Nextwave Sequentials (Part 1)

Saw Iron Man a few days ago. And as weird as it was to see him strike that ballerina pose everytime he got ready to take off, the film is fucking brilliant. It delivers on so many levels, some of which I wasn’t even expecting, that I literally left the theatre an Iron Man fan. I honestly wasn’t one when I walked in, but Downey’s one of my faves, so yeah. Now I’m psyched for Fraction’s run. Good watch, good watch.

And as promised, I’m now posting the Nextwave pages I said I was working on as samples. Cebulski says to keep sending him updates on whatever I’m working on, so fair enough and sure enough, here I am. I came up with a six-page plot to use. I’m afraid to use the word script, since this is more of a sequence of events than an actual story or whatnot. Though, ironically, it serves the purpose of showing off storytelling skills. Heh-hah. I happen to think that conveying conversations interestingly is one of my strengths, and I honestly enjoy those more than slugfests. I’m weird. So hey look…

Page 1
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Panel 1 (Big Panel)

It’s about high noon. The Shockwave Rider skims across ocean surface at high speed. In the distance, we see an oil rig. Just as a point of interest in the background. It won’t have anything to do with the plot. Note, the ship is more or less flying toward us.

Panel 2
Interior establishing shot of the ship. Monica and Aaron are piloting the ship, heavy concentration apparent in Monica’s face. Aaron’s just being Aaron. Elsa, Tabby, and Cap are just chillin’ in the background.

Monica: “Look alive, people.”

Page 2
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Panel 1
Shot of Monica putting the ship on autopilot as she gets up from her seat. Leave a lot of space open for her monologue as she is briefing the team at the same time.

Panel 2
Aaron quips like the asshole he is.

Panel 3
Aaron is looking back at the team from his seat (slowly getting off his seat as well), explaining the nuances of the mission further and questioning monica’s leadership. Aaron explains the mission a bit more and just how serious the threat is. Based on what he adds to the brief, it sounds like this could be their last mission ever… and it scares the shit out of Cap and Tabby.

Panel 4
In the background, we see Cap and Tabby having church giggles; while in the foreground, Monica’s got an “Excuse me?!?” expression, but still calm and in control.

Page 3
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Panel 1
Big shot of Elsa in a hero pose, Aaron is just coming into the panel (from the cockpit) and making like he’s endorsing her as the deserving team leader— which he thinks makes sense coz most of the dangers they face are monsters.

Panel 2
Shot of Aaron whispering something flirtatious to Elsa.
Something along the lines of “I have very many useful robot parts…” from issue 2.

Panel 3
Elsa pretty much telling Aaron to fuck off.
Also, Cap is agreeing with what Aaron just said, but…

Panel 4
Elsa tells Cap to fuck off too.

And these are the thumbnails I did before I jumped into the pages. They were done on 2×3 inch post-its, as that’s kindasorta the same proportion as a standard comicbook page. Obviously, they’re pretty rough. In all honesty, these are some of the cleanest thumbnails I’ve ever done. My roughest ones are usually decipherable only by me. Heee. I usually do the panel borders in ink, so that they don’t smudge over and lose definition as time passes. The interiors are always in pencils, because I rely on the blocked shapes within rather than the details, so whether it smudges or not, it’s all good.


And now pages 1-3 (Click thumbnails for larger views)

And here’s a list of differences between the thumbnails and the finished pencils as well as the reasons behind ’em:

Page 1, panel 2: I decided not to show Monica’s hands on the console anymore, because I wanted to establish that Aaron was the one driving. Him being a robot and all, it only makes sense that he has that chore, yeah? Just like Bishop did. Lance Henriksen. Not the X-man.

Page 2, panel 2: Opted to do a simple profile shot of Aaron as he speaks so that it feels like after panel one, the camera doesn’t change position but just zooms in to him, as he’s sitting right to the left of where Monica is getting up from.

Page 2, panel 3: Kept The Captain seated so that our view of Monica doesn’t get obstructed. I also moved everyone more to the right to create more space on the left for what Aaron is saying.


Page 3, panel 1: I decided not to put Elsa in a hero pose, coz it just didn’t make a lot of sense that she would strike one. In a ship. So I just changed it to a semi-hero pose in which she’s, like, checking her gear and stuff. To me, it still looks like she’s posing, but nothing too flashy. I also minimized our view of the Captain, coz I wanted him to sort of disappear, so that when he butts in again in panel 3, it feels more surprising.

Page 3, panel 3: Pulled a tighter shot on Elsa so that it doesn’t look too similar to how she’s positioned in panel 1.

That’s that for the first half of this sequential set. I hate the fact that I’m going so slow on these, but work’s been a bitch lately. Gotta pay the bills after all. Also, when I do begin page 4-6, I should also prep for that little caricature project I plan to show Ellis. Ssshhh…

Under the Influence(s)

For a good while now, Sundays have meant Drink and Draw Sessions for me and a couple of fellow artists here in Cebu. It’s always good to be able to take a break from the work week with fellow bastards, yeah? It’s also healthy to mix two of your favorite activities into an afternoon of decadence, yeah? If i knew any cute female artists who drank as much as me and the boys, my life would be complete. Sorta. Kat‘s not here anymore, and she’s married! Damn it!

Viking Gamer Man can’t make it on account of his being a tool who prefers to drink with officemates after spending the whole week with them already. Mike and Leandro show up. We pick up pencils and spend the afternoon drawing crap and making fun of things — each other’s art not excluded.

Along the way, Leandro points out to me that perhaps it would be best if i ditched the Madureira flavor my art as it is tends to scream. I can’t help it. Joe Mad was practically the first artist I really noticed as I was getting serious about my craft. Him and Jason Pearson.

And it makes me sick sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love their styles. They will always be my favorite artists, but in a medium as fickle and shallow as comic books, I have to admit that Leandro’s words rang back and forth on my braintongue as I tried to justify why I was drawing how I was drawing what i was drawing.

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Influences are healthy… just as idolizing is healthy. And though I don’t see myself as a clone, I’m definitely trying to distance myself as much as possible so as not to make the influence so obvious that even my originals and non-referenced stuff look like swipes. I’ve seen it happen to other people, it’s not pretty.

Been studying and digesting a lot of Immonen, Ottley, and the guy who does Brit lately (I’m sorry, I’m sorry…), and if all goes well, I’ll end up with a manga-esque style that’s blocky yet smooth (it’ll be that weird) and comes across as high-energy. A pinch of Gabriel Ba wouldn’t hurt. Middleton for sure. Leinil and Mignola’s black-spotting for good measure. Hughes’s women. Maybe even Campbell’s acting. Coz, well, all this reminds me of a question a friend asked me back in high school. He asked if I wanted to be the next Jim Lee. And I don’t know. I guess It’d just be nice to at least maybe be the first and only “John Amor” so to speak.

Nightcrawler studies from yesterday.

Waiting on the Wonder

So I’m still waiting for Wonderlost 2 to come out. Sent finished pages off to C.B. Cebulski back in early December 2007. For those of you who don’t follow indie titles, Wonderlost is pretty much C.B.’s autobio piece. The first issue (which I ordered for research and stuff once I got the gig) was released in January of 2007. It had stuff by Alina Urusov, Khoi Pham, Ethan Young, and a few other talents. Great cover by Leinil Yu.

Issue two, to my knowledge, is currently in mid-production. Printing or something. It’s my first official professional gig with an actual publisher, so I’m pretty much all shits and giggles over it. Pride button engaged. Small steps, I suppose. Here’s a pic of the cover by Steve McNiven.