Friday, May 18, 2007

HANA PART 1: page 4

In my wild artistic thrashings, this page managed to smash out two of my favourite likenesses. Mr Bennet on panel 4, and Hana on panel 5.

This is one of those times I'm really glad that I included the lineart. Check out Mr. Bennet. He doesn't even look like him on the lineart! That's how big a contribution the painting makes. I can't even explain it, but something happens somewhere along the way. I also think his profile on panel 3 is pretty good too.

The bottom panel with Hana is one of my favourite Hana's. It just captures her, and I managed to put black on her face and still maintain a likeness. As any artist knows, shadows can make or kill a face or likeness.

Another thing that people seemed to like is Ted's "finger gun." That was Aron's idea. I did have to do some research from the episode "Company Man" to figure out what the special effect looks like. It seems Ted's bones glow white hot and his flesh goes burning red with the glow being white and yellow.

I'd actually like to do a Parkman comic. I love Greg Grunberg's work. He's just so genuine.


Once I've done my layouts I move onto the reseach phase. It's really important to me that everything looks as it's supposed to. I'm not an expert in everything, so where I can, I try and defer to the experts. Now, if I'd known someone as well-versed in Chinese rockets as Erik M on the 9th Wonders boards, I would have asked him for advice. As it is, I had to wing it myself - and apparently that's a russian Soyuz rocket launching from the Gagarin pad at Baikonur (Kazachstan). Well... that's an interesting political joint venture! =)

So what's in my research folder? Pictures of people holding guns for the soldiers, Chinese military uniforms, rice pattie fields and farmers, nightclubs, people dancing, source code (for digital texture), New York streets, aeroplane windows, schematics, parks, swings, Chinese men, satellites, mountains, snow, Hong Kong, chinese river boats, ak-47s, parkas and storm clouds. The world is an amazing place, and I can't hold all the details in my head. But Google images does.

But there's another side to the research. And that's the HEROES specific research. As a storyteller and fan, I like to cram as much stuff in that only the real fans will get. Ryan Gibson Stewart moderator of HEROESWIKI (link on the right) and all-round good guy and champion-for-justice offered to help me out. I felt the New York scene would have great potential for some injokes and details. Ryan directed me to the Corinthian Casino site, and from that I designed a billboard. He then directed me to every episode, screen shot, photo and video that featured Nathan's political advertising. I eventually found the ad I used on the taxi as a frame from Nathan's propaganda video. Sometimes I use Ryan to check all sorts of little details (QN. what colour are Hana's eyes? ANSWER: Stana Katic seems to have green eyes, but as Hana they're brown!). Basically anything that would be too hard for me to find out myself, I tap the huge database and wealth of knowledge this man represents. All the details, every HEROES injoke you find in here, is made possible because Ryan could find the information in my timeframe.

The last bit of research I do is heaps and heaps of screen caps. I tend to try and use the most recent episodes possible. One I struggled on for part 2 is Jessica. Do you remember the last time Jessica was Niki? Somewhere around episode 6!

Holding all the rough likenesses and angles in my head, I start to trawl through my memory banks looking for specific likenesses. For example I remembered, I could find shots of Jack Coleman (Mr Bennet) without his glasses in "Company Man". I pretty much captured every frame I could of Stana Katic (there's not that many). She's in two scenes, and the one in the graveyard she's lit really dark. Ryan found an interview with her on YOUTUBE. And while it was too low res to use, it did give me a great idea of how her face works.


Edric Hsu said...

You are absolutely amazing, Jason! I chanced upon your blog through the 9th Wonders message board, and I'm now a big fan of your work!

I do a bit of cartooning and illustration work myself, and really enjoy seeing how others do it. :)

Hope to see more of your graphic novels in future!


RyanGibsonStewart said...

Dude, you give me way too much credit. It's the hundreds of people that contribute to Heroes Wiki that put together all the details. I just soak it all up! :)

I am grateful you're such a details guy, though. It makes for some very impressive graphic novels that satisfy both fanboys and genpop.

Rinibini said...

I couldn't agree more with RGS. It's great that you are this detail oriented and therefor your artwork is that much more impressive.

jasonb said...

edric: love your work, man. You have such a gentle, ethereal drawing style. I enjoyed your cartoon immensely, even though their wonderful puns cause me severe pain. =)

RGS: don't get me wrong, I'm indebted to the hundreds of people that have supplied all the information you've soaked up, but it's you that either knows it, knows where to find it, or knows who to ask. I couldn't have done it without you.

rini: thanks man! As a fan, I love all these injokes. I don't just mindlessly draw stuff, I love to contribute.

Edric Hsu said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog, Jason. Glad you enjoyed my cartoons and hope you're not too scarred by the puns... :P

I really like the Heroes comics that you've drawn, and as I mentioned before, I just love seeing how you did them! :)