ART LYON: design, editing, writing, illustration, digital coloring, and other arcane secrets.

(This article can also be read over at the most excellent DC Entertainment fan site, DC Infinite!)

Multiversal-Overdrive-logo

WHAT IS IT WITH WONDER WOMAN, ANYWAY?

Author’s note: I find it strikingly appropriate that I began writing this on the 15th anniversary of the wedding of myself to my own wonder woman, Ellen Starr Lyon, a magnificent artist, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and all-around human being. She’s pretty awesome.

WW icon color

It all started back when new Wonder Woman artist David Finch said some pretty awkward things about Wonder Woman’s connection to feminism. The ever-impressive Janelle Asselin (whom I worked with a couple times when she was an editor at DC Comics) addressed the incident and the issues really well, so you should really go read this, and then come back here.

Finch’s comments really got me thinking about the character again, but I didn’t feel especially qualified to comment on the thorny details. I sketched out my thoughts, but after a while it was no longer a “hot” topic. Then Marvel  announced a new, female Thor. Then the San Diego Comicon got closer and closer, and I was sure the first image of actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice movie would be released there. It was, but more on that later.

So…I performed an informal survey. I was on a 4th of July and wedding anniversary vacation with my wife and kids and another family of friends. All told, we had two adults in their 30s, three in their 40s, two in their 70s, and four kids ages 8 to 12. I’m a life-long fan of super-hero comics, and my kids have been exposed to more than their usual share of geekery through me. My wife isn’t a fan as such of super-hero media, but appreciates it and always has great “outsider” insights. The rest of the people, like most, don’t read super-hero comics and have not seen most of the super-hero films of the past 15 years.

Individually and in small groups, I asked them a few questions about Superman, Spider-man, Wonder Woman,  Captain America, and Batman, and then asked them to name any other female super-heroes and tell me anything about them.

The questions were:

1. What do you know about the character’s origin?
2. What characters do they interact with who aren’t super-powered?
3. Can you name some villains they go up against? (I avoided the word “fight”)
4. What are their powers?
5. What are their stories usually about? What kinds of things happen? (most people had little to say on this subject)

I will arrange the answers for each character in approximate order from most- to least-common responses.

For Superman the answers were what you might expect: mentions of Krypton, Krypton exploding, dead parents, put in a rocket by his parents and escaping, learned stuff in the rocket (Superman: The Movie, I’m looking at you!), found by old people, raised on a farm, he can fly, has super-strength and is super-tough, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, those three bad-guys from Krypton, he has a good relationship with the public and is looked up to, heat vision, x-ray vision, and freeze breath.

Just about everyone knew Spider-man was bitten by a radioactive spider, that he climbs walls, and shoots webs (a couple of people mentioned that he made the web-shooters himself). Many mentioned dead parents and living with his aunt and uncle, and that he’s a kid struggling with everyday problems. The younger the respondents the more they mentioned Gwen Stacy, the Lizard, the Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus, clearly influenced by recent movies and marketing.

With Batman, most (but not all, which really surprised me) knew about his parents being shot in front of him by some random guy (my son knew the name Joe Chill). There were mentions of his gear, of batarangs, bat-themed gadgets, the Batmobile, being a millionaire, having an inventor working for him (again, recent movie influences), that he works kind of with the police, Alfred the butler, “the police chief” or Commissioner Gordon, Robin, the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Bane.

Most people knew about Captain America’s shield and his origin being during WWII. One person thought he grew up on a farm in the Midwest, but knew that he was the product of a government experiment. Fewer mentioned Nazis, the Red Skull, and Hydra, and fewer still Bucky and Nick Fury.

Here’s what four people in their 30s, 40s, and 70s – all of them women – said when I asked about Wonder Woman’s origin:

“She has one?”

“Well, she’s Superman’s friend, right?”

“Wasn’t she irradiated?”

(Laudably, my wife knew about 10 times more than the other three! I love her!)

Others could mention an invisible plane or jet, her lasso that controls people or zaps them or something, her tiara, the bracelets, spinning around, and that she’s strong and tough.

Other female characters from most- to least-often mentioned were Supergirl, Elektra, The Wasp, Storm, Spidergirl/Spiderwoman, and the Scarlet Witch. No one could list more than one or two things about any of them.

WW icon color

So, what can we glean from all this?

