Hello, comic fans, and welcome to Round 3 of "Comic Book Idol." I'm your host J. Torres. And, boy, are we having us some fun now! Our eight contestants' art assignment for the weekend was to draw a pin-up for Greg Rucka's "Queen & Country" published by Oni Press. We got us a lot of guns, crosshairs, and brick walls. And in one or two cases, a lot of skin. Click on the names below to see how our contestants chose to interpret and represent the Eisner Award winning series in their artwork…
When it came time for our judges to critique the art, a "clear winner" (as Jamie Rich wrote) emerged: Patrick Scherberger. And the fans showed that they were in agreement with the judges by giving Scherberger an early lead in the poll. A mere three hours after voting began, some other things were coming clear to the keen observer: Scherberger was the people's choice, but never mind the top of the list, the guys at the bottom were really the ones to watch in this race; and at 400+ votes already cast, it was also clear that the turnout for this poll was going to surpass last week's…
Patrick Scherberger - 124 votes (30.02%)
Chris Ring - 85 votes (20.58%)
L. Frank Weber - 70 votes (16.95%)
Martin Redmond - 35 votes (8.47%)
Michael J. Flores - 35 votes (8.47%)
Jonathan Hickman - 28 votes (6.78%)
Miguel Villalobos - 19 votes (4.60%)
Fernando Goni - 17 votes (4.12%)
Then, over the course of a couple of hours, perhaps coinciding with fanboys on the West Coast delaying the lunch hour trip to the comic shop to join the fun here, over 100 more votes came in and things shifted in the ranks. Although, Scherberger maintained his lead and continued to build on it, and Ring continued to receive his share of votes, Weber's fans (perhaps waking up early in parts of Australia to cast a vote and eat some Vegemite before heading off to work) started to close the gap between second and third place. Again, the top three were sure to move on to Round 3, but there didn't seem to be any guarantees for any of the other contestants…
Patrick Scherberger - 136 votes (26.31%)
Chris Ring - 90 votes (17.41%)
L. Frank Weber - 86 votes (16.63%)
Fernando Goni - 49 votes (9.48%)
Martin Redmond - 44 votes (8.51%)
Jonathan Hickman - 40 votes (7.74%)
Michael J. Flores - 39 votes (7.54%)
Miguel Villalobos - 33 votes (6.38%)
In an interesting turn of events, Goni, whose Victoria's Secret Agent rendition of Tara Chace reportedly almost blinded Greg Rucka and had "Queen & Country" readers (including three of the judges) criticizing him for not doing his research and thereby missing the mark, suddenly found himself jumping from last place to the number four position. The rally from the lingerie league (with team captain Joe Quesada) and CBI fans from Brazil logging on, tripled Goni's vote count in as many hours but there were more twists and turns to come...
Patrick Scherberger - 141 votes (25.82%)
Chris Ring - 93 votes (17.03%)
L. Frank Weber - 93 votes (17.03%)
Fernando Goni - 50 votes (9.16%)
Martin Redmond - 50 votes (9.16%)
Michael J. Flores - 45 votes (8.24%)
Jonathan Hickman - 40 votes (7.33%)
Miguel Villalobos - 34 votes (6.23%)
At the halfway mark, Scherberger continued to command the lead, but we now had Ring and Weber in a tie for second, plus Goni and Redmond in a tie for third. Suddenly, the interesting action was neither taking place at the top nor bottom but rather the middle. By this point I had had enough excitement for one day and finally decided to pull away from the computer for the night. But while I was sleeping this happened…
Patrick Scherberger - 155 votes (24.96%)
L. Frank Weber - 101 votes (16.26%)
Chris Ring - 97 votes (15.62%)
Jonathan Hickman - 71 votes (11.43%)
Martin Redmond - 59 votes (9.50%)
Fernando Goni - 51 votes (8.21%)
Michael J. Flores - 51 votes (8.21%)
Miguel Villalobos - 36 votes (5.80%)
Weber moved into second place, finally surpassing Ring after being on his heels for hours. But another to surge forward was Hickman, gaining five percentage points overnight. Redmond also moved ahead of Goni for the first time since the early hours of the poll. And Goni was now in another tie, this time with Flores for the safety of that sixth position. Unfortunately, for Villalobos it looked like his was going to be left behind by the rest of the pack…
Patrick Scherberger -172 votes (23.53%)
Chris Ring - 124 (16.96%)
L. Frank Weber - 109 (14.91%)
Fernando Goni - 80 (10.94%)
Jonathan Hickman - 76 (10.40%)
Martin Redmond - 67 (9.17%)
Michael J. Flores - 63 (8.62%)
Miguel Villalobos - 40 (5.47%)
I woke up and checked the standings a couple of hours before the poll was scheduled to close and saw that Goni's people gave him yet another push and he once again moved from the precarious bottom four positions to a safer spot. Meanwhile in the CBI forum and other message boards, Redmond's fans made their pleas, Villalobos all but conceded and asked people to cast their votes to keep Flores from being eliminated, and after being "quiet" for a time, I had to wonder if any of Hickman's supporters where among those waiting to cast strategic votes to keep him from being eliminated.
In the end, the casting of votes came to this climactic conclusion…
Scherberger maintained his commanding lead to the end. Ring and Weber showed that it may very well be their fans who decide the outcome in a couple of rounds from now. But next week, it will probably be Hickman, Flores, and Redmond to provide the nail-biting suspense once again. This week, however, we must say goodbye to Fernando Goni and Miguel Villalobos.
Fernando, despite the flak you received from "Queen & Country" fans in this round, remember: Joe Quesada loves you. "See, I have the exact opposite reaction to this of most of you guys," he wrote. "First, I really enjoy the composition, your eye is led right to the heart of the piece, down the barrel of her gun and straight into her eyes, and that to me signals success. The artist 'made ya look' for lack of a better way of saying it."
Miguel, you proved to be provocative both as an artist and a personality, and I doubt we've heard the last of you. Jamie Rich recently commented, "I think you have skills, but you need to spend some more time locked away honing them." And you agreed with him, so off you go, we'll be waiting right here for the grand unveiling of your masterpiece.
My sincerest thanks to both Fernando and Miguel for their participation in this contest!
And now, to our advancing six contestants, your next art assignment is: a CrossGen cover design.
Pick a CrossGen title, any CrossGen title, and do up a cover for it. But please don't ask me what the difference is between a pin-up and a cover. All I'll say is, "One goes on the outside and the other goes on the inside of a comic." Do your research. And I don't just mean Google. Bart Sears is CrossGen's art director. Ron Marz is one of our judges. Bill Rosemann will probably be contacting you for quotes anyway, so you can ask him.
Your deadline is Monday, September 1 @ noon (EST).
As with previous rounds, it's your call whether you ink or color the piece. Play to your strengths. Impress us. Like I have to tell you.
I probably also don't have to tell you that the judges will be given approximately 48 hours after the deadline to review and rant or rave about your work. Then on Wednesday, September 3 around noon (EST) we open the 24-hour poll for CBR fans to vote in, and the two artists who end up with the least number of votes will be eliminated while the other four move on to Round 4 and the next art assignment. And, yes, for everyone waiting for sequentials, you'll see some then. So, leave me alone already.
Next week: Two will be eliminated. Four will move on. Erik Larsen is our guest judge.
Thank you for your attention.