I finally finished another sketchcover. I got started on this one back before the Memphis Comic Expo in October, but between the holidays, day job, and just plain laziness on my part it’s taken a while to complete this commission.
I normally don’t take commissions. I have a day job to pay the bills and when I do art these days it’s pretty much for fun and/or to have merchandise to sell at cons. Either way, I draw what I want to draw, when I want to draw it. No deadlines, no making a client happy, no negotiating. I draw to draw, and if someone wants to pay what I’m asking for the finished work I’m happy to sell it.
Mark runs the website MemphisWrestlingHistory.com and has written several books on wrestling, many focusing on the Memphis “wrasslin’” scene and history. He’s a fixture at MCX each year, and has been set up at the con next to wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler.
I grew up a huge Saturday morning Memphis Wrestling fan and have gotten to know Jerry over the years, and run into him around Memphis from time to time. He’s even attended one of my art shows. Like Mark and me, Jerry’s a huge Batman and superhero fan, too.
He even owns his own ’60s Batmobile (I’m sooooo jealous) and has been a guest at the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL.
Well, growing up I got to witness all those worlds collide on my TV screen. Back in 1976 Adam West/Batman was in Memphis appearing at a car show at the Cook Convention Center and stopped by the studio where the local wrestling was shot. During the TV interview with wrestling host/commentator Dave Brown (who insists Adam was NOT drunk, just campy), Batman (Adam wearing a Batman cowl, gloves, and track suit..!) faces off with Jerry Lawler dressed as the evil Superking. It was one of the most vivid, and bizarre moments I witnessed on TV as a kid. The two didn’t actually face off in the ring, until now…
When Mark sent me some pics and said he wanted Lawler throwing powder in the face of a Neal Adams era Batman, I was thinking more Adam West Batman since he and Lawler had been on TV together- and maybe Lawler in the Superking tights he wore on the show, and Adam in the full Batman costume (and not the track suit). Mark agreed and I got started merging it all into an image.
I ended up using my Hot Toys Batman figure as reference for the pose and costume likeness.
I used Copics and Microns on this cover. A lot of the white powder was done with Copic White and a brush.
I saw on Twitter that Jerry really dug the cover. 🙂
Thanks, King- and thanks, Mark!
PS- if you are interested in purchasing any of my sketchcovers, you can find them at: