Thursday, 27 October 2011

Here comes… Daredevil

Yes that’s the text that accompanied the very first issues of Daredevil

And I think fits nicely into the next completed page below, brilliantly drawn by our very special guest artist Alexander Hunt (on whom a lot more follows below)

Where having being dropped like a hot potato (or is that “Potata”?) by Turk as Stilt-man, Lavender is probably only now just realising that even Turk cant muck up enough to revoke the law of gravity

Her fall, to my eye very closely evokes the cover of this issue where Daredevil is failing albeit into a much more abstract or stylised realisation of a cityscape than what appears in Lavenders panel

But I have to think that this must have been deliberate, the pose and the facial expressions are pretty close to one another – but we haven’t seen Daredevils fall so far (or have we?)

I think the message here is that Lavender is very much a part of the fall shown on the cover, an integral part, essentially without her part in the story the fall would not happen.

We have already seen what Lavender has done so far processed (and accepted) those copies of copies of damming documentation about Heathers company from a vigilante, although she questioned Daredevil’s motives and ethics in doing so, she nonetheless has pushed these forwards

Forewords enough to become a target for initially Wilbur Day as Stilt-man who got duly paid (what happened to that money anyway?) and now Turk who presumably hopes that stealing the job as well as the suit will get him a similar reward

There is no introspective dialog or caption along the lines of “the life flashing before the eyes” of Lavender, her facial expression and the pose has to totally sell the panel

But then this is literally a couple of seconds of real time as here comes Daredevil a small figure down below on the first panel, literally jumping up and catching Lavender in mid-air across the page to and neatly at the end of the last panel

In-between this we get a little twist from Turk (presumably to actually make him seem a bit more of a threat than to date), as he produces a hand gun and starts shooting at Daredevil (or where he was) – quite why this gun wasn’t produced before to threaten Lavender isn’t made clear (though he probably didn’t have time) and it doesn’t even to have been visible in Turk’s earlier appearances either

But it might as well not exist for the difference it makes as Daredevil deftly avoid all the shots fired at him without apparently even trying and being totally focused on giving Lavender a soft landing

So the hero has just saved the life of a person, is this redemption enough and if so what is it redemption for?

Just knowing that even this clichéd action (“help, save me”) is mired in layers of conflicting emotions and motivations among a host of characters gives you a clue as to the kind of storytelling that Frank and Klaus brought to Daredevil

But battle has commenced (or will do so on the next page) – will it be “a battle royal” or something of much different nature…

We will see as the story progresses


Here we go with issue 6 of Images Degrading Forever Weekly, it does look like some of you are shifting from reading the print edition to this blog, which is great! Don't forget to say hello :-)

Alexander Hunt
I am very proud and please to introduce to you all the excellent Alexander Hunt who has very generously drawn by his own hand this weeks page of the Daredevil project, which makes for a refreshing change from yours truly!

I think Alex did an fantastic job at this, the right type of lush inking that Klaus Janson heavily used in this issue while retaining clear definition on all those tricky to do tiny bits

I asked Alex what he would like in return for his efforts and he chose the cover to Iron Man 230 which I did a while ago. Just to remind you all that anyone is more than welcome to have a go and make a contribution and I am more than happy to trade art for art (it can be anything you like)

I thought it would be really interesting to interview Alex, as I think he is exactly the kind of person who is bringing enthusiasm and freshness to this medium and his motivations I hope will be interesting and inspiring to you all - and its a chance to hear from someone other than me, that can only be a good thing!


IDF: What was your first comic and what do you remember about it?

Alex Hunt: When I was young I had no way to get access to comics as I lived no-where near a comic book shop, so I read alot of the Beano. 

But one day my mum came home with a stack of old american comics from a charity shop, I remember that the titles weren't the really popular ones such as Spider-man and Batman, but ones such as Marvel Comics Presents, The Thing, a Silver Surfer Annual, The best was Iron Man #241. 

