Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cosplay of the Day : Lady Ginevra

Cosplayer Lady Ginevra has created quite the masterpiece. It takes a lot of nerve (and talent) to successfully pull off a green skinned Poison Ivy costume - and she's done just that.

There is a wonderful contrast of textures and colors. The smooth satin played against the rough and spiraling tendrils. Purple and magenta hues look fantastic when paired with spring greens and what you see here is no exception. The application of the green makeup is flawless. I'd love to know if this was an airbrushed effort or a well done sponge application. An elegant use of flowers for sure. Follow the link at the end of this post to see many more photos of this costume in action. Also, Joker and Harley Quinn look equally awesome.


Cover of the Day : Titans #30

This cover is brought to you by the fine art style of Fabrizio Fiorentino. The cover of Titans #30 shows Batman and Deathstroke surrounded by some of Gotham's most notorious villains. To the right is Poison Ivy in attack mode - complete with slithering vines. An awesome depiction. I've always been a huge fan of these Legion of Doom "villains attack" compositions.

Though I must tell you - most of the villains on this cover do not, at any point, appear in this issue. That includes Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. I get annoyed when they do that (Cry For Justice, anyone?) but at least we get a cool cover out of the deal.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman - Batman) Costume Make-Up by Kandee

This is Kandee Johnson's take on one of Uma Thurman's makeup styles in Batman & Robin (costume #2). The video tutorial is just under 30 minutes in length so be prepared to sit for a while or fast forward when you feel the need.

I was mostly pleased with the final results. I kind of felt like there were a few unnecessary or repetitive makeup applications. I also would've paid more mind to scale. The wig looks a bit too big and heavy and the leaf mask also looks too large for my tastes. Almost bird like. Not sure about the foil either. Beyond that this video is a perfect example of how a warm Autumnal color palette can work for Poison Ivy. It's true - plant motifs do come in more than just green. I very much appreciate Kandee's enthusiasm. The opening bits were fun (if not a tad weird - but in a good way).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Collectables : WB Studio Store Figurine

When I lived in Denver I always made a point of visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Store while at the Cherry Creek Mall. I knew they had a wide selection of DC Comics related merchandise so I was always on the look out for Poison Ivy related items. At least the stuff I could afford.

I happened upon this statue back in the year 2000. It was part of a larger set of figurines being marketed to those costumers on a budget. I paid $29.95 for mine but I believe the average price was around $45.00 and up. This was a welcome find because the higher end items in the gallery were not an option.

Poison Ivy Statue
The styling of this statue is based on the modern flesh toned Poison Ivy - think late 1990s (Apthorp era). It's a lovely sculpt for the price - the pose and face are quite feminine. She reminds me of Claudia Schiffer or Nicole Kidman. A lot of time was spent detailing the hair with some shortcuts taken on the leaf details. The boots look pretty cool though.

All that said, be mindful of the paint application around the face. I've seen a few for sale that had unfortunate (and laugh worthy) facial features because of poor paint jobs. This is a cold cast resin statue and while it feels substantial in weight the fingers and plant details tend to be fragile. I own the Catwoman statue from this line and had to glue a few fingers back into place. Thank you Seattle earthquake.

The only remarkable thing about the box is the lone illustration of Poison Ivy. I don't know who did the art but it's a great rendition. (Though she's wearing gloves in the box art.) Notice the packaging refers to this item as a figurine. However, I prefer to call it a statue. The word figurine makes me think of knick-knicks that old ladies keep in their curio cabinets. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

To this date it's the only officially licensed comic book related Poison Ivy statue. All the others have been related to film or animation. This can be found regularly on Ebay and other auction websites. So if this interests you have at it!

Poison Ivy Statue

Poison Ivy Statue

Poison Ivy Statue
A few of these images were found online. If you are the original photographer and want credit let me know. Thanks.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cover of the Day : Gotham City Sirens #12

I suppose I should clarify. The gorgeous image you will see below is what was supposed to be the cover to Gotham City Sirens #12. Guillem March does not go into detail about why this cover was abandoned in favor of an image featuring Catwoman and Harley Quinn. But if you go to his blog you will see the preliminary sketches for this concept.

To the right is the cover that was actually used. While not bad I can't help but question why they *slighted Poison Ivy. Actually - after skimming through the book it's about one third Ivy and the rest is devoted to Catwoman's arc. (I'll give them that.) Remember that during this period Poison Ivy went under cover as Dr. Paula Irving at S.T.A.R. Labs to get her hands on rare plant samples. Naturally. But, like I said, this particular issue barely touched on Poison Ivy's story beyond her breaking free from Alisa's cage. Don't know what I'm talking about? Well then read the book! Forewarning - the art style tends to jump back and forth during this multi-issue storyline. Some is quite bad but I'll let you figure out what I'm talking about. Ahem.

