This month PoP!ulation member Joshua shares his sketch collection with us. He’s chosen to focus on DC’s scared and surly bounty hunter Jonah Hex. Joshua is not short on stories when it comes to his sketches and the artist who drew them.
I got into collecting sketches by basically just attending conventions. I initially would go for panels, comic signings, and merch, but over the years got bored with all of that while gaining more and more interest in art with every con. It’s the only reason, aside from seeing friends, I go to conventions now. It’s a fun hobby that is as cheap or expensive as I want to make it, and I’ve got something completely original to show for it. It’s a lot of fun to share my sketchbooks with other art fans and comic creators. My reasons for starting a Jonah Hex theme book were three-fold:
1.) He’s arguably my favorite comic book character, possibly second only to Batman.
2.) It’s a character I don’t think a lot of people get drawn.
3.) He’s got such a distinctive look that I can get free head sketches and still get an awesome drawing, unlike a character like Superman where a head sketch equals “guys with spit curl” so you always want to get a full-body, which gets pricey after a while. – Joshua Shaw
We’ll start with the very first Jonah Hex sketch I started my theme book with, Katie Cook. There’s not much of a story to this one, other than me throwing money in Katie’s general direction and shouting, “DRAW!” Like all of her stuff, I like this one because it’s such a departure from the Hex we usually see. Sure, he’s gross-looking, but you kind of want to hug the little monster. As a big fan of juxtaposition, I find her style is the most entertaining when paired with unsavory characters. If any of my Hex sketches could be a plush doll, I’d want it to be this one. — Joshua
Kevin Maguire is one of my favorite super-hero artists of all time. His command of comedy and facial expressions is one of the best and though he thinks all of his quick sketches look like garbage, I love this one because I feel he really nailed Jonah’s perpetual annoyance with the world with but a simple eye movement. – Joshua
I’m going to be saying “this is one of my favorites” to the point where the phrase loses meaning, but this one really is one of my absolute favorites. This is, to me, the quintessential Jonah Hex. I’ve noticed a lot of artists, at least in terms of the quick sketch, tend to err by either not marring Hex’s face enough or by going overboard. Kramer finds the perfect balance of normal vs. grotesque. His linework is gritty, but still clean. I really hope we get to see Kramer on a Jonah Hex ongoing someday. Fun fact! While drawing this, Don ordered a Fresca from one of the C2E2 lackeys. A Fresca! – Joshua
Much like Katie Cook’s Hex, there’s something about pairing “cute” art with a violent, disfigured character that really speaks to me. Not only did Franco insinuate I could pay him for sexual favors, but he drew Li’l Hex (as I affectionately refer to it) with smoking guns, clearly indicating that this adorable little cuss just murdered people. This piece makes my loins yearn for an all-ages Jonah Hex cartoon. – Joshua
This piece will always be dear to my heart for both the work itself and the experience getting it. My buddy Eli and I noticed John McCrea drawing at the Hero Initiative booth and stopped by to get our names on the commission list. We were told that it would probably be an hour or more until he could get to ours. So to pass the time we watched him draw while we made inappropriate jokes. I’ll tell you what, having a skilled artist erase a mistake he drew because he was laughing so hard is an amazing feeling. So after conversing with him for roughly an hour (and hearing all kinds of great stories), it was our turn to have him draw for us. Eli got a full-body Wonder Woman and I got a Jonah Hex bust; the Wonder Woman looked so good I tried to upgrade my Hex to a full-body, but he didn’t have time, so he said he’d be sure to make it “extra good”. He wasn’t just throwing out empty platitudes. As you can see, John knocked the ball out of the park. One of my favorite moments while we watched him create this was hearing the people behind me marvel at it, one dude on his phone saying, “He’s doing a Jonah Hex for a guy and it looks f***ing amazing.” Being charming and awesome, we ended up hanging out with John for the rest of the night, along with our best good guy friend, Jeff. For the uninitiated, John McCrea doesn’t live stateside and so he doesn’t make very many American appearances. I think I may have even heard that C2E2 2011 was his first time in America in eight years, so getting to meet him and get a commission from him seemed that much more precious.
