Posts tagged: Captain Atom

Original Young Justice Page Art for Sale!

scan yj #20 pg 12 prevscan YJ #24 pg 08 prevscan YJ #24 pg 15 prev

Three pages of my original Young Justice art are now for sale on eBay. These are original interior pages from DC Comics Young Justice series, the companion comic to the popular Cartoon Network Young Justice animated TV series.  This is original, hand-drawn 11″x17″ page art by Christopher Jones.

Here are direct links to the three individual sales.

Young Justice #20 page 12
Featuring a nice kiss between Superboy and Miss Martian, as well as Superboy’s introduction to Clark Kent. The page also features Garfield Logan, Marie Logan, and Jimmy Olsen!

Young Justice #24 page 08
Featuring Wonder Woman, Superboy, Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, and The Atom battling the alien villain Kylstar.

Young Justice #24 page 15
Featuring Wonder Woman, Superman, Captain Atom, Captain Marvel and Superboy battling Kylstar.

Auctions end Sunday August 18, 2013.

Young Justice Volume 2: Training Day – IN STORES NOW!

Young Justice Vol 2: Training Day

Young Justice Vol 2: Training Day

Hey, the second collected edition of my Young Justice series hit stores this past week. Following the first volume which collected issues #0 – #6, Volume Two has a cover price of $12.99 and is chock-full of Young Justice goodness by writers Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps, pencils by Yours Truly, inks by Dan Davis, colors by Zac Atkinson, and one issue drawn by guest artist Luciano Vecchio.

Here’s how DC Comics describes it:

Based on the animated show from Warner Bros. airing on Cartoon Network, Young Justice collects single issue, all ages appropriate stories featuring the popular characters from the hit Cartoon Network show.

In this volume, Superboy, Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Miss Martian and Artemis defend Gotham City from Batman’s biggest foes Ra’s al Ghul and Clayface while also fending off Professor Ivo’s malevolent MONQIs!

And that doesn’t even mention appearances by Talia al Ghul, Ubu, Sensei, Amazo, Green Arrow, Rako (The Cambodian!) and Captain Atom!

Here’s more about the issues included:

Young Justice #7: “Rabbit Holes”
Young Justice #8: “Wonderland”
Young Justice #9: “Cold Case”
Young Justice #10: “Hot Case”
Young Justice #11: “The Pit…”
Young Justice #12: “The Pendulum”
Young Justice #13: “…And the Penalty”

This volume joins:

Features issues #0-6.
Released on January 11, 2012
Cover Price: $12.99

and coming in 2013:

Features issues #14-19!
Release Date: February 13th, 2013
Cover Price: $12.99

Creating a Cover: Young Justice #23

It’s the long-overdue return of my Creating a Cover series! I promise I’ll go back and fill in the issues I’ve skipped, but I wanted to do a piece on cover for the just-solicited Young Justice #23 as it seems to have generated some interest.

This was another issue where we were able to sort through some cover ideas in email conversation so I didn’t have to do a bunch of sketches that weren’t going to be used. Since I knew our villain was a redesigned (by me) Kylstar, I thought it would be fun to do a close up of our bad guy and show the heroes facing him reflected in the facets of his crystalline form. Of course, we’d used that trick a couple of times before, most notably on the cover to Young Justice #09 which showed the team reflected on the surface of the metallic body of Captain Atom. (Check out Creating a Cover: Young Justice #9 for more information on that!)

Young Justice #09 cover

Young Justice #09 cover

Of course then it occurred to me – Kylstar is a Captain Atom villain! There’s a connection! Which means this could be an homage! Or at least that provided an excuse…

Young Justice #23 cover layout

Young Justice #23 cover layout

This is the “proof of concept” sketch I submitted for approval, based on email discussions with my editor Sarah Gaydos and series writer Greg Weisman. I posed Kylstar as similarly to Captain Atom as his very different proportions would allow. I also brought his hand up into the shot to further mimic the Captain Atom image. Having his hand in the frame also gave me more facets to play with for images.

On the Captain Atom cover I had one image of the team reflected across his body. With Kylstar, I thought it would be fun to have fragmented images of the heroes repeating across his various facets. I wanted to strategically feature good reflections of the heroes, but then fill other facets with random fragments of reflections. I didn’t want this to become a flat, two-dimensional mosaic of reflections, so I planned the shot to use edge lighting on the facets at fairly oblique angles to bring out the dimensionality of the Kylstar figure, while using the facets facing us more flat-on for the reflections.

This concept was enthusiastically approved, so it was time to actually draw the cover!

Young Justice #23 cover - inks

Young Justice #23 cover – inks

Notice that I repositioned Kylstar slightly in the finished artwork. The changes are subtle, but I was trying to maximize the dynamics of the composition. I made more obvious changes to what reflections went where.

