Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Darkhawk pencils

Here are a few pages from the opening of Darkhawk No.9, and these pages are around 20 years old now--hard to believe! At least for me, in some ways it seems long ago and some ways it seems not that long ago at all. This was also from the time when the Punisher was a hot character and was appearing in just about every Marvel comic, so why not old DH? I also got to draw Savage Steel a character that I co-created with DH writer Danny Fingeroth. Comics were cheaper and I think more fun then, there was a lot more story it seems in the average comic then so I think the reader got more bang for your buck, this was also before computer coloring became all the rage. It was really a different time. I can't tell you how many times in the past few years I have had people come up to me and tell how much they loved this character and series--which I find a bit surprising in some ways, but i also realize that this was really the last time there was an influx of young readers into comics, the early 90's was the last feeder generation of readers for the industry. These fans read--not just collected. It was before 'certificates or authenticity" and the crazy, crazy times of speculators and collectors which basically tore the business down.

I was also younger then and earning my stripes as they say, and DH was the first book I got to start from scratch, so I felt I had a lot to prove every month.

I remember thing of the opening of this issue almost like a movies and so I wanted to get that cinematic feel to some of the panels by using the horizontal panels. I was also very influenced by Williamson, Romita Sr. and Garcia Lopez at the time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Warner Brothers Animation Background Notes

Back in the 90's between seasons on storyboarding for WB animation on such shows as Superman and Batman, I switched for a while over to doing background designs. I think Tv animation was at a peak then as far as the look and craft of shows. My stint as a comic artist also really helped me in doing backgrounds as that's something you do a lot of in comics. When I started besides being sent a huge pack of BG designs, background supervisor George Stokes sent me along these notes which I kept. George was a great guy to work with. They were on fast fading fax paper so I scanned them in and thought I'd share them.This gives you the idea of how they went about breaking down and approaching the style of the shows. I did background designs on Batman Beyond, Superman and Batman. It was a fun gig, I'll dig out and post some of my designs soon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More layouts from Green lantern

Here are two more pages from green lantern #49 that I helped Jerry Ordway out on by doing layouts. It's always interesting to see what little changes are made, and of course since I am only laying it out any changes Jerry would see fit to make would be A OK with me since he's far more familiar with the current DC crossover material. I think we make a great team and look forward to doing more with Jerry if the opportunity comes up.
My layouts are much closer to full pencils than the example by John Buscema below. They look simple, but only the very best artist could break a drawing down so simple and still have everything needed on top of great dynamic storytelling. Simple isn't easy!
Buscema was the King of doing these looser pencils, everything is there, and not one line extra, if you are a skillfull enough inker who can draw, this is all you would need. In the case of most of the Silver Age greats like Palmer or Sinnott, Giordano, Giaccoia or the great artist from the Philippines like Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala or Rudy Nebrse to name but a few artist who were master draughtsmen, but maybe without the dynamics Buscema brought to the page.

Marvel even had a whole system of penciling at once time, from Shakedowns ( very, very loose pencil, really just breaking don the story into panels with the loosest placement of figures or elements) , breakdowns to full pencils ( which had all of the blacks spotted in or indicated) all based on what the Buscema brothers would do as pencilers on books. This way they could churn out several books a month as the storytelling skills and dynamics, speed and drawing they brought to the table couldn't be beat. Put a good inker over them and you had a good comic books. The business has really moved away from this way of working in the past 15-20 years. Now detail is King. There will never be artist like the Buscema brothers again, nor workhorses like Gil Kane as the industry doesn't require or demand that type of work any longer.