eight of eight

And the winner is…

Now, this guy emailed me after I’d already narrowed my field down to seven or eight artists and was talking to them about the possibility of doing page roughs at a cut rate. I got his sample pages he sent and there was a lot of, “Jesus wept,” going on in my head, because I loved his style beyond words, but I was afraid I was already stretching myself awfully thin with audition costs. But I liked what I saw so much I had to write back to him. We exchanged some emails, I sent the proposal package to him, and then several days passed and I’d been about to give up on him when I got an email saying he wanted to send me something better than just roughs, and he’d have the pages to me in a day or two. This is what he sent. (More commentary after the pictures.)

After I picked myself up off the floor, I was pretty sure I had a done deal here. His stuff is far more mainstream in style and look than Angela’s, which I think may be the only negative–I don’t know if publishers are looking for something that stays with the crowd or stands out. I suspect it’s some of both; I suspect that, like book publishers, comic book publishers want good art and a good story. Whether that art is the American Superhero look I love so much, or something more unique like Angela’s work probably doesn’t make *that* much difference to them. I think. I hope. :)

What it comes down to is Ardian’s work *looks* like I want my comic book to look. This is how I imagined it. Whether something more stylistic might catch a publisher’s eye is … just too bad, I guess, because this is the comic book style that I love. It’s beautiful, strong, sexy, and makes me happy. :)

33 thoughts on “eight of eight

  1. I agree. There are aspects of several of the other artists’ projects which caught my eye, but this one is…



    I think you made the right choice.

  2. Very nice.

    I also really like #7.

    The good news is, they have a very different feel. I’d go with 8 for a more gritty, realistic superheroing, and #7 for something more iconic and trying to evoke that sense of wonder. (It sort of reminds me of Matt Wagner’s Mage, #7.)

    I’m really impressed at the skill you’ve turned up. Can’t wait for it to show up in Previews!

  3. Rather batmanny. Rather like I’d prefer the Huntress to look, oddly – less t&a, more the sense of sheer, old fashioned physical fitness.

    It’s a style that lends itself to moral ambiguity, which does seem a nice thematic support.

  4. I went through all eight posts before posting here, and I’m kinda amused: as I commented previously, I’m not really a hardcore comic book geek, although I’ve read parts of some lines (X-Men, Sandman, SiP, Frank Miller “Batman”). And the first thing I thought of when I saw Ardian’s first page was “That is *classic* comic book style”.

    Angela’s struck me the same way as it did you–very pretty and ‘different’, and it coulda been neat, but not if you were going for classic comic look and feel. This really reminds me of the comics I read in the 80’s.

    I’m excited to see how this develops going forward!

  5. Yeah, the stylistic differences between 7 & 8 gave me some heart palpitations. I have some emotional trauma over not choosing the woman, because I really *do* like her style, but I think Ardian’s just a little better in regards to foundation, and his work gets the emotional reaction of LOVE LOVE LOVE from me, because it’s the exact kind of artwork I just love seeing in my comics.

    I found my talent on digitalwebbing.com. It is quite amazing what you turn up when you say, “Have project, will pay.”

    *laugh* Your lips to God’s ears, so far as Previews is concerned. I don’t have a publisher for this yet, much less anything spiffy like a contract. :)

  6. And the first thing I thought of when I saw Ardian’s first page was “That is *classic* comic book style”.

    See, that’s really cool for me to hear, because that’s my reaction to his work, too, and it’s what I’d love to present. Chance is in many ways a very classic superhero tale. I like to think I’m turning some of it on its ear, though, by deliberately using the conventions of the genre to create storytelling space, and focusing on this character’s personal growth and story arc. This is a story with a beginning, middle and end. :)

  7. I was just commenting to the Kit that I was visualizing Chance as more of a noir peice. I wasn’t going to say so here, but the comment about “moral ambiguity” played right into that. Almost anti-hero, or at least someone who bullies her body into doing what she does through more will than prowess and has to pay for it later.

    But how easy it is to comment when it’s not your work! (Oh yes, my Internetses, lovely commentses, etc. etc.)

