Posts tagged: colors

Gerry Anderson’s UFO – part 3

Here’s part three in a series collecting the art from an unpublished comic based on Gerry Anderson’s UFO. You can read up on the back story of this project in part one.

Below you can pages 16-23 of the #0 issue, comparing the pencil art by myself, the inks by Joseph Rubenstein, and the colors by Matt Webb. Obviously the lettering is not in place.

UFO #0 Pg 16 - 100 ufo_00_16 ufo_00_16


Page 16 – Foster and a SHADO Mobile have some trouble from a local hunter AND an alien UFO that was hidden in a lake.
 

UFO #0 Pg 17 - 100 ufo_00_17 ufo_00_17


Page 17 – The SHADO Mobile takes off in pursuit of the UFO, which is headed towards London.
 

UFO #0 Pg 18 - 100 ufo_00_18 inks ufo_00_18


Page 18 – The SHADO Mobiles pursue the UFO down the M4 highway towards London. So much for SHADO operating in secret! Meanwhile, General Henderson takes issue with Commander Straker.
 

UFO #0 Pg 19 - 100 ufo_00_19 inks ufo_00_19 color


Page 19The Mobiles finally get a bead on the last UFO, just as Straker and Henderson run outside in time to see it falling from the sky.
 

UFO #0 Pg 20-21 dps - pencils ufo_00_20-21 inks ufo_00_20-21 color

Page 20-21 – A double page spread showing the damaged UFO crashing to the ground and skidding across the parking lot of Harlington-Straker Studios (the ground-level cover for the underground SHADO HQ) before coming to a stop at the feet of Straker and Henderson.
 

UFO #0 Pg 22 - 100 pencil prev ufo_00_22 inks prev ufo_00_22 color prev


Page 22Foster arrives just in time to watch Straker and Henderson argue in the aftermath of the UFO crash.
 

UFO #0 Pg 23 - 100 pencils ufo_00_23 ufo_00_23 color


Page 23 – More talking. More burning.
 

UFO #0 Pg 24 - 100 pencils ufo_00_24 ufo_00_24 - color


Page 24 РStraker worries  about the future as the #0 issue comes to a close.
 
This concludes the issue that was intended as a big “Series Finale” in comic book form, and was to have been followed by a 6-issue mini-series that would have been a sequel to UFO, picking up several years after the time of the TV series.
 
You can read Part 1 with the project backstory and the first five pages here.
 
Part 2 featuring pages 6-15 of issue #0 is here.

Gerry Anderson’s UFO – part 2

Here’s part two in a series collecting the art from an unpublished comic based on Gerry Anderson’s UFO. You can read up on the back story of this project in part one.

Below you can see pages 6-15 of the #0 issue, comparing the pencil art by myself, the inks by Joseph Rubenstein, and the colors by Matt Webb. Obviously the lettering is not in place.


UFO #0 Pg 06 - 100 ufo_00_06 ufo_00_06


Page 6 – One of my favorite pages from the comic – the iconic Interceptor take-off sequence, as seen in almost every episode of the TV show.

 


UFO #0 Pg 07 - 100 ufo_00_07 ufo_00_07


Page 7 – Another iconic scene – missile-firing Interceptors doing battle with incoming alien UFOs.
 

UFO #0 Pg 08 - 100 ufo_00_08 ufo_00_08


Page 8 – Commander Ed Straker and Colonel Paul Foster supervise from SHADO Headquarters.
 

UFO #0 Pg 09 - 100 ufo_00_09 ufo_00_09


Page 9 – After conferring with the famously purple-wigged women staffers of Moonbase, Straker gives the order to launch SkyDiver!
 

UFO #0 Pg 10 - 100 ufo_00_10 ufo_00_10


Page 10 – The Sky 1 section of SkyDiver takes to the air to challenge the UFOs entering Earth’s atmosphere.
 

UFO #0 Pg 11 - 100 ufo_00_11 ufo_00_11 REV


Page 11 – As Foster and Straker look on, a lone UFO makes it past SHADO’s forces to land somewhere in rural England.
 

UFO #0 Pg 12 - 100 ufo_00_12 ufo_00_12


Page 12 – A UFO pilot kills a hunters dog… and pays the price!
 

UFO #0 Pg 13 - 100 ufo_00_13 ufo_00_13


Page 13 – As the hunter loads the UFO pilot onto his truck, SHADO Mobiles arrive on the scene!
 

UFO #0 Pg 14 - 100 ufo_00_14 ufo_00_14


Page 14 – The hunter is as alarmed by the arrival of SHADO as he was by the alien ship!
 

