creative process Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Shawn Martinbrough ranks his Top 10 ‘Thief of Thieves’ covers

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Next week will be big for Thief of Thieves artist Shawn Martinbrough on two fronts, as not only does Thief of Thieves #26 go on sale Feb. 25, but on the following day he’ll discuss his career and his noir-influenced approach to storytelling as part of the Society of Illustrators’ celebration of Black History Month. He’ll be joined in the conversation by comics writer and historian Danny Fingeroth.

In conjunction with the release of Thief of Thieves #26, ROBOT 6 asked Martinbrough to rank his 10 favorite covers, and reveal a bit about the creative process for each one:

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Matthew Dow Smith shares switch to digital for ‘October Girl’ #3

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This week marks the release of Matthew Dow Smith‘s October Girl #3, nearly two and half years after the debut of the second issue of the Monkeybrain Comics series. Smith is the first to admit that’s way too long a period between issues.

As part of my continuing effort to have creators open up about their creative process, I asked Smith to share the process for creating a page from October Girl #3. He’s clearly eager to get the next installment of his dark fantasy series into readers’ hands. Understandably, given that the story’s core concept seems delightfully engaging on several levels (a young woman, Autumn Ackerman, discovers that her imaginary childhood friend is quite real).

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Discovering the cover design process for ‘Murder Book’

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Next month Dark Horse will release a collected edition of Murder Book by writer Ed Brisson and a variety of artists — Declan Shalvey, Simon Roy and Johnnie Christmas, among them — with a new cover by Michael Walsh (based in part on one of his designs for a previously released volume of Murder Book stories).

Dark Horse’s Associate Editor Jim Gibbons was kind enough to share with ROBOT 6 some of the cover process for the new Murder Book trade paperback, due out March 18.

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Gabo reveals the process behind ‘The Life After’ #9 cover

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In The Life After, the Oni Press series by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Gabo, things can get a little complicated — not only in the story, which involves religion, purgatory and even a dead Earnest Hemingway, but also in the construction of each issue. After all, this is a comic whose debut featured a 50-panel two-page spread.

But what does it take to create a cover for the series? Glad you asked! We’re pleased Gabo has shared with ROBOT 6 his cover process for The Life After #9, which goes on sale in April (in more immediately news, Jan. 28 sees the release of a direct market-only $9.99 trade paperback).

Check out Gabo’s step-by-step process and commentary below:

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Nourigat shares sketchbook scans from ‘Tally Marks’ #6

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This week sees the release of the sixth issue of Natalie Nourigat‘s Eurotrip sketchbook Tally Marks, from Monkeybrain Comics. In addition to the preview on Comic Book Resources, Nourigat provided ROBOT 6 with some other pages, as well as a selection of scans directly from the sketchbook. It provides readers with an idea of what her art looks like before Photoshop tweaks.

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Mike Dawson on the evolution of ‘The Underdog Myth’

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Late last year, I noticed that writer/artist Mike Dawson was contributing original content to The Nib, a collection of political cartoons, comics journalism, humor and nonfiction at Medium.com edited by Matt Bors.

Curious to learn what led him to participating at The Nib, and hoping to see if I could get Dawson to break down one of his recent pieces that ran there, I reached out to the cartoonist. It turns out he was more than happy to reveal the development process for his Oct. 6 strip, “The Underdog Myth.”

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D’Israeli offers glimpse inside ‘Kingdom of the Wicked’

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This week Titan Comics releases a new collected edition of Kingdom of the Wicked, the 1996 fantasy miniseries by frequent collaborators Ian Edginton and D’Israeli (Dark Horse published a hardcover collection in 2004, but it’s out of print.)

The new edition offers a sort of director’s commentary by D’Israeli, who details his creative process. To let readers know what they will get when buying the book, Titan shared with ROBOT 6 some the process for one page, as well as D’Israeli’s commentary.

