Judy : Vol. 25, 1879 References

Vol25_AugustPage2It occurs to me that I’ve never shared any of Chasemore’s original art throughout the Judy series and I wanted to take a moment to recognize that in some small way. My renditions of the costumes are pretty accurate, but nowhere near as charming, and to see the costumes in context of the pages on which they appeared may give you some idea of the artist’s sense of marginalia-like whimsy.

Apologies that the pictures are on the small side. I wanted to make sure to include the whole page so you could get a sense of the layout, etc.

This first image shows the “Holiday Time” costume from Volume 25, which I just posted on Tuesday. “Holiday Time” is actually the name of a poem for which Chasemore has drawn this collage of characters. You can see I omitted details like the walking stick and fan (I often skip the fans ~ so many fans!). The face and silhouette is typical of Chasemore’s regular fashion series, which you can see in the next image, of the “Bird of Passage” bathing suit.

Vol25_AugustPageThis is the typical layout of the page on which the fashions usual appear toward the back of the periodical. On this page each week, there’s usually an editorial “Our Weekly One”, sometimes overflow text from a story, and often some other collection of vignettes and humorous drawings, one of which is the “Fashion of the Week”. The series began as a doodle off in the corners of the page (clearly as filler), but you can see by Vol. 25, the feature had gained prominence. This particular page shows an unusually large image compared to others in the same volume, but this scale is to become the norm within the next few years, as “Fashion of the Week” assumed the focal point of the page in terms of the art. It clearly must have appealed to the readers of Judy.

I know I’ve said it before, but this really is a fun set to draw. Chasemore’s linework makes it so easy to replicate and he does such great easy things with very basic textures and frills. I’ve learned a lot about the power of suggestion with well-placed lines. I wish my Judy dolls had appropriately delicate feet as his models do; I drew them too big and never corrected them.

I’ll try now and then to share more resource images from this series because Chasemore deserves credit and they are pretty cool to look at. Also, it would be fun to share some of the designs I don’t pick to reproduce for the paper dolls, just so you can see some of the artist’s other stuff.


Judy : Vol. 25, 1879 Plate 3

Vol25_03_thumbJudy Tuesday here with another plate from Volume 25, which ran from July to December in 1879.  These two particular outfits were featured in the month of August and include (as previously promised) a funny bird head hat. Given that it’s a bathing costume, it almost makes sense since it could be a tightly-fit cap that’s almost sort of aerodynamic for swimming. No?

The Holiday Time costume was something fun that was in the margins (not part of Chasemore’s actual “series”), but this volume was low on costumes I wanted to reproduce, so I teased this one out for inclusion.

I guess I should mention, in case it’s not obvious: I am picking and choosing which costumes I’m drawing out of many. In these early volumes there aren’t as many good choices so I’m only filling about 5 plates. In the 1880s there are a lot more to choose from as Chasemore got more fanciful with his designs.

In the meantime, enjoy this weird bird thing and the holiday costume with the jingle bells. To find all the plates in this series (and the dolls themselves) click on the Judy tag down below.

[Click this link or the image to download a printable .pdf of these costumes]

Clown Prince of Crime: The Joker’s Closet Plate No. 2

Joker paper dollSo I missed last week’s Fear Friday sorta on purpose, but I don’t want to get into a sloppy habit of skipping because that’s not cool. Just sorta felt like since I’m doing something different for February, I didn’t want to start the new Fear the Walking Dead stuff until March. Just makes more sense to me.

Meanwhile, it’s Mayhem Monday, so you get some costume pieces for the Joker. The purple trenchcoat is part and parcel of the Joker’s gear, while the Punchinello costume was featured early in Batman‘s run ~ the first of many clown outfits to come, I guess. But since it was the first, I wanted to make sure to include it.

I think Rachel at Paper Thin Personas recently talked about how difficult it is sometimes to write a post when the art you’re posting is so old you can hardly remember making it (or something to that effect). I’m definitely feeling that right now. The whole idea of backlog is counter-intuitive to me. By the time you get around to posting something, you’ve mentally left the building.

I guess you can write the posts as you complete the work and hold them in reserve, but that feels so inorganic to me. Not sure if there’s a happy medium, but I think I’m a lot better at this if I post stuff as I make it.

Anyhoo: to find the doll for this series, click the Joker link in the tags or in the Category listing to the right.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf]


Judy : Vol. 25, 1879 Plate 2

Vol25_02_thumbJudy Tuesday brings us some more whimsical stylings from the 19th century.  These two Wimbledon costumes illustrate the contrast between “civilized” Britain and the great untamed wilderness of Canada. My favorite thing is the fringed moccasins on the Canadian costume. I also rather enjoyed making the woolly hat and trim on that particular costume.

The British costume is less interesting, but I do like the hat and the fact that the rifle doubles as an umbrella.

