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Homages Across Theme Attics Comics

Homage is often seen as talentless and uninspired copying, but that mentality is not present here. Homages are the purest form of appreciation. With the release of my biggest project to date, Heroic Leap #1, I wanted to pay homage to some of my favorite artists.


Drahcir's Slaughter x Roken Pinup by C. Zandro


First up is a homage to an artist who inspired me to start my drawing journey. Masashi Kishimoto is best known for his work on Naruto. I became invested in Naruto during the end of the Chunin Exam arc. For those who don’t know, the Chunin Exam is a fighting tournament to determine who has enough skill to go up a ninja rank. Each character's fighting style was unique, and their personality manifested itself in their movements. I remember borrowing Naruto Vol. 15 from my school's library, reading it multiple times, and admiring the art. The cover of Naruto and Gaara facing off reminds me of the excitement I had for manga and comics in general. I wanted to bring that same vigor here. For this homage piece, I have depicted Ryan The Revolver as Gaara and Roken as Naruto, with their villains, The Storyteller and Drahcir, representing the beasts.


Roken Pinup by C. Zandro


The Roken pinup above is a homage to Spider-Man #1 by Todd McFarlane. I draw nothing like McFarlane. I don’t think we were even inspired by the same art styles, but that doesn’t prevent me from enjoying his work. I am a little jealous of how good he is at noodling. (Noodling is the hatched lines you can find scattered through out McFarlane's pages.) Those hatch lines on the muscles are an enigma to me. When I look at his work from Spider-Man and Spawn, his hatches are not typically placed in the same spot. It truly is irritating how good he is. I was debating about doing the homage to Spawn, because Spawn is one of my favorite comic book series, but I kept returning to his Spider-Man. Many of Spawn’s early covers show off his amazing cape, but since Roken does not have a cape, it seems Spider-Man was the better pick.


Jetburn vs Blue Bolt Pinup by Denisse Hansen


The last homage pinup is not featured in Heroic Leap #1. It comes from Blue Bolt Rebolt #1. This is an homage to Craig Capullo’s cover for Batman: Gotham Knights - Gilded City #2. Artist Denisse Hansen had Jetburn replace Nightwing and Blue Bolt replaced Batman. When this book came out, Meddle Head was in its very early concept. We didn’t expect to make our superhero universe centered around Meddle-Head; we thought Jetburn was the main character. As things shift around, there will be much more Meddle-Head to go around.


It’s been over four years since the creation of Theme Attics Comics. Heroic Leap #1 is the culmination of all the years being inspired by great comic book creators and making something new from their teachings. I hope all you folks take a chance and see what the inspiration has helped create. Heroic Leap #1 is set for release on April 5, 2024. It can be found on Amazon.


Heroic Leap #1 Cover by C. Zandro

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