“I’m A Sketchcover..!” – My Polka-Dot Man Sketchcover

Hey, gang- long time no post!

I hadn’t realized it had been so long since I did a blog post. Lots of life stuffs lately I’ll get into with my next blog entry, but I have been working on art stuffs. I’ve been holding off posting about a few projects until they are completed and I’ve gotten approval on everything. Very close now…

I do have the okay for this one to be shown- a Halloween Trick Or Treat set for RRParks Cards (10 sketchcards and 2 artist returns) and am waiting for word on the others I’ve done for them. I’ll post a blog about what I drew for the Halloween set, and how I did them soon.

Something I have finished and am going to focus on in this blog post is this sketchcover..! It’s a very colorful rendition of actor David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man on a “Suicide Squad” blank comic.

David plays Abner Krill/Polka-Dot Man- the very obscure character in James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” movie, who actually throws polka-dots. David makes the seemingly ridiculous comics character not only funny, but very sympathetic.

He’s a very versatile actor and he’s been in both the Marvel and DC/WB movie universes. You may recognize him from his movie roles in “The Dark Knight” or “Ant-Man” and “Ant-Man & The Wasp“, or his appearance as DC Comics villain Abra Kadabra in seasons 3 and 7 of “The Flash” CW TV show. He’s also been on Gotham and did the voice of The Calendar Man and Penguin in the animated movie “Batman: The Long Halloween, Parts One & Two. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet him in person a few years ago when he was a guest at the Memphis Comic & Fantasy Con.

Polka-Dot Man/Mister Polka-Dot was a villain who first appeared in Detective Comics #300, and as you might have guessed he was a bit out there.

He’s appeared in other comics over the years, as an unlockable character in video games “Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham” and “Lego DC Super-Villains, has had non-speaking minor appearances in the “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” episodes “Legends of the Dark Mite!” and “Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!”,  The Lego Batman Movie, and brought to life most recently in “The Suicide Squad” movie. 

I’ve drawn several sketchcovers over the last few years and really enjoy them- mostly because they’re much bigger than sketchcards!

Sketchcovers are comics that are made for anyone to draw on. Some come with just the masthead/logo on the front with plenty of blank area on the coverstock to draw whatever you’d like. Others have specific areas, and the type of paperstock can really vary. Over time I’ve gathered up a collection of blanks to draw on, but you can find them through most comics shops or places like eBay or comic conventions. 

For this one I started off sizing and positioning the reference photos in Photoshop, printed it out, then used a lightbox and a pencil to get the basic outlines onto the cover. I like doing the wrap-arounds with at least a close-up on the front and one or more figures on the back like this one. (You can see more of mine on this site in the “COMICS” section.)

Then by hand I used a yellow #2 pencil to finish out the drawing and getting the details and shading done.

I then broke out my Copic markers and started laying in some of the polka-dots on his costume.

I really underestimated the details and number of dots his costume has!

After that I started in with some of the browns on his costume and flesh-tones for the face and hands.

Then I started laying in some grey on the suit. The suit sometimes seems white or off-white in photos and in the movie.

Once the majority of the figures were colored I started drawing in background dots with a couple circle and oval templates and a pencil.

I had debated doing a splatter pattern, but chose a more “Twister” game looking pattern of different sized dots.

I think coloring in those took longer than the actual pencil rendering..!

Used some Pigma Microns pens for the black line-art, and a white Gelly Roll pen for the highlights.

I did a light coating of workable spray-fixative to give the paper a bit of ‘tooth’ for the Prismacolor white pencil. I used it for more highlights and smoothing out some of the gradient fades.


Once the art was done I gave it another light top coat with the spray-fix and called it a night.


Here’s the finished wraparound sketchcover.

I recently dropped it off  to The Cellar out in Bartlett. Lonnie Easterling’s two sketchcovers (top left and center) and my three- Polka-Dot Man, Dr. Who, and The Riddler are for sale at the shop.

I also still have several of my sketchcards that are available for sale, both official artist returns from companies like ToppsCrytozoic, and RRParks Cards and personal sketch cards drawn on my own custom blanks- with more to come. The profits from those sales help fund my comics and art supplies habits..!

My 2 sided sketchcovers- $75ea
My official artist return sketchcards- $100ea
My personal sketchcards- $25ea

The Cellar: Tabletop Games & Comics
2737 Bartlett Blvd
Bartlett, TN 38134
(901) 382-8623

Here’s some fun news- David Dastmalchian’s cat Bubblegum has a Polka-Dot Man costume sewed by “The Suicide Squad” costume designer Judianna Makovsky!

From David’s Instagram post: “With the help of my @thesuicidesquad family & some generous animal lovers in Panama, I was able to rescue Bubblegum (full name: Abner Bubblegum Polka Dot Cat). She has been a blessing to our family & was instrumental in helping us through the pandemic.”

How awesome is that..?!! You can follow David on Instagram @dastmalchian

Speaking of “The Suicide Squad“, be sure to check out the Drawing Funny podcast interview Nicki and I did with comics legend (and actor) John Ostrander.

John makes a cameo appearance playing doctor with Michael Rooker in the movie. “The Suicide Squad” DVD and Blu-ray release date is set for October 26, 2021 and currently available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes.

On the Drawing Funny podcast episode we talk about his latest acting gig, plus his “Suicide Squad” comics run, creating the character Oracle, plus some of his creator owned comics and our convention adventures with “Uncle John“.

That’s all for this post. Will try and be a bit more punctual on updating!



“I’m A Sketchcover..!” – My Polka-Dot Man Sketchcover
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