Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Moth- "The Making Of" Part 2

Ah yes, the elusive page 38. Here's one of the many pages from Declan's script that just nailed me between the eyeballs and wouldn't let go.
I needed to spend some time with it, I needed to get it right. So after many hours scribbling:
Coloring is always a challenge, and it took me awhile to get that right kind of feverish feel. I started just pointing and clicking with the tablet in photoshop:
I grabbed Haruka's watercolors and made a real mess in the living room until I got something like this:
I like this set a lot because you can get some bizarre color combinations and it reacts more like colored inks than just straight up watercolors. So then layering these two methods together:
And finally getting those text boxes to fit in:
It really took a lot out of me but I think I got it in the end. And luckily my coffee buddy was ready to fuel me for the next page:
Thanks for checking this out. Stay tuned for Part 3 in a couplea weeks!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Moth- "The Making Of" Part 1

I just got an email from Nicola Mason, awesome editor over at 'The Cincinnati Review,' saying that the book is now off to the printer and should be ship shape in a matter of weeks. Looking back over this whole process, I must admit that this has been one of the most intense, challenging, and rewarding experiences in all my days walking down this artist's road. There's a lot to talk about, and I'm chomping at the bit to share this all with you. But where to begin? Well, every good story starts with the script, and I can't think of a better place to dive in. So let's take a look at Page Uno...
Declan Greene is an incredible writer. When I first read his script my noggin' was full of so many ideas, so many beautiful, dark, and bizarre images. I instantly became one of those crazy converts- "I am MEANT to draw this. No one else but ME!" I think I scared the bejeezus out of my wife and 2 year old son. They had to put up with a lot of this kind of behavior over the months. I grieve for them. But I needed to prove to Greene and the editors that I was the CHOSEN one. So I made a little visual presentation and sent it off to them... Here's one of those pages---
No Claryssa is not trying to be a cast member on Star Trek. (You won't believe how much I chewed my nails over this after I sent it in. It didn't hit me until a day later as I was looking it over again . A red shirt? What was I thinking?!) Luckily, this didn't bother them at this point. In fact, they were more concerned with the overall style. "Can it be darker? More illustrative?" they asked. Darker and more illustrative?! Do you REALIZE who you're talking to??!
Which lead us to (several sketches later)--
This was starting to feel right, I always like scritchy-scratchy lines and going a little nuts with the ink splatters, SO THEY LET ME RUN WITH IT. When I got the news, I must admit there was a lot of really bad white guy dancing going on for a REALLY long time. Let's not linger here, there's more to see up ahead.
So here's where I started to break it down into panels. Before drawing page one, we all needed to figure out what to cut and what to expand on. Being that this was a 56 page play written for the stage that then needed to be turned into a 56 page graphic novel- it was a challenging task. And at first I sent in a counter pitch making it into a 109 page graphic novel. We must cut NOTHING! I think it was a good idea that they didn't go for that because in the end we were able to streamline it and make it something that moved and flowed better in the comic page format. In this scene, we're opening up on this kind of trippy head space inside of Claryssa's head. I wanted a good shot of Sebastian holding his breath in that third panel:
So I asked this chipper young lad to model for me:
That man deserves the keys to the city! I hope we see more of him. Ahem. Anyways, here's the colored and lettered page 1...
Over the next few weeks I'm going to pick out some more pages and share some more tantalizing behind the scenes stuff along the way. Remember to get your mitts on a copy of Moth, the graphic play, go here and subscribe to The Cincinnati Review now! To Be Continued...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Book of Three- Cover

Well here's what I'd put on the cover if I were adapting the whole book as a graphic novel. For me this was always one of the coolest parts, when Taran and Eilonwy find the Sword of Drynwyn. Of course, Fflewddur and Gurgi aren't there in Spiral Castle with them when it happens, but I felt like I could throw them in since it's for the cover. Hope you like it! :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Book of Three (page 6-8)

Here's the last 3 pages of my adaptation of Chapter 1. Love these books, love these characters, love this world. Hope I can get back to it someday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hen Wen

Hen Wen the oracular pig is a scaredy pig!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Moth

Moth is almost ready. Can't wait to share this with y'all and hear what you think. What a total blast this was to work on!
Read more here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cover

Playing around with ideas for the cover...

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Book of Three

Firstly I read and re-read the script several times, trying to pin down the images it evokes in my head. Then I start breaking it down into panels. I draw little thumbnail images next to the text for each panel.
Then I'll do a layout where I figure out how the panels will fit together on the page.
Next I turn to the trusty internets and using image search engines and 3D warehouse, I'll gather everything I can that will either help my drawing or inspire me. In some cases I'll make crude 'sketches' of these images in Photoshop so I can get a sense on how these different elements will work with each other.
Finally, I'll break out the A4 size bristol boards and start drawing using several different pencils, pens, and brushes, to get the desired thick and thin lines.
I'll scan the speech bubbles later and spend several painstaking hours lettering using different fonts. Anyone know a letterer? Gah. And then there's coloring too, using watercolors and photoshop colors together. Coloring is much more fun. I do a base of digital colors, then I scan in several washes of watercolor and play with filters to see how they react with the digital colors underneath.
And now letters! Hand drawn speech bubbles, scanned in, and a font thrown inside...