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No. 6 Fall 2007

$6.95

Celebrating the ART of Creating Comics!

H GUICE C T U

B

M KRU

DAVE COC

Featuring

BRIAN STELFREEZE BUTCH GUICE EN DO E L L O

C

RCHILL U H C

RAN

IAN

Interviews and Galleries

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Daredevil, Elektra, Thing, Cyclops, Storm TM & Š2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.

82658 27766

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Volume 1, Number 6 Fall 2007

Celebrating the ART of Creating Comics! EDITOR

Bob McLeod PUBLISHER

John Morrow DESIGNER

FEATURED ARTISTS

Michael Kronenberg 3 PROOFREADERS John Morrow and Eric Nolen-Weathington

Ian Churchill

18

Dave Cockrum

38

Colleen Doran

COVER ARTIST

Brian Stelfreeze CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Bob Brodsky, Cookiesoup Periodical Distribution, LLC

ROUGH STUFF FEATURE 54

ROUGH STUFF FEATURE

SPECIAL THANKS Ian Churchill

Butch Guice Len Gould

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Paty Cockrum

Independent Comics Showcase Mike Gagnon

Colleen Doran Butch Guice Len Gould Mike Gagnon

ROUGH STUFF INTERVIEW 70

Brian Stelfreeze

Brian Stelfreeze

ROUGH STUFF DEPARTMENTS

Benno Rothschild Chris Hanchey

2

Ruben Espinosa

Scribblings From The Editor Bob McLeod

Geoff Willmetts Glen Cadigan Brandon Graham

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Cover Stories Butch Guice and Dave Cockrum reveal the process of creating a cover.

53

PrePro Art by Colleen Doran, done before she turned pro.

84

Rough Critique Editor Bob McLeod critiques an aspiring penciler’s sample page.

86

Rough Talk Comments and opinions from our readers.

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FREE PREVIEW of Alter Ego #73

Andrew Barr Asaf Hanuka 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 10849-2203. E-mail: mcleod.bob@gmail.com. Fourissue subscriptions: $26 Standard US, $36 First Class US, $44 Canada, $60 Surface International, $72 Airmail International. Please send subscription orders and funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial office. Central cover art by Brian Stelfreeze. All characters are © their respective companies. All material © their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter © 2007 Bob McLeod and TwoMorrows Publishing. ROUGH STUFF is a TM of TwoMorrows Publishing. Printed in Canada. FIRST PRINTING. ISSN 1931-9231

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D U R E F E A T

I S T A R T

L L I H C R U H C N IA

came n Churchill be Ia st ti ar sh ti Bri on the gular penciler known as a re for EN and CABLE -M X Y N N CA N U act with signing a contr Marvel before g a banglately been doin s e’ h e er h w , C D g SUPERGIRL. up job pencilin

IAN CHURCHILL This was my first and only commissioned piece to date. I had been traveling for a couple of years and this was the first thing I did prior to hooking up with DC. It’s a scan of a bad photocopy , at the time I couldn’t find a scanner that would pick up the pencil line work. But you get the idea... it’s clobberin’ time! Hulk and Thing TM & ©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.

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IAN CHURCHILL Jeph wanted an iconic shot of Supergirl. I sketched this first before tackling the page. Another reason I don’t sketch much is because I normally end up liking the sketch more than the final page! Sketches generally capture an energy and spontaneity that is hard to recreate so I prefer to go directly to the board and sketch there.

Supergirl TM & ©2007 DC Comics

IAN CHURCHILL This was a thumbnail for a Supergirl cover. When I sketch I normally sketch in ballpoint pen directly onto the paper, sometimes I’ll lightly pencil underneath first, but not often. I generally use red ink. 4

ROUGH STUFF • FALL 2007


IAN CHURCHILL Before I took on Supergirl I had only seen one drawing of Mike’s design and thought I’d have more leeway with the costume. I doodled these while I was on the phone with Jeph who was trying to convince me to jump on board. Supergirl TM & ©2007 DC Comics

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IAN CHURCHILL When I got the X-Men gig they were going through a

The Beast. This was before they decided to go in a “catlike” direction

re-design. This was a rejected Angel idea.

instead of the traditional ape-ish appearance.

