Monday, August 3, 2009

Conehead

Conehead
How can you tell I'm a child of the 1970s? Because I have a superhero named CONEHEAD!

Yes, Conehead was apparently born in 1978, and was obviously inspired by the recurring "Conehead" sketches on Saturday Night Live. How I got exposed to them is a mystery, but I'm assuming it was because they were part of the cultural landscape and not confined strictly to SNL.

Conehead was super strong, invulnerable, could fly...you know, the usual Superman-type schtick. The part about him that absolutely slays me is that I drew him with a MASK. Apparently, that is so he can blend in with the other coneheaded people.

(I have this vague memory that, at one point, the "conehead" was false, and he had a regular head underneath it. That probably wasn't the original idea, and it sure doesn't explain the mask.)

Conehead was a member of my first group of superheroes, which was dubbed "The Secret Society". I was very original with group names, wasn't I? Eventually, the Society was supplanted as my "main" superhero group by the Legion of Heroes. Some Society members were shifted to the Legion, some faded entirely, and the rest were assigned to their own parallel Earth. Conehead hung around for this incarnation of the Society, and the vintage inset drawing of him is from that time. But with all the characters I made up in those days, the remaining members of the Secret Society just got crowded out of the picture.

Conehead and his latter-day Secret Society teammates are rather unique in my stable of characters in that I had color pictures of all of them. Unfortunately, none of those pictures reproduce well. I usually drew very tiny pencil figures in those days, and the only colors I had handy were crayons. Yeah, not exactly ideal. But from this dilemma arose opportunity.

You see, I'd been itching to draw some of these old guys since I started digging them up in 2007. Well, I had color schemes for a few of them, but no color pictures to post. Why not draw a NEW picture or two, add computer color, and post them on the Internet? I could even add in an older drawing for comparison.

So I did. Conehead was such a deliciously surreal character that I knew he had to be in the public arena. And now, some 30 years after his creation, the mighty Conehead is here!

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