Wednesday, September 19, 2007


More cover tweaking for punchiness. I'll try to stop before paunchiness.


I think, compositionally, the coloring on this cover is closer to what I had intended. The magenta is a lot more pronounced in the printed version, making everything look much richer.


Unless I change my mind, this should be the last page for issue #9:

Monday, September 17, 2007


So, another weekend completely without internet. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

Skipping several stages, here's the current incarnation of the cover, playing more with a monochromatic pallette.

Unrelated: Bunny Colvin as a Panamanian crime lord running a prison abandoned by the government? AWESOME.

Friday, September 14, 2007


The first stage in the color process. Just getting the major fields on there. This way, I can just erase the non-relevant areas instead of selecting every nook and cranny for fills.

Left out of the palette are the blue, green, brown, white and whitey fleshtone, which I'll save for the figures.

I am liking the way everything blocked out though.

The green looks crazy on the screen, but it doesn't print anything like that.


So, Marcos suggested that the image posted in this post would make for a good cover. Timing is everything, though, and I had just finished inking the image I planned to use for the cover when I read his comment. Oops.

Here's the inked cover with the new logo:

As you can see, I decided to go with a much more exciting image...

So, a couple things of note. First of all, this is a photoreferenced background. Back when I was working on EMAW #8, I had gone out around my neighborhood and taken some pictures and this was one that I don't think I used. Then I blew it up and cropped the left out of it. That's one of the reasons the perspective is a bit wonky.

The other reason was that I totally free-handed her all the way (well, except for the border and the front-most railing — I used toys for those). I figured that with a solid base in the photo and no real variation in line-weight, I could get away with it. Once again, I have to damn Marcos for putting both those thoughts in my head (for the record, he told me he was doing something without line weight/shadows and that he envied people like Al Williamson and the Hernandez brothers for their ability to free-hand straighness).

But the lack of line-weight is something I probably should've anticipated anyway, because there's almost no line variation on the cover for #8. I just stripped even more out of it one time. The reasons are two-fold. 1. I want as much room for color as posible. 2. I want Stanley to really pop with the only black in the image.

Of course, I have no idea how to color this. I want to keep the same limited palette I used on the last issue, but there's a lot more going on here. Oh well, I still have a month before SPX, the new deadline!

Anything else? The original is HUGE. 13 x 11 on two sheets of paper. So, it's a bit narrower and a bit taller than a two-page spread. That's another reason I felt comfortable free-handing. I figured some of the irregularities would be hidden at a much smaller size.

The hardest part was actually figuring out the figures (touché!). They were much larger on my first go-around, and it took some work to get them so that the railing was at hand-level instead of shin-level. I guess those stairs are REALLY wide.

Oh, and everything was pencilled very loose. The worst thing I see with people that use and abuse photoref is that stiff, lifeless, overly rendered, detail-obsessive garbage. Noe of that here! I light-tabled the photos in less than an hour (maybe even a half hour), just dashing off the lines I wanted. Then I did the figures very loose (twice to avoid a Valley of the Giants look). And then I did the free-hand with speed. Once you take the ruler out of the equation, everything goes a LOT faster.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I've been following all the logo studies over at Todd Klein's blog, which has been pretty fascinating. It's also been timely, because I've been thinking about creating a new logo for issue 9. As happy as I am about the logo idea for issue 8, I decided that it treats all the information a little too evenly. Actually, I guess it really emphasizes the CHAPTERS 1-4 over everything else, buries the EARTH MINDS ARE WEAK in favor of KAIJU JUGORUMA (itself more diminished than I'd like).

Here's the new version:

I decided to retain the black band-vs.-white band motif, but decided to put everything together instead of letting it run all over the border. The KAIJU JUGORUMA was hand-drawn with a blue fine point sharpie (my fattest marker). I actually hand-drew the parts that are now fonts, but I decided that it made everything look a little too rough. Maybe now it looks a little too fonty, I don't know.

It's also going to make the art on the page a little more vertical, but I think the cover image will work well in that ratio (6.5" x 5").

For now, it is my sharpest of logos.

Okay, just the last page to do, one panel redo and the cover left to go. WHOO-HOO!


As I was inking this page, I wodered, "Does Ted McKeever ever think back on the days when Mike Mignola was doing backup stories for him?" What a strange thought.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Just a quickly throw-together jpeg of that double-page spread all inked:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Well, it's been almost two weeks since I last posted. I was losing internet connection and phone connections right about that time, and then I lost them both completely. I finally got it fixed, and then the intermittent outtages started again.

I think, now, it's back for good. Or, until it goes out again.

So, I've neglected this site, went completely lax on How Did This Happen? and remained ignorant of my emails. Also, I was even more unreachable than usual by phone.

But, I kept working. And now I'm closing in on the end of EMAW #9. I almost can't believe it.

Here's the two-page spread I just finished pencilling (click for hugens):

Pages are starting to really shape up now. And I'm getting closer and closer to actually being good at this.

I am going to continue to neglect How Did This Happen?, as I need to finally finish this damn book up. But I do know what panel is next, and I plan to make it extra-super special to make up for the delay. I know, I'm breaking my own rules, but screw the man!!!


Hopefully, once the book is all ready, I'll be finally getting around to talking about some of the books I've been reading: some MoCCA finds, some Jack Kirby's 4th World (it gets crazier!), the end of Death Note (read this, for a basic idea of what I thought too), the recent Betos, etc.

And then it's SPX in a MONTH and I should be well into the writing for issue 10, if not out-and-out drawing it.
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