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…it’s about, and not about, Superheroes.

But they are definitely there…

Koenig City, from millionaires houses perched on a mountainside overlooking the skyscrapers,

parks and suburbs,

descending into the busy industrial bayside with its run down warehouses and busy marinas,

Then there is the crazy stuff that happens overhead every day…

And the crazier stuff still, happening below…

Heroes…

Villains…

…and those not quite sure.

…and those just passing through.


A 1930’s styled superhero-noir, short stories that scratch at the surface of a city and the people who live there…

…most of whom seem conflicted about their relationship with these heroes and villains that move amongst and fly above them.

That said.

It is a city where heroes race to save the day…

…and where crimes are punished.

…mostly.

So…

Welcome to Koenig City…

Enjoy your stay.

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Okay, so, first post for a while.  So? What’s been going on?

Well it seems like yesterday that I was sat behind the table at Thought Bubble 2017 last September, seven months ago, and we are already gearing up for this coming September. Already looking forward to it.

Last year sow some really welcome reviews of the comics both in print, online and on air, some live events and cons, some weird but refreshing comics projects including pin-up pages & limited edition prints as well as some of my comic art projected in front of a live audience as part of a one person theatre production,

…as well as some top meet-ups with other creatives, out of which has come some potential new projects.

What are these you ask?

Well, first up, some vague news, a statement that I may well be committing to spending a little more time on Iron Shod projects and other comics and illustration based projects for a little while in the near future. Trying to get this, these, projects off the ground, trying to set up and exploit what potential my personal artwork etc might have, both digitally and as printed art.

All a little scary, but its a uniquely timed  opportunity I can’t let drift.

And with all that comes some new comics projects in the offing, most I can’t really talk about (yet to be announced creature feature stuff with regular collaborators, as well as potential new partnerships, etc), but here’s a couple of things that have been tentatively announced.

1 – Part three of “The Viking Saga” by Rob Jones (and Madius Comics) and myself, the concluding part of our three issue run looking at myths and monsters in the lands of ice and snow.

2 – A new* project “Koenig City Sketches”… superheros, super villains, corporations and crime in a 1930’s noir styled sprawling metropolis. This first instalment a visual intro to the city and some of the characters who live, work and hunt there.

3 – The, at present, tentatively titled “Reality Obscures”, the next book from The Cthulhiad, with more monsters, occultists and monster hunting following on from 2017’s Some Rough Beast(s).

and

4 – probably more mini-sketchbooks, postcards and even some larger printed art – Watch this space for more details.

Well, I’m excited…

Time now to catch up on the backlog of mini-collabs and friendly projects that have probably languished a little while other parts of my life took precedent. 2018 should hopefully end as a fun year creatively, making up for all the stress and trauma of the Christmas break and the first half of this year…

 

You can find me post sketches and finished art in all the usual places – Twitter – @hesir / Instagram – AKAhesir / Facebook – @apoheniainc / and my Art Station / Visual Development Portfolio amongst others and oh, I now have one of these… Ko-fi I’m not exactly sure what it is yet (I’m sure this will feature as part of the coming week’s/month’s efforts), but I have one, laughs.

*to be fair this is actually an old project, one that has basically sat around until I found a style for the art I liked, and has now reached critical mass in terms of material ready to go.

…Okay, so if you’ve been following my Twitter feed (@hesir) you might have seen some of the work I have been producing for the new book (see last post also). If not you can find a whole bunch of process work, sketches and page layouts by either just following me @hesir, or checking out the #TheCthulhiad hashtag on twitter.

I thought it might be interesting to show a slightly more ordered version of that process, including what happens both before and during the production of those pages etc (and that’s all this is, I’m not suggesting that this is the best method, but its the process that is working for me – at the moment).

So here it is…

Rough Script:

This might be loose notes done during research phases, at this point maybe just notional lines of dialogue, or the names of characters etc. All joined together with arrows denoting the beginning of a plot or scene direction.

Typed Script:

This is the culmination of an editing stage, bringing all the script ideas and plot points together in order, then editing out all the unnecessary ideas and scenes that would work better later or in a different book maybe.

This doesn’t mean its the end… I’ll often add more hand written edits and notes to a script as I get ready for the thumbnailing/layout phase.

Thumbnails:

These can vary in size, from actual thumbnail sized images (3.5x2cm) through to these my average sized images, which are usually about 7x5cm.

Mostly this is about pacing the story, breaking the script up into visuals, single images that incorporate several pieces of dialogue or multiple narrative.

Script edits might still be happening at this stage on my own work, visuals might spark connections, that suggest dialogue or narrative additions, I tend to just add the notes to the sheets and then look at incorporating them fully when I get around to adding the balloons…

Pencils and Inks:

My pencil work is pretty loose as its really just for me to decipher. Usually I pencil up from the thumbnails, and then scan these, then print off a blue line version to work over in ink… this builds in a redundancy and is less destructive over pencil originals.

Sometimes these scans are resized to actually print ready size, allowing me to add type and balloons and SFX in a separate layer, meaning the finished art can simply be “slipped underneath”.

See this example of balloons and PS boosted pencils >HERE< from the previous post.

Sometimes though, I work straight in over the original pencils.

Below you can see this latter process.

You can also see that once the pencils are complete, that even that might not stop changes happening.

Whether to pencils (see below where I have rubbed out the original panel centre and replaced the extreme close up of the figure with the camera with a midshot)

And the inks of the panel in which we see the shooting victim (above) which just felt a little “pedestrian” once complete…

and so I sketched out a new composition in my sketchbook,

…and then made a “paste-over” (a piece of white paper stuck over the previous artwork) added new pencils based on my sketch and inked it up…

The inks are then rescanned, any flashbacks of previous panels added, and the artwork cleaned up in Photoshop.

Here (below) are the most recent pages I’ve been working on.

Then its just a case of adding these scans to the existing text/ballooned files and adding any final tone/colour examples of which can be found >HERE<.

…and so on, and so on, usually for me in small cycles, finishing batches of pages then going back to thumbnail a new section.

Here’s the cover of this year’s Cthulhiad book… which you will see on the table at #TBF17 later this year.

We are looking at around 48-54 pages (at least) of black and white/grey-toned art…

Comic Cover Oil Paints 3

This and the preview (rough layout) pages below where all previewed in last years Sketchbook “100 Drawings”.

Page 001 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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Page 002 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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Page 003 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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Page 004 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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Page 005 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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Page 006 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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Page 007 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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Page 008 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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Page 009 – The Cthulhiad/Origins

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So … back to the drawing board.

So, today is that day.

I picked up the proofs of the this years output.

The Viking Saga book I’ve been working on with Rob Jones, (the sort of follow up to The King’s Leap), Ake’s Trial. From Madius Comics and Iron Shod Ape

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24 pages, b/w – With a colour cover.

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As well as Ake’s Trial, we are also going to have this…

“100 DRAWINGS”

90 (soft cover, b/w) pages of sketches from the imagination and observational drawing with a few notes on drawing and keeping a sketchbook, that has a sketch preview of the next Cthulhiad book at the back.

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Drawings of cars and other vehicles…

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Props and objects…

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and Character sketches, and places and environments…

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…alongside the drawings from the real world which inform them.

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As well as these new books, we’ll have books from previous years.

Scan 58

 

 

 

The first two books of The Lance – “Drakon” and “The White Ship”

Scan 54

 

 

Scan 51

Vanitas & Severed Head Cult

(Read a review of Severed Head Cult here.)

YAWYE (SMEAT) - Horrere - Postcard 003

There will be copies of Tragic Tales of Horrere (books 1 & 2) available. From Little O and Madius.

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And of course The King’s Leap (read a recent review of that here, and others here), from Madius and ourselves.

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Plus sundry postcards and larger prints of the artwork from the books.

We’ll be at Table #185, New Dock Hall, @ThoughtBubble, in Leeds this coming weekend. 

Right next to Madius (Table #186-187b).

See you there. g.

Below is the probable artwork (minus the odd twitch and bit of finessing) for one of this year’s Cthulhiad books, and book that will contain three interlocking narratives looking at some of the catalysts for the events in the previous (and ongoing) Cthulhiad books.

Comic Cover Oil Paints 3

Three broad chapters, namely “Issue”, “Zero”, and “Origin”, that make up the handy over-Title “Issue, Zero, Origin”, in which we’ll find out a little more about Harry, find out where he went after leaving Hamburg, and be a fly on the wall as Detective Malham gets to meet motormouth, “Backbone” McKendry.

The art above was predominantly painted in oils (a medium I’ve been playing with a little of late) with Graphic finishes in PhotoShop, including the warning sign in the foreground of the field.

Painting The cover

It would be interesting to play with this or a similar medium to create a full set of internal artwork at some point… just maybe not this year, laughs.

The book should debut in time for Thought Bubble 2016 (we are hoping to have a table again this year), along with a second Horrere book from Little O and Madius, a follow up to the King’s Leap (another Viking tale), and the culmination and third book of the St George cycle of Cthulhiad books “Theogeny” – which concludes the story set out in The White Ship and last year’s “Drakon”.