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Fred Lang's Marvel Comics Pencil Test
Fred Lang
post May 12 2011, 06:10 PM
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I AM TOTALLY SCREWED.

What I've been doing is finishing my Marvel sample pages, then taking a look at how the actual book turned out--out of extreme curiosity as to how Greg Land solved the storytelling of the book, etc.

I just worked out how I want Page 10 to work--two finished panels and one blue line rough--then went to see how Land worked out the same page.

PANELS TWO AND THREE ARE ESSENTIALLY IDENTICAL.

So, sure, I'm happy that I chose the same idea as a professional Marvel artist--and simultaneously created a sample page THAT I CAN NEVER USE.

There's NO way I could submit my page and have a Marvel rep believe I came up with it on my own. I'm totally screwed.

Now I have to go back and re-do the entire page, INTENTIONALLY AVOIDING what I think is the best way to tell the story because it's been done before in the original book and is easy to find online for everyone to see. It's like answering an essay test with the EXACT WORDING of a previous exam.

I can't use this page. CRAP.

I hate this.

MY PAGE:



THE ACTUAL, PUBLISHED PAGE:






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Tim Tilley
post May 12 2011, 08:23 PM
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It's no secret that Greg has changed the way he does his art these days, by using "model" reference. With all due respect to Greg, I like yours better and think that you do NOT have anything to worry about. You can always have C.B. head on over to the CR forums and have him see this thread for solid proof.

I vote to keep it!
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Casey Campbell
post May 12 2011, 08:41 PM
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Hey Fred...self loathing is the curse of every thriving artist..well to me anyway..heh heh..however the similarities are small and really only recognizable in the second panel. You should follow through and complete the page. Forget what Greg has done. Awesome work by the way as always.
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uphillbrian
post May 12 2011, 10:42 PM
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I'd chime in, but I don't know what the script says :/ do fraction and brubaker dictate camera in the script? if SO i'd say you're good.


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Fred Lang
post May 13 2011, 05:19 PM
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Page 10. On to page 11.





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Guest_cougar18_*
post May 14 2011, 09:21 AM
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Fred, if you consider yourself less of an artist than Greg Land.....then you have some serious self-esteem issues and need a psychiatrist.

Just look at the pages again. Then realise you are far better than that. Greg Land doesn't even draw anymore.

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Anthony Hochrein
post May 14 2011, 09:41 AM
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I have to second that. Land's work is falling flatter than a 1980's advrtising artist! The worst part of working from photos is becoming a slave to the source photo. Your work has a loosness and a boldness about it that Land's work lacks right now. If I were just getting into comics, I'd look elsewhere for my entertainment than the pages presented. Hell, I'd rather look at Byrne/Austin or Paul Smith than this. But, who am I to talk? Keep up the great work, I think you're on the right track. Stay dynamic!


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autowagon
post May 14 2011, 10:19 AM
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Thinking anyone would notice that you did similar panels is where you're mistaken. The artist might, but that's about it. No one is going to assume you did anything wrong.


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Guest_cougar18_*
post May 14 2011, 10:22 AM
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QUOTE (Anthony Hochrein @ May 14 2011, 07:41 AM) *
I have to second that. Land's work is falling flatter than a 1980's advrtising artist! The worst part of working from photos is becoming a slave to the source photo. Your work has a loosness and a boldness about it that Land's work lacks right now. If I were just getting into comics, I'd look elsewhere for my entertainment than the pages presented. Hell, I'd rather look at Byrne/Austin or Paul Smith than this. But, who am I to talk? Keep up the great work, I think you're on the right track. Stay dynamic!


The thing is, there are artists out there who use photoreference amazingly well, yet are nowhere near the slaves to it that Land is. Land doesn't even try to stay on model either. WOuld not surprise me if he doesn't draw character sheets either, just traces pictures off again and again.

Some of the guys who are letting their work go to hell are people like Alex Maleev and Sal Larocca. They are tracing off shots, and cannot work outside of the reference. Hell, Alex Maleev is just using photographs in his pages. Little to no drawing involved. Sal Larocca appears to be tracing photographs, but the celebrity references he is using are just too obvious that it kicks one outta the picture, and oft times they are not the same actor/ actress used for the character, so it is jarring. He also just uses photographs for the backgrounds now, so no drawing involved either.

There are artists out there who use photo ref, such as Skottie Young, Scott McDaniel, Ed McGuinness, Ian Churchill, Freddie Williams III etc but they do so in such a way as to let the reference help, not hinder, their work. I mean, We can all see artists who use reference, it's an age old practise. But so many artists nowadays have gotten so lazy, they are relying on it way too much. And another problem is that the work becomes very stiff, frozen, and poorly staged.
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Fred Lang
post May 14 2011, 11:14 AM
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QUOTE (cougar18 @ May 14 2011, 08:21 AM) *
Fred, if you consider yourself less of an artist than Greg Land.....then you have some serious self-esteem issues and need a psychiatrist.

Just look at the pages again. Then realise you are far better than that. Greg Land doesn't even draw anymore.