I still like this one, again a rejected look but I still like that when his headgear was operated it would have looked like a huge vertical set of jaws! X-Men TM & ©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.

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After the “catlike” decision I went off in favor of a big blue Lion approach! Rooaar!!


D U R E F E A T

I S T A R T

DAVE COCKRUM

an assisn his career as ga be m u kr oc C Dave t Murphy ng-time DC artis tant inker to lo lar became the regu on so d an , on rs Ande OES in OF SUPER HER N IO G LE e th artist on es and ting new costum ea cr , to Marvel, he 0s ‘7 y rl ea the is own. Moving h it g in ak m ly eral ing Storm, designs and gen X-MEN, co-creat e th d pe am -v the first then totally re fortunate to ink as w I s. su os ol dC classic cils in the now Nightcrawler, an n pe s e’ av D er team ov issue of the new X-MEN #94.

BOB MCLEOD Dave did dozens, if not hundreds, of cover roughs for Marvel. Many of them he finished himself, and many went to other artists. This one went to Keith Pollard and Joe Sinnott. I think I prefer Dave’s more exaggerated foreshortening, and I like the way Torch’s blast is just bouncing off in the rough. Fantastic Four TM & ©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.

Courtesy Ruben Espinosa

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BOB MCLEOD While many of his cover scenes seem to

a better angle, but her pose is too awkward

have come fairly easily to Dave, these

and he’s lost the depth of the first image.

roughs take us through the development of a

Next, he shows her from the front and

cover Dave was obviously struggling with.

regains the depth but still isn’t satisfied. He

Going clockwise from the upper left, he

starts over and finds a new pose for the vil-

begins with the idea for an aerial battle, but

lainess, bringing her closer. Happy at last, he

Ms. Marvel’s too horizontal and she’s shown

sketches in the drawing, inexplicably chang-

mainly from behind. He then brings her up to

ing Ms. Marvel to Supergirl (!?) and signs off.

DAVE COCKRUM

Ms. Marvel TM & ©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.

Courtesy Geoff Willmetts

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Courtesy Geoff Willmetts

BOB MCLEOD This is a very interest-

So he takes a totally new

ing development on this

approach, with Phoenix once

cover. Dave starts with

again up close but this time down

Phoenix up close high

on the ground with the fallen X-

in the air blasting down

Men. And notice the change in her

at Firelord, but her pose

pose between the rough and the

is too flat. Then he tries

finish, from bold and aggressive to

swapping the two fig-

more sexy and defensive.

ures, but now we only see Firelord’s back, and

DAVE COCKRUM

the composition is weak.

X-Men TM & ©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.

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DAVE COCKRUM

PATY COCKRUM Finished art for a Wingmen character design. The Wingmen are a group of hawkbased heroes. Skyhawk was a possible addition or modification.

Courtesy paty cockrum

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W

COVER STORIES

hat happens between the initial layout of a cover, and the finished, 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.

BUTCH GUICE Aquaman Here’s a very recent Aquaman cover from beginning to end—sketch (one of five presented to the editor), the pencils—loose and roughed in since I was inking it myself, and the finished inks—which clearly show how much I leave to last minute intuitive decision making. Aquaman TM & ©2007 DC Comics

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BOB MCLEOD I’m impressed by how little this image changed from the rough to the finished inks. Most artists make a lot of changes as they move toward the inking, as the many examples of Dave Cockrum’s cover sketches showed. But Butch clearly had this image firmly worked out in his head right from the start, and all he had to do was transfer it from his head to the paper.

