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HdE's bits and pieces
HdE
post Apr 16 2012, 08:24 PM
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Awright?

It's been a while since I've posted here - too much of that crazy real life stuff, and freelance biz, y'see. But it thought it might be a good idea to set up a new thread to display a few projects and things that have been getting an airing online.

For the first entry, I'd like to draw attention to some awesome work that was done for me by Mr. Phil Knott, a very talented fella indeed. He supplied the art and colours for a one pager I wrote for the Transformers Mosaic fan project. And here it is!






The project offers a great opportunity for folks to hone their skills with short comics pieces. I've learned a heck of a lot as I've pitched in on these strips, in whatever capacity. It's rare that I'll actually find time to pitch in on artwork, although I do occasionally ink and colour pieces. Mostly these days, I'm writing and lettering them, though.

There's a whole HEAP of these strips online, from a wide base of different creators. Don't let the toyline origins get in the way of enjoying them - there are some great characters and some superb stories being told with them, both officially and in fan projects like these.

This post has been edited by HdE: May 2 2012, 09:09 PM


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HdE
post Apr 16 2012, 08:38 PM
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While I'm zipping about on the interwebs, I'll add a few more strips from this project (it's not all the only stuff I chip in on by any means - just the easiest to find!)

Here are a couple that I did all off my own back - I have a feeling that I *may have displayed them before, but a quick search of the forum isn't showing them up.






And, for posterity, another that I put together with my buddy Mike Priest:




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HdE
post May 2 2012, 09:15 PM
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Time for another update, methinks.

Now, whisper it softly, but you might have noticed in the strips above (where I drew them) my inking is * a bit ropey *.

Hence, some months of practice and dilligent study later, I'm producing stuff more like this:



These are my inks over pencils by Roger Cruz, who was making said etchings available over on his DA page.

He doesn't leave a great deal of room for an inker to come in and embellish, but that's probably a good thing. I'm still developing as an inker (as is probably pretty clear!) so this piece was more about me learning ways of creating depth and space. I think I got some things right, and quite a few things wrong. But still, it's a stepping stone to where I want to be.

This post has been edited by HdE: May 2 2012, 09:16 PM


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HdE
post May 7 2012, 10:16 PM
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Another one of my one-pagers for Transformers Mosaic. It just went up today.

Script, lettering and colours by moi, art duties by Jason Ho - who carried this one out like a trooper!



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HdE
post May 15 2012, 05:57 PM
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And now for something completely different:

I've been watching the TV anime 'Fist Of The North Star', which I first encountered as a kid waaaayyy back in the early 1990s. I just recently acquired the whole 152 episode run on DVD. And let me tell you, this is some GNARLY stuff.

Decided I'd have a go at re-creating the show's leading man, Kenshiro. I went for a deliberate 'anime effect' here, keeping line art skinny and the colouring bold.




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Greg G.
post May 15 2012, 06:14 PM
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QUOTE (HdE @ May 15 2012, 07:57 PM) *
And now for something completely different:

I've been watching the TV anime 'Fist Of The North Star', which I first encountered as a kid waaaayyy back in the early 1990s. I just recently acquired the whole 152 episode run on DVD. And let me tell you, this is some GNARLY stuff.

Decided I'd have a go at re-creating the show's leading man, Kenshiro. I went for a deliberate 'anime effect' here, keeping line art skinny and the colouring bold.



Not bad at all, but you could probably go for a bit more rendering on the figure. Tetsuo Hara's art was influenced by Neal Adams, and even though the anime doesn't do the manga justice; it does make use of the heavy blacks on the characters. Heavy blacks are kind of expected in FotNS art, otherwise it looks a little naked. wink.gif

Other than that, it's a really swell picture of Kenshiro.


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HdE
post May 15 2012, 07:57 PM
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Hey Greg! Thanks for taking the time to post!

I totally get what you're saying there - Hara's work is pretty formidable to behold in black and white. Somebody should really look at re-releasing those books. I always found his close-up work BREATH-TAKING. You'd never believe he was blind in one eye.

As for your remarks on the strong blacks - you know, that's a thing. I actually was never too keen on that aspect of the anime's art style - that and the sometimes dodgy proportioning of the characters. So it was actually a fully intentional decision on my part not to use those bold streaks of black. But that said, I DO think you have a point about the colour rendering.

I was actually tempted to throw in some texture brushes, but every time I tried it, it seemed at odds with the backdrop I'd built up. So in the end I went with something intentionally simple, like the anime's 3 (or is it 5?) tone shading.