Now about that cover. I don't know why I always feel compelled to defend March and his style. I suppose it's because one thing I've learned over the last few years (since he first hit) is that a certain contingent of comic book readers quickly dismiss his style as exploitive. It's certainly sensual at times but I don't think it's out of line. He's no Jim Balent (thankfully). The following piece is a perfect example of his ability to mix technical skill and sex appeal.

There she is - Poison Ivy posing as Dr. Paula Irving getting up to no good. I love the effect of her skin not being completely flesh toned as she turns away. So defiant! That sneer is one for the record books too. The detail given to all the lab equipment is pretty much amazing. I admire an artist who can draw without changing the weight of his or her lines. Maybe next time Dr. Irving. Also, don't worry, I won't be adding this much commentary to every Cover of the Day post. (Ha!)

*Allow me to slip into a conspiracy theorist head space for a moment. Fans of a certain character - let's just say she's a jewel thief - were incensed that Poison Ivy was often placed in the middle (or that she often took up more cover space than the other Sirens). But this wasn't true. I suspect there was enough noise to refocus the marketing of this title. Hence this cover never seeing print.

Cosplay of the Day : Meagan Marie

I'm the kind of person who is always on the hunt for new and different costuming goods. Especially in regards to items that can be used for Poison Ivy related cosplay. I've learned that typing in basic image search terms like "Poison Ivy" and "wig" (or boots etc.) will pull up some rather interesting and unexpected results. That is how I stumbled across Meagan Marie and her astonishing turn as Poison Ivy.

I tend to be a perfectionist about most things. It's one of the reasons why I find myself fussing more with the look of this blog instead of focusing on posts. (Hush!) So it was fulfilling to see a cosplayer who knows exactly what they are doing.

From her site: Created back in the 60s, Poison Ivy has seen many different costume iterations over the years. I’ve always loved Ivy from the Batman animated series, but the costume was a bit too simple for my tastes. Uma Thurman’s take on Pam Isley in Batman & Robin was a bit more attractive, especially the long and glamorous cape. Ultimately though I drew most from Ivy’s various comic appearances, ending up with the traditional leaf covered leotard and leggings. Can’t go too wrong with that. Still, the end result was more my interpretation of her various outfits than an exact replica of one in particular. While many think of Ivy as a sexpot who manipulates people to her advantage, I always liken her to a classic (and classy) vixen – sexy, but not overtly so. Mysterious and slightly wicked, but only because she believes so strongly in her cause.

There really isn't a single thing out of place. The style and color of that wig is perfection. The makeup is bold but not overdone. (Those lips!) I've often seen leaf bustiers look far too "crafty" (poorly done). But these leaves were carefully placed and the end result is exquisite. I especially love the hints of deep red along the cup trim. The sheer cape adds a touch of class to an already elegant look.

What ultimately works here is the contrast of the bold red hair with the deep earthy, woodsy palette of greens. Brava!


Artwork of the Day : 1978 Calendar

Super Spectacular Disasters
Poison Ivy and The Floronic Man battle Batgirl and Robin!

This artwork is from the DC Comics 1978 Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters. (The month of May.) Poison Ivy is seen here in a classic style along side The Floronic Man in a dynamic throw down. We have longtime artists Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin to thank for this fun piece.

History Repeating

Where do I even start?

If you're a DC Comics fan then you are most likely aware of the upcoming changes to the DC Universe. Basically DC is rebooting the entire DC Universe by retooling certain titles, creating new books, and cancelling the less successful offerings. It should come as no surprise that Gotham City Sirens will be ending after issue #26. It never found its footing. Of course there has been no official announcement but it's not listed as being one of the "new" 52 monthlies.

The official description for #26 reads as: A secret that goes back to the very first issue of GOTHAM CITY SIRENS will be revealed at last! But will it spell the end of the Sirens? One thing is certain – none of them will be the same! 

The cover for this issue pretty much speaks for itself. It shows all three Sirens walking in opposite directions as they hold each other's accessories. A creative touch I'm sure. I've got to say I'm disappointed that Gotham City Sirens never lived up to it's potential and that's one of the reasons I stopped doing full reviews (for every issue). Though I'll be sure to discuss the ending of Sirens come August. So what does that mean for our Gotham Gals?

Apparently Catwoman is once again worthy of her own monthly title. Welcomed news by Selina Kyle fans I'm sure. I don't think I could bear another day of whining on the DC Message Boards about how she's "too good" for Sirens. Frankly, they all were.

Meet Catwoman. She's addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can't help herself, and the truth is – she doesn't want to. She's good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in this new series from writer Judd Winick (BATMAN: UNDER THE HOOD) and artist Guillem March (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS)!


