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The Line It Is Drawn #30 – Dwayne McDuffie Tribute

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The blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account. As an incentive to follow us, if we reach 3,000 followers, I’ll either do another extra edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed the week we hit 3,000 or I will do another Month of Greatest Stories Ever Told (your choice)!

Now on to the bit!

So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our SIX blog sketch artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post them here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the top six choices from the previous week.

To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 9:00 PM Pacific, Thursday, March 3rd).

Next week’s theme is…

As suggested by our own Daniel Irizarri, come up with scenarios where a current comic book characters meets up with him/herself when he/she first appeared. To wit, what would the current Batman react to purple gloves “carries a gun” Batman?

Read on for the six sketches that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

In honor of the late, great Dwayne McDuffie, team-up a comic book character with a creation of McDuffie’s, whether it be one of his many Milestone creations or one of his other characters, like Damage Control or his take on Deathlok

Enjoy!

I’ll put them in alphabetical order based on the name of the Twitter user who made the suggestion.

All copyright and trademarks of the following characters are held by their respective owners!

Mic’s piece will be around later in the week. Sean will fill-in today!

almostahermit suggested:

Milestone’s Hardware and DC’s Steel, in JLU animated style.

Sean McFarland is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

b_granderson suggested:

static and captain america, with static using his powers so static is flying on garbage can lid and cap is flying on his shield

Chaz Folgar is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

b_granderson suggested:

rocket and static team-up with batgirl and red robin

George Zapata is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

b_granderson suggested:

icon arm wrestling superman

and

static’s jaw drops as lightning (from the JSA – attractive lightning powered teenage girl) walks by

which Nick Perks combined into one piece. Here is Nick’s website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

BigMike20X6 suggested:

Static gets Thor’s hammer

Caanan Grall is the artist for this one. Here is his website

(click on the image to enlarge)

superbatgibson suggested:

Static and Spidey

Daniel Irizarri is the artist for this one. Here is his website. Daniel also wanted to remind people about the McDuffie tribute that Project Rooftop is doing, too. He submitted a re-design for Static. So look for that at Project Rooftop soon!

(click on the image to enlarge)

Thanks so much to all of the suggestion-givers and, of course, our awesome artists!

Now go make suggestions for next week’s theme!!

NOTE: If you wish to participate in March’s Reader Gallery, be sure to drop me an e-mail with a JPEG of your drawing (you can submit up to two drawings per month) by 3pm Pacific on Thursday, March 10th! Use any topic that has been featured on The Line It It Drawn (I’d prefer you use stuff from February’s editions, but I won’t hold you to that)!

41 Comments

Pete Woodhouse

March 2, 2011 at 5:42 am

Canaan – I like the Muppets band in the background and the Alex Toth-style lettering! Our family named our cat Zootar after Zoot (I was too young to know there was a musician called Zoot Money)!

Brian – superbatgibson suggestion should be something like: “Static teams up with Spidey”, it’s repeating the “Static gets Thor’s hammer” line from Canaan’s piece?

Nice work, all, but Canaan’s is my favorite. Great concept (Electric Mayhem!), great composition and I love the blacks in this.

I loved all of these, but come on people! There are more Milestone characters out there than just Static! Vary it up a little! ;)

Love it, all of these are awesome.
Canaan, love the Muppets cameo, beautifully done
And as for the static about Static, it’s the artists that pick the ideas they want to draw. I know I suggested a variety of characters other than Static myself.

Irrizari’s Spider-Man + Static gets the prize for funniest piece (and is also a great way to show how stereotyping is bad without sounding heavy-handed) but the best drawn this week, in my opinion, is Nick Perks’. (Btw, is it just me, or is Supergirl… wasted?)

Supergirl wasted? Nope, just high on good feelings! Imagine – super-heroes just enjoying each other’s company. At least, that’s what I was going for.

I actually like the idea of her being wasted! Even if that wasn’t the original intent, you should go back and draw in a bottle of liquor into her visible hand.

Whosoever wields the Hammer of Thor shall rock the ages.
Brilliant.

Man, Daniel, you almost always take top prize for me. If only all superhero comics were that bright and fun.

George, you continue to do awesome things with just two colours. I’m colourblind, so I’ll never have that sense of colour you have where you just pick the right stuff. Jealous!

Nick, I have no idea what your process is, (are these actually painted with gouache? or am I being tricked by the wizardry of computers again?) but I like it!

Static schooling Captain A – way to bring the tribute, Chaz!

And Sean, I love that your piece is all round like that! Like everything is made of bubbles – it’s so fluid, and organic, and it’s STEEL! Awesome technique.