  8. I Like this one the best as well, tough choice though.

    (Aaaargh!! Pick those undies outta there!!)

  9. I think, actually, that that’s a fair assessment of the character. I also think with nighttime shading in the artwork, it’ll have something more of the darker look to it, but it won’t be that edgier noir feel you’re talking about, it’s true. It’s too classic in its look.

  10. I must defend the artist by saying string bikini undies are *exactly* what I requested in the script. :)

  11. Hee Duh.

    Why I liked this one the best was because it has the ‘Classic Comic Book’ style as mentioned but also because the composition is pleasing.

    Another thing is that the artist sent in something that feels like a finished drawing rather than rough sketches. That was a nice touch.

  12. Hey, you don’t want undie lines in your leather!

    Actually, what I really wanted was a sexy, strong shot right there on the front page. I will just work from the assumption that her Buns Of Steel keep the panties from riding up. :)

  13. The last frame on the first page was part of what really sold me. He broke out of the frames and went right for the page edge, which I really like. And yeah, sending complete or near-to-complete pages was *really* a nice touch. Shows commitment. :)

  14. *laugh* I wouldn’t want undies creeping up my butt either (having recently ‘fired’ a pair of the cursed things for that very crime).

  15. I like the way he uses the page. It is a full page but he isn’t afraid to break out of the boxes either. And this does look a little Jim Lee (mostly in the solo character shots) but Jim Lee as he’s become and not as he was, if that makes sense. I like that it looks more gritty and real than more comic cities in the city shots, too.

  16. Very cool stuff. I just looked through the others, and really liked ursula’s stuff best, but this is good. (And of course, it’s your comic, you know what the look you want is.) This has a bit too much of a Jim Lee feel for my tastes, is all, but I can definitely see why you like his stuff.

  17. Lotta people like Ursula’s best, and I love it, but like I said, she’s got a career of her own going. :)

  18. It’s the same gravity-defying power that surrounds superheroes (even the non-powereds!) like an aura, keeping Wonder Woman’s costume from slipping down or Power Girl’s boobs from popping out of that keyhole or even Flash’s, er, package from getting out of place. The Undies Will Stay Put. ^_~

  19. …this is absolutely wonderful. Going through the progression of posts was really cool, and while I loved Angela’s work (it has an almost Alex Ross feel, somehow), Ardian’s was eye-catching from the very first panel, the close-up and reflection. Wow. I’m so happy for you, just finding this guy–here’s hoping you guys go far with this!

    And like said, this is how Helena should look; maybe Bats would take her more seriously if she wasn’t showing more skin (ok, that’s not at all the problem, but it sounds plausible!) with every costume rev. Strong and sexy and thoroughly capable of kicking anyone’s ass, I love it.

  20. Yea…. this is Chance. This is what I saw in my mind but could never sketch out (isn’t that the most frustrating thing?) Be-a-utiful. A real winner!

  21. *grin* I didn’t even see it in my head, but I KNEW that was what I wanted her to look like! And yah, no chance *I* could draw it. :)


  22. For crying out loud. All of the artwork was impressive, but this is just ridiculously awesome. I think the last shot on the first page is what sold it for me, and then I went on to see the chick on the beak. Wow.

  23. This is beautiful… jaw dropping indeed.

    I am so *not* a comic-geek so forgive me my ignorance for what I’m about to ask… didn’t I just see a movie trailer for a comic supersoldier-type that was mutated because of a virus?? Umm… Ultraviolet?

  24. Apparently that’s the basic line behind Ultraviolet, yah, although when I saw the trailer I did not in any way think of Chance. It’s a popular way to make superthings right now. In my defense, I did write this script two or three years ago… :)

  25. I did not think you were “copying” or infringing on UV storyline… I just thought I might have not understood the premise or was just not geeky enough to catch the nuances. :-)

  26. Nah, didn’t think you were. I was just sayin’. :)

    (Ted and Shaun just saw your icon, and think it’s very funny. :))

  27. It’s my favoritest t-shirt in the whole world (and makes my boobs look hyooge! *giggle*)

    From Geek Label. Lots of gamer-comic-computer geek shirts too.

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