Monday, September 08, 2014

Arkham Knight Collectors Edition


I recently worked with DC and Rocksteady games to produce a cover for a special edition comic that will come with the Arkham Knight Collectors Edition next June.  IGN broke the news today.

Here's a look at the cover!! This was one of my favorite jobs of all time.


Pencils and inks by myself and colors by Emilio Lopez




Layouts:

The idea was simple, show Batman, Arkham Knight (the character) and the new Batmobile.




First Layout.

I decided to flip Batman and Arkham Knight and angle the image.  The city would only appear in the dark area above Batman

Tighter Layout:
I then did a tighter layout.  We decided to add Batman gliding out of the Batmobile, like you can do in the game.


I drew the image on 11x17 board after printing ou my layout in blue line.


Did some digital tweaks and added in rain.  But then some changed were made...I accidentally drew the gun on top backwards

Changed the gun and fenders to match the model more correctly digitally.


Final colors by Emilio!

Easily one of my all time fav covers!  Turned out amazing!















Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Justice League Sketches and Studies

If you aren't part of my facebook fan page or twitter then you've missed some of the sketches and studies I've been doing at night over the last week or so.  I was hoping to do one of each character, but may not be able to because I've started the issue 36 script (oh and it's an awesome start to my run!  Geoff's given me some great pages to show off my version of the characters)

So for now, here are a few I've done!



Superman 
 I felt I drew Superman to look too old on the promo image.  My former editor and buddy Eddie Berganza gave me a little hint and mentioned that if you want Supes to look a bit younger, make his hair more messy and free hanging then gelled to his head.  I also leaned him up more.  I personally like a more jacked Superman (and this may not look like a leaner Superman) but in the end it's leaner than I'd normally draw him.  You can also purchase the original art here


Aquaman  
One of my favs!  I really liked Jim Lee's version of the character from Justice League Origin and want to go back to that.  I feel that by giving him more wild hair and even some bigger muttonchops sideburns, it gives him a more unique silhouette from Superman and Shazam.  I also like the more hooked nose and stubble.  


Wonder Woman
 I can't wait to draw her more.  She's really the only female character I've ever really wanted to draw.  I want her to look tough, regal, and more square than what's been done before.  I still want her to be beautiful and feminine but also strong.  I've given her a more round face and squarish jaw, as well as lowered her tiara so it looks more like a helmet coming over her eyes.  I also like the idea of her hair being more curled and messy rather than primp and proper.


Luthor  
He's awesome.  I may make his face a bit more round and weighty, but I'm pretty happy with how he turned out here.  

That's what I have so far.  I hope to make another post showing some older Justice League art I drew in college as well as the story behind a Wonder Woman design that Geoff tweeted out last week.  If I can find them, Ill scan the art and post it here to show!



Thursday, August 28, 2014

JUSTICE LEAGUE!





The news broke today on Buzzfeed  (in a rather lackluster fashion, check out the articles on IGN or CBR instead) that I will be joining Geoff Johns on JUSTICE LEAGUE starting with issue 36 and beyond!  I'm very excited for this opportunity and can't wait to dive in head first!  Justice League has been the book I've wanted to draw for a long time, ever since watching the Justice League Animated series.  I've been in seventh heaven for about 2 weeks now since I learned the news myself.

Leaving the Bat-Universe
  I've loved every minute of the last 4 years working on the Batman line, and feel very proud at the things I've been able to accomplish there. I do feel that I still have my ultimate Batman story still inside waiting to come out, but I guess we will have to wait and see if I get another opportunity on a Batman book in the future.  Sadly, leaving that universe may mean I never get another shot on the character.  Here's hoping I do one day down the line!
 I want to throw a few shout outs to some people who were very instrumental in the success I've had working in the Bat-Universe.
  First, to David Finch for the friendship and being a great mentor to me as I started in the industry.  He gave me a shot on Batman: The Dark Knight in the pre New 52 and it really was the book that allowed me to show DC what I could do.
  To Mike Marts and Katie Kubert, my editors for the last 4 years, who believed in me enough to give me a shot on Detective Comics.  They both became such great friends, and we were a tight team kicking out books every month.  I miss working with them since they moved to Marvel, but I'm thankful for the time we had on the books we worked on.  I grew so much under their leadership.
  To John Layman for writing some great stories for me to draw on Detective and his friendship as we battled the dark forces of Gotham every month.  To Scott Snyder, James Tynion and Kyle Higgins for the great Batman Eternal scripts I was able to draw.  What a joy it was to launch a new Batman #1!
  Also to my colorists, Jeromy Cox, Emilio Lopez, Blonde and Brad Anderson for making my work look much better than it is!  And to Peter Steigerwald for teaming up on Batman Annual #1 to tell the new Mr.Freeze origin for the new 52.
And lastly to Mark Doyle and Chris Conroy for stepping in and guiding Batman Eternal when Mike and Katie moved.  They did a great job and the Bat-Books are in good hands.

Justice League and Beyond!
  Even though I could have stayed in the Bat-Universe for the rest of my career and been content, when Geoff Johns calls you up and offers you the art lead on Justice League, you take it!  Geoff has been one of my favorite writers of all time, and I think I've read almost everything he's ever written.  Blackest Night was a really big inspiration to me back when I was learning with Dave Finch and ever since then, I've wanted to work with Geoff.  In fact, my main three career goals when I set out in this career were 1) Get a job in comics, 2)Work on Batman and 3) work with Geoff Johns.
  To get the opportunity is a little daunting, I must admit.  Im being thrown into a different universe than the one I've been drawing these past few years but I'm also excited for the challenge. Geoff and I have had a few great phone conversations over the past few weeks, and one thing I've seen from Geoff is that his enthusiasm and love for comics in unlike any other writer I've met.  You can't help but get inspired, excited and pumped up for what is to come.  Not to mention its a massive confidence builder to be able to work with a writer of his caliber.  He pitched to me what was going to happen a year down the line on the book before I've even drawn one issue.  I sure hope I can impress him enough to stay on the book for all that time because I really want to draw those ideas!
   I've also always dreamed of drawing the big three,  Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman together.  I've always been fascinated with the Flash, Cyborg, Lex Luthor and Shazam and can't wait to see how I'll draw these characters in a few months down the line.  Oh, and then there is Aquaman, who is awesome!  I can't wait to draw him tearing it up.  And then there are the villains...can't spoil it, but it's another example of my dreams coming true on this book!
  I also feel like Justice League is a great opportunity to take some chances and change up my layouts a bit.  I hope to create a feeling of "BIG" to the book.  I plan to do more panels that bleed off the edges and characters breaking through panels...like as if the book is too small to contain them.  I hope to clean up my work as a bit as well and not go as grungy, that is until massive city destruction battled happen!  It'll also give me an opportunity to draw some different locations than what I've been used to drawing.  I really feel that it will take me 3 or 4 issues to really figure out where I will go with the characters and look.

Promo Image
Here is a look at the Promo image used to promote the news.  I actually re-drew this thing 3 times (2 hand inked drawings and the final all-digital because of time constraints) before I landed on the one that was used.


Here is the digital inks of the promo image seen above.  I'm still not 100% happy with it because I feel I haven't captured my versions of the characters but that will come in time...


Brad Anderson did some epic colors here.  We removed the light beams and brought out the Big 4 in the front more for the final...


And here's the final image!


I hope to post some more on this project once we get going, but I can say that Geoff pitched me the story arc we will be doing together...and it was amazing!  It'll take a few issues to ease into it, but once the big story-line hits, it's going to be awesome!  

Thanks for your support on Batman Eternal and Detective Comics!  I wouldn't have the opportunity to draw such a massive book as Justice League without your support and help!  Thank you!  I hope you will all join me on my next adventure, JUSTICE LEAGUE!




Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Fan Expo Toronto Pre-Con Commission List

I will be appearing this year at the 2014 Toronto Fan Expo from Friday August 29 to Sunday August 31.  I am not planning on doing sketches while I am at the table, but I am going to open up a very very small list of pre-con commissions.  These commissions will be higher quality than a sketch, and inked in microns.  These will also be a higher price than a normal sketch.  You also MUST be at fan Expo Toronto this year and pick them up at the show.  I will not mail these out.

If interested, please email me below for prices.  I will only be doing 3 or 4 tops.  I don't do commissions at all so this may be your only chance at getting something from me this year.

Email Here for info


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Batman Eternal 22 Cover: Spoiler!

Comic Book Resources showed off the first of the next batch of covers for Batman Eternal that I illustrated.

Check it out HERE!


First it starts with the layouts.  The editors told me they wanted an image with Spoiler jumping her motorbike off of a bridge.  I thought it might be cool to have a silhouette of the bike and a cool color action pose of Spoiler in all her glory.


I knew what I wanted with the bike, it was just getting the inside to work.



We decided on this layout in the end.  Something with some action showing off her entire look.


The inks done on 11x17 bristol

Digital touch ups.  I added some rain and more smoke


I also did a color template to show Brad Anderson what I was thinking.  I wanted the character in purple and the background in a yellow so it really poped.




Final AMAZING colors by Brad Anderson

Art is for sale HERE




Batman: A Visual History Announced

 Batman: A Visual History Announced!
For about 3 months, I worked on a wraparound cover for a new DK Publishing book called "Batman: A Visual History".  Here's the description of the book:

Batman Year by Year follows the DC Comics Super Hero from his 1939 beginnings as a crime-fighting vigilante to his present status as a worldwide cultural icon approaching his 75th anniversary.
The book celebrates Batman's greatest stories and the writers and artists that created them. It also charts the careers of the Super Heroes and super-villains — Robin, the Justice League, the Joker, Catwoman — associated with Gotham City's Dark Knight. The debuts of every key Batman character are featured, as well as some details of Batman movie and TV series, both live-action and animated.
Perfect for any comic book fan, this visually stunning, definitive guide arrives in a slipcase featuring specially commissioned artwork by a top DC Comics artist plus two original prints.



I'll post the full artwork once DK reveals the entire cover!
Wrap around cover by Myself with colors by Tomeu Morey.


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Batman Pinup

Batman pinup I forgot that I had laying around.  Illustrated this piece to play around with some inking techniques.


Piece is for sale here: Comic Art Fans




-JAY