Page 9 – 100% done and ready to color….
So another insanely complicated piece to ink fraught with tough spots – Injun’s left hand still haunts me… but the final product nailed it- from the characters far off in the background, the tough to ink tassel leather pants, the rubble on the demolished building, it all worked. And we moved the story, added some tough and different angles, and went from closeups of Chinaman and Elijah to some wide angle shots- a really hard page, but it paid off artistically and in moving the story forward appropriately. I changed the wood rubble to a rope in the final inks, thanks to Dave Sharpe for the push to do this- nice change, it works.
Included are pencils, and a middle ink, with only basic lines, no shading or rendering for comparison.
Page 8 of PLOSQ- 100% inked and ready to go to color…
Still on a page a week schedule, and this page was ambitious, maybe one of my most ambitious pages yet- the angles, shading, stark changes in perspective, motion and close ups (really digging the fist and outfit of Chinaman in Panel #1!) really have this 3 panel set moving and pushing the action between Chinaman and Elijah, and introducing INJUN, my one man killing machine! Enjoy the inks, and prior pencils and lets keep this story moving to completion!
Page 7 of 22 is now inked and in the can. The big changes were in the bottom panel- altering the cowboy hat to the correct height, giving Elijah more “anger” in his eyes, and increasing the size of the gun/hand- all three edits really improved the dramatic impact of that panel as you can see from pencils to inks in the two images below. Lots of linework to keep the old world feel in the textures of the inks as it relates to fabric, leather, metal etc.
Im realizing as I ink this story, that it is really intimate and alot of small interactions with some well fleshed out characters, and less “large scale” like last year’s “Through the Eyes of Grizelda” which had alot of crowds and masses of background characters.
The action pinup page of “Painted Ladies of San Quentin” in full inks!
The big changes were the hand , and horse’s eye location (anatomy) and the gun (Technical Corrections).
The fun inking parts were the Chinaman’s textured clothing, and the close up cross hatching on Elijah’s arm as we get a POV of the Gunslinger in action for the first time. The up close foreground cross hatching which was a fun effect I hadnt done before, and I will definitely use again! The story here is in the action, or a picture is worth 1000 words!
And in this case, one big word- BANG!
Page 5 is now 100% inked- with changes on 2 of 4 of the panels. Panels 1 & 2 were originally to close out the flashback by showing Elijah looking at Jessica while passing out- this received some fairly constant criticism as a storytelling device that didnt work. Local author Abby Assetto pointed out that in the later parts of the story- we see an emotional response from Jessica about the Sheriff getting hurt/killed and that we never established a romantic emotional relationship with them, so I killed two birds with one stone- eliminating the two “eye closing” panels and adding two new ones to show a sexual relationship with Sheriff and Jessica, and also the type of relationship- combined with the hit to the head, and Elijah thinking Sheriff would help at the burning building he now sees that the power behind the Sheriff pulling his strings is Jessica… this is a mini-reveal, Elijah thought he was good- and symbolically, the hands are digging into him like a spider…. while also giving evidence of a physical intimate relationship. It just worked- thanks Abby. The last two panels had that great old time engraving look are a great segueway into page 6- the shooting pinup!
Below is the final page- the non shaded inks, the corrected pencilled panels and original pencils.
Page 4 of 22 is now 100% inked- this page had some great texturing, with an experimental textured technique that pays homage to the incredible pen and ink techniques of Edward Gorey since I am a big fan of his parallel line style, I wanted to put my spin on his style of penwork, I think it succeeded in giving this panel a unique look to the rear parts of the shadowed characters. Stipling and linework added some really detailed facial work on panels 2 and 3 to the foreground characters. Finally a gradation in the stipled background to focus on the action in panel helped highlight the original pencil work. I was going to use a manga style “kinetic” background but went in a more traditional direction in the style of the woodcut/old time art of the rest of the story I have been going for since the cover artwork.
Now the biggest issue of this page was Jessica in Panel #3- I struggled with this, and Nate Stemen and Joe Freistuhler tried to tell me it was off, and while I tried to fix it, I didnt get it, and my good friend Dani Kaulakis really called it out, so I had to do some surgery with Kristen at Jaru to do a new piece of art and then superimpose it over panel 3 to get it right – the original inked panel #3 Jessica was too far gone, but I think the new piece is killer and I’m glad I did th work to change it- thanks Dani and Kristen!!
Im including the original pencils- to the bad first ink on panel #3 and the whole repair process to the new page- enjoy the process!
Page 3 of 22 now is 100% inked- this page ended up being a nightmare of architectural proprtions, T&G shadowed ceilings, wood siding, over head shot of a terra cotta building burning, multiple facial emotion shots and three burning women… and yet – it turned out gorgeous (in my opinion) what do you think?
Jessica Belmont is hanged until dead in a California Prison in the 1850′s, and we see the land that was fought over is now the present day 2013 SAN QUENTIN State Prison in California… – The End
I loved the top hangman’s noose panel with the Flag of the state behind Jessica hanging from the gibbet, and the last panel is stark and sums up what it was all about- land for a prison to be built on that is there 160+ years into the future. Now onto the editing, and inking process with my writer Kevin Truglio who has stepped in to fill David’s shoes to make sure we hit all the script points so this works when you read it later in 2013.
Elijah rides off into the proverbial sunset and Jessica in a few years is arrested and walking death row in the California 1850′s era prison system…
I wanted to give Elijah a stern look while on Chinaman’s horse, and show Jessica without her fancy hair, attitude and finery, cut down in prison stripes- this page is really about closure, and effectively shows us the elements- Elijah leaving in a cliche way, but a nice angle/POV, the hads shackled and her walking the row, with the priest giving last rites in the background while she looks up at the hangman’s noose (see next page)
UPDATE- I made an alteration on the top panel- see correction above the page- I fixed some perspective and anatomy issues with the horse and Elijah- much better- thanks Joe and Jeff!
The Sheriff is Dead, Jessica- broken and reduced to tears without her man to be with her… she stands under the mercy of a now victorious (By the grace of God?) over the villains that killed three women for a piece of land in Northern California…
Really wanted to show some action in the top panel, a broken Jessica- by her torn expression, pose and position UNDER Elijah’s fist, and the last panel is Elijah telling her he wont kill her, I love this panel, the horse is back (remember Chinaman’s horse?) we see the house again, and Jessica cradling Sheriff’s now dead body… I really worked on her face in panel two, and it is raw with emotion, tears, anger, pain, it just flowed for me. Her arched shoulders were something I scored from my figure drawing class- thanks ladies of State College!