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Tag: Death

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Alphabeasts: F is for Fetch

A fetch is a supernatural double or apparition of a living person in Irish folklore, kinda like the German doppelgänger. A sighting of a fetch is generally taken as a portent of its exemplar's looming death, so this mythological creature resonated with me. I've been dealing with these types of thoughts and fears since my accident now over two years ago. The instant this image came to me, I envisioned it as a two-color illo, but I like the straight line art, too: just black & white.... I drew this up in Manga Studio, which I'm loving more each day. Here's my initial rough sketch (below). I inked over it on another layer with the MS pen tool. From the get-go, I saw this as a dark twist on the mirror scene in the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup. I didn't look up a photo or video until after I finished the drawing, but then I've seen it so many times, it's pretty much etched in my brain. Alphabeasts is a 26-week project, a blog where artists of all types and stripes contribute a mythical beastie any old way that suits them, as long as it's a new drawing or sketch of a creature whose name begins with the letter for that week. Check out a cornucopia of crazy creatures by an amazing array of artists at the Alphabeasts archive, and be sure to check in every Monday.

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TothPix: Death by Toth

I never mustered the courage or had the guts to write Alex Toth to critique my work, or even a gushy fan letter. I did , however, send him an S.A.S.E. to request a small bit of art from him for a project, which led to the only piece of Toth art I possess.

In the mid-'90s my pal and Trollords partner Scott Beaderstadt and I decided to release a (as it turns out, ill-fated) Trollords Classics collection. It featured the first three issues of Trollords (originally published in 1986, as well as as a new story called Death Dreams, which focused on the Trollords arch nemesis, Death. In the 30-page story, we got to see things for Death's point of view, and in a large double-page spread his visage from a variety of perspectives. To convey this, we asked as many artist as we could think of and contact to contribute a 2" x 2" piece of art with their depiction of "death."

We were pleased to receive back pieces from Scott McCloud, Michael Golden, Alex Ross, Steve Rude, Adam Hughes, Dave Sim, Neil Gaiman, Kyle Baker, Berke Breathed, Terry Gilliam and Will Eisner, among many superb artists. But nothing made my heart skip as when I pulled out the simple piece sent by Alex Toth.

Some folks depicted their characters, or a skull, conceptual or spiritual takes on the theme. But nobody offered a more pure expression of the idea.

Seeing it for the first time, as bleak as is the outlook, I had to smile. How perfectly Toth. Perhaps he was an atheist, or maybe he knew we all really don't know what is in store for us "after." But this simple black square is one of my most prized possessions.

Maybe he was being profound, or perhaps he was just being...lazy.

= - )