“Okay,” you ask, “what does a t-shirt featuring a drawing of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, by TV on the Radio lead singer Tunde Adebimpe, being sold to raise money for Haiti relief efforts as part of the Yellow Bird Project, have to do with comics?” Glad you asked! Adebimpe is a part-time cartoonist (and a pretty good one at that), and his drawing of Bowie came directly from my David Bowie sketchbook, in which famous comics folks like Bryan Lee O’Malley, Kate Beaton, Randall Munroe, David Mack, Paul Pope, Cliff Chiang, Adrian Tomine, Seth, Gary Panter, Charles Burns, Los Bros Hernandez, and many many many more have been nice enough to offer me their take on the Thin White Duke. Be a hero, just for one day, and buy the shirt!
Origin story time: Back when I worked at Wizard, I was introduced to the concept of a themed sketchbook by coworkers like Ben Morse and David Paggi, whose Nova and Lockjaw sketchbooks celebrated their favorite obscure superheroes through the generous contributions of comics artists. My problem? I don’t have a favorite obscure superhero. The only hero I really love is Batman, and the problem there is that I’m sure most superhero artists doing sketches at cons are sick of drawing him, while most alternative artists doing sketches at cons are sick of thinking about him. Who could I choose that would fit the bill?
Then it came to me: David Bowie. He’s my favorite musician, and it’s fair to say his outlook and approach to art literally changed my life. Plus, with all those alter egos and ch-ch-ch-changes, he’s like a superhero anyway, right? And thus, at MoCCA 2007, the David Bowie Sketchbook was born.
I’ve since collected sketches of Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, Aladdin Sane, the Goblin King, Major Tom, or whatever else you care to call the former David Jones from 80 artists and illustrators. Below are the latest batches, from this year’s Small Press Expo in September and Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival last weekend. How must the others see the faker?