I’m sure these costumes were making some commentary about the relationship between Britain and Canada at the time. Canada has fairly recently become a Confederation and relations back and forth “across the pond” were fraught with city vs. frontier mentalities.

Three more plates from Vol. 25 are forthcoming. Next week I promise another very silly hat.

To find all the plates in this series (and the dolls themselves) click on the Judy tag down below.

[Click this link or the image to download a printable .pdf of these costumes]

Mistress of Mayhem: Harley Quinn’s Closet Plate No. 2

Harley Quinn paper dollMonday Mayhem continues with some pretty traditional outfits for Harley Quinn. These are the costumes she wears most often in her new series: a basic bustier and hot pants with a jacket, and then her roller derby outfit.

When I originally drafted this doll, I made these costumes all one piece, but in my revision I thought it would be more fun if you could mix and match her footwear, so I separated the boots and roller skates out (and will continue to do this for future costumes).

We’ll be seeing more diverse outfits for Harley soon enough. She does have a lot of red & black to cycle through, but lots of fun stuff on the horizon.

Harley’s also about to undergo a style change and launch a new miniseries featuring her diverse gang. She’s become quite the anti-hero in the last couple of years. Read about her new mini-series here.

You can find the doll by clicking on the Harley Quinn tag below or in the menu at the right.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of this platel]




Force February: the Star Wars Paper Dolls You’re Looking For

StarWarsNerd_thumb While trying to figure out what to do with my scrapped Star Wars parody paper doll, I wandered about the web and discovered that there really aren’t that many Star Wars paper dolls out there (this surprised me!). Found a few Leias, a few Lukes, an Amidala, a silly Darth Vader, and one very shiny new Rey. But overall it seems like maybe we do need something in this realm.

I told myself I could only make Star Wars paper dolls if 1.) I didn’t take them seriously, 2.) if making them was something I could do quickly and have fun with, and 3.) if I used the project to learn something new or experiment with simplifying/stylizing my paper doll template/models.

I didn’t want to worry about character likenesses or niggling over authenticity. The point was to make silly dolls so that eventually I could do absurd things like “The Skywalker Family Picnic” in which everyone is wearing beach clothes and eating hot dogs and Vader’s got a grilling apron that says “Sith Happens” or some other absurdity.

So I sat down to plan things out and maybe quickly draft some ideas and I confirmed three really sorta no-brainer things about process:

  1. Your style is just your style. I really wanted to make some very simple body models and cartoony heads, but everything I drew looks pretty much like all the other dolls I draw. I need to quit fighting that.
  2. Smoke ’em if you got ’em. We associate certain actors with these roles whether we want to or not. I lucked out attempting to draw Luke’s face, and then Han, Darth Vader, Leia and even Rey. I was on a roll! Made very few corrections, which is pretty miraculous. Then I tried to draw Kylo Ren and it was evident that my luck had run out, but more on that later. Point is, if you can pull something off, might as well go for it!
  3. Making art, by nature, is fun. Sometimes the most important part of “simplifying” the process is to stop thinking about it and just do it.

As it turns out, these dolls won’t be any different from ones I’ve posted so far (they scale exactly, in fact), and they will generally look like their movie counterparts (Kylo Ren notwithstanding). Big fail on my original goals, but that’s okay because I got the “fun” part right, and that’s what’s important.

The plan:

W-F: I’m going to post Star Wars plates throughout February on Wednesdays-Fridays. So for the month of February you’ll get a new paper doll plate every day of the week (weekends off–maybe).

Content: The majority of these paper dolls will be rendered from the original Star Wars trilogy and they will be straight-up adapted from the film costumes (for now). I’ve only drafted two characters from The Force Awakens (one of whom still doesn’t have a head). I might do more. We’ll see.

Format: full color, with “color your own” versions as well. Darth Vader and Kylo Ren (and Luke, for that matter) wear all-black and black is barf to print. The shaded line art will give you the option to print and fill in the black by other means (or color them day-glow psychedelic if it pleases you ~ hey, knock yourselves out).

I’ll post process pics on Twitter @BootsNBats leading up to the launch if you want a sneak preview.  In case it needs saying: in February there will probably be SPOILERS on this blog. I’ll leave the Force Awakens stuff for the end of the month, just as an added buffer.


The Walking Dead Paper Dolls: Michonne’s Pets

twd04_walker_pets_thumbThis is the final plate I made for the regular Walking Dead series. I wanted to make sure to include some walkers and these two guys are probably two of the most well-known. Mike and Terry knew Michonne before they were “turned” and she used them as camouflage so that she could travel without being harassed. In order to render them harmless, she removed their arms and jaws (pretty gruesome!).

I was going to draw their shirts and the backpacks they carried (Michonne used them to haul supplies), but I never got around to it. But I did add chains, which can go around their necks just for kicks.

Working on this series was fun, but harder than I expected. A good lesson in taking on cultural icons “just because”. When I don’t feel absolutely passionate, staying on focus is difficult.