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D U R E F E A T

N A R O D N E E L L O C

I S T A R T

TANT t work on A DIS rs fi ’s an or D Colleen she was published when SOIL was first she the 1980s, but in s en te er h still in as only 12! d it when she w actually create ific of the most prol ch-needed She’s been one , bringing a mu ce n si er ev s ic ness. com dominated busi ewriter/artists in al m y sl u io or to this not she shows woman’s touch e pages, where es th in er h se t nonowca hich are almos w , I’m happy to sh ls ci n pe ly ve e at her lo us a rare glimps lf. she inks herse existent when

COLLEEN DORAN A Distant Soil #31 cover sketch This is the preliminary drawing for the cover of volume IV. I really like the way the drawing turned out, and unlike most of my work on A Distant Soil, I used reference and models on the work. Most of A Distant Soil art comes entirely from my imagination. This is the underdrawing for the watercolor painting. I used the same technique on this painting as I used on Orbiter. That is, the final pencil drawing shows through the watercolor washes.

COLLEEN DORAN A Distant Soil Cover: Coda cover sketch, for the fourth volume of the series. The second piece is the preliminary drawing for an oil painting I did for A Distant Soil #30. I like the way the drawing turned out far more than I like the finished painting. I also used an unusual type of oil paint called Genesis oil. I don’t think it is a true oil paint, but it has many similar qualities. Unlike regular oil paint, it dries at 250 degrees in only about fifteen minutes. You can over paint within a half hour. This is great for commercial illustration and the colors are lovely. However, you can’t varnish it the way you varnish traditional oil paint, so you don’t get that lovely, final sheen. But if you want smooth flowing paints that dry exactly when you want them, and you want to be able to create glazes, it’s great stuff. I have a big set of it, and I don’t get to use it nearly as much as I like, but it is great for sketching in paint. 38

ROUGH STUFF • FALL 2007


COLLEEN DORAN This may have been one of my more boneheaded decisions, but when I was self publishing, I decided to do limited edition remarqued hardcovers of my A Distant Soil graphic novels. I took custom orders from readers to draw portraits of their favorite characters in each book. This was OK, for the first 30 or so sketches, but after the next, oh, 450 sketches, the thrill was gone. I was really happy with the way many of them turned out, but I undercharged for the books and ended up losing money in the end. And I am STILL finishing off the stack of commissions! This is one of them, a portrait of Chris. I thought this

COLLEEN DORAN

turned out nice.

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COLLEEN DORAN This is a preliminary drawing for a Lord of the Rings illustration commissioned for an officially licensed New Line Lord of the Rings

COLLEEN DORAN

convention.

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PRE-PRO

D

id you ever wonder what the pros’ artwork looked like before they turned pro? Comic artists have so much to learn that most of them are already on their way even in high school. Here’s what Colleen was doing:

COLLEEN DORAN I thought this was cute: fan art I did of Dazzler back when I was in high school. I put this in my portfolio to show editors when I went to my first comic conventions. Can’t believe I found this! Dazzler TM & ©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.

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FEATURE

BUTCH GUICE By Len Gould

M

any comic book artists use roughs to help layout and design interior pages. Many others do not. With covers however, it is a different story. Almost all covers have gone through a number of iterations to get to their final, finished form.

Most artists sketch out a few “roughs” based upon the

requested by the editor before starting on the finished

story. These preliminary drawings are then narrowed

illustration. If production time is very short, as happens

down, and refined in a second stage for the book’s edi-

more than anyone is

tor. The editor, sometimes in concert with the creative

comfortable with, the

team, and sometimes without, will make suggestions

drawing might be

leading to the end result. This may involve the taking of

nothing more

BUTCH GUICE

elements from several roughs to combine into a new

than an

“This Untitled one is

piece, or it may be the refinement and movement of the

enlarged ver-

a simple character

images on a single prelim. Of course it is also possible

sion of a two

doodle I was playing

that the editor may simply approve the submitted layout

minute

around with years

as well!

thumbnail

ago for a possible

Jackson “Butch” Guice is a veteran artist who is very

teen-oriented

familiar with this process. He broke in with Marvel’s

mystery comic. The

Micronauts back in 1982. Since then he has penciled

drawing is obviously

and inked a number of comicdom’s most

based upon a real

eclectic titles: X-Factor, Dr.

