Jan 20 2010

What do you think about these pencils?

Published by at 1:45 am under Art,Comic Book Art

Below the fold, I have uploaded Rebecca’s pencils for the five sample pages I’ll be submitting with my comic book script.  I really like how they’ve turned out!  What do you think?  (If you’d like to see the script for these pages, please see this comment).








12 responses so far

12 Responses to “What do you think about these pencils?”

  1. B. Macon 20 Jan 2010 at 1:58 am

    PAGE 27.

    Panel 1. Gary Smith, an accountant applying for a position with a top-secret police agency, stares at a sign in the front lobby. The sign says…

    WELCOME, VISITORS. DO NOT PROCEED WITHOUT ID TAG– YOU WILL BE SHOT. Fine print: (And/or immolated, irradiated and disintegrated as necessary).

    Panel 2. Gary sits down at a chair near the corner.

    Panel 3. He starts reading his book, “Surviving in a New Workplace.”

    Panel 4. His book has a mushy list of tips for the first day:
    [bullet] Show up on time (this is checked off).
    [bullet] Introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Don’t forget to rehearse. Practice makes perfect!
    [bullet] Remember to deliver a crisp handshake!
    [bullet] Visualize your success!

    Panel 5. Gary tries rehearsing his introduction.
    GARY: Hello. Handshake. I’m Gary Smith. I’m very enthusiastic about interviewing for this exciting new position.

    Panel 6. Agent Orange is hanging upside down behind Gary. He’s lowering himself down from the ceiling on a rope, ninja-style. Gary does not notice.
    GARY: Although I did not investigate any violent crimes at the IRS, I’m a fast learner and I’m eager to take the next step in my career.

    Panel 7. Still upside down, Agent Orange taps a claw on Gary’s shoulder. Gary looks confused.

    Panel 8. Gary turns around and sees Agent Orange hanging right behind him.
    AGENT ORANGE: Greetings, prospective accountant!

    PAGE 28

    Panel 1. Gary gaping.

    Panel 2. Gary stammering.

    Panel 3. Gary in disbelief. AO dismounts with an acrobatic maneuver.

    Panel 4. This is an idealized shot of Gary reacting to this rather surprising-looking coworker in a totally professional, collected way. He looks extremely mature and smooth. Obviously, this Gary does not exist in reality.

    GARY: I’ve never had the opportunity to meet a mutant before, but I’m very excited to interview for this position.

    Panel 5. This is the unidealized shot of Gary, who’s prone to verbal gaffes like this one.
    GARY: Umm, you’re not human.
    AGENT ORANGE, annoyed: Your visual acuity is uncanny.

    Panel 6.
    GARY: Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
    AGENT ORANGE: Agreed! American alligators, mutant and otherwise, have always set a sterling example for our mammal compatriots in both friendliness and violence.

    PAGE 29
    Panel 1. They’re walking.

    Panel 2. Agent Orange looks mildly irritated.
    AO: You have not yet introduced yourself!

    Panel 3.
    GARY, taken aback: I’m Gary Smith.
    AO: Agent Orange!

    Panel 4.
    GARY: That’s, uhh, definitely an unusual name.
    AO: And fitting! Like my namesake, I am helpful and probably safe for humans.

    Panel 5.
    GARY: Probably?

    Panel 6.
    AO: Tests are inconclusive.

    Panel 7. Gary’s getting sort of weirded out. AO has a goofy smile with his tongue hanging out.

    PAGE 30
    Panel 1. They’re at the stairs.
    GARY: So, how does a mutant crocodile become a government agent?
    AO, more surly: Alligator. American alligator.

    Panel 2.
    GARY: Uhh… what’s the difference?

    Panel 3. AO pulls out a book, The Compendium of the American Alligator: A Treatise on Awesomeness. The cover-illustration depicts an alligator defending a cute human child from a sinister-looking criminal with an American flag flying in the background.

    Panel 4. AO holds open the book for Gary to read.
    AO, mostly off-panel: As you can see, crocodiles bring only misery and despair. And soccer!
    Inside the book, there’s a map of the world with every country with crocodiles painted in a sinister-looking red and the United States in a pleasant-looking blue. The legend indicates: [blue] = COUNTRIES HOME TO AMERICAN ALLIGATORS. [red] = COUNTRIES INFESTED BY CROCODILES.

    PAGE 31
    Panel 1. They’re outside AO’s office. The door has a sign that says something like ONLY ALLIGATORS AND FRIENDLY HUMANS BEYOND THIS POINT—NO CANADIANS).
    GARY: Uhh… are you being serious?
    AO: Freedom can’t very well sever the spines of its enemies. That’s why it needs alligators!

