Finder's Keepers
Name: Garth Cameron Graham
Email: FK@gcgstudios.com
Website: GCGStudios.com
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Technical Difficulties

November 15th, 2011

Hey guys.  Well, there was kinda supposed to be a comic up today.  Or at very least more superhero art here in the blog.  Unfortunately, Alice, my work computer, is having some technical difficulties.  She’s… forgotten how my tablet is supposed to work, and I new drivers don’t do anything to fix the issue.  Furthermore, instead of rebooting or powering down like she ought to, she takes forever to shut down and ultimately crashes due to a DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE.  When she’s on she works, but is fairly useless for arting purposes.  I’m doing my best to get her working properly again.  This may result in a complete re-install if not hardware replacement.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience.  I’ll keep you all posted as best I can.

Sexy Man of Steel

November 10th, 2011

So let’s start our sexy superhero study with the harder subject:  Superman.

Superman is truly one of the most iconic superheros ever created, so iconic even that he is one of the very few characters who has totally failed to have any significant costume change stick for any prolonged period of time.  Here I present to you Supe’s new sexy duds.  I think he’s looking pretty sharp.  How about you?  Would you endanger yourself to have him “rescue” you?

So why’d I make the changes I made?  Let us investigate.

Starting with our basic superman build, we’re in luck as he’s pretty sexy all by himself.  But he can’t be running around in the buff, so we’re going to attempt to emphasize all the bits that make him a total stud.  The sexiest part of the male figure is the torso and arms.  Ask anyone who’s into guys, they’ll confirm this with rare exception.  Furthermore, it is the trapezoidal shapes that are considered the hottest:  the broad shoulders and wide chest tapering to a narrow waist.  A shape which is also frequently repeated in the face:  cheekbones to chin.

So to emphasize those broad shoulders, we take the Superman S and extend clear to his shoulders.  We use a ribbing texture and a darker blue color on his sides to visually diminish his waist and show off his abdominal core which is a part of the body that is considered sexy in both genders.  The red shorts are too iconic to not keep, but we give them a sexier lower-rise, and mimic the downward angles used in the Superman S.  For visual consistency, we repeat that angle in the tops of his boots.  Nothing’s sexier than looking slightly undressed, so we keep his arms bare, keep his collar low and open at the throat, and we give his boots a little bulk.  Instead of the traditional neck or shoulder cape, we throw it over his shoulders, clasped with a Superman shield emblem to give him the look of a dashing rogue.

And there you have it:  Superman at his sexiest.  An outfit clearly designed for sex appeal, but hardly demeaning to the character.  Up next:  Supergirl.

Pants or No Pants?

November 1st, 2011

No comic this week folks.  I’ve been swamped in paid work and some big social obligations have eaten up my time.  However, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about some things, and so I’m going to share them with you for whatever they’re worth.

Something I’ve been noticing a lot lately is criticism of female superheroes, how they’re written, how they’re dressed, and a lot of the criticism bothers me.  Some of its legit criticism, and some of its just plain stupid.  Most of the complaining, ironically, seems to come from men.  While the whole re-writing of Starfire’s polyamorous alien culture of love and emotion into a cold and detached “no man owns me” frat-boy-esque get your rocks off wherever you feel is just flat out disgusting and bad writing, whether or not Wonder Woman’s pants or lack there of is sexist is just ridiculous.

Let us be clear about something regarding superheroes:  they are ridiculous.  They are larger than life, smarter, stronger, and better people than any of us.  They are ideals for us to live up to.  They are symbols.  Icons.  But they are ridiculous and extreme.  They wear flashy costumes, dress in symbols and capes, and their vigilantism is utterly ridiculous.  Real crimefighters would never dress or act like any superhero even if they did have super powers.  So let us move beyond arguments like “it’s not practical for her to have bare legs.”

Superheroes should be sexy.  They are idolized versions of human beings, why should they not be sexy?  Should our perfect versions not be strong, smart, competent, and beautiful?  If the answer is “no, they shouldn’t,” you clearly need to read something other than superhero comics.  Because I think you’re missing the point.

However, what is attractive about and for men is not the same for women.  While a woman looks good in a cocktail dress, a man does NOT look good in the same dress, even when it fits him.  Contrariwise, a suit that looks right sharp on a man does not flatter a woman.  Simple truth.  But just so we’re clear, just because outfits and costumes for men and women are different, does not excuse some designs which are beyond ridiculous and surpass bad design and delve into poor taste.  The kind of taste you find in sleazy strip clubs.

So how do you design a super hero costume that is sexy, but not sexist?  I’m gonna show you!  Over the next week, I’m going to take two of our most iconic superheroes, one man, and one woman, and design sexy costumes for them that are not degrading but empowering.  More-over I’ll explain the principles behind and reasons for my design choices.

Stay tuned.

Updates!

October 11th, 2011

First off I’d like to thank all of you who sent me letters during my little breakdown there, letting me know how much you guys enjoyed the comic.  They really meant a lot to me.  Thank you.  I’m doing my best to keep this sucker rolling, and I feel I’ve faltered in that largely due to projected goals and deadlines being pushed back time and time and time again.  Sometimes I had a hand in that, sometimes there was nothing I could do.  Regardless, it’s bummed me out over the course of the last… six months?  Longer?  Hard to say anymore.  Regardless!  I’m updating again, and I’ll continue updating as often as I can!

