Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Batman Eternal #1 Lineart

Im going to post some of the line art for each weekly book a week after release of the issue.  There may be spoilers in these pages so, turn away now if you want to keep things a secret!


Page 1 originally was a bit different.  The script called for three panels, one of the city, one of Bruce on the light and another of his face looking off.  But after drawing the large middle panel, I just had a feeling in my gut that this wasnt the right way to do the page.  I wanted more of a truck in with a camera through the burning city until we see Bruce on the light and then the close up.  I felt the original page didn't give me that effect.  
This is just one of many examples with this script and issue where I added panels and changed things around in order to make things a bit clearer visually.  In the end, I feel the effect worked for this first page.

Original page 1 layout

Original page 1 without final close up

Reimagined layout.  the Beacon building in the middle is the focus, so I wanted a straight on shot with each subject in the middle of each panel.  The camera trucks in from far back, right up to Bruce's eyes.

Brad Anderson's PERFECT colors.  I've finally found my ideal colorist.  He does everything exactly as I see it in my head and then takes it to a totally different level that I couldn't actually explain.  Notice his attention to RIM LIGHTS and adding shadows to the work to give it more depth.  He creates a mood and a color theory that runs through the entire book.

Final Page 1

This two page spread also changed as well.  Originally I had Gordon in the foreground shielding himself from the crash, but then I got scared.  I knew someone out there would comment that the plane would have then slid into Gordon, killing him and all the kids.  SO I ditched the plane panel and redrew Batman Punching down the plane as a closer up shot.  I figure it would slide out of the way, toward a wall or something.
Sometimes, as an artist, you have to fight with little problems like that.  Things may sound good on paper when written, but once you think about the scene happening within a 3 dimensional space, problems arise.  I still would have liked to add another few panels on the side to show a better transition between Pyg turning on the pigs to explode, and Batman racing to knock them away.  But when deadlines are looming, and you've already added 2 extra panels on a page, you have to move on and get to the next shot.


Final Page

Some reviewers knocked me on this page because the top shot looked a lot like the famous Jim Lee Batman and Nightwing cover....but it was meant to be that way.  The script mentions something similar, and so I thought I'd pay homage to that.  I guess if you slap a "After Jim Lee" below, you can do that all you want, but since I forgot that, I got torched by a few bitter comic elitists.

This was my favorite page.  The graffiti on the wall behind Gordon says "FUTURE QUAKE" which is my all time favorite podcast.

Liked this shot too.  Batman always looks sweet when you black his face out in shadows.  

Drawing two trains crashing into each other is tough.  There isn't much reference out there of actual head on crashes, but more of the aftermath.  The second panel shows some of the other train cars smashing through walls as the momentum would have carried them forward.  In the end, I think It worked.  I tried to give the shot a twisted look to simulate how it would feel to be a viewer in that situation.

That's about it for this week!
Batman Eternal Issue 2 is out tomorrow!  Check it out and thanks for all the kid words about issue 1!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Batman Eternal Covers

Here is a little look at the process behind some of the upcoming covers for Batman Eternal!

Issue 2 Cover

First Sketches

Gordon under a light

Light changed to a Batman Silhouette

Finished Inks

Digital inks

Colors my Tomey Morey! 

Issue 3 Cover
Idea given was an action shot with the Batmobile



Issue 4 Cover
Batman Vs Batgirl.  I wanted to play with the classic Dark Knight Returns image


Final Digital touchups

Colors by Brad Anderson

Arkham War Cover Inks

Batman Eternal hit shelves starting April 9th!

Covers available here for purchase

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Upcoming 2014 Shows and Appearances

I wanted to take a few minutes to update folks on where I'll be signing and making some appearances this year.   So far I've been invited to more shows this year alone than the entire 4 years I've been drawing. Sadly, my workload is so large that I can only go to a few shows over the coarse of the year. Here is where I'll be appearing thus far:

C2E2 Chicago - April 25-27, 2014
Mike's Comic and Collectibles - Free Comic Book Day - May 3, 2014
Toronto Fan Expo - August 29-31, 2014

I'll be doing sketches at the big shows, but won't be doing pre con sketches or taking sketch lists beforehand.  I'll only be taking a list when I arrive and will only take a few sketches total and work on them through the weekend. These would be bust/torso and head sketches. I want to be there to talk to fans and sign books first.

More shows will be added as the year goes by and more invites are sent out.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Detective Comics 27 Lineart

Here are a few of the pages from the huge anniversary issue I was able to take part it.  It was also my last issue on Detective Comics as I am now moving to Batman: Eternal which launches this spring.

I also got the chance with this story to design some cool alternate universe costumes for some of the characters.  Here's a look at Batman, Catbird and Bluebelle.

With Batman, I wanted an all white version of the suit, but realized I needed some greys to break up the different parts of the suit.  I tried to add a bunch of cool textures and details to the suit to give it a different feel from the normal Batsuit, and also made his eyes visable.

With Catbird (Catwoman as Robin) I originally was going for more of a Catwoman/Nightwing crossover.  But we decided we wanted it to be more Robin-ish.  Above, you can see the idea evolve to the final chosen idea.  
I wanted to keep the Catwoman look, but incorporate the Robin aesthetic into that.  The long jacket I felt took the cape aspect of Robin and fused it with Catwoman's sense of design.   

Bluebelle is the Gothtopia version of Batgirl.  In the end, I mostly took the New 52 design and made it white.  I shortened the cape to give her a more playful, youthful look and got rid of the cowl.  I actually prefer Batgirl to not wear a Bat cowl.  I'm not sure why.