Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mindy the Tree

I was going through some old files and found this simple little marker sketch.  The design is rough but I always thought it was charming.

So who's Mindy?

Well, a few of you may know and a few more can probably guess but for now I'll have to just leave the rest of you wondering.  

But with a little luck, we may all see more of her later this year.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A tiny portrait

I considered writing about the 15 inches of snow that fell here between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning but the photos don't really do it justice and I'm never really interested in hearing other people complain about the weather so I'll just move along.

This little ink and watercolor drawing was done about ten years ago.  The subject is my wife's grandfather.  It's barely 3 x 5" and you'll have to take my word for it when I say that it's a reasonably good likeness.

Every Christmas, for the family gift exchange, I would do these little "portraits".  They all seemed to enjoy them but I started to really hate doing them and got very stressed each year, thinking that one of her aunts or uncles would never speak to us again because of the way I'd drawn them.

This was the last of them and it fell back into our hands after he passed away.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Garcia-Lopez

This page is from Batman Confidential #27.

We all know that José Luis Garcia-Lopez draws better than just about anyone in comics but here's a sample that shows off his skill as a storyteller. The script for this page reads:

Back down at street level. We're looking at the COPS. COP #1 is clearly unhappy, complaining.

1 COP #1: This bites. There's an ACTUAL crime going down out there and we're stuck here...

On the POLICE CAR. A SHADOW, possibly familiar with its Tut headgear shape, has fallen ominously on the car.

2 COP #1: ...with NOTHING happening,

A different street. BATMAN arrives at the scene of the alarm. Its a small shop with a BROKEN FRONT WINDOW. The alarm is still going off.


BATMAN stands at the broken window, looking inside. Everything looks normal, save for the ROCK that was presumably thrown through the glass. But nothing else is out of place inside.


BATMAN races back towards the townhouses. He's been duped.


On the POLICE CARS. Both COPS are slumped over in the front seats. Out cold, maybe dead. In the background, the SUN is rising.



Okay, now look at the pencils. José added a reaction shot which really helps the tension and the pacing, but look what he drew for panel three. "Batman arrives at the scene" indeed.

It goes without saying, José is a very generous penciller.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spirit #30 cover sketch

This is the rough that was approved for the Spirit inventory cover.  I don't always fill in the black areas with a marker but the large, contrasting areas were pretty important to the overall design so I wanted a dry run before I moved forward.

Spirit Cover pencils

These pencils are way too tight for something I knew I'd be inking myself, but I wasn't certain about the overlapping patterns of black and white. I wanted to make sure I had it all worked out before I loaded up the ink pen.

Spirit cover inks and color

Here's Matt Hollingsworth's coloring for the new cover. I was thrilled when Matt agreed to do it. The cover was originally done as an inventory piece but when it suddenly found its way onto the schedule I was tied up with other deadlines and couldn't do the colors and seps. Matt understood the effect I was going for with the big head and the subtle coloring on the buildings. He's been my favorite colorist for more than a decade now. His work always enhances the art but never overpowers it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New eBay auction

This one ends next Monday evening. It was pencilled for the Goon 10th Anniversary book but in spite of the fact that Dark Horse just wanted pencils, this one really cried out for inking.

There are few things I enjoy more than inking with a big brush and feathering all those edges. The wrinkles in his pant legs were fun as well. I probably over-rendered them but I couldn't stop.

Sharp-eyed readers might spot Jack B. Quick's oversized leather boots.

Here's a link to the auction:

Batman Confidential #28, page 13 with inks

And here's the same page, all inked up.

Batman Confidential #28

Here's a sample page from Batman Confidential #28. The pencils by José Luis Garcia Lopez speak for themselves but I should provide a little background.

Originally, José was going to do the pencils and inks for all three issues and pencilled the first two accordingly. Then, before starting on #28, the schedule changed and an inker had to be brought in. José leaves a fair amount of finishing for the inking stage when he's flying solo but pencils tighter if he knows someone else will be doing the inks. As a result, issues 26 and 27 were a little sketchy in places. José works out the structure of his panels so beautifully that it was never much of a problem, but there were a few details that I wasn't sure about and had to firm up before I picked up a pen.

The last issue, with the fully rendered pencils was a joy to ink. The work not only moved much faster, but there's also more of José coming through.