Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Red Tornado

What can I say? I haven't gotten drawing superheroes out of my system quite yet. I'm hard at work on a real project with emotions and plot and character development and all that stuff, but, on my breaks, my inner ten-year-old demands his due.

This is Ma Hunkel, The Red Tornado. Originally a WWII-era humor feature, this version is suppossed to be more Rosie the Riveter than Katzenjammer Kids. Her superpower is that she will beat your ass with a giant wrench.

This drawing makes use of some techniques I picked up talking with two-tone cartoonist extraordinaire, Michael Cho, who has recently joined us over on the buddy blogs list. Do yourself a favor, and check out his lovely art.

18 comments:

chrishaley said...

Oh, wow.
Excellent.
You never fail to surprise me.
The Michael Cho influence(?) is noted without looking at all out of place.

Joel Priddy said...

Thanks, Chris! How's the clipped wing doing?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that Red Tornado is AWESOME.

Joel Priddy said...

Thanks, Anony!

chrishaley said...

It could be better. It's not as bad as it was though.
Still too shakey for inking which means I still haven't finished the ghost singing guy.

Joel Priddy said...

Want Diana or I to ink it on Sunday?

chrishaley said...

I'm going to try inking a copy of it tonight and see how it goes.

So, if it goes poorly, yes. Very yes.

Joel Priddy said...

I'll be sending you good ink-vibes by way of the blogosphere, tonight.

chrishaley said...

I'll have my good vibe receptors at the ready if I'm not neck deep in drunken LARPers and Trekkies at Mid-South Con.

Also, though Shane and I had a good time by ourselves last Sunday it'll be good to have you back this week.

Joel Priddy said...

Be sure to gather many stories for the sharing from the Con. I'm half tempted to go meet Terry Pratchett (my first choice in airport novels), but... I dunno, I've got a lot of laundry to fold.

And it's good to be missed. See you on Sunday.

the lw said...

I have to admit that I'm kinda fascinated by the Red Tomato (as she is sometimes called). Gender and class analysis all in one!

Check out this image of Ma Hunkel and Liberty Bell:
http://members.tripod.com/originalvigilante/tornado.htm

Joel Priddy said...

Darling, I'm so proud... Look at you dropping nicknames for superheroes and linking to their online shrines! In no time you'll be making snide comments about Vince Coletta with the best of 'em!*

Yeah, Ma Hunkel brings some interesting material with her. My version is more about the class thing than gender—I've thrown out the transvestite angle. There's a long history of transvestite superheroes (pretty much always women posing as men, of course), but I like the Tenement-Momma-cum-Beatdown-Queen aspect of Red Tornado too much to hide it behind a padded torso.

Thanks for the Liberty Belle link. I first thought of this Red Tornado back when I drew my Libby, and, you know, I think I could spend everyday reworking Golden Age heroes, and never get tired of it. I don't particularly like reading GA stories, but I sure dig the characters. I finally got around to drawing this one because of all the "healthy body-image" talk that swirled around the Supergirl meme. Ma Hunkel has a healthy body image.



*Vince Coletta is pretty much the hands-down worst inker in the history of comics. He's especially infamous for messing up a lot of Jack Kirby's pages, often not even bothering to draw half the stuff Kirby had penciled, and half-assing the rest. He was apparently a jerk and a bigot to boot.

I'm surprised to see that Google is failing to find a definitive Coletta-sucks link. There's a project that needs to happen. Something with lots of comparisons between pencils and finishes.

the lw said...

Glad you included the footnote on Coletta, as my initial response was, "Vince who?"

Although there's no transvestism about Ma Hunkel--to my mind a good move on your part--there is some mild androgyny, which smacks of some form of gender subversion. She has a substantial, sturdy body and I like that.

Are there really no examples of transvestite superheroes who are men posing as women?

Joel Priddy said...

Well, there is Lord Fanny. I'm sure there are other examples from your more subversive/counterculturey comics, but I'm drawing a blank on mainstream examples.

Anybody out there want to win a no-prize?

the lw said...

Let me get this straight: Lord Fanny is an ex-prostitute, transgender, extradimensional-demon-fighting shaman superhero?

As for transvestite superheroes, google just revealed the following:
http://trannyforce.com/

Joel Priddy said...

Yup, that's a pretty good summation of Lord Fanny. That's the beauty of comics: no idea is too big, too wacky, or too over-the-top. Especially if it's a Grant Morrison comic.

Re: Tranny Force. In a sense, drag queens/kings pretty much are real life superheroes, aren't they? When they transform out of their secret identities, they are able to do things beyond the dreams of mere mortals—like consume ferocious amounts of alcohol and lip-synch for a living.

Daniel Felts said...

Joshua Kane (Sanctuary): featured in Straczynski's Rising Stars; televangelist, transvestite, and superhero.

Joel Priddy said...

Thanks, Daniel!