Saturday, April 12, 2008


It seems that if I try and leave blogging to every second day, something comes up and I get caught out and don't end up blogging. It looks like I'm just going to have to blog when I have time.

I love this page. It's hands-down my favourite from the entire graphic novel. I didn't even use a model! I had great fun drawing it, but once I saw the life that Annette injected into it, I almost fell out of my seat. This is Annette and I at our harmonious best. I would argue that this is the best page Annette has ever coloured. She just kicked every element of every panel clean out of the park.

Instead of approaching this in stages, I'm going to approach it in panels. It might mean you have to do a bit of scrolling up and down, so I apologise. Actually I don't. It's all just a plot to wear out your mouse.

PANEL 1: I don't usually play with different angles, but I really liked this design and composition. I thought it made it very clear that she's asleep and from the expression on her face that she's dreaming. I was more concerned with the graphic elements of lighting and clothing than anything else. I had great fun drawing her left hand and the way it affected the lines of her top. I was especially pleased with that.

It was only when I finished and had a good look at it that I got a little concerned. I got an amusing comment on the 9th Wonders boards which mirrored my thoughts. They speculated that this first panel might be classified as "fanservice" which I'm led to believe that means it's a little on the saucy side. I was worried about depicting a 16 year old girl in this light, as it wasn't my intention. But, I figured if there was a problem, NBC would let me know about it. Given that I was never asked to change it, it obviously made it in the goal posts of decency.

PANEL 2: I love playing with panel borders as a means of communicating different scenes. Transporting a reader across scenes is actually a really tough thing to do. It's something I've chatted with Annette about. My take is generally to attribute each scene a unique palette to separate it from any other scene. In this case, I wasn't sure what Annette would do or how she would tackle it, so I felt I should do something at my end. My decision was to narrow the panel borders slightly and then add that misty effect to give it that dreamy feel.

I really shouldn't have worried, as Annette's colour palette was so ethereal it floored me. Looking at this panel is like looking at a movie! Look at the way she's lit that! I asked for the stairway (which was a PAIN to draw) to disappear into the clouds, but she made it so much more epic, and larger than I could have visualised. Compare the black and white to the coloured and you will see the sense of scale she brought to it. Then the gold glow of the figures was intense. They really drew your eye in a way that would mirror Linda's own hunger for them.

PANEL 3: I again wanted to emphasize Linda's vampiric nature. The thick flowing black hair and the red top really help sell that. Looking at the message boards, I'm extremely please that it looks like people made that connection also. Mise en scene ftw! Now, while I really like what I drew here, this panel is all Annette again. I had looked through the previous stories and found that we had never seen Linda actually connect and draw the energy/aura/life force out of someone. We had only seen her glowing blue hand loom over someone. I asked Annette to make it look like veins of energy being sucked out of this guy's aura. How Annette communicated the movement of the energy is beyond me. Look at it! It's really swirling out of that guy and being sucked into Linda. This is hands down the best storytelling visual effect I've ever seen in a comic book. If you don't agree, I'd like to see the other contenders. =)

PANEL 4: I'm not sure if he's being sucked up or falling down, and that's because of my drawing. I made a bad decision and should have had the facing up parts of the stairs white instead of black. My bad. The idea is that he was supposed to be falling down into an endless landscape of bodies. I don't think that's quite clear, but it is clear that his aura is gone and that he's at the very least not conscious if not dead. Hell, it's a dream! It can go either way!

PANEL 5: While I love this picture, it doesn't look like her. At least not the Linda that I developed from page 3 onwards. It's so hard to put black shadows on a woman's face and still create structure and beauty without aging her, and I think I pulled it off here. I also really like the expression, but it just doesn't look like her. I guess I can joke and say it's what she looks like without her makeup. =)

Day 2 saw me up bright and early and off to Versaille. The Chateaux itself is a beautiful magnificent building:

My problem with it wasn't the outside, but rather the inside. I found it... tacky and over done. It's a horrible thing to say about a national landmark and such a pillar of history, but it was furnished with absolutely no design sense. It's just beautiful things all crammed in to create such a density of information that it just becomes noise. I found it overwhelming and just switched off. I found myself muttering that all the money in the world can't buy you taste. I don't have any photos as I wasn't interested in wasting my time taking them. There was nothing I wanted to record for posterity. The audio tour also bugged me. It was badly signed, marked and designed. When I came out of the end of one tour, I found myself at the end of another section and had to do that one backwards! Wtf?!

On the other hand, the musical gardens are quite beautiful. I saw them on an overcast day that hung on the promise of rain and I still enjoyed them. My sister says it's stunning on a bright sunny day. My only gripe was that all the fountains that I was dying to see were all off! What's up with that? I pay my EU$8! I want water! Hit the switch you tight asses!


There's a couple more I wanted to show you guys. So the room with Spiderman in it was the "action heroes room" which I loved the most.

How could I not get one of me and my hero? It wasn't a bad one of Christopher Reeve. Looking at it, I was pretty convinced I could have sculpted a nicer one. I woulda just needed help with the eyes and hair.

Ok, now how awesome is this massive Hulk?!! To get an idea, look at the size of my hand on his thumb!

Just for its sheer scale it was easily the best figure there. I had never seen anything so huge. And then when you think that this massive thing is supposed to fight the tiny little Thing from the Fantastic Four movies, you just kinda snigger and know you will be looking for little orange rocks under your feet.

The Spiderman was cool, but this Hulk floored me and just helped me visualise the potential mass and size of the Hulk. If I ever have to draw him, I will be going back to this photo for inspiration.


RD HALL said...

I love this page, it feels like a dream sequence yet it's still grounded in reality. Panel 3 is is almost exactly as I saw it in my head. Bravo Jason and Annette.


CurlyMarie said...

After the last blog, I feel all pressured to say something witty and insightful!
Um, I like the superheroes?

Anonymous said... get the writer, the artist, the colorist..all on the same page ... it's's beautifully done .... so good... thanks to all three of you!!!! ron

jasonb said...

RD: I'm so glad you like it. Seems like panel 3 was just one of those moments where it all comes together. Boy, this was a fun sequence to draw!

CURLY: hahahha! I love the superheroes!

RON: Thank you Ron. I think it's pretty evident that we all had a lot of fun on this project.

RyanGibsonStewart said...

Nice interpretation of RD's script, Jas. I think this is the page you really took some liberties on, and it only enhanced the writing, the storytelling, and the art.

I like the panel-by-panel approach to your commentary, by the way. It's a more engrossing read.

Willow said...

Oh dang... you're still in Europe?? I thought you'd be in LA by now. I sent you an email, I hope you're able to get them. It's kind of time sensitive regarding Comic-Con...

As always... love your stuff, Jas! :D

Offreality said...

Hey Jason,
how are you doing? I am one of the chalkboard guys - you met me at Deviate with Lighty.

anyhow, im adding your page to my blog..
hope ya dont mind.