no war for heavy metal

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Black Sabbath ~ War Pigs

so i was in a music store today and they were playing heavy metal music

specifically, heavy metal covers of the star wars soundtrack

let me tell you, there’s something about hearing a heavy metal rendition of the cantina band music that makes you feel like you’re having an out-of-body experience

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100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #74

Jean “Moebius” Giraud (1938-2012)

Country: France

Famous for: Heavy Metal, Metal Hurlant, Arzach, L’Incal, Blueberry, The Airtight Garage, Alien, The Fifth Element, Dune, City of Fire, Edena, Silver Surfer, Tron, Les Maitres du Temps, Willow, The Abyss

Influenced: Geof Darrow, Phillippe Druillet, Phillippe Caza, Hayao Miyazaki, Katsuhiro Otomo, Enki Bilal, Tanino Liberatore, Milo Manara, Georges Bess, William Stout, Arno, José Ladronn, Juan Gimenez, Sylvain Despretz, Ridley Scott, Richard Corben, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mike Mignola, Mark Bode, Katsuya Terada, Frank Cho, Vittorio Giardano, Frank Miller, Brandon Graham, Brendan McCarthy, Francois Schuiten, Marc Bati, Francois Boucq, Frank Quitely, Neil Gaiman, Paul Pope, Mike Allred, Phil Noto, Killian Eng, George Lucas, Blade Runner, William Gibson, Federico Fellini, Sci-Fi and Fantasy culture, concept art, animation and comics as a whole

Influenced by: Gustave Doré, Jijé, Jean-Claude Mezieres, Possibly Virgil Finlay, Will Eisner, Frederic Remington, Western Comics, Herge, Art Nouveau, 

Jean Giraud, widely known by his pen-names Moebius and Gir, was a French comic illustrator and author, considered to be one of the most influential artists in the industry across the entire globe. Growing up in German-occupied France, Giraud found solace and escape in a small local theater that would play an abundance of American B-Westerns, which is where he’d develop a love for the genre. In 1954, Giraud received his only technical training at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré, where he’d produce western comics, much to the disappointment of his teachers. It is here where he’d meet close friend and fellow artist, Jean-Claude Méziéres (co-creator of Valerian). Giraud would not graduate and left the school in 1956. In the late 1950s, Giraud was drawing his own western strip for the magazine, Far West, very much influenced by the works of his later mentor, Joseph “Jijé” Gillain. In the 1960s, he developed the Lieutenant Blueberry character with Jean-Michel Charlier, a title he’d work on under the pseudonym, Gir until 1974. This is partly due to Giraud wanting to explore  and develop the work of his Moebius alter-ego, as he had a growing interest in science-fiction and fantasy. That same year, Moebius, along with artist Phillipe Druillet and writer, Jean-Pierre Dionnet created the comic anthology magazine, Métal Hurlant (”Screaming Metal”) under the collective Les Humanoides Associes. Such stories published in the publication were The Long Tomorrow, Arzach and The Airtight Garage. Metal Hurlant would later become known as Heavy Metal Magazine in the U.S. becoming a bastion for adult-oriented illustrated stories, with a focus on genre imagery. In 1980, Moebius worked with frequent collaborator, Alejandro Jodorowsky on the acclaimed L’Incal series. A couple of years later, Moebius would start collaborating on an ambitious portfolio with pupil, Geof Darrow, entitled City of Fire. Aside from working with Marvel Comics and other publishers, Moebius worked on a slew of films from the 70s-90s as a concept artist. These films include Alien, Tron, The Abyss, Willow, The Fifth Element and Jodorowsky’s unrealized adaption of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Moebius’ work is categorized by a range of qualities, producing incredibly simple work and exceptionally detailed work alike, both in the tradition of ligne claire, and hatch-heavy linework. 

Sadly, Moebius passed away in 2012 after a long battle with cancer, though his legacy has only gotten more celebrated since. Ridley Scott is known for having said that Moebius’ sci-fi imagery is so influential that everything made in the genre now either directly or indirectly shares his DNA, with concepts inspired by or even stolen in such properties as Star Wars, Halo and Nausicaa and everything in-between. Celebrated artists, authors, directors, animators and illustrators such as Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) , Federico Fellini (8 ½, Amarcord), William Gibson (Neuromancerand Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA) have cited him as a primary or strong influence on their work(s). 

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“MEGADETH - Rust In Peace (1990)” - Concept Posters

created by Minimal Pulse Art [minimal-pulse.tumblr.com]

Mistress of Flame Challenge

Here we go: IDW’s Mistress of Flame! @cavalierconvoy suggested the subject matter, I suggested the two week deadline, and @erikaskerzz suggested showing off our progress steps. There’s certainly a contrast of styles among the three of us!

I’ll start with with Cav first because she’s been live streaming this. She went with watercolors, and the end result is a very bold and vibrant masterpiece that’s getting framed very soon. The best part is the metallic gold accents she put on last. The hi-res scan actually doesn’t do it justice, but her photo of the finished piece caught the sheen very well. Below are the sketch, inks, ambient color, and final.


Up next is Erika’s work. I have no idea how she’s able to achieve such clean lines; I need to learn more about this myself! Her final coloring shows great depth, dynamics, and mood as she contrasts the cool glow of the moth to the warmth of the mistress, and the composition with the cape and the cropping is very powerful, too! Below are inks, base color, and final.


And finally my take on the Mistress. No, it’s not one of my Inktober doodles. I went with my Heavy Metal style for this. The triple circle composition with the swords, portal, and cape frame her in, and the crisscross of the hammer, cape, and far right sword draw you toward the flame. Trust me, holding a flame in her hand and circles in the background weren’t criteria for this piece; it just so happens that my wife and I think a lot alike. I used to do all my coloring in Photoshop with airbrushes, masks, and way too many layers, but now I do it by hand with colored pencils for one-step blending. Below are the rough, graphite, colored pencil overlay, and final.

I can honestly say this challenge worked for me. I’ve been in a rut and needed to get something done. I was a bit nervous about giving myself a tight deadline, but I actually finished with five days to spare. Never considered drawing Mistress of Flame, but I really like how we all did. Like Ironhide and Trailbreaker in an Indy 500, with a run-in by Skywarp, the winners are us!