Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fables 150: The Last Clara Story

#150 marks the last issue of Fables. Bill Willingham, who'd contributed a Legends of the Guard story for Volume 2, and had previously asked me to contribute to House of Mystery, asked me to do a 2 page story about the raven Clara. This last "issue" of Fables, which has been out for a bit now, features a great many talented contributors and comes in at 160 pages and is more like a trade paperback than any "issue" you've ever seen.

For today's blogpost I'll be going over my pages for "The Last Clara Story" and the process for getting them done.

Bill's script was broke the first page into four panels where Clara flies over distant lands and then descends into the crook of a tree to visit with a certain bluebird. The rest of that page and the six panels of page 2 are their conversation (note: I'm being a bit vague here to not spoil the story details).

Over the course of several pieces of copy paper, I sketched out each panel's scene or key element. I tired to incorporate camera angles and/or body language that worked with the dialogue of each panel

Then I scanned in the pencil sketches and laid them out as pages in Photoshop. Here I was able re-size my sketches and play with panel sizes until everything fit as a page that could still flow for readability. This is also a moment when I can make changes to drawings by enlarging or shrinking elements if I've drawn them out of proportion. The digital composite is then printed out at full size on sheets of copy paper (and taped back together seen here).

The next step is to ink the pages. I tape the printout to the back of sheets of bristol board. The bristol is the surface I'll ink on. Using a lightbox, I can see through the bristol down to the printout. I use the printout like other artists use pencils, but with my way, I didn't have to draw everything on the page and I don't have to erase the pencils when I'm done. To the right you can see a panel in progress of being inked. I use Copic Multiliners for the linework.

Below you can see both pages fully inked.

This story marks the first time I've not colored my own work for publication. Andrew Dalhouse colored this story for the book and I think he did a great job. Especially with that opening shot of Clara flying high over the landscape.

So farewell to Fables. I look forward to what Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham have in store for their fans next.

2015 Appearances:
Long Beach Comic Con: Sept. 12-13
Baltimore Comic Con Sept. 25-27
New York Comic Con Oct. 8-11
Art-Bubble Comics Festival: Copenhagen: Nov. 14-15

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