DD brings Evel Knievel to tears

Daredevil vs Evel Knievel

DD brings Evel Knievel to tears

Back from Sin City, where it’s all about entertainment, I am pleased to post RachaelW’s Daredevil submission for the Week 15 Superhero Throwdown Challenge.


Rogue shows Wolverine some Southern Hospitality

Rogue buries her finger in Wolvie's chest.

I told you we’re back. Another Superhero Throwdown regular, Rachael W., weighs in this week’s challenge with this sweet submission.


An experiment with four Copic Markers and more of an outlined style, then edited in Photoshop. I often have to restrain myself from saying this phrase on a daily basis to the important people in my life.

Make sure you check her own design site, RachaelWDesign. You won’t be disappointed.


Week 17

So WTF with all the Vampire craze (again) lately?  I mean really, for the previous … I don’t know … 5 years it’s been all about the swashbuckling Pirates and their Wenches. And now pop-culture seems to have turned back to all-things Vampire.

Okay, so maybe it has to do with the whole Twilight series; with tween-agers and EMO kids alike wallowing in the angst of wanting to be someone they can never be. Now this is when the 80’s Goth chick in me thinks, get a life!!

Don’t get me wrong, I did like reading the Twilight series and I’ve been enjoying the movies (as – ahem – eye candy … ?). But tell me, how does the series fit in with the rest of Vampire lore? With the Anne Rice books? With the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series (not the movie … ugh!)? With Blade?

And so it’s with such ponderings and discussions   after watching New Moon yesterday, I’ve decided to issue a challenge on Vampire Slayers.

“There are worse things out tonight than vampires. Like me.”
— Blade

So along with my discussion of all things Vampire with tydesignlabs, the topic naturally led to some of our other favorite Vampire-related characters. Which of course led to the discussion of whether or not they would be considered “Superheroes.”

Blade, of course, was considered a “Superhero.” At least by tydesignlabs‘ standards. And I agreed with him. I mean, he was after all, created in the Marvel World.

But Buffy … well, that’s where we differ. tydesignlabs claims that she is “technically” not a Superhero. Whereas, I do.

“Can a vampire ever be a good person? Couldn’t it happen?” — Buffy

And since I’m the Commish, I get to talk about why I think Buffy could be considered for a commissioned drawing under Superhero Throwdown standards. First of all, Buffy is considered “The Chosen One;” a slayer for every generation to defeat vampires and demons.  And because of that she has been gifted with extraordinary strength and skills that no “normal” human has.

By definition, isn’t that what a superhero is? A person with extraordinary skills dedicated to protecting humans from evil?

Y’all can choose to debate the issue further (feel free to comment below about your thoughts on the matter) … but I’m the Commish, so I get to say what the next challenge is.

And that challenge is to draw either Blade or Buffy. Or heck, if you want to … you could draw both. In one scene. (Yeah … I like the sound of that. But either scenario would do.)

Because right now, I think I’m totally on Vampire-overdose … and could stand to see a Vampire Hunter and/or Slayer in action!

Thanks to my BIL for finding this image. I laughed. So. Hard!


Dare to be a different devil


As The Commish revealed in the  new Week 16 Challenge Rogue, I indeed spilled coffee on my Daredevil. So what you’re viewing is actually take 2. Now typically I have gone into long diatribes about my sketches, hoping that people find it insightful, but this week I think I’m going to keep it brief. Mainly, I’d like to see if that encourages people to critique more if I don’t point out everything I see in my own work. I will say this however, is that in the weeks since we’ve progressed I’ve explored different drawing styles to see what best suits me. I think this week’s drawing and last week’s of Spider-man, are approaching to being something more natural for me. It’s very rough in feel and tone, which is more natural for me since I tend to search for the correct form and composition a lot. In fact, it’s what I appreciate about Alex Maleev’s work.

So give it your best shot, tell me something I don’t know about my Daredevil drawing ;).


Week 16

So I’m sitting here on a Saturday night at the Border’s Bookstore in Evanston, taking advantage of the free WiFi they’ve begun to offer at all stores. Smart move, if you ask me … as I’m sure that I’ll end up spending lots of $$ alone at the Seattle’s Best cafe here.