Lots. I could go into more detail by age and individual respondents, and it was fascinating in lots of different ways. Here are some observations I and some of the adults made:

The kids most readily knew the names of supporting characters and villains. We can thank tv and movies for that (and me raising my kids on a steady diet of comics!).

Nearly all the female super-heroes that respondents came up with were Marvel characters.

Unlike the traditionally best-known super-heroes, Wonder Woman has no tragedy built into her origin. Wonder Woman’s parents aren’t dead, but then no one really knew anything about her origin, let alone anything about her parentage.

Everyone drew a blank regarding her supporting cast and “rogues gallery”. Wonder Woman’s traditional supporting cast have left little to no impression on the public consciousness.

So, basically,  most people know next to nothing about Wonder Woman.

WW icon color

But…why don’t they?

As I see it, there are two explanations for this familiarity gap. One, Wonder Woman defies many of the classic super-hero tropes. Her backstory is not traditional super-hero stuff. Her motivations do not originate in tragedy, cataclysm, regret, or guilt. Even Superman, whose tragedy lies in his infancy, is – in most film and tv versions – partly spurred to action by the death of “Pa” Kent. Wonder Woman inherently represents another way, another path. Women take on difficult, thankless, under-appreciated, un-heralded heroic work all the time.

Valerie Alexander points out the ridiculous unfairness in using male standards and achievements as the default values in society, and we need to think long and hard about this, because the things we’re used to in our super-hero stories are not the only way to go about it. Wonder Woman has little need for the angst or complications of a dual identity, or for feeling compelled to hide a “dangerous”, mysterious, alter ego. (Pictures taken during filming of the Batman v Superman movie and the IMDB listing for the movie indicate that Wonder Woman will be using her traditional “Diana Prince ” secret identity in that film.)

My wife rolls her eyes and groans every time the “I have to distance myself from the people I love in order to protect them” trope pops up in a super-hero movie. So common in male-centered tales of heroism, this behavior is an immature response to the emotional complexity of relationships. Any fool off the street can be dark and sad and mysterious if they hide important parts of who they are. This takes the power to help away from others, so it’s both controlling and self-defeating.

Most of the respondents who remembered the ’70s tv series remembered a secret identity, but in that portrayal there were no important or difficult struggles associated with that identity. In fact, the notion of hiding one’s true, most-powerful self is pretty selfish and terribly limiting, and for my money Wonder Woman is all about selflessness and being all you are and can be.

In most if not all versions of her origin, Diana of Themyscira (the hidden, island home of the Amazons) earned her super-hero-y skills and prowess through hard work and training. In some ways this should be as big a part of who she is as Batman’s intense training and discipline – except, again, Wonder Woman didn’t pursue these skills inspired by a tragedy. She sacrifices her elite status to compete anonymously with other Amazonians basically for the privilege of being an explorer, an emissary or ambassador to the outside world, representing a different way. She leaves her family, friends, and her entire society, for the honor of exploring “man’s world” and of representing her society and its values, for adventure, and for an opportunity to do good in the broader world outside if her cloistered, insular upbringing and comfort zone. That, my friends, is what we call heroism.

Superman, Spider-man, and Batman are commonly associated with this secret identity angst, whereas Wonder Woman is not. In the minds of the people I talked to, Wonder Woman is who she is – which I think is one of the great, appealing things about the character. Interestingly, this reflects how she has been portrayed by writer Brian Azzarello in the New 52 version of Wonder Woman, wherein she has no secret identity at all. I think he tapped into something here, something that jibes with the public’s perception (or lack thereof) of Wonder Woman.

Also, unlike most super-heroes the average person could name, WW was raised in an “alien” society. She’s not “like us”, and yet as an outsider it seems like she should be someone we can all identify with.

Secondly, Wonder Woman is underexposed in media, and I think that’s partly because she doesn’t match up with our ideas of what super-heroes are, what they do, and how and why they do it. She was in the Justice League animated series in the early 2000s, but that show had nowhere near the cultural impact of the ’70s live-action series starring Lynda Carter – and that was 40 years ago. Beyond that, there are a few direct-to-video animated movies – mostly with the Justice League, but she did get one of her own – in the past 10 years or so, the Superfriends cartoon from (again) the ’70s, and…that’s it. Those are the only places the general public has encountered Wonder Woman stories, and little if any of those are things most adults have ever heard of, let alone seen. Also, her supporting cast have had very little if any exposure in any of those media.

