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Friday, January 15, 2016

My Comic Book: Issue 3 Page 1 Final

...and the first page is colored! I colored  page 4 and 5 of the book already, but having the first page colors finished feels more like a true start to me finally finishing this issue.

Here... we... go!
You can have a gander at the black and white inks here.

I see a lot of artwork from various artists through social media and they're all fantastic stuff. Sometimes so fantastic, I get a little depressed, thinking that I never will get up to snuff. I'm not fast enough, I'm not good enough, I don't know enough, I'l never learn enough... blah blah blah. But not to worry, that usually just lasts for a moment. I've actually learned a long time ago something really important:

I will never be up to snuff.

What I mean about that, is I can never possibly reach whatever lofty idea I have in my head what 'up to snuff" is. In simple terms: I could not possibly be as good as other people because I am NOT other people. I can only be as good as I can be. My growth as an artist can only be taken one footstep at a time.

And the Bomb Squad is my foot forward. Slow, true, but still going forward. Still fighting the neverending battle. That's it for now, God Bless you all and up, up and away!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Supergirl TV show

The new Supergirl TV show has been a lot of fun. Melissa Benoist is the perfect actress for the job and the stories and the effects have been top notch. I'm a fan of all DCTV, and the action in Flash and Arrow (especially season 4's 7th episode "brotherhood") has been top notch, but there's really nothing quite as fun for me to watch as a Kryptonian using their full power set. And Supergirl really delivers! Every episode always has multiple and effects intensive fight sequences.

I'm always amazed at the budget they're throwing at this show, and I'm afraid it won't last long because of the cost. But if anything they've really been cranking it up, and as a Superman/Super-family fan it's just so great for me to see.
False start. I think the Supergirl poster
that was making the rounds on the internet
is the driving inspiration for this first sketch.


Restarted the pose. I usually work one sketch layer on top of the other,
until I feel confident I can move onto digital inking. Most times, I got
back and forth between the "inks" when I'm not confident about something
 or I realize I didn't put enough details in the drawing for me to bring it to a finish.


I couldn't figure out her knee, so I took a photo reference to figure it out.

Finished character art.


Final

It's nice that the DCTV shows run the whole spectrum of being different from each other. Supergirl is seemingly the one that can really cover a broad range of ages. Give it a shot, the first 8 episodes have been great fun. The mid season finale even has a Man of Steel homage in it's fight sequence.

That's it for the night/day. Up, up and away!

Being a DC fan in the Marvel age: a little levity from Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder posted up a couple of awesome BVS and Star Wars mash up videos on his twitter site just recently. I have to say it comes at a good time, since a little humor to cut the negativity from the internet about the recent BVS trailer is welcome.
I've actually been actively looking for other fans' positive reaction videos and website articles on BVS, just to help pump me up a bit and to drown out the haters. Plus, since a lot of the people I know are also in the semi-hater category, it's nice to be able to share the excitement with other fans, even if it's just "virtually".

Anyhow, I drew up the big guy himself, to complete my trinity drawings for BVS.




I didn't really like how his face and the shadows on it were working out, so I just decided to put it mostly in shadow. I liked how the shadow on his face turned out.

Final
And that's it for today. That completes the BVS trinity I set out to do as an outlet for my excitement for the second trailer. Instead of going on forums and trying to get sucked up into an endless flame war with haters, I'm trying to approach it as a positive fan instead. Share the BVS love!



Sunday, December 06, 2015

Being a DC fan in the Marvel Age: Not liking the "fan's" BVS (fixed) trailer

Guh.

I'm kinda tired of 'fans' fixing things. Man of Steel got it's colors 'fixed' by some guys on the internet a few months back (I won't even mention their name or link you to it... that's how much I disagree with them). And now there's a 'fixed' version making the rounds about the Batman v Superman trailer. I disagree with that too.

I liked Jesse Eisenberg's Luthor and also seeing Doomsday. To get rid of those two, diminishes a few things that trailer did. We got to see a good amount of screen time with the main characters of the movie. I was really impressed that I got to see Luthor, Kent and Wayne interact with each other and I got a grasp of who they were. I got to see the acting chops of everybody and I really liked it.

