Thursday, 19 January 2017

Side by Side 4

The original Bolt page 4.

The Electrifying Bolt - Page 6

The Electrifying Bolt- Page 7

What a hectic year 2016 was! Hence a big gap between these instalments of side by side or "Why am I showing you this?' 

Once again the new version is a little extended with poor Bolt getting another whack for his "witty" remarks. In the original 4B2 (as he was then known) mysteriously spins the Bolt's energy "thingos" into energy balls. I went with a bit more hi-tech approach for the remake. Not sure that it was the right choice.

New improved dialogue provided by Michael Stoneburner. His version of Bolt has a lot more confidence than the original ... or is that overconfidence? Tune in next time to find out!

Friday, 23 December 2016

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Side By Side 3

Original Bolt page 3

Bolt page 4

Bolt page 5
The villains original name was 4B2, inspired by the way a certain family member would say 4 by 2. unfortunately in the UK and America it's 2 by 4. So we went with Timberr instead. I still love the ridiculousness of a wooden suit wearing villain.

Layouts are very similar, yet spread out over 2 pages instead of the one. The original page has a myriad of styles vying for attention even a "smashed glass effect". Very cutting edge! The original panel 2 pose is used in the next few pages of the new Bolt story. These new pages also are some of my first ever use of motion blurring.

Changes to 4B2's/Timberr's costume include more barrel styled pants over the paling skirt and a more tree trunk inspired helmet. I sort of miss the bent nail, but figured a good woodworker wouldn't have that.

New improved script provided by Michael Stoneburner.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Side by side 2

original Bolt page 2

Bolt page 2

Bolt page 3
As you can see some scenes were extended in the retelling of this Bolt story. It was inevitable considering the original was only 6 pages long. This page introduces Wendy Walters, Edensburgh's resident ace reporter. The original story has a reporter sort of tacked on at the end and hints that the Bolt is a real pain to her. The plan was to have Wendy as a recurring character reporting on The Bolt's "heroics".

Once again new improved script brought to you by Micheal Stoneburner, who incidentally, really disliked the bangs I gave Wendy for her hair style. He also came up with the TV stations name of "
WZZN TV 10". There is a reason behind it but I'm not sure I can reveal it at this time.

I've spoken before about Mike Perry and his great help in teaching me colour. The bolt pressed up against the glass is also inspired by the way he has drawn that in his comics.

Fun fact: I did my best to make the trucks number plate spell "roadkill".

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Bolt: "Side by side" - or "Why am I showing you this?"

As I stated in an earlier post I used a lot of the layouts from the very first Bolt comic from waaaaaay back even I don't remember when. All I know it was sometime in the nineties (at a guess 92ish). I thought it might be interesting to show the pages that had a similar layout side by side.

A thing of beauty: The original Bolt page 1.
Well at least this one is in colour.
I can identify quite a few artistic influences in the top panel alone: it has a bit of Mcfarlane, Liefeld, failed Lee, possibly some Breyfogle and some Perez effects. As you can see the styles are all blended seamlessly. Sigh. Wait til I show some other pages, it actually gets worse haha.

Other points of difference include:
The original VW is a little off model ( as pointed out by my father who was a mechanic
The original VW passengers were a LOT more hostile to The Bolt, calling him some not very politically correct names, hence the substituted grawlix.
The original was theoretically set in the Sydney area, whereas the new version is set in fictional Edensburgh.
The original Bolts power wasn't so much "electical" but more "blasty" hence the stars on the logo and inspite of being "electrifying".
The bolt's origin is different in the new version.

Importantly, the new version has a far superior script thanks to Michael Stoneburner. Mike is the one who coined the hilarious term "stay-at-home-weight-lifter".

Fun fact: The bus number 775 is number of a bus I frequently got stuck behind on the afternoon commute home.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

It is The Adventurers Comic Blog after all...

The follower: Art by Andrew Tribe
*We take a break from The Electrifying Bolt process posts to show some Adventurers art.*

This week I thought I would share a new Adventurers print that I'll be selling at next weeks Sydney SupaNova. The eagle eyed among you will recall it's the black and white pin up image from The Adventures issue 1. I've always thought that this image would also be a good issue 1 cover image. I never used it originally because I was stubborn and wanted all The Adventurers on the cover (even though we don't see them all until issue 2) and it wasn't until issue 1 was printed that I realised this could be a cover.

I'll also be selling the new ALL colour Bolt Comics Presents issue 1 (have I mentioned it contains The Electrifying Bolt?) and drawing sketches along with my brother Dan. We'll be sharing table 71 with our good friend John Hanna from Midnight Runners. If you are going to Supanova be sure to come and say hi. It's sure to be fun!

Monday, 6 June 2016

Adventures in colouring: I get by with a little help from my friends

As mentioned in earlier posts, The Bolt was an experiment in digital comic making. Not only was it a big learning curve producing an entire comic digitally I decided the Bolt would be colour. As I was drawing my comics for years, it never occurred to me that I may need to colour my comics. The Aussie comics I read growing up were all black and white (with 1 or 2 exceptions that cost a lot more to buy) and I liked black and white art work. I've often said your imagination colours the page anyway. I look at the colour versions of Bone (which I collected in black and white) and felt the art was made for black and white not colour. The colour revealed "flaws" that you didn't notice earlier, such as unfinished backgrounds to ensure the characters remain prominent in the foreground.
Besides, I naively thought a colourist would arrive out of the ether to do that dirty work. Pffft. Yeah right. Ah but that's the beauty of actually printing your comics and no longer dreaming of "the day". Printing The Adventurers 1- 4, it became clear that a solely black and white comic had it's work cut out to compete with others. In fact the primary critique I got from people was "Are you gonna colour it?"
As my formative years were influenced by classic Aussie Black and white comics I can say that colour theory/appreciation is a whole new paradigm of seemingly endless combinations.  Thanks to Cara (and her endless patience to my constant requests for tips and feedback) and online tutorials I was starting to get some of the basics down. But what about special effects? I couldn't find any way to make The bolts sparks have that glow that I know was part and parcel of modern comic colouring.
I had started this on Manga Studio 5 and was determined to only have to use the one program to create my comics. However, tutorials on using Manga Studio 5 are far fewer than on using photo shop. 

I was getting desperate. I put the call out to Mike Perry a fellow comic maker I follow on Twitter.  Thankfully, Mike Perry answered the call. He emailed me a tutorial he made to just show me how to give objects a glow! I still am in awe that he would go to that effort to help. Mike has been at this comic game for a while and I have always enjoyed his art. He is great at drawing comedy and never fails to make me chuckle. In fact I tried to channel my "inner Mike" for a panel in the Bolt. Mike's latest Mario inspired project can be enjoyed here: