Weekly Process Roundup 5/20/11

The weekly process roundup is a collection of sketches, pencils, inks, thumbnails, everything other than finished product, from The Long and Shortbox of It's favorite artists and illustrators, hitting every Friday.

Quote for the Week 5/19/11

"Also, my Daredevil won't look at you. He doesn't need to. As often as not, he'll be fighting while facing the "wrong" way, something that I think would be fairly disconcerting to an opponent. ... On one level, Matt's blindness is an act -- an interesting aspect of his personality by itself -- but on another level, he really should conduct himself differently than any other superhero. When I draw Spidey, I do my best to make sure he doesn't touch the ground; with Daredevil, I want him to always look like he's listening."
~ Paolo Rivera (@PaoloMRivera), in an exclusive interview with CBR about his upcoming Daredevil work for Marvel (@Marvel).

YES. If you're going to work with corporate characters instead of your own, damn if you can't have a lot of fun thinking about what makes them unique and then creating from that perspective.


New Life for Daredevil.

The new volume of "Daredevil" has been announced. And it looks like pretty damn impressive work.
Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera (@PaoloMRivera) will share the art duties (hopefully allowing Rivera to meet a monthly schedule) on scripts written by Mark Waid (@markwaid). They've come up with a very Sixties stylistic visual way to depict Matt Murdock's ability to smell, hear, and feel things with his heightened senses. [See above.]

[via Dean Haspiel's Facebook account! via ComicBookResources.com exclusive interview]

Supremely talented comicsmith Dean Haspiel (@deanhaspiel) posted the link to CBR's exclusive interview with Waid and Rivera. Underneath he joked "I just quit comics."

I think that says a lot.

~ @JonGorga

Everyone is in a Media Tizzy Over This?

I worry about the mental state of a world that puts at such importance the decisions of fictional characters in regards to their legal citizenship.

Yahoo.com's main page 'trending' searches as of two weeks ago, just after the release of "Action Comics" #900 on April 27th.

Maybe I'm just being cantankerous. I can see how, to the general public, the idea that Superman is now fighting for 'Truth, Justice, but NOT the American way' is shocking. But Superman's writers had long ago deduced that if Superman, as a character, was purely an American man the balance of power would be tipped unfairly and DC universe's American politicians would attempt to use him as a weapon, either literal or propagandistic. That was one of the many lessons of Alan Moore's and Frank Miller's respective late-Cold War epics of 1986: "Watchmen" and "The Dark Knight". "God exists, and he's American." ("Watchmen" #4) Nobody would take this naively anymore. The solution was to stress him as a world-wide protector of all human life. Renouncing his American citizenship was implied as a done deal a long time ago. That makes this recent move not tremendously newsworthy from an insider's perspective.

It is ONLY interesting as a nudge-in-the-ribs version of 'Hey look! These aren't your Papa's comic-books!' Something more dramatic is needed. We need to put interesting comics in front of people, not just tell them about one single incident of a single comic with some mild ramifications related to the public's retro-active understanding of certain mainstream characters. Last night after seeing the "Thor" movie adaptation in Times Square I stood on the street and watched the jumbotrons play the movie's trailer as well as the trailer for "X-Men: First Class" and lots and LOTS of other things: Martha Stewart. Good Morning America. Lady Gaga. Coca Cola. The Simpsons. Sit-com television.

The comics industry needs to concentrate less on 'stunts' and more on making comics themselves as visible as the things I saw on those huge screens.

And, well, if we're going to get technical? Clark Kent has a social security number. Superman doesn't. Superman is not a legal US citizen and therefore can't renounce his citizenship. Does that really need to be pointed out?

~ @JonGorga

Boredom Brings Tall Tales and Good Comics.

"Lizzie's Tale Tail" from Darryl Ayo

In a world of huge superhero event-comics (Marvel (@Marvel) has begun "Fear Itself" and DC (@DC_NATION) has released the first issue of "Flashpoint" this past month) and unnerving underground sexual-confessional comics (Chester Brown just spoke at The Strand bookstore (@Strandbookstore) yesterday on "Paying For It: A Comic Strip Memoir About Being a John") and comics from different world cultures crowding my brain (these past months I've been introduced to the work of comicsmiths from Japan, Denmark, and Romania)... it's really nice to read a short, simple, well-made, (and best of all) FUN mini-comic.

Darryl Ayo (@darrylayo) puts heart and mind into his comics full-throttle:
This one's got a fawn, a magical mermaid, a guy with dreads and four arms, and one bad-ass humanoid main character with a tail named Lizzie! And the whole thing can be read between average NYC subway stops.

Ayo's art is not supremely polished here, he is not a master draftsman, but his storytelling technique is excellent. Note the depiction of a few feet of water in which hides our hero's rescue in the form of a mysterious mermaid! A simple double smooth stroke denotes the water-line and all items below said water-line are ever-so-slightly distorted to give us that underwater fish-eye-camera view.

The action is smartly realized on the page (most of the time...) despite the fact that the piece is pure comedy and the action could have looked like crap and we would have gotten the jokes just as well.

My favorite panel is the climactic moment two pages later in which the mermaid smacks into the four-armed dude! The figures don't seem to have the proper weight of collision but the composition of the panel is dramatic and FEELS accurate (the four-arms on the single torso rarely works as well as it does here), and the cartooning-work in the faces of all three figures belies this great surreal feeling for me: Each character clearly has a distinct thought in their head at this exact moment. I love it.
A good amount of the faces in the comic in general are delightful actually. Lizzie's near-constant look of nonplussed bravado in the face of chaos makes for great deadpan humor.

She battles these various creatures to a stand-still and is finally gifted a bronze pendant by her silent aquamarine saviour. But the entire delightful little pseudo-mythological story is a framed story, opening and closing with a simple interaction between friends in a typical urban setting.

A simple question lead to this grandiose over-the-top spun tale of courage and violence and it ends with:
Oh come OFF it!
You got that pendant at Medusa's antique shop. I was there.

Oh yeah.

"Lizzie's Tale Tail" premiered last month at MoCCA 2o11 where I met Darryl and bought the mini on the recommendation of Mike Cavallaro. Darryl maintains a website with a lot of comics and excellent comics commentary at Let'sGoAyo.com Check out his stuff.

~ @JonGorga