Thanks Bill, Mike. Pete – that’s pretty much my regular handwriting, but thanks for the Toth comparison! Who’d turn that down? ;)

In the Marvel Universe, there are 100 words for “abandoned warehouse.” Like with Eskimos and snow.

Speaking of great creators dying, with the focus on Dwayne McDuffie, the fact that Boyd Kirkland also died seems to have flown underneath the radar:

http://www.comics101.com/comics101//?mode=project&action=view&project=Comics%20101&chapter=323

great entries everyone, and for the record this is actually the 30th feature of The Line It Is Drawn. so we’ve had two 29s in a row, just like women celebrating their 30th birthday. : )

this batch was awesome, and YES there was an excess of Static and I’m partially to blame but oh well! I’m glad some people have enjoyed mine (even though some others think spider-man should be an eskimo having snow-like knowledge of warehouses… or something.) No biggie! I’m actually really excited about my suggestion getting used for next week’s topic!

as for the entries, first of all, its great to see george’s art again! fantastic use of colors all around, and i wish i could limit my color palette like that AND have such great results, really! Sean’s piece REALLY kicked up the dynamic action on his piece! great colors, and great movement. love the posing on steel!

Chaz’s entry was awesome, just for having Static playing around with Cap. Love seeing Static in his original costume and you definitely made it work, man. on that note, Nick’s entry is just SO much fun. i love the interactions between the Milestone and JLA characters. there’s just so much character in all the expressions and gestures. great stuff.

Then Caanan brought that fantastic Static attitude, the cockiness that made us all love the character. I’m pretty sure he’d be worthy to wield the hammer, and if its hanging with the Electric Mayhem even MORE so. love the inclusion of the muppets in this piece! fantastic.

great week, guys.

Thanks for the number catch, Daniel! That’s the second time I’ve done that (Nick gave me a head’s up last time).

Oh and by the way, Nick, Love love LOVED your Squirrel Girl/JFK pic.

I always think of these things too late.

Someoen should have done Night Thrasher and Rocket Racer asking Static and Rocket where their skateboards were. :-(

The Static/Thor one wins for me, just with all the subtlties in it.

You know, I never understood McDuffie’s big beef with the black characters skateboarding thing. It was two characters in over 10 years. A WHOPPING TWO. There were plenty of instances of unwitting racism in Marvel’s history, but the black guy on skateboards thing never really seemed to be one of them. Also, the Rocket Racer was established as a scientific prodigy who designed his own equipment, plus Night Thrasher grew up wealthy, educated and privileged, not ghetto, and didn’t have any stereotypical speech inflections, so both defied stereotypes in their own ways. McDuffie’s memo talks about how both of them talk funny, but I don’t recall Night Thrasher doing so in any way.

Actually, Zoot was named for legendary saxophonist Zoot Sims, not keyboardist Zoot Money.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoot_Sims

I decided I liked Night Thrasher (well the name was strange) When he dropped Richard off the roof because it ‘should’ activate his Nova powers and he got Angelica to attack him.

Actually bought two Clicks on e-bay of him, one to mod, one just for the way he looked.

“I decided I liked Night Thrasher (well the name was strange) When he dropped Richard off the roof because it ‘should’ activate his Nova powers”

I always wanted to see a “What If?” universe where that didn’t work.

@T.
I think McDuffie was upset about Night Thrasher and Rocket Racer because they were similar, not so much because they were riding on skate boards. At the end of the day they were just 2 black buys on skate boards that made their first appearances just a couple of months from one another. He probably just wanted some originality.

It might have been an editorial snafu to have 2 characters that were so similar appear in a couple of months of each other, but I could understand why McDuffeie would be upset at that as well cause it probably showed that editorial or even the company as a whole could care less about whether they were alike or not. Kinda like that whole thing that “every (insert your minority or any ethnicity or race) are alike anyway.”

Remember, Marvel is the same company that had someone tell Todd McFarlane (and other Image Founders) that the company could “Always find other people to pick the cotton.” In reference to the departure of McFarlane and the other founders.

If that was the attitude, it doesn’t make their negligent attitude toward 2 similar Afircan American characters very surprising, and McDuffie’s reaction to that doesn’t surprise me either.

Anybody else notice that most of the artists liked Static’s original costume as opposed to his cartoony one? Gotta admit I prefer the original comic book costume too.

Take notice DC, the fans have spoken! Break back the the black costume with the lightning bolt crashing through it!

At the end of the day they were just 2 black buys on skate boards that made their first appearances just a couple of months from one another.

No they weren’t. Rocket Racer first appeared in 1977. Night Thrasher appeared in 1989, twelve years later.

uhmmm,,,what’s up with Supermans butt in the arm wrestling picture? He looks like he’s wearing Powergirls bra on the back of his pants.

Ha ha! If you’re gonna arm wrestle, you have got to CLENCH!

