Thursday, February 05, 2009

OUT OF TOWN - page 1

As usual I was against the wall. Not in some, shady, "trying to make some quick cash in a festy toilet block" sort of way... But against my deadlines. Oh, deadlines. How I love thee. In fact they've become more my way of remembering things than the sun and moon. If I want to remember when I was seeing a certain ex-girlfriend or when I saw a particular show, I just try and recall what I was drawing at the time... then look up the print date (or this blog). It's a bit of a tough way of remembering stuff, but along time ago my mind became as skewed as a Republican sponsored gun rally.

Frank Mastromauro (my editor at Aspen MLT) emailed me asking if I was available for this story. My deadlines were so tight you could've shoved coal in them, heated it up and made a diamond. I just didn't think I could do this. But I asked him to send me the script anyway. I knew I shouldn't have. I knew once I read it that I'd be like a girl on roofies... I just couldn't say no... To more drinks that is. What the hell were you thinking?

As soon as I saw Jim Martin's name on the cover I knew I was in. When I saw Sylar, Claire, Noah, Sandra... and of course... Mr Muggles I knew I was further in than John Holmes. But somehow I had to fit this in to my schedule like some sort of Tetris feng shui master. But it was going to be just so much fun.

And it was.

Jim Martin and Chuck Kim (the editor on the comics) were pretty hands off until the last page. I didn't hear anything about the layouts (the greyish smudge of an image down the bottom). I think they just took one look at the scratched scrawlings of a mind more disturbed than glassware factory in an earthquake and just backed off. In my defence, I don't have a scanner and... I really hate doing finished layouts. I'm lazy ok? Minimum effort necessary at that stage. I know what's going on, and hell, I know best! Well... that's what I tell myself til my art director comes back and beats me like I owe him money.

The employee in the first panel is a friend of mine, Heather whom I work with. She was also conscripted later to play all of Claire's parts too. She's currently undergoing intensive psychiatric therapy to help her through the traumatic modeling experience I put her through. Apparently they have to resort back to electroshock therapy on her, but the doctors say her outlook is good. They reckon they can stop her uncontrollable drooling in a month or two. But then again, it might have been the hard partying for her birthday that caused all this. Happy Bday Heather.

Annette also stepped up further than Neil Armstrong. Panel one has four layers on it: figures, immediate background, far background and my tones. Talk about making your creative partner's job tough! It was my bright idea to have a glass wall there as Jim had gone into extensive detail in the script describing what was outside Joe Macon's office. I have no idea why. Maybe Jim's a character writer and started Joe's day by writing down what he had for breakfast and worked his way up until he got to his designer couch and coffee table and then to his head Sylar'd off? Given that was a possibility I didn't want to risk Jim coming round to my house and beating me to death with his laptop. He knows where I live.

Annette and I went back and forth more than Wimbledon trying to get the visual of Joe's powers right. Eventually we decided that more is more and that we'd try and make them look like they're beaming in like Star Trek. I hate sound effects, but this one didn't hurt.

There were a couple of dialogue changes in the script for the last panel, and I dig what we eventually came up with. It also ties into episode 14 much better. There was even talk of having me go back and draw in Sylar on the last panel here. My vote was that while I would have loved to have drawn Sylar, the story reads better when we get the twist at the end when we see Joes's head Sylar'd off. Then we know who this mysterious figure was.

NEXT: You guessed it... page 2. Sorry to be a bit predictable. You know, with two coming after one and all that. But sometimes I have to keep things somewhat orderly for those knuckle draggers in the cheap seats.

Yes... I'm talking about myself again.

Anyway. Hit me up on Facebook if you want more minutae of what I'm doing. Just remember to tell me how you know me or know of me or I won't friend you. Thanks!


Ryan Stewart said...

Neil Armstrong, Wimbledon, ... and John Holmes in the same post!

You make me laugh, you sick man. You make me laugh.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you draw very awesome the HRG's heads (it is better to copy the heads with the screencaps ^^) and if you need more the HRG (Sylar too) screencaps that i captured so much from season 3 (episode 1 to 14), don't hesitate to see my LJ:

And you're my favourite for Heroes GN!
Really great job! :D

But one question: It is Annette Kwok or you make the colors on this GN?

Flawedprefect said...

Douglas Adams has a great quote about deadlines: "I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by".

Alexandre Togeiro said...

Funny post, they just keep getting better! The same applies to the art - its phenomenal. Great scenario, characters, and hands!(the paper writings looks so detailed I wonder what's written hehe). I really dig the grayish tones on the scenario and solid black on the characters, it makes them stand out and creates a nice foreground/background effect. The colors are also really, really well done here and made it even better! The glass, the lightning, the graphical display of Joe's powers is great! You are surely a winning team :)

jasonb said...

ryan: hahahah! Glad you're enjoying them!

db01_french: Appreciate the screen caps offer, but I tend to find my own to capture the exact moment of the expression I'm looking for. It's Annette who did the stunning colours on Out of Town.

Flawed: That made me laugh so hard! Brilliant!

Alexandre: I'm having a ball writing these. I just wondered why I was writing in first gear when I have so much more range. Ah the documents are just images I've cribbed from Google images from migration forms to insurance forms.