Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Black Panther & Storm

So I'm doing another drawing for the Women of Wonder Day Charity event . We at the studio have been doing this for some years now and some of them have been posted here , here , here , hereish & here ( there are a bunch more )
So I was asked if I would draw Storm & Black Panther this year ( Marvel Universe characters created by Len Wein, Dave Cockrum, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby respectively ). Apparently the 2 of them are married now, which makes sense as they are both African nobility and they presumably have a lot in common. These 2 are probably the most well known African characters ( as distinct from African-American ) in mainstream comics and as such I'm quite fond of them both. Africa tends to get a pretty raw deal in the popular media, which is something I'm sensitive about as I lived in East Africa for 7 years.
One of the most interesting , and under-appreciated things, about Africa is its sheer size and diversity. In terms of human biodiversity alone I have a closer genetic relation to Emperor Akihito than Djimon Hounsou has to Nelson Mandela. So in this instance I've decided to make the 2 characters quite racially distinct from each other as if they came from 2 very diverse corners of the continent ( and Storm is half American .) Storm's Mum is from one of the northern tribes of Kenya I'm assuming , so right up near the Somali border where the people are quite tall and fine boned lets say. T'Challa I've always assumed was a west African king which would make Wakanda somewhere near Benin or Togo possibly. People over there tend to be broader, with strong features, something you can see in the African American people you see on the streets of New York today. Their ancestors were probably kidnapped from West Africa during the slave trade so that makes sense.
Anyway I wanted to do a smaller more intimate moment between two characters who love each other rather than some thundering scene of impending violence. 'Cos that's how I roll .
This is a work in progress......

UPDATE: I swapped it out for a more finished version.