A man can have a rump TOO, you know!

Is there some reason Caanan is not working professionally? I would write for him in a heartbeat. Good work by all, I always find nits to pick with this or that work but you are doing this for my (and our) entertainment unpaid. Thanks for that, the comments are always a fun read too!

Kudos to the artists involved…great work all around and it helped me get over my mourning….

T it wasn’t so much about Night Thrasher and Rocket Racer in my opinion, I think what McDuffie was trying to say was that creators could use some originality and research when it comes to debuting ethnic characters. He wanted to avoid the same traits being used for them over, and over, and over. If you go back to 89 and think of the black characters introduced at the big two companies at the time, how many of them were distinct personality and trait wise from each other?

Heavy-Handed on the point? Maybe… but it really did need to be said and in retrospect, the diversity for not just black characters but ethnic characters today do owe a lot to that memo…

Carlos Futino

March 3, 2011 at 4:23 am

@bad-trotsky,

Caanan has a web-comic on his site and has written and drawn a fantastic comic throguh DC’s Zuda imprint called Celadore. Thus, he does have some professional work under his belt.

Good job everyone! I made a more detailed, longer post yesterday…. but the internet ate it.

Daryll:

I totally agree about the atrocious treatment of black comic characters by the big 2 companies, with a lot of their stereotypical traits. It’s a totally valid point. I’m just saying he could have chosen 2 better characters as examples, especially Night Thrasher who wasn’t stereotypically black in any way.

With all due respect to the recently departed, I agree with T.

McDuffie was way off base. Night Thrasher was actually one of the few black superheroes that were never defined by race. His race was never a plot point, as far as I can remember. He was the leader of his team too, and it never seemed like affirmative action, it just fit.

He had very few or no stereotypical traits. The only one I can remember is that he was an angry man. But he was inspired by Batman, angry because he lost his millionaire parents, not because whitey made life hard for him.

By the way, the New Warriors had a great team dynamic. Just like the JLI. I feel sad that creators don’t take advantage of this stuff, just because it debuted after the 1970s.

Thanks for the correction T. And I totally agree with you Daryll. It had nothing to do with them being stereotypical. It had to do with them having similar traits, once again, two black superheroes on skateboards.

Once again goes back to the negligence and the small amount of attention the companies showed their minority characters, which shows they were really neglected more than even second tier characters, probably even more so than some 3rd tier characters.

That being said, just look at what Bendis has done with Cage. He took an African American character that bordered on laughable and pretty badass to presently just badass. It’s good that instead of creating a character like Cage or a different minority character, Bendis has chosen to work with a pre-existing one and making him more established. Too bad he’s the only one.

That being said, once again I agree with Daryll, that thankfully McDuffie spoke up. And eventually did something about it founding Milestone.

Pete Woodhouse

March 3, 2011 at 10:13 am

@ acespot, re: Zoot Sims:-
LOL !
Perhaps I should amend my original post to: “I was too young to know there was a musician called Zoot Money – and still not old or wise enough to know there was a musician called Zoot Sims”!

Still, Muppets band ARE cool dudes. Loved the Keith Moon-like (or insert other ‘wild drummer’ stereotype here) Animal.

Terrific stuff. This is a really nice tribute.

“Night Thrasher was actually one of the few black superheroes that were never defined by race. His race was never a plot point, as far as I can remember. “

As I recall, the closest Night Thrasher ever got to a race-related plot point was when he changed his costume. In-character, he did so because a young boy accused him of hiding the fact he was black with his full face mask.

Theno

Bad Carlos you provided no links! :D

Trotsky, the link to Canaan Grall’s webcomic is linked with the art piece, as it is every week.
http://www.occasionalcomics.com

I did scroll up and find that.

As I recall, the closest Night Thrasher ever got to a race-related plot point was when he changed his costume. In-character, he did so because a young boy accused him of hiding the fact he was black with his full face mask.

Interesting. I wonder if this was around the time that the ‘Northstar is gay’ issue came out.

There’s a comic book legend bit. The Northstar comes out issue was approved by the CC, but one of the issues of Darkhold talking about Victoria and her partner wasn’t. I’ve always wondered why the later…

And yes, a ‘what if Night Thrasher’s plans went wrong’ issue would be funny.

I miss Thrash and Sillouette.

Guys, thanks for the responses…. and interestingly enough Livewire, this debate has re-sparked my desire to get more New Warriors collected editions….Sphinx Avengers Timeline, Time and Time Again, and the whole Folding Circle Saga….

Hello Marvel???

Sup guys? Just read the article on Dwayne’s ECCC memorial panel…

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=31189

… and it hit me all over again.

Thank you very much for making these beautiful pieces. This is a wonderful tribute.

Peace.

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