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6.4.12

FROM THE DRAWING BOARD - 001

The Author
Hey Creeps,
Boyd here. The monkey that draws this stuff. To tide you over for the Eostre festivus until our next comic page update next week, I'm going to show you a few pages from my sketchbooks, and shed a little light on my process.
Billy and I have been working on the characters and story of Zed for about three years now. It's been an incredible challenge to me as an artist and I've filled a few boxes of sketchbooks with the rather large cast of characters, human and not so human...  So from time to time I'll be doing updates like this. Hopefully you find it interesting.
Today I thought I would concentrate on one of the main supporting characters of the series-- Charon, boatman of the dead. Charon is the captain of the bone-ship 'The Angry Annie' and is Zed's pirate partner in crime, one might say sidekick, but don't tell him I said that. He likes to drink and fight and if you are from Melbourne you might just see a slight resemblance to a certain local weirdo. I won't name names though.
So unless you've been living under a rock for a thousand years you would know that Charon is the famed boatman of the dead of Greek myth. Charon has had many different guises throughout the ages, but we decided to give him a slightly more distinctive look than an 'naked old man with an oar' from Dante's and countless other renditions. Note the copper coin in his left eye socket.

'The Angry Annie', Charon's bone-ship, for ferrying the newborn dead across the Spiral Sea to the mainland was really fun to design. I love drawing weird vehicles and there are PLENTY of weird vehicles in Zed Mercury. Here are some development sketches of the Angry Annie.
And the design we eventually went with:
When drawing a comic page my process is slightly different compared to other artists. After I get the script I usually thumbnail out the whole story roughly. I then do studies of all the different actions of characters, different options for 'camera' angles, background studies and such. I then scan it all in and arrange everything into Photoshop compositions. This allows me a lot of freedom with choosing certain sketches and coupling them with others, shuffling things around and exploring what works best for the page and the story. Billy and I usually agonize over these digital files until we are happy, then comes the fun bit. I print the Photoshop comps out, then on the light-box trace the whole thing onto a nice new piece of water-colour bleed-proof paper. Then I ink it (more on this process later). So it's a slightly different process to most comic artists but I find it to be quicker than drawing the same page over and over. Works for me. Here are the inks for page 2:

Then it gets scanned, cleaned up, coloured and lettered in Photoshop.
Please contact us with any questions you have about the comic, the characters or anything you'd like to see me talk about. We are nice people. Really.
~BOYD



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