Tuesday, December 16, 2008

KILLEROO: Armageddon

So awhile back was the Armageddon popculture expo. For the first time, I was invited to attend as a guest (I guess the ridiculous reception I got last year initiated that). Unfortunately, cos I'm now living in Los Angeles I was unable to attend. Is that ironic in the normal or the Alanis Morisette sense? I think the latter.

Anyway, I'm working on a Killeroo story for Darren Close. I love Killeroo, and I love both writing and drawing him. As a preview for that story I thought I would put together a pinup and possible cover for the issue. Darren is even talking about collecting it in a special "Jason Badower edition" of Killeroo.

I'm very proud of the story. It follows my theme of, "the price of doing the right thing."

We're tentatively calling it KILLEROO: THE HARD ROAD.

I will let you all know when it's out. Right now it's been written and laid (layed?) out.


I had very little time to draw this, and Darren would have been really appreciative if I could have coloured it too, and I don't wanna disappoint anyone, let alone the Big Man himself, so I had to fit colouring into my schedule too.

I normally spend a great deal of time conceptualizing things. Not usually on paper, but in my brain. Just masticating ideas (get your mind out of the gutter) until they form into my darling little children on paper. For this I had NO time. I had to punch it out asap. This is kind of like being asked to build a house in a week. Sure, it can be done, but you have no room for error.

All I knew at this stage was that I wanted to draw him in profile. WAYNE NICHOLS, a fellow Australian comic book artist was goofing around and he drew what I consider to be the most seminal Killeroo picture ever (see left).

Also affected by Waynes' picture, Darren suggested a piece that was very similar to what Wayne did. But he wanted a front on full body standing shot that he could use as a cardboard cut out one day. But it was just too soon for me. I just didn't want to play in Wayne's playground for two reasons. One, Wayne had kicked it out of the park and did that angle and pose about as good as it could possibly be done right now. I needed some time to digest from the artistic blow that Wayne had dealt. And I just didn't think I could add anything to that image at this stage. Two, I wanted to give the fans a fresh take. What's the point of having two pictures that look alike? Give em some options!


All I knew was that I didn't want to draw him facing us. For some reason I was obsessed with drawing this sneering profile. I then got drawing and realised it was SO hard! I actually had to do some sketches figuring out how his skull worked, and then had to figure out his lips so that we could see his teeth. It became kind of involved. What you see here is the finished product.

As you can also see, I'm leaning towards more linework these days. When I drew Zero G, I was very influenced by Steve McNiven. He has this very, very clean open style with minimal rendering and powerful flowing lines. I found that on my graphics tablet I couldn't create the lines that he did on a reasonable time scale. They just took too long! So I've been wandering back towards more of a Brian Bolland style, who, coincidentally (not ironically in neither the true nor Alanis Morissette sense) also works on a graphics tablet.

I really dig the visually heavy middle of the picture with his dark torso and her dark top and hat. Then it becomes really light around the bottom and the top. I especially like how the lines on the jeans turned out on both of them. I think they have a lot of energy. While I like Killeroo (and especially his hands) my favourite thing about the piece is Lee, the girl. She just has great energy and dynamism.

Having finished the piece I was about to start colouring. Then my conscience started creeping up on me. I just knew that I had to put a background in. Now remember I was talking about having no room for error? Well, you better shove over cos I made one in my haste. Now unfortunately, it's a bit low. If she's bending her knees like that, how can a bar stool (which generally sits slightly around hip level) be so far below her? It's like they're standing on boxes (or a pile of bodies?).


It's a nice (though poorly placed) background though. When I go back to it I will fix it up.


I would say colouring, but really, it was just browning and exploring different shades of brown. I remember my friend, Mitch reviewing Carnivale (the tv show) as "brown".

I think there's some blue. Last I checked, that's not brown, but let's not let a little bit of a blue come between a good joke (in Aussie slang, a blue is also an argument or fight - so I just made some sort of lousy pun - no extra charge for that one!).

What I love about colouring is lighting. I love tones and the way light falls and reflects off surfaces onto other surfaces. So I love key lights. I will just zone out while I'm listening to someone talk and just be studying the lighting on their face. So if I get this weird look in my eyes, I'm probably doing that not planning to chop you up and put you in my industrial fridge.

As a last minute easter egg, I added the Claire from the last post as no one had seen it undistorted at that stage.

NEXT: So, I'm told Jim's, Annette's and my story will be up tomorrow, or tonight, or whenever. You know, sometime soon. So I will be posting about that next. You might even get to see the dodgy (that's "shady" to you Americans) and sordid drinking photos of Jim and I. Ok, maybe you won't. But there will be art. And naked chicks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's amazing, one of your best yet I think. I love the perfect muscle tone on the 'Roo! And the brownlit bar has such a nice tone -it looks like your colouring gets crisper and cleaner and brighter with each pic! Love the lighting as always, the strong high contrast is such a Jason trademark.

Whoa, such a backlog of lovely blogs to read, but am offline at home so I'm having to rush through them at work with no cup of tea, boo! and wow, just caught this week's GN! Argh, what happens next?!