You can see that some portions of this artwork are in black and others are in grey. The black image featuring Kylstar was drawn as one piece of artwork, and the reflections of the heroes seen here in gray were drawn separately. This allowed me to play with the placement of the reflections and have bits of the reflections repeat on different Kylstar facets. The artwork was submitted to colorist Zac Atkinson with the reflections as a separate layer, hopefully making it easier for him to work with them at the coloring stage. Or at least giving him the option of isolating them more easily, depending on his process.

YJ #23 cover tones & reflections

YJ #23 cover tones & reflections

I wanted to make sure that my original intent for how this should be treated tonally was communicated, so I applied the approach from my original proof-of-concept sketch to the inks to create this reference guide which I also sent to Zac.

Young Justice #23

Young Justice #23

Here is the stunning result of Zac’s coloring. I especially love the treatment he gave to Kylstar’s eyes. I’d originally imagined them a cyan color, but I think the burning yellow-orange makes for a great contrast with the cool blues of the rest of the image.

Look for more of Kylstar in coming issues of Young Justice! Issue #20 will be out THIS WEDNESDAY, which represents the comic’s shift to the Season 2 / Young Justice: Invasion time-frame. You can find Young Justice at your local comics shop or in digital form!

Commentary: Young Justice #10 “Hot Case”

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I was super-busy for a few days and then had an internet outage. But I’m back, and raring to go!

Here’s my commentary on Young Justice issue 10, part two of our murder mystery featuring Captain Atom! I’m including samples of a few pages of artwork here, but I’m commenting on close to every page, so grab your copy of the comic from your local Comic Shop or your digital copy and read along!

YJ 10-01 pencils

Page 1 pencils

YJ 10-01 inks

Page 1 inks

YJ 10-01 color

Page 1 color

YJ 10-01 letters

Page 1 letters

Page 1: It’s funny how the successive stages of completing a comic book page make a page look simpler and simpler. The background for these opening pages seemed really busy with detail when I was penciling them. Of course, you have the texture of the pencil lines, and black areas are either filled with X’s or shaded in, as opposed to the smooth solid blacks you get when the artwork is inked. Then when the artwork is colored and the background is colored in muted tones so the figures stand out, what once looked seemed like a lot of time-consuming detail just fades into the background and is easy to not even notice. Greg Weisman has started listing me as “Christopher A. Jones” in the credits section of his scripts. Now it’s actually shown up in the credits on the comic. Now my middle initial IS “A,” but I try to keep my credit consistent. It’s been mentioned to my editor, but won’t be fixed until after issue #11. So if you are blogging about comics or moderating any kind of index or gallery or forum – I’ve been listed as Chris Jones, Christopher Jones, Christopher A. Jones, and Christopher R. Jones in various places and on various books. “Christopher Jones” is the preferred credit, and the “R” is flat out wrong. You’d think with a name like mine it would be simple, wouldn’t you? I wonder what kinds of problems Bill Sienkiewicz has?

Page 2: In combat with Rako, the Artist formerly known as the Cambodian. I think I’ve been drawing the characters in their stealth costume variants more than the standard versions.

Page 3: This page featured a lot of action that was kind of challenging to depict. First we have Miss Martian freezing some thrown shurikens in mid-air, and then having them clatter on the floor. Both of those action beats are hard to effectively convey in a static image. Then a tapestry falls across four charging heroes, engulfing them suddenly in darkness. It’s a bit of a jarring transition (which it’s meant to be), but I’m pressed to envision how the tapestry got from the wall to covering a flying girl, Superboy and Kid Flash without them seeing what hit them. But hopefully you weren’t thinking that when you read it. Of course, I now had to go and bring it up…

Page 4: I like the moody last panel with the silhouetted heroes looking on the scene of Robin crouching over Trang’s body. And the body count for this story continues to climb!

YJ 10-05 pencils

Page 5 pencils

YJ 10-05 letters

Page 5 final

Page 5: Bibbo! This supporting character from Superman comics runs a Metropolis diner in the continuity of the Young Justice animated series. And yes, that’s Perry White at the counter.

What’s that? Why is Miss Martian green when they’re sitting in their civilian clothes in public? Um, because Metropolis is one of only three cities in the DC Universe that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in August. Uh…, because there’s a big Star Trek convention taking place next door and she’s passing herself off as an Orion girl. Would you believe Red Kryptonite? Move along, move along…

Page 6: Cell phones, headshots, and fingers. One of the most pulse-poundingly dynamic pages I’ve ever drawn!

Page 7: How many ways can we show characters looking at pictures on their smart phones? From panel-to-panel it was a question of whether the reader had to see what was on the phone, and how large I could make the picture on the phone while showing who was holding the phone and allowing enough room for dialog.

