Sunday, May 10, 2009

Batman Confidential #26: a half-inked panel

This one was bit of a challenge.  As I've mentioned elsewhere, José intended to ink this series himself so the first two issues weren't quite as finished as the final one.  Most of it was clear enough for me to take directly to inks but a few pages threw me.  His approach to Gotham City is different from mine and from what I've seen, is based on NYC.  I wasn't always sure what to do with the buildings shown here.  Generally, when it comes to Gotham City, I follow the old Wallace Wood adage:  "When in doubt, black it out".  But as you can see, we have two distinct layers of action and making the background black just won't work, even with little slivers of light to represent windows.  I could do it if I changed the lighting on Batman; lit him from both sides instead of one or used a rim light.  The black area on his cape in the upper left would probably get lost if the building behind it was also black.  No, the more I thought about it, the foreground needed to be darker and the background lighter.  We needed a lot of contrast to show the distance between the two.

On the left you see José's pencils.  On the right you can see the same panel after I inked all of the foreground images and was starting to firm up some of the background details.  You can check out the printed book to see if we pulled it off, and how much the colorist, David Baron, helped us out.


  1. Interesting how you were thinking your approach to Gotham's buildings would effect the main figures of the panel. When you were inking it, did you ever think of changing up the shading on Batman to implement your approach to the buildings? Obviously, you didn't but I think it would have been considered and kind of difficult to diverge from JGL's vision. Still enjoy seeing the progress on JGL's pencils. He is right there with all the stuff but still leaves you enough room to display your magic. I maybe going out on a limb here but he is right up there for my favorite collaborations by you and a penciller. Still love to see some of the Sword of Azreal stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have to be careful. Once I get started changing stuff it's hard to stop and I had/have no desire to overwhelm José's pencils to any great degree. That's what worried me about working on some of the pages that weren't quite fully finished.

    If I were doing the drawings from scratch I might have considered using light sources from two sides and blacking out the buildings (with white windows of course). The street and cars would still need to be illuminated though. It would have been a very different look for that panel and it wouldn't have been what José was going for.

    I hadn't even thought about showing some of the Azrael art. I'm not sure if I even kept copies of those pages.

  3. Dear Kevin...I am so happy to see you wanted to respect Jose' pencils...I have a question what makes you decide when you put all your personality (I mean to ink the work the same as if this were pencil by you)in the pencils while you ink or not?
    I normally had this idea that even if you had tigt penciling you decide to ink your that work the same as you were inking yours.

    Amazing work and team you do!!

    Best Wishes!


  4. That's a great question but I don't have a simple answer. I'll be posting some pages from a story I changed quite a bit and I'll detail the reasons.

    Stay tuned.

  5. I will Kevin and thank you so much for answering!!!

    Be good and have a great week!


  6. Freak outstanding Kevin i´m learng a lot with your art work and i hope to i´ll see more comic works by you in Brazil soon .^^cheers ..

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