Cranboyz Online

A place for the members of the Cranboyz to share stories about Comic Books, Conventions and Artwork!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Akron Comicon

Akron Comicon was this weekend and it is always a delightful show. If you have not been, I recommend you try it out next year as it is moving to a new bigger location.

This year's show marked a special milestone for me. After 23 years my Iron Man sketchbook is complete!

Going into the show I needed a hero and an armor to complete it. The hero came from the Fraim brothers (who plan on making Akron a regular show) in the way of Namor.
Great piece and so glad they were able to do it.

The last armor I was able to get by someone who had worked on the original run of Iron Man, the very nice Arvell Jones.
He was very impressed with my book and gave me a great mark 2 sketch. 

The very last page in the book I actually had Darryl Banks do at Cincy Comic Expo. What better way to end the book than with Jarvis cleaning up the whole mess!

On a side note, I also picked up this Iron Man from the Fraim brothers at the show(not in my book)
Thanks to all who gave advise and encouragement. Also a special thanks to Shane who has had joint custody of my book and without who this probably would have taken 23 more years!

January starts portfolio season!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cleveland Comic Con 2015

Cleveland Comic Con 2015 was an interesting mix of disorganization, good guests and lots of people attending. We walked into the artist room (most of the artists were in one room while the rest were mixed in with the dealers) 25 minutes before the show opened and no one batted an eye. We also were by the dealer room about 40 minutes before the show and I was helping dealers navigate there stuff into the room while at least 6 con helpers were chatting with each other and generally ignoring every one. Some of the setup was questionable but despite some quirks lots of great conversations were had and sketches were received. This is the Beast sketch I got from Nate Lovett.
Although not the traditional style I usually get, I really enjoy Nate's art and I am glad I chose him for this sketch!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Popa's Favorite Nightmare On Elm Street Covers

In the spirit of October, I thought I'd go through the several different series of "Nightmare On Elm Street" covers and list my favorite covers.  There have been a few "Elm Street" comic series, two from Innovation Comics, one continuing the stories, one going back to Freddy's origins, Marvel did a couple "Elm Street" magazines, then it kind of died down for awhile.  In the late 90's or so Avatar got the license and did a series of books before DC took the license back and Wildstorm did a few books before eventually cancelling their entire line of licensed horror books.

10. Innovation: "Nightmare On Elm Street: The Beginning #1"  Not entirely sure who drew this.

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9. Avatar: Fearbook Juan Jose Ryp is a great Freddy artist, there's always lots of splatter going on.

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8. Innovation: "Nightmare On Elm Street: The Beginning #2"

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7. Avatar Fearbook alternate cover

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6. Avatar Special

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5. Wildstorm issue 2 - cover by Tony Harris

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4. Innovation series #2
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3, Marvel Magazine #2 - Joe Jusko painted this one

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2, Wildstorm issue 1 - also by Tony Harris, I tried to buy this cover once but it was out of my price range.  Alas, maybe someday.

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1. Innovation issue 5

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Andy's Favorite TMNT Covers!

I'm following up Shane and Popa's Favorite Cover lists with one of my own. I spent some time pulling together a list of my very favorite TMNT covers. It spans from Mirage to IDW, and includes covers from some great talents! Let's get this party started!

10) TMNT #6 (Mirage) - Peter Laird
A masked Turtle with a katana battling a Triceratops with nunchucks in metal pants! What 10-year-old kid WOULDN'T want to read this book?! Peter Laird delivers a thrilling cover featuring the first appearance of my favorite TMNT adversaries, the Triceratons!

9) TMNT Micro Series #1 (Mirage) - Kevin Eastman
This cover contains is the first appearance of Casey Jones. I love this classic Kevin Eastman cover, from the composition to the red duotones, it is a great example of the early TMNT style.

8) TMNT #22 (IDW) Retailer Variant - Declan Shalvey
The latest ongoing TMNT series, published by IDW, has been very successful in finding artists who bring a fresh new look to the Turtles. Whether doing covers or interior art, the artists breathe new life into the characters and stories being told. The Foot Clan has never looked more intimidating than in this cover by Declan Shalvey. The design and placement of the red cape, breaking up the cool, blue hues of the background, really lead your eye to the real threat of the Shredder!

7) TMNT #25 (IDW) - Mateus Santolouco
Mateus Santolouce came to the TMNT in a mini-series called The Secret History of the Foot Clan. This series read like an action movie, filled with intense, dynamic artwork from beginning to end. As part of his introduction into the ongoing, Santolouco created a series of covers that spread across the entire City Fall storyarc, the best of which was this shot of Leonardo in his new role as the Shredder's right hand man.

6) TMNT Micro Series #1 (IDW) - David Petersen
When IDW launched their ongoing TMNT series, they also launched a series of one-shots to mirror the original Mirage "Micro Series." These were intended to be tales which featured each of the Turtles in different solo adventures. IDW hired Mouse Guard artist David Petersen to provide covers for this new series, and he did an outstanding job with them, especially with the cover for the Raphael issue.

5) TMNT #6 (IDW) - Dan Duncan
Dan Duncan was the artist for the initial 12 issue run of IDW's ongoing series, and working alongside Kevin Eastman, he created a solid foundation for the style of artwork found in the series as a whole. I loved the idea for this cover, as seen through the perspective of a Mouser. The Turtles look ready to kick some serious ass, and the monotone red palette really heightens the intensity of the shot.

4) TMNT Collected Edition Book II (Mirage) - Kevin Eastman
I first became aware of the Turtles through the original animated series, but it was this set of graphic novels by First Publishing which made me a true fan. In fact, this cover in particular caught my eye and pulled me into the world of TMNT comics for the first time. This is a fantastic shot of the team by Eastman and one that will always be a favorite.

