Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Place holder Joker

hey all,

I have a few big blog posts planned, including one on my plans for 2010, but I'm a little busy this week and can't wrap them up. SO, I'm posting this Joker sketch from a few years back as a place holder till then. Talk to you soon.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Skottie Young's BERNARD

Skottie has been doing this great strip on his blog called "The Adventures of Bernard the World Destroyer". They're tons of fun, and he's planning on collecting them into a trade when he's done. He asked a bunch of friends to do a pin up for the book, and I was more then happy to oblige. Skottie is insanely talented and creative, and I'm proud to call him my pal :)

If you haven't already, check it out here.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Fear Agent pencil & ink comparison Pt. V

Hey everyone,

Ok, last of those pencil to ink comparisons (courtesy of inker John Lucas).

Hope you enjoyed seeing these as much as I did. Can't wait to see Tony rock these!

Previous post.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Joker and Harley

Here are the last two drawings for the runner up winners of my Twitter holiday contest. Hope they like'em :)


Blog follower Holiday contest winner!

So, I just picked a random number and matched it up with the list of followers I have AND THE WINNER IS!...

...Ron Salas!

Ron, if you're reading this, please e-mail me your address and who you want me to draw to mhawthorne@thinktankcomics.com

Thanks to everyone who follows the blog! I appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you :)


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Follower Holiday give-a-way!

Ok, so here's the deal. Tomorrow at 10am I will take the number of followers of this blog, write the numbers on pieces of paper and throw them in a hat, then pick a number. Each number will correspond to a follower, and if your number comes up then you win! Simple as that.

I've decided to make this a little more personal so the prize will be a commission drawing (like the Batmen below) of the winner's choosing. Been jonesing to see me draw a particular character? Well, this is your chance to see it.

If you follow the blog, you're already entered. I will ship you the art for free, unless you are out of the US then we'll have to work something out for shipping.

Tomorrow I will announce the winner, at which point he/she will have to e-mail me their address and they're commission request.

That's it. Talk to you tomorrow :)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Batmen


Been on a bit of a Batman kick lately. Here are a couple of drawings I've done of the character.

During my Twitter holiday contest I picked up so many new followers that I wanted to offer something in addition to the Red Crow piece that was up for grabs. So I decided to award three small head sketches as consolation prizes. This Batman is one of the three mini-prizes in the contest.

AND this one is a gift for a friend who is a Batman fan.

I don't think I ever draw Batman the same way twice, mostly because I don't think I've given much thought to what my version of the character would be like. I think in my head it's a combination of Jim Aparo, David Mazzucchelli and Rodin. Haven't figured it out yet.

Anyway, I have a feeling I'll be doing more Batman drawings before the Holiday season is through ;)


PS - I will be holding a similar contest for the folks who follow the blog. Watch for more info on that later today, Thursday Dec. 17Th.

Fear Agent pencil & ink comparison Pt. IV

Here's another one of those pencil to ink comparisons. Pencils by me. Inks by John Lucas. Faces to be inked by Tony Moore.

Last post.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Twitter contest 2009!

Ok, so I'm holding a contest for those who are following me on Twitter. Basically, I'm going to pick a name at random using this and that person will win this:

On his Twitter feed, Skottie Young offered to give my 1400th follower a page of HIS art and I figured I'd match his offer and give a page out myself. So if I can get to 1400 followers, that's three pieces of art up for grabs. IF I don't get to 1400, there is still the above art up for grabs.

Let's review:
Red Crow piece to a random follower by tomorrow at 10AM

IF I get to 1400 followers then I will give an actual comic page out to another random follower.

Skottie Young will give a page to the 1400th follower.

So if you're not following me on Twitter, you may just want to sign up...quick! ;)


PS - I will be doing a similar contest with all you folks who follow the blog, but different art will be available. I'll do that later in the week, after this contest. Stay tuned for more info on that.

Monday, December 14, 2009


So, a few nights ago I could not sleep. I ended up drawing instead. Tonight, I can't sleep again and so I remembered I didn't post the stuff I drew that night (hence forth to be known as "INSOMNIART!" tm, copyright 2009 Mike Hawthorne :)

Anyway, here's what I drew. Worked on some previous pieces I had started and then began a new one. Some guy in a trench coat named Constantine.

Enjoy. I'm not.

Previous Viking post.
Previous Hellboy post.


Fear Agent pencil & ink comparison Pt. III

Here's number three of the pencil to ink comparison posts. Courtesy of inker John Lucas.

Part I
Part II


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fear Agent pencil & ink comparison Pt. I

I just saw that Fear Agent inker John Lucas posted these on ComicartFans.com, and thought it was cool. He's comparing the pencils I did with his inks. John, an awesome artist in his own right, is adding so much texture and atmosphere to the inks! I love seeing his process here . Tony Moore will come in later to ink the faces, but no scans for that yet. Sorry.

Anyway, I'm a sucker for this kind of behind the scenes stuff! Hope you dig it as much as I do. :)


Thursday, December 10, 2009


I've been thinking of trying my hand at Threadless.com's t-shirt contests. I love designing shirts, but haven't pushed it more because the logistics of running a t-shirt business while STILL being a comic artist are a nightmare. So having a reputable place like Threadless handle is looking more and more appealing.

