Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My favourite superheroes Pt. 3

Continuing on my recent theme of favourite childhood superheroes:

Captain America!

I don't know about you, but these days when I mention I like Captain America to non-comic readers, they often look at me like I'm insane. They can accept Spider-man and Batman because of the recent movies, but to many of them, the idea of a guy running around wearing a flag and being patriotic seems hopelessly old-fashioned and ridiculous. Or worse: ultra-conservative and jingoistic. And certainly some of the Captain America comics I've seen recently don't help the point. I read one where he threw a terrorist bad-guy to his death from a train. After that, I closed the comic and threw it away.

But it wasn't always this way. The Captain America I read as a kid was a Kirby super-hero! That meant he stood for truth and justice, not trash-talking and revenge. And he was always the underdog in those stories, always taking a pounding and always struggling against impossible odds to show how anyone with will and determination could find a way to triumph against oppression and injustice. He didn't kill any one. He fought fascists. What more can I say? It was good adventure stuff for a kid to read and grow up on.


Chris Arrant said...

Captain America's a hard character to write, but done well it can be really engaging. Love the drawing!

Richard Mitchelson said...

Great Blog, Love the Drawings they are really fantastic. Shame WE don't have a captain England! fighting for Beer, Birds and more Beer (BURP!)

leland wong said...

I haven't read a recent capt. america, but I did in the 60's. When they found him again...i forgot..was it in an iceberg? i read somewhere that his side kick bucky was gay. so was robin and batman. the best story I remember was the battle with the red skull for the cosmic cube. still got those comics in the garage too.


old school cap is cap new cap is a joke. love the drawing

Michael said...

And don't forget the Red Skull! That was the reason I was always drawn to Cap when I was a kid.

My friends tell me they've "re-imagined" him into a more appropriate patriotic nutjob in recent Marvel comics.

Great blog!

Jeff Durham said...

Mmm. More classic Marvel. Keep going!

Mike Thompson said...

Nice job, Michael! Personally, I love what Steve Epting and Ed Brubaker are doing with Cap right now. I'm not a fan of the Ultimate Cap at all.

reboundicon said...

amazing work...its nice to see that there are still jack kirby fans as big as you out there...great job on the ink work over Kirby's pencils!

j. said...

That's fantastic, Mike. It looks like a screen print


Rich Faber said...

Hi Mike,

I love this one! Have you ever shown your process on the blog? I'm curious how you choose what to ink as black, and what to color. I love the way you let the color complete the outlines, where the black leaves off... if that makes any sense. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I dig your use of negative space, as well as the way you use color as form.

Hmmm, I'm not sure if that made sense either. Anyway, how do you make these pretty pictures? ;-)

Hey, also, I finally started my own illustration blog (and linked yours there!). I only have a few posts, including a report on Free Comic Book Day, but I hope you'll check it out:



Chris Battle said...

Really nice work, Mickael! Love all the 2-color Marvel pieces. Incidentally, Iron Man was my favorite as a kid, too.

m cho said...

Thanks, everybody! Glad you all like Cap as much as I do.

Rich Faber -- Hey, Rich! I'm not really good at talking about process, but when it comes to the 2 colour stuff, I try to concentrate on rendering the shadows cast by light and eliminating redundant lines. I find doing tha takes care of most of the drawing.

If you're really interested, you should check out the work of Roy Crane, Noel Sickles and Frank Robbins -- those were the guys I learned from.

JohnRaygun said...


Oh, how many times have I wanted to do the exact same thing to Ultimate Captain America... it's a shame they even let him have that name. But if they ever do an Ultimate MODOK I might have to check it out... awesome work Mike!

Jack Napier said...

Nacionalisms and patriotism are the idelogoy of fascism.
Before the third WW in Europe grew up fascism and in U.S.A it take other shapes like the "american way of life".
Un saludo.