Here’s some pencils. Things are really starting to get exciting at this point in the story.
Page 1- I like how Panel 1 turned out. I’m not into drawing lifeless crowds or having to make characters up on the spot. Shortly after getting my first assignment from Archie I had intended to go through past comics and find any background characters I thought were appealing, then make up a couple of my own, and have a stock of background citizens.
Unfortunately I hadn’t found the time to do it when issue 221 rolled around with its massive concert audience. I had to make quite a few characters on the spot and I wasn’t happy about it. This time around I was a little more prepared and I was able to pull from the more successful attempts in 221. I just realized it’s a downer that I didn’t include Dave Manak’s pig from issue 24 here. I do however have the apple cart dog from issue 24 between Bunnie and Geoffrey in Panel 01.
My favorite background character here is the baboon. He’s a guy who builds things, maybe he’s a carpenter or just a construction worker type. I’m not sure if he has a purpose in life now that Nicole just whips everything up out of nanites. Another character to point out is the punk rock frog next to Sonic in Panel 01. When I was drawing the crowd Dustin Weaver, the guy who draws S.H.I.E.L.D., requested him.
Also, these background characters wouldn’t work out at all if the colorist Matt Herms wasn’t willing to spend the extra time referencing all the little notes I send him about who’s who and where they are at. I really appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with him in bringing the city’s inhabitants to life. It may not seem like such a problem here but six issues from now when I tell him this character appeared in Panel 02 on Page 14 of Issue 2XX, could you please color them the same shade of purple with the yellow shoes and the single green bracelet on the LEFT wrist, it might be a little more annoying.
Thanks a ton Matt for your patience and hard work!!!
I just really like the action in this page.
I was super excited when I read this part of the script and I got to draw Geoffrey exactly as I hoped for Panel 02. Just for a moment we get to see underneath his controlled, smug exterior and then he’s right back into it in the next panel.
You’ll notice if you compare my Panel 05 with the published copy that I never drew the black strip between Geoffrey’s eyes. My design is based mostly on Spaz’s Sega-like version of Geoffrey he did for the cover of Sonic Archives Vol. 11. For me, that’s easily the best that characters ever looked and where the modern design should be built from. However, I’m not satisfied with how I’ve drawn Geoffrey so far. I knew it was a problem but I didn’t really reflect on it until recently. The mental image I have of the character that I remember from when I was younger is that he’s a tough guy and a bit thicker. I’m looking forward to the next time I get to draw him and trying to tweak his design a bit to capture the essence of St. John.
Oh, as its been made obvious that the modern design should have the black strip between the eyes I’ll include it of course. If it were up to me though I’d totally axe it. In fact if it were up to me Geoffrey, as a skunk in Sonic’s world, would not have black fur.
Page 12 A-
Page 12 B-
Allright here’s something a little different. Page 12 A is the publisehed art and B was my first attempt at the page. You’ll notice the primary difference is Naugus’s visual appearance.
When I found out I would be drawing Naugus in issue 221 I went through a lot of reference on the characters appearance in the cartoons and comics. I just assumed that any differences were artistic interpretation. My personal preference is to try and make all things appear to follow the game design rules. Or rather how I perceive the games to have design rules.
So in my mind Naugus needs to be simple like his original cartoon version and have shapes as part of his design to better fit in the Sonic world. When I first started drawing him I couldn’t make sense out of him (the collar to his cape literally makes no sense) and for quite a while my drawings for him have all be explorations on what he could/should look like. It was also really difficult for me to take this character seriously so a certain goofiness poured out of him in the beginning.
But then I got direction to make Naugus more in line with his visual appearance in issue 222 so I came back through and uglied him up.
The other big difference from A to B is in Panel 05 where the city is no longer devoid of life.
Page 13 A-
Page 13 B-
Big difference here is Panel 02 where Geoffrey performs his judo throw. My first attempt in Page B is far more accurate in how to perform the throw but doesn’t offer the most compelling visual or immediately understandable action.
I think Panel 03′s pretty cool. I especially love the tiny figures of Amy and Tail’s. Throughout this issue I really enjoyed having Tails and Amy interact.
You should totally grab your copy of 223 if you’ve got it to compare this page to what I originally pencilled. I mean really compare them.
Panel 01- I just think thats a cool kick. Nothing different here.
Panel 02- One of my favorite things to draw are hands. I really was really pumped about this moment in the script where Sally and Geoffrey are facing off, ready to bust out some judo at any moment.
Panel 03- Check it out I forgot to draw Sally’s eyelashes for her right eye. Fortunately someone helped me out along the way!
Panel 04- Here it is! This was a HUGE surprise to me! You’ll notice by comparing how drastically that changes the tone of his dialog. I’m not certain when this decision was made after I turned in my pencils or what precisely it means. Now even I’m in the dark to what’s going on inside Geoffrey’s head!
Page 15 A-
Page 15 B-
Some different versions of Naugus. You’ll also notice that Panel 04 is totally different between the two. My perspective was off with my first attempt in Page B but I love how cool that back shot of Naugus is in the revision for Page A. Also something I love, although I’m not sure when it happened, is Uncle Chuck’s color change. It’s sooo much cooler to make him more unique than just Sonic with hair.
Oh and small detail I really enjoy is Hamlin’s coffee cup. I thought about drawing it so that in every scene he’s constantly saving it from sliding off but I thought it was much funnier that it just sits there. Defiant.
Panel 5 A- There’s all kinds of little touches from each of the different creators that ultimately shape your reading experience. In this case, you’ll see by comparing to your copy that Naugus gained just a hint of drool.
Panel 6- I forgot to draw the jacket detail on Elias throughout this entire issue. In trying to find reference I didn’t know what made his outfit different from any of the other council members. You’ll see in issue 224 though I found some cool details about his outfit.
Page 17- This one’s really just for fun with a big face-off panel referencing Sonic and the Black night. This is one of the few times I didn’t take into account the need for teaser text and just drew what I wanted. Fortunately John Workman found a nice frame with Naugus’s leg. Now you can see the whole thing here.
I’ve never played Sonic and the Black Night. Unfortunately it’s not the experience I’ m looking for with Sonic the Hedgehog but I still think its a lot of fun to reference the game for any fans regardless. I went through and watched a lot of gameplay videos and had a great time admiring all the illustrations made for the story mode.
I really like the unique design for Caliburn and absolutely love the imagination and playfulness of the face design. Its a good looking talking sword. Perhaps a little excessive in detail for Sonic but I guess that gets explained away as him being in some other world not his own. Anyway for this issue it required Sonic wielding the Sword of Light. I received some reference on the sword as it appeared in previous issues drawn by different artists with two differing designs. I chose the more unique of the two and learned that the sword use to be the Sword of Acorns and was upgraded to the Sword of Light. I’m not sure what that process is like but I thought it was an excellent time to bump up the design a bit, make the sword even more unique and reference Caliburn as much as possible.
If you’ve got the time, let me know what you thought of this issue. Up next is I intend to post some pages from issue 224. Anyone out there who would have an interest in seeing specific pages?