Posts tagged: Dan Davis

Origin Story: Kid Flash from Young Justice #5

I posted this on Tumblr a few days ago and at got a good response there, so I thought I’d do a slightly expanded version here.

This is Kid Flash’s origin as told by the Kid himself (aka Wally West) in Young Justice #5. Furthermore, it’s a comparison of my pencil art with the digital inks and the final print version.

Script by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani
Pencils by Christopher Jones
Inks by Dan Davis
Colors by Zac Atkinson
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual

This comic was scripted by Art and Franco, but the versions of the origin stories presented in it were based on Young Justice continuity as developed for the TV show by Greg Weisman and the other writers. This was my first issue drawing Young Justice, and I was still trying to master the nuances of the character designs. Complicating matters was trying to draw the characters a year or two younger in flashbacks! Let’s dive in!

YJ #5 pencils-inks-colors pg 10 prev

This issue featured members of the newly-formed team going on a camping trip together and getting to know more about each-other as they tell (origin) stories around the campfire. Aqualad’s story about becoming the protege to Aquaman was just wrapping up as we get to Kid Flash. Wally’s story starts with the origin of the original Flash Jay Garrick, so I got to draw Central City in the 1940s. The “Lampert” Building seen in that panel is a reference to Harry Lampert, artist and co-creator of The Flash with writer Gardner Fox. I love throwing in references like that!

YJ #5 pencils-inks-colors pg 11 prev

Here we see a young Barry Allen meeting Jay Garrick and getting his autograph on a copy of the Golden Age Flash #1 before becoming the second incarnation of The Flash. I drew a simplified version of the Flash #1 cover art and composited it into the artwork in Photoshop so I could get greater detail than I could have done in the raw pencils.

YJ #5 pencils-inks-colors pg 12 prev

This page is a good example of leaving room in the artwork for the lettering that is to be placed later. Panel 4 is the simple version – the shot is tight enough on Barry Allen that it didn’t need a background, so I just left enough space to the side of him that the lettering would fit without covering Barry up. But check out Panel 2 right above it.  There’s a whole bunch of background that gets covered up by the fairly large amount of text in that panel. But none of it was important. You just needed to see enough to know you were in a bedroom next to an open closet. All the important stuff (Wally, the open case with Barry’s notebooks) is at the bottom of the panel, with lots of vertical lines in perspective leading your eye down to it.

YJ #5 pencils-inks-colors pg 13 prev

I remember enjoying drawing the makeshift laboratory in Wally’s parents’ garage. I tried to make it feel kind of ramshackle, with equipment that like it would have been more at home in a high-school chemistry class than a high-tech lab.

YJ #5 pencils-inks-colors pg 14 prev

Those are Wally’s parents on the left in Panel 2, who appeared in the TV show, but who I didn’t yet have reference for when I drew this. On the right is Iris and Barry Allen. Barry’s hair is getting a little orange here, rather than his usual blonde buzz-cut. Maybe he’s been hanging out with Wally too much…

YJ #5 pencils-inks-colors pg 15 prev

And finally we see Wally somewhat reluctantly accepted as Barry’s sidekick, Kid Flash.

If you’d like to see more sequences broken down this way, let me know!

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:

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

and coming in 2013:

YOUNG JUSTICE: VOLUME THREE – CREATURE FEATURES
Features issues #14-19!
Release Date: February 13th, 2013
Cover Price: $12.99

Coming in January: Young Justice #24

Young Justice #24

Young Justice #24

YOUNG JUSTICE #24
Written by GREG WEISMAN
Art and cover by CHRISTOPHER JONES
Color by ZAC ATKINSON
On sale January 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E

• Deadshot attempts assassination!
• Batgirl fights alone against Match!
• Kylstar decimates Superboy and the Justice League!
• Nightwing’s team fails against Brainiac!

Batgirl vs Match? How bizarre!
The Invasion continues!

Young Justice #20 is still on the stands, and #21 will be out TOMORROW! You can find Young Justice at your local comics shop or in digital form!

ALSO – The COLLECTED Young Justice!

YOUNG JUSTICE: VOLUME ONE
Features issues #0-6 of the all ages series.
Written by: Art Balazar and Franco, Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps
Art by: Mike Norton, Christopher Jones and Dan Davis
Cover by: Mike Norton
Released on January 11, 2012 (Out of print, but a 2nd Printing Coming Soon!)
Cover Price: $12.99

YOUNG JUSTICE: VOLUME TWO – TRAINING DAY
Features issues #7-13 of the all ages series.
Written by: Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps
Art by Christopher Jones and Dan Davis
Cover by: Christopher Jones
Release Date: November 14th, 2012
Cover Price: $12.99

and coming in 2013:

YOUNG JUSTICE: VOLUME THREE – CREATURE FEATURES
Written by: Kevin Hopps and Greg Weisman
Art by: Christopher Jones, and Luciano Vecchio
Cover by: Christopher Jones
Collects Young Justice #14-19!
Release Date:
February 13th, 2013
Cover Price: $12.99

‘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!

Young Justice #8 out today!

Yikes! A blog!

As I get dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st-Century realities of an artist promoting his own work, I am launching a blog as the centerpiece of my revamped website. You can find a gallery of my work by clicking on the link above. That gallery isn’t as complete as I’d like it, and much of what’s currently there isn’t as well-organized or well-labeled as I’d like, but I’ll tackle that in the coming weeks, and I’ll even highlight some of what’s there with blog posts as I go. My thanks to Hal Bichel for being the architect of my new web presence!

Today sees the release of Young Justice #8, written by Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps, drawn by me, inked by Dan Davis, and color by Zac Atkinson. You can find it at your local comic shop or you can buy Young Justice online in digital form.