Some test pages for my barely-an-idea JOB graphic novel. Still struggling to find the right artistic style and color palette for this. The line art for the pages below is very rough and the colors are way too "Technicolor". You can definitely feel the Mike Mignola influence, but I'm considering eventually painting over the final line art to end up with something more like Francisco Goya doing a comic book.
Here's an example of what I mean by "thumbs" - small sketches (maybe 2" tall?) where I figure out the page layouts. When I get stuck, I usually use a 9 (3x3) panel grid like famously used by Dave Gibbons in Watchmen to help me figure out the "shots" i want, before I worry about the best way of fitting them together on the page for maximum impact.
At the beginning of the year I set myself a goal of completing a page of comic book art each week. With only a quarter of a year left, I'm way behind. In order to catch up, I'm posting some very rough, unfinished pages I've been working on. This is meant to eventually be a portfolio piece for the big publishers Marvel and DC.
As you can see, there are several layers of lines. I draw in black and then use an adjustment layer to change the hue to blue to draw over the top, refining and refining until I'm happy with the lines (I never am). The orange is for background stuff, especially when I use a grid for perspective.
At first this might seem like a simple scene, but I probably drew about 20 rough thumbnail size sketches of the layout. At first I was going to start with a wide shot of the cafe, but since the setting isn't important to the plot (they could just as well be at a fast food joint or library), I decided to start with a two shot giving the two characters "Parker" and "Stacy" equal importance. Yes, they're intentionally hipster versions of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy.
Very rough digital lines, not happy about the layout on this one. That face in the first panel is horrendous. Basically, this is supposed to play as a reversal of the cliche "Clark Kent runs away in fear, but is really just changing into Superman", but it's not working yet. Because the twist is...
The superhero is the girl with the mohawk. Her powers are supposed to be based on the control of gravity. Need to add some bricks or something so you can tell she's running through a back alley.
Most of the layouts started as small pencil sketches done at work. Here you can see how I blow 'em up & blue 'em before I start drawing digitally.
I kind of like how the monster can't fit in the page, but I also think this should be a 2-page spread, so you can see more of the city, people fleeing in terror, the creatures legs smashing cars, etc... Sometimes I do sketches in grayscale just to get a better feel for the composition.
Not sure if this page layout works? Sort of a weird sequence of shots, with the characters moving in a circular motion.
Lots of work still needs to be done before I'd feel confident showing this to an editor at a comic book convention. Sometimes I need to abandon things for a while and come back with fresh eyes. These six pages represent several months worth of sporadic noodling and including the Hellboy drawing and the Spider-Man commission, I'm now only three 3 months behind.