Monday, May 31, 2010

Super Hero House Pets (Part 2): THE COVER!

My last post detailed the designing of the above characters for a color cover for Fun For Kidz magazine as well as a black & white 4 page comic. Below is my process for creating the cover.

Here's my first sketch. In addition to the characters, the cover had to also include the magazine title, the side blurbs of what's inside and the brother & sister characters who are on every Fun For Kidz cover (I designed them too):
Next I did a rough for the editor & art director on a "mock cover sheet" supplied by the magazine. I wanted the super pet characters to tower over the city as the sister & brother looked on:
I wasn't crazy about the placement of the pets and they were supposed to be Super Hero HOUSE Pets not Super Hero CITY Pets, so I thought I should show houses in a neighborhood instead of a cityscape (D'uh!). So I did a second rough:
The editor & art director approved my second sketch, so I went ahead to penciling. I usually use #2 pencils I buy at CVS and draw it on super smooth Strathmore Bristol Plate 500 series. I don't use a lightbox that often, I like to start my pencils from scratch while referring to my rough to see if I can improve the composition, but I really liked the way the rough was set up, so I used a lightbox to capture the image. Here's the penciled cover:
I inked the image right over my pencil lines with Pigma Micron pens and Rapidographs (this is my favorite part):
I scanned the ink image into Photoshop and colorized it. I filled the large areas and used the paint tool for highlight colors. I used layers a couple of times too, like when I made the lightening bolts coming off the cat:
Here's how the cover will look on the newsstands when it comes out in September. I added a dummy titile & side blurbs as well as a speech balloon for the boy to help explain what the heck is going on:
The 4 page comic isn't due until mid to late summer, so I'll post that as well when it's done!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I was asked by Fun For Kidz magazine to create a b&w 4 page comic and a color cover based on my comic for their upcoming issue featuring house pets. I asked the editor if I could make them super hero house pets and she said "Fine. Whatever" that was cool!
I had a comic idea in mind and I was going to use a cat, goldfish, dog & hamster for the main characters, so I had to figure out their look & powers. I tightened up my roughs and drew each character separately for this post which I usually don't do under a deadline.

I drew most of these roughs for the cat character in my car with a stolen tiny little mini-golf pencil while waiting for my son to get out of school...
I decided to go with an electric cat. Here's my penciled, inked & colored versions of the finished character. Like all the characters below, I inked her with a Pigma Micron pen on Stratemore Plate Bristol then scanned her into Photoshop & colored her:
Here's some of my rough sketches for the fish character. I usually do many thumbnails before I do pencil sketches like these. I was going to keep him in his bowl, but it reminded me too much of the goldfish from Cat in the Hat...
I decided to go with a super flying fish:
I knew I wanted the dog to be super strong and the leader of The Super Hero House Pets. Here's some dog roughs...

Here's the character I went with, but I'm second guessing my choice, he seems a little boring to me:

And here are the roughs I did for the hamster. I wanted the hamster to be able to grow into a giant hamster. I was inspired by Marvel's Giant-Man/Goliath... 

Here's the penciled, inked & finished giant hamster. I think he's my favorite:
The color cover is due long before the interior comic, so I'll post the finished cover as soon as it's done.
Here's the Super Hero House Pets:

Monday, May 17, 2010

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