Hah! Thank you--very kind. I wasn't exactly worried about the style differences, but more the fear that it would look like I stared at Land's layouts and just copied them / reversed them to make them look like I came up with those ideas. I was forced to choose a different layout for the last panel to throw off the copied look, but I think the page is a solid B-.

Again, thank you for the fist bump, though!


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Fred Lang
post May 14 2011, 04:42 PM
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I'm worried I'm using too many flat horizon panels. Some of these have a little tilt to them, but I wonder if I should be dynamically flipping around Marvel-style...but I feel like it'll look forced if I go for the extreme high and low POV shots here.

I mean, it's a cocktail party...the fight hasn't started yet.

Meh. After a while, I second-guess everything so much for these damned samples that everything looks as good or bad as everything else. It's a trap, as Admiral Ackbar would say.



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uphillbrian
post May 14 2011, 10:27 PM
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fred, I think the pages are looking great. I wouldn't sweat the flat horizons.


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Fred Lang
post May 15 2011, 01:13 AM
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I've decided to scrap the 2 most recent pages of my X-Men sample. I'm keeping page 9, but the other two are trash.

There are too many problems with pages 9 and 10, and I don't consider them worthy of Marvel. Two pages of shoulder-up close shots is not gonna cut it.

This means I'm going to have to dig deep in the 18 days I have left to draw before HeroesCon to get this Marvel sample done and also complete the Star Trek pages I want to show to IDW.

I can do this. Time to get to work and really put my studying to the test and see if I've really learned anything at all...


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uphillbrian
post May 15 2011, 07:46 AM
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Give'em hell! Sorry to hear about the pages, but, glad to hear the honesty. It's great to see you holding yourself to such high standards. I just hope you're not too discouraged, because the pages really do look great.


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Tim Tilley
post May 15 2011, 01:39 PM
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Personally, I liked what you had done but pushing yourself to out-do what you had already done is really cool. I wish you the best of luck with getting these pages finished and to a satisfactory level.
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Bill Nichols
post May 15 2011, 07:02 PM
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Fred,
Okay, so you have your plan in place. You're good enough, so go. And good luck.


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ChadStrohl
post May 16 2011, 06:26 AM
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Fred, I'd say the only issue I see in anything is the first panel didn't seem to have enough "space" for wolvie's thought balloon. Your panel would have the balloon covering faces (even if they are unimportant, it would look kind of odd) wheras Land added a lot of dead space with the upward sky shot.

This post has been edited by ChadStrohl: May 16 2011, 06:28 AM


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Fred Lang
post May 16 2011, 09:08 AM
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QUOTE (ChadStrohl @ May 16 2011, 05:26 AM) *
Fred, I'd say the only issue I see in anything is the first panel didn't seem to have enough "space" for wolvie's thought balloon. Your panel would have the balloon covering faces (even if they are unimportant, it would look kind of odd) wheras Land added a lot of dead space with the upward sky shot.


Yep, that's absolutely one of the main problems with the pages--there isn't enough "air" for the balloons to breathe or be placed in an aesthetically pleasing way. I have a tendency to "stack heads" in a panel if I'm not careful...and I wasn't careful. I'm absolutely fixing that this go-round.
cool.gif

This post has been edited by Fred Lang: May 16 2011, 09:09 AM


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Fred Lang
post May 16 2011, 12:53 PM
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I'm canceling my HeroesCon visit as well as my Marvel samples for the time being, because my stuff kinda sucks. Still.

Took a long, hard look at what I was putting out there--how HARD it is to just get my art above "totally crap"--and I still have LOT of fundamentals to work on before I think any self-respecting company would hire me on for regular work. And I want to be proud of the work I put out, especially if I'm getting paid for it.

SO, that leaves Baltimore Comic Con in August for me to set my sights on.

96 days from now.

In that 96 days, I will be heading back to the basics. I REALLY have to work on so many things, it'll be easy to get started, but the main thing for me to work on, and the hardest for me to understand is the FLOW of the human figure. It's one thing to draw a neat nose, tricep or foot--it's totally another to assemble those parts into a feasible, aesthetically pleasing WHOLE that indicates action and purpose.

So yeah, my stuff is shit right now....but I'm really going to work very hard to fix that in the next 96 days and forward.

If you were expecting to say howdy in person at HeroesCon, I'm sorry. I'll catch up with you soon.

I won't be posting again until I have something worth posting.

This is NOT one of those "please reassure my delicate ego that I am awesomesauce, because I need to hear it" posts you see often on forums like this. I've made the rational business decision, upon looking at my stuff, that it's just not good enough yet, and I can't justify the cost of flying across the country with a portfolio of trash and waste some poor guy's time by showing it to him. Case closed. The flight's been canceled, the hotel reservation canceled--it's done.

Be good, folks.

See you once my stuff is better.

Fred


This post has been edited by Fred Lang: May 16 2011, 12:58 PM


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Bill Nichols
post May 16 2011, 01:00 PM
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Brother, you're being waaaay too hard on yourself. Do you think I'd blow smoke at you over your work? Nope. But if this is your plan, stick with it and you know where to find me/us when you want an opinion. You know that, right? smile.gif


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