Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Secret Authority

I'm kicking off the re-boot of the Draw! Magazine blog with a look behind a job I did early this year that went uncredited at the time. I've been buddies with Jerry Ordway for a while now, and Jerry is really one of the best artist not only working today, but of all time in comics. Jerry's what a real great comic artist is all about, great storytelling and great drawing and he can draw anything--his version of Superman is a classic, right up there with Curt Swan and Neal Adams. he makes anything he does worth getting and is one of the few artists working today I always follow. Since his deadline was short on this issue of Authority, ,Jerry asked me to help him out by doing layouts for him on it, which I imediately agreed to do. Our deadline was pretty short as I think the book was behind schedule and DC was trying to get it back on track, and at the time Jerry asked me if I minded doing it without anyone knowing and i said sure, I mean I'm helping a buddy out, and working with jerry should also be fun.

Now I don't think I had ever read an issue of Authority, but maybe scanned it in a comic shop if the art caught my eye so i was pretty unfamiliar with the characters. But the added bonus was that kevin Nowlan was going to ink it--so that should be a real treat for the eyes--how could I say no!?

Jerry forwarded me the script by Keith Giffen and some little thumbnails to give me an idea of where to go along with a ton of reference material. from looking through it all it seems as if they styles and costumes were always changing, nobody drew them the same.

below you can see my layouts and then Jerry's pencils from them. Kevin has some inked pages on his blog so you can see how they turned out under his brilliant inks.

There was a real freedom here for me as i felt that like a good infield whenever I picked up the ball and tossed it we were sure to have a wining relay. I was always thrilled to see what jerry did, and then Kevin. Now since this was a layout job there would naturally be spots where jerry would want to alter or change things and after all, it's his job so it's his right to do so. i felt my main job as acting, dynamics and storytelling, to rough out the construction and let jerry finish it his way.

So here follows a few pages from Authority NO. 12!


  1. Very interesting process - looks like the basic layouts were very closely followed with some character placement changes here and there. Which brings me to ask if you were following some staging needs (not seeing the script or final word baloon placement)?

  2. Jesse, yes, you always have to follow the script as far as placement if its a full script.

  3. Cool inside look Mike! At the risk of sounding like a broken record - any chance we could see the script? Is Keith Giffen willing to share like Jerry and Kevin? No pressure here Keith...really :-)

    Glad the blog has been rebooted Mike!
    Take care,
    J.Gilpin CCG Coordinator