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June 29, 2008

French Phase 7 Collection Cover: Part 3

Well, here is the finished cover illustration for my collection of Phase 7 comics, being published (in FRENCH!) by L'employé du Moi.

I have been doing A LOT of digital coloring lately, as I am coloring Aaron Renier's next graphic novel for FirstSecond Books. So this actually only took me a little over an hour to color... but then I spent another TWO hours shifting all the values, trying to make foreground elements come to the front and background elements stay muted in the back.

The text was drawn on a separate layer and then dropped in using Photoshop. Lastly, I fiddled with a few of the color choices, trying to get everything to mesh together. Violà!

This book is over 200 pages and it will be out in November 2008. I'm hoping to make it to Angoulême this year to help promote it (and to go to Europe for the first time!) So look for it by the end of the year.

Unless I'm greatly mistaken, the new illustration challenge begins next week!

June 21, 2008

French Phase 7 Collection Cover: Part 2

Okay, here is part two of the illustration process for creating a cover for my upcoming collection of comics, which is being published (in FRENCH!) by L'employé du Moi.

Last week we saw my rough draft, and we heard the suggestion that I should add some more detail to the image. So the first thing I did was sketch out a thumbnail of the old rough dratft, and then I tried to loosely shift around the "camera" angle so that more of the scene shop was visible behind the figure.

Once I had created more space, I needed to figure out what to PUT in that space! Luckily, this is an autobiographical drawing, and I had some reference photos of the scene shop this illustration depicts. Here is one from 2002, though it was taken from the other side of the room (you can see me on the floor with my blue ear guards, and Bob is welding about where the figure is in the drawing).

After messing around with this for quite a while I ended up with the following finished drawing:


This was so complex, that I ended up drawing it in sections. First I drew the figure, with the table and inked it. Then I drew the welder and some of the background support columns and inked them. Then I started filling in the deep background with more detail. One tool that made this a lot easier was my new lightbox!


With the drawing all figured out, I next set out to color this drawing! I'll post the finished version next week. Thanks for checking in!

June 13, 2008

French Phase 7 Collection Cover: Part 1

I'm going to be out of town for the next two weekends. Next weekend I will be tabling at the "Indie Island" section of Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the weekend after that I will be co-teaching a week of workshops up at The Center For Cartoon Studies.

I was going to start my next illustration challenge, but because things are so hectic right now, I thought it would be better to start it when I get back from my trips. So instead I'm going to be posting some process pictures of an illustration I'm working on for L'employé du Moi.

I recently announced on my personal blog, that L'employé du Moi will be printing a collection of my Phase 7 Comics in French. I am going through the process of relettering my comics (using their translation, since I don't speak French!) but in the meantime they need the finished cover image so they can begin promoting the book.

Most of the comics in the collection are autobiographical, so I first chose specific moments which I thought would work well for the cover image. Here are my thumbnails:
It was decided that the welding image would be best, as it would tie together many of the stories, which revolve around my days spent working as a scenic carpenter. Next I made a mock-up of the cover in my sketchbook and then colored it digitally, just to get some idea of what it would look like:
The guys at L'employé du Moi liked this image, but encouraged me to put even more detail into the drawing. They cited the image I drew for the cover of Papercutter #6, and said I should try to achieve that level of detail:

Well, I'm working on it! next week I'll try to post the finished drawing (and how I altered it) and the week after that I'll post the finished cover!

June 7, 2008

Custom Commissioned Chucks!

Last month, a very nice guy named Chance hired me to draw on two blank pairs of canvas converse with sharpies. One pair would be for himself, and the other was for his son Rabbit.

I'm not sure how it happened, but in art school, I became obsessed with the idea of Dragons Vs. Wolves. So when Chance told me I could draw whatever I wanted on his shoes, that was the first thing that came to mind. And since his son's name is Rabbit, I thought I'd go with a Rabbit theme (of course!)

I'll post some photos below so everyone can see these shoes:

June 1, 2008

Organization Chapter Illustration

Well, here is proof once and for all that I'm done with my Harry Potter Drawings, a completely non-magical illustration! This drawing will be a chapter heading for the new edition of Make a Zine! which is being published by Microcosm Publishing.

Microcosm is a great collective of people who publish and distribute zines and minicomics. They have long carried my Phase 7 Comics and recently they have started publishing comics collections by many of my favorite cartoonists (and FRIENDS!) Make a Zine! will be an invaluable resource and everyone should check it out. I have often said that in my ideal world, EVERYONE would make their own zine. Find something you care about and show it to the world! You will find others with similar interests and it never hurts having more friends!

I've got a really cool post for next week, but you'll have to wait to see it. Thanks for checking in!