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.
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.
I am a diligent Sunday sermon note taker and I keep them carefully archived in the back seat floorboard of my car… right next to my emergency cans of Kroger butter toffee peanuts.
My publisher has given me permission to share a few things from the comic book series I’m working on. I typically start with a really rough page layout and then create an equally rough sketch for each individual panel. I work my drawing out with a pencil… uhm… for those of you who may not be acquainted with a pencil, it is a piece of wood with graphite magically trapped inside it. You can hold a pencil in your hand and smear gray marks on paper with it. (I will explain what paper is in a future blog post.) I then scan a tight pencil drawing into my computer and do the color and finishing work with Photoshop.
I scribbled this fellow into my sketchbook last night while watching the news and then slopped about fifteen minutes of color on him for good measure… and, yes, I heard something to this effect quite often as a kid…
Quarto Publishing just released a new drawing book by Carlos Gomes Cabral and I was asked to make a “guest artist” appearance in it… and this is it.
In my fascinating blog post yesterday about ice skates, you might have noticed the picture of the little girl I had started drawing and some of you might have been really concerned about her lack of hair because I know how some of you are… 🙂 …so I just wanted to assure you that everything turned out alright, she got a snappy new hairdo and even ended up with a lunch buddy.
I just finished up a job that was chocked full of black and white illustration. I took one of the small spots, added some color to it, and here you can see my process from start to finish.
I think maybe the only thing cooler looking than a World War 2 Tank Helmet is a vintage leather aviator cap. I was recently asked to make a guest appearance in a fellow artist’s “how to” drawing book and was asked to contribute a couple of tips and a few pictures for it. Given total freedom to create whatever I wanted, this character magically appeared beneath my pencil and became my “how to” submission…
…and oddly enough, he coincidentally seems to be wearing a vintage leather aviator cap.
I almost always start figuring my pictures out with a blue erasable pencil, specifically the Prismacolor Col-Erase 20044. I cannot explain why, but starting with the blue pencil somehow magically makes drawing much easier… for me anyway.
In a desperate attempt to catch up to present times, I have combined my 2013 and 2014 sketchbooks into one volume. These digital sketchbooks can be viewed on most modern devices using the free Kindle App. The Dennis Jones 2013-14 Digital Sketchbook is now available Here On Amazon.
The quest to get my older sketchbooks online continues… the 2012 Dennis Jones SketchBook is now available Here On Amazon.
My 2011 Kindle Sketchbook is now loaded up and available on Amazon. As I looked back through these pictures, I was reminded that I was really busy that year working on three different lines of curriculum. At night to wind down, I was reading epic fantasy and playing Skyrim on the Xbox… and it seems a lot of those themes crept into my sketchbook that year. The 2011 Dennis Jones Sketchbook has about 60 pages of pencil drawings as well as full color illustrations that resulted from many of those sketches. It is available now Here On Amazon.
Over the past several years, I have been exploring options on how best to provide digital content. There are so many different digital readers on the market today and they each require their files to be built in different formats with miles of rules and regulations attached to each one. Because I have not wanted to build the same product over and over again to fit every different device in existence, I have hesitated in moving forward into this arena. I have finally decided to focus in on Amazon’s Kindle Reader, and this is the reason why… the Kindle App seems to cross the most barriers and can be installed and used on almost any device.
With that decision made, time for the hard part… me trying to learn the ins and outs of creating a digital book for Kindle. Having to start somewhere, I took my 2010 Sketchbook and created the DENNIS JONES SKETCHBOOK 2010 with it. It has over fifty pages of pencil drawings and full color illustrations.
Now I have a favor to ask… could a few of you with digital readers beta test this for me? If I could give it to you for free, I would, but Amazon doesn’t work that way and the lowest price I can sell it for is $1.99… but hey, $1.99 is still pretty cheap, right?! What I really need now is some feedback…
…does everything work properly? …is it formatted correctly? …are the pictures of high enough resolution? …thoughts in general about the product? …too long? too short? …what direction should I head in with digital products? I would really appreciate any kind of feedback you could give me here.
You can find the DENNIS JONES SKETCHBOOK 2010 HERE on Amazon. Thanks!