too...I too heart the Doom Patrol!)

AND--yeah--your design work is influencing me in a GOOD way. I study your stuff because I need to LOOSEN up and not do such stiff design work. I need to be a tad more free in my designs, and your work really is an inspiration!



Doctor Polaris said...

You fool! How could you forget the mighty Doctor Polaris? Doctor, yes. But also a scientist.

j. said...

MPH - Gosh! I'm flattered, MPH. Happy to hear it and I hope my art continues to serve you well :)

Doctor Polaris - Jeez, sorry Doc. You might want to take your grudge up with the writer Sholly Fisch! I just drawed what he wrote in his script!


Paul Conrad said...

Awesome design-work J.! My favorites are the ultra-humanite and the vulture! I second the vote for your own ongoing monthly...Make Mine BONE! :D

Ben said...

Man, awesome all-round, but I keep coming back to I.Q. You aced that guy! I only hope you don't forget Hector Hammond's weedy little mustache. All great Green Lantern villains have enormous foreheads and little weedy mustaches. No one knows why.

Ian Explosivo said...

Man, I love checking out your stuff because it just gets better and better. Keep up the great work!


j. said...

Paul - Gosh! Thanks, man! Y'know what I'd buy regularly? A book with you, Jon McNally and...okay, ME! :) How much fun would that be! Just us taking on the DC and/or Marvel characters in a bunch of fun adventure stories!

Ben - I'm afraid in my reference for Hector Hammond I didn't see the little moustache. And I also just looked over my pages and I forgot a part of his costume when drawing him for chapter two of the book. Oop! Maybe no one will notice.

Ian - Many thanks, Mr. Explosivo!


Ben said...

I think an advantage of drawing this sort of book is that the kids don't care about little mistakes, and ironically most of the grown-up readers are too mature to cause a fuss. Unlike so many "grown-up" superhero comics. Anyhow, I have pens, I'll just draw the mustache back in myself!

Anonymous said...

According to the Marvel Family Web, Dr. Sivana was modeled after Max Schreck, the actor from the German silent horror classic "Nosferatu."

However, the character's co-creator, C.C. Beck (who created Captain Marvel), claimed in several interviews that he based Dr. Sivana on his local Long Island druggist. No word on what that poor, ugly slob's ethnicity was!

Unknown said...

You got a really great blog there man keep it up watching out for most posts.