Wonder Ariel

My relationship with the Little Mermaid is complicated. There are times in which I love it and can sing every single song of the movie plus the ones in the Sebastian Sings CD that of course I had back in the day, there are days in which I want to throttle everyone who says “She gave up herself for a guy, ugh” because they totally miss that Ariel was completely obsessed with the human world before meeting Erick, and there are days in which I wish Disney had never touched it. Still, it’s the one movie where I love every single change made. Because damn it, I hated the original tale because Ariel did not deserve to die just because Hans Christian Andersen had a bone to pick with a ballerina.


In the same vein, I have a complicated relationship with the Post-flashpoint Wonder Woman comics. I am not a fan of the Nu52 silver uniform (which is why, spoilers, it is not in my list of uniforms to use for the princesses), and I hated that they made her Zeus’s daughter and then the Goddess of War for a lot of reasons that maybe I will touch one day when I finish that piece I am making of Diana.  Rebirth has fixed some of the problems, but well, you know the saying, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. So I’m waiting to see if they undo all the Nu52 damage or I have to wait until the next DC reboot.

Still.. I ADORE her new uniform. It’s the right mixture of the original, the new, and the movie one, while being completely her own. I love that now we see clearly where the lasso goes, that is an armor, the boots. Everything.

So of course,  I had to give it to Ariel. Who was, in a way, the Rebirth of Disney, for many fans.

Memory Lane: Lost

Going back to the beginning of my career, Lyonesse (That can be read about in this post) was a moderate success. By moderate I mean well,  it had about 20 readers (and I know this because that was about the number of copies we could print, and they tended to sold out). At some point during the second part, we moved it to the information fanzine we had started, named Animanga, mostly in order to make it have more pages, and then I kind of lost track of how many people actually cared for the story, but we never got complains, so I counted that as a win.

In any case, Lyonesse was drawing to an end, and I wanted to do something different. But I will be 100% honest, I do have a bit of an hyperactive muse, and I had more ideas than time (Or ability) to make them look good. So I had this crazy idea of showing five different stories, with a two page preview each, and let the Animanga readers vote for the one they wanted to see.

Lost won second place, but because the first place suddenly was picked to launch my professional career (more about that later), it was picked to replace Lyonesse once it ended.

The very first Lost drawing. I was so proud of it, back in 1995. (yes, you can see the signature there)

The story was pretty simple. An earth girl named Jan found a strange macguffin called the Chihenshinchikawasei (Can you tell I was starting to learn Japanese and had just got my first dictionary?) and since the thing opens wormholes, she gets transported (and physically transformed into a blue haired girl for… reasons) into a sand planet where two brothers find her and nurse her back to health. Due to language and culture clash problems, she thinks the brothers, Jial and Zahia, are girls, and Jial decides not to correct her. And then, well, they get adventures as Jial convinces Jan to use the macguffin to find treasures.

I honestly don’t remember what was I thinking, besides “I like Indiana Jones and gender-confusing characters”.

In any case, after publishing the first.. I think it was two chapters, or maybe it was just one, we (That is, Gaby Maya and I) decided to do a crossover between the Lost guys and her characters, the Pirates of Aquelonde, which ended up being the very last story published in Animanga. It was a very interesting exercise for me, as she drew most of the backgrounds and her characters, while I just drew mine and then she inked.

Now, unlike some other entries in this memory lane I’m doing, I did come back to the Lost guys in 2010. Not for publication, but for my portfolio. I made 3 pages, changing the concept a little bit, making the setting more steampunk, making Jial’s gender a bit more obvious as I had decided to go in a different route with Jan. To be honest, I am still thinking about working with this characters again, as soon as I find the right setting for them.


Wonder Elsa

I told you guys Elsa would have her moment to shine.

Not much more to say about Frozen and the Hype. I do adore Let it Go (Although I agree that it was way overplayed and I can’t wait for anything to take its place), but sometimes I think Elsa would have been more interesting as a villain rather than as a misunderstood heroine. And that is the reason number one why I picked up this outfit for her.

Designed by John Byrne, this is one of the very few Wonder Women outfits that was never worn by Diana herself. It was, in fact, Hypolita’s uniform when she suceded Diana after Diana was ascended to the Goddess of Truth position, and was punished for her actions on the Artemis’s mess (more on that later), exiled from Themyscira and forced to live in the human world (She also later travelled back in time, and then things got messy but… well, long story. Go to your local comic book store and get the Byrne era floppies. They’re good). And since Hypolita at that time was seen as a villain for lack of communication, because of her own fears… well, it fit Elsa. Plus, Elsa is a queen, not a princess, so she gets the queen outfit.

Also, first time we see the WW in the belt, which was a great way to put together elements of Diana’s very first outfit with her more current one at the time.

Wonder Aurora


Sleeping Beauty was the first Disney Movie I remember watching. Dad was a bit of a technology nut, so we had an actual movie projector at home, and one of the three movies we had that were not home movies was Sleeping Beauty. I adored it. I loved the music, Aurora, Philip, Samson, the Kings, and of course, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather (Called Primavera in the amazing latin-american dub). Maleficent is to this date my favorite Disney villain and I LOATHE the Liveaction movie because, sorry, it diminish her as a villain when she ends up being “good all along” (It also diminish Flora, Fauna and Merryweather to make her the one who took care of Aurora, and diminishes Philip and in general, it kinds of ruins the original story as a backstory). ANYWAY, I love Sleeping Beauty. I can’t count the times I remember forcing my grandmommy to play Sleeping Beauty and how much I loved coloring her dress in two colors so that Flora and Merryweather were happy. (BTW, Team Blue. The Pink Dress was never my fave).

