Friday, October 3, 2014


Looney Tunes #222 cover

Man it's been awhile since I've been around these parts…

Apologies as I've been absent from posting much here. I'm in an interesting transition period of work. Have wrapped up most of my inking commitments. Writing various short stories and special issues for a range of places (drawing a few of them too). And venturing into the Children's Book Market for the first time as I'm in the early stages of working on what will be a huge publicized project in the coming years. Equal parts daunting and exciting.

And another phase of work is getting the chance to draw covers, which I always consider another form of "storytelling"…just with less space involved.

The career I'm stumbling through to chisel out, I never expected to work on covers. Or even draw sequentials. I was pretty comfortable just inking for a long stretch of it. But eventually you want to try different things. Opportunities surface. And you're just sort of happy for the chance.

Working on Looney Tunes has been pretty exciting. It doesn't seem that long ago (although it's been 25 to 30 years in the past) that I was waking up at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings, getting hopped up on sugary cereal, and lying on the floor to watch hours of cartoons. Of those, repeats of those great classic Looney Tunes were part of that experience. Now all these years later, working with one of my editors on Batman Li'l Gotham, I'm fortunate to draw some covers for the Looney Tunes comic that DC is still putting out.

Drawing such recognizable animated characters is probably the greatest challenge. Unlike most comics where companies (and fans) are interested in an artist's distinct style, it's much different for cartoons (and cartoon based comics). The artist isn't the star attraction, the character and their design is. And being focused to draw them as close to "on model" as you can is the most important part.

For a couple of years before I got into comics, I was in art school specifically to get into animation. Character animation, inbetweening, clean-up, storyboarding; and shopping my portfolio around animation studios. And even though comics always was the bug that bit me first, I've always enjoyed animated material. But it's also tough to try to fit into that style on a consistent basis. But doing covers is a little easier than drawing or animating these characters more sequentially or frequently.

Below are some of my thumbnail ideas for this cover. Covers usually happen one of two ways. You either just randomly draw whatever you feel like and it doesn't have to relate to the story. Or you get the script and come up with ideas around it. This was sort of a mix of both. I got to read the script, and drew some space themed ideas, even though the cover scene never specifically happens in the story itself. Still it's a fun exercise to try to capture a theme in one image that will make the reader want to buy the comic.

I have another cover I'm doing for the comic as well as writing the story for it too. But I'll cover that (no pun intended) in a future post.

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