Friday, January 28, 2005

Grey Matters

The fun thing about being a college student and supporting a family is that you learn to use what you have. I ran out of sketch paper last week, and this grey paper is all I could find. So I attempted a pinup using techniques similar to a very famous top-notch comic artist (If I have to tell you who it is, maybe you don’t know me as well as you think) utilizing the ink wash style I have grown fond of and incorporating a white paint pen. It’s really cool how the white makes things pop off the page, especially on the grey.

This is a pinup of Johnny Justice as he’s getting ready to leap out of some sort of abandoned building. One quick push of the “GO” button on his strap and the glider wings snap out. KSHAK! Rock and roll!

J out.

Senior VP of Sales and Marketing

DC Comics has announced the hiring of a newly created Senior VP of Sales and Marketing.

CLICK ME for an interview with new hire Stephanie Fierman and VP of Sales and Marketing Bob Wayne.

J out.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Sole Provider

It occurred to me when I was designing Johnny Justice’s costume that the typical boots found on most other superheroes would not work if I wanted to maintain a sense of practicality. It struck me as odd that just about every tread pattern on a superhero’s boots were that of a regular work boot. I understand the need for durability, but it makes no sense as far as maneuverability goes.

I designed the soles of the boots to have a tread pattern similar to those found in running shoes. If you are chasing bad guys or jumping around wouldn’t you want something lightweight and flexible versus clunky and cumbersome? Johnny Justice has (as most other superheroes should) good agility and his entire costume was designed around the notion that he would be moving around a lot and needed flexibility. Thus the “hyper-soles” were born.

The upper boot is kangaroo – a type of leather found on most top level soccer shoes. Once again, flexible and lightweight. And no, there is no Nike swoosh on the sides =)

I also incorporated this into LP9’s shoes as well because it just makes sense, darn it.

This is a shot from the actual book – sorry for the quality (no access to a scanner). I generally work off of pretty rough pencils since I ink the pages myself. CLICK ME for a larger version.

J out.

A Story's Worth a Thousand Words

No matter how great the art is in a comic, if the story is lacking the book overall will suffer tremendously. Having a writer that is able to play off the strengths of the artist is important as well. This doesn’t mean that the story should lack in content just because the artist doesn’t want to be challenged – it means that if a writer knows an artist excels at drawing huge splash pages, the writer can (and should) accommodate this.

I have known Corey for roughly five years, and no one is more loyal to getting a job done than he is. This is his story.

What got you interested in writing a comic book even though (to my knowledge) you have never attempted anything like this before?

I thought it would be something fun to do. I would rather dwell in a fantasy world than my world.

What is it like to be considered an “outsider” to the comic book community?

I have been an “outsider” my entire life. So now I’m a “new outsider” in a “new place.”

Was the transition to create a story in a visual medium difficult for you?

I would say comic book writing is challenging. The only writing experience I have is short stories. Short stories are easier to write because there is more text. The amount of text you write relates to how vivid you want the visual to be in the reader’s mind. Comics have very little text so the sentences and phrases have to be more concise. The pictures tell as much or more of the story than the text does. Adjusting from short story to comic writing is an ongoing process. I still have to remind myself that the pictures pick up the slack of the missing text.

Aside from “Johnny Justice: Part I” what other titles are you currently working on?

Killing Rebel Scum: A Guide to Star Wars Battlefront. Just kidding. There are no other titles in the works.

You’re writing a story that may or may not be read by many people, most of them comic book critics. Scared? Excited? Or a little bit of both?

I would have to say that I am curious about its reception. I have entered into this with the belief that we are doing JJ for our own pleasure. I have had a great time writing and I know Jason has had an equally great time with the artwork and design. Everyone is a critic and I hope those that actually read JJ like it. If not, we like the book and that is the most important thing to me.

Most writers mention having a muse to inspire the story. What is your muse?

Jason is actually my muse. He has always wanted to do a comic book but needed a story. We talked about doing a book in Dr Hart’s American Lit class in College two years ago. He wanted the book to be about a character named Johnny Justice. The two main characters are actually “stock characters” that he had drawn in different Art classes in High School. I thought it would be neat to include one of his female stock characters in the story with Johnny as a supporting character.

J out.