Transmetropolitan Art Book Sneak Peek 2

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Feb 082011
 

Firstly, many thanks to Warren Ellis for showing yesterday’s sneak peek on his blog! And yes, we totally met doing vampire graphic novels for Tundra UK.

So, here’s your second sneak peak, this time featuring a ‘lovely’ ‘lady’ that appeared in a massive four panels in the book’s run, if you don’t include the head in a jar shots…

Transmet Sneak Peek 2 - The Wife.

She’s a charmer.

Feb 072011
 

Buckle yourself in because this week you’re gonna get daily previews of the linework from my pieces (yes, plural) in the Transmetropolitan Art Book. Don’t know what that is? Well, Transmetropolitan was a comic book set in the not too distant future and it’s lead character is Spider Jerusalem, an honest-to-god investigative journalist living in a world where news is just the pap that the newscorps want you to see (sound familiar?). The comic – created by Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson – ran from 97 to 02 and if you’ve never read it you owe yourself this treat. Trust me. It has a brutally wicked sense of humor. I love it.

Anyway, this art book is not only a celebration of Transmetropolitan, it’s also for a damn good cause. The proceeds from the book go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (who protect comics-related first amendment rights) and the Hero Initiative (which “creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment”).

And it’s all being funded through Kickstarter, a brilliant new way for creatives to fund their projects. Here’s the link to the Kickstarter page for the Transmet book. And you don’t have to give them any of your credit card info as checkout is actually run through Amzon’s checkout system so if you already have an Amazon account, it’s just a matter of registering at Kickstarter to get your copy. And remember, your donation (of $55+) is your preorder.

So, after that much lengthier sales pitch than I was expecting, here’s is your Transmet moment of the day –

Transmet Sneak Peek 1.

Feel free to throw out some guesses as to what the hell is going on!

Feb 032011
 

So, which version of the Lhurgoyf was I happier with; Ice Age or 8th? Well, Ice Age gets the nostalgia vote but 8th is a better painting – as I’d hope given that over half a decade separates them – but unfortunately some of that didn’t translated as well to final print size as I would have liked. If I’m looking at the two originals then I prefer the newest. If I’m looking at the printed versions then I like them equally; this probably means I didn’t take reduction into account enough when doing the new piece. Also the new piece was painted about twice the size of the old version so these things can be more difficult to get right the greater the reduction to final print size.

Maybe with more time I’d have given the new Lhurgoyf a little bolder texture, hard to say. The only unfortunate thing about the actual printed card is that it dropped out a few of the mid tones (a printing issue I would spot again throughout Mirrodin and especially on Tanglewalker). The printing made the image more heavily contrasted which has the benefit of increasing the dynamism but at the expense of the subtler qualities that make the creature’s skin look more realistic.
So what would I do now?

From the Vault: Lhurgoyf 8th Ed (2003) Pt. 4

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Jan 112011
 

The current sketch’s readability issue was really just related to where the head was, so I moved the head up to the upper left of the image. This kept the center of the figure uncluttered, gave the head a prominent location in the image and filled a growing area of dead space in the upper left of the picture. Win/Win! It fixed a whole host of issues and as a bonus, also gave the Lhurgoyf a more defiant, aggressive look. Probably a good thing as WotC wanted an image that exemplified the power of a pumped-up Lhurgoyf.
The final sketch awaits.

Jan 062011
 

The rejection of the first sketch came as a blow, especially given how long I’d spent trying to nail down a composition I was happy with.

The people responsible for signing off on Magic art (chiefly the art director and at least one member of story and R&D) felt that the Lhurgoyf was too thin and lacked the power that was associated with this fearsome creature. I pointed out that the new Lhurgoyf was actually a little more muscular than his predecessor, but this fell on deaf ears. They wanted me to make him bigger and tougher. I had to scrap the foreshortening notion as that was going to be counterproductive to making the figure look larger.
Okay, so what the hell do I do now?

Dec 302010
 

The original Lhurgoyf from Ice Age.

Remember this guy? Ice Age’s Lhurgoyf was one of my first encounters with having a card that generated a LOT of excitement upon its release. Sure, ‘The Abyss’ is still the most expensive card I’ve drawn but at the time of Legends launch, a lot of cards were jostling for the limelight. But at the Ice Age release event that I attended, the buzz was all about the Lhurgoyf.

Ice Age's Lhurgoyf card.

So, when I was offered the chance to do a new image of Lhurgy for 8th edition, I jumped at the chance…
This way for Lhurgoyf sketches.

W.I.P. – Weighing the Options for the New Baron

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Oct 182010
 

Thank you all for your feedback!

Unsurprisingly, the vote favored a new pose for the Baron which is probably for the best. However, the issue of whether to include a sword split the ranks pretty evenly so I’m leaving that option open for now.

Now to address a few things directly;
Trees, skulls, swords, and no feet to be found!