Art Update! The Dark Knight Returns, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and Filipino Superheroes

Long time no art, so let’s get to it right away!

I’m going to put this one here first because it’s the last thing I drew and it’s the most important one out of this bunch. This doodle I did in the office is for @erikalovestotravel who’s my endless source of inspiration for everything that I do these days. If you’re reading this, please let me remind you again that I miss you and I’m always thinking of you. 🙂

And now for some of our usual favorites–superhero drawings! There are many great Batman stories throughout the publication of this iconic character but  I would easily rank The Dark Knight Returns (1986) by Frank Miller as one of the best Caped Crusader stories of all time–if not THE best. No matter how bad the sequel was, it just doesn’t take away from the fact that the original comic book miniseries was absolute poetry in visual storytelling. It also gave Batman distinctive nuances that would be part of the character for the rest of its existence. As an homage to the greatest work of Frank Miller, I drew this illustration of old man Bats and Carrie Kelley Robin in my notebook.

It was important for me to get the look and feel of these characters right; I wanted them to look like hybrids of my style and Miller’s. I think I achieved that purpose here, and this is actually one of those drawings that I wish I could vectorize to print on a shirt or a mug. Hey, who knows? Maybe someday I’ll do exactly that!

A detail shot of the drawing. The camera on my phone had trouble capturing all the details. I would say the actual drawing looks better than these shots, but nevertheless, I am proud of the outcome.

Purchase this design: Kingsman Harry Hart: Manners Maketh Man

This drawing never fails to put a smile on my face every time I revisit it on my Instagram page. Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service is undoubtedly one of the best films I have ever seen across all genres because of its back-to-basics super spy approach, mind-blowing action scenes, and the way it turned Colin Firth into the meanest murdering machine in his role as the cold-blooded spy, Galahad. The drawing above was copied from a screenshot of that infamous Church riot scene where Galahad violently cut through an entire blood-thirsty congregation like a hot knife through butter.

This piece was not without its share of face-crumpling difficulties but it was nevertheless a great experience nailing Galahad’s fierce, and at the same time suave, look down.

Moving on now to this drawing of two colorful characters from my childhood: Captain Barbell and Kumander Bawang (Commander Garlic)–Filipino superheroes who appeared in their own films in the ’80s. The former transforms into his superhero persona by lifting an enchanted barbell while the latter throws various magical garlic cloves at vampires, demons, and other creatures of the night to defeat them. As cheesy as they were, these guys really drove my imagination into a frenzy when I was kid. I’ve never seen them side by side, so I thought I’d draw that picture myself.

As always with my colored drawings, I took a shot of the inks first before I applied colored pencils.


A simple drawing I did for my younger cousin. On the left, it shows a poor man whose home is about to get demolished by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA); on the right, a character in the novel El Filibusterismo being driven out of his home by a friar and some Spanish guards. I guess my cousin was trying to show the parallels between two situations separated by more than a century.

And lastly, my one-shot comic project is moving along, however very slowly. I’m still not sure when it’s going to get done but I promise the story will be really good. 🙂

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