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calamityjon @ 2008-07-08T09:20:00

Oh man, the results of the Superman: Man of Style contest are up over at Project:Rooftop, both the Finalists and the Honorable Mentions. I love so many of them that I simply don't even know where to point you (including some which didn't make even the Honorable Mention cut, like this one, which is small changes but which I totally adore).

It was also really gratifying that the judges seemed to 'get' the spirit of my Fourth World Superman. I know I was asking a lot of the judges, designing as I was around a mythology rather than a figure. But the responses were very simpatico, extrapolated wonderfully upon the idea, and certainly nailed the criticisms well:

Dean: Jon’s Sun God Supes is the following: Wicked. Fourth World. Shiny. Excellent. It’s so Herculean and happy, I can’t say anything against it.

Rachel: I’m giving Jon’s design a full extra point because of how thoroughly it breaks from the traditional representations of Superman. Most of these–even the best of them–lean very heavily on the “real” costume, and the ability to make such a dramatic departure from such an iconic look deserves notice. Maybe this is what Superman would’ve ended up if he had crash-landed on Themyscria. Also, while it doesn’t have anything to do with the costume, the pose and facial expression on this are awesome. They totally crack me up: I bet this Superman always says everything in a loud, declarative voice and is super enthusiastic.

Chris: What if Superman crash landed in ancient Rome? That’s what this hits me over the head with. I don’t think he could pull this off in 2008. But maybe I’d like to see him try.

Joel: Argosy Action Superman! Beyond the obvious virtues of this fun drawing, what I really like about this design is that it really could have been what Superman looked like, if Joe and Jerry had been paying less attention to circus performers and more to Supes’ pulp magazine predecessors (”Clark Kent! Golden Warrior from Another World!”). And then, all superheroes costumes would be derivations of this! The gold armor looks futuristic enough to balance the Classical inspirations. The solar eclipse buckle adds some nice mythic undertones. I’m a little worried about whether or not that cape is a tripping hazard, and the feet are a little footie-pajamas for my taste.

Jess: It seems like it might be a little awkward to go around in - the leather truss would poke him in the ribs every time he bent over, and if that S-shield is raised it would be poking his armpit rather uncomfortably when he put his arm down.  I’m also not sure why he needs gauntlets if he’s super strong and invulnerable.   I definitely give it major props for creativity, though.

Vito: Sun God, huh?  I can see it.  In fact, this is very New Gods meets Greek Gods.  Not too far off the original intention of…well, any comics, really!  The one thing that throws me off is the cape.  It looks uncomfortable to me.

Well, and then there was:

Waid: Very creative, but not very Superman-ish.

That's okay Mark, you're a terrible writer.

Nah, seriously, I appreciate that Waid took time out of a really busy schedule to participate in this contest, but his comments sure made it seem like it was a hell of an imposition, and maybe that he didn't quite get the point of about ninety percent of the redesigns. His responses to most of the entries was so brusque and inconsiderate - a "blurgh" here, a "glurgh" there, a blunt exclamation every third or fourth entry - that I ended up feeling a little soured on the judging. It got to be like an unwanted punch line to each set up, some wonderful analysis and back-and-forth between enthusiastic judges, and then Waid yells "I'm audi" and drops the mic on the stage. It just wasn't very Supermanly of him, you know? Superman would have taken his time and been fair but honest and considerate of the time the contributors had spent on each piece, and he's got planets to juggle, so you know he's busy.

Anyway, enough of that. I honestly don't know which ones are my favorites, there are so many amazing ones - Frankie Franco's short-sleeve Superman, Ryan Roman's adorable kiddie astronaut Supertot, Tyler Parker's unearthly creature, the passel of retro designs like Marcus Parcus' and Brian Mead's and Kyle Latino's, Daniel Krall's ASTONISHING combo of super-suit and suspenders, for crying out loud, it's beautiful, then Jemma Saulme's ethereal design, Mike Maihack's Shazam-esque Supes, Joel Priddy (a great Bizarro), Rosemary Travale's adorable Superman all looking like a gelato vendor ... This is one of the most fun things in which I'd ever taken part, I'm really glad it came out so well. Go check it out for yo'selves!