UFO #0 Pg 15 - 100 ufo_00_15 ufo_00_15


Page 15 – I tried to create a cutaway view of the interior of a SHADO Mobile – which was challenging given that the interior set fits rather uncomfortably into the shape of the exterior model!
 
 You can read Part 1 with the project backstory and the first five pages here.
 
Part 3 of this post with pages 16-24 is here.

Creating a Cover: Young Justice #25

It’s time for another installment of my Creating a Cover series. As was often the case, this cover was being designed before I had seen the script for the issue in question, so I had to rely on a suggestion from series writer Greg Weisman for an idea of what would be appropriate subject matter for a cover. Greg suggestion was basically “Everybody versus Brainiac.” I hadn’t seen a script for our Brainiac (aka “The Collector of Worlds”) in action yet so I wasn’t sure what kind of offensive capabilities he was going to display. I figured I’d just have him in a “ready for action” pose and make it obvious that combat was imminent. The “everybody” he was going to be fighting included all the Young Justice Team members, plus members of the Justice League – everybody who had been seen up to this point on Brainiac’s ship or the ship belonging to our other villain Kylstar.

I asked if there was any one character who was the focus of the final showdown with Brainiac and I was told that there wasn’t. Because of that and the fact that this was going to be the final issue of our series, I didn’t want to emphasize one of the heroes over the others for the sake of a more dynamic layout, so the the challenge became how to include more than a dozen heroes fighting a single opponent, without giving any one of them the lion’s share of the focus.

As is often the case when trying to include this many characters on a cover, the way to organize them into a layout is a process of almost mathematical deduction. I knew what I wanted to do, but I felt the need to offer multiple options and present my reasoning.

YJ #25 cover sketch a

Sketch A

YJ #25 cover sketch b

Sketch B

YJ #25 cover sketch c

Sketch C


I presented three sketches to indicate the three basic approaches I saw as our options:

Sketch A places Brainiac at the center background with everyone else rushing him. The disadvantage of this approach was that while it makes for a compelling image, it puts most of the heroes in a position with their backs to the viewer – something I especially wanted to avoid on the cover for our swansong issue.

Sketch B takes more of the lateral view – viewing the gang-rush of heroes more in profile, with Brainiac down in the corner to allow the heroes to be more spread out and coming at him from both ground-level and from the air!

I felt the strongest option was the one presented in Sketch C – with Brainiac in the foreground, cheated “towards the camera” so we get a better look at him, but his attention clearly on all the heroes converging on him from the background. This option has the heroes coming at us front on, and gives us lots of open space to spread them across the cover, still leaving room for the logo at the top.

YJ #25 cover pencils prev

Pencils

YJ #25 inks cover prev

Inks


Happily for me, Sketch C was chosen so I proceeded to pencils and inks. This ended up being the only time I got to draw Lagoon Boy in his “puffed up” combat mode. This is also a great look at our version of Brainiac, who I was so happy to have gotten to design for Young Justice.

YJ_25_Cover

Final Cover

And finally, here’s the final version with color by Zac Atkinson complete with all the final logos and other trade dress.

I really enjoyed getting to draw so many of the covers for my run on Young Justice. I enjoy drawing covers overall, and I really enjoyed getting to contribute more fully to the total look and feel of the Young Justice issues I did, as opposed to The Batman Strikes were most of the covers were by other artists.

You can find my previous Creating a Cover installments here.

‘Twas the Clayface before Christmas

Here’s a little confection for you on the night before, what I hope will be (as Baldrick would say) a very Messy Kweznuz.

The script for Young Justice #11 called for not one but two creatures to emerge from a Lazarus Pit at Fortress al Ghul. Furthermore, the script called for them to emerge in the traditional manner – nude. The problem was that this was for an all-ages title, so this was immediately problematic.


YJ #11 page 16 pencils

YJ #11 page 16 pencils

YJ #11 page 16 inks

YJ #11 page 16 inks

YJ #11 page 16 color

YJ #11 page 16 color

First out of the pit was it’s owner, Ra’s al Ghul, as Sensei, Talia al Ghul and Ubu look on. I tried to position Ra’s so it was clear he was nude, but that nothing inappropriate could be seen. I had shadows and the fact that Ra’s was covered in goo from the pit to help me, but I didn’t even want to have goo dripping in a way that seemed overly suggestive or drew attention to what I was working to conceal. I wanted to deliver an image that was sure to sail past the standards and practices watchdogs without issue. FAIL! You’ll note that in the finished art, Ra’s is discretely wearing a pair of white shorts – introduced at the ink stage (by inker Dan Davis) and absent in the pencil art.

