Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Rowdy Roddy Piper: A tribute (part two)

For part one, please click here.

Rowdy Roddy Piper once said he "was rowdy before rowdy was cool." Truer words were never spoken.

As a pup, I was fascinated by the man who made life miserable for WWE/WWF heroes like Hulk Hogan and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. He was cheeky, colorful and - prior to Yours Truly appropriating the moniker - honestly could have been more Coyote (a royal, pain-in-the-ass Trickster) than me. And no matter where Roddy Piper went, his name and reputation followed, whether he was portraying a heel or an antihero/face. Just as well, hijinks would ensue.

In part one of this blog post, I shared my ink rendering of Rowdy Roddy on Aug. 2. I locked in the image (on 9" X 12" Bristol Board) in Micron and Pentel Pocket Brush pens. I wasn't certain if I was going to add color, how much or in what manner. Ultimately I went with gouache (watercolor) paint and a smidge of Faber-Castell PITT artist pen for the highlights I couldn't suss with white gouache.

And I did because Roddy Piper was nothing short of colorful.

While my favorite professional wrestlers were - and always will be - the Road Warriors (the Legion of Doom, Hawk and Animal), they obviously were blessed with a different presence and mic skills. Piper was a talker, nonpareil, and could get in your face with the best of them. And that's what I wanted to be verbally and personality-wise. I wanted that kind of bravery. I wanted it to be OK to be mouthy and weird. I also wanted to be that guy who could take a shot in the mush for the cause and smile wickedly in response.

And although I knew for certain from an early age that pro wrestling was a different sort of entertainment, I also knew for sure that Piper was who Piper was. He might have been a completely different cat at home or away from the squared circle but the Rowdy Roddy Piper we were lucky enough to experience was a genuine part of Roderick George Toombs.

We were lucky to have experienced Rowdy Roddy Piper in all facets of his careers (wrestling and film. "They Live," anyone?) because fans in my age demographic were born at just the right time.

So cue the bagpipes and grab your coconuts. And before all the answers are all figured out, don't forget to change all the questions.

I hope you like this, Roddy. Because I loved drawing and painting it. Sneaky and all-knowing in its moment, it's a snapshot of the Rowdy Roddy Piper I loved best.

Rest in peace, Sir.

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1 comment:

  1. His role on ‘It’s Always Sunny’ was fantastic!!!