Thursday, May 21, 2009
Once again, you can find the free download of this comic >HERE<.
Thanks for all the great feedback! It's so great to see everyone back. I'm so glad this story is resonating. I don't know how Ollie does it, but his stories have such an incredible momentum! I found that reading it myself I just kind of drove through it like a bullet. And I know how much time was put into each page more than anyone!
Zach Craley wrote parts one and two. He was responsible for giving Sparrow terrakinesis and perfectly casting her as his lovely girfriend Kat Purgal. Obviously, Ollie's fiance, Abby was in it too, and Ollie graced us in a panel. Originally he'd planned a larger role for Lee posing theidea of Lee "going nuclear" but decided that not only had that idea been done in HEROES already, but rethought it due to his constant humility (not wanting a feature role) and trying to serve the other characters better. With Sparrow bringing down the roof I think it helps sell the scale of her power and her impact on the series. She's been on ice so long (living really only in the roleplaying boards) I think Ollie and Zach decided that it's time she really had her time in the sun.
Ollie organised a big barbeque so I could shoot all my photo reference. I could do it without it, but the likenesses would only be mediocre. Everyone was available and so beforehand the likely suspects involved met up and I shot all the reference photos. Kat was fantastic. Her acting background made it so easy. I'm convinced that I'd much rather work with actors than models. I need performance, not just pretty faces. Abby was brilliant as usual. You can see how well the girls did by how good their likenesses are. When performances are a bit wooden I have to change facial features to get the performance I want. And generally the more the performance in the photo deviates from what I want, the less it looks like them.
My sinus infection had begun to kick in, and I remember huddling over the bbq, wrapped in my jackedt, shivering - on the border of shuddering I was so cold. Heather took me home, made me soup and I tried to sleep it off. I think the cold lapsed for a couple days before coming back in full force. It felt like Tracy Strauss or Bobby Drake (Iceman from the Xmen) had grabbed a huge steel hook, lodged it into my nose, froze it then started pulling for all they were worth. I don't take pain killers. I like to know where my body's at so I can moderate my activity to make sure it's getting rest when it needs rest. But there was no rest for the wicked while drawing this. I saw the doctor who diagnosed me with a sinus infection and began popping Tylenol Extra Strength like they were candy... only just managing to stay under the limit of 8 every 24 hours. Because the pain was so great, they would take up to 2 hours to kick in. So I would wake up 2 hours early, pop the pills, then go back to bed for two hours and wake up with only a mild amount of pain. In fact, today is the first day I have woken up and not started popping pills.
The pain was quite frankly, exhausting. Trying to labour through this on top of it was one of the most trying things I've ever done. But as I've said before, the pain is temporary, the page lasts forever.
This story is also totally sponsored by Nissan for Comic Con. They were actually incredibly reasonable about changes and ammendments. The only time it was a little frustrating was when they gave me an image of the exact angle of the car they wanted drawn after I had already drawn it! You can see the original artwork above with some more shout outs.
The key to making changes quickly and effectively in Photoshop is to keep things labelled and on separate layers with masks and selections. I made sure to do this with the Nissan panel and so I was able to do pretty much every change they asked for in minutes... except when I had to redraw the car. That took an extra 5 hours.
I remember Frank sent me an email Friday morning telling me that this page had to be coloured that day. I freaked and rushed the colouring. I later went back and cleaned up what I could but it was like, 4am on the eve of the deadline. Unfortunately, I think this is the weakest panel in the story. I think I cluttered it up with too much black and excess linework. It looks flat and I hate the palette. But I dig the colouring on the rest of the page! I just wish I'd put some sort of motion blur on West to sell his speed more.
Thanks again for stopping by!
TONIGHT: Off to see Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction. I can't wait. Two of my favourite bands playing on the one tour. I'm gonna be in heaven!
FACEBOOK: Friend me up, cos sometimes I make announcements like the shout outs in this comic. Just please mention you know me or my art.
FRIDAY: Effects, colouring and characters.