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Creative process: Moore, Storms, Evans on ‘EGOs’ #5 cover

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Beginning n February, writer Stuart Moore and artist Gus Storms embark on a new five-issue EGOs arc, called “Crunched.” As noted in Image Comics’ solicitations, “The narcissistic super-team of the future returns to battle an invisible threat to the galactic economy.” To whet folks appetite for the upcoming arc, Moore, Storms and designer Brett Evans detailed for ROBOT 6 the steps leading up to the final cover design.

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Creative process: Nord, Reber on ‘Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel’ #2

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This week marks the release of Valiant Entertainment’s Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #2, written by Peter Milligan in collaboration with artist Cary Nord, colorist Brian Reber and letterer Dave Sharpe. In anticipation of the new issue, the publisher shared with ROBOT 6 process pages by Nord, Reber and Sharpe. One detail of note: There is no inking stage, as Reber colors directly over Nord’s pencils.

Valiant describes the upcoming issue as follows:

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Creative process: Jack Katz pencils from ‘The First Kingdom’

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This week marks the release of the final collected volume of Jack Katz‘s  an epic series initially published in the 1970s and ’80s. Titan Comics began reissuing Katz’s magnum opus, which clocks in at an impressive 768 pages, in 2013. Each remastered volume was produced utilizing cleaned and restored art taken from high-resolution scans of Katz’s original art pages, as well as being completely relettered. Titan also provided background information on the history of Katz’s story, as well as extra material, such as character sketches as well as original drawings.

To mark the release, Titan Comics shared with ROBOT 6 some of the extras included in the final volume.

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Best of 7 | Kids comics, ‘The Flash’ and more

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Welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to something great fans are doing to an awesome comic that came out. So let’s get to it …

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‘Templar’ creators offer free ‘Making of’ ebook

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Writer Jordan Mechner and artists LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland are celebrating the recent release of their graphic novel Templar by giving away a free ebook chronicling its production. The Making of Templar includes lots of sketches and discussion between the three creators about what went into the book. Topics include historical research, character design, collaboration, the process of writing and storyboarding action sequences, and the differences between writing comics and writing for film and video games (Mechner is also the creator of Prince of Persia).

The 87-page PDF can be downloaded from Mechner’s website.

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Comics reviewers need to talk more about art

This is not just art. This is a story.

Not just art, but a story

Though I can appreciate that a lot of reviewers don’t have the artistic vocabulary to really review art, they always have lots to say about the story. An analysis of the storytelling would be interesting.

– Marvel artist Declan Shalvey, on how comics reviewers can better discuss visual art in criticism.

It’s a commonly recognized phenomenon that reviewers tend to focus on the writing part of comics, because they are, after all, writers and that’s what they have the vocabulary for. Criticism of visual art requires a different set of terms that frankly, not a lot of comics critics know. Shalvey pokes holes in that excuse, however, by offering for critique an aspect of comics art that writers should already be equipped to discuss: the effectiveness of visual storytelling.

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Ryan Stegman reveals the secret of creative success

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Stegman practicing his “secret”

When learning to draw well I always thought there was some “secret” that would make me better. Turns out the “secret” was just hard work.

– Marvel artist Ryan Stegmanvia Twitter

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard aspiring creators ask these questions of professionals: “Where do you get your ideas?” “What’s the secret to making great art or telling great stories?” As if there’s a magical incantation that will instantly transform learning amateurs into masters.

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Petersen’s process for ghostly ‘Legends of the Guard’ cover

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I love when Mouse Guard creator David Petersen writes process posts, particularly when they involve the construction of models to help him draw mouse-sized rooms (or entire towns), and sewer tunnels ideal for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. His latest, for the cover of Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2 #3, doesn’t feature any little papercraft houses, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

From reference material and initial sketches to inks and the finished illustration, the artist walks us through the creation of the cover, which features a trio of musicians “that could play so well, they’d call back the dead.” However, the execution proved a little complicated.

“The inks were a bit tricky because of the ghost effects,” he writes, “and at several times while inking I worried this cover wouldn’t work the way I was proceeding with it, but I just pushed through figuring I’d make sense of it all in color.” And it did, as you can see from the finished cover above.

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2 #3 arrives Aug. 28.

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