Friday, April 30, 2010

THE TRIP page 6

Three days in a row. I rock. Well, a little bit anyway. But given how bad I've been it's like patting someone on the back in commiseration after you've shot them in the foot.


Panel 2: That's Kang and Kudos from the Simpson's Halloween special. It's fun turning cartoony things into more realistic renditions. It's such a great exercise to add texture and a sense of depth to things that are just beautiful clean linework.

I guess that's the advantage of having a reasonably unique style, when I draw something, no one knows what it's going to look like... Least of all me!

Panel 3: And Mohinder is wearing the face muzzle/mask from Silence of the Lambs. We're not supposed to know it's Mohinder here, but I thought it would be fun for readers to get a bit of a clue what's going on. I think it lends the story a nice pay-off too. Suddenly we see that there's been a purpose and a focus for this crazy adventure. It brings it right back into the realm of HEROES and the plot.

Of note if you compare the silhouettes of the orderlies to the ones in part 2, they're totally different. Here they were just generic guys, but in the next part I decided to have a bit of fun with them and gave them actual identities. You're going to have to wait til next post to see who I made them.

This brings us to the end of Foz McDermott's run on THE TRIP. He passed the baton to his good buddy, and fellow HEROES scribe, Jim Martin. I will get into that next post!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

THE TRIP page 5

I'm blazing to catch up! A back to back post. Now that I've got time to work on these, I'm having a ball writing them up.

A huge challenge was swapping between Hiro-vision and real life. I wanted to make sure that people could understand what was going on. Wherever possible I tried to mirror panel layouts, so things just became a "spot the difference". With Hiro in the same position in each panel, it just becomes a means by which you see how elements change. A good example of this is panels 2 and 3 on this page. But I really set the standard back on page 3. Every panel is a mirror of another one on that page.

You can see on my line art (the black and white version) that I separate all my backgrounds onto separate layers. I find it allows either Annette or myself (whoever is coloring it) to pick which elements you want to bring forward and which elements you want to push back. For example, Annette decided to make the background 100% black in the last, but faded it back in panels 2 and 3. In panel one she decided to pull some elements (the log) forward, and let others like the forest fade into the background. I find this technique takes a little longer to do at the drawing stage, but allows great flexibility at the coloring stage.


Panel 2: That's some sort of Yoda-like creature. Again, a generic princess.

Panel 5: A huge Flame giant cos I wanted to draw a huge giant. I think he helps add scale to the proceedings. That's Bilbo throwing the One Ring into the lava too.

Note: I am particularly happy with Hiro's likeness on panel 4. I think it's very... "him".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

THE TRIP page 4

Dear god, I'm more than behind on these. I need Marty McFly and the Delorean if I ever want to catch up! In the past, I never let myself get more than one chapter behind on these. But I think I'm now... uhh... Let me count: there's part two of this, then 1963 parts 1 and 2 and then 1988 parts 1 and 2. Uhhh... I think that's more than one.


Anyway, just looking over these pages I drew last December, all I can do is just gush at Annette's awesomeness. The biggest task I gave Annette when we started working together is to create unique palettes for each scene and place and time. I felt (that ages ago) she did a bit of "one lighting". This work shows how she not only grabbed that bull by the horns, wrestled it into submission but also mastered it. Her versatility and control of that area is just inspiring.

The lush green peeling away to the Mordor-like wasteland is just amazing. You can just feel the heat!

Ok. Pop culture references:

PANEL ONE: That's a homage to the Cheshire cat. The Gingerbread house from Hansel and Gretel and... an Ice Dragon... cos I felt like drawing a dragon. So there. Although it would be greatly appreciated if someone could shoe-horn that into some sort of pop culture reference.

PANEL TWO: The gardener is based on one of the HEROES staffers. I just scanned all my emails and I can't find Foz's link to who it is. Damnit! If anyone who reads this knows who it is, please drop me a line so I can edit this post.

PANEL THREE: The Mario Bros. line ushers in the Mario Bros. references. Toad and some bricks with money inside them.

PANEL FIVE: Foz specifically asked me to channel Mordor, but I decided to go for the rocky part and add more lava pools. I think I had been playing a lot of Dragon Age, and I was inspired by the design for the Dwarven city. Foz wanted the background building to look like Arkham Asylum. And I tell you, now that I've started playing Batman: Arkham Asylum I've had their brilliant design ingrained on my mind. If I was to draw it again, it would look eerily similar to their design.


Now that I've moved into my new house I'm all settled and posting will resume. I'm also going to unveil something huge soon which also accounts for my tardiness and un-postingness.

Sure. That's a word.