Harley Quinn has been ushered over into the new Suicide Squad title and I'm actually okay with this decision. THAT costume on the other hand...

They're a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they're sheer suicide! Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! Defeated and imprisoned, they're being interrogated about their mission – and about who's pulling the strings behind this illegal operation. Who will be the first to crack under the pressure?

Now...let's get into the main reason for this post. What is happening to Poison Ivy!? She's being sent over to be in the new Birds of Prey monthly. Say what? I wish I had more information than what is being provided. All I know is that she will be featured in this book. I don't know if it's a regularly occurring role or if her status is anti-hero or villain. The following bit of information isn't of much help either.

Birds of Prey #1
One is wanted for a murder she didn't commit. The other is on the run because she knows too much. They are Dinah Laurel Lance and Ev Crawford – a.k.a. Black Canary and Starling – and together, as Gotham City's covert ops team, they're taking down the villains other heroes can't touch. But now they've attracted the attention of a grizzled newspaper reporter who wants to expose them, as well as a creepy, chameleon-like strike team that's out to kill them.

I'm attempting to reserve judgment until the book finally hits the stands. This could be genius casting or this could be a complete disaster. (I know that Birds of Prey fans are not in the least bit happy about this retooling. I'm sure much of their scorn relates to DC getting rid of Oracle and placing Barbara Gordon back in the role of Batgirl.) However I will gladly shout from every mountain top that Poison Ivy's new costume is just plain awful.

The first thing that I noticed, and what saddened me the most, is that Poison Ivy's green skin tone is GONE. Devastating. One of the true other worldly attributes gifted to this character is no more.

This new Poison Ivy is also not afforded the comforts of her classic leaf adorned "swimsuit". Instead we get to see her (maybe) terrorizing Gotham City in a leafy catsuit. A CATSUIT! I don't understand how Jim Lee gave us a gorgeous Poison Ivy during the Hush era but later manages to cough this up.

Oh wait...where have I seen this look before? Halo is that you? If you're not familiar with Gabrielle Doe, a.k.a Halo, she is a character I first discovered in the pages of The Outsiders. Sigh. The fact that I have to think of this (now) fairly obscure character and her tacky 80s unitard everytime I look at Poison Ivy really bothers me. Baby I can see your halo-o-o...

Poison Ivy has never been ashamed of her body or her sensuality. It's one of her defining characteristics. Heck it's one of her greatest weapons. Now she wears more "clothes" than even Wonder Woman. (Some have speculated that the black parts of the costume are merely shadows but that is not likely. Otherwise that would leave one of her breasts exposed.) This is a woman who is in commune with nature. An ultra-femme elemental who has no business being hidden away from the world. They've tried this once before and it did not work. I suspect it will fail a second time. No green skin. Bad hair. Bad costume. No thanks.

I accept the idea that DC Comics wants to attract a new audience by toning down the more revealing costumes. It's actually a company wide decision. But this was completely unnecessary. Clearly the policy was used at random because characters like Starfire don't seem as affected. Take one look at Harley Quinn's new costume and it's obvious they were willing to go in the complete opposite direction. She wears practically nothing now.

Look...I'm a very proud collector of DC Comics. I've had plenty of beer infused DC vs Marvel debates and arguments with many a fanboy. But this might be a step too far for my tastes. I'm not giving up on Miss Isley. No worries. But I'm fully prepared to wag these fingers in all the right faces when necessary.

I now leave you with a video by The Propellerheads ft. Shirley Bassey. The song is called "History Repeating" and it's quite swinging. Why you ask? Because it's been stuck in my head ever since I chose the title for this post. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Cully Hamner takes credit for this redesign. His quote from Comic Book Resources: Explaining Poison Ivy's new look in "Suicide Squad," Hamner said the design is "pretty much mine... I wanted to make her almost a silhouette with leaves blowing across her body." The idea is that the leaves will change colors like the seasons from green to orange to brown.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oh The Drama!

As you've probably noticed, I've been absent for about a month and a half and that many of the images are missing. Well I've temporarily lost my domain and server space where the majority of my images are being hosted. It is certainly true that Blogger is willing to store everything you see here at no cost. However I wanted to maintain control over the image quality so I've been hosting them on my server space and dime. This also includes the ability to control what stays but also what goes. (Blogger keeps stuff on file even if it appears to be gone.)

I have found a second space for image storage but it's going to take a while to update the links in every post (what a pain!). So many of the archived articles will be lacking visuals. For that I apologize.

Also, I think every blogger reaches a point of momentary fatigue. I've been there a few times over the years. Real world distractions occasionally get in the way of ones creative energy flow. In addition, DC Comics is pulling some ridiculously crazy stunts in the near future and Poison Ivy is falling victim to what is essentially a universe wide make-over. I'll touch on that in the next few days (it ain't pretty).

Til then my friends.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes