Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Ghost is getting away!

(Click on the image to GHOST-SIZE it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

A ghostly, remote-controlled assassin?  Can Eddie and Charles as GHOST ZERO stop it before it kills again?  And who is behind this phantom menace (that's for all you Star Wars fans out there)?

Here's the second screen for my contribution to the Ka-Blam horror anthology, Dark Mischief.  Check out their website for the project....there's a great list of creators already, and more on the way!  This is going to be a great October....

As many of you know, I render the tones in my art with warm gray Copic markers.  I really like the way they give my comic a grainy, pulp-serial feel...almost like you're watching a black and white movie.  I've seen Adam Hughes do some really incredible things just by using both warm AND cool gray markers...something I'm eager to try...but for right now, this method works pretty well.
One of the things I really enjoy in Ghost Zero (and in Doc Monster, truth be told) is the small-town setting that I put these stories in.  The backgrounds become collages of places in my memory....old, stone fences, clapboard houses, stark telephone poles...they all come pouring into my art.  I love it.  When I was a kid, I would always populate my surroundings with imagined ghosts, pirates, vampires and such.  Ghost Zero is really a re-telling of my childhood stories....stuff that would make me shiver with delight.

I guess that's a lot of  words to say that I'm enjoying myself.  I hope you are, too!
More next week!

-Dave

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Intermission!


Oho!  Didn't expect THAT, did you?

No...your computer is fine...I was just asked to contribute to a spooky/supernatural comic anthology being produced by Ka-Blam!  I thought...hey, what would be better for that than a Ghost Zero short?  The deadline for this thing is October 1, which, given my production time is pretty tight, but I think I can tell a short story in that time.  Keep your fingers crossed!

I haven't drawn Eddie, Pallentine or Ghost Zero in over a year, and I had to re-learn how to do it!  Weird how something you drew for years just kind of drops off the horizon of your skill set.  Practice, folks, practice!

Anyway, I plan on making this the most incredible, action-packed short ever, so strap yourselves in, and watch for the next screen next week!

-Dave

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Groundhog day...?

(Click on the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)


This panel takes us back to the very first panel of the story.  I was uncomfortable with reusing artwork to tell the story, but honestly, the idea of Doc and Clay riding in a hotrod was just too good not to do.  Besides, Doc has his reasons.  Doesn't he ALWAYS have his reasons? :)  Just ask Clay.

Life is pretty busy right now, and it's leaving me brain dead when I come home.  So, to prove that you don't NEED brains to make comics....I'm gonna do it anyway! Just don't expect genius.

More Doc soon!
-Dave

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Near Sharkey's Ridge

(Click on the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

I like this panel. 

 I don't know if I mentioned it, but when I was growing up on the farm, I used to love taking regular walks out into the fields at night.  Sometimes, as I'd be making my way from one place to another, I'd be down by the road that went by when a car would come along.  It's quiet out there, so you heard them coming for a half mile, which presented me with a decision: do I stand there and wave at the lights as they go by, or do I hide in the tall weeds and wait for them to pass?  Well, more often than not, I'd opt for hiding....which is actually a pretty cool feeling... it's close to being invisible, you know?  The possibility of being spotted was a tiny thrill, and I suddenly felt like a spy (or like Snoopy, imagining he was a downed WWI fighter pilot trying to get back across enemy lines to safety).  Hey, I was a kid.
Anyway, this panel reminds me of that feeling, and the decision to duck or wave at the anonymous, passing lights.
It was the kind of quality that I like about rural situations....the feeling of isolation...leaving civilization behind and trekking into the wild unknown.

On the art side of my thinking, a quote from the inspirational Alex Toth is stuck in my mind: "Draw only what you need to."  That's a powerful quote, and one that, if you keep throwing it at your work, is bound to change things.  Keep in mind, that saying isn't an excuse to be lazy....it just means to keep in mind what is essential in the scene and focus on that.  Don't get caught up in drawing tons of floorboard lines if just suggesting it would do.  Most of what is up there in that panel above is suggested...but isn't it powerful?  The viewer takes their experiences and fills in the missing bits and pieces until they construct a scene in their mind that is much more than I could draw.  Remember, storytelling requires the imagination of the viewer to work.  Make use of it.

I also managed to pick up a really great score...an original page of Tom Strong, drawn by Chris Sprouse and inked by Karl Story.  Here's what it looks like:
It's my new favorite thing.....'cause it makes me feel like I don't know anything about drawing or inking.

Till next time,
-Dave