Friday, May 25, 2012

Mega Man 17 Cover

I'm so psyched that this awesome Chad Thomas/Gary Martin Mega Man cover finally dropped in the solicits. I colored this up a couple months ago and in a rare moment of forethought managed to capture a few "snapshots" of the coloring process to share with you guys. So here we go - Mega Man #17's cover, featuring the debut of fan favorite Proto Man!
Here it is, in black-and-white. My editor at Archie will usually send me the inks in 450 to 600 dpi Bitmap mode. I was immediately excited seeing that Protoman was gonna' be the focus in this story-arc and I was very pleased to be working with Chad Thomas again. Chad's style is definitely what I think of when I think US-made Mega Man comic books.
The flats! I usually prefer to do my own flatting, especially on covers. This was a super quick job - Gary's inking style makes the whole process a breeze. Nothing fancy and in alotta' cases I haven't even picked out a final color for anything - right now I'm just getting the pieces separated to make coloring and editing easier.
Doin' some rendering! For this one I've got a couple ideas for color schemes to try out so I've done a pretty basic rendering on Protoman and company that I will tinker with in a moment. Right now we're just setting up the light sources and textures and will move onto trying a couple different tones in a moment.
And here we go! This would be the "first pass" that I send to my editors for input and apporvals. Went with a prominently red and fiery tone on this one to mimic Proto's colors. Overall it was felt that Protoman blended a little too much into the background of this one, so-o-o-o...
Here we go! Added some highlights and pushed the BG and other characters back a bit. And this pass passed and went to print:

August 2012 Solicits

Hey guys! Solicits for August are out and here are some awesome books I'm working on coming out from Archie Comics. Hope you check 'em out!!
“Archie Marries Veronica”
– Archie and Veronica butt heads when the married couple can’t see eye to eye on Archie’s job offer from Mr. Lodge’s business rival, Fred Mirth! Tempers flare when the typically laid-back Jughead discovers Ethel has a new flame in her life plus the strain of reality television begins to take its toll on reluctant star Betty. Is an onscreen meltdown just around the corner? Emotions are at an all-time high in Riverdale and yet all these personal dramas are soon to be dwarfed by the shocking news that one of the gang has been shot!
“Archie Marries Betty” – In Archie’s counter-part reality, the gang welcomes back an old friend in need of support during a trying time. Cheryl Blossom breaks the news of her cancer diagnoses in the most touching issue of Life with Archie yet, proving that in Riverdale, home is truly where the heart is!

Script: Paul Kupperberg
Art: Fernando Ruiz, Pat Kennedy, Tim Kennedy, Bob Smith, Jim Amash
Cover: Pat Kennedy, Tim Kennedy, Bob Smith, Matt Herms
Variant Cover: Fernando Ruiz, Bob Smith, Matt Herms
Shipping Date: 8/1
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 8/15
48-page, full color comic
$3.99 US.
“Proto-Type” Part One:
The story of Mega Man's long lost brother, Blues (a.k.a. Proto Man), starts here! What was it that drove a wedge between the first self-aware robot and the benevolent Dr. Light? Then, in "Construction Derby," Guts Man gets some not-so-friendly competition in the form of Concrete Man!

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Jamal Peppers, Chad Thomas, Gary Martin, John Workman, and Matt Herms
Cover: Chad Thomas, Gary Martin, and Matt Herms
Variant Cover: Jamal Peppers, Gary Martin, and Art Lyon
Shipping Date: 8/29
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 9/12
32-page, full color comic
$2.99 US.
NEW CRUSADERS: RISE OF THE HEROES #1Red Circle Comics presents “Ashes to Ashes” Part One: Our world demands heroes – a new generation must RISE! Over a decade ago, the super hero team known as The Mighty Crusaders did the impossible: they won. Successful in their battle against evil and finding they’d made the world a better place, the heroes settled down to the small town of Red Circle to start families, unwind and take a much-deserved rest. When the quiet town is rocked by the return of the ultimate evil, the super hero residents are obliterated! It’s up to their heirs to fight for justice and crusade against evil. They are our last, best hope. They are: THE NEW CRUSADERS!

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Ben Bates, Gary Martin, John Workman, and Matt Herms
Cover: Ben Bates
Variant Cover: Ryan Jampole and Matt Herms
Shield Variant Cover: Ben Bates
Sketch Variant Cover: Mike Norton

Shipping Date: 8/8
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 8/22
32-page, full color comic
$2.99 US.

Part Two: Dr. Eggman lays siege to New Mobotropolis once again, but this time with no Sonic around! It's up to the brand new Team Freedom to prove their mettle against Dr. Eggman's Metal Series! Plus – what evil lays in wait, and just what in the world is "Operation: Deadly Cuddles?!” Featuring a stunning, all-new painted cover by Greg Horn!

