Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rest in Peace, Rocketeer!

Project: Rooftop is running a tribute to the recently departed Dave Stevens. Dave's most lasting legacy is probably the revival of Bettie Page as a cultural icon. But a little more in P:R's bailiwick is his high-flying retro-hero, The Rocketeer.

There's not much that can be done to improve the Rocketeer's design. It is so perfectly what it is supposed to be: the perfect leather jacket; the perfect jodhpurs; and, of course, the absolute perfect helmet. When I first saw The Rocketeer, I had a hard time comprehending that this was a new character. How could the Zeitgeist of the Thirties not have produced this character?*

So, I wasn't too sure what to do with this drawing, and I kept putting it off, hoping for inspiration to strike, until the very last minute. I like it okay as a drawing, but I don't think it makes much sense as a character design (where are the straps for the rocket? The wires for the hand-controls? Why is he wearing that particular jacket?). I'd like to take this design as a first sketch and develop it further, but given the other demands on my punch-clock, I think I'll just go enjoy some of those old Rocketeer comics, instead.

* Obviously, King of the Rocket Men only half counts.


Nichol Brinkman said...

This guy has such a great jacket on, in both yours and original Rocketeer.

Joel Priddy said...

Thanks, Nichol! I think I've been waiting my whole life for Nehru jackets to come back into style, and it keeps not happening. Dang it.

chrishaley said...

Joel, let's stop waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. Let's just go ahead and get those jackets and start wearing them. Someone has to start these things and it might as well be us. I know a guy who knows a guy who can put us in touch with someone that can make these jackets.
It's time to start living in the future.. which looks very much like the 30s.

chrishaley said...

Oh, also, I hope we see more Rocketeer(s) from you.

Lighthouse Pilot said...

Joel! Fantastically faithful to the original ora, but with a delightfully deliciuos pop of Priddy. I like the jacket. I think it works if for no other reason than to introduce a little color into an otherwise almost all brown color scheme. You could even make the argument that the wires for the controls are inside his sleeves. Add a couple of straps and I'd say this fellow is ready to soar.

As far as Dave Stevens was terrible news. I had no idea he was even ill. In fact, I watched my Rocketeer DVD just a few nights before he passed away and wondered what he was up to these days.

I'm going to try and whip up a little magic of my own for project rooftop later tonight.

If you get a chance you can check out my blog. As of today...I'm posting again!