I was in an L.A. Eco-Village meeting last night and I had my sketchbook (No. 69) with me to help pass the time. I started to letter “Sarcastic Thug” and kept tooling around with that until it turned into a full-on comic book cover. I often don’t finish drawings like this, but the meeting ran long… and when I got home I spent another hour or so finishing it.
It’s drawn with a Uni-ball Vision black pen and a Prismacolor red brush pen.
I play around with hand-lettering frequently in my sketchbooks, and occasionally play with the conventions of comic book covers – see this post for a few of my earlier ones. I am a big comics fan, reading a lot of super-hero stuff as a young man, then becoming more interested in more grown-up comics fare (Craig Thompson, Alison Bechdel, etc.) as an adult. I occasionally post stuff about comics at The Periodic Fable.
Sarcastic Thug is the name of an ironic parody story-within-a-story super-hero that appears in Splash Brannigan comics, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Hilary Barta. Alan Moore is one of my favorite comics writers. I’ve actually been geeking out on Alan Moore, writing Splash Brannigan comics annotations over at The Periodic Fable.
I was just doodling in pen so I got some things wrong… I knew he had a big chin, a red costume, and there was a triangle in the costume, but I put it on his forehead. I gave him eyes, too.
Though I didn’t quite imitate Hilary Barta’s style, I think I played around in a humorous vein similar to the Splash stories. I think that the Mars bar, dipper, teacup, “follow that apollo” rhyme, etc. wouldn’t be out of place in a Moore/Barta version of this. Directly from Splash stories I drew: “Kaput Comics,” “yeah right,” and the initials “D.S.” in the lower right.
I stylistically swiped from Mike Mignola and Jack Kirby, including Kirby Dots. The word “sarcastic” is lettered with jagged edges that were common in the 60s-70s, for example this Thor cover. The word “thug” is lettered a bit like like a 60s Hulk cover.
And, apologies to any readers for posting here so infrequently. Though I keep up a sketchbook, I haven’t done that much art lately. I will keep posting here occasionally, but I also post some sketches now and then at joelinton63 on Instagram.