I recently did a cover for the Oni
comic Queen & Country
#29(with which I have a history
). I was real gung-ho to do this project. I’m a big fan of the series and I was really excited about the opportunity to draw Tara Chace again
and to do it in full color. I started out with four thumbnails (I apologize for not showing them here–I can’t find them anywhere) and then the editor and I narrowed it down to two images. I then did tighter pen sketches of those two images (see above). (Note: those sketches were about 5″x7.5″ and done using the fabulous Uniball Vision
pens). At the same time I sent those in I sent in color treatments on both so they could see where I was planning on going with them.
I was really on the fence about which of the two covers I preferred. I really liked the surreal, spooky ambiance of the jogging image but at the same time I liked the iconic portrait shot of Tara. It was decided that the portrait worked better as a cover image and I think I agree with that.I went ahead with the final and as you can see it’s really no more than a cleaner, slicker version of the pen sketch.
It’s not usual for so little teaking between a sketch and a final. I even pretty much kept the exact same color scheme. I did send along an alternate monochromatic red version of the same image but it was decided that we’d stick with the original color scheme.
I had a blast doing this for many fanboy reasons but the most significant reason was that this was the first time I’ve ever seen a piece from start to finish. For good or bad, it was the first time I’ve ever been able to color a piece the way I wanted to see it. As far as I know I’m supposed to be doing all the covers for this story arc (3 or 4 more issues, I believe) and I’m twitching with anticipation. Twitching, I say!
Below is just a random sketch I did last night to unwind.
It’s been a real bummer of a week for me. A couple days before Halloween I had woke up with a stress fracture in my foot. It was intensely painful and just as intensely annoying. I had to move in with my folks for a couple weeks because living alone in a third floor walk-up and driving a manual transmission are not compatible with getting around on crutches. Simple things like carrying a coffee or a plate of food from the kitchen become impossible. Anyway, several weeks later and I was doing much, much better. I was walking and driving and driving again with no other aid than a slip-on brace for my foot. Then, deja vu, I woke up Wednesday morning in intense pain. It seems I’ve refractured my foot while sleeping again. Cruel, cruel world.
Just wanted to vent a bit…and maybe elicit some sympathy. I love sympathy.
I’m a big Harry Potter nut. Unapologetically so. I’ve read all the books–the first four I’ve read twice. And who knows how many times I’ve seen the movies. The new movie is fantastic , by the way. I still might like the Prisoner of Azkhaban better but it’s pretty close. Anyway, just wanted to share this quick sketch I did. I have a lot of fun drawing in this slightly simpler more cartoony way. I’ll have to post some other sketches in this style in the near future.
This sketch was inspired by this cute teen I saw at the local Starbuck’s.
Editor’s note: It’s was pointed out to me by a friend of mine that I may have come across a little like a creepy old man with this post. When I said “cute teen” I had only meant was that she was cute in that adorable,”if-I-had-a-daughter-I-would-hope-she-was-cute-like-this” kind of a way. Honest-to-Betsy.
These are just some random sketches I’ve done over the past week that I felt like sharing. The character below was just me riffing on a private detective character I’ve had in the back of my mind for years now.
As always, click to enlarge.
Before I ever started doing cover sketches for Hard Time: Season Two, issue #1, I did a few rough mock-ups as a suggestion for new cover design (one of which is shoen to the left–the issue number and imagery are completely arbitrary). We knew we were ditching the other cover design due to it’s connection with the now defunct Focus line. For the new cover I wanted a BIG, BOLD, in your face logo and the letterbox design. They kept the letterbox look but had to shoot down the idea to change the logo. That made sense, of course. After being off the shelf for almost a year we needed to be sure that any logo recognition we may have built up in the first 12 issues needed to be maintained.
I actually worked out all of the following cover sketches before seeing a script for issue one. Being that it was a first issue we didn’t need a cover that was story specific, it just needed to be representative of the series. A) it needed to feature Ethan B) it needed to feature his Khe-Chara(his super-power, or KC as we call it) and C) it needed to feature the prison setting or prison iconagraphy. Using those guidelines I came up with these following cover sketches ranging from not very good to plain awful. Actually, I kinda liked the one of Ethan and his KC facing the camera with the montage broken up by prison bars.
Here’s a color version of that montage cover…
But, this was my favorite cover sketch.
Then after getting the script I worked up the following sketch. You’ll notice that the cover that hit the stands was basically this one with some adjustments. Today was the first time I’d seen this sketch since I originally did it (last Feb/Mar?). I’d completely forgot that the initial sketch looked like this.