I had this design from something I submitted to OBEY, but always wanted to retool it and make something fresh with it because I love the drawing so much.

This is by no means done. I want to add some art into her belt buckle, and the face on the print isn't done yet. Haven't decided if I want the "beat up" version or the clean one.

Anyway, feel free to pass you thoughts in the comment section below.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

An Ode to John G

Yesterday, amongst all the bills and junk, a familiar package was waiting in my mailbox. It was a package from my favorite underground, over head, madman - John G. A.K.A. J.grit. I knew it was from him cause he always sends this fat envelopes full of his latest swag and swagger. This one was especially great because it contained the newest vol. of his ever growing CAVE MAN DIARIES. I have all six volumes, from back when they were just b&w mini-zines. Now it's full color and bound and super badass. But one thing hasn't changed, it's all John G. No way to describe it. Just go check out his site for an idea of what's in it.

I met John for the first time at a con in Philly years and years ago. Ivan Brandon introduced him to me, this grizzly dude in a wheel chair carrying a bag full of mini comics. He said he was a fan of my original HYSTERIA series, (the self published one no one read). He held out this gnarly, filthy hand (grime from wheeling OVER Philly in the rain) and I knew this was gonna be my dude for years to come. John, like me, grew up on BMX. He had an accident that put him in a wheel chair, but I'll be damned it did NOT slow him down. John goes everywhere, does everything, no excuses and no limits. He's so insanely prolific, which is doubly impressive when you realize he can't feel his hands.

I draw too much. Sometimes, if I push it, it leads to pain in my wrists and knuckles. I went too hard for too many years and it's catching up. Every time it flares up, I think of John. Then I suck it the fuck up and get back to drawing.

I guess that's why i wanted to write this little Ode to my bro. He's been an inspiration to me because of his attitude, but mostly his work.

John's "Grendel" is Skullface. Here's a version I drew of him in 2005.

I read one of John's early Skullface comics, which was all written in rhyme, and fell in love. I begged him to do an "album" with me. Long form, all lyrical badassedness.

Anyone that knows me knows that one of my goals in life is to DRAW the next great Hip-hop album, and I hope that someday THIS Is it. (Or one with DOOM, but that's another story)

John and I have been simmering ideas for a long while now, and I think that in the coming year this soup is gonna be ready. And WHOA unto thee when we drop it because it's gonna be some heavy shit. It will not succeed finacially, Hollywood will not pick it up, a big publisher will not do a collected hardcover definitive edition, HELL it's not even gonna be a printed comic in the traditional sense, but it WILL fucking change you and how you see comics. That's for sure.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Drawing for fun - ELEKTRA pt.III

Still plugging away at that Elektra piece, when I have a minute or three.

Resolved the hair, which kept bugging me. Didn't *feel* right before mainly because it looked more like a flag then hair to me. I fixed some issues with the legs too. One was too long, and too thin. Didn't match the other at all, and threw off the balance.

Also added some new dead ninjas. Gotta look for ref on some cool tombstones. I think I want to add an angel sculpture somewhere in the background, maybe off in the distance a bit.

Anyway, enjoy.


PS - Here's the last Elektra post

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Drawing for fun - VIKING pt. II

Worked on this VIKING piece a little more. (See previous post, if you missed it)

I noticed while inking this that I hade made a mistake in the penciling stage. I made the left side of his face too narrow, and it didn't match the right. I wanted this pretty symmetrical to create a stone monument-like feel for this character, so I used an old trick I learn in high school art class. I took a sheet of tracing paper and traced off the "correct" side of the face, flipped that over and put it under the existing drawing and lined it up down the middle. Then I light boxed the corrections onto the actual drawing with a non-photo blue pencils and continued inking. I made sure to fudge parts of it to keep it from looking TOO symmetrical and creating a fake, robotic look to the man.

Anyway, more soon as I get time to work on it.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Drawing for fun - VIKING!! pt. I

Been doing warm ups before pages, and worked on this about 5 minutes at a pop all week. This is Bram "The Quiet" from the stunning Images series, VIKING. Written by my pal and regular collaborator Ivan Brandon and drawn/painted/ninja'ed by the amazing Nic Klein.

Haven't worked on it the last two days, but figured I'd share it before I get much further on it so you can see the work in progress.


Monday, November 30, 2009

The "game changer" part IV

Here's another sneak peek at my "game changer" book. Still can't announce what it is, but I promise to do so when the time is right. I appreciate all the interest in this thing already, and beg forgiveness for being so vague about the details of the project thus far.

Part I
Part II
Part III


Friday, November 27, 2009

Drawing for fun - HELLBOY!! pt. III

Hey all!

I finished the pencils for that Hellboy piece I was working on. If work allows I'll get to inking it, and will post the work in progress.


New art for sale Nov. 27th, 09

Hey all!

I put that DREDD art up for sale in my store.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009!

