Page 1

No. 1 Summer 2006

$6.95

P R E S E N T S

Celebrating the ART of Creating Comics!

RNE Y B N

JOH

OPÉZ ÍA-L

GARC

A

ALA

NOWLAN

Featuring

BRUCE TIMM! Batgirl, Elasti-Girl, Superman, Batman, Starfire, Orion TM & ©2006 DC Comics. Jonni Future, Jack B. Quick TM & ©2006 America’s Best Comics, LLC.

N

G

WALT

IMON ER S SO

KEVIN

Z

GE PÉRE R O E

MS

UR ADA H T R

N DAVIS


Volume 1, Number 1 July 2006

Celebrating the ART of Creating Comics! EDITOR

Bob McLeod PUBLISHER

John Morrow DESIGNER

Michael Kronenberg PROOFREADERS John Morrow and Eric Nolen-Weathington COVER ARTIST

Bruce Timm COVER COLORIST

Bruce Timm SPECIAL THANKS

Alan Davis George Pérez Bruce Timm Kevin Nowlan José Luis García-López Arthur Adams John Byrne Walter Simonson Eric Nolen-Weathington David Hamilton Ken Steacy Michael Eury

FEATURED ARTISTS 3 20

Alan Davis

30

Arthur Adams

40

Walter Simonson

52

John Byrne

80

George Pérez

88

José Luis García-López

ROUGH STUFF INTERVIEW 62

Kevin Nowlan

ROUGH STUFF FEATURE 16

Tight Pencils: The Answer or The Problem? Bob McLeod

ROUGH STUFF DEPARTMENTS 2

ROUGH STUFF™ is published quarterly by TwoMorrows Publishing, 10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614. Bob McLeod, Editor. John Morrow, Publisher. Editorial Office: ROUGH STUFF, c/o Bob McLeod, Editor, P.O. Box 63, Emmaus, PA 18049, e-mail: mcleod.bob@gmail.com. Four-issue subscriptions: $24 Standard US, $36 First Class US, $44 Canada, $48 Surface International, $64 Airmail International. Please send subscription orders and funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial office. Central cover art by Bruce Timm. Batgirl, Mark Moonrider, Superman, Batman, Starfire, Orion TM & ©2006 DC Comics. Jonni Future, Jack B. QuickTM & ©2006 America’s Best Comics, LLC. All Rights Reserved. All characters are © their respective companies. All material © their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter © 2006 Bob McLeod and TwoMorrows Publishing. ROUGH STUFF is a TM of TwoMorrows Publishing. Printed in Canada. FIRST PRINTING.

Bruce Timm

Scribblings From The Editor Bob McLeod

79

Pre-Pro A look at the art of the pros, before they were pros.

98

Cover Stories Walter Simonson and Kevin Nowlan reveal the process they go through when creating a cover.

102

Rough Critique Editor Bob McLeod critiques a would be artist’s sample page.

JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

1


D U R E F E A T

BRUCE TIMM

I S T A R T

to gs a lot of style in br m im T ce Bru uence . The Kirby infl es do e h er ev what nique he gives it a u is obvious, but ctions. s it in new dire n to the twist, and take gets right dow e h y, it ev br d design an ose With amazing e could draw th h ew kn e W g. cartoonin essence of good he can do! t look what else bu s, be ba xy cute se

BRUCE TIMM: These I remember well—my first batch of joker designs for the animated Batman. I was still trying to nail down an overall design look for the show, and these are too extreme and cartoony, didn’t really care for any of ‘em. Ultimately, I had Kevin Nowlan take a shot at him, and ended up basing the final design on one of his. Joker TM & ©2006 DC Comics

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BRUCE TIMM: I used to always make a point of sending drawings for the San Diego Comic-con program book, and this was intended for that purpose (one of the themes that year was “Flash Gordon’s suchand-such anniversary”)— but I didn’t like it enough to 4

ROUGH STUFF • JULY 2006

do a tighter clean-up.


BRUCE TIMM: One of many many self-rejected cover ideas for TwoMorrows’ Modern Masters book. It’s a decent enough pose, but I didn’t like it enough to pursue further.

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TIGHT PENCILS The Answer or the Problem?

I

By Bob McLeod n the 1990s, comic book pencil art made somewhat of a dramatic change that perhaps many fans are unaware of, and

that change has had some very serious repercussions. There have always been many different styles of penciling; everything from the bare bones openness of, for example, a Gil Kane Conan page to the densely rendered Conan pages of

Barry Smith’s “Red Nails.” Some pencilers have always been sketchy and rough, like Bill Sienkiewicz, and some very

clean, like Jack Kirby. But prior to the ’90s, even the tightest pencils usually gave the inker some room to interpret and

put in their own style. Many of today’s pencils are printed without even being inked, and many jobs that are inked are virtually traced (sorry, inkers, I know how grating the dreaded ‘T’ word is...). This is not because the inker is necessarily less skilled, because many inkers working today are extremely talented. But in many cases, the pencils are so “tight” there is nothing much left for the inker to do except trace.

HOBGOBLIN #3, PAGE 1 Looser pencils allow the inker to be spontaneous with linework and contribute more of his own style to the art, creating art that combines the best skills of both artists. Art by Ron Frenz.

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O

n a page of comic art, there

was, exactly, they assumed that the inkers were just fol-

are several things which need

lowing the pencils, and they started incorporating render-

to be done to make the art

ing details into their pencils which had previously been

convincing and complete. First,

primarily the domain of the inker. Suddenly, inkers are now

the panel shapes need to be

expected to copy each little dash and dot and scribble

designed, and arranged on the

effect in the pencils, rather than applying their own set of

page. Then, the figures and backgrounds within the pan-

rendering techniques. Each long, wavy curl of hair is now

els need to be drawn in a dramatic composition. Next,

drawn to perfection in the pencils, and the inker often has

details, blacks, and lighting are added; and lastly, a ren-

to get out his french curve to laboriously trace those long,

dering style is applied. Before computer coloring, the

sweeping lines, rather than create his own hair patterns

lighting and blacks and rendering had to be done in either

with quick, natural strokes.

the pencils or the inks, to keep the art from looking too

ALFREDO ALCALA

This causes many problems. Artistically, it’s much easier

flat. Today, with the gradated color tones possible, some

to do flashy rendering techniques with a crowquill point or a

styles leave all of that up to the colorist, and that can be

brush than a pencil. Very often, the finished art now looks

fine... or not.

overly controlled and stilted. There’s no longer much art that

Before, a job could be weakened or strengthened by

looks “loose” and spontaneous. In the past, there were sev-

This was a simple outline in Buscema’s pencil breakdown. All the linework was done in the inking by Alcala.

the quality of the inking and coloring. Today, because the pencils are so tight, the inking seems to be much less relevant, and jobs depend much more on the ability of the colorist. Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, except that as pencilers are adapting to this new situation, the overall look of the art has changed in a way that I personally feel is not at all a move in the right direction. The inker’s job on many current books has radically changed from a dramatic artistic collaboration to simply covering pencils with skillfully clean ink lines. Breaking the art chores up among several people has always been a tricky proposition. Due to the monthly deadline, it’s just not possible for one person to pencil, ink, and color a 22-page comic. So the system of having a different artist handle each of these steps began. But inkers and colorists have their own styles and opinions, and the art can mutate quite a bit after it leaves the penciler’s hands. This can lead to wonderful collaborations like Kirby and Sinnott, Colan and Palmer, Miller and Janson, and Byrne and Austin, just to name a few. But it can also lead to disasters, like the inker erasing backgrounds, or making silhouettes out of detailed backgrounds, in order to meet the deadline. The colorist can put a dark purple over an area the inker spent an hour delicately rendering. As a result, some pencilers try to ink their own work, usually causing them to be unable to maintain a monthly schedule. Some inkers have tried to color their own work as well. But other pencilers decided the answer was to “bulletproof” their pencils, and started making their pencils tighter and tighter, so that in case they got an incompetent inker, all he would have to do is “trace” what was there. At the same time, a generation of pencilers grew up admiring the detailed rendering of the inkers of the ’70s and ’80s. Not really understanding what the inker’s job JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

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D U R E F E A T

AL AN DAVIS

I S T A R T

drawing cellent figure Alan Davis’s ex ays a ytelling are alw or st al su vi d an on, series he takes er ev at h W . re pleasu ality. new level of qu ojects for he raises to a om various pr fr s ge a im of t rtmen Here’s an asso easure. your viewing pl

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ALAN DAVIS: Braintrust cover rough: Braintrust was published in Italy by creator Stefano Sacco (Unicorn). The brief Stefano gave me was for a traditional “heroes leaping out at the reader” image which could be used as a cover and a limited edition poster. I drew the rough in pencil on a sheet of A4 photocopy paper.


ALAN DAVIS: Lenz design: Lenz was the ClanDestine’s first major opponent. I seem to recall that I scribbled the rough design down on a sheet of notepaper while on holiday somewhere and tightened it up slightly when Marvel UK began looking for material to pad out the ClanDestine

ALAN DAVIS

issue #0.

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21


ALAN DAVIS: Excalibur rough: This was drawn on a sheet of A3 photocopy paper to be lightboxed/traced onto Marvel paper stock. I had drawn a thumbnail (which no longer exists) with a completely different layout but when I enlarged that image I decide it looked too dynamic for the romantic intention of the scene—so I decided to go for something far simpler. Excalibur TM & ©2006 Marvel

ALAN DAVIS

Characters, Inc.

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D U R E F E A T

I S T A R T

S M A D A R U H T R A

like it was t always looks ar s’ m da A rt A s to fans draw. It appeal so much fun to simple mainly for that and pros alike great is forms have H k. incrediin th I , on reas d blacks, and an an g n ti h lig l u onderf comics are weight, with w But he knows il. ta de l u ef os terpurp ever fails to en ble amount of n e h d an y, it erating real rsatility. all about exagg his amazing ve of g in pl m sa l st a smal tain. Here’s ju

ARTHUR ADAMS: JLA Armageddon: I used to do fairly tight layouts at about 1⁄ 4 page size. I also used to get a lot more work done, didn’t I? Maybe I should reconsider my current working methods? Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter, TM & ©2006 DC Comics

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ARTHUR ADAMS JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

31


ARTHUR ADAMS: Smart Hulk: Well you know what they say about guys with big hands and big feet. They say they need big gloves and big shoes. Right? I think when Toybiz made these toys they actually did add the big gun (ripped off from a Dale Keown comic). However they did make it about 1⁄ 8 the size I’d intended. Oh well. Hulk TM & ©2006 Marvel Characters, Inc.

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D U R E F E A T

I S T A R T

N O S N O M I S R E T L WA

WALTER SIMONSON

dynambrought Kirby Walt Simonson d his vel on Thor an ics to a new le of the ries. He’s one many other se , and it t artists I know n ge lli te in t os m great in his art. With comes through comic nt energy, his da n u ab d an design a ting to see. Take ci ex s ay w al is art ! you don’ t agree look and see if

40

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WALTER SIMONSON: Back about 1986 when I was working for Marvel, the company commissioned me to do five pencil drawings to be given away as promotional prizes at an ABA convention in Washington, DC that year. This was one of the drawings I did. I think Marvel also commissioned five drawings from Moebius as well. Captain America TM & ©2006 Marvel Characters, Inc.


asked if I’d be interested in drawing some pages for a couple of issues that involved Kalibak. Todd wrote them, I penciled them, and

WALTER SIMONSON

WALTER SIMONSON: I’ve always loved Jack Kirby’s Fourth World characters. Todd Dezago was writing Impulse a few years ago and we got Scott Williams to ink them. Beautifully, I might add. Kalibak and Mister Miracle TM & ©2006 DC Comics

JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

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WALTER SIMONSON: My first issue of Orion and the first time I drew Orion and Kalibak meeting. I wanted power but I also wanted to show an equivalency of the characters as they are the two sons of Darkseid—hence the two equal-sized panel portraits in the center of the page. Kalibak and Orion TM & ©2006 DC

WALTER SIMONSON

Comics

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D U R E F E A T

JOHN BYRNE

I S T A R T

vitalized and re re lly ta to e n yr John B ise in perman franch Su e th d ze gi ener much aracters had so ch is H . 0s ’8 e th ll he was a ious, d you could te asm was infect si personality, an u th en is H . e fan himself X-Men, he mad real Superman l’s ve ar M h it w had done ture and just as he dard for all fu an st e th t se d own, an their littleSuperman his those pages in of e m so t si vi e re artists. Here w . seen pencil form

JOHN BYRNE: Action Comics #584, page 5: Moving to DC “full time” for the first time was a process of discovery. Finding out what the “language” was “over there.” One of the first things I learned was that every inker seemed to have a different way of interpreting breakdowns—which is what I consider this particular image to be. So, sometimes I got finished looking pages, sometimes pages that look like they belonged more properly in coloring books. Sure was fun drawing Superman, though!

Superman, TM & ©2006 DC Comics

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JOHN BYRNE: Superman #1, page 20: One of the greatest timesavers that occurred to me fairly early on in my career— fortunately!—was that not everything needs to be addressed in detail in the initial rough layouts. So, when I draw buildings collapsing or piles of rubble, I find it is so much more efficient to define the outline of the form and then simply start “scribbling”, letting the shapes and masses define themselves, rather than trying to “control” what should, after all, look like a random mess! Superman, TM &

JOHN BYRNE

©2006 DC Comics

JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

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JOHN BYRNE: Man of Steel #3, page 5: When I was about 11 years old, my parents bought me a Jon Gnagy LearnTo Draw kit, based on the popular TV show of the time. Sitting in the back seat of my Dad’s old Plymouth, reading through the “manual” while my parents continued their shopping, I came to the chapter on perspective and vanishing points. Looking out the window of the car, I actually saw these things, consciously, for the first time. It was almost a religious experience. I’ve been in love with perspective ever since. Superman, TM &

JOHN BYRNE

©2006 DC Comics

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INTERVIEW

KEVIN NOWLAN By Bob McLeod

K

evin Nowlan is one of my favorite comic book artists, and he’s been a fan favorite since he first got published. His style has also been very influential on many of the artists working in comics today. I’ve unfortunately never had the pleasure of meeting Kevin in person, but I dis-

covered in this interview that he and I have a lot in common in how we regard our comic book art. This interview was conducted via e-mail. I’ve never interviewed anyone before, and I’m hoping I’ll sound a bit more coherent this way. I asked Kevin to give me a brief bio so I could introduce him, and he did it so succinctly I’ll let him tell it: KEVIN NOWLAN: Born in Nebraska, 1958. Youngest of six. Started drawing comics in 1982. My first professional

where my art talent came from. Are you the first

The Jack B. Quick stories that I did with Alan

artist in your family, and were your early artistic

They’re funny, very original and I was

a great uncle who was a landscape painter and print maker. He was very talented and by

[Now how many of you would

sheer coincidence, I was named after him.

Other highlights would

KEVIN NOWLAN: I don’t remember if I

Origin story and the

ever inked this or not

Outsiders Annual.

additional drama. That’s one of the nice

KEVIN NOWLAN: No, I’m not the first. I had

allowed to pencil, ink, letter and

be the Man-Bat Secret

figure to give it some

efforts encouraged?

sometimes color them myself. have guessed that? -Bob]

more shadows on the

interview. No one in my family seems to know

job was penciling a Dr. Strange fill-in for Al Milgrom. Moore are the highlight of my career so far.

but I think it needs

BOB MCLEOD: Kevin, thank you so much for this

I’m working on a couple of covers right now and I’m drawing a short

Most of my siblings drew and painted but I’m the only one who made a career out of it. I was always encouraged. My parents were very supportive. MCLEOD: It’s always fascinating to me when the last kid in a family makes a bigger splash than all the others before him. Do you think

Goon story for Dark

your birth order had anything to

Horse. I’m also drawing

do with your art?

things about drawing

short origin stories for

NOWLAN: I didn’t make a bigger

Batman; it’s hard to

Elongated Man and Adam

splash than all the others before

overwork the shad-

Strange that will appear in

me. My brother is very talented in

ows. As Wally Wood

DC’s 52 series.

many areas, including art. He just

said, “When in doubt, black it out.”

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didn’t focus on one specific skill like I did. I have very talented siblings.


KEVIN NOWLAN: Batgirl pin-up pencils: I was trying to put a little more depth into this figure by twisting the pose and lowering the point of view. I left a few details for the inking stage but most of the information is there.

Batgirl pin-up inks: The doublelit shadows are easier than they look, even if you’re drawing something without photo reference like I did here. You just need to deal with one light source at a time and keep them far enough apart so that you get some interesting black shadows in the middle of the object. They’re handy when you want to define the edge of a dark object against a dark background. Batman and Batgirl TM & ©2006 DC Comics

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63


KEVIN NOWLAN:

Watching my brother draw race cars and monsters when

tells me that’s uncommon. When did you decide on

I really enjoy doing

I was a little kid probably inspired me quite a bit.

comics as a profession? NOWLAN: I’d always wanted to draw comic books, or

pieces like this. It’s the kind of drawing you never get to do in a story or even on a cover. A few years ago I started to figure out how to draw

MCLEOD: What formal art training have you had, if any? NOWLAN: I went to a trade school that taught design and a

sidered “cartooning.” After I graduated from the trade

minimal amount of illustration. They told us we were wasting

school I worked in a printing shop for about four years

our time trying to draw and that none of us

doing paste-up and logo designs. I rarely got to do any

would get paid for doing drawings. I wish I’d had a chance to attend the Joe Kubert school

instructors were right. Out of frustration I began working on

I had to pick everything up so haphazardly

it has that leathery

and I still feel there are things I haven’t

batwing look. This

learned to do correctly.

wide layout gave me

MCLEOD: Do you think formal training is

around with it.

important for comic art? If you had it to do

and the inks here. I think I like the contrast between the

over, would you get a degree in art somewhere, or go to the Kubert School? I had a little formal training, but I’m also mostly selftaught. I really wish I had taken some painting classes along the way. NOWLAN: Yes. I wish someone had

heavily rendered

pushed me in that direction. I really could

Batman and the

have used some formal education.

lighter approach on Batgirl and Robin. I

MCLEOD: What drew you to

believe most of the

doing comic art, as opposed to,

inks are pen but

say, commercial art or fine art or

there’s a little brush-

animation? I knew from the age

work on the right

of five that I wanted to be a car-

side of the cape.

64

comic book samples that I hoped would land me a job at Marvel and DC. The more

plenty of room to play

between the pencils

illustrations, so it was starting to look like those

or apprentice with an established comic artist.

Batman’s cape so that

Not much difference

comic strips or animation or anything that could be con-

toonist of some sort, but everyone

ROUGH STUFF • JULY 2006

tedious


PRE-PRO

H

ave you ever wondered how your favorite pro’s art looked back before he turned pro? Back when he was just sitting at home dreaming about becoming a comic book artist? How would his early efforts compare with yours? Well, each issue we’re going to show you some examples of just that! The following art was contributed by some of our featured artists. It was done by them before they started working in comics professionally. But it’s easy to see they’d soon be ready for the big time! Starting out this issue is a fantastic coloring book page done by this issue’s interview guest Kevin Nowlan, way back in 1978 when he was about 20 years old. Next up are these comic strips drawn by none other than Alan Davis. I think the characters in the strip are speechless at how well he was drawing even back then! Alan comments: “This a comic strip I drew in my late teens and in a style that was obviously inspired by the fantastic work of Frank Bellamy on Garth. It was drawn purely for fun; I never planned to get into comics. The original is drawn on a sheet of A4 paper (at print size, I didn’t know about working for reduction) with Rotring pens and felt tips— although the term original may not be accurate since I drew and redrew the strips countless times tracing each draft from a mix of previous versions— which was fairly easy since I drew/inked on typing paper.” And just to show that I wouldn’t ask our guests to do anything I wouldn’t do, here’s a vintage zipatone feast by me circa 1973, when I was working in the production dept. at Marvel. — Bob McLeod JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

79


D U R E F E A T

´ P E GEORG EREZ

I S T A R T

te. nnial fan favori re pe a is z re George Pé , Pérez did d for Superman di e n yr B at h W ans, an and the Tit for Wonder Wom ose gy and life to th er en ew n g ng artists n bringi e hardest worki th of e on en be ays nging series. He’s alw the most challe g in pt ce ac in revels in comics, and assignments.

´ GEORGE PÉREZ: Donna Troy rough: I usually dislike doing cover sketches since I usually do a lot of changes as I go along. This one was pretty straightforward, but I added one more Donna Troy figure (when she was a Darkstar) and eliminated the question-mark borders. Wonder Girl TM & ©2006 DC Comics

´ GEORGE PEREZ: Batman: This sketch is actually drawn in ballpoint pen. I drew it while I was in a hospital bed and it is inscribed to one of the nurses. Batman TM & ©2006 DC Comics

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´ GEORGE PEREZ: Avengers, Vol. 3, Issue 1, page 13: This return to The Avengers was an important thing for me as I was working to revitalize my career. I penciled this issue extremely tight, although I didn’t fill in all the blacks, as I’m oft prone to, even when I know it’s unnecessary. The Avengers TM & ©2006 Marvel

´ GEORGE PEREZ

Characters, Inc.

JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

81


´ GEORGE PEREZ: AVENGERS/JLA #2, page 23: I actually started this page at a dance studio as I waited for my wife. When I got home I realized that Cap looked too small and that Batman was too high up on the page and might get cropped. I copied the entire page to a new board with a lightbox and changed Batman’s posture so that he’d be more reactive to Ben Grimm’s unexpected appearance. I also changed Ben’s trunks to pants once correct reference was provided. I also added Johnny Storm to the panels with Reed and Sue and erased Cap from panel 5. All characters ©2006 DC Comics and TM & ©2006 Marvel Characters, Inc.

