Wednesday, March 25, 2015

THAT'S NOT ALL FOLKS


In addition to drawing some covers recently on DC's Looney Tunes comic, I also got the chance to write a story. All those years of waking up at the crack of dawn and watching the show on a Saturday morning sugar cereal high, finally have paid off. I pitched a number of different story ideas, but truth be told, DC and WB picked the one I was most interested in doing. Such a huge love for all those great Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons, it was a blast to do my own.

First things first, the cover. Unlike previous covers where they like to see three or more ideas to pick from, I already had a strong idea of what I wanted to do. So with the layout in mind, it was more a manner of trying to find the right expression for Coyote to have. Because it's as much about getting it cleared through WB standards as it is DC. Also why I have the greatest amount of respect for the animators and sequential artists that work on cartoon licensed books. They have to draw these characters "in movement" across the screen or page, multiple times, from multiple angles and situations. Something I'm not entirely comfortable doing. But a one-image cover, I'm always striving to see if I can accomplish that.


For the story itself, it's always a matter of respecting the property. Trying to have an understanding of what's come before and the tropes of the universe it inhabits. So on animation based properties, I always sit down and watch a lot of them and take notes. Break down what works and what doesn't. And it'll always spark the imagination. 

With ACME such a prevailing part of every Roadrunner cartoon, it was pretty easy coming up with a story that involves Coyote running out of funds and going to work for ACME in order to get more items to use in his never ending quest to get the Roadrunner. It was fun playing around with the idea of ACME being sort of another high-tech version of Amazon or Google.

The one sight gag I wanted to put early in the story, and I wasn't sure if it would even be allowed, was to have Coyote and Ralph Wolf pass each other in the same panel. I couldn't for the life of me remember if they'd ever been shown together before. But I liked the idea of finally putting to rest any question that they were the same character (Coyote with his black nose and Wolf with his red one).


When I found out that Dave Alvarez would be drawing my story, I was very excited! I'd followed his work before on his own creation "Yenny", as well as other stories he's drawn for Looney Tunes and Scooby. He's always had a way of faithfully capturing the style of the animation property he's drawing, while making it come to life in his own fun way. And I think the art he did here looks like a lost episode from the show. So clean. Tightly drawn, with solid colors by Candace Schinzler-Bell. Hope to get the chance to work with them again!

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