Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Power of Shazam#9 from sketch to finish

Started with this, which was a sketch for DC's promo book for that year, and meant ultimately for an issue of the Power of Shazam. The story in the comic at this point had introduced Mary Marvel and her nemesis Madame Libertine, as well as Captain Marvel Jr and Captain Nazi, so the idea was that this would be a big fight, with the demon Blaze behind the scenes, pulling the strings.

The issue this was slotted for turned out to be Power of Shazam#9, and here I drew a full sized prelim on tracing paper, fairly tightly rendered. This was then traced using a lightbox, onto 2-ply kidd finish Strathmore art paper, in pencil.

Ebay link for prelim here

The color art was done using washes of Dr Martin's watercolor dyes, a very vibrant and transparent medium. Then I often used colored Prismacolor pencils to add extra shading, and also some black ink to punch up the whole thing. These paintings were photographed as film transparencies, and then digitized for print, because we found that digital scanners tended to lose subtleties due to the scanner lights basically bouncing through the color and reflecting back the white of the paper too much. Opaque medium such as gouache or acrylic seem to scan truer, but it generally took me too long painting that way. DC solved the problem, so I continued with the transparent watercolors. What is seen below is the printed comic cover, with the logo and copy in place.

Power of Shazam, and all related characters are trademark and copyright 2013 by DC Entertainment, and used for educational purposes. No further reproduction of these images is allowed or authorized by the rights holder.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Adventures of Superman#441: a tale of two covers

Hey all, I thought I'd post something from the archives. 
This first image is an attempt at a cover to Adventures of Superman#441, and was based on a rough sketch by editor Mike Carlin. I don't seem to have that sketch here, so feel free to imagine Mike's cartoon style rendering a similar layout!
 I fought this one, because Mike's idea conveyed a kind of slapstick humor that I just couldn't pull off to my satisfaction. This is technically fine, and would have been accepted, but I was just not feeling it, so I went back to the drawing table.

 This wound up as the finished cover, and I think it ultimately fits in better, in tone, with what we were selling with the Superman relaunch. Basically we wanted a Superman who could sweat, not effortlessly breeze through very adventure. The interior story, though, is pretty slap-stick in tone. By the time you cracked the comic open, you had already bought it, and enjoyed a light-hearted Myxyzptlk story.
If you are interested in either of these originals, email an offer to ordwayweb@gmail.com
I've had these since 1988, so no lowball offers, okay?

Superman and all related characters are trademark and copyright 2013 by DC Entertainment, and used here for educational purposes only.