In the beginning… THE FEW existed only in words on paper. But those words had to be turned into a comic book, so Todd Sanders and I became the writer/artist team for the project. The green light was given for the first three books and we were off and running.
As I began looking through the paperwork, I noticed there was a sister (Audrey) and her little brother (Zeke) in the story. I scribbled together some character sketches and headed for a brainstorming session in Oklahoma City. When I showed the Audrey and Zeke sketch, Todd said “…that’s not the way I see Zeke. Zeke is a little brother BUT he’s a really large guy. I see him as some sort of protector for the group.”
So scrawny little brother Zeke turned into great BIG little brother Zeke… and he seems to be growing bigger in every issue.
Developing the character costumes for THE FEW COMIC BOOK SERIES was an interesting riddle to solve.
The Few takes place in a distant future, so the characters needed to have some sort of distinctive futuristic look. The tricky part was that a four part film based on this story (with real live actors) was going to run concurrent with the release of the comics. The film was not scripted yet because the film people needed the comic book story to work from and the comic book story was still being written.
With everything up in the air, I tried to design character costumes that the film people could recreate in some form or fashion for their actors. The outfits are based on everyday items you can find. An army surplus store could supply all the harnessed looking gear, hockey shoulder pads, tight fitting compression sport gear, fingerless bicycle gloves, carpenters tool belts… with a bit of modification all these items could be turned into FEW character clothing. The film decided to go in a more manageable direction and created a prequel film which eliminated the need to create elaborate futuristic sets and costumes. Smart.
So the good news is, it will be super easy for cosplay enthusiasts to create their very own FEW cosplay outfits using everyday items… and yes… Jeron does have Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls taped to his shoulders.
It was Saturday afternoon and I was wandering aimlessly through a fabric store waiting PATIENTLY for my wife to look at EVERY SINGLE DRESS PATTERN IN THE STORE and I stumbled onto (literally) a clearance bin with really cheap felt in it and the next thing I know it’s Sunday afternoon, Karen is sitting at her sewing machine making dresses and I’m sitting in an easy chair turning my bargain felt purchase into these little things.
I was working on a “LIZARD OF OZ” job and whenever there is high concept involved I have to do a LOT of fast, throwaway sketches to figure things out. Most of these quick ideas never see the light of day… but there was something about that little gecko in the ruby red slippers. Sadly, she did not make the final cut for the illustration, but she kept looking at me with those great big lizard eyes and I just could not toss her into the trash can with everyone else… so I gave her a coat of paint and deposited her right outside of Emerald City.
I recorded my digital painting process and you can see it in the video below.
Thanks again to my youngest son for letting me use his original music for this video… even though he was not aware that he was letting me use his original music for this video. And if you would be ever so kind Pete, could you please send me some more of your original music so I can use it without your permission in future videos?
While the general public is not able (at this time) to get the new comic books, rumor has it there are copies floating about… but you kinda have to drive to Falls Creek, Oklahoma to acquire one.
Summer has arrived and I’ve somehow been moved out of my nice, air conditioned studio and into the bug infested, hot outdoors to battle carpenter bees, mow the yard, trim the trees, haul mulch around, dig holes in the ground, plant stuff, seal the deck, paint the front porch, refinish rocking chairs…
…so far, not exactly the summertime of fun and leisure that I had envisioned during the winter.
I just met with a talented group of creatives in their Arkansas studios and I’m excited to announce that we’ve come up with a brand new comic book project! It’s top secret, but I’ve been given permission to share some of the notes from our meeting. We have a superhero named Charlie, a sidekick robot named 10-Boy, a bad guy named the Globber and two squirrels named Squeak and Squawk. The squirrels are indecisive and don’t know which team to root for. They tell me the roads of Arkansas are paved with double-minded squirrels. For some reason the junior executive at the meeting nicknamed me Uncle Dentist. I’m thinking that was an effort on his part to make me feel at home and keep the brainstorming session loose and creative.
The NBA Finals have arrived and its time for me to start paying attention to basketball again. Are the Timberwolves still in it?
Press sheets are running and sherpas are being examined. Todd and I are doing advanced publicity and within a month actual comic books should be in our hands!
Please tell me it’s almost time for college football to start.
I threw a little color onto a referee that was in my sketchbook.
I received an email this morning from Doug down in South Africa. He asked if I could give him a lesson on how to construct “Dennis Jones” hands. That reminded me of a job I did a few years ago. I was designing characters to be animated and I whipped out this quick style guide for the guys in California. This is pretty much everything that goes into my limited thought process when it comes to creating hands.
A look behind the curtain as Todd and I put a comic book together.
Dennis: Hey Todd, how ’bout something like this for the cover on the first comic. Todd: Looks good, let’s do it.
(a couple of days later)
Dennis: Ok Todd, the covers are done. Todd: Cool… I thought we decided to wrap the artwork around and onto the back of the comic? Dennis: AARRGGHHHHH!
(a couple of days later)
Dennis: You’re right. I’ll get that fixed…
Almost to the finish line with the first three…