Thursday, September 22, 2016

Long Beach 2016 Con Sketches

I did several sketches while tabling at the Prism Comics Booth at this years Long Beach Comicbook Convention on September 17 and 18, 2016. Actually, I only did 3 at the con; one was a commission, so it’s gone with the purchaser. I’m posting the remaining two done to kill time. The remainders are leftover time-killers from previous conventions, previously unposed.

 "Black Panther and White Tiger". I was commissioned, at Long Beach Comic-Con, to do a sketch of a Hispanic Superhero. The only one that sprung immediately to mind was the White Tiger, who appeared in "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" back in the 70's. The client pointed out that on of the current iterations of Spiderman is Hispanic. I wouldn't know, haven't been paying attention since before the first "Secret Wars".
Doing the commissioned sketch inspired me to do one for myself, in between dealing with my legion of fervid fans. Basically, the idea was to do a battle between a white silhouette figure (White Tiger) and a black silhouette figure (Black Panther) against a bifurcated stark black and white back ground. I messed up by putting in too much gray. Oh well, it's just a sketch. Hopefully I won't die before doing the finish version. (These days, one never can predict).

Since I was in a non-caucasian vein, I decided to try another such hero. Sunfire, from the Xmen comics of my youth, sprang to mind. I didn’t have time to finish it; s’okay. It need re-cropping, and I need to figure out how to do the  flame. Also, does the character trail flame, Human Torch style? Don’t remember, don’t feel like looking it up.

The next two drawings are remnants from conventions of yore, posted today for the first time. The first quotes Carmine Infantino’s cover to “Batman from the 30’s to the 70’s” replacing Batman and Robin with Teddy and Gene, characters from “Bob’s Burgers”, the animated TV series I’ve been doing storyboards on for the last 6 or 7 (it all blurs together) years.
The second is of Tina, another Bob’s Burgers cast member. This is a pose from her in “Enter the Tina” from Bob’s Burgers Comics # 13. 22 pages of wonderfulness laid out by moi.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Batman Adventures 5, page 6 and 7

I’m continuing to post, in serialize fashion, the rough pages, along with the final printed pages (and the original pages if I still have them) to my run on Batman Adventures. Today we’ll look at pages 6 and 7 of Batman Adventures #5, published by DC Comics in February 1993. This is part two of “Riot Act”, part one having appeared in Batman Adventures #4.

I forget to mention, in yesterday’s post, that it was my idea to cast the parol officers in Crane’s dream sequence as Cain and Abel from the House of Mystery and Secrets. 

I tried two different versions of page 6. The first is my attempted re-write; the second on on-script. As  you can see, we went with the scripted version.  That’s probably better, as it sets up Scarecrow’s motive for creating a device that cancels victim’s reading ability.


The deal with pencilling a monthly book is that one doesn’t have time to dither around; one just has to set one’s shoulders and power through it. Looking at page 6, panel 1 brings it all back. Crowd scenes are easy to rough out and a bitch to clean  up. I considered having all the students look exactly alike, sitting in the same postures. I decided to go the opposite route and make them individual in the extreme. This took more time, possibly, but was more fun in the end. Except that I had to crank out a page a day no matter what. I could have spent two days on panel 1 alone, but could only devote half a day to it. I wonder what Kirby or Buscema (John) would have done.





Sunday, September 18, 2016

Batman Adventures #5, page 4 and 5




This is Sunday, September 18, Day 2 of the 2016 Long Beach Comic Book Convention. I’ll be there today at the Prism Comics booth between 10 AM and Noon. Prism is at booth 603 in Hall C. ’ll be doing commission sketches, $25 for the first character and $10 for each additional character. I’ll also be selling books and magazines I’ve produced or been published in. Come say “Hi” and buy.

I’m continuing to post, in serialize fashion, the rough pages, along with the final printed pages (and the original pages if I still have them) to my run on Batman Adventures. Today we’ll look at pages 4 and 5 of Batman Adventures #5, published by DC Comics in February 1993. This is part two of “Riot Act”, part one having appeared in Batman Adventures #4. 


I’ve read artists like Howard Chaykin and Walt Simonson insist that they prefer to work directly on the final art paper without doing preliminary thumbnails as a way of keeping spontaneity in their work. I doubt I’ll ever reach that point. I want to get the perfect composition in the perfect panel, working perfectly in the entire page, that is a series of pages that work together perfectly. Of course, perfection is impossible, especially if you have to crank out a daily page. Still, one must draw and redraw, try different things. Pages 4 and 5 are examples of this type of search. I’m including initial and second versions of panels in both pages.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Batman Adventures #5, pages 1 and 2/3

This is it! Day One of the Long Beach Comic Book Convention. I’ll be tabling at the Prism Comics booth today between Noon and 2:00 PM. Booth 603 in Hall C. I’ll be doing commission sketches, $25 for the first character and $10 for each additional character. I’ll also be selling books and magazines I’ve produced or been published in. Come say “Hi” and buy.

