Monday, September 15, 2014

The bestest buddies in the whole wide world!

Cass' expression sums it up for all of us, I think. This is another in a series of fake Batgirl comic book covers I'm doing, and it's a work in progress.  Line weights to be futzed, blacks to be spotted, various things to be cleaned up and neatened, a few more details to be added and some Batman dialogue.

I'm still working the old school Cass costume, although I like the armored team look she, Steph and Tiffany Fox wear in Batgirl #1: Futures End, or, as I like to call it, Batgirl Futurama.  You've seen them by now.  All three Batgirls wear what appear to be slimmed-down costumes left over from the Robocop remake, but with Bat-family modifications.  Pointy ears, bat emblems and the like.  They're color-coded, as well.  Steph has her purple, Tiffany her pink and Cass kind of a golden hue.  Their hair pokes out the back of their masked helmets or cowls, which seems impractical but soften the look and give a continuity to the classic Batgirl look of yesteryear. 

Armor is a nod towards "realism," the kind of thinking that leads artists to add wrinkles and seams to their costume designs.  Or raised super-emblems to copy the movies.  Padded and stitched leather was the design of choice a few years ago, but now it seems that lacquer-look plate armor out of the Star Wars universe is the current thing.  That the armor then functions as if the characters were still wearing stretch-cloth bodysuits or even completely naked edges the designs back towards the fanciful.  And in the quest for trendy coolness, artists don't really seem to think things through, or else they just botch the design phase.

Out of all the New 52 super-suits, many of which look like crap to me, the updated Katana costume looks sleek and stealthy.  She's a whirlwind sword-slashing badass in her black, white and red samurai-inspired gear.  When you consider these Batgirls are non-superpowered martial artists and detectives, you might conclude they need similar protection of whatever imaginary alloy or composite make up these suits, which remind me a lot of Katana's.  It's ridiculous these Batgirls can move the way the artist depicts them while wearing such stuff, but on the other hand, they good.  They look damn good.  So we're back to the fun side of comic book costume design.  Put your characters in things that look good and we'll do the rest with our imaginations.

But... I dread drawing Cass in this suit.  It will take forever.  I'll never be happy with the way I render the black reflective surface.  I tried to do a Katana piece and her greaves kept coming out like plastic planters and I gave up.  I can see myself facing no end of frustration trying to get all these new angles and curves and little details down!  Oh, I'll no doubt give it a whirl.  No one's forcing me to, and no one really gives a rip about my art, but I'm compelled. 

In the meantime, enjoy Classic Cass and my own special blend, Doofus Batman.

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