Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Nola spread, and Dysfunctional Moms & Daughter stuff!

WOW!!! - we made it to 400 followers. Not sure what the heck that means, but it looks cool up along the side, eh? YOU guys did this, so much THANKS to all of you for still checking this sucker out! celebrate here's a splash page from the Nola graphic novel (still in progress) -

Why is the pic above sideways? because if i posed it to the biggest size,  it'd partly be obscured behind the column on the left and we'd not see the mom's face.  Course i could have reversed the pic so mom's face is visible on the left, but then the 'mommy' logo would be backwards. See the nasty complications of digital trickery?

Pssst ~ Hey GALS ( or guys too ) - this post has some 'Four Phases of Mom': which means i talk a little about dysfunctional moms & daughters for a future Nola storyline, so it's all crammed down there in the middle of this post somewhere.

okay... more crap awaits.  Here's another panel for the Nola book. I'm gonna do it twice up, but i didn't have a piece of bristol wide enough, so i taped a few inches on either side..

It'll be a long skinny panel showing Nola's on the living room floor and dad in the upper left corner.

The first piece of paper i drew it on got so ragged from all the erasing that i traced it onto this bristol, which should hold watercolor much better. Hopefully the 'line' where the two pieces of bristol butt up won't show up once it's printed.

This will be fun to paint, SOMEDAY, but not today.. for now it awaits in the corner like all the rest of scraps lying around the studio.

so, what else?  Finishing the arm fox holes guys...

Here's a couple of half inked panels from the the DC 5 pager. Well, my part is 5 pages, other artists are drawing the rest of the book.

 It's very strange to be plunged into a story where you know none of the characters.  Sorta like walking into a movie in the middle, no clue what's happening. Thankfully the editor had tons of reference.  I warned him my style will just stick out like a sore thumb, but he wanted me anyways.  But it's sorta cool. 

okay, between inking those, i'll take a small break and finish this.. 

i penciled it a few weeks back... totally forgot about it, but it's a nice way to show Nola and Dana's mom in four distinct stages of her life.  

Here's something interesting, i erased the dana figure on the end, because this pages goes in Nola's book, so the only evidence i even drew Dana on this page is thee two photos on the blog. 

okay, i guess it's not all that interesting, but whatever.. i gotta talk about something between the pics, eh? here's i've inking the '60's Mom's' mini skirt. 

Now I'm jumping to 'Earth mother' mom's flowing sun dress. Yeah, that big-add think brush stroke is brush, i just added a colored pencil to soften the edge a little. 

okay, here all the warts as exposed, this is not super detailed on her dress, and since the book will be printed over-sized, it won't shrink down much, so why am i being so sloppy here? 

because years of boo boos have taught me the sorry of kill one's self adding TONS of delicate ornate fine bush or pen work, only to foolishly dumping a layer of color wash over it and watch all that detail  dissolve or get muddied away.  

Any detail i do add will be towards the end. Amazing how crude artwork looks up close, isn't it? 

It's a wonder how much less crappy it looks when your nose isn't inches from the paper. So, Earth mother mom's dress is in pretty good shape. 

now we'll hop over to start in on Dana and the 60's Mom.  Note the total contrast, i love how even the way Nola is painted looks so grungy, hairy eye brows, total bad ass daughter differentiating herself from the slick antiseptic looking 60's mom she grew up under the thumb of.  

Now, that's plot, but it's funny how the characters act, effects not only their body language or fashion sense, but even how the artists rendered them. 

Or maybe that's just me? i'm probably over-thinking it waaay to much.  like everything else i do. 

you might have noticed i added some white 'sheen' to the floral prints on mom's mini skirt, just to make it pop. Acrylic white really separates nicely against that recyclable brown paper. 

So there's our trio so far. First came '60's Mom' in her 30s, then later Nola's mom vision of femininity matured into 'Earth-mother' mom in her 40s. 

Actually i will flip this image horizontally, so that the mom's go from younger to older, left to right. As usual my tendency is to draw things right to left,  even though in my mind i'm thinking of them left to right. 

okay... so while i've been yammering on about the four cycles of mom, who's this red chick i'm coloring? That's the next phase, back to college and professional mom in her 40s. Older women migrating back to college like ducks to a pond. Older chicks dig 'knowing stuff' i guess.  : )  Maybe they are able to absorb more of it more the second time around?

Could be wrong. Maybe it's just THIS mom.. the imaginary one in my head. This is mom at the hight of her worldly powers.. she has it all, money, fab hone, killer career, sex appeal, 

yet something is still missing. 

Bunny slippers and a macrame sun hat... Senior Mom, the autumn years. 60 Mom is sick of competing in the rat race. Her world isn't shrinking, she's just more.. selective where she puts her time and energy. 

She's hopefully older and wiser, but knowing this family, probably not. Note Nola has a pair of scissors with blood on them. They broke in two when mom threw them into a wall during a fight with grandma. Nola names the half pair of scissors called 'Sizzy'.  She pasted a dolls eye in the middle of it. Sizzy talks to her and represents her violent side.  

okay, ENOUGH Nola crap for today.. these zombies just ain't gonna ink themselves, are they?  They been very patience so far during all this dysfunctional mother daughter nonsense. 

and what about Dana? Here i've shamelessly traced Dana's rough shape onto another piece of paper.  now normally tracing is kinda taboo as you recreate the same mistakes (MY mistakes) my last drawing had.  

So why did i bother to trace my flawed imperfect drawing?  Not because i'm vain or think it's worth repeating. But because i want it to have almost the EXACT same proportions, 

so our focus isn't the different proportions or posture of the two figures, but hopefully there will be a difference  in loser more free style in this stripped down version.  I'm already liking this one better... 

Or maybe not?  maybe i'll freeze up all over again. let's find out when i finish it up on friday morning.  


Ty M said...

Hey Sam,

Love all of your work and am so excited about the new work and blog! Just read and loved the Hero Initiative piece you did.

I have one of, if not the biggest, collection of rare The Maxx stuff. You think it'd be cheesy to get a tattoo? Any piece/character you are especially proud of? I've always loved this cover:

Sam_Kieth said...

Thanks Ty! no, a tattoo isn't cheesy! I always dig it when fans do that.

I guess you'll get one of the Maxx figure? The background on that cover might be a little busy for a tat, but your call.

cody said...

Love the first pict girl expression, the group picture is great the patterns on the clothes are awesome the shadow from the skirt on the girls legs really make it pop love the broken scissor shank nola holding

Sam Kieth said...

Yeah Cody, the clothing patterns were really the excuse to do all of that... funny about the scissors like a 'shank', never thought of that before, but it IS sorta prison weapon.

Okay, back to the boards. thanks for the feedback guys!

- sam

Mas said...

Have you ever wanted to do (or thought about doing) a fully painted/mixed media book, a la Sienkiewicz (Stray Toasters), Mack, or McKean? I know you do panels/full pages in Maxx, MIB, Batman, etc, but I'd love (love,love,love,love,LOVE) to see a comic book with just your paints in it (no computer colorist trying to match your coloring style just pure you).

Sam Kieth said...

Actually I've been thinking the SAME thing, these Nola and Dana books will be that, nice oversized fully painted mixed media books, in the stray toasters tradition.

Only thing is they take ... HELLA *time* to finish. Pure labor of love on my part, but it's years between volumes. Hopefully they'll look so cool, it'll be WORTH the wait?

Originally, I was going to get other artists to draw the trout books that I'd write, but i think everyone prefers me doing it a fully painted thing myself. Can't really do that on batman, but i can on my OWN stuff. That's why i keep pushing it on you guys...

This blog gives me a chance to run it all the painted past you guys in advance too, so i know what works and what does... another plus!

Don't worry man, i've been thinking the exact SAME thing - fully painted-mixed media- nice coffee table sized book to throw on a book shelf?

I'm getting there.. slowly but surely. : )

- Sam

Mas said...

Cool!!! When they (Dana, Nola) comes out, I'm there! I'm glad I found your blog. I didn't know you've done this much painting, let alone illustrations not restricted to comics.

"Don't worry man, i've been thinking the exact SAME thing - fully painted-mixed media- nice coffee table sized book to throw on a book shelf?

I'm getting there.. slowly but surely. : ) "

Well, hey, at least we get glimpses of what's to come. Also has this journey feel to it, like we're along for the ride together.
Unrushed/notonna deadline pure doesn't get much better than that.

Melissa said...

Hello Mr. Kieth, I realize this is YOUR blog and I don't mean to be a pain in the butt, however I have something I would like to share with you. I just finished a latex Maxx mask :) I wanted you to see it, you have been one of my favorites since I was little. If I could either get an e-mail or permission from you to post the link here I would be greatful.


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