Sorry about the lack of blog-age yesterday, I was totally snowed under with work.
But here we are! Page 2. As you can see from the black and white versions I leant heavily on Annette here to help sell the background and the setting. When I'm this pushed for time and tired, I tend to try and really focus on the storytelling and the characters. I tried to find layouts that told and sold the story without leaving it feeling empty or leaving the reader lost in space.
It's Annette's textures that really take it up a notch for me. The muddy faces and the blood sprays. And these dirty textures juxtapose so nicely with the bright blue eyes. I just don't know how she does it. It's so tough to make digital work look organic. It's an incredible balance.
I know there was a lot of resistance by readers as to whether Au Co was dead. Despite it stating in previous comics that he cannot heal the dead, I felt it pretty obvious that when he grabs her in panel 3 and nothing happens that she's dead. We see in panel 4 that she's certainly not better. The script stated that she is shot in the gut. I moved it up to the chest to not only make it more lethal, but also because we know Austin can heal someone of a chest wound if they're not dead. Add to that, here's the script for those of you still in denial:
Panel 3: Austin has reached Au Co, he has his hands on her, concentrating, trying to save her life... but there's no healing the dead. Dallas looms behind Austin, his face lost in shadow.
The purpose of Au Co's death is to give Austin new perspective on the reasoning behind his future methods: sacrifices must be made for the greater good. That's what Linderman's story is here. Her death gives him reason, method and later, purpose.
By the way, if you see or know that I'm working on a Heroes comic, I recommend downloading it as the PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION rather than the online reader. I design the books to be read in Acrobat. Select fit to screen and just get scrolling. While I LOVED the previous artist's rendering of the Pentagon, I had to scroll out to see it all, then I had to zoom back in to read the next few panels. It's a pain in the butt. I try and avoid that by laying it out so it reads easily in Acrobat.
Right now I'm working on layouts and designs for Zero-G. Unfortunately I'm a little burnt out, so I think I might take the weekend off and play Lord of the Rings Online (hey, it's free!). I will work on the Zero-G stuff, but I think I will leave the pages til next week.
BLACKED OUT CAPTIONS:
DALLAS CAPTION (CONT'D): Austin
DALLAS CAPTION (CONT'D): He didn't want to go through with the mission. To kill Au Co. Understandable.
13.4.07: hmmm... appears the captions aren't right. I will fix this as soon as I get home.