Well it’s the second page and I’m just finding my footing. Hitting my stride. The first page was pivotal in setting the scene, however it’s the second page where I define the overall look of the series.
On page two I explore the widescreen approach to storytelling made famous by Bryan Hitch and Frank Quietly. Both are incredible storytellers, but where Hitch is incredibly detail dense, Quietly is open… allowing his characters to BREATHE. Allowing the story to move at an organic, yet cinematic pace. This was the style I wanted to incorporate into my series. Obviously, I will deviate integrating my own artistic method.
Penciling the first two panels is pretty straightforward, however it’s the third panel is what I personally call the “Money Shot”. For me personally, every page should have one. More often than not, in my work it’s the establishing shot. I was purposely vague on the first page where both Victor and David were exactly in the skyscraper. Now we know they’re in an elaborate elevated hanger high above the city.
I initially wanted to play against a detailed backdrop of a lit cityscape with the shadowed hanger in the foreground dominating the panel. You can see the ghost of it in the pencils. Instead I chose to simplify, allowing that white negative space to further define the expanse of the enclosure. That feeling is further enhanced when I added the color, even more so when I integrated the lettering into that space.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch upon the ramjet design. Mechanical design isn’t my forte’ so it took quite a few creative passes before I came away with something I was moderately happy with. Victor’s orbital skimmer needed to be sleek and stylish. Concept designs of futuristic space shuttles were my creative starting point and I just ran with it from there. Luckily it gets easier each time I draw it… but it’s certainly a challenge.
The fourth panel is where I have some fun. This panel best illustrates putting my own artistic style to the widescreen approach. I really enjoy breaking figures out of panels for dramatic effect. David is having serious reservations about this trip where Victor is determined to simply get this over with. I also enjoyed playing with the color outline for both figures while simultaneously muting the background colors to make them pop and add depth. This panel and the panel before it is where I really embrace that deceptively simple, muted flat color that Dave Stewart excels at on Hellboy. A word to the wise… it ain’t as simple as it looks, it’s just that Mr. Stewart makes it look EASY.
Finally, the ramjet streaking towards the heavens panel. This turned out better than expected. So much so, I’ve lifted this illo and incorporated it into my PATREON page. Everything comes full circle… where I removed all hint of a cityscape in panel three; it takes prominence as the background and sells the scene.
Well that’s enough creative rambling for this week!
If you want to know what the characters are saying and how the story is progressing, by all means check out my sister site:
And if you can, please support my efforts on Patreon, I’d greatly appreciate it!