Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like WOLF-Mas!

This will probably be my final post for the year so I'm definitely ending on a high note. I worked super hard throughout December to have a very special Holiday Episode of Wolf Hands ready for debut on Christmas Day. Justin wrote up this fun little tale for last year's holidays but I just couldn't fit it into the schedule. I knew I couldn't let it pass me by again.

The reaction has been pretty great thus far. Speaking of which, Justin and I received a great review from the legendary Aint It Cool News. I've been reading that site since news of the first X Men film was being snatched up in 1999, so it feels great to be a part of it in some way. Read the review HERE.  (It's about half way down.)

You can read the Wolf Hands Xmas Special and catch up with Season One by clicking HERE.

And in big news, you can expect Season Two to begin airing on Sunday, February 1st! I'll be making some promo art soon to celebrate this fact in style, haha!

Until then, happiest new year to you all, my friends!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

CANADIAN PULP - Week 6: The Road to Apeldoorn




Rough pencils


Original Thumbnail

War stories are a main staple of pulp comics and books so I did some research into Canada's role in the second World War, searching for an historical event that I could add some of the pulp flare to. I stumbled upon Apeldoorn, a key battle in the liberation of the Netherlands, an event for which the Dutch people still donate 1000s of tulips to Canada annually. More details about the battle can be found HERE. The image of blood stained tulips and flaming windmills popped into my pretty early, and I knew they would be perfect for an action packed war tale.

The pose of the two main characters was definitely the biggest challenge for this one. I always do photo reference but I really should have nabbed a couple friends to photograph together because two spliced images of me holding me just didn't really cut it. I honestly think the earlier sketches have some better posing than the final but I'm still pleased with the final image, especially the colours.

And with that, the CANADIAN PULP series is complete. It was a very rewarding experience and lots of fun working with the Art Director of FFWD magazine. Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to create more work for them soon.

As we are nearing the completion of 2014, I've been reviewing all of the work that I submitted this year and I'm pretty pleased with the output. Wish I could post some of the pages of pitches I've been doing but that is all still in the air. Perhaps 2015 is the year they will find a home!

But until then, I have one more art bomb to drop. On Christmas Day. A special holiday treat for all you lycanthrophiles out there.

See ya soon.

CANADIAN PULP - Week 5: The Bride Says Die!




Rough pencils 2

Rough pencils 1

Thumbnail 2

Original Thumbnail

There are plenty of great ghost stories in Alberta alone, but one of the most famous is that of the "doomed bride" of the Banff Springs Hotel.  She was even featured on a collector's coin created by the legendary Mr. Sam Weber. There are several different version of this story and I sort of combined them all together for this pic. I really wanted it to be a period piece, to reference old school horror films, and really convey that gothic, ghost story feel.

I also wanted to create a piece that focused very closely on a character's face, letting his expression convey the horror of the situation, more so than some grotesque image. I did a lot of sketches trying to push the facial expression and the hands of our haunted groom. I really like the title for this one too...not necessarily the typography though... so damn tricky.

Next (and final) week: WW2.

CANADIAN PULP - Week 4: Through Hell They March




Rough Comp 2

Rough Comp 1

Rough Pencils

Original Thumbnail

I just couldn't get through an examination of Canadian history without a few mounties. I didn't have too much time to research for this entry so I drew upon some of my previous knowledge gained when creating a comic for my Information Illustration class in Year 4. You can view the whole thing HERE.

This was one of the tougher compositions to nail down as you can see through the extra roughs. There were a lot of elements but I really wanted to focus on something a bit different from the previous entries. I figured the locust would be really fun to draw and help this piece stand out among the rest.

The colours were quite tricky on this one as well, as I wanted the image to convey heat, danger, and well, the Gates of Hell, yet the reds and flesh tones all started blending together. I was a bit worried about how it would print but it turned out quite well. I think this one has my favourite typographic treatment of all of them, the most pulpy looking I reckon.

Next week: Ghosts!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This Little Piggy: A Dusty Folk Opera

I had the immense pleasure of collaborating with the old Trout Puppet Workshop over the summer, creating a comic for the program of their latest show This Little Piggy. The deadline on this was crazy tight, but I am really pleased with how the story came out. Big thanks to Pete Balkwill for being a great collaborator on this, and helping to push my work into some strange new places.

CANADIAN PULP - Week 3: One Tough Cookie


Initial Colours



Rough Pencils 2

Rough Pencils 1

Second Rough

First rough

I went through a lot of roughs and revisions for this piece but I was pretty pleased with the final, so it was all worth it. I knew one of my pieces had to draw upon the pulp mythology of the femme fatale and I really wanted to spotlight a heroic lady from Canada's past. Marie Anne Gaboury was first on my mind. Probably known most famously for being the grandmother of Louis Riel, she was also a courageous adventurer, a real pioneer. You can read about some of her exploits here.

My first rough wasn't quite dynamic enough for me, so I revised it with Marie Anne in a more dynamic pose. My first crack at the pencils had her looking a little too posed, too regal. I wanted her too be tough, capable, strong. I nearly went with the initial colours for the final but realized at the last minute that it didn't quite have those pulp colours. So I jazzed it up a bit with some fiery reds and damn, if that didn't do the trick.

Next week: Mounties!

CANADIAN PULP - Week 2: Engines of Malice

Final Image




I'm a bit behind in updating my blog, but the CANADIAN PULP series for FFWD has wrapped up, so I'm jumping back on board the process wagon to show off the rest of the series. This image was inspired by horror films comics and definitely has that "Mignola vibe."

It refers to the story of how Dead Man's Flats, Alberta received it's name. There are a couple different legends about its dark origins but the one I chose involves two brothers who moved out West to do some logging. One became convinced that the other had planted electrical engines in the forest that were controlling his mind and actions, so he murdered his brother with an axe and dumped his body in the river. Chilling stuff. Perfect for Canadian Pulp!

Next week: Femme Fatale!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

CANADIAN PULP - Week 1: Bear Child

Final Image



Rough Pencils

Original thumbnail

Last week was the debut of CANADIAN PULP: my six week illustration series running in FFWD. Each week depicts a moment in Canadian history as seen through a pulp fiction lens. I always thought the Americans were really good at glorifying and exploiting their history for narrative sake, and I really think Canada also has a history rich with action, adventure and horror, making it the perfect subject for some pulpy illustrations. And if we learn a little bit about our nations history in the process, then super bonus!

Week 1 focuses on Jerry Potts, who I've referenced in my work before, in this Mountie comic for my fourth year illustration class. You can find out a bit about him here on Wikipedia.

Next week: horror!