Thursday, December 18, 2008

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE page 1

Well it finally went up to resounding debate and contention.

I'm going to talk more about the depiction of women in comics in my next post. But suffice to say, I tried to walk a line between providing motivation for the sexist protagonist and not trying to add to the copious amounts of cheesecake already pouring out every month from comic book companies. Some people mentioned the cheesy pose she was in, and I was like, "Really? You don't think that looks like a woman normally washing herself?"

Apparently not.

I ran it by a bunch of women with a really low tolerance for the sort or bullsh!t I was trying to avoid and they all passed it. But I understand there are people with lower tolerances. And I'm not going to apologise for offending you because I needed to provide motivation and justification for the sexist and offensive Ryan Hanover. Chances are, that the bit you're offended by is the bit that he likes. So consider yourself a good person. =)

Anyway, lemme talk about it more next post.

LAYOUT

Page 1 is Annette and I really pulling out ALL the stops. We both had a great deal of fun on this page. Most of the time when you're asked to draw things on this scale it becomes a juggling job. You're trying to juggle the energy and time you have against the number of pages and the deadline. In this case, because of Jim Martin's damn tight writing, it was just one page. This meant Annette and I were able to pull out the big guns and not worry about blowing our wads too early or runing out of steam. How's that? Three euphemisms in one sentence! That's gotta be a record.

As you can see from my layouts, they are arguably technically comparable to anything the average 2nd grader could pull out. I'm planning on moving towards crayons and finger painting with my next layouts.


LINE ART

Hopefully this would give the average 2nd grader a harder time.

I am a digital artist, and it's times like this that I really try and use my medium to its fullest advantage. One of the things I can do really easily is draw on multiple layers. Here I've used it to create as much depth in the image as possible. Panel one has 5 layers:

David Sullivan
David's foreground that he occupies
Midground between David and Rachel
Rachel Mills
Rachel's background that she sits in

By masking each of these out for Annette it allows her to create a real sense of depth. I actually did a fair amount of research about Fallujah and it's sometimes the worst part of my job. Some of the stuff I saw was incredibly disturbing. I mean, I'd rather not see bullet-ridden corpses lying in the middle of the street. I don't want to avoid the issues going on in our day and age, but I'd rather not see the images if I don't have to.

ANNETTE'S COLOURING

I can't stress enough Annette's contribution to the final artwork. The final page is a combination of teamwork between the both of us and she deserves an equal amount of credit. I find it very frustrating when she is left out of reviews and comments. Sure, my name comes first but that's the etiquette of comics listing credits in order of production rather than of importance.

I've asked this before, but if you ever enjoy the finished artwork to comment it, please don't forget to credit Annette also.

I don't know if there's a better example of Annette really showing us what she can do. This is one of the best examples of Annette being not only my cinematographer and special effects unit but also a great designer.

In each panel she creates a depth of field by either blurring out foreground elements that I masked for her (ie. the rubble on panel 2 around Mills) or adding smoke and fire in between each of the background elements. Her whole grounding of the page creates this incredibly intense apocalyptic scene. If you look up at my illustration of the last panel you will see it's basically just white. She creates the heat and the pain for our money shot.

Note also as she directs the eye around the page with the fire element. It starts medium in panel 1, troughs for a bit then peaks powerfully in the last panel. It's masterful work.

FRIDAY: Naked women & sexism in comics.

4 comments:

James said...

Hahah - damn tight writing? haha i love you and thank you for making my words look good.

Tarot said...

Great work as always :)

jasonb said...

james: I can only draw as well as the words I'm given! So right back atcha!

tarot: thank you!!!

Alexandre Togeiro said...

Didn't comment on this earlier, but I must! This page is fantastic, one of my favorites. The weapons and clothing look good and have great lightning! And the blur to separate foreground from background was a real winner here. The colors? Top notch :)