Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hellboy: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish notes

Now that the book is out and many of you have had a chance to see it, I wanted to mention a few things.

I really need to publicly thank Mike Mignola for caring enough to write a Hellboy story specifically for me to draw. I don't know what I did to deserve this gift from a guy like Mike but I'm very grateful to him. He thought my lack of enthusiasm after he described the story was nonchalance. Now that it's all over, I can admit that I was just afraid I couldn't pull it off. No one can draw Hellboy better than Mike and I really didn't want to let him down. Turns out that really wasn't the most important thing. There are so many quirky, oddball visuals in the story – as well as a fair amount of rustic, rural Americana – that I had fun drawing ALL of the pages, not just the ones with Hellboy. I don't know how Mike knew I'd enjoy drawing all those cow faces. It's scary to think that a writer can know something about me that I don't know about myself.

Mike hasn't spent much time in the Midwest or hung out with Kansas farmers but like Alan Moore before him, he somehow got just the right amount of twang in the voices of the locals.

Dark Horse was more than accommodating and let me do my own colors and seps. With most jobs, by the time I finish the inks, I have a lot of very specific ideas about how I'd like the art to be colored. Passing it off to someone else to execute that final layer of the art just never feels right. I was running a little late with the pencils and inks but the coloring went so fast that I actually finished the book a few days ahead of the deadline. Scott Allie and Mike were concerned that I was coloring everything too bright after they saw the first few pages. I went back in and toned down the daylight scene a little but the bulk of the story takes place at night or inside a dark space ship so that problem eventually took care of itself.

Anyway, this was the most fun I've had in years and I'm really grateful for the response to it so far. Thanks to all of you who bought the book and/or took the time to email, call or tweet about it. You really made my day!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Outsider #2 cover art

I drew several thumbnail sketches for this one; more than you see here. One approach was from a closer angle and almost worked but it didn't show the characters clearly enough. In the context of a story you could show one of the fighters from behind or the back of his head, but for a cover we probably should see both of their faces and as much of their clothing/costumes as possible so they can be identified at a glance.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ariel Durant's Wedding Day

I haven't been posting enough old stuff lately, mainly because I'm running out of material. And most of the new work I've been doing is embargoed in one way or another. But I found this pencil sketch from either 1987 or '88. I was reading a biography of Will and Ariel Durant and was charmed by the story of Ariel showing up for their wedding ceremony in her roller skates. She was only 15 at the time so I guess it's less charming now.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hellboy: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish preview

This might have been posted a long time ago, but I just noticed that Dark Horse is previewing the first six pages on their site. The book goes on sale April 13th.