person—though

Strange, Birds of Prey and

who exactly, I can’t

Ruse. Earlier this year,

recall anymore. As

Butch penciled and inked

you can see, this

the Humanoids graphic

was just a simple ten

novel Olympus and he was

minute sketch all

recently producing exceptional

about capturing an

work on DC’s Aquaman.

impression to hold in

Butch told me that he usually

my head for future

draws prelims for his cover work.

refinement—fun but

“Almost always. As a general rule,

long forgotten.”

some sort of preliminary sketch is

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ROUGH STUFF • FALL 2007

sketch—a very


BUTCH GUICE Birds of Prey #19 Preliminary “Well—this prelim is actually much more refined than most I do. I’ve taken the time to ink it in rough marker and establish the general lighting scheme on all the elements. This would be more akin to a secondary refined sketch than any sort of preliminary thumbnail I might send today. It’s rare that I would work from something this finished anymore.” Robin TM & ©2007 DC Comics

BUTCH GUICE Birds of Prey #19 Rather than intensifying the dramatic impact, I’ve managed to kill the energy completely with too much futzy rendering and labored technique. A simply terrible end result—all of which goes back to the original preliminary needing more actual thought behind it.

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rough comp suggestion of figure placement and view-

The prelim shown here [left] is a gritty, detailed early

point. You often supply several of these sketches togeth-

version of Birds of Prey #19 (July 2000). Butch said

er, and then discuss with the editor which is preferable.

“Robin’s body language works, although he takes up far

Occasionally, you end up agreeing to combine elements

too much space in the drawing, obviously crowding

of two or more sketches. Sometimes this leads to another drawing being done, but that’s not always the case.” As one would imagine, the road to the final printed piece from this initial layout can often be a complicated one. The cover is the comic book’s best chance at grabbing attention. The image has to sell the book—by conveying the contents within—while also setting it apart from its competition on the racks. As a result, it is critical that the artist and editor, in unison, fashion a final piece from these roughs. This is easier said than done according to Butch. “Keep it simple and direct, and try to strip out anything and everything which is going to be distracting visually. Those rough comps are often very crude but extremely expressive—full of creative charge and possibility. Once you start work on the actual drawing, however, the most dangerous pitfall I often face is avoiding killing the creative energy of the original sketch. It is really far too easy to drain every ounce of life out of an illustration simply by over polishing the damn thing. It happens all the time, and not just to me. I see so many lifeless pretty drawings done today completely devoid of energy. There is a real balancing act in trying to find the right moment of when to stop working a drawing.”

BUTCH GUICE Black Canary and Oracle “This one is pretty much all pencil tones as I remember. I really enjoyed my time on that book so this was something of a real treat to draw.”

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Independent Co By Mike Gagnon

I

really enjoy reading and viewing comics of many different styles and genres, and I’m sure many of you do, too. For readers with offbeat tastes, some of the most interesting and innovative comics can be found in the small press and independent comics scene. In many cases the star artists of today’s mainstream comics got their start doing

work with independent or small press publishers. Recently, on behalf of Rough Stuff and the interests of you, the reader, I spoke with several rising stars on the independent comic scene. Remember these guys; one of them may just be a future favorite artist.

Brandon Graham RS: Can you tell us a little bit about your work and inspirations? BRANDON: I try to make comics about serious $#!t that people have to deal with in their lives, but I like jokes and science fiction too much, so I make comics that are about things like barbarians in space dealing with the loss of a loved one. I always end up writing from my life but I layer it under as much fun stuff as I can come up with. I’m really into the idea that you can draw whatever you feel like. I’m working on 2 books right now: King City (Tokyopop) is about a guy that returns to the

city he grew up in with this cat he has that can do anything. His ex that he’s still in love with is now with a guy who’s all messed up from fighting zombies in Korea and his best friend is running from an alien prostitution deal that went bad. The other is Multiple Warheadz (Oni Press) it’s a road trip story about a girl and her werewolf boyfriend. The story is set in a fictional future Russia and they’re traveling in a car named Lenin (‘cause it’s not stalin’). As the story goes on the car keeps breaking down and every time it breaks they fix it with different animal parts eventually making the car become a living thing. I’m inspired by guys like Moebius or Matt Howarth’s old stuff. My friends that draw are a big deal to me; the Meathaus guys and my pals in Seattle.

