Thursday, May 14, 2015

Justice League International Convergence 2 and Philly Wizard

The last few weeks were mad busy here at Studio Manley between finishing up the second issue of the JLI: Convergence and attending last week's Philly Wizard World and staying up with the strip.

The deadline on the second issue of the JLI was pushed right up to the last day it could ship to the printer or miss shipping. I delay in getting the second half of the script by Ron Mars because of DC needing to coordinate the zillions of books gave me little time to finish the art. I think Ron did a good job giving the fans what they want with the two versions of the Beetle working together. It was harder for me as it was working from a plot which gives me some more room layout wise, but I was pretty unfamiliar with the characters as I never read a JLI book.

 It was all hands on deck, so Joe Rubinstein chipped in on inking as well as Bret Blevins.  After penciling the last pages I hopped on the inking for the last few pages myself. I have to say the Marie Javins my editor was fantastic this whole project.

She's not only a great person but a really great editor, the kind you really don't find anymore. The last few comic projects I did for DC never went as smoothly despite having better deadlines---though in reality doing monthly comics is always a four alarm fire at some point.

Chris Sotomayor and his team at Sotocolor also did a great job coloring the two issue, maybe my favorite coloring job in comics---also with having only a few days to do the bulk of the book. So while disappointed I couldn't do the whole job myself I am pretty happy with the results of the books, and it was fun to draw some superhero action after drawing the slower soap opera of Judge Parker, now in it's 51st week on the current storyline.

One of the things about doing this big cross-over event for DC was getting asked for these mini interviews for various wed site promotions. So I'd get a lits of questions along with the writer, Ron Mars. Questions like what are your favorite JLI moments, covers, characters, etc.

I really didn't know how to answer most of those questions as I never read a JLI book. I was aware of the Giffen and Maguire run, but i don't know if I ever bought or read that run, maybe I got some in my DC bundle of books I got every month for a while. I am a fan of artists and never read books because of the writing or characters. I know that makes me very different from the average comic fan, who buys issues of Spider-man because they love the character. I only have issue where I like the art. So I have no fave moments of these characters--they are new to me. the only character I was really familiar with was Martian Manhunter--and he was the most fun to draw.

                                                                           My layout

                                                                     My inked final

I imagine since he's a shape shifter he must have to concentrate to maintain his form, thus maybe he's always slightly changing his appearance. Like a clenched muscle he must at some point get tired, Slightly changing shapes especially when angry-etc.

There is all of this back story on the JLI I was unaware of or only slightly aware of so it was a challenge from that standpoint as well as a reference nightmare. the issues I was sent for ref were so poorly drawn in the kinda' 90's Image style and the costumes were never drawn clearly or well. The Kingdom Come characters were also hard as some were never really drawn much or very small, one or two shots here or there. So that was the biggest hassle for me---but now it's on the shelf and history. I'll be announcing a new series for a new publisher that I'll be working on soon!

Thanks to my biddy Danny Fingeroth I attended the Philly Wizard World con last week. I skipped Thursday to finish the Judge and knew it would be low attendance and did Friday to Sunday. I did some sketches and a panel on the Joker with Danny. I can see how taking any art to sell isn't worth it now, this con is really about the celebrities and fans in cosplay.

 Comics is just a side show more and more. I think if i go back I'd just have prints--which it seemed everybody from Neal Adams to Micheal Golden had. Both had isle long booth filled with a zillion prints as did 99% of the other artists.

Walking Dead, Dr. Who, you name it, so man prints of these characters. I wonder how anyone makes money and the legal side of producing these unlicensed drawings and prints seems like a big issue as well.

 I also don't know if I want to go around toting a zillion prints--so this is something I have to think about as the nature of fandom continues to shift at the shows. Shows like the Baltimore Con are more my speed as they are not about the Hollywood stuff and more about comics themselves. I don't mind the cosplay but know those folks have no interest in me or my work.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

More Convergence

I thought I'd add a few more pages to show my process for the first issue of JLI Bloodmoon. his page was a lot of designing as I had to create a hanger for Blue Beetles ship which got pretty banged up in the opening pages. This was also a sequence where Martian Manhunter and Bettle got to talk about the  group and their issues. I tried to give Ron Mars plenty of room to fit in dialogue as well as create a moody scene.

Once they return to normal of course the costume is back to normal and wasn't blasted or burned away by their powers. Now Lee and Kirby explained that by Mr. Fantastic's creation of uniforms made of unstable molecules in the Fantastic Four. I don't know what the Justice League use or in  anyone of the League is the one who makes costumes for all the others. I inked most of these pages with a Hunt 102 and Pitt Markers with some brush.