Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alpha Flight #52 cover art

Here's the cover for the very next issue.  This time I was handling pencils, inks and colors, most likely from a sketch by Carl Potts.  We used to call these "poster shots", no specific situation or setting, just a generic shot of the heroes.  I was really relieved when I saw how the colors printed.  I tried to get some modeling into the figures with flat color and white highlights but with the old coloring system we wouldn't actually see the colors until they were printed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alpha Flight #51 cover art: Barta pencils & Nowlan inks

This is the first (and last!) time I worked directly with my old buddy Hilary Barta.  I love the way he worked out the shadow patterns, especially on Wendigo.  By the way, Hil and I have differing memories of this piece.  A couple of years ago I commented that I inked it fairly straight and Hilary said, "I think you changed it more than you realize."  

I don't know who did the colors but they really overdid the knockout on the soldier in foreground. And the pink tint on Wendigo is an interesting choice.  Inside the book his shadows are light blue.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #1 cover

From 1988. They weren't used for very long, but I also drew the new logo and the (awkward) small Doc figure in the upper left corner.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Minimum Wage back cover

This piece was for issue #2 of Bob Fingerman's amazing semi-autobiographical book Minimum Wage, in 1995.  The last image is scanned from a copy of my color guide.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Showcase '94 Joker cover

Let's take a break from Man-Bat for a while...

Someone else did the color seps  but I did the guide for this old Joker cover.  Actually, I did two guides.  After finishing the first one, I realized I'd colored the Joker's lips and tongue green.  Boy was my face red...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Man-Bat page 16

Not much to show on this page.  Only one small preliminary sketch, half of which I used and the rest I completely redrew.  I like the way Jan described the action he was looking for here. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Man-Bat page 17

In the second layout, Man-Bat's drool is about to drip on Batman's face.  Looks like I moved things a little in the pencils so it's not a direct hit.  Too bad...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Man-Bat page 18

Jan Strnad's script and a couple of roughs for the bottom panels.  I'm sure I did similar preliminary sketches for the rest of the page but they're long gone.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Man-Bat page 19

Script, rough sketches, pencils and inks.  This is the final page from the Man-Bat story in Secret Origins #39, April 1989. The editor, Mark Waid, didn't like the idea of Batman just walking through a door in his kitchen to access the Bat Cave so I took out the door knob in panel three.  I guess the thought was that he had to go down a hallway or maybe another door before entering the cave. I inked the line work and the shadows as two separate steps in the final panel.

Jan Strnad's script called for a milk mustache on Bruce but DC strongly objected.  That's why you see him wiping his mouth in the second panel of the layout. I've heard that Bruce Timm has a rule against showing Batman like this, mostly still in costume, but with his cowl down.  It surprised me when I first heard about it but it makes sense now.  It takes away from his mystique.  Bruce Wayne's, not Bruce Timm's.  Nothing could diminish Bruce Timm's mystique.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Batman #412 cover sketches

This is an old one, from 1987.  I guess the Mime was intended to be the Joker's lady friend.  She had some kind of electric charge in her hands and DC asked me to design her costume and come up with a sketch for the cover.

I didn't even remember doing the costume design until I found this old sketch yesterday, probably because there wasn't much of my work left by the time it went through Editorial.  Remember when you were in school and your paper was handed back to you with a lot of notations in red ink?  It's rarely a good sign.

We persevered and the final cover turned out okay.  I did the color guide but I'm not sure why I made Batman's eyes white, considering they're tightly closed.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Strange Tales #16: Cover art

This cover was fun; a big, grotesque monster and two helpless heroes.  My editor, Carl Potts, sent me a sketch with notations.  From there, I did the pencils, inks and colors.  It got weirder every step of the way. My copy of the inks is a little light so I'm also showing a scan of the original art.