More work for The Phoenix Comic! (Sorry indie kids: more Ticket Stubs gig drawings are in the pipeline.)
This time, the good folks at Phoenix HQ asked me to tackle that Holy Grail of comics pagination: the centre spread. Gulp. As I’d already made a few Meet the Team drawings of my editorial characters, we agreed that the centre spread of Issue 16 would be a perfect opportunity to introduce more of the team: this time, the Workers.
I’d already decided that I wanted to show the worker dudes operating some kind of high-tech, shiny, slightly clunky comic-making device, having been inspired by these amazing magazine covers at the London Transport Museum. Behold the retro-future loveliness:
Here’s my initial Post-It note sketch of the machine: The Silver Lining Think-bubble Generator. It does exactly what it says on the tin.
And here’s my slightly more worked-up sketchbook version.
Based on the two shonky sketches above, and fueled by a desire to make something red and shiny, I then decided to roughly plan the Silver Lining in Adobe Illustrator. This helped keep the curves smooth and the lines straight. Next I stuck the basic Illustrator keyline drawing on a lightbox and traced the machine: I don’t want my drawings to be too clean. I enjoy the splodgy, uneven line that the Pentel Brush pen gives me. Next I added another layer of paper (cheap, slightly textured stuff from Cass Art) on the lightbox and added the Workers themselves: Big Dave, Jemima Grizzlehorn, Gustav Shootzenleaves, Jock Nutshell, Joe Bananas and Quincey Trowel (resident boffin at The Phoenix Comic).
Here’s the end result, complete with annotations added in Illustrator:
And here are a couple of close-up details.
Hope you like it.
Up the workers!