A copy of the new color Bone 7 Ghost Circles came in the mail today. I put it on my drawing table with the other projects I worked on this year – - and I was surprised… I worked on a crazy lot of stuff in 2007!
Clockwise from left: Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil (the mini-series & the Deluxe Hard Cover), Bone 5 Rock Jaw, Bone 6 Old Man's Cave, RASL Convention Preview, The Art of Bone, Bone: One Volume Edition tenth printing (!), Say Anything: In Defense of the Genre, Bone 7 Ghost Circles, and Our Gang vol.2.
Thank you to everyone who supported me this year. I had a ball!
Here's the cover of Walt Kelly's Our Gang 3. I'm enjoying these Fantagraphics reprints. First of all, I hadn't read that many Our Gang stories before this (they haven't been reprinted since the 1940s), and beginning with the issues in this collection, you can really see Walt Kelly putting his imprint on the charcters – - which is making it more fun from a design standpoint. These new gang members, Red and "2-by2," along with Janet, Buckwheat & Froggy are very modern and their adventures more interesting. Color by Steve Hamaker.
Above is the sketch I showed to Gary Groth and Jacob Covey, and below is the final cover with logos.
If you'd like to see the drawing board pages about the first two Our Gang volumes, click here.
The rascals have been inked. I spent about two hours working with a sable hair brush before handing it over to Steve Hamaker, who scanned the drawing into his computer. Steve then used Photoshop to lay in the colors. He busted this out in about three hours, but we made our deadline!
We’ll update again when Jacob Covey at Fantagraphics finishes the final package design. If you would like to follow the previous steps, you can link to the earlier Our Gang 2 blog entries .
First thing to do after making the original sketch , is mock up the layout to finalize the composition on 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper. I've also worked in the character Mickey holding a spy glass.
Once these layout decisions are made, I can blow up the layout on the copier (121%) and lightly trace it onto 14" x 17" two-ply bristol board for the real drawing, which you see here, tightened up in blue pencil. Since my deadline is end of day Tuesday, and Steve still has to color it, I guess I'll have to ink the little rascals sometime this weekend.
Fantagraphics is doing a second volume of Walt Kelly's Our Gang comics from the 1940s. The first collection was a pretty straight forward adaptation of the short films in terms of setting and characters. This one has Kelly starting to take control; Spanky has been replaced by Happy (essentially Spanky with freckles at this stage), and the gang has a multi-part adventure on the high seas when they are accidentally marooned aboard a floating movie-prop pirate ship.
Above is the rough sketch I made for the cover of Our Gang vol.2. Froggy & Buckwheat are in the rigging, with Happy, Janet, and Petey looking out over the rail. I still want to add Mickey in there somewhere. I’ll update this once I tighten the pencils. Designer Jacob Covey needs this by the end of the month, so I’d better get a move on (why do I always wait until the last minute?).
The first volume got a number of good reviews in Booklist and Publishers Weekly (both of which you can read at Amazon.com.), as well as in The Onion A.V. Club , IGN , and Comic Book Resources , just to name a few. Click here to see the blog entry I made when Our Gang vol. 1 shipped.
And raise a glass to Walt – - my favorite cartoonist was born on August 25, 1913. Happy Birthday, Walt Kelly! Cartoonists the world over miss you. Now there was a man who could draw a pig. Or a world leader as a pig.