A gentleman named Anthony emailed me a month or so ago about some comic art he would like. It was to be made for his wife who has taken up boxing. He asked for a pulp-style 36x24 canvas print for her birthday. I mentioned a boxing ring with crime lords and a gun with a dark tone and limited colors and he was very receptive. He also requested some further details about a yellow lab and incorporating her trainer's name. I liked his initial suggestions and he seemed to like mine very much. So, we went from there.
I was quite swamped with other contract work and my dayjob at the time of his request, so I wasn't able to jump on this right away. I was, however, thinking about it and sneaking moments to sketch and design the characters. Here is the initial sketch I sent Anthony to let him know the direction I was intending to go.
He liked this very much.
As you can see, I wanted the Lucy Lab to be boxing a Bull Terrier, but I had trouble anthropomorphizing this breed of dog. Every time I drew one it seemed to look like a large rat. So, I gave up and decided to go the obvious route and draw a Boxer (duh, right?). I decided to change the direction of the foreground gun to point to the right. If this was an actual pulp magazine cover, I believe THAT is a detail the art director would have wanted. The old rule of directing the reader's eyes to the right in order to cause sublminal page turning or somesuch. I also removed the audience female from the gangsters. I did not think it was necessary for the story or to define who these dastardly dogs were. Lots of nudging and relocating made much more sense. I really do love the editing process.
Here is the finished piece that will one day be hanging from someone's wall or leaning in someone's attic. Either way, it was a delight working with Anthony on this VERY fun project for his wife.
I hope this is obvious, but the gangster dogs in the foreground are a Doberman Pinscher (L) and a Bulldog (R). I was imagining the gun as an Irish Wolfhound while I drew it. I don't know why. I guess because if his characteristics were in the design then it would balance the other doggies. Or just create a cultural relevance for the time and theme depicted.
Thanks for looking and reading. I urge you to contact me for one of your own Custom Comic Art Commissions. Dawg.