Across from me sits tydesignlabs working diligently on his Week 15 challenge. He had been on a roll after last weekend until midweek, when the Big BANG! Explosion happened. Then he had to put his sketching utensils aside in favor for his MacBook Pro.

And now … well, disaster just hit as a Cup o’Joe spilled over onto his drawing. Yeah, so not cool. Let’s hope he manages to pull it out on time for the deadline at midnight Sunday night.

Okay, so enough pillow talk. Let’s get on with the challenge:


Ah dare not touch someone, less Ah absorb their powers and memories, Sugah …

I think I may have said this in a previous post, but I started reading X Men at the urging of tydesignlabs, back when we were just broke college students (as opposed to just plain broke, like we are now).

Along with Wolverine, I’d have to say that Rogue was another one of my all-time favorite characters. I loved that she was this super-strong woman that could kick some serious a$$ (and fly!!), all with this awesome southern drawwwwl. Because really, other than Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman, I had no other female “superhero” role model to look up to while growing up in the 80’s.

Oh sure, there were strong-willed/strong-minded role models at the time, but none really had the super-strength that the previous two “super-heroines” did. Unless you count Helen Slater as Supergirl, but then my brain ultimately always gravitates to an image of her as the short-haired girl screaming “Fair is fair!”

So reading about Rogue and her super-abilities was quite refreshing. I only wish I discovered her earlier in my life. Like in high school where I would have related to Rogue’s feeling of just wanting to be normal, yet also wanting to embrace her uniqueness. Of knowing the consequences  of physically touching another person, and of how lonely it could be not to be able to be close to someone. Of realizing how strong she really is (both physically and emotionally) and how she shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to show and utilize all her strengths.

Stretch Hulk

Seriously, peeps. This was the Commish's favorite "doll" when she was little!

Seriously, what young tween-age girl wouldn’t look up to that? Okay … maybe not that many. I am, after all, the adolescent girl that went around carrying an Incredible “Stretch” Hulk as my favorite toy for many years …

Anyhoo … this week’s challenge is obviously Rogue. But here’s the kicker … the adolescent/tween-age Commish would absolutely love to see Rogue alongside one of her numerous love interests. It could be Magneto, Iceman, or even Wolverine. Or how about the first boy she ever kissed, Cody Robbins?

Or hey … how about Gambit? And it’s not just because the two of them together have always been the Commish’s favorite couple.

As Jeremy would say, “I’m just sayin’ …”


Week 15

So yeah; it’s the Commish. Long time no write. I could make up tons of excuses for being absent for a period of time, but why bother? Besides, as tydesignlabs so eloquently stated … It’s a brand new day.

So with this brand new day, it’s time for a brand new challenge.

I must confess that my two favorite fanboys knew what the next challenge was about two weeks ago. tydesignlabs and myself were back in the Motor City for what would turn out to be a horrible college football game (read: we lost) in Ann Arbor. And of course, that meant we just had to meet up with Jay at our favorite local tavern.

And after being badgered and beleaguered about the lack of activity on Superhero Throwdown, I finally gave in and threw them the next challenge. Of course, I’m only getting around to posting it here today … but hey, at least it’s a start.

And now … the Challenge.

I am judge, jury and executioner.


Spurred by having to come up with a Superhero for my two fanboys to draw (and the rest of y’all as well, of course), the first one that came to mind was Daredevil.

Now I’m not sure if I just pulled that particular character out of thin air. Or if the fact that I had just seen  Armageddon on TV over the past week and somehow associated watching Ben Affleck in that movie with Ben Affleck in Daredevil*. But regardless of the fact, I just liked the idea of throwing Daredevil out there to draw.

I admit that I didn’t know too much about Daredevil before watching the ill-fated Marvel movie. So, in fine “world wide web” manner, I wiki’d him. Sad to say, despite finding out that Daredevil’s original costume was yellow (WTF?!), there wasn’t too much more that I didn’t already know from watching the movie.

But what I did know was that I always liked the idea of a blind superhero fighting for justice. Make that a blind lawyer superhero who fought for justice. I mean really, the whole vigilante justice and “justice is blind” thing is such a sharp double entendre.

