Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Minimate Customs: Shade the Changing Man

One of my all-time favorite comics series is Peter Milligan's Shade the Changing Man, one of the late '80's mature readers books that DC published that eventually became the foundation for Vertigo.  For my money, it's the best long series in the Vertigo catalog; yes, better then Sandman, and Preacher, and certainly the criminally overrated Transmetropolitan. Though, I have to say, the series does fall apart a bit after issue #50, when Milligan kills off one of the main characters whom, it turns out, was actually the heart and soul of the book.  Milligan admitted in an interview with the Comics Journal that this was probably a mistake, although it's one that he would repeat again in X-Statix.  Some people never learn, even when they learn.

Anyway.  To give you an idea of who I'm talking about, here's a couple bonus wallpapers I made of Shade:

 The artwork here is by Chris Bachelo, Shade's original artist who would go on to greater fame at Vertigo by illustrating two Death mini-series.  He then went to Marvel, where he does largely shitty (though stylish) work on the likes of the X-Men, Spider-Man, and other characters for whom he's wholly inappropriate.

So Shade was always on my to-do list, and, well, one day I did 'em.

His hair comes from the Secret Invasion Phoenix, his head from BSG's Sam Anders.  The hair, I think, is what spurred on his creation, but the face is what gives him just the right poet/pretty boy look.  His boots come from the ice skates that came with Pet Shop Adrian (and yes, I hated to ruin them, but sacrifices must be made sometimes). 

And the coat.  Shade's funky coat.  I really wasn't sure how to do this; in the comics, Shade's coat is very much the byproduct of computer coloring, so I tried as best I could to replicate the blend.  It's just an old white lab coat Sharpied in many colors. Here's a look from the back:

For once, my general sloppiness was actually a help, and not a burden.  He may well be my favorite Minimate custom; my buddy Kevin called him my "masterpiece", and I'm not one to argue... okay, I am, but not in this instance.  Issues of Shade are pretty easy to find in the cheapie bins, and DC has been reprinting the series recently; if your curiosity is at all peaked by what you see here, I strongly recommend you check this overlooked classic out.

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