Hey all, thanks for the patience on the posting. The part after FAMILY goes live tomorrow morning. I hope you enjoy it. Ollie and I had a blast making it!
But let's finish off FAMILY then. Man, I read this again, and Ollie did such a sweet job. It's so light, yet so dense. It reads so fast, but if you pay attention there's meat on the bones and stuff between the lines. The next part is gonna rock you with some super-heroics and a very clever tie in to a previously aired episode. The part after that, by Harrison Wilcox is just balls to the wall fun. I'm so glad I'm drawing it... the only clue I'm giving is that it picks up where I've left off. You can figure out what that means.
This page was fun, fun, fun. Zach and Ollie asked me if I could show off Sparrow's tatoo on her right arm. So I flipped the page so her right arm was towards us. The main problem was when I shot the reference shots, I just didn't do a great job of directing the girls and Kat's pose didn't show her right forearm at all. You can see their incredible performances in previous pages (and previous installments in Abby's case). But these final shots just lacked punch and I'd got their poses all wrong. I realised I had to deviate from my reference to really sell these characters as a full on super team.
I had to sell the power, the sexiness and the whole vicarious "you wanna be these people" factor. My greatest conundrum came when I had to sex up the girls. I mean, Abby is Ollie's fiance and a very good friend and Kat is Zach's girlfriend and also a good friend. I didn't want anyone looking at the pictures and wondering what the hell was going through my head. All I knew, is that at this stage I had to leave the reference behind, and stop drawing homages to my friends and sell these characters to the best of my ability.
I did several things. I gave ALL the characters (including West) heroic proportions. Proportions are measured with respect to the figure's head instead of feet, inches, centimetres, metres or some other form of spatial distance measurement. The human body is 7.5 heads tall (or something like that). The heroic figure is about 8.5 to 9.5 heads tall. What this means is that the body is much larger than the head. The person looks taller and generally more heroic and idyllic. If you think about it, high heels are designed to add an extra 1/3 of a head to a woman's height making her look taller, her head smaller and therefore more idyllic. Body builders are spending all their time increasing the size of their body to make their heads looks smaller and therefore more heroic. I think the statue of David by Michaelangelo is also on idyllic proportions.
So the girls and West are about 9 heads tall (or thereabouts) stretching them out to impossible proportions. Dynamic poses and tight fitting clothing round out the ensemble. I had fun with the clothing, especially with the girls. The union jack top was a fun design. I saw someone wishing that they had a top like that. When people want the clothing I design, then I figure that's a good thing. Sparrow's print is based on her Native American affiliation. Zach did a bunch of research for Sparrow's tattoo even figuring out which tribe she's from. I found a textile texture from that tribe and mapped it onto her body. A small detail, but an important one for me.
I initially started out giving Abby these sort of forcefield shields (see left), but Ollie asked if I could go back to what Annette established in the last arc, and I think that was an excellent call.
You can see also a print on West's tshirt. That's the SPACEDOG logo for the company I work for. It just looked distracting so we removed it.
NEXT: I will post about page 1 of the next part on Wednesday. I'm looking forward to scouring the boards for all your thoughts and comments.
Meanwhile I'm hard at work on the 8 page third part written by Harrison Wilcox. I've been working on HEROES since about halfway through the first season, and I just gotta say, these epic arcs are getting better and better. These 20 pages, as well as INTO THE WILD, then before that ROOT AND BRANCH and before that THE DEATH OF HANA GITELMANN... well, I just think you can read them all and see the improvement of everyone involved. There just seems to be a stronger grasp of the medium, story and characters.
Anyway, enjoy the next part tomorrow.