All art this section ©2007 the creators.

RS: What drawing supplies do you use? BRANDON: I like mechanical pencils and Micron Pigma pens #3s and 5s (5s to letter), then an ink and brush to fill in blacks. I use a thin 2-ply bristol board that sells for like 30 bucks for 200 sheets. It’s good stuff. I have a big metal ruler, too. RS: Do you use any approaches or techniques that are unique and may not be known by other artists? BRANDON: I rule a lot of things out by how parts of the body relate to each other, like how your foot is about as long as from your wrist to your elbow or how many heads tall a piece of the background is. It’s important to me to convince the reader that a made up person or place could be real. There’s some Hemingway quote that talks about “first start with something real,” I like to think of that in terms of illustration. If you draw a coffee cup that people can believe, it makes it easier to accept the spaceship it’s in.

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mics Showcase RS: How do you approach a comic page or illustration from script to inks? BRANDON: My layouts are really rough and I don’t really like to script a book before hand. I write down chunks of dialogue and figure out all the scenes in a story real rough then do lots of coming up with ideas as I go. It takes me like 6 hours to do a page. That’s 6 hours that I think of what I’m going to draw next. For my King City book Tokyopop asked me to do small thumbnails so they could see what I was planning. I didn’t follow most of the layouts by the time I got to the actual pages. I also do a lot of the drawing in the ink and writing in the lettering. RS: What helps keep you motivated to do comics in a world that sometimes seems to revolve around the mainstream publishers and their product? BRANDON: I don’t think of what anyone else puts out as the same thing as what I do. It’s real important to me that my work never feels tied to the industry. I think Kirby was right when he said “comics will break your heart.” The industry will break a man, but your own work should be there for you. RS: When it comes to your finished artwork what do you

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INTERVIEW

BRIAN STELFREEZE By Benno Rothschild

A

member of Atlanta-based Gaijin Studios, Brian Stelfreeze has long been a prolific cover artist for DC, and he’s also done interior art for comics such as Domino for Marvel and Matador for WildStorm. He’s now art director for 12-Gauge Comics and is doing the art for The Ride and Gun Candy. This interview was con-

ducted in November 2006 by Benno Rothschild, a comic art collector who has a special interest in preliminary art, which is of course our main focus here at Rough Stuff. The images shown and discussed here are all from Benno’s personal collection. Parts of this interview were previously excerpted by him in The Comic and Fantasy Art Amateur Press Association #70.

This lovely prelim was for a watercolor painting owned by Jim Clancy. The even more lovely finished painting can be seen on Jim’s comicartfans.com gallery.

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BENNO: These Batman splash pages were for an issue

BRIAN STELFREEZE

of Detective, correct?

I just liked the idea of

BRIAN: Yeah. It was actually a really great issue to work on. In

Batman coming down

everything that I do, and especially when I’m doing interior work, I

out of the sky on a

try to really concentrate on storytelling. Chuck Dixon turned in this

motorcycle. I thought

story that I though was amazing. It was a story in which every

that was a really

other page was a splash page or a six-panel grid, and it was really neat how it was two stories told kind of concurrently, and on every splash page I had to try to really do a dynamic image.

dynamic image. Batman TM & ©2007 DC Comics

BENNO: So, from here you’re transitioning into panel pages. How do you approach the panel page and the images on there? BRIAN: Well, that was the neat thing about this story, all the splash pages could be read completely separately as a story told in splash pages, and all the panel pages could be read as a story completely told as panel pages. So, with every two-page spread, you were looking at the story, and then you’d turn the page and you’d get a splash. So it was like one story—turn the page, next story—turn the page, you know, back and forth. BENNO: Okay, and the main story is the Joker is in

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BRIAN STELFREEZE

prison somewhere?