Page 8: BOOOOM! The body count continues to climb.

Page 9: It was nice to draw Kid Flash doing his stuff. I’ve drawn remarkably little of KF moving at high-speed six issues into my run on this title.

YJ 10-10 pencils

Page 10 pencils

YJ 10-10 letters

Page 10 final

Page 10: Halfway through part two of the story, the mystery-solving is largely out of the way. Let’s get ready to rumble!

I’m going to share a trick with all of  you. Whenever possible, it’s nice to keep backgrounds simple. For one thing it actually serves the story by keeping the reader’s eye focused on the action of the page, and for another more self-serving thing for the artist, it makes the pages faster to draw. But backgrounds ground the story in a specific reality, give the story texture and can provide story information in their detail. What to do? My preference is to open a scene with a detailed establishing master shot, hopefully providing bits of distinctive detail that can be repeated throughout the rest of the scene to continue to establish the location, but without having the repeat the complex opening master shot.

Case in point, panel one of page 10 has a detailed exterior establishing shot of an abandoned airport hanger. Panel two moves us inside, and the rest of the page shows the silhouetted windows, the grubby floor, and the catwalk where our villain is standing in front of some overhead lights. Notice how those elements repeated over the next few pages are enough to maintain our sense of this place, but rarely do we see more than a reference to the detail established on this page.

Page 11: Mostly close-ups on this page as we set the stage for the final confrontation. Note how much background detail we see…

Page 12: It’s not related to the artwork, but I just wanted to mention how much I love the way Robin laughs when he disappears into the shadows on Young Justice. To me it’s a callback to the earliest kid daredevil incarnation of the character. Greg Weisman told me that he figured Batman would have taught Robin his disappearing trick, but that as a 13-year-old kid Robin would think it was so cool he’d just laugh as people freaked out over his disappearance rather than just keeping his trap shut like the old man!

Page 13: It’s interesting the kinds of things you learn how to convey in a line drawing. The script called for Artemis to fire an arrow at Rois who is holding a dead-man switch. The arrow is tipped with a canister of foam that expands up Rois’ arm and hardens so that by the time Kid Flash plows into him in the final panel on the page, it’s a hard shell covering Rois’s entire arm and part of his torso. It’s largely about texture – trying to make the foam initially gloppy with curvy smooth lines, then more angular and chunky-looking as it hardens.

Page 14: I’m really happy with the first three panels on this page as Aqualad takes out Rako with his water-bearers, but even while I was penciling it I realized that Rako’s sword and Aqualad’s water weapons are all colored cyan blue and were going to all run together a bit in this action sequence. Hopefully it plays even though the action is a bit monochromatic.

YJ 10-15 pencils

Page 15 pencils

YJ 10-15 letters

Page 15 final

Page 15: Superboy gets to play the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet game. I had to show one of the bullets bouncing off Superboy’s chest and hitting the shooter. I was really happy with the layout I came up with that draws a direct line from the point of impact on Superboy’s chest in panel 3 through a silhouette of the shooter in panel four. I had hoped the silhouette would make the action clear without having to show any kind of wound that I knew would cause problems with the folks that worry about the all-ages nature of the Johnny DC titles. I was especially happy with how this worked with the red background provided in the color version.

Page 16: Back to Mount Justice to explain the solution to the murder mystery and wrap things up. I just drew headshots for these holo-displays and unfortunately they didn’t get typeset captions at the lettering stage. The dialog makes it clear who everyone is so it’s not a huge problem, but it makes me think that next time I need to typeset that stuff myself like I did the previous issue.

Page 17: Almost all of the imagery from what Kid Flash is describing hear had appeared previously in flashbacks in the previous issue, but this time I have the convenience of placing them within panel borders.

Page 18: The last of the holo-displays from this 2-parter. Whew!

Page 19: What??? Captain Atom IS Captain Nathaniel Adams? I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!

Page 20: I’m amazed that after all the concern over a knife hilt sticking out of a corpse’s chest and whether we could show blood on Superboy’s chest wound that we got away with a character lighting and smoking a cigar in an all-ages book. I guess it’s OK because he’s the bad guy…

Well, that wraps up another one. Check back in about a month’s time for a Commentary on Young Justice #11, featuring Batman, Ra’s al Ghul and Talia! I’d love to hear from you if you find this kind of detailed commentary interesting. Drop me a note in the comment section below!

Young Justice #10 is OUT TODAY!

…and DC Comics has a 4-page preview on line! Story by Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps, artwork by myself and inker Dan Davis. Check it out here, and then pick up the comic in digital form or at your local comic shop!

Young Justice #10 Cover

Young Justice #10 Cover