Sunday, August 20, 2023

Love that Danhausen (or be cursed!) ink


Danhausen. Micron pen (.02 and .03), Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, Copic markers and white Prismacolor pencil in a Daler Rowney sketchbook (5.5" X 8.5"). Art by Coyote Duran

Danhausen. Micron pen (.02 and .03), Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, Copic markers and white Prismacolor pencil in a Daler Rowney sketchbook (5.5" X 8.5"). Art by Coyote Duran. (Please click to enlarge.)

If you're an all-around wrestling fan, you have to have seen Danhausen at least once!

A current member of the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) roster, Danhausen (who describes himself as "very nice, very evil") brings such new meaning to the word "character." A staple on the independent scene for most of the last 10 years, Danhausen's "human disguise," a guy from Michigan named Donovan Danhausen, describes his character as "Conan O'Brien possessed by a demon. Sounds pretty accurate as he's a huge fan of Conan, as well as "The Simpsons."

Danhausen's voice is said to be a combination of Conan and Mark Hamill's take on the Joker. When speaking, he often uses the suffix "Hausen" on random words. For example, in a Cameo-video I booked for Makayla, we were referred to as "Coyotehausen" and "Makaylahausen." The funniest thing about the video was, as a response to Makayla's desire to see Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss get their comeuppance, Danhausen cursed them! (Yes, he does curse people, so behave or you will be cursed too!)

And we think it worked. The Cameo was done in May 2021 and WWE released Bray two-and-a-half months later. Yikes...

Besides the ability to curse people (mainly his opponents), Danhausen has a keen interest in money ("bags full of human monies!") and power, as well as toy collecting, the latter of which he features on his YouTube channel "LoveThatDanhausen." 

Speaking of curses, Danhausen will give you the business if you use swear words but, at the same time will punch you in the groin to gain an advantage on you in the ring. Danhausen's coolest (or most disgusting) maneuver is pouring teeth from a jar into his opponents' mouths.

Yes, you read that correctly. Teeth. Danhausen's defense? It isn't cheating because we already have teeth in our mouths.  I'll allow it. Are you a Pee Wee Herman fan? So is Danhausen. He'll do the "Tequila Dance" on a ring apron before kicking you in the mush.

As a Danhausen fan (a "Fanhausen"?), I thought I'd give a "sketchhausen" a go. So I grabbed my trusty Daler Rowney sketchbook (5.5" X 8.5") and went to workhausen.

As you probably noticed, the date on the piece reads, "9/2022." Well, that was no error; I actually did render this in September of last year. However I wasn't really digging my final result. I might have over-thought it, at the time, because I wanted to put a spookier spin on Danhausen by finding reference and inspiration in Conrad Veidt in "The Man Who Laughs." Veidt's character Gwynplaine was said to have inspired Batman's co-creator Bill Finger to show a photo of Gwnplaine to his two Joker co-creators Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, thus informing Joker's infamous likeness.

After a while, I shelved the drawing. Nearly two years later, however, I thought it'd be waste to not improve it, at least a little bit.

The first thing I noticed was the blacks weren't reinforced enough, so I used my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen to deepen the background and my Faber-Castell PITT "B"-series brush pen for tighter black areas. I also noticed that some of my white highlights (done with a white Prismacolor pencil) weren't rounded to my liking, so I worked on those for a while. I then turned my attention to my trademark thick outline.

I've always been inspired by comic book artist and illustrator Adam Hughes and illustrator and painter Alphonse Mucha but never intended to bite their styles and I've always been attracted to that sort of design element and have doing it for years. And something seemed wrong about my outline. It didn't seem bright enough but I couldn't hike that up with my Prismacolors, so I went to Michael's Crafts, to grab two brands of white ink (20% off with my app, bay-BEEEEEE!). I returned to my Danhausen piece. By then, I would do the complete opposite.

The more I looked at the fainter outline, the more I started appreciating it and if I used a layer of white ink, Danhausen wouldn't pop as much and, in my head, the piece would lose balance. So I added another layer of white Prismacolor and, finally, I was happy. I don't know quite how to explain what changed, aesthetically, but it just had more weight to it, if that makes sense!

Wow, that was a "Too Long; Didn't Read" (TL;DR, as the kids these days put it) missive, if there ever were one. But you needed to know about Danhausen and why it took nearly a year to post this for you; didn't you? 😉

And I hope you Howlers dig it too!

And love that Danhausen!

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Commissions? Hit me up at You can also follow me on Twitter @CoyoteDuranon Instagram @CoyoteDuran, on Threads @CoyoteDuran and on Facebook @CDCreationNation.

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