Wednesday, February 14, 2007

SYLAR page 1

So here's what Annette gets before she starts colouring. You can start to see the sort of choices she makes when you see the black and white artwork. While I send her some notes, the buck stops with her.

I've already spoken about how I got the gig, so I thought I'd talk about the process. I got the job and the script about 11am on saturday morning. I didn't finish work until midday. Frank was at work late on a friday night (big time difference as I'm in Australia), and needed to approve layouts before I could get started. He had about 3.5 hours to approve these layouts. If I missed the boat then I'd have to wait til his monday (my tuesday) to get started, and that would make the friday deadline impossible.

So I ran home (not literally) and began work on the layouts. Layouts are small sketches of the page. Little more than stick figures to show the editor (Frank) and the network (NBC) how the pages are going to look. They basically looked like this:

It's important to stick to them, because when they've been approved any changes you make might have to be redone.

While it seems simple, doing layouts burns my brain out. Trying to conceive things from all possible angles is a real nightmare. I realised I wouldn't get through more than three pages over the weekend, so I just layed (laid?) out the first three pages. Frank approved them immediately and I got to work.

NBC's main concern with my layouts was that there was too much unused space (also called negative space). My theory was two-fold:

1. I wanted to keep panels wider than they were taller to maintain a "widescreen" feel to the comic. The closer visually it could look to the show, the more accepting readers would be.

2. When I read the online comics, I downloaded them as a PDF and zoomed in so the pages were as wide as my monitor and then scrolled down. The problem was that long thin panels forced me to zoom out, and thus disrupted my reading. Wide panels mean that the reveals are all vertical. This means that as you scroll down, you see what happens next. The layout is conducive to the PDF reading format.


1. Check out the newspaper article up close (you will need to download the colour one on the site - we were specifically asked to place those newspaper headlines.

2. The name of the beer is Northeast Brewing Company, as a smart poster on the 9th Wonder Message boards noted, the acronym is NBC.

3. The script didn't call for Sylar to go rummaging through a charity clothes bin. That was my decision. I just felt that if you're covered in blood from two gunshot wounds, then it's unlikely that someone's going to give you a ride. If I'd received the screen caps for episode 15 earlier, I would have given Sylar the green wide neck top.


G said...

Hey Jase,

Congrats on doing a "Heroes" comic! I haven't had the chance to read your comic yet, but it looks awesome from what little time you and Annette had to finish them in. Great job guys!

Getting really into the show myself and it seems to be doing really well over in the States. So this is a pretty high profile gig!

Looking forward to your Zero G comic later in the year, too.

William said...

Really good job on the comic.

When you work on a comic that is web-only, do you or the colorist use different materials than you would for a paper comic? Do you do it all on the computer or do you just scan it in? said...

Great work on the Heroes website. I'm a fan of your work.

I'm looking for a freelance graphic artist for a commercial and wanted to know you're availability.

Sorry for the random comment post. You're a hard person to track down.


Mary Ann

spartacus-sum said...

Dude. I've downloaded the finished comik and there's no comparison re the roughs, none at all: greyscale rules! - cf Leonardo's cartoons, which IMTAO piss all over his La Gioconda :D

Anyhoo, keep it coming! Isaac Mendez should look you up for art lessons. Heh.

jasonb said...

G: Thanks mate! When are you putting your next Knightedge out?

William: I draw totally digitally anyway (with a Wacom tablet). But there's a little bit of complication on the colouring because a screen can show more colours than a printer can. So Annette has to adjust the colours by limiting the extreme colours to tailor to each printer.

spartacus: lmao! thanks so much! but Isaac's art is done by the legendary Tim Sale (Batman: The long Halloween, Superman: Man of all seasons). I appreciate the compliments, but really there's no comparison. =)

DeletedSeen said...

It is so great to see the layouts - I was so chuffed when I first saw this site and realised you showed in so much detail the entire process for creating your beautiful work. I knew the GN and Rlar really well at this point so it was fascinating to see behind the scenes!
It was a really good decision to lay them out this way for the PDF reader. I've meant to say this before, but I often find the way the PDFs are set up online for the Heroes GNS makes them very hard to read, even in the interactive format but yours are always really easy to scan. I do really like the widescreen look for Roadkill, it works particularly well for the truck action.
I think this is my favourite page though, probably just for the setting, likenesses and really accurate body language. I also absolutely love the sunset colouring Annette has done, it's a real strong point for this page, absolutely amazing the way it sets the mood and the timeline - it's probably one of my favourite colouring jobs ever.

RE the Tim Sale comment, I love his work but secretly I prefer yours :)