Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Captain America #43 Cover

(click image to enlarge)

Marvel's October 2008 solicitations are beginning to appear, featuring Captain America #43. Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

Written by ED BRUBAKER
Pencils by LUKE ROSS
Bucky has survived his first major trial as the new Captain America, but now a villain from his past - both as Bucky in WW2 and as the Winter Soldier during the Cold War - has come to the U.S. and he'll have to face his history just as he's finding his feet in the present. The beginning of a gripping war and espionage tale, with some familiar faces for long-term Cap readers, as the New Captain America moves further into the Marvel U. And for this action-packed three-part story, award-winning Cap writer Ed Brubaker is joined by acclaimed artist Luke Ross (Jonah Hex, Samurai).
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

This issue marks my 20th painted cover, and it's an ongoing experiment. Next month, I'll try to post a step by step of the cover process, much like the page process in the previous post.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Page Process

Captain America #40 went on sale this week, and instead of my usual lame generic post announcing the fact, I've decided to show a little of the process involved in drawing the book.

After printing out the script, I'll usually go through and do thumbnails directly on the script pages as I'm reading it. These are generally quick impressions, and are subject to change (to put it mildly). Here's the thumbnail for page 11-

(click images to enlarge)

The next step is the actual pencilling. I really prefer drawing with pens and markers instead of pencil, so "pencilling" may not be the right term. I only use pencils to roughly block in the figures and then draw everything with whatever pen I have laying around, using a Sharpie for the big solid blacks. Usually on this step, I'll lay out everything a little more carefully than you see here, but since this page required no establishing shots or busy environments, I could just concentrate on getting the figures on the page-

This then gets scanned into Photoshop to tweak the placement and composition, completing the "pencils" part of the process-

This rough is then printed out on 11x17 paper and then taped to the back of an art board supplied by Marvel. My drawing table has a lightbox and I go straight to inks from this stage. There may be some incidental pencilling as I go, particularly if I'm working on something very specific, like a certain building or type of car. Faces and hands also are subject to being refined before the inks go down . Here's the final inked page-

Finally, it's uploaded to the folks at Marvel, who then pass it on to the one and only Frank D'Armata for coloring-

- and that's that.

I don't follow these steps exactly for every page, but for the most part this is how it's done. I'm constantly trying to tweak this process and eliminate steps in an attempt to increase speed and production, so this is all subject to change.