“We Want You!”
This may be the finest page of comic art I have ever constructed. I am extremely proud of how this piece came out because it signals a great turning point in the style and candor of the comic. Art should reflect the intentions of the writing of a comic, and that is exactly what this page does.
Two years ago I came up with the idea for this page. Steve wandering the streets and coming upon a piece of zombie propaganda that influences his life the way a good piece of propaganda effects the lives of those it is intended for. I was a senior in high school the year that September 11, 2001 occurred. I was just 18. That year I saw a good deal of my classmates come on the receiving end of the propaganda and national fervor for war.
This is a moment in which Steve is faced with a calling right at the time he needs one.
When I was looking for propaganda influences for the poster I really couldn’t decide on the appropriate influence for the final propaganda piece until I came accross Dean Cornwell. His paintings had that Norman Rockwell texture to them and I knew immediately when I saw “They’ve Got The Guts” that this was the piece I needed to emulate in the poster I was creating.
Next I needed a San Diego street shot. This actually took a while because my pages are oriented horizontally. I wish I was at the point in my artistry where I could come up with these scenes out of my head, but I’m not there yet. I am not sure who is the photographer of this specific piece, but the street artist behind the piece is named Robert Montgomery. Interesting story about these pieces, check it out.
Below are some brief glimpses into the three week long process of constructing this piece. From pencils to inks to digitally painting the final comic.
Pencils: originally I was composing the final image to look a bit different than it ended up coming out.
Starting the inks (A close-up)
These two Zombies unfortunately did not make the final cut for the finished page, but I love them anyway!
Flats – I knew, almost as immediately as I finished flatting it that if the image was going to pop like Cornwell’s it was going to need to be repainted. All the inks had to go.
This was the very beginning of the digital painting process. Each section like this took me between 45-90 minutes to complete. My approach was to use a solid edge standard photoshop brush with the opacity ranging in between 18-60%. Once I would make a stroke with the brush I would use the eyedropper tool to grab the mixed color and then spread a new line to mix down the colors into each other.
Close-ups of the final painting at full view.
This is the finished painting which, as you can see, is very closely tied to the original composition (Lighting, color palette, etc.) of Cornwell. At some point I can see this single piece being used for a print.
I would love to hear questions about the process. Let me know what you want to know in the comments. I am an open book!
Song Of The Day:
Of course it is “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath. What else would it be?
Till next week!