Sunday, November 23, 2008

U Go Girl

Here's two drawings of U Go Girl -- a superheroine I drew for a commission.  I had actually never heard of this character before, so the client even had to send me some reference, since I knew nothing about the comics she appeared in (even though they were created by the fabulously talented Mike Allred).

Anyway, because of my lack of any connection to the character, I had a bit of a tough time coming up with a drawing.  I tried to think up an action pose but not knowing much about her made that difficult.  I knew her super-power was teleportation, but what was that like? Did she just pop in and out of space?  Did she disappear in a blue cloud and a "bamf!" sound effect?  After a bit of thinking, I settled on trying to create a quiet drawing of her, in a contemplative mode (as had been shown in a couple of the reference samples).   For what its worth, I'll outline a bit of my process in coming up with the final drawings below.

First, I did a quick colour thumbnail in marker, which I thought was alright, but pretty dull: 

But the thumbnail did get me thinking about one of my favourite paintings, "the Voice" by Edvard Munch:

  I've loved that painting since I was a teen -- the quiet serenity of that piece is so evocative to me.   So, inspired by that memory, I sat down and did these two pencil sketches:

I couldn't decide which one I liked better, so I decided to ink and tone-up both of them and let the client pick which one he preferred.  The client eventually went with the blue one on the left, so I still have the other one, and I'll probably keep it to sell at a convention or show some time in the future.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time I've been inspired by Edvard Munch's paintings.  I often do subtle riffs on his work, as you can see in this previous post.


Eric Orchard said...

These are all amazing! Great take on the character. funny, I don't know her either. Love the melancholy blue palette.

Mark said...

Sounds like y'all could do worse than read Pete Milligan & Mike Allred's X-STATIX. It was one of those great little comics that still occasionally sneak through at the House Of Bland.

Cadwell said...

Great commission! Milligan and Allred's mutants are some of my favourite superhero characters, especially the sassy U-Go Girl.

Tim Baron said...

Great work. They're both beautiful.
Love the subconscious Munch inspiration.

There's something cool about putting a spandex bound superhero in a nature scene like this. Very different, very cool.

Jason Chalker said...

Very nice Mike. I enjoyed Alred's off-beat run on X-Force/X-Statics. I'm surprised he didn't pony up and get both. I probably would've. :)

Jon McNally said...

Aw, it's Edie! Loving these results of your graphical riff, Michael.

Michael Cho said...

Eric: thanks, buddy. I liked the blue better myself.

Mark: Yeah, I've heard from reliable sources that its a good book. I'll definitely have to add it to the pile of Comics I Must Read When I Have More Free Time.

Cadwell: Thanks, buddy.

Tim: thanks, Tim. I kinda like the idea of superheroes in really serene evironments, myself. Maybe I'll do a "Lobo on the Mediterranean" sometime...not.

Jason: thanks, Jason. Hey, the economy is TOUGH.

Jon: aww...thanks, Jon! Is U Go Girl's name Edie, btw? As in Sedgwick?? If so, I wish I knew before hand...hell, that woulda pushed my drawing in a whole other direction!!

alan said...

Great couple-a posts. The last 'interactive game' post reminded me of Clowes. I think I favour the blue version in this post. Very interested to see the subtle influence of Munch. Great to see the prelims too.

brian said...

I'll second the notion that Milligan and Allred's X-Force/X-Statix is a great book. Definitely give it a read.
Her power being teleportation, I had originally viewed the two pieces as one. Her moving from one place to another. That would've been interesting, with a shared horizon line and the moon split between panels. Just a thought.
That said, each is a beatiful piece in it's own right. Love the juxtaposition of a costumed character with the quite still lake. A little haunting, like the Munch piece. Great stuff.

Michael Cho said...

Oh geez...that's a GREAT idea, Brian. I wish I'd thought of that before I drew the final! That would have been PERFECT. I'm gonna run all my thumbnails past you first.

Simon Scales said...

Hey Michael - some great stuff here mate - ill keep checking back

Michael Cho said...

Thanks, Simon.

Aparna said...

very beautiful drawings