I came up with a new bit of fluff this week. Bucket-heads. There is a goofy name for you. Bucket-heads are an offshoot of the comic book sketch covers that I’ve been making for the past year or so. Sketch covers are comic books with blank covers on them that you can draw on. I bought a “Batman: Li’l Gotham” sketch cover and was trying to think up something to draw on it. There have been small and cute versions of super-heroes for a lot of years now (I’ve heard them called “Super-deformed” characters but not in a while ) but I have never drawn anything in that genre. “Cute” has never been my forte but “Li’l Gotham” was up that alley so I figured I’d give it a try.

There is a lot of cute stuff being done these days. The first thing I noticed that is all had in common was big heads. Cute often means big heads and big eyes so the place I knew I had to start on that “Li’l Gotham” cover was the heads. I started doing some sketches but instead of drawing a giant circle for the head I drew a tapered cylinder. A bucket if you will. I’m not sure why I thought of that shape but it somehow worked for me right away and I drew a Bucket-head Batman for that cover with a little bit of Bucket-head Joker thrown in too. I thought the sketch cover came out well and moved on to other stuff without giving it much more thought.

In showing around some of my sketch cover to friends most of them liked that Bucket-head cover. People really do love that cute character stuff. Especially characters they already know. This is mostly to my chagrin since I like making up my own stuff and don’t really like using other people’s characters but since I was already dipping my toe in that water with the sketch covers I figured I’d see what else I could do with the Bucket-heads.

Recently I’ve been using social media more than I have in the past to get my work out there. Being that I have no idea what I’m doing that means posting more stuff than usual. Mostly to Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. I have tons of my own stuff to post and have been posting photos of my artwork and street photos. I have no idea if this will help me in any way but at least it gets a few people to look. I decided that the Bucket-head drawing might get me a few more views since there are a whole lot of people who like cute Batman drawings. So I set out to make some Bucket-head art cards.

Art cards are, of course, the 2.5×3.5 inch baseball card size drawings that has become a standard format. I’ve made a lot of them over the years and they seemed a good format for the Bucket-heads. The first thing I noticed when trying to choose which super-heroes to draw was there are a lot more famous male super-heroes than female ones. I knew that going in but never having drawn a lot of super-heroes before never had to face that in terms of figuring out who to draw that someone might be interested in seeing. Being that I usually make up my own characters and no one cares about them I’ve never cared about what others might want to see.

If you were to count up the genders numbers in my work I think it would skew towards more females but with the number of androgynous figures I draw I’m not positive. In taking a quick poll of paintings lying around my studio I get seven males, fifteen females, and fourteen androgynous figures. That’s nothing like the world of popular super-heroes. If I’m conscious of gender I usually split things fifty-fifty. When doing my “Message Tee” comic I make half of the people in t-shits male and the other half female. That seems to work for me.

In starting to do a few Bucket-head art cards I picked the first super-heroes that came to mind: Batman, Superman, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. It was only after I made those four cards that I realized that if I continued to do super-heroes I’d have to find some female ones to do to. Most people associate comic books in general with super-heroes in particular. If you tell someone you read comic books they assume you know all about Superman, Batman, the X-Men, Spider-Man, and ann the other big names. I know all about those guys up until about 1987. After that not so much. It’s tough trying to figure out which female super-heroes to draw when I don’t know any of the new ones. When I think “New female super-hero” the first name that pops into my mind is Jubilee from the X-Men and her first appearance was in 1989! That’s how out of the mainstream I am.

Anyway I eventually evened out my male to female ratio and ended up making twenty eight cards over the last couple of weeks. In looking back at them there is only one character created after about 1978 in the bunch. The new Captain Marvel. I happened to see an article on her and liked her new costume and knew I could find it easily. I had to reference all the character’s costumes and am glad we have the internet these days to do it. Even then it can be confusing. Wolverine has had a million costumes so I had to find one I liked. I went with the brown and yellow brown John Byrne one. The Vision, Phoenix, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Captain America, Big Barda, and the Invisible Woman, just to name a few, have all had a lot of costume changes. I think I picked most of the costumes from the 1970s.

So I had a little fun making these Bucket-head cards. I took to them easier than I thought I would and doing “Cute” ended up being a little easier than I expected it to. Plus they’re colorful and I always like colorful.