Car-loving Comics That Make Me Want to Draw
Part of my comic book enjoyment is how much it inspires me to be creative, and when the comic is car or motorcycle themed, even better
I recently came across a new online comic called Go Monster Go! Written by comic veteran Chuck Dixon, it is all about the simple pleasures of a hot rod era dude, drag racing around Route 66 (in the fictional desert area of Caliente Springs) girls, cars, and the impending danger of an evil, possessed 1954 Chevy (aka “Ghost Car”). This new comic caught my eye for a couple of reasons:
First, it is a free offering from an independent comic book publishing company Arkhaven, that relies on subscriptions for income all while allowing readers to enjoy their main works for free. It is always good to see indie people at work to bring new content to readers.
Second, the simple, broadline retro artwork by Time Lattie really brought back some memories of drawing those silly gravity-defying, smoke puffing, Rat Fink style cars and motorcycles from the Kustom Kulture era.
Part of how I know I have really enjoyed a clever comic book (or any book for that matter) is it makes me want to draw, and as a carlover and maker, any book that makes me want to draw vehicles is especially cool.
My silly art and what the new Go Monster Go! inspires me to draw more of.
Here are three other comic books and mags that have given me the doodling and sketching itch, staring with one that encourages the latter:
CarTOONS Magazine and my funky art like the type it encourages readers to try.
Billed as the “#1 Source for Car Culture Humor,” this carlovers’ Mad Magazine began in 1959 by Carl Kohler and Pete Millar, and ran through the mid 1990s. It got a second wind in 2015, when it was purchased by Marc Methot, and is still going strong. Obviously, the goofy humor and memorable characters have drawn fans, but for me it was always its commitment to bringing in new artists and writers, and helping readers hone their own car drawing skills. I confess, the first thing I turn to when I open one of these are the “How to Draw” pages no matter how old a copy I run across.
I talked about this magazine’s rebirth four years ago, for those who want some more background.
The Wacky Raceland series and a piece of my dorky Dirk Dastardly doodles.
This six-part DC Comics Series ran in 2016, and was part of DCs’ reimagining of several classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The Wacky Raceland saga, written by Ken Pontac with art by Leonardo Manco, takes the screwball comedy tribute Wacky Races and drops it in the middle of a Mad Max style post-apocalyptic desert wasteland.
Good luck finding individual issues, but the books are also available in easier-to-find trade paperback form. The reviews were mixed for this one, but I really enjoyed the dark gritty craziness of a show whose already dated reruns I used to get up early to watch each Saturday. Whether it is the badass cyborg Muttley and Dick Dastardly, or the fact the cars themselves are now sentient, this one just clicked with me.
Give it a go, but it is not for the kiddos. Watch the fun and campy television toons with them instead.
My derpy Ghost Rider doodle and the epic comics that inspired it.
Marvel Comic’s eternally damned biker, created in 1972, has had several reimaginings. The original was created by Roy Thomas, Gary Friedrich and Mike Ploog, and centered on a stunt rider named Johnny Blaze who gives his souls to the devil in order to save his father.
Since then, there have been variant universes spanning cultural backgrounds. He's also been both male and female, and was in one story given the alter ego of Frank Castle (yes, The Punisher). There have been other comic characters who have ridden motorcycles like Lobo and Batgirl, but the Ghost Rider is the most motorcycle-centric of the bunch, and he is a blast to draw. How could a flaming skull on a Panhead Chopper not be?
I didn’t even mind the often panned movie of this one, but would love to see Ghost Rider get his own new movie (and not just a guest appearance like he made on the series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. awhile back). It doesn’t look like he’ll be heading over the Hellish horizon in any live action movie soon, but I can still enjoy the fanart…and create my own.
What car, motorcycle, airplane, train, or other show has made you want to draw or get creative? Let me know in the comments, to help inspire others.