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...

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