It seems I tend to update this blog when I have a new HEROES project in the works. But generally as soon as I hear about it I have to start working on it. Then during a brief break I binge-blog out the rest of the pages so I can talk about the new stuff. The latest story is written by Howie Kaplan and is fun, fun fun. It fills in a really key gap of the HEROES universe and I'm buzzed to be able to draw it. In fact, I'm having a riot of a time. Pun intended. You will see what I mean.
But let's scrunch our faces really hard into our best pinching a loaf expression and go back in time to the Trip. I want to cover a great deal of the pop culture references and the burden that they became.
As I mentioned, that which became the most fun, became the most laborious part of doing this comic. Ironically, it actually bothered me the least. Normally it's the artist suffering under ridiculous deadlines and horrible circumstances. I was aware that there would be issues and had brought my laptop to Boston over the Christmas break to do any edits that needed to be done. Luckily, I felt that they were of a reasonable size, whether I agreed with them or not.
The problem is that I'm not the last person in the chain. I'm probably the first person actually. So when Nanci Quesada sent me the corrections I got up bright and early to work on them and finished them before midday. But Annette still has to color them (which was more than half the legal changes) and Nanci still has to get them approved and do the post production on them. So while it was a little tedious for me, it was a lot tedious for Annette and Nanci.
NBC legal's main bone of contention was the similarity between the drawn characters and those that were most recognizable. There were occasions that I drew in characters that I felt were too close to the version I based them on and changed them even when I wasn't asked. I figured that just because NBC legal wouldn't recognize them, doesn't mean the owners of those characters wouldn't. And I don't want to cost some lawyer their job because they're not well-versed in pop culture.
I've included the original black and white version. I think it will be easier to tell who the characters are without their alternate colors that Annette so wonderfully and lovingly rendered. Also, this is a previous version before NBC legal got at it. So characters resemble who they are based on a lot more.
I really want to take my hat off to Annette here who took my style and created something dreamlike and surreal here. It took a bit of going back and forth between us, but I'm super happy with the result.
Not all of these are my idea. Foz really brought the pop culture power here and I just riffed on what he suggested.
POP CULTURE REFERENCES
From the top to the bottom.
That's based on Angel from the First Class of Xmen.
Behind his left leg is the spaceship from Futurama. I'm guessing these two are how Hiro sees birds in his halucination.
Below the Futurama spaceship Foz wanted a T-rex walking down the street (in actuality a business man) and I decided to put a little person on his back as a homage to the scarlet Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy, an old Jack Kirby Marvel Comic. Annette even colored him red but no one cared. And I kind of doubted that Marvel are going to sue HEROES over a project that the wife of the Editor In Chief edited.
Let's go down past the purple trees to the street below. That silhouette walking down the street among the umbrellas is a Predator.
Some sort of cat-like Pokhemon looks onto a table with a devil sitting there.
That's a land speeder from Star Wars parked out the front.
Coming up the steps is a Terminator Marine walking with an Alien.
And right down the bottom is a tiny Superman chasing a tiny Wonder Woman. I have no idea what these actually are. Maybe they're two pieces of trash rolling across the pavement?
Anyway, it's Hiro whose brain is scrambled, not mine. You should ask him.
More updates soon, I hope!