3) TMNT #1 (Mirage) - Kevin Eastman
The one that started it all... This cover has become an iconic image for the TMNT. It's easy to see Eastman's homage to Frank Miller's work in this cover, but also apparent are the roots of Eastman's developing style. This cover has been recreated by many different artists throughout the Turtles' comic history, and is even used in the opening titles for the animated series. A classic, to be sure.

2) TMNT Collected Edition Book IV (Mirage) - Kevin Eastman
Another amazing cover from the First Publishing set of TMNT graphic novels. Eastman's dynamic composition does a fantastic job setting the tone for the action-packed final volume in this series of color reprints.

1) TMNT #4 (Mirage) Second Print - Michael Dooney
This alternate cover is probably my all-time favorite image of the TMNT. It was so popular at the time, that the artwork was re-used in the packaging for the TMNT Nintendo game, and then showcased on the issue of Nintendo Power magazine which featured the game. I love Dooney's rendition of the Turtles in general, but this image truly captured my imagination as a kid.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Shane's Favorite Captain America Covers!

Here they are, my Top 10, Favorite Captain America Covers! Because, well.....Captain America! I'll let you in on my biggest surprise, no John Byrne! Don't why, it just didn't happen.

10. Issue 111, by Jim Steranko! Captain America, Bucky, Hydra, Madame Hydra and groovy colors! This cover could not look more dated and iconic! A must for the list!

9. Issue 256, by Marie Severin! This is the first issue of Captain America that I ever owned. As a kid, it lacked the super hero adventure I was looking for, offering more of a spooky story. But this cover has always stuck with me! You never forget your first! 

8. Issue 281, by Mike Zeck! This cover is rocking the old serial vibe while providing an in-your-face shot of Captain America and Bucky, in full color! And Spider Woman!

7. Issue 364, by Kieron Dwyer! I really enjoyed Kieron's big, bulky Cap and he's the guy who brought us Crossbones in the Bloodstone Hunt story! This cover's a dynamic shot of Crossbones fighting Cap, and doing it dirty!  

6. Issue 322, by Paul Neary! My childhood run of Captain America started with Paul Neary. Flag Smasher was a great antagonist for our hero and his stark, black and white costume is even more eerie in this snow covered fight scene!

5. Issue 133, by Jim Steranko! This is a cover! Everything about this cover makes me want to read this issue! Bucky crying on the ground at the feet of a Captain America memorial statue, while Hydra agents move in for the kill! Even the bland colors are a contrast of the normally star-spangled color scheme of this book! This book has a story to tell!

4. Issue 445, by Ron Garney! You can't have Captain America without a big, explosive, full color cover! Mark Waid and Ron Garney had an impressive run on the book and this title really brings it home!

 3. Issue 321, by Mike Zeck!  This is an intense and iconic cover! Captain America uses a sub-machine gun to kill a terrorist and save hostages! Shock! Awe! Oh yeah, Cap was a soldier before he was a super hero and American icon. Still a cool story (involving Flag Smasher, again) and an incredible cover!

 2. Issue 287, by Mike Zeck! Zeck's run on Cap is legendary and the Deathlock story is a big part of it. However, as popular as the cover is to issue 286, this one is so much more dynamic! The flame colored background, Cap going for the throat, Deathlock shooting back! Intense!

 1. Issue 450, by Ron Garney. Variant cover, before every issue had a Variant cover! A straight up, super cool shot of the man, as only Garney can! And it's part of the Ex-Patriot story? Man without a Country? Cap on the run? Yes! I'll take this one any day!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Popa's Favorite Amazing Spider-Man Covers

Keeping up my theme of favorite cover galleries from classic comic series, I present my favorite covers from "Amazing Spider-Man."  There's a bit of skewing toward the Hobgoblin, but that's to be expected, it's my favorite knot of Spidey stories of all-time.  Oh, and there's Cardiac, baby!!

10.  #377 - Cardiac, baby! (Oh, and some great Mark Bagley art.)

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9. #62 Medusa has rarely looked better!

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8. 346 - I'm not a big Venom guy but I love this crazy design by Erik Larsen.

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7. 275 - The real climax of the Hobgoblin story and a great Ron Frenz cover.

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6. 19 - Classic Ditko greatness.

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5. 230 - This wild Juggernaut image always gets me excited to read this story again.  Romita Jr. draws a helluva Juggernaut and a classic Spidey.

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4. 25- You can't go wrong with the sheer ridiculousness of J. Jonah's face in the Spider Slayer armor.

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3. 250 - From Hobgoblin's hilarious 'It's great - Steal it!' line to the intense Spidey vs. Hobgoblin image, this one's for the ages!

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2. 9 - The first appearance of Spidey's GREATEST VILLAIN - Electro!

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1. 251 - The climax of the first big Hobgoblin story, I love this intensely dramatic image.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Shane's Favorite Avengers Covers

Popa posted his 10 Favorites and asked for us to do the same, so here are my 10 Favorite Avengers covers! Mine are also based on the coolness of the cover and the impact of the issue on my young mind!

10. Avengers 63

9. Avengers 92

8. Avengers vol 3, 29

7. Avengers vol 3, 31

6. Avengers vol 3, 82 (or vol 1, 497)

5. Avengers 375

4. Avengers 4

3. Avengers 188 (My first issue of the title!)

2. Avengers 195

1. Avengers vol 3, 1

Honorable Mention, West Coast Avengers #1! I kept the main list to actual Avengers titles, but I had to include this cover!