Posts tagged: process

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Here’s part three in a series collecting the art from an unpublished comic based on Gerry Anderson’s UFO.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Here’s part two in a series collecting the art from an unpublished comic based on Gerry Anderson’s UFO.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.

Title Pages: The Batman Strikes #19

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.


grundy

A classic comic book Grundy

Solomon_Grundy

Grundy as seen in The Batman

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The De Niro Frankenstein monster


In The Batman Strikes! #19 we got to play with Solomon Grundy, who in the continuity of The Batman was a gaunt, zombie-like figure, who reminded me of the Christopher Lee Frankenstein monster. It also let us move out of Gotham City and into the (oddly) nearby swamplands, which made for a nice change of pace art-wise for the book. I was doing my best to channel the classic EC Horror Comics on this one, and my inker (and classic horror fan) Terry Beatty was more than up to the challenge!

Strikes #19 - pg 01 prev Strikes #19 pg 01 inks prev BS_19_Oroboros_ 002


No real set-up this time, as we get our title logo on panel one of page one. I thought it would be fun to have the letter shapes darken and cast a wavering reflection in the murky swamp water.

Strikes #19 - pg 02 prev Strikes #19 pg 02 inks prev BS_19_Oroboros_ 003


And here’s the rest of that sequence. As you can see, the sound effects were part of the artwork from the pencil stage. I love doing that whenever possible.

I wish the effect of Batman caught in the beam of the flashlight hadn’t been colored with such a sharply-defined cone of light coming from the flashlight. It’s not a realistic effect and it detracts from the effect of the area caught in the beam popping out from a background that’s otherwise in silhouette.

And while it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Title Page, I can’t blog about this issue without including my favorite page from the issue, and one of my favorite from the entire series.


Strikes #19 - pg 10 prev Strikes #19 - INKS pg 10 BS_19_Oroboros_ 011


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!

Creating a Cover: Young Justice #24

It’s time for another installment of my Creating a Cover series. As usual, this cover was being designed before I had seen the script for the issue in question, let alone had drawn it, so a suggestion from series writer Greg Weisman was key in figuring out a cover concept. Greg suggested Batgirl being grabbed by the throat by an arm belonging to the yet-to-be-revealed Match in his mutated “Bizarro” form. Behind them, would be Plastic Man, helpless to intervene behind the force-field barrier cutting off central Metropolis from the outside world.

Cover Sketch a

Cover Sketch a

Cover Sketch b

Cover Sketch b


We had wanted to hide Match’s identity/appearance on this cover, because while he was revealed in the previous issue, this cover would be made public as part of the solicitation for the issue before that had happened, so a shot from Match’s point of view seemed the most effective. My next priority was to get Plastic Man and Batgirl as large in the frame as possible, as we were more concerned with the characters and their expressions than the setting. The first sketch was well received, but Greg wanted Batgirl to look more aggressive and less victimized, so a second sketch with an angrier expression and a Batarang clutched in her hand as a weapon was added. I had to shrink the Batgirl figure down a bit to have room for her hand with the Batarang in the frame. I tweaked a few other things while I was redrawing, such as the pattern of lighting and shadows on Batgirl’s mask, and I realized that I hadn’t had Batgirl’s hair visible in the first version, so I rectified that as well.

Young Justice #24 cover pencils

Young Justice #24 cover pencils

Young Justice #24 cover inks

Young Justice #24 cover inks


The layout drawing was tight enough that progressing to pencils and then inks was pretty simple. It’s always nice when penciling to know you’ll be inking your own work. While my pencils are still pretty tight, I don’t have to much thought to line weight or texture at this stage, since I’ll be making those choices myself rather than having to indicated it for another artist in the pencils.

Young Justice #24 cover colors

Young Justice #24 cover colors

Young Justice #24 final cover

Young Justice #24 final cover


On the left is the first draft of color by Zac Atkinson. Zac did his usual great job, but we wanted Match’s arm to be a little more pale and chalky – not as completely bleached-white as a full-on Bizarro form, but far enough to be noticeably paler that Batgirl and to provide strong contrast with his original skin tone. On the right you can see the finished color as it appeared on the published cover, along with all the final logos and other trade dress.

You can find my previous Creating a Cover installments here.