Saturday, December 30, 2017

THE ROSICRUCIAN: Another Comic Tale Adrift in the Ether

SPORTS ANNOUNCER: ...and just before the buzzer, Johnson manages to sneak in one more blog update before 2017 comes to a crashing close!




I think it's important to post unsuccessful pitches online. They always hurt a little bit; taking so much precious time to create characters and a story that will never grow and mature and find their way into the hands of an eager readership. But there is oh-so-much to learn from every one!

The Rosicrucian was an intriguing concept written by my pal, and long-time collaborator, James Davidge. Filled with mystery, mysticism, romance and intrigue, it promised to be full of bizarre characters and mind-bending scenarios (i.e. the assassination of the Pope.) James went as far as to commission these pages from me, as well as the beautiful cover by Fiona Staples that graces the top of this post.


Was I intimidated at the thought of having some sweet Staples art in front of my cartoony doodles. Hell yes! But what greater incentive is there to do your very best?












Looking back on this 2014 pitch, I cringe at my lettering job, and the exploration with texture and colour, though the limited palette and lighting scheme of the first few pages carries into newer work. The apparent restraint in the figures and inks starts to loosen up towards the end, but doesn't quite achieve the buoyancy of some of my latest work.

I was so inspired by Jae Lee's storytelling for this one; clearly not in the art style itself, but in his widescreen approach. It was an interesting challenge with some cool results that I logged away for future use, specifically regarding composition and cropping.


I hope you enjoyed another story that never was! The great news is that this collaboration went well enough that James and I are forging ahead on a new comic for which we received a grant! So it's a done deal, it's going to happen! And it was this pitch that helped cement that relationship, which is just too cool for words. I'll be working on the new project this year and will release details as they appear!


It's looking like Hoth outside the animation studio today, so stay warm out there, and have a Happy New Year!

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