I’m continuing to post, in serialize fashion, the rough pages, along with the final printed pages (and the original pages if I still have them) to my run on Batman Adventures. Today I’ll show you the first three pages of Batman Adventures #5, published by DC Comics in February 1993. This is part two of “Riot Act”, part one having appeared in Batman Adventures #4. This is, as far as I know, the only 2 parter in the entire run of the series; the editors had a policy against continued stories.


One of the affectations of the series I enjoyed was that each issue was broken into 3 equal length chapters. I liked it because it gave me 3 opportunities per issue to design the typography for the splash panel. (I was and am heavily influenced by Will Eisner, creator of “The Spirit”.)




Friday, September 16, 2016

Batman Adventures 4, Incidental Designs

To generate buzz for my upcoming stint at the Long Beach Comic Book Convention of September 17th and 18th, I have been posting scans of my roughs to my first ever professional
comic book assignment, ‘Batman Adventures’ #4, which was published in the fall of 1992, along with the printed pages. 
I’m taking a short break before I start in on Batman Adventures #5 to post some character designs I did as aids in drawing the two-parter, “Riot Act”.
Given that I’d been working as a story board artist on the Batman Animated TV series for a  year and a half by the time I landed the gig pencilling the Batman Adventures comic book series, I had easy access to most of the stock incidental characters I needed. Most of the characters  were only seen in one or two panels, except for the members of the criminal gang, “The Snakes” and their leader, Mario. 

I think it’s important to design the cast for a new story in advance, so that they are varied and specifically individuated, not defaulting into my stock characters types. Doing them at first as part of a line-up helps me see them as silhouettes in relation to each other, again with as much variety as I can get away with. I drew the Snakes line-up on the back of a copy of Bruce Timm’s inspirational model for The Scarecrow. Since one can sort of see it bleeding through, I’ll post that as well.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Batman Adventures 4, pages 21 - 22

To generate buzz for my upcoming stint at the Long Beach Comic Book Convention of September 17th and 18th, I am posting in the intervening week, scans of my roughs to my first ever professional
comic book assignment, ‘Batman Adventures’ #4, which was published in the fall of 1992, along with the printed pages. 

Today I’m posting pages 21 and 22. 

As I recall, I took it upon myself to script edit these two pages in order to allow a dramatic reveal of the Scarecrow on the last page. I think much of it involved moving the expository dialogue off of page 22 and onto page 21, panel 3. The writer, Martin Pasko, wasn’t pleased. I could accept his unhappiness; I was an arrogant wanna-be auteur,
 flexing my 800 lb gorilla-ness.The editor let me get away with it, and the rest is publishing history.




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Batman Adventures 4, pages 18 - 20

To generate buzz for my upcoming stint at the Long Beach Comic Book Convention of September 17th and 18th, I am posting in the intervening week, scans of my roughs to my first ever professional
comic book assignment, ‘Batman Adventures’ #4, which was published in the fall of 1992, along with the printed pages. 

Today I’m posting pages 18 - 20. On page 18, we see members of The Snake youth gang, under the direction of gang leader Mario, planting electronics doctored with the Scarecrow’s malignant broadcasting device (panels 1 & 2). We see a looter grab one of the devices (panel 3) and turn it on (panel 4), broadcasting the signal (panels 5 & 6) that eradicates Robin’s reading ability (panels 7 & 8).


Excuse me while I brag; it took much ingenuity on my part to get all that important information to communicate without the benefit of dialogue. As I recall, Martin Pasko’s script was only partially helpful, though I do give him props FOR playing out the two page looting sequence mostly wordlessly. Frankly, things weren’t helped by the colorist; it would have aided in identifying the gang members as a group if they wore color-matching tank tops (although it also would have helped if I’d made the looter old and fat or a woman and not wearing a t-shirt).



When this issue was published 4 or 5 months later I was deep into my telephone relationship with 

Alex Toth, and sent him a copy. He humorously called me out for the close up panels of Batman on pages 14 and 19, accusing me of swiping similar panels from his jet fighter comics from the 50’s. I replied that I wasn’t directly swiping; it was only that I’d studied his work so much that I’d internalized it and drew those panels from memory. Though, in honesty, I probably DID swipe them.


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