Thursday, May 29, 2008

Doctor Fate meets Doctor Strange

Ok, I drew this for a commission that was really, really late. I was asked to draw Doctor Fate, and threw in Doctor Strange as well, 'cause I thought they'd make a cool combo. I grew up reading those Ditko Dr Strange comics (and need I say I loved them?), but I never really read anything with Doctor Fate until about a year ago when my buddy, Steve Manale, pointed out the original golden age stories featuring the bell-headed guy. Steve is rarely wrong about his comic recommendations and he was certainly on the money in this case. The original Doctor Fate stories from the 1940's by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman are pure gold.

Fox was apparently just a teen when he wrote them, and hadn't yet descended into the lower circles of demented hackery he'd hit by the time he got to the silver age DC heroes in the 1960's (I swear, that man's later work is unreadable). He filled those early stories with a kind of schoolboy-meets-lovecraft vibe that's really charming in its primitivism. And Howard Sherman's art was my kind of crazy -- bizarre and yet possessing a strange logic and accidental beauty all its own. The stuff just crackles with the raw energy found in the best golden-age comics.

Anyway, for those interested, you can check out the Doctor Fate Archives hardcover collection from DC and see for yourself. And if you want to check out my rough pencil sketch for this drawing, you can do so by pointing your eyes just a little lower.