Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Raphael Cover Process

Dreams DO Come True...
A few weeks back I crypticly tweeted I was working on a cover that would make 11 year old me ecstatic and was a professional dream coming true. I can now reveal that IDW asked me to do a cover for their recently announced Ninja Turtles relaunch! My cover will be on the Raphael one-shot. My love of comics started with the Turtles, I started roleplaying because of the TMNT RPG, and I broke the ice when meeting now-lifelong friend Jesse Glenn (Kenzie) over TMNT at a Boy Scout camp before the cartoon had even hit the airwaves.

TMNT process:
I started with a sketch in my sketchbook (this was attempt #2, I'm keeping #1 under wraps as it was too dull a pose & mood for Raph, but could be reworked in the future if I'm asked to do another TMNT cover). I scanned the sketch, made some adjustments to proportions in photoshop and changed the building and background. I felt the composition were better served of Raph "keeping watch" if I allowed more head room and implied more of a gaze over the whole city. I sent in the digital composition for approval and then printed it out full scale when I got the go ahead to start inking. I layed a sheet of bristol board over the printout and used my sketch as a guide for inking on a lightbox. I scanned the finished inks and started coloring the piece in photoshop by "flatting" in the colors. (Scroll back up to see the finished color artwork)

In that Ustream coloring session from a few weeks back I was able to put some color into this Yoda piece. Not to start a Prequel complaint list, but I had imagined Yoda as a Jedi using a lightsaber quite differently than what was ultimately portrayed. Since control, calmness, focus, etc are the virtues of a Jedi, and Yoda is a master among them, he would wield a lightsaber of traditional length, but without touching it. He would close his eyes, raise his arm, and using the force, guide that blade through an amazing spectacle of dueling never letting the opponent get close. Which is why Yoda is not touching his ignited lightsaber in this piece.

Fan Art:
This Fan Art comes from Jono Kys in South Africa (!!!) He writes: I've been reading comics for many years but this is my first ever fanart and hopefully not the last. Really looking forward to the Winter War series.

Upcoming Appearances:
Baltimore Comic Con: Aug. 20-21
New York Comic Con: Oct. 13-16


Jake said...

I have never thought about that Yoda/light saber reasoning before. But that makes 10x more sense than him jumping around like a frog.

Casey Crowe said...

Awesome Raphael! These 'process' posts are the best.

loveinamist said...
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CraftyAndy said...

For you turtles. For me, it was Sonic that got me into comics, always wanted to do one... still working on my skills I guess.

jamie said...

Congratulations on the feather in the cap, or a sai in the head would I guess would be more appropriate.

Conner said...

Do you think you can incorporate noble weasel who is beneficial to the mice? As in: he does not like mice or helping them. But he does it anyways because, despite the way he was raised, it is the "true" right thing to do. Weather you add this to main MG storyline or a ministory is up to you.

Edwyn said...

I always thought that Yoda would fight that way! I was totally disappointed when they had him flying around like a spinny ninja.

DPetersen said...

Jake & Edwyn: thanks. Don' get me started though...I have a whole rewrite of the prequel trilogy to fix the more often complained about bits.

Casey: thanks glad you enjoy!

Andy: cool! Whatever books are the gateway, it only matters that folks can find their way into reading comics as rewarding a process as watching a movie or reading a book.

Jamie: thanks! Though I'd prefer a feather in my cap than a sai in my head ;)

Connor: I have my own plans for how to write stories with weasel characters. And I'm afraid to find out how they turn out is a wait-and-see endeavor.

Jason Bradley said...

Yeah Yoda is kind of weak when it comes to fighting. That was a dissapointment. I think my version of him is much more like Chow Yun Fat in Crouching Tiger. Relaxed precise unemotional effortless. Oh well.

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