Thursday, August 28, 2014

JUSTICE LEAGUE!





The news broke today on Buzzfeed  (in a rather lackluster fashion) that I will be joining Geoff Johns on JUSTICE LEAGUE starting with issue 36 and beyond!  I'm very excited for this opportunity and can't wait to dive in head first!  Justice League has been the book I've wanted to draw for a long time, ever since watching the Justice League Animated series.  I've been in seventh heaven for about 2 weeks now since I learned the news myself.

Leaving the Bat-Universe
  I've loved every minute of the last 4 years working on the Batman line, and feel very proud at the things I've been able to accomplish there. I do feel that I still have my ultimate Batman story still inside waiting to come out, but I guess we will have to wait and see if I get another opportunity on a Batman book in the future.  Sadly, leaving that universe may mean I never get another shot on the character.  Here's hoping I do one day down the line!
 I want to throw a few shout outs to some people who were very instrumental in the success I've had working in the Bat-Universe.
  First, to David Finch for the friendship and being a great mentor to me as I started in the industry.  He gave me a shot on Batman: The Dark Knight in the pre New 52 and it really was the book that allowed me to show DC what I could do.
  To Mike Marts and Katie Kubert, my editors for the last 4 years, who believed in me enough to give me a shot on Detective Comics.  They both became such great friends, and we were a tight team kicking out books every month.  I miss working with them since they moved to Marvel, but I'm thankful for the time we had on the books we worked on.  I grew so much under their leadership.
  To John Layman for writing some great stories for me to draw on Detective and his friendship as we battled the dark forces of Gotham every month.  To Scott Snyder, James Tynion and Kyle Higgins for the great Batman Eternal scripts I was able to draw.  What a joy it was to launch a new Batman #1!
  Also to my colorists, Jeromy Cox, Emilio Lopez, Blonde and Brad Anderson for making my work look much better than it is!  And to Peter Steigerwald for teaming up on Batman Annual #1 to tell the new Mr.Freeze origin for the new 52.
And lastly to Mark Doyle and Chris Conroy for stepping in and guiding Batman Eternal when Mike and Katie moved.  They did a great job and the Bat-Books are in good hands.

Justice League and Beyond!
  Even though I could have stayed in the Bat-Universe for the rest of my career and been content, when Geoff Johns calls you up and offers you the art lead on Justice League, you take it!  Geoff has been one of my favorite writers of all time, and I think I've read almost everything he's ever written.  Blackest Night was a really big inspiration to me back when I was learning with Dave Finch and ever since then, I've wanted to work with Geoff.  In fact, my main three career goals when I set out in this career were 1) Get a job in comics, 2)Work on Batman and 3) work with Geoff Johns.
  To get the opportunity is a little daunting, I must admit.  Im being thrown into a different universe than the one I've been drawing these past few years but I'm also excited for the challenge. Geoff and I have had a few great phone conversations over the past few weeks, and one thing I've seen from Geoff is that his enthusiasm and love for comics in unlike any other writer I've met.  You can't help but get inspired, excited and pumped up for what is to come.  Not to mention its a massive confidence builder to be able to work with a writer of his caliber.  He pitched to me what was going to happen a year down the line on the book before I've even drawn one issue.  I sure hope I can impress him enough to stay on the book for all that time because I really want to draw those ideas!
   I've also always dreamed of drawing the big three,  Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman together.  I've always been fascinated with the Flash, Cyborg, Lex Luthor and Shazam and can't wait to see how I'll draw these characters in a few months down the line.  Oh, and then there is Aquaman, who is awesome!  I can't wait to draw him tearing it up.  And then there are the villains...can't spoil it, but it's another example of my dreams coming true on this book!
  I also feel like Justice League is a great opportunity to take some chances and change up my layouts a bit.  I hope to create a feeling of "BIG" to the book.  I plan to do more panels that bleed off the edges and characters breaking through panels...like as if the book is too small to contain them.  I hope to clean up my work as a bit as well and not go as grungy, that is until massive city destruction battled happen!  It'll also give me an opportunity to draw some different locations than what I've been used to drawing.  I really feel that it will take me 3 or 4 issues to really figure out where I will go with the characters and look.

Promo Image
Here is a look at the Promo image used to promote the news.  I actually re-drew this thing 3 times (2 hand inked drawings and the final all-digital because of time constraints) before I landed on the one that was used.


Here is the digital inks of the promo image seen above.  I'm still not 100% happy with it because I feel I haven't captured my versions of the characters but that will come in time...


Brad Anderson did some epic colors here.  We removed the light beams and brought out the Big 4 in the front more for the final...


And here's the final image!


I hope to post some more on this project once we get going, but I can say that Geoff pitched me the story arc we will be doing together...and it was amazing!  It'll take a few issues to ease into it, but once the big story-line hits, it's going to be awesome!  

Thanks for your support on Batman Eternal and Detective Comics!  I wouldn't have the opportunity to draw such a massive book as Justice League without your support and help!  Thank you!  I hope you will all join me on my next adventure, JUSTICE LEAGUE!




Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Fan Expo Toronto Pre-Con Commission List

I will be appearing this year at the 2014 Toronto Fan Expo from Friday August 29 to Sunday August 31.  I am not planning on doing sketches while I am at the table, but I am going to open up a very very small list of pre-con commissions.  These commissions will be higher quality than a sketch, and inked in microns.  These will also be a higher price than a normal sketch.  You also MUST be at fan Expo Toronto this year and pick them up at the show.  I will not mail these out.

If interested, please email me below for prices.  I will only be doing 3 or 4 tops.  I don't do commissions at all so this may be your only chance at getting something from me this year.

Email Here for info


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Batman Eternal 22 Cover: Spoiler!

Comic Book Resources showed off the first of the next batch of covers for Batman Eternal that I illustrated.

Check it out HERE!


First it starts with the layouts.  The editors told me they wanted an image with Spoiler jumping her motorbike off of a bridge.  I thought it might be cool to have a silhouette of the bike and a cool color action pose of Spoiler in all her glory.


I knew what I wanted with the bike, it was just getting the inside to work.



We decided on this layout in the end.  Something with some action showing off her entire look.


The inks done on 11x17 bristol

Digital touch ups.  I added some rain and more smoke


I also did a color template to show Brad Anderson what I was thinking.  I wanted the character in purple and the background in a yellow so it really poped.




Final AMAZING colors by Brad Anderson

Art is for sale HERE




Batman: A Visual History Announced

 Batman: A Visual History Announced!
For about 3 months, I worked on a wraparound cover for a new DK Publishing book called "Batman: A Visual History".  Here's the description of the book:

Batman Year by Year follows the DC Comics Super Hero from his 1939 beginnings as a crime-fighting vigilante to his present status as a worldwide cultural icon approaching his 75th anniversary.
The book celebrates Batman's greatest stories and the writers and artists that created them. It also charts the careers of the Super Heroes and super-villains — Robin, the Justice League, the Joker, Catwoman — associated with Gotham City's Dark Knight. The debuts of every key Batman character are featured, as well as some details of Batman movie and TV series, both live-action and animated.
Perfect for any comic book fan, this visually stunning, definitive guide arrives in a slipcase featuring specially commissioned artwork by a top DC Comics artist plus two original prints.



I'll post the full artwork once DK reveals the entire cover!
Wrap around cover by Myself with colors by Tomeu Morey.


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Batman Pinup

Batman pinup I forgot that I had laying around.  Illustrated this piece to play around with some inking techniques.


Piece is for sale here: Comic Art Fans




-JAY

Monday, May 19, 2014

Future's End 3d Month Covers

In September, DC Comics is doing another month of 3D lenticular covers.  I was asked to do a number of covers but could only do 2 because of scheduling.  So I chose the cover for BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS.  Here is a look at the digital line art.


DETECTIVE COMICS
For this cover, I was asked to do a take on the classic Carmine Infantino Batman and Robin cover, but this time, Robin would be replaced by the RIDDLER!

Carmine Infantino's Classic Batman and Robin image that has been homaged 1000 times by other artists.


My idea was to take the basic layout, but give a few little changes to make it my own.  I decided I wanted a little more "twist" to Batman and to make the cape a bit more epic and large.


Here is the final image with just Batman.  In order to make the image look 3D, I needed to draw everything on separate layers.  So the foreground is one layer, the chimney, The characters, even the cape, and the background.


Here is the final image with the Riddler added.  The clouds are all hand drawn with my fingers on scrap paper and then scanned into the image.

Awesome Colors by Brad Anderson


Here is the final 3D'd mockup for the cover! Looks great!



BATMAN
Rough Layout of Slide 1.  Batman with Cape in batcave

Slide 2: Batman with back brace and Army of Batmen!

Finished Inks


Finished Inks



Final colors by Brad Anderson!








Thursday, May 01, 2014

Batman Eternal Issue 3 line Art

Here is the final blog post from my initial Batman Eternal run.  Issue 3 line art!


I stressed over these few pages when I read the script.  I could just foresee a vast crowd of Stephanie Brown fans calling for my head to be on the chopping block if I didn't draw her correct enough.  So I just went with my instincts and tried to draw a girl who looked much like she did in the past, but added some more modern things like skinny jeans and cool shoes.  In the end, the response was well received and I still have my head.


This was a fun page.  Getting to draw those cheese ball villains sitting around a table was a change in things, but fun.  It's also really hard to draw an entire scene with a character that needs to be 100% blacked out, with no silhouette so no one can guess who it is.  A reviewer online made a comment about how it felt awkward, and personally, It did for me as well, but needed to be done so it doesn't spoil the story.









Notice the Batman suit is the one from Batman '89?  Well, sort of.  I used the logo and belt.





This page was funny.  I slipped in some advertising for my buddy Chris Rupps comic store, but in the final edition, they changed the name of the store!  Also, I put a poster up for one of my fav bands, Transatlantic, and they took that out as well....





The marker board was a cool idea we had, where Katie Kubert, our editor, actually wrote out everything on a marker board and then took a picture of it.  I then placed it into the artwork.
Another reviewer commented on the fact that Forbes' Bat symbol was drawn to perfect.  I understand this complaint perfectly, but...it's comics and it's make believe!  I tried it with a more loose looking logo and I didn't like it.  I felt the more recognizable symbol would work well for the final image.