Posts tagged: Zac Atkinson

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.

Young Justice Invasion: Volume 1 coming in December

Young Justice #20

Young Justice #20

Young Justice: Invasion – Volume One TP
Writers: Greg Weisman
Artists: Christopher Jones
Collects: Young Justice #20-25
$12.99 US, 160 pg

With Volumes 1-3 the collected tie-in comic for the Young Justice animated TV series in print, I had been hoping for some news on a Young Justice: Volume 4, but it seems instead that the last 6 issues will be collected as Young Justice Invasion: Volume 2.  It’s funny that they went that way – when we were talking about the comic making the jump to the timeframe from Season 2 of the show, there was talk of rebranding the comic as Young Justice: Invasion and getting a new #1 issue. But that didn’t happen – they just continued on with the existing title and numbering, just designating the “Invasion” storyline with a subtitle and numbering it as 1-6 of 6. I guess someone decided that Young Justice: Invasion Volume 1 was more marketable than Young Justice: Volume 4. Fair enough.


Young Justice #23

Young Justice #23

Young Justice #24

Young Justice #24

Young Justice #25

Young Justice #25


This was a fun run of issues to work on. Catching up with Season 2 of the show meant Dick Grayson as Nightwing and an influx of new characters such as Batgirl, Blue Beetle, Wonder Girl, and Lagoon Boy. Plus, our big Invasion storyline featured a trio of villains I got to design for Young Justice continuity – Brainiac, Kylstar and Deadshot. Plus the mutation of Match into our version of Bizarro. This was easily the most epic storyline we ever tackled in the comic, and I’m so excited to finally have it collected into a squarebound edition!

The book won’t be out until December. I’m not sure why there’s such a delay, but better late than never! Young Justice recently aired its final episode earlier this month on Cartoon Network. The series is set to remain in reruns for at least a couple more weeks before being shuffled out of the DC Nation programming block. A lot of people are looking for ways to show their support for the Young Justice series right now, and pre-ordering this would definitely be one way to do so! Or, you could just pick it up when it comes out because it’ll be a good read!

Until then, Volumes 1-3 of the COLLECTED Young Justice are available NOW!
Look for them at your local comic shop or bookstore, or order a copy online!


1235243

VOLUME 1
Collecting #0-06! $12.99

1204269

VOL. 2 – Training Day
Collecting #07-13! $12.99

1290911

VOL. 3 – Creature Features
Collecting #14-19! $12.99

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!

OUT NOW – Young Justice #25: INVASION 6 of 6 (Final Issue)

Young Justice #25

Young Justice #25

And so the epic saga concludes (in comic book form anyway) withYoung Justice #25, the final issue of this DC Comics title based on the Cartoon Network animated series of the same name. Official details and preview pages are available below.

YJ_25_1

Preview Page 1

YJ_25_2

Preview Page 2

YJ_25_3

Preview Page 3

YJ_25_4

Preview Page 4

YJ_25_5

Preview Page 5


YOUNG JUSTICE #25: INVASION 6 of 6
Written by Greg Weisman
Drawn by Christopher Jones
Color by Zac Atkinson
Cover by Christopher Jones

• FINAL ISSUE
• The heroes make their last stand against Kylstar and Brainiac!
• Metropolis is still in danger, but now the entire planet risks destruction!
• Deadshot hits his target!

That’s what the DC Comics solicitation says, but odds are you’ll be more concerned about scenes with Dick Grayson that begin and end the issue, and with two very different moments in the history of the relationship between Superman and Superboy. And then there’s that scene with the truck

The cover price for this issue is $2.99US.
Be sure to pick the issue up at your local comics shop or in digital form!

And don’t miss the COLLECTED Young Justice!

1235243

VOLUME 1
Collecting #0-06! $12.99

1204269

VOL. 2 – Training Day
Collecting #07-13! $12.99

1290911

VOL. 3 – Creature Features
Collecting #14-19! $12.99

Happy Colorist Appreciation Day


Young Justice #11 - Cover Inks

Young Justice #11 – Cover Inks

Young Justice #11 - Cover Color

Young Justice #11 – Cover Color


It’s one of those things that makes you ask “Who DECIDES this stuff?” In response to colorist Jordie Bellaire’s tumblr post this morning, today has been deemed Colorist Appreciation Day on Twitter. Or, since it’s on Twitter, #coloristappreciationday.

I color most of my work outside of comics myself, but most of my work in the comics field is drawn by me but colored by another artist. And make no mistake, coloring can make or break a piece of art. I’ve benefited from good coloring and suffered terrible coloring.

As an example of how good coloring can *benefit* artwork, I direct your attention to my gallery of Young Justice covers featuring the colors of Zac Atkinson. You can see his work as well as my uncolored line art for each cover. You can find Zac on Twitter at @zacatkinson, and his website is www.evilby.me.

Zac Atkinson

Zac Atkinson

So thanks to Zac and the other great colorists I’ve gotten to work with over the years! Appreciate colorists today!