So yes; drawing Daredevil is your next mission, if you should choose to accept.

And hmmm …. I guess this means I need to be coming up with more challenges for the upcoming weeks.


*Wrong, in so many levels … but I confess, I did like his cheesy character in Armageddon.


A Brand New Day


Yes, True Believers (the few of you that remain), I am, despite erroneous and exaggerated rumors to the contrary, very much alive. Some of you have forgotten my secret identity (through no fault of mine) and have opted to believe in the demise of Superhero Throwdown—done and buried, abandoned to a blog wasteland—but that is not the case! Fear not, devoted ones, we are back and still standing.

Now, I could give you a long-winded and long winding explanation compiled of half truths and lies, but why bother? Would you really care? I think not! So, without further adieu, I post my latest offering, in the hopes of A Brand New Day.

P.S. If you are wondering what happened in the weeks following our last post on July 19, I say don’t ask and don’t tell—it is afterall, just One More Day. Plus, most of us, would prefer not to be visited by Mephisto.



Much like my mythical sketch for the Week 9 Superhero Throwdown Challenge, Superman, my Spidey threatened to take the skies and swing away. Spidey is the Marvel iconic equivalent to DC’s Man of Steel and, therefore, you have to capture his ‘spidey’-ness if you will. There must be grace, fluidity, power and an inhuman flexibility to his poses. These are just characteristics that any avid, self-respecting Superhero Throwdown combatant must bring to the arena.

So why was it a challenge? Well, much like my Superman, it has to do with environment and perspective. In theory, I understand perspective very well—it suits my logical half. In practice, however, there are unforeseen secrets that I have not uncovered in any guide. You are, afterall, limited to the page, and the vanishing points often exist beyond these boundaries. So how do you draw lines on the page to points that you need to place off the page?

What are vanishing points? They are the points that all linear building lines converge toward and disappear to off in the distance. Now, without getting into a detailed perspective tutorial (there are many web resources, here’s one),  here are the points you need to know as it relates to this sketch: lines vanish off to a right vanishing point and a left one as well. You, the viewer, are above and can see the rooftops of shorter buildings. My perspective isn’t perfect and though it adds to the overall drawing, it also isn’t completely right (I’ll leave you to figure that out for yourself).

Spidey not only has villans like the Green Goblin that plague him, but he has J. Jonah Jameson, the current mayor of New York City. If Jameson is a thorn in Spidey’s side then the Goblin is obviously the stake—or is it a H.A.M.M.E.R.? Eitherway, a typical day in the life of Peter Parker wouldn’t be complete without multiple problems. I chose to depict not only Spidey dodging pumpkin bombs, but having the ever present Mayor Jameson shown on a billboard.

The handdrawn Jameson type is a bit tricky. Admittedly not being a typographer, it looks off to me. Even though I tried to draw it in perspective, it seems to come forward and off the billboard as The Commish rightly pointed out. This could have been due to the dark outlines surrounding the letterforms, but probably has more to do with the letter shapes themselves. In today’s modern world, this would be cleaner if this was typeset on the computer. Additionally, much of the shading that I’ve done here to help with the overall composition would be separated better with digital color.

Overall, I like the way the composition works—the lights and dark values that permeate throughout the image. A good colorist would solve the problem area around Spidey’s head, where I’ve drawn his spidersense and it blends with the background a bit. I do like how Jameson’s billboard is flat on the building, but he seems to be glaring over at Spidey, saying: “You’re a menace to this city.”

Now for the man of the hour…Spider-man! Not having drawn Spidey in ages, I am quite pleased that I’ve captured him well in motion. I wanted to exaggerate the bend in his back a bit and actually had him leaning far more forward with his rib cage impossibly jutting out. Thanks to our other Superhero Throwdown combatant, Jay, for pointing out that it looked a bit strange. He was right! I took the rib cage in a bit more and simplified the shading so it didn’t look so unnatural.

Is that the end? You bet. Until next week. (And yes, there is a next week.)

So please leave comments, this site works best with feedback.

And look for another challenge folks. Pugilists dust off your pencils and get ready, SUPERHERO THROWDOWN IS BACK!