[Click this link or the image to download a printable .pdf of these costumes]

Next week, I’ll start posting plates from Fear the Walking Dead (in full color). I continue to fall behind and I’ve honestly gotten lazy about it, but I’m determined to get the first season completed before Season 2 starts in April.

Star Wars Parody Paper Doll Indefinitely Suspended

star_wars_posterI don’t dig deep online and in social media because the internet fosters a culture of cruelty that I can’t stomach.

So yeah, I meant to post something about Star Wars last Wednesday and a paper doll on Sunday, but in my research around the web while drawing (and redrawing), I got disgusted. Then I wrote a long rant, which turned into a weird apologetic, and I had to ask myself why I was not only feeling so defensive, but contributing to a negative dialogue unworthy of actual consideration.

Paper dolls aren’t complicated. And I can take a joke (some of what’s going around is funny), but in the end I’d rather just make art and leave off the commentary (whether in my writing or by the nature of my drawing). If I poke fun of something or treat it lightly, I do so out of love. There’s a lot of love for this franchise, but also a lot of haters. I won’t fuel the worst of that with mean characterizations, even innocently intended.

Like my last post about Star Wars, this title is a lie. I’ll recycle what I drew and re-approach this with a gentler perspective. I want to do something related to Star Wars and now have a better idea what that could be.

emoji_winkStay tuned.

Judy : Vol. 25, 1879 Plate 1

Today we begin a new volume for Judy Tuesday! Vol25_01_thumb

Volume 25 takes us back a year to 1879 and features more “sedate” costuming than the later volumes. Even so, here are some fancy hats and fans to start with. If there’s symbolism in the carafe and the eye on the fan, I have no idea what it might be. But I do love the butterfly-looking fascinator.

No clue whatsoever how the other one represents a “mid-summer” costume, but again, the costumes seem to get more literal later on the years. These early ones sometimes just seem to reflect fashionable (and/or laughable) trends in dress.

[Click on this link or the image to download a printable .pdf of this plate]

Note: I know I said I was going to post something about Star Wars last week (and a related paper doll on Sunday), but things got weird and I mothballed my original plan (it’s a long story). So now I’m in the process of rethinking what to do with it.

I’ll post more on that tomorrow.

Clown Prince of Crime: The Joker’s Closet Plate No. 1

Joker_01_thumbI’m not going to apologize for loving the Joker. The fact that he celebrated his 75th birthday in 2015 means I’m not the only one. Batman’s arch-nemesis was originally killed off in his first appearance, but at the last second, the editors shoe-horned a panel at the end of the story indicating that he didn’t die after all. Since then, the Joker has had a career to rival Wile E. Coyote, getting hit by trains, falling off of cliffs, and even being electrocuted in the chair–but somehow always managing to come back.

One of the fascinating things about the character is his social history over such a long haul and how attitudes toward his behavior evolve with each new generation (from a vile disposable gangster to a mentally insane prankster to a sociopath anarchist). Throughout his comic book and film life, the Joker’s been approached and interpreted in dozens of different ways (from pure evil to actually being quite sympathetic).

Alan Moore wrote the definitive Joker in 1988’s The Killing Joke so far as I’m concerned. And even Moore’s version is ingeniously ambiguous (the book has polarized fans for almost thirty years).

What hasn’t changed about the Joker is his signature purple suit.

Oh sure. the style has changed, sometimes dramatically, and then reverted a lot. But he’s also had other colors and costumes throughout his lifetime (I ain’t drawing 75 years worth of purple suits, people!). Still, you can expect to see a lot of purple, while I trawl for the distinct stuff. I think a lot of people think of the Joker as that guy in the funny purple suit with the coattails. Interestingly, there was nothing out of the ordinary about his suit originally; it was a perfectly fashionable cutaway morning coat for 1940; perhaps a bit falutin’, but nothing you would blink at (and the coloring was due to limitations in the press). As the character evolved, the purpleness of the suit became a point of interest and even though all the other characters moved on in style as they went through the decades, the Joker remained stuck in 1940 (probably until the 1970s, though many artists still draw him in the long coattails today).

BatmanVol1No1_1939_1But enough of the history lesson for now. I’m working through the entire 75 years of Jokers but I’ll skip a lot (and around). I’m sure I’ll do movie costumes eventually, but the focus for now is on comics.

Note: don’t be surprised when you download the .pdf to see the figure’s head detached. As per the instructions, this is so clothes will fit under the chin and you can trade out heads when I draw additional ones. The face here is inspired and heavily influenced by Marshall Rogers and Brian Bolland.

Also note: purple is my kryptonite. It’s not a color I “see” well (my red/blue cones must be dented or something). I have a hard time matching or complementing it and often can’t identify it in the wild (i.e. while out shopping). Nevertheless, I’ll try to use a variety of purples throughout this series to keep it interesting.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of the paper doll]