Out this week

Tuesday December 18th 2012, 3:36 am

This week sees the release of Batwoman 15, sort of a sidetrack interlude issue into the main story focused on Detective Maggie Sawyer. And below is the cover process for this issue.

This cover has gone through an interesting evolution and will ship with quite a bit of a different cover than what was solicited. And this particular cover didn’t go through the regular editorial approval sketch process due to running out of time to get something done in time for solicit catalogue printing. So I described the basics of the cover concept and it was approved from that. It was then completed and everyone was happy, but then at the 11th hour it was decided it was all wrong. I’ll explain as we move along through the images…

Here is the original black and white version…
This is the original color version…
Batwoman15-cover- color
This is first version of the logo placement…
Batwoman15-cover- logo
Now what comes next is the result of that 11th hour problem of the cover being wrong. The goal of this cover design was to showcase Maggie Sawyer since the issue really is about her. The concept that you saw above was the approved version of that idea, and we all thought Batwoman was adequately represented by use of the giant red bat that the action and Maggie sit within. But at the last minute it was decided by upper editorial management that featuring a cover without Batwoman herself present was the wrong thing to do. This posed a conundrum as I really had no time in my schedule to create an entirely new cover. So I asked for their trust in making dramatic alterations to the existing image by figuring out a way to sort of insert more of a physical Batwoman presence while still keeping the design purposeful. This could really only be done with digital manipulation. So I took the below patch image, which was hand drawn then scanned and colored to use as the add in element…
This new image piece was then inserted into the cover, but things on the original image needed to be shifted around to accommodate the new element fitting properly. This is the result of that. And finally because so much had to be moved and shifted and ghosted, I thought it best to shift the colors slightly and then significantly alter the logo and text placement for a final design. Even though it was all sort of by the seat of our pants this time, I like the end result of the piece…
Batwoman15-cover- final

New Interview part 2

Wednesday December 05th 2012, 12:31 pm

Dig Boston

Vertigo Bleed (Comics Need Karen Berger)

Monday December 03rd 2012, 3:53 pm

Well, now the news has broke about legendary Karen Berger leaving DC and Vertigo. Karen has been absolutely inspirational for a very long time with DC, bringing to all of us some of the finest comics ever to come out of that company, and helping to spearhead an industry changing defying imprint with Vertigo. Comics have always been diverse but Karen really helped in that definition during a time when pretty much the dominant genre involved spandex, much like the trend is now. But Vertigo became the industry leader in presenting comics for people who wanted more than shiny costumes with superpowers. Karen’s efforts became a beacon for creators to look toward a different comics future landscape, paving a way for acceptance of new bolder ideas.

I find the timing of her departure from DC to be sadly ironic, in that next year when Karen says her final goodbyes to the company it will also be the 25 year anniversary of Sandman, one the titles that sort of started the whole thing (to which there is a brand new Sandman project on the way for this anniversary that I’m to start illustrating very soon). Sandman issue 1 was published in October of 1988 but dated January 1989, which helped lead to the formation of Vertigo under Karen’s direction, next year will bring the 20th anniversary of the legendary imprint. Having known Karen for many years and doing a few things for vertigo here or there, I had long been looking forward to working with her at a much closer level on this new Sandman project. So while excited over Sandman, its become bittersweet as her involvement will be going away. I’m a bit uncomfortable over it, actually. But it is what it is. I know I will not help but think of her that first day I put pen to paper, on that very first page Karen will be there in spirit.

I was also seriously disappointed when I’d heard about the demise of Vertigo’s Hellblazer recently announced, in favor of transitioning the lead character into the DCU entirely, not an idea I’m overly fond of. As a longtime reader of Hellblazer it was disheartening. I felt as if Vertigo was beginning to slowly be sucked dry, it’s life’s blood drained away. And with the departure of Karen Berger I have to admit that I’m feeling even more disheartened. And speaking as bit of a fan here, not an industry professional, I’m feeling torn between a struggle of anger about some things and rather optimistic for what the future may hold for Karen, and in turn for us as readers. As a creative editor Karen has something to say, always has, and I’m certain her voice will rise up out of the din and resonate with something new. And when that voice does sound, in whatever form that may take, I know I’m there to listen.

Comics needs Karen Berger!

I should add: Vertigo should be a legacy and continue, showing that Karen’s contributions remain valued.