I don’t know what kind of artist I am. I’ve been called a comic book artist, an illustrator, an urban artist, a cartoonist, a bad artist and just plain old artist. Oh, also graphic designer. Well, I don’t know if any of those are accurate, and I don’t really concern myself with such things. I usually hesitate to even call myself an artist, and just say I’m a guy who likes to draw. In essence that’s all I really am, and I don’t pretend to be anything more.
I’m usually known for my humor, but I’d like to be more than that. I want to be epic. I want to draw things that blow people away while pulling them in. I want to tell fantastic stories and convey a real sense of setting. In truth, I want to be better than I am. But maybe not better than I can be.
There’s the rub. I’m always trying to improve. I want to be able to draw whatever comes into my head, and I want the best possible images coming into my head. I don’t want to be some one note hack relying on the same tricks over and over. That sort of thing is fine if you love that one thing you are doing, but I want to do everything. To portray and instill all emotions.
Perhaps I’m on my way. I think that I’ve been getting to a place, this page included, where humor is not really a factor and I’m (somewhat) effectively creating a sense of dread and tension. Not to toot my own horn or anything.
This page marks a return to the shadowy figure, but I think I’ve done it here better than ever. Look at that bottom left panel. It is right up there with my favorite panels, or drawings for that matter. I love the drama of it. The angle, the darkness, the washed out background, and the highlights in the shadow. Just great stuff that I need to do more of. Btw, anyone think they know who that is? I’m not telling.
The bottom right panel is cool too, but not in the same league as the one next to it. I decided to focus Calhoun’s fire around his hands (like the old comic books) and not his whole body like his earlier scene. I think it will be something that fluctuates with his mood, and have come up with some justifications in my head for the rules. He is creepy looking there. I added some white in his eyes to also show his fire, and that looks pretty different than what Ive been doing with the solid black.
The top panel is really nice because of the scope of the shot. It’s a nice long shot that shows us where all the all the characters are positioned in this abandoned old building. I like Calhoun’s dignified stance there. He has a fun attitude very unlike the way he was portrayed in the old comic books.
Next to Calhoun is a new character that we came up with quite some time ago named F-5. I wanted him to look different than anything we’ve done before, and I think he has a pretty unique design. I don’t want to say too much about him though.
Next to him you see the return of the fan favorite character Redemption. In his two earlier scenes he really won over a lot of fans that seemed to love his design and attitude. Calhoun is a tall thin guy, F-5 is a muscular beast, and here we really get to see that Redemption is actually a fairly small man. I don’t think we ever really got a sense of that before since he was only in shots by himself or with a sitting man, but it was always intended.
He isn’t a brute, he’s an intelligent man with deadly skills. You may notice that his clothing is slightly altered here, as I made a few small improvements (hopefully). He doesn’t have to wear the same thing everyday you know!
I think this setting is really exciting, and I hope to play it up. I finished laying out this scene while working on this page (which I drew pretty quickly) and it was a shock to see just how epic the whole product is going to be when finished. I’ve been talking up this scene now for a few weeks, and I’m confident it will more than live up to the hype. It’s a make or break scene really. If you aren’t enjoying this story by the end of this scene I don’t think that you ever will.