Monday, October 05, 2009

Magenta Wolf

This poster is for Genghis Con, which is a Small Press Comic Convention at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on Saturday November 28th. I'm actually helping to organize the event, along with Scott from Astound! Comics in Westlake. I'm pretty sure this thing is going to be a blast. We're lining up some awesome guests and exhibitors so far. People from Columbus, Michigan, Pittsburgh, and of course, local Cleveland Destroyists.

There's a lot of art in this post. Apparently it takes a lot to explain things if you go the long way around to get them done. I like making things difficult, I guess. I think it makes them better when you actually achieve the insane ass insanity you set out to achieve. Sometimes I worry that I'm actually trying to sabotage my own attempts by making things IMPOSSIBLE. I may have some kind of subconscious fear of success. Then, I unleash the break-dancing Venom within, and impossibilities die violent savage deaths at my hands. So, if I am afraid of succeeding, it certainly doesn't stop me from doing so.

At any rate, this rough was really loose because I knew what I wanted to draw and I knew the best way to get it done. I had done something similar before. This piece is kind of a reaction to what happened in Pittsburgh during the G20 Summit a couple weeks ago. There's a shload of information out there about it, get familiar. It was an infuriating bummer for sure, so I wanted to throw down about it on a poster. That's how I communicate important information. Nobody's gonna listen to me, or read anything I have to write, but a poster that blasts your eye balls is gonna make a fucking point.

So I scanned my loose rough. I knew that I wanted to make a uniformed array of jackboot riot police behind the character reading the comic or zine. I drew one riot cop, scanned that, then copied and pasted a wall of cop sketches. Reduced it for the second row, then reduced it again for the third and fourth. I did this once before, in a poster for The Golden Error and National Suicide Day. It's better to do this in the rough stage because then you can individualize the different cops when you draw the final. If you were to just copy and paste the final guy, they would all be exactly the same, and that would be weak sauce.

Here's the guy. I looked at a lot of pictures of Riot Police, and decided not to use a specific uniform from any specific police department. This uniform is kind of a mishmash of different elements taken from all of them.

So, I printed out my rough, and got to drawing hard. It was actually a lot quicker than I thought it would be. I tried to give each cop a unique stance, but at the same time I also wanted it to look like a solid wall of cops. I wanted your eyes to just take them all in as one big continuous element. It's supposed to scary and imposing, oppressive.

Our hero, the BMX Wolf, on the other hand is just chill. Just totally focused on his reading material. Sitting on a bicycle can be pretty comfortable, but it's still a balancing act. All your weight is being supported on two round wheels, meant to roll. His foot's on the ground, but that was just to show that he's stationary and not moving. Then again, he is on the bike, ready to bolt at a moment's notice. Ready to make a move. He's clearly not afraid or intimidated by the wall of cops, but he definitely knows they're there.

I combined the two pieces, and put a white stroke around the wolf. That makes it pop, and defines things. When things are black and white, sometimes it's still easy to get lost in textures and patterns. Definition solves that, and you won't have to worry about it later when it's time to break out the color palettes.

I have really grown to love coloring. It still takes a long time, and it's still... well, it could probably be better. I know there's ways to use Photoshop that I'm ignoring, and if I knew the full extent of the application I'd probably be a better colorist. However, I'm super stoked at how I'm able to get things to look these days. I like making things bright and colorful. Especially in the face of crushing doom.

1 comment:

frank teran said...

an editorial piece like this john is more powerful than a written op-ed...i surely agree.
the contrast of the monotonous,deadened color of the riot boot drones is the perfect backdrop/wall behind the vivid bright character,simply doin his really is one of your best in that xxxx thread,as far as conveying a secondary,internal message.
i give it 2 flush fists to the grill.