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Sunday, May 03, 2009

A VAULT RERUN-JOHN BYRNE'S HOW TO DRAW THE THING

Ben Grimm. The Thing. Unarguably one of the greatest of American super-heroes. If you don't know who he is I urge you to look up his name on the Wikipedia, or google the Fantastic Four. I intend to get around to writing a comprehensive look at the ten greatest American super-heroes (in my humble opinion) among which Ben would definitely be numbered, but for now let it suffice to say that Jack Kirby designed him back in 1961, provided the definitive look for the character on the cover and splash page for FANTASTIC FOUR #51, and nearly twenty years later the wunderkind of UNCANNY X-MEN renown, John Byrne, took over the book and gave it its greatest run after its creators left.

Basing his Ben on the Kirby template and giving it a few sensible tweaks, Byrne provided readers with a cut-and-dried model sheet for how to draw a character that many find difficult because of the quirks of his anatomy that simply are not human, and his seemingly-impossible-to-keep-consistent pattern of plates/rocky skin. So break out your pencils, boys and girls, and channel your inner Kirby. To paraphrase Mama Grimm's blue-eyed baby boy, "It's Drawin' Time!"

I promise to dig out the actual issue of THE THING that ran this page and give it a proper scan, but for now this will have to do.

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