Hey everyone,

I want to say Thank you to all of you who check out the blog and support my work. I appreciate each and every one of you and thank my luck stars that you've decided to follow my work.

I try my best to give back and post often to share as much of what's going on in my studio as I can.

I hope you all have a great day, surrounded by friends and family with plenty to eat.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hulk VS Thing

Apparently I always draw big monster dudes as kinda' somber.

Wonder who'd win in a "who's sadder" fight?

This guy...

...Or this guy?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Old sketchbook find - The Thing

Guess who can't sleep again!?

Been tossing and turning for over an hour now, so I got up and flipped through some old sketchbooks to find something to goof around with. I found this little half inked Thing sketch, and decided to finish it.

A while back I had started it for a Thing inspired art thread on the old Ivan Brandon message board, but was too busy to finish it. I ended up forgetting about it till tonight. I polished off the inks, or maybe I roughed them up a bit, and this is what I ended up with.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Drawing for fun - DREDD! pt. V


Previous post.

This piece will go up for sale later this week, unless it sells before then.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New art for sale Nov. 18th, 09

I'll be posting new art for sale every week leading up to Christmas. Check out this week's haul.


Drawing for fun - ELEKTRA pt. I

Remember how cool 'Elektra Lives Again' was? I came late to it, but once I laid eyes on it I knew I wanted to make THAT kind of comic. Anyway, over the weekend I decided to play around a bit with a shot of Elektra VS the ninjas in the cemetery, made famous by the fight scene from book.

Even used a red pencil for extra wreck. More soon.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Queen & Country W.I.P. pt.III - The big finish!

Got this wrapped this weekend. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and will honestly miss it once I ship it off. But, it's going to the good home of a true Queen & Country fan! :)


Friday, November 13, 2009

Queen & Country W.I.P. pt.II

Got the pencils done on that Q&C piece. Man, really nice to get to revisit these characters that I grew to love.

The first post from this piece.

Anyway, enjoy.


PS - Before anyone e-mails to ask, this piece is already sold. Sorry :(

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Drawing for fun - DREDD! pt. III

This is coming along nicely, so I figured I'd share.

I fixed a drawing mistake and a costume element I missed, thankfully caught by eagle eyed PJ Holden (thanks, man!), and have begun inking it here and there when I have time. This week is all layout work, so I'm playing around with this when I need a break from that.

Now that I've started I see I should have used a more up to date gun, and maybe made that eagle shoulder pad/armor element bigger or more stylized...not sure. Definitely something to keep in mind for next time.

Previous DREDD posts: pt. I & pt. II


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Drawing for Fun - HELLBOY!! pt. II

Got a little farther with that Hellboy piece. Can't wait to finish it, but have a ton of layouts to get to.

See the first post of this here.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Drawing for Fun - DREDD part II

Finished the pencils on that DREDD piece. Hopefully I can find some time to ink it...but I kinda doubt it'll be soon. Too much work to get to first. :(

See the first post here.

Comments welcomed.


Friday, November 06, 2009

The "game changer" part III

More art from my secret project.

Required reading, if you haven't seen the posts already.
Part I
Part II


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The "game changer" PT. II

Before reading this, you may want to catch up on part one of The "game changer"

"You don't want to read about it fool, you want to feel it..."
Brother Ali

Years ago I attended the prestigious Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. My room mate was a classically trained Opera singer, and he was amazing. We got to be pretty good friends. He was a happy go lucky, goofy, & lovely human being. I couldn't imagine him taking anything seriously, which to me was what being an artist was about. Taking shit really seriously. So, I went to one of his performances one night to see him in action. I was blown away. This boy sung like a dream.

That would have been memorable enough, but then another thing happened that changed my attitude towards art for years to come. I was totally enthralled with the performance, but then something in the crowd caught my attention. A few girls, all students and artists, were openly weeping. They were so moved by this guy's incredible performance that they just cried at the beauty of it. And even through the tears they never stopped listening, never took their eyes off of him.

I swore then and there that some day, God knows when, I would make an image that would move people they way this song had. I would make something so pure that the viewer would forget the artistry behind it, the technique, the draughtsmanship, and just experience it on an emotional level. I would take this task very, very seriously. Because I was a serious artist.

I failed for years. So many years in fact that I forgot about the goal, forgot about adding pure soul to art, and focused more and more on the technique.

Then I sent some pages from The "game changer" book I'm pouring my heart into to a cartoonist friend I respect to get his input, and he typed back something stunning. He said the pages made him "tear up".

I was floored. This guy is not the crying type. He's been through some shit in his short life that would break the strongest amongst us. I mean, real pain and struggle. The kind that either crushes you, or hardens you into diamonds. This dude did the latter.

And I made him tear up with some comic book pages.

My mind went back to that night in that Opera hall and I'll be damned, I finally figured it out. My Opera singer friend didn't TRY to move people. He just stood up on a stage, forgot we were all there, and sung from the soul.

When that shit happens, you can FEEL it.

I think, God help me, I think that is happening here with this book. I'm holding my heart while I draw this thing, and hopefully you will not only read this book...you'll FEEL this book.

Thank you.