Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Witch # 1 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

After talking with Janet, Todd Faber dreams of climbing a tall rock face and upon reaching the top discovers that Dream is at the top waiting for him. Todd, realizing that he is in a dream, recounts a nightmare he had when he was five or six. He tells Morpheus that in his dream he was trapped in a house full of witches and to escape he climbed onto the roof of the house. The roof then tilted and he fell off. He knew that if he hit the ground he would die and he pulled himself out of the dream because he didn’t know how to wake himself up.

This Witch is one of the witches from Todd’s nightmare.

This Witch appears in The Castle (originally published in Vertigo Preview # 1) on page 5.

I love this portrait from Max. While this witch doesn't seem scary, there is something a little off-putting about her. I think it's her elongated face and the "cracked" appearance of her clothing, which works well for a nightmare. I also really like the colors and the contrast between the red and the stark whiteness of the background. This is a fantastic portrait!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Black Guard # 3 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

The Black Guard is an elite army who serves the Cuckoo and this is one the members.

The Black Guard were sent out in search of Barbie and her friends and bring them to the palace of The Cuckoo. At one point the Black Guard came close to finding them, but Barbie, Primando, Luz and Wilkinson hid under a snow drift and were able to avoid detection.

Eventually the Black Guard captured Barbie who was then delivered to the Cuckoo.

The Black Guard appears in several parts of the A Game of You Storyline.

Max did a great job with this character. He managed to capture the menacing appearance of the Black Guard member perfectly.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Emissary # 11 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In Season Of Mists, Lucifer leaves his dominion in Hell and gives the key to Dream as he locks he doors behind him.

Once word gets out that Dream has the key to Hell, emissaries from various groups come to ask for the right to rule Hell.

This character is one of the emissaries that’s waiting for Dream to allow these guests to enter his palace. This emissary appears in Sandman # 24, on page 23, in panel 4.

One thing that I love about this particular portrait is that Max took a completely unique approach to this character. In the published comic we can see only the silhouette of the emissary. I imagined this character to be a man with bed hair, probably because his hair looked similar to the Sleepy Boy Lego mini figure. Max saw this character as being a woman and he drew an exceptional portrait of this character. I have no idea what she is an emissary of (but that is the case with a lot of the background emissaries who visit The Dreaming). I think Max’s approach is significantly better than anything I had in my head.

This is an absolutely outstanding portrait.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Wolf (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In The Doll’s House, while at a hotel filled with serial killers, Gilbert tells Rose the story of Little Red Riding Hood…the original version, which is not nearly as nice as the version most people are familiar with.

The version Gilbert tells begins in the same manner as the popular version. Little Red Riding Hood is taking some food to her grandmother’s house when she encounters a wolf. The wolf asked where she was going and the girl replied, “To Grandmother’s house.” Well, the wolf decided to take advantage of this situation and so he ran ahead and arrived at the grandmother’s house before Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf killed the grandmother. He poured her blood into a bottle and cut her flesh and put it on a plate. He then dressed in the grandmother’s clothes and got into her bed.

When the girl arrived the wolf offered her meat and wine, which the girl ate and drank. After she was finished the wolf suggested that she take off her clothes and get in bed with him. As Little Red Riding Hood undressed she threw her clothes in the fireplace, as instructed by the wolf.

“Grandmother, how hairy you are.”

“It keeps me warm, my dear.”

“Oh Grandmother, what long nails you have.”

“They are for scratching myself, my dear.”

“Oh Grandmother, what big teeth you have.”

“They are for eating you, my dear.”

And the wolf at the girl.

In this version of the story there were no concequences for the wolf and no happy endings for the innocent young girl.

Gilbert recounts this story in Sandman # 14 on pages 7 and 8.

Max did a great job with this wolf. I always think it’s difficult to do portraits of animals, but that’s probably just my perception since everyone has done amazing jobs with them so far. I love the quiet thoughtfulness of this portrait and the purples in the back really highlight the starkness of the wolf. This is another wonderful portrait from Max.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Scarecrow # 3 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In The Kindly Ones, Dream met with five small children searching for their lost mother. He entertained them with scarecrows “who whispered among themselves in the voices of the stars of the silent screen.”

This is one of those Scarecrows.

He appears in Sandman # 64, page 1, panel 1.

I really like Max’s portrait for this character. It’s definitely not cutesy, but it’s not scary either. It’s pretty much what I would expect a dream scarecrow to look like. I also really like how the colors really compliment the character.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dreamer # 3 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In the short story, “The Castle” a Dreamer gets a personal tour of The Dreaming and is introduced to many of the residents.

This man is that Dreamer.

He appears on the first and last page of “The Castle,” which was originally published in Vertigo Jam # 1, but has been collected in The Kindly Ones.

In the published comic we never see the Dreamers face and so Max had to interpret the character and he did a fantastic job. I really like the textures he used and the use of ripped paper and newspaper. It adds a really neat effect to the portrait.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bishop (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In “15 Portraits of Despair,” from Endless Nights, one of the stories features a priest named Dermont Byrne who is accused of inappropriate behavior with a young girl. He was told by the Bishop that they were giving the girl three quarters of a million dollars and that Dermont Byrne was forced to leave the church.

This is the Bishop.

He appears in Endless Nights, in “15 Portraits of Despair” on the third page.

This is an interesting portrait from Max. I definitely like his interpretation of The Bishop, but it’s definitely not a straight forward vision of what I imagine a Bishop would look like. His approach seems to be honoring the style of Barron Storey who drew the Despair story in Endless Nights. I really like this portrait. It feels intensely dark and very haunting.