It’s been 20 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess, so Wonder Woman’s lack of exposure is kind of embarrassing. Just yesterday my wife asked if Wonder Woman has ever been in any comic book movie. She hasn’t, of course – EVER. This is nearly criminal as far as I’m concerned. The fact that my wife had to ask says something all by itself about the character’s weak media presence.

I know sometimes us geeks find it hard to believe that the general populace doesn’t know these characters, but it’s true. The most common reactions when I tell non-geeky adults that I color comic books are a) to immediately refer to “comic strips” because they don’t fully understand what I’m talking about, and b) express surprise that comic books are still being published.

WW icon color

I could write about the theoretical difficulties in adapting Wonder Woman to tv and movies, but it’s easy to critique that when it has rarely even been attempted. There are any number of ways to make it work, and no one “right” way.

Personally, I’ve often thought that Wonder Woman could be to the DC universe what Thor is to the Marvel universe. Thor stories – and the most recent film starring the character, The Dark World, is a good example – are often big, sprawling, tales that span worlds and mystical realms, with lots of cosmic drama and petty gods and mythical beasts. Basically, Wonder Woman comics could feel like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s runs on the Fantastic Four and Thor over at Marvel, and Kirby’s “Fourth World” stuff at DC. I think the New 52 depiction of Wonder Woman takes a big step in this direction. All that sounds ready-made for modern super-hero movies.

WW icon color

Costumed super-hero tv shows have had, until recently, a bad track record, and female-led super-hero tv shows have been practically non-existent. Those kinds of shows perch so precariously at the edge of an abyss of goofiness. Note how hard even the most successful ones work to avoid traditional super-hero costumes, and put their heroes in something as close as possible to normal-looking clothes or a military/mercenary outfit.

Most super-hero costumes have two main colors and an accent color: Superman has blue and red and some yellow bits;  Batman wears blue-black, gray, and some yellow bits; Spider-man has blue and red and  (pretty brilliantly) white at the eyes; the Flash is red and yellow with just a bit of white; Iron Man is generally red and yellow/gold; granted Captain America has red, white, and blue all over, but his costume is the wonkiest of those listed here – notice how the movie version uses white as the accent rather than as a major component.

 
classicWW

Wonder Woman’s got red, blue, yellow, and white – and some of that white is actually silver and all of that yellow is actually gold. As a colorist usually trying to work with realistic lighting and rendering, her costume reads as red, blue, gold, white, and chrome. That’s five as far as I’m concerned, and it’s a bit of a chromatic mess as traditional super-hero costumes go.

For my money, the best costume redesign of the New 52 was dropping Wonder Woman’s costume down to just red, blue, and silver. I have to admit, though, there’s something iconic lost in her look when you remove that gold/yellow. Yellow is a bright, warm color that does a lot to draw the eye and add visual interest. However, in tv and film, you want the attention on the actors’ facesb, so those bright colors are a distraction.

Because the big screen practically demands more detail, costume designers add the kinds of things that makes a costume seem more like real – albeit stylized and/or ornate – clothing and gear.

Now.

This.

 
GG WW

Yes, we can get into why a warrior super-hero would not wear heels, and why female superheroes often have more skin exposed than male super-heroes, but I’m going to set that aside for now, as tempting as it is.

I know right next door to nothing about Gal Gadot as an actress. Like many, I scratched my head a bit when she was cast, because of her slight build – Wonder Woman is a character most people expect to look…well, like an Amazon. We have almost no idea how the character has been written in the script or what Gadot will bring to the role, so I have nothing to say on that, either.

I think the costume works really well, though. The minimal straps or belts break up the traditional Wonder Woman “bodice”, distracting from the inherent oddity of there being a bodice there in the first place. The bodice itself references the classic costume, with some Greco-Roman armor and modern design elements fused together. It balances the eagle and “WW” designy bits. The short-sword adds a great ancient warrior element, which maybe tells us a little about the film’s portrayal of the character. I tend to dislike versions of her costume that make the tiara/headband bigger or turn it into a piece of armor, but costume designer Michael Wilkinson (who has worked with director Zack Snyder for many years now) has done a good job of getting the right size and shape for a larger headband that works on Gadot. The Greco-Roman armor skirt is a nice addition (common in fan-made redesigns), although it’s a bit silly the way it’s tapered to specifically not cover the upper thighs. The bracers do this neat thing where it looks like they’re attached to straps that go around her palms. I could say things about the boots – which I don’t care for – but I have this theory about super-hero costumes that I learned as a colorist: no one really cares about the character’s feet.

Basically, allowing for the relative skimpiness of Wonder Womans usual duds and the trends in super-hero movie costume designs, this is a really solid design. I’m pleasantly surprised. I wish the film-makers had made the bold step of giving her more a full-body outfit like the male superheroes, but then I step back and think about the brazen, “this is what I am” quality that makes Wonder Woman who she is, to some degree, and that she comes from a culture that doesn’t have our culture’s body issues. The image as a whole shows Wonder Woman in a primeval-looking, volcanic setting, and again, that sword says something. She looks like she just stepped out of a myth, and that’s pretty awesome.

WW icon color
That’s a lot of costume talk, but I’m a visual guy and this ish the first official image we have from the first major motion picture ever to feature this very important female character. There’s a lot you can do with her costume and the various iterations of it used in the comics over the years, so the choices they’ve made here can tell us something about how Wonder Woman is going to be portrayed in her first big screen appearance, and thus how most people (those without much in the way of preconceptions) are going to think about her.It’s a huge responsibility Snyder, Gadot, and screenwriter David Goyer have taken on, and one I hope they take seriously.

Multiversal-Overdrive-logo

The latest installment of MULTIVERSAL OVERDRIVE! is up, at the DC Entertainment fan-site DC Universe.

This time around, I review Earth 2 volume 1: The Gathering.

Go read it already!

 

 

Multiversal-Overdrive-logo

I’ve started a new review column called MULTIVERSAL OVERDRIVE! over at  the DC Entertainment fan-site DC Universe.

You should go read it! All the time!

I started with a review of DC’s Justice League United #0, which I mostly liked. Check it out!

 

 

I’ve known Gene Ha and Lowell Francis for…well, let’s just say “a long time” and move on, before my lumbago starts acting up.  There was a stretch of a few years during which the three of us worked together developing ideas into presentable comic book pitches.  Many of these involved DC Comics characters,  because we all grew up reading comics, Gene had good relations at DC,  I had colored a bunch of Gene’s (and other people’s) work there, and Lowell had a lot of storytelling and editing cred.  (Eventually we all worked together on Project Superman, but that’s a story for another day.)

There were two ideas that reached a full pitch level, complete with conceptual art by Gene.  Lowell posted about Riddles: Edward Nigma, Consulting Detective (with comments and some of the illustrations) on his excellent gaming blog, Age of Ravens.  Riddles had a small cast of weird characters, and each issue was going to be an homage and send-up of traditional detective and pop-culture tropes and settings. It would have been a wild ride!  He also posted about the more recent, text-only pitch Lowell and I put together for a  revival of Warlord for DC’s “New 52″ relaunch.  Those posts by Lowell and the news about Fox’s  upcoming “Gotham” tv series got me thinking about one of our pitches that hasn’t seen the light of day…

Of all the ideas the three of us pursued in depth, Bruce Wayne: Ghosts of Gotham was by far my favorite.  It would have been part of DC’s  “Elseworlds” imprint, an alternate take on existing DC Comics characters, their connections, situations, histories, motivations, modi operandi, etc.  I kind of fell in love it, I think because of the fun and challenge of working out all those differences and new connection, because it was our own little version of the DC universe, and because of the chance to make more interesting a some characters who I normally don’t have much affinity for.

Initially it was a broad, sweeping thing that included characters from across the DC universe, including Superman, Lex Luthor, the Legion of Doom, and many more.  There was a whole alternate Teen Titans idea in there somewhere. Because of the scale it started feeling a bit like Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ DC mini-series Kingdom Come.

Eventually we wisely narrowed the focus to Batman’s usual stomping grounds, Gotham City, perhaps with the thought that we could explore the larger-scale ideas and implications in theoretical sequels.  Once we made that decision, the story really started to gel.  Lowell still loves our treatment of Edward Nigma (traditionally the real name of the classic Batman villain, The Riddler).  Once we started calling Green Arrow “Black Arrow”, I immediately thought of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses (a personal favorite of mine), and wanted to have his background and story arc mirror some of  things in that novel.

The basic premise of Ghosts of Gotham involved the ripple effects of one simple change to a seminal event in Bruce Wayne’s childhood:

Instead of the classic moment in Batman’s “origin story” when a random thug with a gun senselessly murders Bruce’s parents before his eyes – setting Bruce on a disciplined path of revenge, justice, and a war on crime – in “Ghosts of Gotham” Bruce’s mother alone was shot and killed, and his father proceeds to beat the thug to death with a brick – as Bruce watches on in horror.

But I should let the pitch speak for itself.  These are the actual full pages of the proposal we presented, so you’re seeing what the folks at DC saw.  Text by Lowell, art by Gene, layout by me.  I have no idea how I would have colored this comic at the time, had it come to that.  Looking at it now, I would approach it very, very simply, since Gene was using a lot of blacks.  The background images behind the text are taken from Gene’s rough sketches.

Click on the thumbnails below for bigger, readable versions.

GoG cover GoG p1 GoG p2 GoG p3 GoG p4

Sadly, aside from any story problems that might exist, there were two sort of editorial problems that kept this idea from going to any next stage:

1. Apparently, in an Elseworlds story about Bruce Wayne, by the end of the story someone has to put on a Bat-costume of some kind.  It’s a rule or something.  I think we just didn’t want to force the whole bat-thing, and kind of wanted to explore a Gotham that didn’t have that.  Oddly enough, our original, larger-scale idea would have not been so focused on Bruce Wayne and would have gotten around that.

2. By the time we presented the idea, DC was kind of done doing Elseworlds stories, but hadn’t made a point of it publicly.  They were trying to refocus their brand, which eventually led to The New 52 version of the DC universe.

So, there you have it.  I still have the crazy dream of using this idea – or something stemming from the same altered turning-point – as the setting  for a role-playing game with friends some day.

In Search of…COMICS!

[note: I meant to post this the day I wrote it, but time happened.]

So, I kinda like comics. I like to read them and make them and think about them. To read them, though, I generally have to buy them first.

Poking around in the Comixology app on my tablet, I found a Marvel preview thingy that included, among other upcoming titles, a few pages from the new Moon Knight #1 by writer Warren Ellis, penciler/inker Declan Shalvey, and colorist Jordie Bellaire. It looked really interesting, and that’s saying something since I haven’t been reading many new comics lately. Here’s a little something about it , courtesy of Albert Ching over at Comic Book Resources. I thought I’d give it a shot, and so I did a search in the app for the series and got…

Comixology-result

Buh? Weird. It seems to me I should be able to pre-order a digital copy of a comic from Comixology, or at least let them know I want it and get some kind of notification from them when it becomes available. I posted about this on twitter, and here’s what happened:

Comixology-tweets

It was great that I got an official response so quickly, and that the support person had actual info for me, but ultimately I’m still stuck with a comic I want to read – preferably digitally – but can’t put in an order for through Comixology. Sure, I could write myself a note or put the release date on my Google calendar or something, but what if i want a bunch of comics that aren’t out yet? That’s gonna crowd up the Google calendar, or crowd something else with yet another list or shamble of post-its.

Thinking further, I decided to “search up” (as my kids say) the title on some of the better-known websites where one can order new comics. Here’s what happened:

amazon-results

I was a little surprised by this, since Amazon generally excels at allowing you to pre-order things. Oh well. What’s next…

dcbs-results

Discount Comic Book Service was my source for new comics for a few years. I was very happy with their service, although their interface is a little clunky. But, sadly, no Moon Knight #1 there for me. Next!

mycomicshop-result

MyComicShop was the next place I thought of. Don’t get me wrong – I’m positively tickled that I can choose ” ’70s Avengers” as my personal theme for their site, but….they got nothin’. But hey – at least #1 is listed there! I’m making headway! I click on the listing for #1 and…

mycomicshop-detail

Well, I can let them know I want it. That’s something. I’ll keep that in mind, but who else can I turn to?

midtown-results

Hmm. Fact Files, eh?

Ugh. Okay. Things From Another World, you’re up at bat. I turn to TFAW regularly for names of creators on comics, because they often have more info than even the publishers’ own websites do. Soo…

tfaw-results

Ooo! I click on the listing for #1…

tfaw-detail

Yikes! Today’s my last day to order #1, at least through them. TFAW might be making some money off me today! I can’t help but notice that I can subscribe to it, “watchdog” it (whatever that is), and add it to a wishlist – all this for a title only one other site is even listing.

(Westfield Comics – who I also relied on for my comics many years ago – won’t let me see all the listings without signing in. It’s an adult content screening procedure which I appreciate in principle, but I don’t think I should have to register on their site just to see a listing.)

Comixology is missing a big opportunity here. I would have pre-ordered right then and there at the beginning of my search if the option had existed. I’m betting it would have cost me less, too. TFAW may get my money for being so thorough and so complete.

But you know what’s really weird?

marvel-results

Marvel’s own site doesn’t even list it. What the-?!

 

This week – today, even! – you can find these two lovely items at your local comic book store. I colored them, from Gene Ha’s mighty pencils and inks. Published by DC Comics.

All of DC’s “New 52″ comics this month are part of their “Villains Month” event, wherein all the comics in September feature stories focusing on villains common to each respective title – and ALL of them have 3-D covers! ALL OF THEM! This is a massive undertaking, and I commend DC on their bravery and glorious insanity!

3-D covers are quite complicated to produce, as you might imagine – both from an illustration and a production/printing viewpoint. Gene produced 3 illustrations for each cover with different dimensions and proportions than for a regular cover. I needed to assemble and color each illustration and provide DC’s production department with three separate, finished files for each cover. In a normal 2-D illustration you would not see things that are behind something closer to the viewer, but in 3-D you can sort of see behind objects, so that normally-hidden stuff has to be there as finished art.

Below you will see the three layers of line art Gene so magnificently produced. For Superman 23.2 I provided DC’s production department with two options: one with a colored background and one with a mostly white background. There was some confusion about how to execute these covers, I guess, and at one point near my completion of the Superman cover I was informed that the backgrounds needed to be white. So, I gave them both and let them work it out.

I finished the Action cover after I was informed of this white background thing, and luckily I had planned on making the background very light and minimal anyway, so I just went even further in that direction with it. I wasn’t happy with the background, but I thought it was what they wanted.

I guess there was some communication break-down or change of plans, because a different background was added. generally I’d say it looks better this way, although the color choices are too similar to the foreground and middle-ground colors, which kind of mitigates the “pop” of those colors. Of course, in 3-D getting the colors to “pop” is maybe not so big a deal.

I should stress that I don’t fault anyone at DC for any of the confusion involved. It’s a minor miracle that any comic gets into your hands without errors or mis-steps, there are so many things that can go wrong. This is why I bow before the good people in the industry’s production departments.

Go check out the covers this month – they are super-snazzy!


On July 27th, 2013, the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana (where I live and breath) held it’s 6th annual 12-Hour Comic Book Day. Each year, young women and men between the ages of 10 and 20 write and illustrate comics of their own creation within a time limit of twelve consecutive hours.  MCPL’s Children’s and Teen Services teamed with our local comic book store,  Vintage Phoenix Comics, and provided art supplies, food, and surprises – like me! Prizes were awarded for every three hours of comics-making. Participants can work individually or collaboratively. Many of the resultant comics can be seen at the event’s Flickr site, here.  My kids and I are in photos 2-6!  My son created “Evil Limbs” and “Punch Me“, and my daughter whipped up “Aliens Attack!” and “Party Pooper”.

Those two pictures of me are from the presentation I did for the kids about comic book coloring.  I don’t know why I never contacted anyone about the event in previous years, but this year I did – albeit with little time to spare.  I figured most kids would know about the Justice League or at least some of that teams members, so I opened up the full, working file for Justice League #20 (written by Geoff Johns and published by DC Comics) pages 4&5 and got to work.  Those 2 pages are a 2-page spread of the JL battling some toothy, ravenous, mindless minions, but it had a lot of special effects and I thought it would be a good, big, simple way to show the layers of work involved in coloring a modern, mainstream super-hero comic book. I talked through each layer of art, from the initial black-and-white line art to the last streaks of rain. The kids were adorably and goofy and awkward and smart. They had good questions, and a couple of them hung around after my presentation to ask even more smart questions.

There are articles about the event here and here and here. Thanks to Chris Hosler of MCPL’s Adult and Teen Services for being friendly, helpful, and in charge!

Here are the images I used in the presentation. Click on the first one and then just click through the slideshow!

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 437 other followers

%d bloggers like this: