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Anatomy of a Convention Sketch: Spider-Man v. Batman

This past weekend at the Emerald City Comic-Con I had a bit of foresight and did what I could to document a sketch-in-progress. Admittedly, this started more as a bit of show-off-ery after a conversation with Jason Howard the night prior, wherein we discussed the challenges of taking a tiny doodle full of energy and maintaining that energy in the final, larger piece.

So when a group of very friendly folks asked if I’d draw a piece showing “Spider-Man beating up Batman”, and I started with a tiny doodle, well, I took out my camera and snapped some pics to essentially rub Jason’s face in it and give him the business.

But what actually ended up happening is I had the makings for this post.

In this instance the sketch did indeed start with a tiny doodle drawn at the top left of the page. Here’s that a bit magnified:

That doodle got elaborated and blown up…and much of the figure construction got taken care of next in the rough pencil stage, shown here (you can see the little doodle up on the top left):

And then once I was satisfied with that drawing I start drawing in ink (for those particularly curious, I used an Alvin Penstix No. 3017-F 0.7mm in this instance…and a brush pen to fill in the larger areas of black), making tiny adjustments in pencil along the way. The end result looked like this:

That’s my thumb down there covering the tip of Batman’s left foot, for those of you doing a full pixel-by-pixel analysis.

And yes, as I was drawing it it spawned a number of “who would win” conversations. It was pretty well settled that outside of Batman figuring out how to nullify or scramble Spider-Man’s spider sense, Spider-Man would win it.

It was a fun piece to draw, and the folks who asked for it seemed pleased. They were getting it as a birthday gift for a friend who couldn’t be at the con; I hope they liked it, too.


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