    Panel 2. Give the office some fantastically unusual details. For example, on his shelf he has a row of US President bobbleheads.
    GARY, staring at bobbleheads: Uhh…

    Panel 3.
    AO is reading the resume and standing propped against his desk in a casual manner.
    AO: I am dismayed to see a distinct lack of experience with lethal weaponry. Are you perhaps familiar with martial arts instead?

    Panel 4.
    GARY: I didn’t think that combat skills would be required for an accountant position.
    AO: Personal security is everybody’s responsibility. When zombies waylay you, they will not be merciful because you are helpless.

    Panel 5.
    GARY, frustrated: Have your accountants been attacked recently?
    AO, exasperated: You are missing the point! We must be prepared for any contingency.

    Panel 6.
    GARY: Do you think I might be able to interview with someone that isn’t, umm, a crocodile? I feel that’d prob—

    Panel 7.

    Panel 8. Agent Orange eats Gary’s resume.

  2. A1Writeron 20 Jan 2010 at 7:58 am

    I like these a lot too. I’m a big fan of straightforward, clean art work and this is it. Normally, I don’t like so many different shaped panels but it really seems to work for your book. I feel like I actually understand their use. Congrats on another step done.

  3. B. Macon 20 Jan 2010 at 8:45 am

    If you think it’s clean now, wait until you see the inks. 😉 I’m really interested to see how the cover of the Treatise on Alligator Awesomeness comes out on page 30–my eyes aren’t so good and I can’t quite make out the image on the cover. (It’s an alligator protecting a child from a criminal, of course).

    I expect it’ll take about 2-3 weeks to have the pages fully inked, colored and lettered. So about a month for five pages. Jesus. A comic book publisher might ask us to move as quickly as 32 pages per month (and that includes a lot more than just the art).

  4. Lighting Manon 20 Jan 2010 at 10:13 am

    Wow, these look great. It’s really impressive to see how fast all this is progressing. You should definitely be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

  5. B. Macon 20 Jan 2010 at 11:34 am

    Thanks, LM. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be in the top 90% of submissions, but I need to be in the top 99% to get published. I think the art is good enough to make the cut, so I just need to polish the cover letter, the script for the first issue, and (oof) the five-issue synopsis. Since I’ve only written the first issue so far, so many things could go wrong with the five-issue synopsis that it’s not even funny. (Generally, it’s easier to write the synopsis for a work that’s fully finished, because you won’t sound as vague and unsure).

    Also, I’m thinking about submitting to literary agents. I think that being a frequent reader of websites like Query Shark and Evil Editor will really help me there, even though they’re aimed exclusively at novelists.

  6. Emilyon 20 Jan 2010 at 11:51 am

    I LOVE Gary’s contrasting expressions in page 28, middle two panels, and the glasses falling off his face in the panel above.
    Bring on the inks!

  7. Susan Boneson 20 Jan 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Wow! It’d be awesome for you to get published! Agent Orange’s trench coat, shades and boots are totally bad-ass. Give yourself a round of applause and a bouquet of roses. You are so close!

  8. PaintedSainton 20 Jan 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I don’t know where else you could fit it, but I think that the surprise confrontation panels between Agent Orange and Gary should be bigger. The realization that it’s a freakin mutant alligator should have more emphasis rather than being sequenced on the leftover space of page 1.

  9. B. Macon 20 Jan 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks for your advice, PaintedSaint. I think that we’d see more of Agent Orange on the final version of the first page than we do now. The right side of the page got cut off and we’ll be able to see a lot more of his face in the final panel. Also, when the inks are done and the colors are added, it should be a lot easier to identify him as some sort of reptilian predator in the second-to-last panel on page 1.

    If our editor would like us to spend more space on this scene, one thing we could do is add a new page between what is currently page 1 and page 2. The panels I’d put on that page would probably be the final panel of page 1 (Agent Orange waving to Gary and saying “greetings!”) and panels 1, 2 and 3 of page 2 (respectively: Gary gaping, Gary stammering, and Agent Orange flipping acrobatically into a seat next to Gary). It would definitely look better, but I really wanted to make sure that the five page sample included Agent Orange rejecting Gary’s application (by, umm, eating it).

  10. Poet Warrioron 20 Jan 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Dude, these are AWESOME! And I love AO!

  11. Lucas Irineuon 21 Jan 2010 at 9:15 am

    Awesome, but they are very, very dark. It’s probably just the scanner, but that does make it look a little worse. But I guess its not such a big deal, since you are probably going to submit them colored and all. 😉

  12. B. Macon 21 Jan 2010 at 11:07 am

    I agree they’re dark, Lucas. Hopefully it won’t be a problem when the colors are included. One reason that they’re unusually dark here is that these are photographs of the artwork, not scanned files. I suspect that the final version will be around as bright as this rather than than the pencils above.

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