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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marvel Strange Tales II #3

The final issue of Marvel's Strange Tales Vol. II is out tomorrow, and once again, I have colored not one but two exciting Nick Bertozzi pages!  Continuing with our Steranko themed artwork, the real watcher Uatu sinks deeper into the perverse world of Philip the fake watcher, culminating in a trip to the never-before-seen Watcher Mating Grounds.

My favorite page from Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD #1
My direction from Bertozzi was to "go crazy".  In fact, I came back with something that "wasn't crazy enough" and thus, I too sunk deeper into Bertozzi's perverse coloring world.  Once again, I turned to Steranko's Nick Fury comic for inspiration and was drawn to the audacious use of magentas and yellows on one of my favorite pages.  Here's the end result:

Fortunately for the outro page, I was able to tone down the colors a bit.  In a call back to issue 2, I used a similar color scheme of greens and yellows.  Here's the coloring process I used for all four pages of Vol. 2 to invoke the feeling of an older comic.  (Since it is the last page of the volume, I will refrain from posting the whole page and ruining the story!)

We start with Bertozzi's line art:

The first step is to flat fill the colors.  This is where I make the general palette choices but since this is the final in a series, I just pick up the colors from previous issues.  Still, there are some new choices to be made such as the background color scheme and the color Philip's hair and stubble.  Yes, I consciously chose to make him look like Dan Clowes's Wilson.
Since I know that Philip will be emerging from a depression, I've decided to give the lower half of the page (the last tier shown here plus the one I've omitted from this post) more texture.  To accomplish this, I add a temporary layer of noise.
Then I select the background color and fill it with a slightly different hue.  In this case, I use the adjacent panel's shade of green. Then I remove the temporary layer which leaves flecks of the hue underneath.
Here is the page thus far:
To further highlight the gradual brightening of tone, I desaturated the first few panels.  I wanted to contrast the first panel with the last panel in Issue 2 so I made it almost devoid of color.
Next, I added a layer of various types of white zip-a-tone gradient.  This adds a muted texture to the first two tiers which is subtle (and hard to see on screen) but will enhance the feel on the printed version.
To complete the old-school feel, I then added an off-white color for paper and an overall texture by scanning in a piece of cardboard.
The lettering goes on last and that's the end product!  Who knows if there will be a Strange Tales Vol. 3 so this might be your last chance to pick up the Strange Tales of the Fake Watcher!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Train to Philly

Here's a little artsy-fartsy movie I made using an iPhone while on a recent trip to Philadelphia. The music is Max Richter's "Infra 5"

What it on Vimeo for HD quality.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Marvel Strange Tales II #2

The next issue of Marvel's Strange Tales will be out tomorrow and I have once again colored Nick Bertozzi's introduction page in which the Fake Watcher, Philip, continues to show the vacationing Uatu the beauties of human life.  As with issue one, we continue to invoke the coloring and special effects of Jim Steranko.

A tragic ending to Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #1?
While looking through Steranko's past art this particular page caught my eye.  In the top half alone, every color on the spectrum is used and yet it doesn't feel forced.  The gray tones of the last panel punctuate the previous color choices and the story.  While I didn't have a chance to do a grayscale panel, here is my homage to Steranko's rainbow page (the rest of the page is filled with greens and yellows):

You can see the full page and more previews of the stories in the anthology over at Comics Alliance.  Be on the look out for this cover by the amazing Jaime Hernandez!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vicious Circle Therapy Group

My Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies short story comes out this Wednesday, and my editor, Michel Fiffe, suggested that I do a post to explain the process I used this time around.

Savage Dragon came on to the comics scene about the same time that my family moved neighborhoods, causing me to lose my paper route, and thus, my comics buying income.  So when Fiffe asked me if I'd like to do a short story, my knowledge was severely limited to a couple of the Cartoon Express Savage Dragon shows I'd watched back in the 90s.  Under the guise of "research", I went out and got some trade paperbacks and started reading. (I love my job!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Marvel Strange Tales II #1

Strange Tales returns with Volume II and the first issue will be out tomorrow! Once again, I colored the introduction page written and drawn by Nick Bertozzi in which we rejoin our anti-hero, the fake watcher, doing his time in prison.

For this round of Watcher pages, I've attempted to create a Jim Steranko feel by adding textures and using zip-a-tone-like patterns.  Below are some Steranko pages I used for inspiration:

Look for this cover at your local comic shop!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting Even With Shakespeare in the Fringe Festival

Here's recent illustration I did for the Getting Even with Shakespeare production which has been selected for the New York Fringe Festival.  While the above image is for a postcard, it was originally designed for the festival's website (color) and brochure (grayscale) which required a very small icon.  The size restrictions proved to be an interesting challenge.  Here are the results:
For more information about the play, check out my earlier post, the play's website, or watch the trailer below.  It will run August 13-29 -- ticket info coming soon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

826NYC Comics Workshop

Cover art by Katrina

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of participating in a comics workshop over at 826NYC.  I joined fantastic cartoonists Nathan Schreiber, Domitille Collardey, and Sarah Glidden along with comics guru Chris Eckert in helping seven youngsters (ages 10 to 12) each make a four page story.

In order to help focus the class and make a sort of cohesive anthology, each story began with the main character turning out their light to go to bed.  The entirety of the story would then take place overnight and end the next morning when they get up for school.  Over four weeks, the kids wrote, drew, inked, lettered, and colored (if there was time!) their stories.  We called the whole thing "And Then the Lights Went Out" and here are the amazing results!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Illustrations for Christine

I did a couple of illustrations for my friend Christine.  The idea was to do a bio in a children's story style complete with five or six drawings.  Christine tells great stories (check out her blog), so it was easy to find interesting things to illustrate, and I enjoyed dusting off the ol' watercolors.  Maybe we'll do more!
Growing up on a sheep farm...
During her stint as a wedding singer...
Being all sorts of studious...
Arriving in Japan knowing only the phrase "I haven't seen you in ages!"
Organizing speed dating for charity (coincidentally, for the blind)...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MoCCA Wrap-Up

I don't think I was quite awake yet when this was taken.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table at MoCCA. It was quite a successful outing for me -- I nearly sold all of my copies of "Haberdash" and "Second Chance Vance"!  Thanks again to Amelia at Sugarbuilt -- I only ended up selling half of the cookies because I kept hearing comments like "Oooh, those are too pretty to eat." (So darn it all if I didn't have to eat the rest myself!)  I also got my hands on some good comics and met some great cartoonists and fans.  I'm already looking forward to SPX!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Haberdash, Second Chance Vance, Cookies, Huzzah!

This weekend I will be debuting "Haberdash" at the MoCCA Festival.  "Haberdash" is an 18 page mini-comic featuring ink drawings of odd people wearing hats (a few of which I have posted on this very blog) paired with a vignette penned by writer Tim Hall.  This was my first time working with Tim and I'm pleased that our collaboration yielded such rich and humorous characters.  Here's a sample page:
I will also be selling the first ever print version of my online comic Second Chance Vance.  This 24 page book features the complete first three chapters and sports an awesome handmade cover.

And last but possibly the most awesome of all, I will be selling custom made cookies based on my comics!  Amelia at Sugarbuilt crafted these amazing (and delicious) organic Darjeeling tea and cardamom cookies with vanilla icing just for MoCCA.  Check 'em out!

Monday, April 5, 2010

MoCCA Art Fest 2010

 I will have a table at this year's MoCCA Art Festival which takes place April 9th and 10th at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan.  This is the best indie comics convention in the country so if you are in the area, you should stop by.  I will have not one, but two new mini-comics available, plus some other little surprises.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Comic Book Resources on Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies

A preview of Ulises Farinas' Savage Dragon story.

Comic Book Resources has a great article on the upcoming Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies with a quote or two from me.  You can also see a preview of some of the stories including a full page of my story.  Check it out!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies Announced!

I'm pleased to announce that I will be a part of the indie comics creation: Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies.  Beginning this May (Issue 160), each issue of Image Comic's Savage Dragon will contain a short story written and drawn by a different indie cartoonist featuring characters from the Savage Dragon Universe. 

Here's the lineup as it is planned:
160 (May, ‘10). Michel Fiffe
161 (June). Andrew Dimitt
162 (July). Kiel West
163 (Aug). Delsante & Freire
164 (Sept). Ulises Farinas
165 (Oct). Chris Sinderson
166 (Nov). Conor Hughes
167 (Dec). Kat Roberts
168 (Jan, '11). Hyeondo Park
169 (Feb). Pedro Camargo
170 (Mar). Jason Thibodeaux
171 (April). Special Guests Galore!

Here's a sneak peak at an ink drawing I did of the villain Brainiape waxing poetic while striking The Thinker pose:

While Image is a major comic publisher, not every comic book store sells Savage Dragon.  So please be sure to go to your friendly comic book retailer and request that they order it for you!