Im going to post some of the line art for each weekly book a week after release of the issue. There may be spoilers in these pages so, turn away now if you want to keep things a secret!
HERE WE GO!
Page 1 originally was a bit different. The script called for three panels, one of the city, one of Bruce on the light and another of his face looking off. But after drawing the large middle panel, I just had a feeling in my gut that this wasnt the right way to do the page. I wanted more of a truck in with a camera through the burning city until we see Bruce on the light and then the close up. I felt the original page didn't give me that effect.
This is just one of many examples with this script and issue where I added panels and changed things around in order to make things a bit clearer visually. In the end, I feel the effect worked for this first page.
Original page 1 layout
Original page 1 without final close up
Reimagined layout. the Beacon building in the middle is the focus, so I wanted a straight on shot with each subject in the middle of each panel. The camera trucks in from far back, right up to Bruce's eyes.
Brad Anderson's PERFECT colors. I've finally found my ideal colorist. He does everything exactly as I see it in my head and then takes it to a totally different level that I couldn't actually explain. Notice his attention to RIM LIGHTS and adding shadows to the work to give it more depth. He creates a mood and a color theory that runs through the entire book.
Final Page 1
This two page spread also changed as well. Originally I had Gordon in the foreground shielding himself from the crash, but then I got scared. I knew someone out there would comment that the plane would have then slid into Gordon, killing him and all the kids. SO I ditched the plane panel and redrew Batman Punching down the plane as a closer up shot. I figure it would slide out of the way, toward a wall or something.
Sometimes, as an artist, you have to fight with little problems like that. Things may sound good on paper when written, but once you think about the scene happening within a 3 dimensional space, problems arise. I still would have liked to add another few panels on the side to show a better transition between Pyg turning on the pigs to explode, and Batman racing to knock them away. But when deadlines are looming, and you've already added 2 extra panels on a page, you have to move on and get to the next shot.
Some reviewers knocked me on this page because the top shot looked a lot like the famous Jim Lee Batman and Nightwing cover....but it was meant to be that way. The script mentions something similar, and so I thought I'd pay homage to that. I guess if you slap a "After Jim Lee" below, you can do that all you want, but since I forgot that, I got torched by a few bitter comic elitists.
This was my favorite page. The graffiti on the wall behind Gordon says "FUTURE QUAKE" which is my all time favorite podcast.
Liked this shot too. Batman always looks sweet when you black his face out in shadows.
Drawing two trains crashing into each other is tough. There isn't much reference out there of actual head on crashes, but more of the aftermath. The second panel shows some of the other train cars smashing through walls as the momentum would have carried them forward. In the end, I think It worked. I tried to give the shot a twisted look to simulate how it would feel to be a viewer in that situation.
That's about it for this week!
Batman Eternal Issue 2 is out tomorrow! Check it out and thanks for all the kid words about issue 1!