Friday, October 28, 2011

MOTHer Process Pics - Part 2

New Chickens page up today ~ I've added a link to it below 'Yup I'm the comic artists..'... easier to find that way.

...okay boys and girls, where were we?

Oh yeah, .... here.. this weird vintage chick with the eyes that don't match..

Then remember this? I added a big messy glob..

.. of acrylic paint to her hair..

so now let's see about how i'm gonna work it into the rest of it.

i'm kinda feeling my way here.. looking for some texture middle ground between the pasted in pages and the brown paper itself.

The stipple brush helped. and i'm trying to stay with sepia or orange/ocher area ... color wise.

This one above is a little dark, but you get the idea.. Orange to he rescue..

drip some concentrated drops down vertically

Turn the page this way and that, guiding (hopefully) where it drips next..

Slowly... starting to come together a little more.  Maybe add some more black to the edges like i did in the corner there, above?

Yeah, darker seems to be working..

I can't believe i'm saying this, given how garish some of my work is, but this seems a little gaudy looking. Getting a little busy... all over the place with color?

The eye does't know where to find a soft landing does it?

Okay, this may be a great idea... or it'll totally ruin it. But i need to focus attention somehow in such a busy chaotic mess don't i?

Maybe i went too dark here?

Probably, but too late to change it now.  I mean... i *could* work back into it with lighter color.. but the paper's starting to dry and buckle now.. (thats what i get for asking to much of sketchbook paper, eh?)

Oh yeah... now i remember. i was gonna add some random writing to it.. of consciousness stuff.. from the play itself..

True, i do risk making it look even more busy...

but i think.. if i place the text *between* each strip of paper..

...maybe it will pull it all together? more or less?????

gee.. not really sure on this one.  At least it looks better than when i started, eh?  I can't look at it anymore, it's too much of a brain freeze for me..

Meanwhile, i'll let it set it aside to dry... while i think about it. Art always seems different the next time you look at it with fresh eyes.

so there ya go.




Have a cool weekend!

Nemesis Covers & Sketchbook stuff

Before I could get any regular work with the big two, I landed a cover gig on some Fleetway reprints of  a comic called Nemesis.

Above are some lighting doodles i did on the back of the cover.. to dope out how to ink the arm shadows...

It the time I was really proud of these... as I'd never pulled anything of like this yet. However... here's how the colored covers looked ..

I'm not trying to rag the colorists, (no idea who it was), but... ahh... I was a *little disappointed*?

So much that I'd put into them... like all these alien faces... had gotten totally lost once colored.  That would happens over and over in comics.

Below some of the rough layouts for this cover... notice i was big in blue pencil back then.. I had fun dreaming up alien heads on a wall like deer or elk heads. the little dot on at the bottom was my favorite.

So these original covers.. gives you a second chance to be seen fresh.. notice i threw in one of my 1800s gals too... no one seemed to care.

Looking back, it's glaringly obvious i wanted to show off my inking skills and these suckers.  Along with the Epicurus and the Mavel Presents covers, the Nemesis covers were me at my most 'anal', brush stroke and detail wise.

Even though no one noticed them.. when i look at the originals, i'm still kinda proud of them, for what they are.

Weirdly enough, during this same time I was doing the opposite of this... doing things like this little brush one here.

My cousin Dave expressed how surprised he was i did this, and that it looked 'nothing like me' at the time, it seemed so full of energy and unlabored. I always kept this 'Kata' drawing and this a change in my thinking to try something like this..

I also plunged into watercolor too... but my palate was pretty saturated and crude.

I was trying for something ... ELSE... something different than the over-rendered hyper detailed covers... but didn't know how to get there.  Yes, i liked those too, but it's like i had to sustain some other part of me.

I found some old sketchbooks from around then and noticed i was starting to doodle bonsai trees even back then.. but still couldn't negotiate the fun energetic (but crude) sharpie notebook sketches with logo like super detailed covers..

also was dabbling with soft lines like this watercolor - this was exciting to me, but i didn't see any comics that looked like this, (this was before the whole painted graphic novels in the 80s and 90s flourished)

Below i tried this too in these story i did with an is in it... almost every panel done with a different style..

It wouldn't be till years later I'd find a way to navigate between all these styles somehow into a cohesive whole, and i'm happy that i still struggle with it. In a good way.

okay, back to finishing up that MOTHer drawing i started.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MOTHer: The Play & Process Art ~ Part 1

MOTHer - a play the words 'mother' and 'moth' ~ is something I've mentioned in passing before briefly. It'll be a cross between a play and a musical. It has a few songs, but it's mostly a weird little stage play.

Some producers are already are interested do a modest budgeted version in the Bay area... and i think we could raise any remaining money on kickstart or something if needed.

For now, it's just a series of script and sketchbook pages... making a mess, littering  my studio floor.

My goal was for it NOT to come out as a comic. Only as a book full of sketchbook pages, paintings and the printed stage play notes,  probably later next year.  Or when ever it gets finished.

But here's the idea, in brief:

An insomniac female illustrator, and mother lives in the late 1800s and works in her art studio, atop a art nouveau looking lighthouse.

Her life cycle starts each night, as she sleeps all day. Each dusk she has a half a dozen friends-assistants-helpers in the lighthouse that over see her clothes sowed and bought by the city folk below.

But the twist is: she doesn't just designs and make clothes: her body literally morphs into whatever decade she's dreamed up. Thus she's 1900s mom, then next night she becomes a 1920s mother, a 1930s.. and so on. Her body literally changes into, say,  a 1940s style dress with the big shoulder pads, for example.

The idea, (weird as it sounds) is an exploration of how different periods of history and fashion not just affected women, but inhabited and transformed them. Each evening after MOTHer sheds her skin from the (1950s for example), (or clothing) for the decade...

Each decades Mother forms a moth like cocoon at dusk, then transforms hatches into her own daughter, a NEW  mother for the next generation, (in this case, the 1950s). Then the daughter leaves her mother each morning, which always is a huge surprise to Mother, even though she knows from precious Moth-Memmory Generations 'this is what daughters do'. Find passion and adventure outside of the nest.

Her daughter (during each time period) is off to sea as a pirate, or in a civil war, or various other worldly adventures.. This slightly echos Puccini's Madam Butterfly and Henry David Hwang's M. Butterfly, but if you haven't seen either, it doesn't matter. Thus the image of the Cio-Cio san (Madamn Butterfly) awaiting her lovers' return by boat, in my MOTHer play ... becomes a heart broken Mother awaiting her daughter's return.

Why a moth? No idea. It just felt right. There's many moth references in Bimbo too... also in Carlos Castanedas work. There's also tons of magical and mythological stuff about moths nocturnal flights on delicate powered wings. Markings and Pupa they hatch from. Moths (in my mind anyhoo..) ties all these wildly different fragments together.. the lighthouse is where she's drawn too, for example.

So for now, here's a few rough sketches. Also i wanted to take a single page I've painted already, and show how i tried to worked it into the MOTHer sketchbook itself.

above, I start by ripping it between her nose and lips...

careful now...

now one more rip... one between the two women's faces i think..

..but first lemme add some contact paper to glue the back of the watercolor paper.

..burnish it down so it sticks on there.

Peal it up... this stuff is pretty sticky, but an gummy eraser will get rid of the sticky bits.

Okay... here's my three pieces. burnished down pretty snug.

Pretty sterile looking right now, isn't it?

At this point it'd be easy to lose confidence in the whole thing - i thought about ripping it up here, but decided to push forward and see if some added color won't help..

Yup, these guys again. I may be relying on them too much, but like everyone said in the comments, it's not the tool itself, just the freedom it creates when you use it, eh?

Brown pads help a little, but we're not out of the woods yet..

Let's try some orange now...

and a quick montage of acrylics laid down in a hurry too...

Okay, this weekend i'll finish it up. Don't worry, it may not be as strong as the woman in stripes above, but it'll look a LOT better than t does now...

Weird how all this technical art crap is carried out... all because of a bizarre little abstract idea that starts in our heads. The first idea for MOTHer was a Cronenberg type of little short film.

But i realized i wanted such a surreal story to have some heart and be 'metaphor focused'.. and not just a excuse for visual excess.

I wanted it about characters you care about, not cool freaky visuals alone.

As absurd as it is, doing on the stage, made me make it realer ... on a personal level.

Hey. Even if this sucker never gets made,  or IS made and  is a total flop (which most plays are) - i'll still consider it a small weird-ass personal victory to see it on staged in the bay area..

and maybe film it in high def video, so everyone who ISN'T there in person that that night... can check it out. Maybe post it on a blog or something?

The cool thing is, no one goes into into either Theater or Comics get rich.

 Just because we're foolish (or lucky enough?)...

to love the process of creation itself, eh?