Detective Comics 18 is out, so here is some of the art!
The Cover: Originally an interior page was shown and solicited as the cover for the book (seen farther below). At the time I didn't know or understand the scheme DC was playing at but while I was working on Issue 19, I was told I needed to draw the actual cover for the book. I decided to do a big Batman holding Robins cape in the rain. Something big and bold.
The rough first layout.
Rough second layout. I decided at this point to flip the image because I felt it read stronger the other way. It was just a "gut feeling" sort of thing. I printed the layout and used a light table to rough in the art and finished the pencils (seen above)
Final digital inked cover for 18.
I dont try to pick on reviewers and think that they do a good job reviewing books (which is on their free time mostly, so thanks for reading out books!!). I usually find I can pick out a few things I can change to make my art better from reading their opinions (and somtimes laugh at their so-called "critiques"). For the most part, reviews of this series have been very strong and that is something Im thankful for.
Sometimes though I feel they nitpick things just for a negative comment or don't think logically about the point they are trying to make. Someone remarked that I didnt draw Penguins expressions well enough and that he was always "scowling". But the entire issue, the guy is flamming mad at everyone and always confused about what is happening to his world as it crumbles around him. He's an evil, dark dude who hates the world and is on a power trip. How else am I supposed to draw his expressions? happy? I draw what I am told to draw in the script and how I would react in the situation. But maybe I am wrong and will try to make sure I vary my expressions of characters in the next issues. There is always room to grow.
This was the interior page that was used as a solicited cover. I drew this a month or so before I started the book so I left the background very sparse. I figured the roof would be made of ice but the room below would be normal looking.
In the end, this book was done over the month of December, when I knew I had to get the book done and enjoy a Christmas break with my family.
Im actually thankful for digital here because I was able to use alot of duplicate panels, tweak them and change them a bit in order to get through this book and have it in on time. I know comic fans don't like to hear that, but in the end it's about doing my job to the best of my ability in the time I am given in order to get the best product out the door. It's a job, and when Christmas, or other special days (like having a weekend off to spend with your wife) come around, sometimes you need to cut corners so you can enjoy your life with the people you love. I understand when comic fans pick up work and criticise artists for using cheats and tricks to get through the book, but sometimes it needs to be done for the betterment of my own personal life. We literally have 4 weeks to finish these things (sometimes even less!!), and I feel I pack every page with tons of detail and action. I try to give you your $3.99 worth of art.
I also feel like this book was one that took it up a notch from the previous even though I had less time to do it in. Issue 19 is another book that I feel realy strong about and 20 is coming together really nicely.
Thanks for the support! Hope you enjoyed this look at the book and hope you weren't bothered by my ramblings. I started this blog to give an inside look at the job and sometimes air my frustrations as an artist!
See you next month with THE 900!!