You can find the free download of the comic I'm talking about here:
Man, oh man has this last stint of HEROES been fun and tough.
I'm sure Harrison Wilcox, writer-extraordinaire, all-round nice guy and scourge of the undead would agree that the spoiler for the big twist on the thumbnail was a huge downer. Sure we reveal that Thompson Jr is the shooter three panels in... but really? Couldn't we have picked something else? When I'm drawing I'm always wondering who writes the preview text and picks the images. I'm always wondering which panel I would use to preview it. Personally, I would have used a cropped version of Micah tied up on page 5 or page 4 panel 2 or even page 1 panel 3 without Thompson in it. It just spoiled the cool reveal and let us know too much about the story before reading it. Ah well.
I was specifically asked to come back for this story by Ollie Grigsby and Frank my editor because I'd drawn the last installment where Thompson, Donna, Fallon and Sabine had turned up. That was called INTO THE WILD (check links on the right) and it was written by Timm Keppler (who has unfortunately left the HEROES stable) and Jim Martin. It was great to come back to these characters, but I will go into that some more when I get to page 3. All things in time, my friend.
As you can see from the actual line art, I wasted the time drawing an actual Thompson for panel 2. I think I was going to re-use it for page 2, but ended up repeating the image from panel 4 instead. I don't know what sort of stroke of sub-brilliance inspired that, but I wasted time and recycled images that had already been seen. Not my finest moment.
But here it is for those who care. Yeah, that's you in the back row. Thanks. Takes a bow to the one person clapping.
Man, that background on panel 3 took some time. I don't know if you noticed the reflection of the water on the ground, but that took like, no time at all and looked far better than I expected. Is anyone else getting the impression that I kind of just flail around and sometimes stuff seems to work out really well?
Well, it's not an inaccurate impression.
I'm generally a big fan of Comicraft who do the lettering for all the HEROES graphic novels. I like their fonts and their sense of design. I wasn't a big fan of what they did on this page with panels 1 and 2. It works, but it's just a personal thing that I don't like balloons breaking over the panel edge. I don't like anything breaking outside of my panel borders. It's a personal and stylistic thing, but I like to keep my comics very simple and draw you into the action within the panel. I find that if you cross things outside the panel you suddenly become aware that you're reading a comic and pop outside the story. But that's just my call.
You can see on my layouts on the left how I indicated it. And that's pretty much from Harrison's directions in the script. Perhaps it was a stylistic choice on Comicraft's part, perhaps they thought it was just quicker. Perhaps both?
FRIDAY: Page 2. Colour palettes and repetition is the mother of saved deadlines.