Friday, November 26, 2010

My First Cars Cover!

Well, eventually it was time to start drawing pictures for comics. Sure, I did some more sketches for story proposals that Mark and I were cookin' up (I'll get some of that interesting stuff up soon, I promise!) but these images are where I really started to rev up my engines. Time to start drawing Cars comics covers! I did a bunch of sketches, and the sketch you see here was an early favorite of mine. I was trying to get a lot of excitement into this picture, what with the rockets and explosions and all that, but Boom came back with "Why is Lightning McQueen being shot at by rockets?" Okay, fair enough. I also got a comment that Disney wants us to avoid drawing the undercarriage of the Cars. One thing I've learned is that when drawing licensed characters, there are rules you have to follow. Donald Duck never wears pants. I figure it's because these characters have been carefully designed long before I came to them, and so I have to pay attention and do it right. It's just part of the gig. Like if you're a session musician, you don't just play whatever you want however you want, you read the music and follow the band leader and do the best job you can. I actually never had much problem keeping the Cars on-model, but it was something I had to be mindful of and responsive to, and it all part of the job. So I went with a new design based on that original premise that I think we can agree worked out much better.

I'll be honest, I was absolutely terrified at this point. This was the BIG SHOW! The highest profile work I'd yet done! Disney! Pixar! CARS!!! There's hardly anything bigger and I had stage fright! I wasn't certain that I could color a comic cover up to the very highest level of quality yet. I just had to throw myself into the deep end and sink or swim. Thanks here are due to my friend in comics, the great Steve Buccellatto, who very kindly and patiently gave me some tips on how to properly prepare and color in Photoshop so it would print out right. The second image here are the results, which I think, afterall, looked pretty good.

Well, Boom ended up recoloring it anyway. I don't mind, really. FIrst, I understood that my work was subject to editorial decisions like this, and to have my work changed is nothing to take personally. The interior pages were being colored in a more muted pallete than I had used, and the new coloring worked better as the cover for those pages. So, while I was disappointed that my original coloring didn't fly, I was VERY happy that they kept me on for the subsequent issues. My work got better, I think, but here is where it all began.

Thanks for visiting again. I'll have some more stuff to share on Monday.

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