Archive for March, 2010

Comics I Like: Fantastic Four #43

Posted in Bookshelf, Comics I Like with tags , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in their best run: the first fifty issues of the Fantastic Four. Look at all the grey on the cover. Grey was often a background color inside too. It was used for all the Fantastic Four’s equipment. Grey is often replaced by colors or white in some of the reissues, such as Marvel Master Works.

The title is a favorite of mine; “Lo, There Shall Be an Ending!” always struck me as biblical, foreboding and cosmic all at the same time. Truly dark days for the Fantastic Four as Ben Grim, the Thing, became evil, thanks to a trance induced by the Wingless Wizard.  Ben had been thus for several issues proceeding this one.

Reed works on a dangerous plan to snap Ben out of the Wizards trance.

Sue Storm prays for Ben Grimm to live: “Please  Lord…don’t let Ben die…!” It’s the only time I recall a Marvel or DC character praying. Does anyone else know of an instance?  Stan Lee came up with the wildest of situations , but kept his character’s thoughts and reactions real.

This odd panel Kirby drew of Ben, still in a trance and dully looking out from Reed  Richard’s helmet gizmo is a favorite of mine.   Sci-fi, clunky and just plain weird.

Look at how simply they colored things way back in the sixties.  Today a panel like this would be colored in Photoshop with  exacting , photorealistic fire and smoke.  I think today’s detailed coloring is great.  I’m a fan of it, honest!  But sometimes I think it doesn’t serve the story.  You shouldn’t be pausing at this panel, thinking about  all the details in the explosion that todays coloring affords.   This simple coloring approach of yesteryear doesn’t get in the story’s way.  And it doesn’t over power Kirby’s art. ( Here inked by Vince Colleta).

Miracle Studios Blog is live!

Posted in Miracle Studios with tags on March 27, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

My studio’s blog is now live.    Check it out  Miracle Studios blog. Here you can read fresh blogging from me and my illustrious biz partner  and cartoonist supreme Scott Youtsey!  This is where the professional stuff is,  not just me goofing around!  Ha.  Just click on the orange link in this text  block or check out the Blog Roll on the right side .

Hot Off the Drawing Board: Sea Hag!

Posted in Hot Off the Drawing Board with tags on March 26, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

Here’s  the rough sketch of a mythological monster for a kid’s book.

After my art director approved this quick layout,  I proceeded to pencils.  See the little x’s in the sky?  That’s shorthand for the inker to fill in solid black where the x’s are.

Detail on Hag’s face.



Sketch Book: Designing a retro future

Posted in Sketchbook with tags , , , on March 19, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

Design sketches….
This design work was for a story set years in the future. The blimp at the top of the page is a big luxury cruiser. The smaller one is my favorite, and that’s the character sketch for its captain.

This is a design for a rusted out tidal generator, which was in the comic book series, “The Mysterions”, which was has yet to see publication.

Big Art!!

Posted in Comps with tags on March 17, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

This is a project of mine that always seems to stay on the back burner.

You’re looking at a color rough of what would be the first of a series of BIG illustrations on sheets of sign board, painted with glossy house paints. These large iconic illustrations of hot rods, dinosaurs, robots and girls would hopefully hang in galleries. And yes , that would graduate me from lowly commercial illustrator to fine arteest! Aw, who am I kidding? I’d have to clean out my garage to have room to do them and that’s not gonna happen!

Super Doc

Posted in Illustration, Miracle Studios with tags on March 16, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

Done for  a pharmaceutical company. This is the typical kind of illustration I do for ad agencies.


Posted in Uncategorized on March 16, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

This is “Libby”. She stars in a yarn set one hundred years from now. Corporations rule the United States through a puppet legislature. (uh… kinda like now). Libby is a Joan of Arc type of charismatic leader, who fights to bring the United States back to its Jeffersonian principals. The tattoo on her arm reads “Don’t Tread on Me” and her sword bears the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared”!  She is backed by a militia, of men and boys,  calling themselves the Scouts, who base their uniforms and credo on what was formerly the Boy Scouts.  She also has a large wolf as a companion.  All this takes place in a typical post apocalyptic setting, of course.  ha        Libby is © Terry Tidwell 2010

I made it all up myself….  Uh, yeah with a little inspiration from J. C. Leyendecker.

He painted this WWI propaganda poster.  One hangs in the J.M. Davis Gun Museum in Claremore, the town my studio is in.  I used to work there as a teenager.  This poster was my favorite thing in the museum.

If you look at this long enough,  ( I have an authentic poster framed and hanging in my living room) and project what’s happening with the USA today, this story sort of writes itself.

Hot Off the Drawing Board!

Posted in Hot Off the Drawing Board with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

A new project I’m working on.  I’m not a liberty to discuss it much, but here are a couple of shots of parts of this BIG illustration!This is Jim Lange.  He was the editorial cartoonist for the Oklahoman, Oklahoma City’s newspaper.   He helped me in my fledgling career when I was editorial cartoonist for  Oklahoma State University’s paper, the O’Collegian.   He invited me to visit him in his office, gave me advice, and one of his original cartoons!   He passed away in October last year, after working for decades for the paper.  Over his shoulder is Dave Simpson, who for years was editorial cartoonist for the Tulsa World.  I’ve met Dave and he’s a nice guy, and loves Mad Magazine!  Can you guess what comic strip that dinosaur is from?

This is Bill Mauldin, another Oklahoma cartoonist.  This guy drew cartoons during WWII, while serving  in the army, when he was about 22.   I’m amazed at how good he was!!  He created Willie and Joe which appeared in the military  newspaper, Stars and Stripes. .  His cartoons chronicled the life of the average grunt soldier, and depicted the horrors of war with a razor sharp wit.  Patton hated his cartoons, and demanded him censored.  But Eisenhower backed Maudlin up. He went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.   That’s pretty rare for a cartoonist.  Here, I’ve depicted him at a young age, drawing from a freshly dug foxhole.  Definitely check out the link above for his Willie and Joe cartoons.  Incredible stuff!!!!

Comps: The Chef

Posted in Comps on March 12, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

Sometimes, or rather often, the illustration I do is never seen by the general public, for instance,  this illustration.   This is a “comp”,  short, for  composition.  A comp is a drawing used in place of a photo in a mock up to show the client what an ad agency has in mind.  It also serves as direction for the photographer.   I do lots of these.   This one was used in the making of one of those flyers you get in the mail for Sam’s Club.  I never saw the final production, but presumably the photographer posed a model in a chef’s costume and snapped the picture.   In all actuality the photog probably took one look at my drawing and tossed it in the trash.  Ha.

Bookshelf: Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth

Posted in Bookshelf with tags , , , on March 11, 2010 by uncannymanfrog

This is my well worn copy of Andrew Loomis‘ book “Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth. This is THE best book you’ll find for understanding how to portray the figure in “3d” space. I’ve dozens of books on anatomical illustration in my library. If I had to pick just one, this is definitely the one I’d grab as I ran from my burning house.

First published in 1943,  it’s gone through 25 printings, the last one in 1973.  When I was growing up, I recall seeing abridged forms of this tome published by Walter Foster, those thin oversized volumes that are popular in art supply stores.  This book is 204 pages, each loaded with information on anatomy, balance, foreshortening, composition, and the tough subject of placing the anatomical figure in space.

There are lots of anatomical charts like this one in the book.  But most anatomy books feature these.  What makes this Andrew Loomis book great are diagrams and illustrations which instruct on how to think about  the figure relating to the space it occupies.  Charts like these below……

There is so much information packed into this book and Loomis knows how to make it easy to assimilate.   The book is out of print, but you can get it on Ebay Auctions.  Be prepared to pay from $100 to $200.  If you’re a starving artist, and I remember what’s that like, here’s where you can get it for free: