Sunday, May 27, 2012

DC Comics Mural Contribution; Martian Manhunter

A little while back, DC contacted me to see if I was interested in helping provide artwork to adorn the wall of their new West coast offices.

This was very exciting to me because I've been to the New York offices, and they really know how to decorate! The office floors are very impressive with full murals, props, art even a hallway staged to look like a Gotham rooftop and skyline! If you ever get the chance to tour it, go!

So anyway the idea for the new California offices was to have displayed all of the New 52 characters by different DC artists. Each would compose a figure and they would all be stitched together into one big, super epic image. I was really honored for the chance to be listed as an artist among so many of my peers and inspirations. I quickly agreed.

The icing on the cake (or should I say Choc-o) was that I would be getting to draw one of my favorite DCU heros; Martian Manhunter.

I liked John from the start.

 First working on him with Doug Mahnke on an issue of the regular series...

 ...then on my own as a character in JLA Welcome to The Working Week...

 ...somewhere in there was a pin-up featuring Green Arows chili recipe

And now that I think of it, he's had a cameo in probably every other book I've worked on at DC. Aquaman, Green Lantern Corps and most recently his own story line in Brightest Day.

 I'm not going to go into all that I love about the character right now, but let's just say there were times he reminded me of how I used to feel when I first saw Superman.

Anyway I enjoyed inking my mural section (below) which is something I tend not to do unless there is a deadline crunch. In this case I took my time and enjoyed myself. In the end I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

 Click for full, un-blurred (thanks Blogger) image

I haven't seen the final composite mural yet, but when I do, I'll probably post it here. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Progression of a Cover. Batman and Robin #8.

    Thumbnail sketch #1. 
Thumbnail sketch #
The concept of Batman (Bruce) rescuing Robin (Damian) from a sinking, burning ship was symbolic as well as representational of the story. Both revolved primarily around the drama of a fathers struggle to protect and save his son.

In the first thumbnail sketch, The characters were in a burning doorway, but I felt this wasn't dramatic enough. I really wanted to have the black water rising up and Bruce fighting through it.

Final Pencils Batman and Robin #8
My original intentions were to render the final image with Batman wearing his cowl. As I moved on though, it became more apparent that there was more emotion to be mined from this image by showing Bruce's face.

 Original inks (Mick Gray)
Retouched inks for Newstand
In the end DC felt that it would be best to have Batman more recognizable for the display on the newsstands and asked that I do a patch to put the cowl back on. Even with their different emphasis, I was very happy with how both versions turned out.