Wednesday, November 21, 2012

JL #23 "The Scarecrow Fights With FEAR!" AFTERWARD

So what did you think? This and next issue are two of my favorite issues, if only because I was "spreading the wealth," as it were. I had six members in this issue and the other six members in the next issue. In the actual comics I really did dislike how Superman, Batman, the Flash, etc seemed to appear in every story. I'm not stupid; I know it was for the commercial considerations, but I always thought that trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator was a mistake.

First off, one last recognition of the source material. This issue is based almost exactly on SUPER FRIENDS #32, "The Scarecrow Fights With Fear" by E. Nelson Bridwell and Kurt Schaffenberger. I even used the cover illustration....which is why I signed it "Russell, after S &S" in the lower right-hand corner below Black Canary's hand.
I merely switched out Robin with Black Canary (one bird with another) and ignored the Wonder Twins. Their fear had been fear of touching, so they couldn't use their powers anyway. I replaced them with Hawkwoman, who was given a fear of birds. (another bird!?)

The one thing I don't like about my cover is that it's hard to tell what the hell the raven is. It looks like a black blob on his arm. I wish I had done a better job on it. 

New from this issue are the revised "roll call boxes." By this point I thought I was wasting too many pages on this "portraits" of each of the members. So I cut them in half, literally, showcasing their logo, their portrait, and one or two changeable comments about them. For the first few issues I had some trouble fitting in all the words (see BATMAN, below) but I eventually got the hang of it. The other reason I liked these was because I made two different versions: one left, and one right. As you can see, if Hawkwoman was on the right, then Batman would be on the left. It appealed to my sense of balance.

One of the reasons I liked this story in the first place is that it was another example of the heroes being victims of their own thoughtfulness. The last time we showed the JLAers at a charity function, they were attacked by the Psycho Pirate, and the time before that they were attacked by the Injustice League (one of its members being The Scarecrow!). I guess you just shouldn't announce that you're going to be making public appearances if you're a world-famous super-hero. 


Speaking of The Scarecrow, I didn't like how I drew him in #11 (shown here). 
So I went and sketched and re-drew and re-imagined him for this issue. I tried to make him more sinister-looking and more...well...scary! I much prefer this version of the character. 
 Now to go in order of other stuff I like, whether it is random or not....I love the idea that Aquaman gets to drive the Batmobile! On the other hand, I hated actually drawing the Batmobile. I used this version of the car for two reasons: 1. it was the most recent one that the audience would probably recognize (over the 1960s TV version) and 2. because of reason (1) I had a toy of it which I used as a model! Haha! 
There were a couple scenes that I did that I really liked. In general I remember I took a bit more time on the architecture, such as the bridge over the moat and the whole Wayne Tower from the pages before this scene. Also, I think this scene of Aquaman closing his eyes and holding his face in fear is quite comical. Poor Aquaman!
Here's another scene that I love. Read the script and then look at the picture: Wonder Woman is actually FASTER than speeding bullets. That's frickin' fast.
Here's a scene that I don't particularly like. Black Canary was being drowned by The Scarecrow until Batman stops him. Meanwhile, Aquaman pops his head up for this nice moment. However, the perspective is wonky. I should have had him pop up closer to her. Oops! 
 Here's another scene of fear that I especially like. We don't get to see Batman, Manhunter, or Wonder Woman show fear, but we get to see just how terrified Hawkwoman is when a raven lands on her arm. I channeled all those kids at Childrens Zoos and the look they get on their face when they have a baby snake wrapping itself around their arm.  
 And to end this commentary, here's another comparison between what I did and the source material. First, my version of the Scarecrow shooting a water pistol at Aquaman. Then, the actual panel from SUPER FRIENDS #32 by Kurt Schaffenberger and Bob Smith. 

And lastly, the updated JLA Mail Room "photo" from this issue, with Aquaman's then-current bearded look. 

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