Now for something different…

Sunday March 27th 2011, 11:06 pm


Below is the cover I just finished for the Static Shock Special due out some time in the near future. I wanted to try some different things in attitude. The Milestone characters always had this unusual quality to them, which I think made them pretty cool. And some of them seemed to have this Funk aspect to them. Now when I say Funk, I’m referring to Funk Music. So I decided to see if I could bring that more forward in attitude for this cover. The result is pretty effective. It still has this iconic quality that the genre should have, but now it feels like Funk meets Superheroes to me. Resulting in something different than what I usually do.

So here is the breakdown as always…

This is the rough sketch for editorial approval.
Here is the black and white version. I was dissatisfied with the idea in sketch form, it didn’t feel iconic enough, or elegant enough. The trick to doing iconic superhero images these days is that they can feel a bit redundant or generic. The sketch is a bit blah to me. So in this black and white version I focused on making the pose more elegant in it’s movement. I used all copic greytones this time around and no traditional inking. I combined that with some black color pencil work and a little inkwash, and then final touches of white.
Here is the color version, done using photoshop. In the black and white I knew there was quite a few elements that I wanted to convert to color and remove some of the line work. The color was going to play a very important role here capturing the attitude I talk about above. So I used some unusual palette choices to get that feel I was going for across. I tried to use colors that fit the character but also fit the theme or my idea of Funk Music. The end result makes some of the stereotypical aspects of the iconic image recede and something bolder come forward. I’m pretty happy with it.
And finally the logo version. This was tough because the logo for this character is a very awkward style. Making it fit in with what was happening on the cover but stand out was challenging. The end result definitely fits into the Funk Music mentality that I was trying to convey. Hopefully its now a cover that will pop off the shelf from whatever is next to it.

13 Comments so far
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Absolutely love it.

Comment by Brandan 03.28.11 @ 6:36 am

Tear the roof off this sucka!
This really looks great. The colors are brilliant. It still has your look but pushed in (yet) another new direction.

Comment by Michael Smid 03.28.11 @ 9:28 am

Thanks, Brandan.

Comment by jwh3 03.28.11 @ 10:13 am

Hey there Mike
I’m glad you like. It was challenging but fun.

Comment by jwh3 03.28.11 @ 10:15 am

Wow. I don’t know much about Static Shock, but I will after I pick this up.

How long do those “rough sketches” take you, Mr. W? It seems like they’d go pretty fast once you have the image in your head, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn there’s some other aspect or considerations that I don’t know about.

Comment by SoldierHawk 03.28.11 @ 12:59 pm

Hey there SoldierHawk
The editorial approval sketch takes about 5 minutes depending on how much detail I’m trying to convey. They’re pretty indiscernible sometimes.

Comment by jwh3 03.28.11 @ 8:04 pm

Amazing stuff.

You’ve become my new favorite artist. I love your Batman Inc. covers and your work on Batwoman #0 my friend and I can’t wait to pick up #1.

Comment by Anthony 03.29.11 @ 7:03 pm

Hey there Anthony
Thanks for your enthusiasm. I recommend you check out some of my work thats in collected form as well…
Batwoman: Elegy
Desolation Jones

Comment by jwh3 04.01.11 @ 1:03 am

Am I wrong in thinking that the lightening spells something? “Honor”? was that the intention?

Comment by Austin 04.02.11 @ 8:48 pm

Hey there Austin

Comment by jwh3 04.03.11 @ 12:11 am

This is Funky!

I’m glad that you decided to particpate and honor your late friend, Dwayne McDuffie. His presence and voice will be sorely missed. Hopefully the hardwork and strides that he made will never be forgotten.

Comment by Erica 04.03.11 @ 6:12 pm

Thanks, Erica

I confess that I wasn’t as close with Dwayne as I would’ve liked, but I had great respect for the man and ideas. I really enjoyed his creations very much. So me doing this cover was my very small way of honoring his time here.

Comment by jwh3 04.04.11 @ 10:54 am

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