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I S T A R T

´ Z ´ E P O L A Í C R A ´ G S JOSE LUI

D U R E F E A T

many a Lopéz has as José Luis Garcí is clasames. His art n as h e h as s skill makthe same time, at t en rr cu d sic an r DC’s rfect choice fo ing him the pe Marvel any a die-hard style guides. M e his d over to sampl se os cr as h n awing is so fa projects. His dr er h ot d an an e is. wares on Batm expert inker h an at h w e ic ot ople fail to n good, many pe t all around. He’s a class ac

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´ ´ JOSE´ LUIS GARCÍA-LOPEZ: Road to Perdition: Great time working with Max A. Collins. My only regret is that I didn’t have enough time to do the finishes also.


JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

89

´ ´ JOSE´ LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ


´ JOSE´ LUIS GARCÍA´ LOPEZ: Those funny Batman characters were great to do. It was like the play of ying and yang with the more somber Batman. Superman, Joker, Prankster TM &

´ ´ JOSE´ LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ

©2006 DC Comics

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COVER STORIES

W

hat happens between the initial layout

of a cover, and the fin-

ished, printed piece? Usually a lot of changes— some brought about by the pencil artist, some by the inker (assuming they’re not the same person as the penciler), and some at the request of an editor or publisher. We asked a couple of this issue’s pros to give us a little insight into these classic covers.

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WALT SIMONSON: Cyberforce: Cover for Cyberforce #0 for Top Cow. I wrote and drew the issue based on ideas from Mark Silverstri and David Wohl. The whole issue was my version of an Image comic of the time, full of overwhelmingly large images on each page and a few small inset panels to carry the story. And a lot of rendering. The cover shows the large image and rendering approach fairly well.

JULY 2006 • ROUGH STUFF

99


ROUGH CRITIQUE By Bob McLeod f you’re serious about improving your penciling, send us a sample page and I’ll publish and critique one page per issue by our readers. Many beginners

I

struggle with the same problems, and I think it’s often very helpful to see a critique of someone else. Keith Grachow sent me this very nice Fantastic Four sample page and bravely consented to having it published in our first issue.

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ROUGH STUFF • JULY 2006

Keith, I really like your sample very much in some areas, but not so much in other areas. I’ll begin with what I like. It’s rare that I see a sample page with so many backgrounds, and that’s vital to creating a professional level page. Backgrounds require a knowledge of perspective and set design that most beginners lack, and don’t spend nearly enough effort on. Your panel layout is easy to follow, and your storytelling is clear even without a script. These are not minor accomplishments. I also really like the personality you’re giving your actors. Yes, I said actors. The characters in a comic book need to be good actors to tell an interesting story, and it’s up to the penciler to keep them from being too wooden. I also like the way you’re moving the camera, and varying the distance with close-ups and long shots. I like that you’ve attempted some dramatic lighting, with the cast shadow in panel 2. Now for what I don’t like so much. Comics are first and foremost about people. You simply must study anatomy more and improve your figure drawing. You show a nice, natural feel for figures, but you still don’t really know the basic muscle groups and how the figure moves. In pnl. 2, Franklin’s pose is awkward. It often helps to get into the pose yourself and see what feels natural. You’ve also drawn his legs too long for his body. It’s also always a good idea to consider the silhouette shape of your figures. Your Torch in pnl.1 has an awkward shape with his arm parallel to and equal in size to his leg. Contrast it with my Torch figure’s silhouette. The Torch’s hands in pnl.4 are too exaggerated. The distance between them is not sufficient for them to vary in size so much. There are times when you’ll want to exaggerate the foreshortening like this to make a more dynamic pose, but don’t do it on small figures like this. When drawing established characters like the FF, you need to be able to draw them similar to the way we’re used to seeing them. That face on the Torch in pnl. 1 is just not Johnny Storm. That’s not his nose. Franklin is OK, but inconsistent from panel to panel. A better understanding of the skull and facial features will enable you to keep your faces looking more consistently like the same person. I know from experience that the Thing is a bit of a pain to draw, but you do have to take the time to draw all those bricks, and there’s a certain interlocking way of drawing them, if you want to do them properly. And the Thing’s anatomy is not based on a normal human’s, as you’re attempting. He’s much more rounded in every body part, and has no neck. He only has three fingers, with much bigger feet and hands. When you draw a figure throwing a punch, you want to have him put his whole body into the punch, so have him leaning forward much more. The figure being punched needs to be

Rough Stuff #1  

Spinning off from the pages of BACK ISSUE! magazine comes ROUGH STUFF (100 pages, $6.95), celebrating the ART of creating comics! Each issue...

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