Friday, January 28, 2011

Thought Bubble Process

I've spent the last few weeks working on an illustration for this year's Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, England. While I was working out all the details, I remembered a few people asking me if I wouldn't mind showing my process a bit, so I tried to take some snapshots of the picture at various stages of completion.

I'll walk you guys through it.

After doing a few thumbnails and narrowing the ideas down, I did some pencils. At this stage they were still pretty rough, but tight enough to work over. I knew I would be inking the figures, and painting over the background in photoshop so I didn't bother tightening the trees up much.

Then I did some color tests- this step is usually pretty important for me, because it will lay the foundation for the rest of my color work. The colors for this came easily, which was a bit of a surprise. Usually I struggle with colors, but these were pretty straightforward.

Then I went ahead and threw some ink on Snow White and the Wicked Witch, like usual- with a brush and some ink. Pretty straightforward.

After that I worked on painting the background. I call it painting, I guess even though I work in Photoshop I end up approaching it as though I was working on canvas. I start with an underpainting of the basic colors I want to use, selecting from my roughs when it suits me. Then I build it up and move objects into the foreground and background when appropriate.

Now I lay on the figures! They were relatively simple to color, I only used one or two shades to lighten and darken the flat colors. My main objective was to get Snow White to stand out- Originally my idea was to have her be completely black and white, but it just didn't feel finished. So I added red, since I had the idea to add some to the background, and it really grounded the center of the image, and made her pop out without making her look completely removed from her environment.

Also notice on the witch, I colored the linework so the only black you see in the picture is on Snow White. This way the witch and the comics fall into the background a bit.

I wasn't sure about the sapling on the left that I had drawn in my original sketch, but I decided that area was pretty empty and needed a little somethin somethin to pull it together more. I also added the tree behind the witch to fill the space and add another vertical. These were all pieces of my original idea that I had deemed excessive, but thought to bring them back in the end. I guess you should always just go with your gut! I tend to over-think things, and second-guess myself if I work on something for a while, not really a good habit I guess. Anyway this is the final version!

And here is a close-up:

So there you have it! Snow White and the Seven Comics, for Thought Bubble 2011! And if anyone is curious, yes I will be attending :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More unpublished goodies!

Of course I've been doing a lot of work I just can't show to anyone yet, but as I have started the year showing everyone older unpublished work, I thought I'd continue the tradition with this lovely work-for-hire piece from back in '07, the first page of a 2 page comic that never made it to print.

Funnily enough, I did this comic at the same time as I was drawing East Coast Rising volume 2! Woo!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Northlanders: Girl in the Ice part 2

Today at your local comic book store you will find copies of Northlanders #36 on the shelf, the 2nd part in a 2 part story arc by Brian Wood, with art by me, colors by Dave McCaig, and a beautiful cover by Massimo Carnevale!
Hope you guys stick around for the 2nd part of this story- I'm really proud of these two issues! Here's what you can expect: More snow! More Jon! More waring viking clans! And of course the conclusion to the mystery, who is the girl in the ice?

Friday, January 7, 2011

How Cannonball Joe Quelled the Suffocating Death THE CONCLUSION

Scene! The last of the first 18 pages from the canceled East Coast Rising volume 2. If you haven't been reading since I started posting these, I suggest you start at the beginning of the sequence:

See pages 1-3 HERE!
See pages 4-6 HERE!
See pages 7-9 HERE!
See pages 10-12 HERE!
See pages 13-15 HERE!

And if you want to know what the Suffocating Death is saying
Panel 1
Suffocating Death: RUB A DUB DUB

Panel 2
Deathsnake: I KNOW WING CHUN.
Suffocating Death: THANKS FOR THE GRUB!!!!

Haha seriously, so sad this book was canceled. Well, thanks for reading! Who knows, maybe I'll post more pages one day. But for now, this is how Joe and his crew of thieving rotters quelled the seemingly insatiable, all-consuming, ever-burning, un-quellable hunger of the Suffocating Death! With seachix... (Don't worry, one survived and is in Drake's worthy care. He named it Sachet.)

And with that, time for some grub. Hope you all enjoyed this look into the most depressing drawer of my flat file! XD~

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How Cannonball Joe Quelled the Suffocating Death part V

Pages 13-15 of East Coast Rising volume 2! I remember being really happy about the sound effects on the last panel of the 15th page. Rumble! It's funny to look back at something I drew back in 2007 or 2008 and think, man this still holds up a bit. I'm still mostly happy with these pages, but I think too much time has passed between them to go back to the comic.

See pages 1-3 HERE!
See pages 4-6 HERE!
See pages 7-9 HERE!
See pages 10-12 HERE!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How Cannonball Joe Quelled the Suffocating Death part IV

Pages 10-12 of East Coast Rising volume 2! If you have volume 1 handy, it might be a good idea to flip through it- this goes back to when Drake showed Archer how to feed the Seachix...

See pages 1-3 HERE!
See pages 4-6 HERE!
See pages 7-9 HERE!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Cannonball Joe Quelled the Suffocating Death part III

Continuing my peek at East Coast Rising volume 2, the next three pages, numbers 7 through 9, are up! And in case you missed the first two posts:
See pages 1-3 HERE!
See pages 4-6 HERE!

A little director's commentary on this, the part when Joe hums to open the giant clam and get at the air bubble is a hundred percent inspired Sonic the Hedgehog (Labyrinth Zone in particular). If you are deprived enough not to know what I'm talking about, check out 0:28 on this YouTube clip to know the sound effect that goes with it!

Monday, January 3, 2011

How Cannonball Joe Quelled the Suffocating Death part II

Part II of my peek at East Coast Rising volume 2. I still get questions if this book will ever come out, and the answer is "outlook not so good." TP canceled it back in 2008 and I've had to move on, find new work, and am now too wrapped up in other books to think about returning to it. Anyway, here are pages 4-6!

Read pages 1-3 HERE! (I will be posting 18 pages in total.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The first blog post of 2011, or How Cannonball Joe Quelled the Suffocating Death

If you follow my twitter feed, you might have noticed that I've been doing some housekeeping over the past few days. It might have been to start the year off with a fresh start, or maybe that was all just good timing. Whatever the case, what started off as an innocent tidy spiraled quickly out of control into an upheaval, an ordeal of organization and re-arranging. I can't say it was bad because I have some time to kill, and it is a good way to start off a new year.

Long story short, as I was organizing and archiving my original comic pages, I came across the 120 or so pages of the unpublished East Coast Rising volume 2. Flipping through it, I thought man, what a shame, all that work. And the worst part, that volume 1 ended on a cliffhanger! Nobody will ever know if they defeat the Suffocating Death, or are consumed (that would have made a quick end to the series!) to quell it's seemingly endless appetite (it already ate Mr. Snuggles, the giant, flesh-eating turtle...)

I think a nice start to the new year would be to put an end to this cliff-hanger. For the next week, I'll be posting 3 pages a day to my blog until the first sequence is completed. I'll feel a little better for it, even though this may not be the most ideal medium to read comics in (3 pages a day for six days? ugh.), I just want to get it out there. These pages are also unfinished, I took off the tones and it hasn't been lettered, but I think you can get the gist of what's happening. Feel free to fill in your own words if you have some time to kill!

Here we go. East Coast Rising 2, scene 2, take one. Action!

Oh yeah, this GN was drawn back in 2007/8.