Sunday, March 22, 2009

Some of the work I do for DC Comics - Part I

I've been at DC Comics now for nine years, and a Pre-Press Artist for eight. I work mostly on all of the weekly periodical "floppy" comics, with the occasional TPB or Hardcover collections. I do any art and/ or lettering corrections that the editor, art director, or freelance artist themselves, need. For example, an editor comes to my desk and says they need a panel swapped, a balloon added with text, or someone's eye color changed from blue to green. It really all depends on the book and the editor, how many corrections are done on a particular book. The correction could come at any stage of our production of the book as well. In the B/W art and scan, or the final colored page. For example, for books like Green Lantern or Supergirl, the editors have a lot of sound effects color changes, and lettering corrections. I'll go into that more when I post examples of that in the future.

One of the corrections that comes across my desk is art/ color corrections. These are the corrections that are the most fun for me, and the easiest to show because this is when I actually get to contribute to a piece from a freelancer. The above piece is a wonderfully drawn and colored cover of an old Superman/ Batman issue, by Ethan Van Sciver and Moose Bauman that an art direct gave me to make corrections on for the hardcover collection. The art director is going to use this image as the cover, much like the other trade collections of Superman/ Batman that have come out. The first thing I was told to do was to separate Superman from Batman. Superman would be on the top, followed by the logo and title of the trade, followed by Batman on the bottom.

I was told to separate the two characters, and then make some art/ color corrections to the now two pieces. I was told to get rid of the light in the phone booth. Extend the art on the Superman piece to have more room on the right side of the image with more glass. Then with the Batman piece, I was told to get rid of all the glass in the background, and the artists' signature.

What I did was crop the image in half, saving the Superman piece and the Batman piece, separately. Then I took out the light, just filling it with the same color as the inside phone booth. Then I extended the art, and carefully cloned and redrew the glass and the orange background to match the rest of the piece. For the Batman piece, I cut out Batman from the entire image, so that Superman's torso and the glass were gone. Then I cloned and re-painted the background to match.

Below you can see what the final images that will go on the cover look like.

Next, for the interior design pages, where the credits will go, I was given this image below drawn by Ian Churchill. The corrections the art director needed on this piece, was to remove the background, including the top of the building on the bottom that batman is jumping off of. Then extend the piece lengthwise, and finish Batman's cape.

The final corrected image is below, where I finished drawing Batman's cape, and colored it matching the rest of the shape and color of the cape that Ian had drawn. I selected all around the characters, and deleted the background.

These are just a quick example of the type of things I do at DC. Some, like these, are very simple, and straight forward. Some are way more complex, and extensive. I hope you liked it. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask, and I hope I explained it well!

Next, in part II, I will show you some corrections I had to do on the upcoming issue of House of Mystery #11 over freelance artist Luca Rossi!


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