Monday, September 15, 2008

Here he comes!...or... Evolution of a Monster


You've heard me mumble about a series of graphic novels with the same moniker of this here weblog for many a moons...
Well this is the year it happens! Ha. What you see here is the recent progression of the way 'ol SRM looks.


You've heard of the expression "necessity is the mother of invention" right? Well I've been invited to hang out with Chris Pitzer at the super cool Adhouse booth at the Baltimore Comic-Con Sept. 27-28 (that's a little under 2 weeks from now true believers!) and I thought it would be kind of cool to do a sneak preview poster image of SRM. Easier said than done. What I've found is that I see him semi-clearly in my head, but have yet to really bring him fully to life with pencil, ink and digital color. My first two tries are just that... "tries". This isn't him yet. He's getting there, but hasn't fully materialized in a way that says "Aha! That's SRM!" to me.

I have a much better understanding of the natural progression of the visual style of characters like Mignola's Hellboy or Kirby's Thing for example, in that like a sculptor discovering the figure within a block of marble, the character starts to reveal itself over time... and as the necessity above states, invention can happen.
The problem that I'm currently wrestling with, is that I want to convey his "surface texture" but I don't want it to be too laborious as I'm planning on drawing this guy a lot, as well as I don't want to overpower the viewer with too much surface detail. I lean more towards enjoying "simple" design rather than too much noise... All that to say I'm still "figuring" this guy out. Like an inventor working out problems on the chalkboard, mine are still ending with question marks.
But I'm narrowing it down.

Here is some recent sketch noodlings to show you some of my process...






Stay tuned...more to come and soon!

6 comments:

SteveLambe said...

Very cool. If he looks this good at the beginning of the evolution,then I can't wait to see the improvements.

Jon McNally said...

Fearsome work, Paul. The colors and linework are spot-on, even if the texture's looking labor-intensive. Lovin' what you're doin'.

j. said...

Sweet! I love monsters and your designs are super. You do such cool textures on your guys. Something I'm afraid to do lest I draw a panel or two where I've forgotten to texturize my hero.

j.

Tim Baron said...

These are beautiful. Very Hanna-Barbera-ish/Herculoidish. Love it.

Paul Conrad said...

Steve- Thanks man (I hope you like the "improvements!" Ha.)

Jon- Thanks man... Yeah, I just want to get the texture feeling right, and easy on the eyes, and wrist too!

J.-Oh man. Well I think the flip side of that is... doing too much on the texture and it just becoming impossible to do a whole book with the guy in it! Must simplify....

Tim- Thanks man... until you said that, I'd totally forgot that the Hanna-Barbera ish stuff did play a role in the early inspiration of this. Good eye.

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