Image Saturday! (Another Milestone)– uh… commentary

Saturday April 04th 2015, 1:42 pm

Last post was about some of my work for Milestone (the old DC imprint version of them). There I mentioned doing a Static Shock piece, arguably Milestone’s most famous creation. So I’m posting that this time as a follow up. This was done for a special centered on the character, and surprisingly I was asked to do the cover. I didn’t expect that because I’ve never been associated with the character in the past– but some other really great artists were. Those guys set up such a distinct feel for the character that I wasn’t sure I could get away from that, do my own thing, because the visual style they created for him was so strong. But I felt I really needed to push it another direction if I was going to do it. I didn’t see the point of me doing it unless I could bring something different to the mix. Most of the past interpretations of Static have been very graphic minded, thick lines and chunks of blacks. So I decided to see what he would be like with a more realistic approach, but somehow retain the graphic punch of the character. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. But what helped in the effectiveness of this particular composition was the color choices being equal parts muted and bold vibrancy. I also wanted some 70s funk music visuals as color inspirations, there was a certain type of vividness in some of the more wild visual presentation from some of that great funk stuff. So I thought pulling a little of that into this was a cool thing. It gave it that slightly unique vibe, setting it apart from the typical superhero iconography just enough, without losing it entirely. The other aspect I want to point out is the symbolism, I thought it pertinent to show him breaking through a stone ceiling, rising up and out of it into the sky. The stone ceiling representing the impenetrable hardness that many black characters come up against when trying to find an uplifted place in entertainment media, especially comics. Static Shock is one of the few that seems to have broken the cycle, making his way to other forms of media and attention, and more of that to come apparently, good for him. But he isn’t enough, there really needs to be more. It’s a bit ridiculous that there still is not more black or other ethnic heroes in the broader popular entertainment culture, considering that Marvel’s Black Panther first appeared in the mid 60’s. Below is also the logo text placement version I did for the image, having the electric energy breaking between the words. I had a really good time doing this one, I think that shows.

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