Thursday, February 18, 2010

THE TRIP page three

Now the story really starts to get going with the pop culture references. Alright let's do this by panel.

PANEL ONE: On the far left is some super hero chick walking along with a red Hulk-like character. I don't really get to draw super hero chicks or Hulk-like characters enough so it's fun to bust out of my purple pants every now and then and just let my inner nerd hang out. God, that really sounded far more wrong than I intended. Just take that at face value, ok?

Foz called for a Mario-like character climbing out of a Mario-like pipe. By getting rid of the moustache, it made my copyright avoidance job a lot easier. But with the side burns and the tuft of hair out the top of his head he looks like a little Elvis. Man, that would be a surreal game. Playing a mini Elvis collecting peanut butter sandwiches and cadillacs while kicking the heads of screaming fans with blue suede shoes.

To the right is my take of a Storm Trooper sitting on one of those huge lizard things. I forget their names. No, I'm not pretending that I forgot their name to make it seem like I'm a less of a nerd, I actually forgot their name. The way Annette colored him though, he looks a bit like a Halo dude. So I like the color choices even more.

The most fun reference was having Spock standing there. I just thought it would be too fun having Zachary Quinto as Mr Spock standing there. I'm sure Hiro would have been really confused when he went to see the new Star Trek. He would have been like, "Sylar! Billain!" But he's probably a bit too far away for you to fully make him out.

But then, Hiro was probably even more confused when he went to see GET SMART when he saw himself up there.

PANEL TWO: That chick isn't meant to be anyone other than a princess. She looks less than totally princess-like. I should have made her look more innocent by making her eyes larger or something.

PANEL THREE: That dog is just some random dog. I was going to use Star, Ollie and Abby's dog but it occurred to me too late, damnit.

PANEL FOUR: Nobody is anybody here. I think the dog is based on a photo that Foz sent me in. He wanted me to use that dog for the missing dog poster but I couldn't find anymore reference to draw it in the proceeding pages. It's funny, the panel with the least "bang" in terms of references took me the longest in terms of time. That mall... took a while. Those palm trees drove me quietly crazy too.

PANEL FIVE: Again, no references here. Just a lovely little garden. I enjoyed the silhouettes and as a design I think it worked out really well.

PANEL SIX: The butterfly has turned into the Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, or a homage to them at least. Linkie here for reference:

OVERALL: I'm especially happy with the art and the flipped panels from Hiro-vision to normal. I wanted to lay it out so when you went back and forth it was logical and you wouldn't get lost, even when the colors are all relatively normal. Annette and I agreed to return to a less-saturated palette here so you could get the color gags. Ie. the super hero lady in purple is a middle aged lady in purple. And the Red Hulk creature is really some Floridian dude in sandals and socks.

My next story 166 - 1963, drawn and colored by me and written by Howie Kaplan is up. I'm gonna try and punch through these and catch up by the time 167 goes live.

Wish me luck!

Oh yeah, I got engaged to Heather on Valentine's day. So it's not like I've been sitting around not-blogging and wasting my time or anything. =)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

THE TRIP page two

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.


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!