Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mister Dog and Lord Baltimore

I love Mike Mignola. I don't know how he would feel to hear a man in his twenties express such a sentiment, but it's true on a professional level. I adore every scratch of artwork the man has ever created, and his writing is top-notch. I crib his work all the time, although I of course rely much more heavily on linework than his ornately crafted deep shadows and brilliantly simple colors.

So I'll periodically take out a handful of books he drew--Hellboy, BPRD, The Amazing Screw-on Head--and I'll just copy out particularly striking figures or devices, just to get them into my head. My patchwork of disjointed shapes sometime even resemble the object he was drawing.

Mr. Dog: a taxidermied dog under glass that can apparently locate anything in the world. Or possibly just Emperor Zombie. I don't know and it doesn't matter. It's just one of the many cool props that came out of The Amazing Screw-On Head. I have a few more screwdles planned from this book, just fun exercises in prop design. I don't really like how it came out: Mr. Dog is too short, the little doodad on the side is too small.... but eh, that's what these exercises are for.

Lord Baltimore is a peg-legged vampire hunter, and this screwdle from the cover of The Plague Ships tries to capture  some more of Mike's magnificent style. He draws these great heavy figures, these guys who look really solid. Obviously, those complicated belts weighed down with daggers and hammers and pouches informs my belt lust. But before accusations of Liefeld's Syndrome start flying, note that all this stuff is hanging near the waist and supported by multiple shoulder straps. Yeah, it's a lot of stuff and it would probably be really uncomfortable and heavy to carry, but at least it's not an outfit that would require Baltimore to ride around on an imaginary horse.

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