The Star Wars and Civil War trailers (granted it's just the first trailer for Civil War) don't really have any of this. That's fine. But I felt BVS gave me much more acting than those two did, and I'm really thankful for it. So no, I don't agree with cutting out Eisenberg's scene or even displacing it from the main chunk it was from in the original. By displacing that clip of Luthor with Clark and Bruce, it disjoints the flow of that scene as well as limiting my appreciation of it.

The Doomsday reveal was AWESOME. And a Jaw dropper. And I still remember how absolutely hyped I felt seeing it. Cut that out and the trailer would be not as amazing of an experience. The fixed version just made him a roar at the end without any visuals. I think as a viewer I would be confused seeing this (without hindsight) and think... "Why and Batman and Superman fighting a dinosaur!" Oh, I can image the amount of hate and ridicule people would give it already! Clips of Jurassic World and Chris Pratt edited into it by 'fans', or Godzilla stomping through the scene.

So no, I don't agree with that part of the 'fixed' version either. The Wonder Woman reveal scene got cut as well. What happened with the fixed version is that it just made Wonder Woman not much of a presence in the trailer. She was treated like an afterthought. That was possibly my favorite scene in the entire trailer and to chop that into a little clip of her (that looked like an image of her we've seen previously), makes that clip... almost pointless and not as awesome of a treatment of Wonder Woman's first appearance to the public. That was a statement, really that the original cut made loud and clear; to all the haters that were unsure of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman: have no fear, she's awesome.

Nope, I don't agree at all with any of the 'fixed' changes at all. The fixed changes wouldn't have amped people up for this movie like the real one did. In fact, nobody would really be talking about it. Which, is not what a trailer should do.

When I say 'fans', I mean people that hate on the trailers but qualify themselves as still wanting to see it, as if they're doing it a favor. "I don't want to seem like a stuck up, judgemental hater, so I'm going to pretend I'm still going to watch it even though I've torn this movie to shreds before I've seen it."

With the amount of hate tossed around by those same 'fans', why bother watching it? If you hate it so much, no one's forcing you to watch it. In fact, don't watch it, don't try to backpedal. Just support what you like and love, and don't waste your time with stuff you hate.

The 'fixed' trailer is not exciting at all. Good job making it boring, 'fixed'-trailer-people.

Okay, enough ranting. Time to show my support!

Really rough sketch, no real need for details.
No need for composition too at the beginning.
I'd just deal with that later on.
I just went straight to inks with manga studio. The brush
type name eludes me, but it's one of my favorites in manga
studio. It's just the stock brush, but it has this rough quality about
it that frees me from being so precious about ever line I draw.

So there's my next shot fired at the Batman v Superman haters. Batman will make you bleed. You will!

Friday, December 04, 2015

Being a DC fan in the Marvel Age: Batman v Superman trailer #2

Seems like this topic is fast becoming a  re-occuring topic on this blog. The topic for today is the recent Batman v Superman trailer #2 and despite it hitting all the marks and absolutely rocking it (my opinion of course), there is still a lot of hate to be dished out by a lot of people.

Quite a few stem from the fact that they think the trailer has already shown too much and spoiled the movie. Others hate Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor (too much like the Joker is one comment, which really makes no sense to me). And others complain there's too many characters and it's not solely a Batman v Superman movie.

I disagree with all of these of course. After all, how can I know the whole movie has been spoiled if I haven't seen the whole thing yet? Was it spoiled because I now know that Batman and Superman were going to work with Wonder Woman at the end? Who didn't think that was going to happen in this movie though? Was it spoiled that Doomsday was a villain manipulated by Lex? Maybe? But we don't know how that fight will pan out still, just as we knew Zod was the bad guy, but we didn't know how that initial Man of Steel fight would pan out right?

Eisenberg looks like he's playing the annoying smart rich guy, and sure he makes some quick quips, but he's no Joker by any stretch. And I do have a feeling that's just how he's playing it to fool the heroes. That picture of him bald released a while ago seems to scream the true evil nature of his portrayal. I personally like this different take on Luthor on screen. As great of a Gene Hackman impression Kevin Spacey did in Superman Returns, and Clancy Brown's awesome business man Lex in the animated series, I want something new.

