Batman

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wasted # 6 now out!

Wasted #6 is now out at newsagents all around the U.K. and from Badpress’s website.


I have 3 pages in this one. For the benefit of North American readers, I’ll post up a sample page here. Due to an inking delay, the WOD ‘Narcobitch’ story mentioned below has been pushed out to issue 7.

My favorite story this issue has to be “Judge Head – He is the Blaw!” with art by Jon Haward. Shoulder pads that look like spliffs? Sweet design.

Alan Grant, Carlos Ezquerra, Alan Kerr, Jamie Grant, and Simon Bisley are just some of the great talent found in this issue. Do yourself a favor and grab it when you see it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

WASTED 8 COVER ART

Ok, this cover I'm really excited about! I can't wait any longer to show it here on the blog. I landed the cover gig for WASTED #8, published by the fine folks at Badpress . On this one, Frank Quitely was the cover editor, Jamie Grant was on colors and I did the rest. Yes....that 'All Star Superman' artist Frank Quitely and colorist Jamie Grant. We were just missing Grant Morrison, but what can you do?

Anyways, this is definitely not my first cover, but it will be the one that has the highest profile of any cover I've done. It'll hit the streets of the U.K. in about 7 months or so.

Oh, and I'm also told that Wasted #6 is now out. As soon as I get a copy, I'll put a sample page up here, and blog about it a bit. Check back soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ask an artist on the 11th !

Welcome to the very first ‘Ask An Artist on the 11th’! Or, as I like to call it: “A3on11”. I’ll be answering any questions you ask on the 11th of every month for the next year. I think the questions will range from very basic ones about general art creation and processes, to very technical comic creation ones. In order to shoot me a question, just email me (address on the right side on this blog), ask me on Facebook, or throw it in the comments section here. What I talk about will just depend on what gets asked.

This month I’m going to answer both these questions:

‘What does a comic Script look like?’
and
‘Does the writer tell you exactly what to draw?’ ( which I think really means… ‘How do you know WHAT to draw?)

Alan Grant has kindly allowed me to put up part of his actual WOD script which will see print in an upcoming issue of WASTED. It looks like this:


This is Step 1. Get a good script to work from. Check. As I start reading I usually make little sketches/ thumbnails in the margin if I get a quick clear image in my head as I go. Inspiration and first instincts have always served me well in the creative process, so I try and capture them when I can. I didn’t do it too much here, but I knew I wanted to go for a big sexy glam shot to introduce Narcobitch.

I’ll generally read the entire script, then re-read it, then read it 3 more times. Gotta make sure that nothing gets missed! Alan always uses CAPITAL LETTERS in the script to make key items ‘pop’, and I find this VERY helpful. I recommend all comic writers do this.

At the top, the number of pages Alan suggested is 3 or 4, and the amount of panels required per page is not mentioned. Alan leaves this part is up to the artists. I could jam 17 panels onto page one in order to save room for a lovely full page splash on page 2 if I wanted. Hmmm….No, I’d never do this. I COULD, but I wouldn’t.

Please note how most of the design elements are vague leaving more room for the artist to work. It doesn’t say ‘crowded beach’ or ‘beach in the early afternoon on a cloudy day’. It’s left to me to design it visually. Since Narcobitch is going to murder someone in broad daylight, I decided it best to leave the beach pretty unoccupied. Especially since the next page is folks trying to figure out who killed the hippy agent. I’ve worked with writers who try and micromanage all the elements on a page. I don’t enjoy working this way. I think that if the script leaves room for interpretation, you get better results. Artists can then invest some of their personality and ideas. It is a collaborative medium after all.

I generally try to keep scene and same locations all on one page, but it wasn’t possible this time around. I thought about it, (hence the pencil mark above section 4) and tried it, but the last few pages became too tight and the story didn’t flow well visually.

I played around with the layouts for a while as evidenced by the very rough layout below. At this step I’m really just worrying about Narrative flow and word balloon placement. No actual drawing has been started yet. I also decided at this stage that an extra ‘beat’ would work well, so I split panel #3 into 2 parts by adding the silhouette panel and the close up panel with the smoking gun. I don’t do this often, but I felt it worked better in order to show her emotion as she spoke the dialogue. I used to minimize this layout step in my haste to draw stuff, but I’ve since realized that this is the MOST important part in making a good page of comic book art.


Now comes the fun part! I’m now confident that the eye will be pulled around the page as I want it to, and the dialogue is sorted. (ie: no crossed tails on word balloons. This keeps letterers like Jim Campbell very happy!) Now it’s all about cranking up the energy and emotion. Basically, just trying to make a cool page that will tell the story well!

Does this answer the question?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sex, Violence, Wickedness and Suffering in Murky Depths #14 -out now!


MURKY DEPTHS issue #14 is out now and on sale here. This issue features a 5 page story called ‘Performance Anxiety’. For this story, I penciled and inked over layouts by long time industry pro (and all around talented guy), Ty Templeton. The grey tones were done by artist Eden Bachelder, and it was written by Greg Dunford - he of Hard Drive fame!

This was originally commissioned for the ‘Sex, Violence, Wickedness and Suffering’ comic, which somehow never saw print…imagine that! It’s like the censors were just waiting to pounce. Anyways, this story features a naked man at work, violence, naked women-also at work, sex, a nuclear explosion, the end of the world…AND it has a touching ending. All in 5 pages.

I had to look hard to find a bit of to show that wasn’t too graphic for my taste here on the blog. I found this part of page 2 which I cropped, but it’ll give you an idea of what to expect…

For the complete story, please be sure to go here!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

SCI-FI art now book ...out now!


I blogged about the John Freeman's Sci-Fi art now book way back in April of this year. They selected art that I drew (and Keiren Smith colored) to be included in the book. I'm very jazzed about this, as it's my first coffee table 'art book'. Well, I'm happy to report that it's out and available right now. (just in time for Christmas!) Please click over here to order...


There are so many artists included, I can't begin to list them all. There is some really nice stuff in here. Also included are 4 out of 5 of my artist pals from the Fractal Friction webcomic...Kev Levell's entry is a personal fave of mine.
A great way to get a feeling for the artists invloved is to read through some of the terrific interviews with almost every contributing artist. Start here, and click around. It's facinating to hear directly from these creative folks. I've spent alot of quality time on the site .
Here is a brief blub about the book: SCI-FI ART NOW brings together for the first time the finest, freshest, and most exciting talents in the world of sci-fi illustration. Artists from around the world-from China and Singapore to the United States and Europe-are represented in this volume, which focuses on the latest and most imaginative work being produced today.

This book brings to light the most groundbreaking and talked about sci-fi art, ranging in media from comic books, movies, and TV programs to art, posters, toys, literature, collectibles, board games and video games. SCI-FI ART NOW is a comprehensive compilation that reveals fascinating background information, anecdotes, ideas, and inspirations relied on by the crème de la crème of contemporary science fiction painters, illustrators, and creators (whether established professionals such as Brett Norton, Liam Sharp, Paul McCaffrey, Klaus Hutter, and John Picacio, or brave new talents forging into the future).

This lavishly illustrated anthology shows the creative processes of speculative fiction’s hottest up-and-coming stars, and showcases some established creators who are breaking new ground to expand the genre’s already vivid visual landscape. Crammed full of exquisite art from around the world and fascinating insights from the artists and creators, SCI-FI ART NOW is perfect for the many fans of science fiction.