I received an email from Dean that said, in part, ‘…based on the previous information you had provided me on how you would normally receive a cover image from Dave, I painstakingly went through the commission image that Dave had done (which Dean owns), and removed the tone and the tower in the hopes that you might be interested in redoing the piece as a colour, painted piece. Similar to how you would have done a cover back in the day…’
Here is the end result:
Here’s how I got there:
step 1: the original drawing by Dave
step 2: the image that Dean had created by removing all of the tone and backgrounds
step 3: my rough pencils around the Cerebus figure
step 4: my inks
step 5: my colouring
Here’s a GIF of the process:
An interesting little trip back 31 years to 1986, issue 86.
In a lot of ways, it seems like it was just three days ago…
…not three decades.
Update… email from Dean:
‘So I added the logo, issn number and the price to the cover to 86.5…you know…cause I’m a geek.’
I could start a whole series of covers that depict what happened between issues…
…call it, ‘Cerebus: Between the Covers’…
Only 30 days until the Seattle show!
We’re at table L 11 in Artist Alley.
(Maple leaf marks the spot.)
Looking forward to a great show.
Oh… and I did a little drawing too…
a pencil portrait commission:
Duane commissioned me to ink Joel Gomez’s pencil drawing ‘Gotham Nights’:
He supplied me with the original pencil drawing and a print. He expressed a preference to keep the original pencil drawing intact, if possible. We discussed inking the print, but it was kind of dark and muddy. I had suggested making a lighter print of my own and ink that.
But then I decided to try something different… and do something the same way.
I used the original pencil drawing under a piece of Canson Bristol (my current favourite for drawing/inking) and put it on a light table. I was able to ink directly from what I could see of the pencils through the Bristol and used the print as a reference for the areas that were hard to see. That saved me from having to make a print that I would ink over and enabled me to use my preferred paper.
It was a very interesting process.
I had just finished the ‘Monkshood’ commission a couple weeks ago and decided that ‘Gotham Nights’ would benefit from the same sort of treatment. If I had inked on top of the original pencils, I probably would have done it completely differently and tried to keep closer to the original. But I figured Duane wanted me to ‘Gerhard-it-up’ (which usually means thousands upon thousands of tiny little lines) and I wanted to make it look more like night-time as well as try to give a sense of depth. I used a light grey wash on the sky and on the foreground buildings to enhance the effect.
I got this email the other day:
“Hi Ger –
Hope you’re all doing well, welcome to 2017!
Don Rosa was in Albuquerque this weekend and I brought in the Yukon $crooge commission,
he was quite taken with how you finished out the background.
Thanks again and I’ll be in touch eventually!
Thanks Steve…Way Cool!
Look forward to the next commission.
Here is, in part, the description I received for this commission:
“Perhaps the best way to describe my project is a modern-day Dracula meets Arkham Asylum, but done in a way that represents people with mental illnesses, particularly those who have been found by the courts to be Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. The main setting of my story is “Monkshood,” a forensic psychiatric hospital complex comprised of neighboring buildings from Dracula lore: Seward Sanitarium and Carfax Abbey, and influenced by real-world Broadmoor Hospital in the UK. Monkshood… should be a character in and of itself.”
So with that in mind I came up with this layout:
This seemed too wide and panoramic, so I cropped it down a bit:
This didn’t look sinister enough, so I changed the angle and moved some buildings around:
Then I did a mock-up on the computer of the shading:
And then it was a matter of drawing it full size:
This is as far as I got before Christmas (so close!):
Here is the completed piece:
Here are some close-ups:
Here’s a little movie compiling all of the con and commissions from 2016:
Wishing all of you the best for 2017.
Here is our schedule so far for this year:
March 2 – 5… Emerald City Comicon… Seattle WA
March 17 – 19… Toronto ComiCon… Canada
April 14 – 16… Indiana Comic Con… Indianapolis
April 29 – 30… East Coast Comicon… Secaucus NJ
May 19 – 21… Motor City Comic Con… Novi MI
June 16 – 18… Heroes Convention… Charlotte NC
September 8 – 10… Wizard World… Nashville TN
September 22 – 24 – Hal-Con… Halifax NS Canada
I’ve been working on a large, complicated piece lately; more on that later.
In he meantime, here’s a piece I did for the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle March 2-5, 2017
for their art book and auction to benefit the Children’s Hospital.
The theme of the book is ‘Monsters and Dames’.
This is the pen and ink on paper original which will be auctioned off at the show…
…and the computer coloured limited edition artist-proof print to be submitted as well.
Stay tuned for a list of upcoming shows for 2017.
And here a photo Joseph sent of his proudly displayed Regency print:
You can order your prints at My Store.
Here’s a pencil drawing I did for Mike: Here’s a couple of the shots Dean sent me of his awesome office featuring an impressive array of Cerebus art including the originals of the Regency, Church & State, Jaka scene and Melmoth street that I did for him:
This is the cover of an upcoming Penguin Random House book by Mary Gaitskill
that uses the image from Church & State vol II:
And finally, just a cool shot looking straight up in the lobby of the hotel in Pittsburgh:
To all our American friends, Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
I got me a copy of Heavy Metal #283
from my local comic shop: Retro Rocket Comics (thanks again, Chris!).
Not sure when—or even if—I’ll get my contributor copies and I was very curious to see how it printed.
Not too bad!
You know… if someone had told my teen-aged self that I’d be published in Heavy Metal someday, I’d have freaked out. If they then told me it wouldn’t be until I was 57, I’d have been dubious. And if they then said that it’ll be a story about anthropomorphic cats, I’d have had a good laugh and gone back to drawing my dragons and spaceships; the stuff that’s SUPPOSED to be in Heavy Metal.
This story, ‘The Smile of the Absent Cat’, is Grant Morrison’s 25-years-in-the-making heart-felt tribute to mad cat artist Louis Wain.
The complete story will be released as a 48-page hard-back volume some time after I get the rest of the script.
From cats to dogs…
…Sun Dogs, that is.
As seen the other day from the field next to our tree-house.