And for others who solely want a Batman v Superman movie... it's not. The title says all right there "Dawn of Justice". This movie is the set-up for the Justice League. I've had someone say that to reduce this movie to something as 'brainless' as a good guys vs bad guys movie like the avengers 2 makes it bad. That argument really doesn't hold any water either. I mean, it's a super hero movie! OF COURSE it's good guys vs. bad guys!

Anyhow, I personally enjoyed this trailer. There were some incredibly spot-on scenes with Cavil and Affleck in their secret identities meeting for the first time.The quick snippets of all the fight scenes looked fantastic, from the Batman v Superman brawl to the desert sequence with what could be para-demons. Doomsday made me giddy and of course the whole scene with Wonder Woman's reveal had my jaw drop even further.

My gut instinct is to fire back at the haters with the same bile and anger that they spew. To trash the stuff that they think is good (and oh, it is  SO easy to do it), and just absolutely decimate them with a rant (like this one).

But that gets us nowhere.

Instead, I fired back... with fan-art! With me celebrating the trailer and the stuff I loved, and liking and sharing as many posts and tweets about it that I could find! I would direct compliments to the director and actors and the companies at the good job they did, and instead be supportive of them.

Sketch Phase. I still like her eye shape better
in the original sketch. I didn't spend too much time
on the details...

I added some speed lines to fill up the empty areas
by her head, and they're cool, but it just wasn't the
feeling I was going for with the drawing.


Final
And that's my first shot fired at the Batman v Superman haters! And I'm sure there'll be more. Warner Brothers is really going out of their way to make this movie absolutely awesome and epic. They are climbing an uphill battle, because by default, everybody hates DC. I live in a world where people are more hyped to watch Ant-Man and Black Panther than to see Batman fight Superman!  It's a good time for comics to be sure, and there's a lot of positivity towards the genre... as long as you're not DC Comics that is.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Birthday card for my wife

I put my comic book work on hold for a little bit and worked on a birthday card for my wife. I didn't quite have an idea what it would be about, but it would still be in the same 'universe' that my wedding proposal for her is in.

My wife and I would have quick conversations about how our life has changed so much since we've had children. We'd see old photos of ourselves and reminisce about the days that it was just her and I and how 'mobile' we were. We would think about all the places we went to and the places we'd like to be.

Don't get us wrong though, we love our kids, but it seems like that was a different lifetime ago, and the people in the photos seem so different from who we are now. So that's where the brain storm started for the birthday card.

My sketches worked backwards. I knew what message I wanted to say
at the end, so I started off with 'designs' for the interior image first.

Boiling down my idea along with basic poses for the characters on the card.

I'm paying homage to that classic "Spider-Man, No more" issue
for the card's front. But eventually I thought a horizontal, hotdog-style
opening card would make the card more special than a regular one.
With around a week to go before the big day, I didn't bother tightening up the sketches, or even the layouts, and just went straight to digital inks. All my character design work was already done, so I felt confident I could just bust this one out.

It started out that I was going to draw the background of the 'cover' just like
Amazing Spider-Man #50. But because of time as well as aesthetics, it seemed
really appropriate to leave the background blank. It would be a good contrast to
the super colorful interior (once I was done with it).

I drew the images incorrectly at first. It was on an 8.5 x 11 canvas, but
I didn't take into account that it should've been half that height,
since I was folding the paper in half. Nothing scaling and a little
digital re-positioning couldn't handle though! 

Coloring pass wasn't too tough. I used to use Photoshop to handle the coloring, but since my older version of Photoshop works 'alright' on my Surface 3, I just kept coloring in Manga Studio. It wasn't too bad actually.

Final colors, and a slightly altered layout from the Black and Whites.

I think I over did the stars, but it's kind of a nice contrast to the
starkness of the cover. Kinda like a punch in the face after opening
the birthday card... maybe not the best analogy...

So there we go. Hopefully, it feels like a celebration of the new things that we have now (and who we've become), and less of the "I miss the "good" ol' days"... That's it for my art shenanigans for November! Time to go back to blocking in some colors for my comic!

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