Unlimited book. How did this come about?

You had a lot of

BRIAN: Yeah. And that’s one of the things that was interesting

BRIAN: This story came about because of Lisa Hawkins. I was

strange time dilation

about this. You see Batman trying to get the information, and at

just about to start Domino and we were still kind of negotiating

going on where the

the same time you’re seeing what he’s doing with that informa-

things and Lisa, who was one of the original editors of Domino,

six-panel grids were

tion—both stories happening at the same time.

called me up and said, “Well, it’s probably going to be a little while

telling the story of Batman going to visit

before you can start Domino. I’m also doing this X-Men Unlimited BENNO: You certainly did a lot of Batman covers along

book. Can you do me a story in there?” And I thought, “Okay, that

the way. Was it interesting to do an interior Batman

would be a lot of fun.” She gave me kind of a pick of whatever

story? Have you done a lot of those?

character I wanted to do and whatever story I wanted to tell. So, I

BRIAN: No. I haven’t done a lot of interior Batman stuff. Mainly

just decided to take on kind of a more pedestrian story with

because a lot of the stories that I’ve read with Batman don’t nec-

Cyclops. One of the things that I always think is interesting is doing

essarily appeal to me. But the story that I did in Batman: Black

stories of superheroes, but not in their superhero garb. The kind of

and White with Denny O’Neil, that was just really interesting

story with them as regular people, and then reacting to regular

girl after Joker has

because, again, it dealt with a lot of juxtaposition with timing and

people, because I like the idea of a hero as more than just the cos-

given him the infor-

I felt it was a storytelling challenge, and a lot of times I’m drawn

tume. It’s the person underneath the costume. So I like doing sto-

mation.

to a story because of the challenges that it presents.

ries where you just see them in their civvies just walking around.

BENNO: So let’s talk about this Cyclops story from the X-Men

BENNO: So who was the writer on this one?

Joker to try to get the information of where this little girl is being held and the splash pages are the story of Batman actually going to get the little

Batman TM & ©2007 DC Comics

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ROUGH CRITIQUE By Bob McLeod

T

his issue’s super sample was submitted by Chris Hanchey, and it has a lot going for it. It’s very tight and detailed, with complex

backgrounds. He’s studied perspective and found his vanishing points, he’s moving the viewing angle around a bit, he’s using lighting to show form, balancing

blacks nicely, and giving personality to his actors. His enthusiasm is obvious and he’s put in a lot of hard effort. But effort is wasted if composition isn’t studied more first. He’s having some trouble cropping his scenes to focus only on what’s important. I added frames around the parts of his panels that should be the entire panels. Everything outside these frames isn’t important and lessens the impact of what is important. Chris, while I applaud all the effort you put into that first panel, you seem to have burned out by the last panel, which looks incomplete and sparse compared to the others. This might make an editor think you don’t have enough stamina to draw a 22-page comic job. Never show a sample page unless it’s completely finished and is the best you can do. As with most beginners, your figure drawing still needs a lot of improvement. Your figures look awkward and off-balance, and everyone looks like they slept in their clothes. Panel one is a great shot, but when you put an equal amount of detail everywhere, the buildings become a flat gray pattern. You need to create white and black areas to counter that. Even if a reference photo shows buildings with windows all over the place, you can have walls with no windows in some areas to create white space. Adding shadows easily creates black. Your globe needs shadow to make it look like a sphere rather than a circle. Panel two is a great down shot, but the perspective looks “forced” because your horizon is too low. He seems to be walking uphill. The higher we are as viewers, the higher the horizon should be. Also, your figure looks like he’s holding his briefcase away from his body like a bag of garbage. And trying to add dark shading to business suits rarely looks good unless you make it about 95% black. So I’d suggest either leaving it white with some shadows, as I’ve done, or making it all black, maybe with a few highlights. It’s better not to place your center of interest, the figure, in the center of the panel, but slightly off-center, and focus more closely on him. We’re more interested in him than the room. Panel three is another great establishing shot, in a page full of them, but it has several problems. The room is enormous, and would probably have more furniture or plants or something utilizing all that space. The floor isn’t important here in the way it was in the previous panel, and what we want to see are the people’s faces more than their shoes, so a straight-on shot would work better here, with a lower horizon and no floor showing. That would have also solved your floor tile problem. You have lines in one direction receding to a central vanishing point (VP), which is fine for one-point perspective, which this panel should have. But you

