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Not sure when my 4 pager will run, but look for a little “How to Train Your Dragon” action from me in one of the upcoming issues! For more info jump over to Cartoon Brew! And for a sneak peek at the mag- CLICK HERE!

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Mo Monsters

March 25, 2009

As promised, here are a few pages in pencil and their final version, from the comic adaptation of MvA. My art can be seen on the second half of the book, as the first part was draw by Alex Dalton who did a great job. Even with our adherence to the character design, you can see the switch over. Alex has a nice clean style, that focuses on the characters, mine is much more- cluttered. Regardless, if you can’t tell the AD-SG switch over, it happens during the Golden Gate bridge scene. In my first attempt at the opening page, I was so excited about drawing “Link” (the Creature) who is my fave of the characters based on his look, I made him the focal point of the page. Unfortunately the script specifically asked that Ginormica be the focus. Oh well, so as a bonus to everyone out there, here are the original version of that page,  the final revised pencils, Gary Erskine’s inks, and the colored art. The nice thing about this, is you can see how the same information in a scene can be shown, but the focus can be shifted by the artist, who had other priorities at the time.

Here’s the original script that I was working from for this page. 

Splash page: Recapping the end of the last issue: Susan is in the clutches of the Alien robot’s claw, she is struggling to prise it apart as the robot pulls her towards its grinding equipment in its open middle section. Angle this so we are looking up at the action and Susan is twisted so we can see her straining face. We’re on the Golden Gate Bridge, so frame the shot with its famous pillars and suspension cable. The bridge is canted at an angle where the weight of the robot has tilted it. Terrified civilians are leaving their cars and running towards us in a blind panic. Make this all very 50’s B-movie poster style.

CAP: This wasn’t the way Susan Murphy thought she’d be spending her honeymoon: being attacked by a killer robot from beyond the stars.

CAP: But then again, she didn’t plan on getting struck by a meteor on her wedding day and growing to the size of 50 stories.

CAP: It’s funny the way things turn out sometimes. She’s now a member of a government team of monsters on a mission to stop a potential alien invasion.

CAP: She’s GINORMICA – and she’s in trouble!

SUSAN: Oh boy, this is not going well! Guys! A little help here!

Here’s the version I sent, which was quickly rejected by a sympathetic (but hard-nosed) Andrew James. Yeah, I just wanted to draw Link, what can I say. Shout out: Andrew went thru a LOT on this book, from me and Dreamworks, but he was a trooper. 

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Now how it was supposed to be.

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Now the awesome inks by Gary Erskine. 

mva_03_01_inks1Lastly the colored version.

mva_03_01_clrWell, the film comes out Friday, and although I don’t get anything from the take on the film, I hope everyone will get a chance to see it. Unlike Watchmen there isn’t a giant, er, uh… if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I’m talking about. Enjoy!

We need MONSTERS!

March 21, 2009

With the release of the comic adaptation this past week, and the movie coming out Friday, I thought I’d talk about my work on the Monsters Vs. Aliens adaptation for Titan Books. Even though I had drawn Shrek and Bee Movie for Titan comics, I had to get approved by Dreamworks to work on the MvA book. For that I had to draw sample images of the characters from the film, which can be insulting, but it’s part of the process. The only good part about it is it gives you a chance to practice the characters, although I don’t feel you get a true understanding until about 8 pages worth of images are under your belt. The other problem is, unlike traditional animation, they don’t use model sheets per se. They build the characters in the computer and then pass them around to the animators. So I only got one or two poses to work from, or if I was lucky, I got an animated rotation. Some characters were still being tweaked while I was drawing my pages, so sometimes they don’t match up. The problem in not having a model sheet, is that the approval process becomes a shot in dark. A normal model sheet has notes about things the directors want to make sure you get right, like this one from Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair work. Note the instructions on how to draw certain elements, and things to keep in mind while working. Those types of insights really help, but you don’t get those very often anymore. 

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When you don’t get this sort of information, you’re guessing as to what a character’s build is, or the traits that really define how they look. These little notes really do help to make things consistent.  If you know for a fact a character is 5 heads high, or their heads are two eyes wide, you save a lot of guess work. If you don’t get this stuff, it’s really hunt and peck until you get comments back from the studio. Invariably they go something like this “… these are totally off character- isn’t the artist even looking at the materials we sent? By the way we’ve changed the nose since the last email, it’s longer now, but we don’t have a rendering to show- think more Bob Barker.” Wha-wha-WHAT?! Yeah, welcome to my world. On audition sketches I try to have fun with it, and since my editors on this were in England (Shout out to Andrew James- the coolest editor in short pants) I liked to “Brit-ify” my sketches. I’m sure they thought I was lame, but it makes things fun for me. Here are some sketches I did of the main characters and the bad guy to get approval from Dreamworks. Later I’ll post pencilled pages from the story, the fantastic inks by Gary Erskine, and some of the colors… or as they say across the pond- “colours”.

Enjoy these for now. 

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This next one was fun for me, only because I’m a dork and I enjoy old Dr Who shows. You ask the average Who fan, and they snicker when you mention the Daleks, as if they’re not cool because they’re so popular. It’s like Trekkies who snicker at Klingons, but we all know they’re cool, so admit it and move on. Davros was never my favorite Dalek related character, but he just seemed a good fit for this one.

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If you HAVE to know what they’re saying- here you go. 

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slgallant_mvsa_03Eh, it’s a living.

Daily Blab

December 14, 2008

Hey gang,

This is the second post on my pathetic blog. Just to update everyone, I’ve been working on IDW comic’s : GI Joe movie prequel and Titan Publishing’s adaptation of Dreamworks’:Monsters Vs. Aliens.

GI Joe is a four issue mini-series with each book a story about one of the main characters from the film; some about good guys, some bad. The first is about Duke (guest-starring Ripcord), the second Destro, and the third is the Baroness. I don’t know yet who the fourth issue is about, but stay tuned.IDW is doing a series based on the old Marvel storyline, but these are of the movie versions and will have my attempts at putting the likenesses of the actors to use.

Monsters Vs Aliens is an adpatation of the film from Dreamworks. I’m only doing issue three and luckily Gary Erskine (who inked my first work on Titan’s : Dreamworks Tales / Shrek) is back making my stuff look awesome! Check out Gary’s work at…

Web: http://www.garyerskine.demon.co.uk
Blog: http://www.garyerskine.blogspot.com

Once I get permission, or after the books hit the stands, I’ll start posting some images from all the books. Keep coming back to see what’s going on. Hopefully I’ll be better about posting.

Until then, have a great holiday and cheers!