Wow, what a cover. One thing you can’t fault SK Moore on is ambition. It’s been quite a run of covers for 2000ada over my chimpsky run, any one could be a best of the year, easily. Anyway, on with this week’s chimpsky!
Now, as a special bonus treat, it rarely happens (but it happened twice- once in this week’s chimpsky and in next week’s – where I pick up something in the script wrong. In this week’s I misinterpreted how angry our chum Chimpsky would became and so drew a full on raging monkey attack – but, Ken felt it was too much (and he was right) so it was swapped out in favour of a more restrained any-moment-now-i’m-about-to-do-something-awful panel.)
Since I hate to waste anything, here’s the unused panel…
BTW I’ve been posting these things hoping for some feedback in the comments, but have only just realised I’ve had comments off – so I’ve no idea if anyone has been reading them, I hope you have!
In a couple of weeks after the series has run I might start talking about where I think I failed in the story, where my frustrations with what I wanted to do and what I just couldn’t make my art do sit. STAY TUNED!
Under another stonking cover by Cliff Robinson and Dylan teague we have episode five of Chimpsky, but before I start that – just let me say, I’m annoyingly jealous of what Dan Cornwell got to draw in Dept K, I WANTED TO GO FULL KIRBY! Goddammit. Anyway, that looks great (he says begrudgingly through gritted teeth)
Now Chimpsky! Episode 5 – and Norm finally comes face to face with … well, let’s not spoil it. If you remember back to episode 1, Norm in space, things all around him, I’ll let you in on a secret; I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to lead to that page 1 opener (but it’s such a striking/fun thing, I don’t think you’ll hold it agin’ me – will you?).
Comic production can take some time, page 1 of this strip was probably drawn three months before page 1 of Episode 5 (I don’t have the exact details but that wouldn’t be weird for 2000ad) deadlines are frequently about 2 weeks for six pages, though sometimes longer and sometimes less. So, you know, ideally I’d like those two sequences to mesh together a little better, but … I also wanted that opener to really pull you in to the story … more of a cover than a first page, really…
Chimpsky is now desperate to escape the ship’s AI and it’s apparent attempt to kill him… or maybe it’s leading him somewhere…?
You can see here my pencils are pretty scrappy, but it’s a fairly straightforward thing to draw, so not a lot of planning, and I was pretty happy with the results, love what Simon Bowland has done on lettering, and Chris Blythe’s colouring remains top notch.
2000AD Prog 2235 is out this week, featuring Dept K – by Cliff Robinson (lineart) and Dylan Teague (colours)
It’s kind of exciting to see characters I designed handled by Cliff – we’re two very different artists operating at two ends of an extreme, I think, so when Cliff draws something I’ve designed (or, has happened once in the past) I’ve drawn something he’s designed it’s fun to see where are sensabilities take us.
I tend towards chunky and clunky character designs but with a certain elasticity / cartoony-ness that. Cliff has a more delicate line that is more realistic and elaborate.
(Still very peculiar to me that while Dept K and Chimpsky are running those are two sets of characters I co-created)
Anyway, on to the business at hand, Chimpsky Part 2 – at this stage of drawing I’ve abandoned paper and pencil in favour of the cintiq in toto – largely this is eyesight related (my eyesight slowly but surely getting worse since I first started my professional drawing career in what – I can only assume – is some sort of unspoken bargain with the devil – sure I’ll help your career, very very slowly, but also, while that happens I’ll make your eyesight just the bit worse…) but partially a growing frustration with the physical tools of drawing, which can be so bloody pernickity. One day the ink is fine the next too gloopy. Frustrating.
last week I mentioned I designed the mansion in Blender – building models of things you’ve got to draw over and over again is a time honoured tradition (here’s some classic Pathe news clip starring Frank Hampson and his assortment of models for drawing Dan Dare – I am no Frank Hampson, shucks I’m not even a member of his team that helped him produce the art, but if it’s good enough for those guys…)
My Blender knowledge is pretty perfunctory, but I knew what I had in mind, and in order to help keep the damn thing looking the same from panel to panel, I figured a 3d model is the best way to go, it also helps you keep on top of the insane deadlines you have to deal with as a comic professional.
So I drop the model in to clip studio, press a magic “render” button (actually labelled “LT Convert Layer”) and get a nice simple line art translation. I then proceed to draw all over it, because a rendered 3d image is too perfect, and would stick out like a sore thumb. So you draw over it, adding texture and details and just generally stopping the thing look like a 3d model.
Anyway, here’s pencils for pages 1 and 2 and colours by Chris Blyte and lettering Simon Bowland.