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RAMONA FRADON & PAUL NORRIS INTERVIEWS

ROY THOMAS ON HIS 1970s MARVEL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STINT

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Frank Brunner Annotates His Association With Stephen Strange and Others

Strange Interlude

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FRANK BRUNNER Annotates His Association With Stephen Strange And Others

A/E

EDITOR’S NOTE: Some months back, we made arrangements to use as an A/E cover a gorgeous Dr. Strange and Clea painting of which Frank Brunner had sent us a copy a year or two ago. Frank, of course, is one of the most successful delineators ever of the Sorcerer Supreme, beginning during Ye Ed’s reign as Marvel editor-in-chief in the early 1970s. However, somewhere along the way, we learned that our TwoMorrows sister mag Back Issue #24, edited by Michael Eury, planned to feature—in the very same Halloween month—a round-robin interview with Frank and two or three other artists about drawing the Mystic Master. So, to avoid duplication, and since I had already interviewed Frank briefly for A/E #29, I invited him to write his own comments about a number of his magic-, fantasy-, and horror-oriented illustrations for this issue. So, with Frank on tap, what am I continuing to yak away for? Except for the occasional necessary editorial comment and contributor IDs, the rest of the text you read in this section will be Mr. Brunner’s! —Roy.

WitchGirls Inc. #3 (April 2006), Cover, Heroic Publishing “This was the cover assignment that got me back into writing comics. Right after I sent it in to editor Dennis Mallone, he asked me if I had a story to go with it... and would I want to write and draw it? I begged off on the latter, but agreed to write it as a 5-part miniseries, as long as I had full creative control. I’ve finished the first three chapters (“Circles of Fear”), in which I explore some of the Gnostic books of the Bible (the books that were cut out of the modern Bible), and I’ve created an amusing partner for Rose (Psyche) and a certain Dr. Kent Buttterworth who works for her WitchGirls Inc. Detective Agency. He’s a big Sherlock Holmes fan and dresses accordingly; he’s also a retired proctologist, which makes him a natural probe and snoop in general. (Ouch!)” [Art ©2007 Frank Brunner; characters TM & ©2007 Heroic Publishing.]

Silver Comics #1 (Feb. 2004), Cover, Silver Comics Publications “This independent press effort is in the tradition of Big Bang Retro Comics, and reflects the styles of late-’50s/early-’60s comics. Even the coloring for the cover was done the old way, with several screens instead of a computer… to achieve that retro look. Each book features several continuing-character storylines, and there have been six issues published thus far. I contributed three covers to them... a ‘Mr. Monster’ cover (SC #4) and ‘The End’ (SC #6) which ends this little backstory….” [Art ©2007 Frank Brunner; characters TM & ©2007 Silver Comics Publications.]


Strange Interlude

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Hawkman & Adam Strange, Tight Pencil Commission, 2005 “One of the few bright spots at DC during the ‘60s was the teaming of Hawkman and Adam Strange in Mystery in Space. I loved those books, and when I got a commission to do my version of a Mystery in Space cover, I came up with this idea, which I felt would have fit in nicely with the series. ‘The City Stealer of Rann’ is my concept, but sometimes I wonder if it wasn’t already done. Anyway, here are the rough and the finish.” [Hawkman & Adam Strange TM & ©2007 DC Comics.]

Rough Stuff #6  
Rough Stuff #6  

ROUGH STUFF #6 (100 pages, $6.95) offers new insight into the art of creating comics with never-seen pencil pages, sketches, layouts, roughs...

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