Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Archie Babies

Last year, my editor Paul approached me about a unique and as of then unannounced new comic called "Archie Babies" - everyone's favorite Riverdale posse set in pre-school and written by Mike Kunkel, illustrated by Art Mawhinney. It was a pet project Paul took over for our new president - and the former Sonic the Hedgehog editor who originally hired me. How it would be published (Mini, online, graphic novel?) wasn't quite planned yet and, in fact, the first two issues had already gone through full production... But they were looking for a different approach to the colors, and wanted to know if I was interested.

Absolutely! First, I love the Archie characters. I didn't read them growing up - I was mostly into Sonic and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Adventures Archie published, with Spider-Man and X-Men from Marvel... But these characters are iconic, comic book and American legends. And up until then my only actual Archie-related credits were colors on some stock-art used on the website/conventions/magazines.

Second, I would get to color for Art Mawhinney. This guy was my favorite Sonic the Hedgehog penciler growing up!

All this week, I'll be posting up some of my favorite pages from each chapter. Yep, ultimately Archie Babies was published as Archie Comics' first 100% original graphic novel.

Sonic the Hedgehog Cover Gallery (Part 4)

...Or, more accurately, my Sonic Universe cover gallery. While Sonic's sister-book's gorgeous cover colors are usually handled by the talented Ben Hunzeker, I've recently had the chance to cover for him. (Heheh. Get it?)

The cover to Sonic Universe #31 was actually an homage to Sonic the Hedgehog #200's anniversary cover by fan favorite Spaziante. The goal was to get as close as possible to the original style - a test that I think everyone passed with flying colors! It was really unique to emulate some one's color style so closely.
The Babylon Rogues - villains/rivals from the Sonic Riders franchise - are getting the spotlight in this story arc written by series veteran penciler Tracy Yardley! Our editor told us to really push the blur effects on this cover, which definitely gives our characters a bit more visual punch
The movie Independence Day was at the heart of this dark and suspenseful cover. I color very bright, cartoony talking animal/robot comics for kids - like a "bowl of candy," my previous editor said. So when the opportunity knocks to do something really dark and "against type," I definitely relish it.