OTOH, as much as I was a Wonder Woman fan, I didn’t read the Mod Era until much, much, much later. I vaguely knew it had happened when I started reading comics seriously, and originally I agreed that it was a huge mistake because Diana is not quite Diana without the Eagle and the Stars (Or the WW and the stars, depending on which era we’re discussing). However, when I was starting this project I decided to read them in order to pick my favorite mod suit (It happened to be one that was only used in a cover, sue me. She had a TON of dresses in that era), and I discovered… it’s actually pretty good. Sure, the reasons why she had to quit her powers were stupid, and holy shit, Steve Trevor gives Jean Grey a run for her money in the revolving death door department but the stories were solid and I am kinda sad they ended with the closest thing to a full reboot they had before the crisis.

So here’s Mod Aurora, in the only dress in the whole Diana era that doesn’t have bracelets. (Also, fun fact, Diana had a couple of adventures in the Dreamscape in this era so… it works)

Wonder Anna

I am going to admit that Frozen is not one of my favorite Disney movies. It has its charm (And well, as a proud aunt of a 5 year old I have watched it and learned by heart Let it Go), but it’s not one of my favorites… not even a top ten. Still, Anna and Elsa have their charm (More about Elsa later when it’s her turn).

So after a lot of thought, I choose to give Anna the infamous 90’s black suit, the one that Diana wears when she is forbidden to use the name Wonder Woman because her mom had a vision and refused to share with Diana what was going on. Pretty much like Elsa did to Anna (because let’s be honest, half the plot problems would’ve solved themselves in five seconds if Elsa had told Anna “Oh, btw, I have ice powers and they manifest when I am anxious and nervous so please don’t startle me with a surprise engagement on the day I am already anxious and nervous!”)

Done with Copics, glitter pens and in a Copic Sketchbook.

Since I was a doofus and forgot to take pics of the process, here are some details I liked (Particularly, I love how her freckles came out)

Wonder Cinderella

Cinderella was one of my favorite princess when I was a child. Sure, it had a lot to do with the fact that my choices were her, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (more on her when we reach her turn), but of the three? She was my favorite.  Later on, she was replaced by Ariel, then Belle, and so on -and by then, let’s be honest, I was no longer a child- but I still had a lot of love for the girl who instead of telling her Stepmother and step sisters to fuck off, would keep doing the house chores with a smile and a song. (Yes, I know that’s Snow White’s song, sue me)

Choosing which Wonder Woman uniform she’d wear was really easy. After all, there was only one time in Diana’s career where she didn’t wear boots (Boots that were, by their own nature, impossible to loose in a hurry), and it was pretty short. I don’t blame the editors, let’s be honest, the only thing that looks sillier than fighting crime in heels is fighting crime in what looks like ballet shoes, but at the time? It was the closest to Greek aesthetics that Diana’s uniform had back in the Silver Age.

I didn’t take that many photos of the progress, but here you go for the ones I did take. Special shout out to Hei Hei-Dakota, who decided to come and watch mommy color.

Memory Lane – Lyonesse

I started drawing (and trying to sell) my comics when I was 15.  I wasn’t specially good -between being a bit of a hermit, no internet tutorials, and a slightly over protective dad I was pretty much self taught. I still am, but now I actually talk to people and get their input on how to improve myself. Plus, I’ve got about 20 or so years of practice over my 16-year-old self 😉

My very first comic was a small strip I did for a baseball magazine. Unfortunately, most if not all of those strips are lost to time. If I find them, I might talk about them more another time. After that,  and after renting Otaku no Video and learning that in Japan fans did their own comics in very small runs and showed them to the public, I thought “Why not?” and with the help of some friends back then I made Lyonesse.

It was… a bit of a mess.

Lyonesse was a story about a planet ravaged by war, three races in an eternal fight, and some magic thrown in between to show that deep down we’re all the same.  It was divided in three parts, the first and second sold in 12 page, letter sized, photocopied issues (first issue had a run of 5 copies. I have no idea where my own copy is) -well, the second part had a couple of bigger issues, as it was published with Gaby Maya’s Pirates of Aquelonde’s first chapter.  First part was 5 issues long, while the second part was about 4 and then the third part was published inside my other fanzine, Animanga, which is where you can say my career started to lift off.

Lyonesse was the first (and for a long time, the only, to my shame) story I finished. And once I finished it, I closed the file and tried to forget about it. From time to time, however, I remembered the characters and wondered if I could write their story better with my new experience and better art. Then I decide that it’s better to leave them as they are, a nice memory and a teaching experience.

Still, when people say that art requires “born” talent and not practice, I like to see that first Lyonesse issues (you can see the cover, done last century) and then, just to make the point clearer, I made the watercolor that opens this post in 2017. Practice does pay off 😉

Funny thing, though.  I decided to make the watercolor off one of the most secondary characters. His name was Kyja and, while important to the plot, he LITERALLY only appeared in the third part, and in short flashbacks in the second. Still, he was one of the most interesting characters visually, and I had never done a full color illustration of him. So, 20 some years later, I had to give him his due.