Tuesday, December 19, 2006

POST 100!!!

Post number 100!!!

A century for me, and what a panel to show off. This is Annette and I combing our super-powers to create something really fun.

It's such a pleasure working with Annette. One of the main reasons is that we're both constantly trying to push the frontier of what we're creating. We want something unique and different, something that you can't see in any other comic. Panel by panel we're getting a little better.

ZERO-G: page 8 panel 4

I like this panel, it's what I call a "performance panel". It's all about what they're saying and what the reaction is. I pulled out the background because I wanted to highlight this. I didn't want you looking at the cool things I've drawn in the background. Annette and I began some technical experimentation to try and figure out how best to execute these. Once I explained to her what I was trying to do, and why I was doing it, she took to it like a fish to water.

Coming next... the coloured version of the panel.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ELE colour

Here she is all coloured up by yours truly.

I like the red fill light from the side. It separates her and gives her depth.

I'm working with Annette at the moment talking about fill lights. I'm a huge fan of them. Mainly from David Fincher's work on Fight Club, where the main lighting is from the fill rather than the key light.

One of the reasons I like to play with the grey tones is to be able to sometimes achieve that effect. It's cute trying to push the boundaries of what we normally see in comics.

Not that we're seeing that here. =)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

ELE black and white

This was a sketch done for an idea that I had for a series. So desperate was I for a comic to work on, that I even pitched my own idea.

Thank god, Alex Zamm arrived with Zero G.

I'd still like to pursue it one day, so I'm going to be vague on the details. Its premise is that of a sci-fi version of Buffy.

I like the sketch though. It was a lot of fun playing with the textures of the coat and the pants. I especially like the belt too. It gives it character. She does need to get out of the leather/pvc though. It's so passe in this post-Matrix world.

Monday, December 11, 2006

ZERO-G Evelyn & Bill Barron

Competing with the good ol' U.S. of A is multibillionaire Bill Barron and his corporate conglomerate. Their secret weapon is the beautiful and incredibly talented and smart astro-geologist Evelyn (Atom's college ex girl-friend).

I'm including this as one of the first panels to show you guys, cos I know it's one that's probably going to get overlooked in the book. Don't get me wrong, it's a huge reveal, and while I'm especially proud of the likeness for Evelyn (thank you again, Jess) that's not what I'm most chuffed about.

The script basically says that it's a press conference where Bill Barron reveals that he too will be launching his own expedition to the asteroid. The bigger reveal for the story is Evelyn (which is what should and will draw the reader's attention). This was supposed to be what I call a "phone-in page". A press conference you say? Easy! I'll just chuck them in front of a billboard with some of Bill's corporate logos on it.

Then I got thinking. If I were Bill Barron, and I wanted to make the biggest splash possible, what would I do? I'd shoot the press conference in front of my damn ship which *I* built. He's a one man space program. Who wouldn't want to show that off?!

Next thing I know, I'm giving Geoff Darrow a run for his money drawing crazy amounts of detail on the gantry around the space shuttle.

So what should have taken the time of the figures and shot me ahead of my schedule, became a nightmare page that I'm immensely proud of cos of this panel.

ZERO-G Deiter

Visually Deiter is one of my favourite characters to draw. Our older, craggy Navy SEAL sniper. I like his exaggerated features and made them even more extreme on the page. Big hooked nose, massive thick eyebrows, high cheekbones and square jaw. He's a little smaller than Buck (the other Navy SEAL - who carries around a minigun). Deiter instead carries a massive sniper rifle rigged to his gauntlet.

PHASE background art

So as you can see from the comic, when the fight scene begins, we move towards an illustrated background. This is one of the better ones I drew. I especially like the shadows from the fence on the bricks. They took some time, but they were worth it.

I loved the idea of the illustrated backgrounds for the fights. It implied one of several options.

Firstly it asks the question if these events are real. Is Phil/Phase imagining this? Is he embelishing it? Is it a fantasy life that he uses to enrich his otherwise mundance existence. It enters us into Phil's comic book fantasy life. But we find that things are a lot more complicated here also.

PHASE panel 3

Last panel!

Man, I owe you guys some artwork. I'm waaaa-ay behind on uploading stuff.

Again, no backgrounds, but I do like the lighting. The likeness isn't great, though. You can blame Ione for that.

Ok. Next piece...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

PHASE panel 2

Here's panel 2/3 of the story. Again drawn with absolutely NO time. =)

I'm currently working with Sky (the writer and director) on a direction for the series. There's been a renewed interest in the project with HEROES doing so well. I've been enjoying HEROES. It's a decent watch with incredible cliffhanger endings. But it does some stuff that just frustrates the hell out of me. There are some serious issues with the concept and the fact that it seems everybody and their dog has powers is just getting too much.

I've got an idea for something a little darker, more believable and more character arc driven.

Friday, December 01, 2006


So I've been in a serious pit of despair about drawing recently.

It's totally all deadline driven and all about me biting off more than I can chew. And while I heard an amusing anecdote talking about always biting off more than you can chew, and chewing like buggery... well I did that for 8 weeks before I crashed and burned (burnt?).

Basically, 50+ hour weeks at the gym and 30 hours of drawing took its toll after 8 weeks. The problem was that based on my schedule of 3 pages per week, I realised that dropping the ball on a page, or even half a page was unrecoverable. There was no way I could step up to 3.5 or 4 pages per week to make up that lost page. Doing so would totally kill me.

So after I dropped a page, I got totally depressed. I knew I'd blown the deadline. That lead to another and another being dropped until the whole thing became so futile, I was basically immobolised by despair.

One of my best buddies, Mitch suggested that I just chill out and try to enjoy my drawing. To be honest, it had been a while since I had enjoyed anything I'd drawn. While I had gotten great satisfaction out of drawing Zero-G, it had also been really stressful. Mitch's advice came when my production manager, Lauren initiated a conversation with Spacedog publisher, head-honcho and all-round cool guy, Roger Mincheff to basically put the book out when I can get it out. We've pulled the rate back to 2 pages per week, but I'm helping Annette tone the art the way that I did it on the Emperor pages.

The results should be spectacular. Our rationale was that while we don't have the promotion of San Diego behind us, we will have one of the best looking books on the market.

As a token of thanks (and a means to lube up the drawing side of my brain again), I busted out this Supergirl in one night for Mitch's bday. It was so nice to finish a piece again. It's heavily inspired by the Adam Hughes Supergirl he did recently. It's not a patch on his, and there's so much more I'd like to do, but one night was the most time I could spend on it before I had to get stuck back into Zero-G.

NEXT: Phase panel 2.