Who needs practice?
How do you go about creating something that inspires fear in the eyes of your main protagonists? I struggled with the development of the Fronglers but maybe it’s because I was looking for something unusual. My initial design had a lot going for it but I felt it was too conventional and was too much of a throwback to the familiar fantasy sic-fi beasts we’ve gotten used to see, whether it be in movies, TV shows, comics or fantasy illustration. I don’t mean to say there is anything wrong with reptile or dinosaur inspired predators. I felt the story called for beings that would look truly outlandish. It’s difficult to guess what holds the frongler’s body together, but it would not be unreasonable to say that they are not a carbon based life form. As you have seen in the last few pages, Wayne doesn’t have much time to figure out what their attackers’s weaknesses are. He’s more concerned about containing their relentless onslaught until him and Gina manage to get to safer grounds.
The concept art gallery will give you an idea of how the design evolved, from a more generic hybrid of a tiger and a reptile to a beast who’s make up is a little more difficult to place.
Besides working hard on the adventures of Cpt Wayne, I’ve also been very busy with my first ever guest comic! Around the time this blog post has gone live, fellow comic artist and good friend Tom Dell’Aringa will have posted his last comic before taking a two month break. This break will allow him to polish up the grand finale to his five year in the running webcomic Marooned. While he does this, he will be publishing a guest comic that we collaborated on. Even though Tom wrote the story and texts and I provided my services as the artist, the whole project feels likes our individual style and ideas blending into one unique 7 page story. I’m really enjoying working on this.
Stay tuned for more details on this and don’t forget to come back on Thursday as Wayne gets back on board the Calypso. Or not…
I did say last week I would be telling you about the Fronglers today but this week’s comments on page 53 made me want to give you some insights as to how I went about designing the Captaincy Blobsters. Blobsters? Waht in the world is a blobster? Bear with me for a second.
I bet some of you have been wondering if a Captain is equipped with some kind of weapon or at least a way to defend himself against potentially hostile opposition. Since the Captaincy exists as a peace keeping and moderation organisation, none of its weaponry has any destructive power. The idea is to neutralise the threat and engage in a dialogue, giving all parties involved a chance at a diplomatic resolution. The Blobster was build with that philosophy in mind.
Early on, I had imagined the Blobster to have a much more conventional look. They would materialise in the Captain’s hand when needed, readers familiar with the works of Akira Toriyama will know what I’m talking about. I always loved the capsules used in Dragon Ball which would spontaneously make cars or buildings appear. In the end, I just didn’t think it fit in with the style I was developing, especially since I was working hard to give the world of Captain Wayne a detailed, believable feel where everything you see has been designed and engineered. Forms follows function.
So, the Blobster model you see on page 53 is stored in Wayne’s shoulder pads, allowing him to carry two at a time. The keenest observers amongst you might ask: “How come the Captaincy badges – hence, the Blobsters – are all of sudden much larger from page 48 on?” Wayne does carry two blobsters at all times, his regular outfit is the latest standard in Captaincy apparel for standard investigations including much smaller and lightweight weaponry. The older and more heavy duty models Wayne is talking along right now are more reliable, powerful and have much faster reload times than the sleeker and more portable modern blobsters.
Next week, I’ll be looking back at how the Fronglers came to be, for sure. It was a long and painful gestation so there will be lots of sketches and renderings.
Yes, that’s right, it’s finally here! My most excellent comic artist friend Denver Brubaker has released the first collection of his comic in print.
Tales of a Checkered Man is one of my very favourite online comics. As Denver himself so eloquently puts it, “Tales of a Checkered Man is a love letter to caped-crusaders, pulp adventure heroes, and classic newspaper adventure strips and features a masked mystery man skulking the streets of Exotic City for wrongs to right with a case of acrophobia and the best of intentions”.
As far as long form web comics go, this is a must read so go check it out and if you really dig it, you can own Volume 1 in print. How cool is that? Pretty cool I’d say!
While we’re on the subject of print, I’m still thinking of putting together a collector’s edition of Cpt Wayne and the Unexplained Dimension. Who knows, it might be a development worth investigating further. What do you think? Should I consider finding ways to get CWUD printed? Share you thoughts in the comments!
Next week, I’ll be giving you a look at how that lovely pink and white creature came to be. Lots of concept art waiting for you; until then, head over to The Checkered Man. You won’t regret it!
I bet you must be wondering how a place like this was just left behind and forgotten about! Well, I’m not here to give you answers. Not today.
So let’s focus on the development of this thing. It wasn’t until I started working on the final pages that the Captaincy base on Sol-Y-Sis got it’s final design. The first image in the gallery (not the thumbnail) is a ballpoint sketch I made in a sketchbook while I was still playing around with the idea for the climax of this first story. The other three were done probably a year later when I started painting digitally in Painter.
Eventually, the whole design of the place went a different direction but there are a few elements in these sketches that helped me define the look I was looking for. This building was obviously built a long time ago. You can tell by how the local flora has taken over and by the corrosion of the appliances depicted in page 51. World building is a tricky thing. You can pretty much do anything you want but in my book, there’s one rule of thumb: it has to make sense. If it doesn’t, you better have a good reason.
I decided to design the early years of Captaincy architecture and industrial design as an homage to 1950′s sic-fi movies. In a strange way in made sense to me and I just went with it. As you might have noticed, the spaceship in the background has a distinctive look that instantly gives it it’s place in time when you compare it to Wayne’s Seeker 9.
There is, you might have guessed, a whole of things that happened here at some point in time. Events that led to the depravation of this -in it’s heyday- high-tech facility. I’m going to let you imagine that for now because that’s part of how I like to tell stories. I want to give you the room to let your own imagination wander off.
Have I got an unexpected post for you this week! I got some fan art and from none other than the incredibly talented and overall nice guy Vince Dorse! I came across Vince’s online long form webcomic experiment Untold Tales of Big Foot last year. He had just started his comic and right away, I knew he was on to something special.
I was fortunate enough to find myself in the company of Vince (and other awesome artists) when we worked on our Farewell to Marooned illustration. Since our paths have crossed, I think it’s fair to say that Vince and I have become real fans of each other’s work and I felt quit honoured when he suggested we should exchange fan art! So here’s a preview of the piece I drew for Vince; I though it would be cool to imagine the premise of Wayne and Gina landing by the woods where Big Foot and Scout hang out.
Vince had this great idea of creating a reverse shot of that scene and he sent me this absolutely gobsmackingly awesome interpretation of my characters!
If you aren’t familiar with Untold Tales of Big Foot, I most certainly encourage you to go check it out, it’s a great, family friendly adventure full of twists and turns that will get you hooked in no time. And Vince’s art is just nothing short of wonderful! Oh, and I forgot to mention (how could I?) that his comic is nominated for the National Cartoonists Society Divisional Award for Best Online Comic – Long Form, pretty cool, eh!
See you tomorrow for a BIG surprise in page 51 of Cpt Wayne and the Unexplained dimension.