today an X-men comic Rico and i worked on with Jason Latour came out, Wolverine and the X-Men #11, and holy shit, it's one of the coolest things we ever got to do. even though it's only 3 pages worth of story, figured i should post, a big-bada-boom post, as LeeLoo would say. ive been drawing these 2 X-Men my whole life, and i dont know how i got so lucky to have this gig. but i can tell you what i do do (doo-doo)- draw what i want, draw with my friends. luckily my friends are Rico Renzi and Jason Latour, luckily they still invite me to their parties. this one was actually Wolverine's funeral, but we had a good time, he'd want it that way. they also invited art monsters Farel Dalrymple, Vanessa Del Rey, Robbi Rodriguez, and Ben Caldwell. it was more than a rager, it was a berserker.
i think we got the job off a commission for Terence Hoskins, who collects Punk Storm art. Terence is also a good friend (see my 2 rules above), and rescued me with BBQs so many times while i lived in Charlotte. Thanks sir, thanks Twila, thanks Tony. anyways, based on the strength of this commission (best guess), Latour saw a spot for Rico and i to do that on the main stage. plus Wolverine. He delivered the plot Marvel-style over the phone, and Rico and i got started. forgive my rambling, im just so juiced we got to do these 3 pages.
i do stupid amounts of research because im a stone-cold dum-dum. but new yorkers would know bs drawings of new york. people notice, it matters. Latour set this story in Tokyo- that required homework. after (a stupid amount of) researching, i decided to have Storm and Logan get off the subway at Shinjuku Station, and walk east to the Golden Gai district (music/bars), then on to the Kabukicho district (red-light) lookin for trouble. if i got that wrong, well, my fav artists were Gaijin (Studios).
character reference.... usually, i shoot for a Tyra Banks/Grace Jones hybrid when it comes to Storm, with a little of Rihanna's weird Tex Avery forehead. then i saw this lady in a crowd scene from the Ginger Baker doc Beware Mr. Baker. fack. Logan, im always drawing Aron Weisenfeld's version.
before research, i vomit out all the moments from the movie in my head, a fresh first impression. with this, i also asked Jason, Rico, Terence, and Jackie Lewis (bc Logan is her "earth husband") what they wanted, cuz this is such a fan service dream story. then alternated thumbnailing and research. at this stage Rico and i are gaming out a color concept, i use one of those multicolored bic pens (bottom right), sometimes highlighters, to sort out blocks of color.
finished thumbnails. dont show Rico the version on the left, so he can have his own fresh first impression. but, i need to see how the zones of color will fit together, giving each location its own random color. purple was for Golden Gai district, blue for Kabukicho, and red is for the rooftop. red's also for mood, Jason wrote a Storm/Logan romance, and i wanted to hint at some heat between them. top panel is Gateway, from 80's X-Men, an Aboriginal X-Friend who used to beam them around the world, but J caught that as a continuity error. he's a superfan. re-worked, starting to set-up color concept for pgs 2+3. will essplain that next week. double checked with J-La, J-Lew, T, and Rico that things were reading.
drawing is hard, but it's fun when there's an excuse to OD on detail. also when you get to draw butts. i checked with Jackie to make sure Logans was plump enough. it wasn't.
gave Logan a little more crack for Jackie. keeping eye on the ball for what will be handled in zipatone.
these pages don't work without Rico's colors, by design. i don't subscribe to the school of thought that says the art should work on it's own in black and white. that makes colors a fifth leg on the table, and i think comes from the days when they were limited, as a sort of fail-safe quality control. Rico is consistently excellent and dependable, so i depend on his colors for storytelling. colorists aren't our interior decorators, they're crucial to the architecture. so if you don't know, now you know.
Added a beer mug and cigar butt into panel 2. not saying that they are Logans litter, but im not saying they aren't. Rico put different light sources on either side of Logan and Storm in panel 1, look how that flat ass mohawk i drew became 3 dimensional. look how that alley got cracked open. i thought we were screwed with all the posters on that wall, but he reigned em in, sat em down, gave em a good talking to. besides functioning, these colors are just nice to look at, aesthetically pleasing. Rico's boss. i hope he chimes in here, cause i dont know how to essplain what he does.
Jason, thanks again (again) for the dream job! Rico, you're the jam, thanks for makin this sing! Katie Kubert, thanks for being so great to work with! Terence, thanks for planting the seed! Jackie, thanks for knowing story and butts! omigod, i love everyone. dreams can come true ;p
k, back to work.