Towards the end of the Internet Middle Ages there was a web comic by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield called Freak Angels and a related forum Whitechapel. An occasional feature of the latter was Warren, and later Si Spurrier amongst others, setting artists the task of re-imagining comics and their characters which often resulted in work of a high ca-li-bre; some of which I downloaded into one of my many ‘things I’ll probably never look at again but you never know’ folders.
A few years later I was over Whitechapel way only to find it had succumbed to web rot so thinking that some of it was worth preserving I did a search of the web and Internet Archive and grabbed what I could of the Remake Remodel threads. Alas some artwork was already victim to the demise of their image hosts.
So this is the page I’m going to stick them on as time and enthusiasm allows. Anyone who recognises one of their own images and would rather it not be on display please use the contact form to let me know and down they will go. (For security reasons answers to a few simple questions about the 1970s & 80s West Ham United Football team may be required).
There was, way back in the mists of… 2007… a recurrent meme among several comics art blogs. Reclaiming characters from their owners, I guess it could be broadly described as… people were reimagining abused characters (chiefly Supergirl) as artistic call-and-response various places, chiefly LiveJournal. In the aftermath of that, I did a similar thing on old messageboard The Engine, called REMAKE/REMODEL. They were embraced as technical exercises, bits of fun, ways to get the brain moving. I think most people’s favourite was the dear late Mike Wieringo’s wondrous retro-aristo Buck Rogers…
I thought it might be an interesting thing to bring back here. So, once a week, I’ll call a character, and you art types here can post images of your reinterpretation of that character. Photography and digital art is also fine, before anyone asks.
The point is REinterpretation: remake/remodel.
You are an artist/designer. You have to put together the cover for the first issue of a weekly science-fiction anthology comic called 2000AD. You don’t know much about what’s in it. You’ve been given the following pieces of information to include on the cover somehow:
“featuring the new DAN DARE”
“M.A.C.H. 1 – his incredible hyperpower will amaze you!”
“SPACE-AGE DINOSAURS! Read ‘FLESH’ ”
“STOP PRESS! GREAT BRITAIN INVADED!”
Some of these may not be their real names.
You must design a poster for a movie called IRON MAN directed by Stanley Kubrick. This is all you know.
The Fantastic Four
You are an artist/designer. You have to put together the cover for a comic called THE FANTASTIC FOUR. It is issue 1 of this book.
You have been told that the comic is about four people who steal a spaceship, fly into space, get heavily irradiated by cosmic rays, and return to earth weirdly altered by their experience.
And that’s it. The bastards haven’t told you one more damn thing than that. Not a clue. They might all be women. It might be about the Indian space programme twenty years from now. For all you know this is a JG Ballard story, for christ’s sake…
It’s up to you what kind of company you’re at. What kind of comics you make. How you translate that description of The Fantastic Four. What era you’re in. Who you are, even. Go nuts with it.
What would a David Lynch directed ‘Spider-Man’ movie look like?
Six Gun Gorilla
Six-Gun Gorilla was the star of several short Wild West stories in Wizard during the late 30’s. Let’s hear from that inestimable Prince of Pulp Jess Nevins for more, as nicked from his forthcoming Encyclopaedia of Pulp Heroes:
“Six-Gun Gorilla is O’Neil, a gorilla. In Colorado he is sold to Bart Masters, a prospector… Masters teaches O’Neil how to dig, fetch firewood, haul up buckets of water, cook, clean, and load and fire a revolver. Unfortunately, Masters is murdered by bad man Tutt Strawhan, leader of the Strawhan Gang, for what Masters knows about “the great motherlode”. When O’Neil finds Masters’ body, he swears revenge…”
So: an armed-and-dangerous silverback knocking about on a lawless frontier, out for revenge. Presumably holding-up banana shipments and grunting along to The Ecstasy of Gold. Named, for no sensible reason, “O’Neil.”
Hold on a mo, something not quite right here.