Here’s the final cover art for the first Miracle Squad graphic novel. Pulp 2.0 press is publishing it this spring. The logo and type haven’t been added of course. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy. There will also be a digital version available. It will be my first digital book! The first Miracle Squad Graphic Novel will contain the first four issues we did for Fantagraphics plus a short story, and loads of extra behind the scenes notes from John (Wooley) and developmental sketches and such from me.
Archive for April, 2011
I think what makes a storyboard good is to convey human expression in the faces and body language of the characters. Read your script and try to feel what the characters in it feel. Exaggerate it a bit if you feel it helps. A Google search for say, “pretty woman laughing” can instantly bring you hundreds of examples for you to use as models. If you’re working digitally, as I have here, you can drop these photos right into your file and draw right over the top of them. Don’t trace! Tracing a photo is the sure way to obtain a dead lifeless look in your drawings. Use the photos to RIFF off of. Keep your strokes quick and lively. I love drawing people. Sometimes backgrounds can be kind of a bore. Especially in this case. Can you imagine drawing hundreds of eyeglasses for these backgrounds? Neither could I. I dropped in photographs and used a the posterize filter in Photoshop on them. A photo used as is , is quite jarring and won’t work with a rough drawing , but messing around with filters in Photoshop can give you quite good effects for blending it in with the drawings.
If you look at older comics closely you’ll notice the colors are comprised of these little color dots. Those are inherent in the “four color process” that generates all the colors from four basic colors of ink; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. It’s also referred to as CMYK color. Why K is used for black , I have no idea. The four color process is still used today but advances in technology have made the dots less noticeable. In this illustration of a fifties circa mom I wanted to use the dots to give the background a retro feel.
Open up Photoshop and create a GRAYSCALE file. Using the GRADATION tool put in a grey to white gradation.
Next go to the filter menu at the top of the window and choose PIXELATE/COLOR HALFTONE . A window pops up and asks for a maximun radius size for the pixels. I’d suggest you play around with different settings to find what looks right to you. In this example I chose 25.
Now you have some black and white dots. Convert the file to RGB or CMYK. Here I have selected a blue color from the pallette. I chose Cyan to accurately reflect the ink in the CMYK color process. Use the PAINTBUCKET tool to drop color into the black and white dots. Be sure to turn OFF ”Contiguous” in the settings for the PAINTBUCKET tool. With contiguous turned off, it just takes one click to fill in all the dots with the color you need.
Now copy and paste your retro dots into the background!