Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Well it took me quite a while but I did it. 124pgs of penciled artwork plus a few redraws. About the equivalent of a 6 issue arc on a regular book with a monthly deadline. I only got off by about 2 weeks across the entire book, and that was partially for being hospitalized for a health issue part way through. I'll be slowly posting artwork over the next few days on deviantart.
We did end up redesigning the villain about halfway through the book after I'd already drawn him a handful of times, but that is probably for the best since I'm really proud of how he turned out. Though he doesn't get too much screen time I think he makes an impact when he gets his 5 minutes of fame.
I think my favorite pages were the ones where I got to add something to the storytelling, or pages with just some nice figure work or faces/hands. I flew through a lot of comic books looking for ideas on blocking and acting and layouts etc. I came to know a lot of artists I didn't before, I'll post some of those names later.
I also bought quite a few comics while on the book to keep me seeing fresh artwork and keep ideas flowing- though I seem to be expanding my collection horizontally, more from the same time period then in linear chronological order. I've found my favorite thing to find for cheap is the old Conan comic magazines from the mid to late 80's.
I tried to keep my exposure to certain artists limited because of how quickly they influence my style, like Klaus Janson's pencils or Walt Simonson. When I was stuck and couldn't come up with poses flashing through a few Rick Leonardi comics loosened me back up into a gestural figure drawing mode that helped a lot.
I tried a few things, like circular panels, that I've never done before. Other that the predesigned main cast and monsters everything else was basically on the fly. Though as I went on it became increasingly important to look back on how I drew it before to keep it the same in current pages.
Al Sirois, the inker and writer, helped me get started doing some layouts for me after I sent some to him that didn't give with him. The first few pages were mostly characterless and that was tough for me. Nearly my entire interest in drawing lies in drawing people and it probably shows. Even so, I doubbled my efforts when drawing those first few pages to try and cover that fact. Al also helped design the submersible that shows up later in the book.
While doing the book I was able to do a few pages for Dream State which I should be getting back to soon, and some commissions via the internet since I didn't make it to any conventions this year. I also did a pitch packet for another guy (5pgs, a cover and a promo piece penciled and inked and tweaked with the coloring) and did the Outcast Angels cover.
The pages for the Endless Incident as with most major projects I assume were a challenge. There were a lot of talking scenes in a circular conference room and trying to not repeat the same angles was really tough. I do think my favorite thing to do is break a single background into multiple panels with characters either moving through it or breaking that scene into smaller panels that appear, together, somewhat like a splash page or large panel. Leaving space for dialog was also tricky with a team of characters. Felt like drawing the x-men or avengers or something at times.
The writer as fast to respond to questions which helped and I turned in pages once a week. I did pretty well as far as back and hand pain considering I gave away my drawing table before moving and have instead been working at a table or on the couch with a large piece of cardboard as a backer. And I did eventually figure out when to switch my tools which I hadn't really done before, though I still only use a mechanical pencil or regular pencil, an mars-steadler white eraser and an eraser pencil. I occasionally used a ruler for panel boarders but generally just eyeballed it in and Al made sure to straighten them up in the inks.
I'll be interested to see how they look when published and see certain pages side by side and secondly what they look like digitally chopped up since they will also be used for a game in a comixology-like interface. I started trying to keep the "widescreen" panel format about the same ratio of a screen without any panels that were too tall or wide. But I quickly ran out of ideas and was also trying to keep it interesting for myself and reading in print, so I strayed from that the further it went. I tried to keep one panel a page or so boarderless. And had to kick myself a few time to pull back and not just stick to headshots/busts- luckily the design of the characters kept them distinct even to the point that I could cut to sillhouette and still tell them all apart, which was a great help. Sometimes they were in their "space suits" and not their "costumes/armor" but again they all had different haircuts etc and so it was really easy to keep them seperate.