comic book

Creating A Few Panels

The next three issues of THE FEW are officially underway. Here’s a snapshot of how I create a single panel of art for a page in the comic.

I take the written script, “massage” the text to make it work in a picture format, create a really simple rough of the entire story and send it to the editor for approval. When I receive the go ahead, I refine the art, put it on a light table, do a tight pencil drawing, scan that into the computer an add color with Photoshop.

All I need to do now is repeat this process about three hundred times and the next three comics will be ready to send to the printer.

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LITTLE ZEKE GROWS UP…FAST

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.

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Suiting Up THE FEW

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.

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Top Secret New Project!

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.

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Comic Panel Process

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.

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Jonah… Man On The Run

About a month ago, I was asked to help out with the upcoming sermon series at my church. The next thing you know, I’m knee deep in creating a mini Jonah comic book… which you can have for free if you happen to find yourself in Fort Wayne, Indiana on a Sunday morning at The Pointe Church. My main character seemed to morph into Wolverine with a set of pork chop sideburns and he somehow ended up on a crab boat in the Bering Sea so… all in all… an extremely accurate portrayal of the Biblical story by me… especially that crab boat part!!

Derek Taylor, (the church design guy) directed this project, gave me a layout to follow and very clear art direction such as… “ugly vomit scene, the grosser the better” …YES!!

Derek then took the assorted art assets and put together this really great promotional trailer.

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