It really stood out, the cover had Iron man frozen in a pose, trapped by the clawed hands of the Mandarin ensnaring the hero. On the cover was written 'In the Grip of the Mandarin' Inside got even better, I couldn't believe the art as I had never seen anything so well drawn, and I couldn't believe how this guy Bob Layton made the armor so shiny! 

This issue really showed what the armor could do, including a memorable panel where the reader can see the inside of the helmet, showing all the flashing lights, and beeping buttons. The finale ended with the Mandarin challenging Iron Man to a fight, sadly I didn't have the next issue, so I didn't get to find out what happened until about 8 years later.

I also had a Marvel uk Annual, ' The Super-Heroes annual 1991'. Inside was another excellent Iron Man story 'The other side of Madness' which I later found out was Iron Man #154, This excellent issue had the Unicorn determined to Kill Iron Man as his mind was rotted by the Titanium man. 

This story stood so firmly in my memory as Iron Man came across as such a hero, he saves so many people in this one. My favorite scene being when the Unicorn fires a stray laser, knocking out the wooden supports of an ocean liner, Iron Man somehow holds up the ship, while innocent bystanders make their escape. 

Also, there was an extremely powerful ending where the Unicorn realising that the Titanium Man is in Russia, and with his mind rotted rotted walks into the ocean to get there, never to be seen again. Our hero, who is so exerted from holding up the ship, can only sit and watch the Unicorn commit suicide! this was the first time I read those three magical names together, Michelinie, Layton, and Romita JR, and they've been with me ever since, creating in my opinion some of the greatest comics.

IDF: When did you start drawing and do you remember what you drew?

Alex Hunt: I can remember drawing from quite an early age, usually it was Batman or Spiderman as I loved watching the animated series that were running at the time, but some of my earliest memories are of drawing Elmer the patchwork Elephant, I loved filling in the squares, I still have alot of those drawings.

IDF: At which point did you decided you wanted to study art / drawing and what motivations did you have for making that decision?

Alex Hunt: I've always loved art, but the thing that really got me into it was a very inspiring teacher I had in Secondary school, he really believed in all the students, and was extremely encouraging. He was so engaging, and always tried to help you to expand your way of thinking, and to open your mind to new styles, and different approaches. I think without that guy I wouldn't be saying this right now!

IDF: Is there a place where people who are interested can check out your work (if not can you provide one example in reply for inclusion)?

Alex Hunt: There is a blog - - (IDF: Check it out!)

IDF: Are you working on something specific, a story, a series of related drawings, a project anything along those lines in your spare time?

Alex Hunt: I've just started a project where I'm going to try and write and illustrate one issue of a comic book, the idea is to try and bring something new to comics, that will hopefully attract others, It all came about from the big debate - will digital kill the printed comic? It's a harrowing thought as I couldn't imagine a world without the printed comic book, and I want to try and preserve it for as long as possible.

IDF: What influences do you think get pulled into your art?

Alex Hunt: The main inspiration I get is just from my favourite artists, I'm a big lover of style in comics books, and I follow alot of artists. When I discover a new one I love i'll buy up all of the back issues which they've pencilled, and I'll study the art, and try to learn from it. My favourites are Todd Mcfarlane, Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, Jim Aparo, John Byrne, Jim Lee, and so many others, I love the detail, the poses, the blatant over musculation, the dynamic posing, everything! At the moment I'm really into Mike Deodato. Jr, It's so interesting to see how much his art style has progressed. His work, aswell as his positive attitude towards his craft are exactly something I would want to include into my own.

IDF: When you finish your study what would be your ideal assignment and why?

Alex Hunt: The dream is to work for Marvel Comics, but I would be happy doing anything to do with comics, be it working in a comic book shop, or a job writing about comics, I just love being around them.
It's my passion in life.

IDF: What do you (and your friends) think of your Daredevil drawing?

Alex Hunt: To tell you the truth, I actually didn't show anyone the drawing, it was just between you and me! (IDF: Not anymore!) I was really pleased with the drawing though because I found the page so difficult to draw.

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