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Steven Butler, Terry Austin, John Workman, and Matt Herms
Cover: Greg Horn
Variant Cover: SEGA

Shipping Date: 8/15
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 8/29
32-page, full color comic
$2.99 US.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sonic the Hedgehog 236

And here's a preview of this month's Sonic the Hedgehog. Be sure to pick it up!


"Cry Freedom!": The Freedom Fighters are no more. Dr. Eggman moves on to terrorize a Mobius unopposed. King Naugus rules through a campaign of fear. But Sonic isn’t about to let all that stop him! A new era is about to begin as two new teams burst onto the scene to save the world! The future begins today in this great jumping-on-point issue!

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tracy Yardley!, Terry Austin, John Workman and Matt Herms
Cover: Tracy Yardley!

Shipping Date: 4/18
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 5/2
32-page, full color comic
$2.99 US.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mega Man 13

Hey guys! Here's a preview of this month's issue of Mega Man from Archie Comics. Be sure to pick it up!

"Spiritus ex Machina" Part One: Mega Man joins Dr. Light at the Advanced Robotics Trade Show to address the future of thinking machines. New faces abound – who are Drs. Cossack and Lalinde? What sinister forces lurk behind the scenes? Meanwhile, Dr. Wily searches for something to give him the edge deep in the forbidden Lanfront Ruins. All this plus the debut of RUSH!

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Jonathan Hill, Gary Martin, John Workman and Matt Herms
Cover: Patrick "SPAZ" Spaziante & Matt Herms
Villain Sketch Variant Cover: Jonathan Hill

Shipping Date: 4/25
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 5/9
32-page, full color comic
$2.99 US.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Work-in-Progress: Sonic Anniversary

Yikes! I can't believe it took me this long to sit down and ink this sucker. It's been a whirlwind the last couple months now that I've taken on a third book, but it was really satisfying to finally get this wrapped up. Now to drop some colors on it!

Look Back: Mega Man 04

Colorist retrospectives continue! In this exciting conclusion to Mega Man's inaugural story arc, "Let the Games Begin," we go inside the Wily Castle and face down bosses like the Yellow Devil, Copy Mega Man and a rematch with the Robot Masters! The Yellow Devil sequence was especially fun - though I wish I'd thought of a way to better render his "gloop," especially when he "dies." But I love that last panel, when Mega Man teleports into the next part of the castle only to be surrounded by all of his brothers, waiting for their second chance to take him down.
I remember working on the second half of this issue while visiting my in-laws in Virginia. Unlike my office PC, I've never been able to get the colors on my laptop's monitor to accurately look like the printed page. While that isn't super necessary with digital coloring - you can memorize color mixtures or Eyedrop your color choices - I found it to be a little less organic feeling in the latter half, particularly in the backgrounds.

That said, a cool "side effect" of this was definitely evil Copy Mega Man. I'd wanted his colors to be a little more muted than our Blue Bomber hero. Mega Man is our good guy with really saturated, awesome blues and so his evil doppleganger would be the opposite of that and a pale imitation. It looked a little more subtle on the laptop but was way more noticeable on the printed page and I'm very pleased with that.
Our final page of the story introduces Time Man and Oil Man. The original Mega Man video game was different in a couple ways from its sequels, most notably having only six Robot Masters instead of the eventual eight. So when MM1 was remade in the super-cute PSP game Mega Man: Powered Up, two more RM's were retconned into the story to bring MM1 to a proper eight bosses.

A-a-and, it was a little controversial (scroll down to the trivia section). I think Patrick Spaziante's fix to this - to simply have Oil Man's scarf cover his lower face - was ingenius, though.

And that wraps up this first story arc. I feel that the first issue was the strongest in this arc - a true comic-book retelling of Mega Man's origins - but the whole thing was a brilliant nod to Mega Man fans and a fantastic introduction to new readers. The whole story is available as a TPB, and issue one was even reprinted as this year's Mega Man FCBD offering. Hope you guys check it out!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cover Round-Up

Woo! Lotsa' covers I colored for are popping up on news sites and in interviews and things. These books won't be solicited until later this month, but here's a great sneak peek of some New Crusaders and Life with Archie stuff I colored, originally courtesy of ICv2 and USA Today, respectively.
Will share the raw artwork for these after the solicits drop.

Left: Pencils by Ryan Jampole
Right: Artwork by Pat & Tim Kennedy
Bottom: Fernando Ruiz and Bob Smith

Stan Lee's Mighty Seven 03 Cover

How cool is this?? I got to color Stan Lee!
Raw artwork for the regular cover to issue 03 of Stan Lee's Mighty 7, artwork by Alex Saviuk.

Sonic Super Special 03

Hey guys! Be sure to pick up this month's Sonic Super Special, issue three, featuring an all new original story prologue for the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 video game! This was alotta' fun to work on! I picked up a copy from my local Toys R Us yesterday, and am really excited with how well it came out. Be sure to check it out!