Support the Hero Initiative! http://www.heroinitiative.org/ – Joshua
I first met Dave Crosland a couple years back filming an episode of The Variants (http://www.thevariants.com) with my friends at Zeus Comics (http://www.zeuscomics.com), where Dave slept on my then-roommate’s couch. Honestly, I was unfamiliar with Dave at the time and other than thinking he was a really nice guy, didn’t know anything about his work. Thank God I kept running into him at conventions and he did this gorgeous Jonah Hex for me. One of my favorite things about a theme book is seeing one character represented in a myriad of styles and Dave’s is a perfect example of this. When I become a billionaire I’m going to have Dave paint western-themed murals in my mansion. – Joshua
Darwyn Cooke, aside from being one of my favorite comic book artists, has done several story arcs in the modern Jonah Hex series, so being able to nab him was a no-brainer. What I didn’t expect was that his line would consist of about six people. Six people. In line for Darwyn @#$%! Cooke. As I waited in line, goofing off with my buddy Jeff, a kind-faced man approached us. It was Darwyn Cooke. My heart immediately sank because I was certain he was going to tell us that he wouldn’t have time to get to us. Instead, what he told us was that we would be last in line and he asked if we would mind turning people away. One of the best things about being last in line is that the artist doesn’t have a herd of people waiting on you, so not only did I get my sketch, but he drew for a good five-ten minutes while we talked to him about Communism. Canada should get rid of the maple leaf on their flag and put Darwyn Cooke’s face on it. – Joshua
Tim Sale is, more or less, my favorite comic artist of all time. His use of negative space, along with his very stylized line work, gives me art boners. That said, knowing he tends to only do sketches of characters he’s worked on before, I was unsure if I’d be able to get a Hex out of him. Maybe it was my winning good looks or maybe it was my Seattle Mariners ball cap, but he acquiesced to my request with only a minor caveat: that it might take him longer and I may not have the time. Let that concept sink into your brain: “I may not have time for Tim Sale to draw free pictures for me.” Not only did I have enough time, but Jeff, Mahoney, and I stood at his table cracking jokes with him for probably a solid hour or more. — Joshua
I met Dave Perillo through the aforementioned Jeff at Boston Comic Con. We hung out at the con and grabbed dinner afterward and pretty much just partied all weekend, bonding over Muppets. During all this I learned that Dave didn’t set-up a table in AA for shits and giggles, but he (and two other artists on this list) are actually kind of accomplished at making a living drawing things. You’re probably already familiar with Dave, he designed a Target gift card and a few different Teefury designs. As you can see by this gorgeous Jonah Hex, you should give him all of your money. You can see more of his work here: http://montygog.blogspot.com/ – Joshua
Charles Paul Wilson III, aside from being, literally, the nicest man on the planet, is a rad artist. I’ve always been a big fan of his Stuff of Legend work and was eager to see Jonah Hex get the storybook treatment. This is a commission that’s really grown on me with time. Not to say there was a time when I didn’t like it, but there’s so much depth and detail that I come to appreciate it the more I stare at it. – Joshua
I first met Ryan Ottley when Jeff, Mahoney, and I traded sordid comic book tales with him about other creators getting in knife fights. Ryan is just a really cool, down-to-earth, fun guy, as evidence by his willingness to be photographed hugging Jason Kerouac’s bank scrapbook. Towards the end of the con, I traded in the goodwill we’d earned by being awesome for this really sweet sketch. This is the type of work that makes me want to see Ottley on a Jonah Hex book, if only to fill an as a guest artist for an issue. Ottley’s style shines through and the expression on Jonah’s face cracks me up every time I look at it.
