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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
Two comics in the series are done. One left to complete before May deadlines…
Hey Dennis, does your new comic book have flying monkeys in it?
No, but it does have flying motorcycles and laser beam stun bolts!
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.
Somewhere in a distant dystopian future, unsettling events are beginning to occur.
Coming next summer, a new comic book series.