Dan Schoening - aka Dapper Dan - artist extraordinaire and sole proprietor of Dapper Dan's Pomade drew this awesome Red Tornado for me when I bought a sketchbook from him back in 2007. Dan asked who I wanted a sketch of, and like Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he finally got up to see Santa, I blanked.
I went with Red Tornado.
Reddy's always been a fave, but not THE character for me. That's Firestorm. I guess Reddy could be more of a Favorite v 1.5, especially since he and Firestorm were introduced to me at close to the same time. More on that later this week.
Dan's art is one of a kind, mixing Don Bluth sensibilities, Bruce Timm dynamics and a modern flair. This guy does some phenomenal stuff. Be sure to check out his site when you get a moment or two of free time. It is a prescription of pure awesomeness for your eyes.
Dan's done work for LeapFrog and DC among other clients (sorry, Dan, those are the two I remember the most!). Speaking of DC, I just now - as in right now as I'm typing this found another blog from Mr. Schoening - Dapper Dan's DC Moleskin(e)! After doing a little happy dance, I've linked it right here.
That said, I'm darn glad I went with Red Tornado. I've struggled for years to find a "theme" or "special character" to get a collection of sketches around. I went to Chicago in 2006 and got Justice League Detroit (or Motor City Justice League) sketches. At Mid-Ohio that same year I got some Animal Man sketches. But Barry Kitson knocked it out of the park with a Firestorm sketch that borders on masterpiece as opposed to sketch. While waiting in line for the gracious Mr. Kitson, I got to chatting with some fellow line-waiters and noticed some of those folks had multiple sketchbooks. No longer would I have to settle on one character.
To that end, I've got a Firestorm (and friends) sketchbook and a Doom Patrol sketchbook. This con season will also see the binding broken on a legacy of the Red Tornado sketchbook. Not sure what con will launch it, but look for the results right here.