Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Help This Blackbird (24/7 Preview)

I can now officially announce (since I turned in the pages Wink) that I will be part of the second vol. of the Image anthology 24/7. Ivan Brandon was gracious enough to invite me to contribute to it and I happily accepted and contributed with not one but two stories.

The first one, at 4 page story titled Confession, is something I am very proud of since it's my first time where I did everything (story and art and even lettering). For those who are around my age, there are some Easter eggs and homage to one of my wife's favorite songwriters in this story (like especially the pacing/time signature is meant to have this certain tone, but there are lots of other little elements in these pages). Probably nobody will notice or care, but it is still a lot of fun and I think add another level of meaning to the story I was trying to tell here (or at least it was meant to; we'll have to see if that comes across or if I accomplished what I was aiming to do). There is a big hint also in the title of this post.

This is something I like to do with little short stories or even with single illos -- I try to communicate ideas on different levels and really tell a full story. Even if I'm just drawing a Batman or whatever, I have in mind a story or a situation that I try to get across with background or costume or mood or something.

In a very weird way, this tendency to do things in this way kinda leads me to the second story I have in 24/7. The second one is based on an illustration I did some time ago. The excellent writer, Macon Blair, took all the elements from the illo and built a very unique and cool story of 13 pages. That is the famous ANDY I was mentioning earlier (and I showed a page from on the drawing board). It was a blast to draw and I hope you will enjoy it as well.

This story was a surprise for sure. Ivan Brandon had seen my illo and passed it along to Macon and asked him to write a story based on this. I absolutely had no time to do this project, but when I saw Macon's first script, I was really compelled to draw it. You see, what really got me was not that he had done the script. That is flattering, but not so important.

The thing that got me in the heart was that he picked up on all the elements I put in the illo, even things that were not so obvious. He got the weird ape language references, he got that that I was trying to say something about the cyber jungle and hoping that somebody sees the illo thinks to the natural jungle and make that comparison in the mind and think about what is the same and what is not and what is going and gone. That is what touched me, because really it was probably the first time that a writer really understood (or even tried to understand) what I was meaning and what I was really trying to say.

He went past the surface elements and really thought about what was in the art. It felt like a true collaboration, even if we never spoke about the project because all what I was thinking and feeling was in that script. Then he added some of the coolest story on top of all that and made my humble little illo into something totally amazing. It was kinda spooky actually. I am really looking forward to hearing reaction when this book comes out and hope everyone really enjoy these stories!

OK sorry for going all intellectual or whatever. I promise the next post will just be a Batman or something!!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Spartans! Under Siege

Back in March I started a thread/jam dedicated to the movie "300" which was about to be released. The jam's goal was to reach the amount of 300 drawings by having several artists contributing to it and being inspired either by the movie or by the real historical events of Leonidas and the Battle at Thermopylae.
The jam is still going and since I run out of single illos, I decided to start a sequential strip: that's how Spartans! Under Siege is born! :)

Here are the first panels. Hope you guys enjoy it :)