First Sketch of Dick the Bastard and Ron “The Con” Gould
Pencils by Jeff Martin

This was the first concept drawing I did when I started thinking about doing  a wrestling webcomic. I remember the logic behind Dick the Bastard’s viking helmet being that he needed some advantage so that he could deal with alien wrestlers who were much larger/tougher. His design got refined a little, but he ended up being pretty similar to this first incarnation.

Ron Gould’s costume didn’t really change from the original drawing, but his body sure did. This version reminds me of Adrian Adonis before he got his hair cut by Brutus the Barber. I wanted Ron to be fairly thick, but this version went too far into “fat” territory, so I slimmed him down until I got to the version that you see in the comic.

You might also notice that the art style of these guys is a bit different from the comic, and you would be right. I was experimenting with a style that I was working with for a comic about the War of 1812, which was extremely cartoony, but I found it didn’t work especially well for these guys, so I tweaked things here and there until I ended up with what you’ve been reading in the comic.

Pencils by Jeff Martin

I mentioned this drawing in the news post for Classic Wrestling Moments #5, as it was the start of the process that led to HEAT.

I had recently played Cheapass Games’ Secret Tijuana Deathmatch card game, which inspired me to start designing my own wrestling card game that focused more on the wrestlers fighting each other than betting on the outcome and managing your stable of grapplers. I liked the visual theme of Mexican wrestlers, and did this sketch as a bit of a warm-up for drawing wrestlers, which I hadn’t done regularly since Jr. high, when I was drawing a series of comics for my own entertainment; sometimes featuring real wrestlers from the WWF and WCW, other times chronicling the exploits of members of the fictitious and VERY cartoony ZWF.

I have a page of sketchbook drawings for the wrestlers that I created for that card game, and a Word document with a whole bunch of rules and card listings, but eventually drifted away from the project and started thinking about developing a wrestling comic instead, which led to HEAT. When I was coming up with wrestlers for HEAT I went back and mined the card game pretty thoroughly, and ended up using “The Black Fatty” (which I had a poorly translated Spanish name for, “El Negro Grasos”) as the basis for Los Gordinflones Negros (which means “The Black Fatties” according to a different, but likely equally poor, translation site).

Early HEAT Drawings From My Sketchbook

Pencils by Jeff Martin

Top Row: Dick the Bastard design refinement; Dick the Bastard has an unnamed luchador in a cobra clutch; Wooly Bully first sketch.

Second Row: First drawing of Mad Doc Crockett and practice for the hip toss on page five; Ron Gould redesign and trunks logo; Belly-t0-belly suplex practice; PPW Tag Team Title belt design.

Design-wise, most of these characters look pretty much the same here as they do in the comic, some minor tweaks aside. I’ve gotten a whole lot better at drawing them, though.

Drink & Draw Sketch

Pencils by Jeff Martin

I did these sketches at the June 30th Drink & Draw event at Steel Wheels in Edmonton. I hadn’t drawn Dick in a while at this point, so I wanted to practice a little bit before he showed up again. The other guy doesn’t have a name, but I’ve wanted to experiment with less humanoid wrestlers, so I decided to try my hand at a guy with multiple insect legs. I think with some tweaking he could work pretty well, although the insect legs will probably make animating him a little bit difficult until I get the hang of it.

Michi Okagawa Sketch

Pencils by Jeff Martin

This sketch was my first real crack at drawing a Japanese wrestler that isn’t wearing a mask. I was watching a lot of Japanese wrestling and making notes for a later HEAT arc and decided to do some test drawings of wrestlers to use then, which led to this sketch of Michi Okagawa, ICHC Heavyweight Champion. Visually, he’s kind of a mash-up of AJPW and NJPW world champions from the DVDs I was watching, Suwama (AJPW Triple Crown) and Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW IWG Heavyweight Champion). He’s basically Suwama’s head on Tanahashi’s body, with the tights also being kind of based on Tanahashi. The robe is a little reminiscent of Jun Akiyama, but mostly it’s just a black robe with fur fringe. Which I just wrote like that’s the most common thing in the world.


HEAT battle royal pencilsBattle Royale Pencils

Pencils by Jeff Martin

This is a close-up of the battle royale featured in Classic Wrestling Moments 11. I found a bunch of photos of old Andre the Giant battle royales and took bits and pieces from each of them to construct this portion of the panel (I scanned this part before I finished drawing the rest of it, as I wanted a shot of JUST the battle royale). Can you guess where Andre would have been in the original photo? Also, if you look closely you can see that there are, in fact, twenty characters in the ring for this 20 man/creature battle royale.