Being all introspective and what not, I’ve realized I’m not really a comic artist.  I’m an artist/illustrator/whatever you want to call it who happens to do a comic in his spare time.  That’s right, I actually have a day job.  Well, sort of.  Not in the 9-5 sense, but in the sense of that’s how I keep a roof over my head and keep the comic updating as best I can.  It’s a strange realization for me.  Maybe not for anyone else, but for me, it’s interesting to see myself in that light.  I mention this mostly because, at long last you can now acquire a large selection of my artwork in MULTIPLE SIZES!  In addition to the jumbo 16×20″ prints, my art can now be purchased online in the more space-saving 10×13″ and 8×10″ sizes!  Huzzah!

I also have a number of new T-shirt designs available for pre-order.  Now you don’t have to track me down at a convention to find the wall-art you’re looking for.  Not that I’d ever discourage you from trying to find me at a convention.  Speaking of, my last convention of the year is going to be Nekocon, the first weekend of November.  I’ll be running some awesome panels, and it should be a blast!  I hope to see at least some of you guys there!

Time for an Intervention!

September 16th, 2011

Well folks, sad to say FK is going to have to be on hiatus until next Friday.  I’m having to take some time away from the comic to work on some other projects.  Yeah, I apparently go crazy a lot faster than I thought I would.  Ah well.  Good cliffhanger, right?

This weekend I’ll be in rockville at Intervention!  Gonna rock it out with a little art fight, a bunch of awesome panels, including one where I’m gonna bring up Comedity, my previous comic which I haven’t talked about seriously in a long while.  If you’re in the area, you should come down.  It’s a great show!

More updates as they happen!

Under Construction

August 24th, 2011

It may not look like it just now, but the ENTIRE WEBSITE is currently under construction.  Unfortunately, like those guys you see on the side of the road, it’s taking longer than anticipated.  Originally the new site was supposed to go live Tuesday and everything would be rolling along unimpeded.  Unfortunately, my coding team is in the middle of a family emergency right now, and so it’s looking like the new site will go live on the 2nd.  My apologies to you guys for whatever disruptions this may have caused in your regular reading cycle.  If you guys could do me a big favor and send some good vibes/prayers/whatever toward my code team, it’d mean a lot to me and to them.  Life has this terrible reputation for being a bitch at the best of times.  God knows we all could use a few warm wishes now and again.

In less dire news, Baltimore Comic Con was amazing last weekend!  Thank you to everyone who came by my table and stopped to talk with me.  I really do like comicbook conventions and I think I’m going to have to add more of them to my normally anime-heavy con circuit next year.  Which reminds me, the every amazing Intervention Con is coming up in about a month!  Last year it happened on the same weekend as SPX but still managed to be an excellent show, ESPECIALLY for a first year con.  I’m lead to believe they’re running out of space already, so you’d better act fast if you haven’t already.  Oh, and it looks like I’ll be crashing into the deep south for the first time in a long while with Anime Weekend Atlanta in a few months.  That’ll also be exciting!

And now I return to work.  I have SO much to draw.

This Weeekend in Baltimore

August 17th, 2011

For those of you who pay attention to the convention schedule listed to your Right –>

You already know that I’m going to be in Baltimore this weekend hob-knobing it up like I was a real comic artist!  But Garth, aren’t you a real comic artist?  ‘Course I am!  But this time I’ll be at a real comic convention!  Baltimore Comic Con was awesome last year and I’m very excited about being there again this year.  Not sure where to find me?  Check the map below!

Where I'm at!

 

Trees, oh God the Trees!

August 9th, 2011

I swear, from now on the comic will take place in empty 10 foot by 10 foot rooms.

Ota-KHAN!!!

August 1st, 2011

Well, today’s update is the page that I had ALMOST ready to post on Friday, but I had to leave for Baltimore’s OTAKON before I could finish.  That was more frustrating than you know.  However, the rest of the weekend went amazingly.  Thank you to everyone who stopped by my table and said “hi.”  It was good to see so many of you.  And for those of you who missed me, I’ll be returning to Baltimore shortly for Baltimore Comic Con!  And if you can’t make it to Baltimore there’s the extremely exciting Intervention coming up soon too.  As much as I love the big cons like Otakon and Comic Con, the cons I’m more involved with (like Intervention) are even more enjoyable.  I like running panels and being informative in ADDITION to all the usual meet-and-greet and commerce.

Something I’ve learned over the years going to cons and selling my art and comics:  if you’re an artist, don’t be in the dealers room.  Be in the artist alley.  Despite the differences between dealers rooms and alleys diminishing over the years as more and more artists start doing this kind of thing professionally, the two spaces remain vastly different.  And the people who walk through the rooms are very different with very different mindsets even when they’re the same person.  I’m not sure exactly how to explain this phenomenon, but suffice it to say there’s a difference.

I think with more and more alley’s cracking down on the rampant proliferation of fanart, people who visit artist alleys expect more unique pieces, more original works, less commercial.  Whatever the reason, I’ve found that people look for me in artist alleys.  My place is in the alley.  It’s where my people are.  Thank you for looking for me.

Captain America: Avengers Part I

July 22nd, 2011

I saw Captain America last night and I have to say it was a wonderful experience.  Phenomenal cast, exquisite performances by EVERYONE on screen, great sets, visuals, story, dialogue, the works.  I highly, highly, highly recommend this film.  It’s just such a wonderful pulpy slice of old-school American apple pie.  Steve Rogers (played brilliantly by Chris Evans) really manages to capture the American ideal without being hokey about it.  I have but two little criticisms of the film:  there wasn’t more of it, and the ending.

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