Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pages to Ink, for Practice

Today I am reposting a small gallery of pages I have scanned in and converted to light-blue .psd's (Photoshop files). If you would like me to print out any of these for you to practice inking on, give me a list of the ones you would like printed and a dollar for each. (I'm about to have a working printer again.) The next class meeting I will bring you back a printout out on 11" x 17" bristol board. I highly recommend you download and print out the black-and-white jpeg that opens when you click on the thumbnails in the gallery. Then you can have that to refer to as you work. The jpeg will scale to print out at 8 1/2 x 11" at a nice high resolution. (I have not linked to, or even uploaded, the bluelines to my site, as none of you have 11 x 17" printers.)

Gallery of Pages for Inking Practice

In a disgraceful display of artistic narcissism, I have led off with a tightly penciled Elvira page of my own, and -- worse -- stacked the deck with more challenging (better, but less finished) pages, albeit without planning to. This may have the effect of channeling you toward whetting your inking teeth on my sterling contribution before perhaps moving on to the golden glories of, say, the great John Romita, Jr.


P.S.: Once you've downloaded the jpegs, you can right-click on the file icon and select "Properties" to view the artist credits and my notes on what challenges each page holds. Apologies for the slow downloads.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Jeep Patriot Comics

Here is the rare use of comics in advertising that doesn't use comics as a mere motif. Instead of the usual nostalgic Pow-Biff sound effects and big color dots, the people at Jeep actually made a comic that reflects the way comics look now. Then they built a racy Flash interface around it and invited our participation in determining where the story goes from here. Note that you can even view the pages in their penciled and inked-but-uncolored forms.

It's remarkable that Jeep presumes there are a lot of potential customers who are not just receptive to comics as a medium but interested in its creative process. The brave Comments and Submissions counters will tell the tale. It goes to show, not only the rising cultural currency of comics, but also your potential for landing similar gigs when you leave the good ol' Acad. As a rule, advertisers pay a lot better for comic-book art than comics publishers do, you know.


Thanks to Chuck for the link.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Because You Demanded It...

..Another list, of a sort. Here's our schedule for the rest of the semester. Uncertainty as to actual date is signaled by question marks, e.g., on such items as Guest Speaker Day!
This week's illustration is by the late, great Wallace Wood, ghosting Will Eisner in The Spirit Section, a 20-pp. comic-book insert for Sunday newspapers in the '40s and '50s.

Meeting 3 (today) Review "Vegas" penciled page. Assignment: thumbnail and lay out first 3 layouts. clean--With indications of centerlines on major forms, backgrounds and perspective. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Meeting 4 (Tuesday20Feb) Review layouts in relation to variety, unity, eye-path, diagonals, breathing room, shape schemes, depth, storytelling, perspective. Assignment: final three thumbnails and layouts, changes to first four.

Meeting 5 (Tuesday27Feb) Review last three page layouts. Troubleshoot as necessary. Discuss perspective, working method, materials. Assign changes to last three layouts, and first page of pencils.

Meeting 6 (Tuesday6Mar) Review first penciled page. Benchmark: All layouts done. Discuss use of black, line weight. Assign next page of pencils, changes to p.1.

Meeting 7 (Tuesday13Mar) Review pp. 2 revised p. 1. Assign pp. 3 of pencils, changes to pp.2, study for midterm quiz. Happy Spring Break!

(Spring Break)

Meeting 8 (Tuesday27Mar) Midterm Quiz. Review first 4 pages of pencils. Assign next page of pencils (through p.4), changes to p. 3. GUEST SPEAKER DAY???

Meeting 9 (Tuesday3Apr) Review of next page of pencils (through p. 5). Assign final page of pencils. Make 100% Xeroxes or PS Scans of all pencils for inclusion in final pitch packet -- BEFORE ANY INKING!! Reminder to bring inking kit and xeroxes of pencils to next class. Then INKING LAB 1. In-class inking exercises.

Meeting 10 (Tuesday10Apr) Final Review of pencils. Bring xeroxes or email jpegs to John. Assign penciling of character sketches, three cover layouts. Catch up for coming benchmark. VIZ TOUR????

Meeting 11 (Tuesday17Apr) Review of character sketches, cover layouts. Final tweaks on pencils in class! New xeroxes as needed. Benchmark: all pencils finished, corrected! Assign cover pencils, optional inking of character sketches.

Meeting 12 (Tuesday24Apr) Review of cover pencils. INKING LAB 2? In-class assignment: inking of provided panels? Assign two pages of inking, plus (optional) getting one's own files ready for upcoming Photoshop lab.

Meeting 13 (Tuesday1May) Review of first two pages of inking. Assign next two pages inking, (through page 4), PHOTOSHOP LAB DAY

Meeting 14 (Tuesday8May) Review of next two pages of inking (through p.4). Assign last two pages of inking, plus possibly cover inks. Reminder to touch up smears, erase margins, etc. Remind of possible potluck Banquet of Snacks.

Meeting 15 (Tuesday15May) Presentation of Final projects. Turn in Xeroxes of same, including copies of pencils, to John. ALL-POSITIVE COMMENTS DAY. Discussion of approaching publishers, professional conduct, further schooling, written part of pitches career benefits of storytelling skills. Potluck snack banquet? GUEST REVIEWER Chuck Pyle

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

For Love of Lists

Free admission to SFMOMA for AAU students;
Spring Show; 540 showcases;
Illustration Town Hall Meeting, 3pm. Thu. 8Feb, 540 Powell. Air your hopes and gripes!

Summary of voting:
Yes to covering Photoshop coloring, Yes to lettering.
No to live model, Cartoon Art Museum.

Hey, y'all...
Here are the key concepts and terms we reviewed in class today!
...And if you're not going to do your own pet project for the pitch that makes up the bulk of this semester's work, then check your options in the "Pitch Basket" below. Yet another option is doing a retro script on an existing comic--working with popular existing characters, in other words. Up to you. Next week is decision time!
"Drawing Through"
"Even if you can't see it, it still shows"
Canon(s) of proportions
Line of action
Atmospheric perspective
2-point perspective
3-point perspective always involves either the...
zenith or the..
Establishing shot
Extreme close-up
Medium shot
Dutch angle ("camera" is tilted)
180 rule
Prop continuity
"Variety and Unity"
"breathing room" and its close cousin, open areas (white paper)
Shape schemes, ala Frazetta's triangles
Balance: black=weight

Pitch Basket: Alternatives to doing your own idea. Here are the different pitches I've assembled from the writers I know. It's actually a deeper and more impressive list than I thought we were going to be able to come up with. Please be thinking of which two, if any, you would like more info on. Each one will only be assigned to one student.
Basket of ideas

Pro Art for Inking Practice: I'll be posting jpegs and .psd's of professional penciled pages for you to print out on bristol board. They will print out in non-photo blue.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ADDITIONS (Great books to have, for info and inspiration)

Writing for Comics with Peter David, 2006, Impact Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1-58180-730-1ISBN-10: 1-58180-730-9
The DC Comics Guide to Penciling Comic Books by Klaus Janson, 2002, Watson-Guptill
ISBN 0-8230-1028-7
The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comic Books by Klaus Janson, 2003, Watson-Guptill
ISBN 0-8230-1029-5
The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comic Books by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein, 2002, Watson-Guptill
ISBN 0-8230-1030-9
The Art of Comic Book Inking by Gary Martin, Dark Horse Publishing