I want to party with Ottley. – Joshua
Tom Whalen was one of the guys I met along with Dave, and aside from being a cool guy to hang out with, he does some really fantastic art deco-inspired art. Being an enormous fan of the Chrysler building I was pretty stoked to be able to add him to the book. I love the stark contrast, not only within this piece, but as it compares to the rest of my sketch book. Someday I plan to murder people for his incredible Disney short movie posters. You probably have too much money, swap it for awesome art here: http://www.strongstuff.net/ – Joshua
Tony Harris has no concept of time. When I requested Jonah Hex he let me know that because of the nature of the character he would only have time for a “very quick sketch.” Very quick, to me, is 30-60 seconds. Very quick to Tony Harris is 10-15 minutes, no exaggeration. Look at the detail on that thing! – Joshua
The final entry from the Philly Trio comes from Scott Derby, who you probably know from his Ghostbusters Teefury designs. Scott, like Dave and Tom, was just a lot of fun to hang out with. We connected over plates of fried seafood and, after he let me put my tongue in his mouth, he drew me this. Check out more of his work here: http://scottderby.blogspot.com/ – Joshua
This last piece is from my local buddy, Paul Milligan, who I’ve gotten a few pieces from over the years. This is, unequivocally, my favorite that he’s done for me. I like the choice of going with a (somehow) more scraggly Hex with the longer hair. Paul has a very distinct, comic strip-esque style and I think it complements the character really well. You can see more of Paul’s work here: http://superleezard.deviantart.com/ – Joshua
Joe Eisma does some unheard of comic book called Moving Glory or something, but since he’s local and the sketch was free I figured “what the hell?” What makes this sketch especially good is the fact that Joe had no idea who Jonah Hex was, and I basically had to describe the character as “Western Two-face.” Thankfully Joe doesn’t really know much about Two-face, and he accidentally scarred the correct side. – Joshua
I’ve wanted a Chris Uminga in my book for a while now, and thankfully this year I had the opportunity to get one. This piece, like a few of my others, I like so much because of how stylistic it is. It really stands out from the rest of my book, both in terms of style and the purple pencil Chris used. It was also fun reminiscing with Chris about Saved by the Bell episodes; he wouldn’t stop singing “I’m So Excited!” Dude loves some Saved by the Bell. – Joshua
I’m a lifelong DuckTales fan. I’ve been digging James Silvani’s work in the Darkwing Duck comic book and couldn’t wait to add him to my book. What was especially nice, aside from the beautiful art, was that when I asked if a duck version of Jonah Hex would be possible, James enthusiastically replied, “I would love to do a duck Jonah Hex.” Seeing creators get excited about what they’re drawing always fills me with glee and it really shows in this piece, as it’s now one of my favorites, both because of how unique it is and because of how beautiful it is. I love the de-saturated color on it. – Joshua
It’s George f@#$%! Perez.
Fun fact! George Perez described peanut butter M&Ms as “Reese’s Pieces in blackface.” – Joshua
I’ve been an enormous fan of Jason Howard’s art for a number of years now and was thrilled to finally add him to my book. It’s rare that I get full-body sketches, mostly due to finances, so getting a full-body of Hex was a real treat. I really like the clean lines on this, the detail in the guns, and the shading of the duster. It’s a piece that grows on me the more I look at it. – Joshua
I’ve had kind of a torrid love affair with Scott Kolins’ art. The first time I ever saw it, years and years ago, I hated it. HATED it. Somehow though, his art kept showing up in books I was reading and my hatred for it lessened a little bit every time I saw it. Eventually it got to the point where I downright liked it and appreciated how different it was from everything else out there. When I saw he would be at C2E2 this year (2012) he went to the very top of my list of artists to see, as you can see why. The full background, the perspective, the pose; this is one of those rare pieces that stands above the pack and always makes people stop and ogle when they’re flipping through my book. – Joshua
Thank you Josh for sharing your sketch collection with us. If you would like to see your collection featured on Sketch Up! please email or tweet me by clicking the appropriate button below. Just as a reminder you sketch collection does not need a theme.
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