YJ #11 page 19 pencils

YJ #11 page 19 pencils

YJ #11 page 19 inks

YJ #11 page 19 inks

YJ #11 page 19 color 1

YJ #11 page 19 color 1

Page 19 was worse. A second figure climbs out of the pit, appearing at first in the shape of Ra’, then morphing into Talia, before beginning to shift into it’s final form as Clayface on the following page. (What’s going on here? Ready Young Justice #12 to find out!) Again, I was trying to use body position, shadows and goo to cover Clayface while in the forms of Ra’s and Talia, as you can see in the pencil and ink stages of the art. Again, this wasn’t deemed good enough, even though I would consider the bodies as “covered” as if they were wearing clothes. No “naughty bits” visible. Ra’s tighty-whiteys were again added at the ink stage, and more “shadows ” were added to Clayface-Talia’s chest. Both writer Greg Weisman and I were given a chance to offer feedback on the first pass at color (above right), and neither of us were happy with it. I thought it looked like Clayface-Talia was wearing a dress, and it seemdd like more Lazarus-goo was appearing AFTER Clayface climbed out of the pit. Greg and I were both hoping to get closer to the original intent, and our editor Jim Chadwick and colorist Zac Atkinson were generously willing to take another crack at it.

YJ #11 page 19 color 2

YJ #11 page 19 color 2

Here’s the revised version, which is a little better. I’m not thrilled that the Clayface figures seem all-green, but given the alternative I could live with it. The email conversations around all this had grown to the point where I was trying to see the humor in the situation, and I decided to volunteer my own revision to the final page of the story – the reveal of Clayface – which was non-humanoid enough that no one seemed to think needed to be covered up.

Clayface in Shorts

Clayface in Shorts

When I sent this out to the creative team an email soon came back from Greg Weisman who asked with some concern “You are kidding, aren’t you?” I assured him I was.

You can find issues of Young Justice at your local Comic Shop or you can buy a digital copy online!

Title Pages: Batman Strikes #16

It’s time for another installment of Title Pages, featuring another title page from my run on The Batman Strikes! which was a tie-in comic for The Batman animated TV series. A Title Page is the page which features the story title and credits for the issue, and is often (but not always) a Splash Page, which is a full-page image, rather than a page broken up into multiple panels.

The Batman Strikes! #16 featured a storyline where the Joker steals the Batmobile (Oh, NOES!). This issue gave me a full-page splash to play with for my title page, but it was actually page TWO, and followed directly on the heels of this page one:

Strikes #16 page 1

Strikes #16 page 1

The sound effects on page one and the title page to follow were hand-drawn by me. As I’ve said before, I love doing my own sound effects lettering, because I enjoy it but more importantly because I can better incorporate the sound effects into the pages’ composition and design. I had wanted the effect in the bottom three panels of page one of the light from the approaching Batmobile’s headlights creeping up Batman’s figure. Notice the curved shape on Batman’s cape in the bottom-left panel above the sound effect. The light then reaches Batman’s shoulder in the next panel, then reaches his face in the bottom right panel. Sadly the colorist didn’t pick up on this and the dark gray colors were used for Batman’s costume and the effect was lost.

Strikes #16 - Title Page pencils

Strikes #16 – Title Page pencils

Strikes #16 - Title Page color

Strikes #16 – Title Page color

 


Here’s the full-page splash title page, where the Batmobile’s headlights aren’t even on. I was trying to do some light-and-shadow effects on Batman’s figure, but it all got colored dark, saturated blues and grays. Oh, well.

Hey, at least the logo pops! The character length of the story title gave me an opportunity to pay homage to another version of the Batman comic logo, as I’d previously done in The Batman Strikes! #8. You can see the logo I was referencing in Batman Strikes #16 in this blog entry from Todd Klein’s Blog.

I always found the really angular drawing style of the show’s animation design a little hard to work with, and I think that’s on display here. The Batman figure is a little blocky and awkward. The script called for Batman to see who was driving the Batmobile, even though in the show the windows all have a mirror finish, but that’s a minor fudge for storytelling purposes.

This was the Batmobile design from the first season of the TV show, and it would soon be replaced with something less stubby-looking in both the show and the comic.

I’ll have more installments of Title Pages soon, but until then you can check out previous installments! As always, questions and comments are welcome!