I try to make my peace with artwork once I've displayed it and learn things for the next bit of work, but in this case, I AM tempted to go in and at least throw in a little more on the infamous Blue Boiler Suit Of Death. I don't actually get a lot of time to draw or colour right now, though. We'll see how it goes...

Cheers for the input again, Greg. It's always useful!

This post has been edited by HdE: May 15 2012, 08:20 PM


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Greg G.
post May 15 2012, 09:05 PM
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Yes.

Someone ought to publish all of Hokuto no Ken in English once and for all.

Viz failed.

Raijin failed.

Maybe DMP/Dark Horse? They went back and re-released all of Crying Freeman. File that one under manga for crusty old anime / manga fans. tongue.gif


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HdE
post May 16 2012, 07:51 AM
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Preach it, bro'! I have Crying Freeman on my shelf waiting to be viewed. Gott alove Discotek for putting these golden oldies back on the market.

I never got how manga / anime earned an 'uncool' tage with stories like this floating around out there. Maybe folks were just looking at the wrong stuff. Great shame.


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Greg G.
post May 17 2012, 07:58 AM
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QUOTE (HdE @ May 16 2012, 09:51 AM) *
Preach it, bro'! I have Crying Freeman on my shelf waiting to be viewed. Gott alove Discotek for putting these golden oldies back on the market.

I never got how manga / anime earned an 'uncool' tage with stories like this floating around out there. Maybe folks were just looking at the wrong stuff. Great shame.


Pretty much.

Japanese comics are huge, with weekly releases, comics about damned near everything from raising an autistic child, compulsive gambling, to sport fishing.

I suspect it's just the Western market for Japanese comics. The American fans want the polar opposite of the popular superhero stuff (even if that claim is specious with the popularity of braindead stuff like Naruto and Bleach), so a lot of the really great manga never floats over here.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is another fun series, but Viz only released a segment of that here. And I'd concede that is big and dumb like Naruto/Bleach, but it's also off the rails bonkers which is what keeps it entertaining. Europe gets a lot of this stuff translated into Italian and French, and we just get the latest dumb fighting manga or lame harem stuff. BLECH!

At least Vertical Inc. prevents the Western manga market from being a complete ghetto of shonen / harem crap.

This post has been edited by Greg G.: May 17 2012, 07:59 AM


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HdE
post May 17 2012, 08:32 AM
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I have to say, I watch a lot more anime than I read manga.

Over here in the UK, there's a pretty tiny customer base that actually PAYS for anime, so as a result, we don't actually get an awful lot of it here. I think we have maybe two or three distributors for the stuff active in ouy territory. Quite often, the only way to get a show, short of learning Japanese and importing at astronomical cost from Japan, is to source it from either the States or Australia.

A knock on effect of that is, we tend not to get a great variation in the stuff. Maybe that's not so much the case with manga, as I've certainly seen sports manga and some REALLY off-the-wall stuff (Gothic Soccer? Whut?) - but there's a pretty narrow market here, safe to say.

It's funny how, just lately, I've been picking up more of the older shows I used to have on VHS cassette. Back in the early 1990s, even though I like to think I 'got' anime more than most of the kids I grew up with, I was still kinda bamboozled by the content. When I've gone back to revisit some of those OVAs and movies, I've been blown away by the great stories, some of which went way over my head as a kid.

I love the stuff. I'm just sad to see it so under-appreciated and made a target for ridicule in some quarters. And, ay-ay-ay... the state of the Western market right now... it makes me feel like weeping sometimes.


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Greg G.
post May 17 2012, 09:06 AM
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Oh yeah, in America we have a small base that pays for manga and anime too. It's how the term "manga cows" was coined. People who would go into book stores and just sit in the aisle grazing on the manga. And oh look! What once was a huge market with lots of titles in print has collapsed because nobody was willing to pay for it.

A lot of young people complain that it's too expensive, and I emphasize young people because clearly they're not old enough to remember paying $2.50/2.99 for 22 pages of manga in monthly comic format. Now you can get the entire first volume, 180+ pages of a manga for $9.99!

The same goes for anime, barring rare instances today, when you could get two episodes of a series on VHS for $29.99 dubbed, and $34.99 if you wanted those same two episodes subtitled. Now I can buy a season of a show for $29.99!

This isn't even accounting for the crazy mark downs and discounts you can get through online retailers.

Anime / manga seems to have the same problems the collector's market for comic books have, meaning the people who covet this stuff have no money for it. I'm not knocking the underpaid American worker, but I am knocking the people who have wine taste and beer money.

Either way - nobody wanted to pay for anime and manga in America when it was booming in the early 00's and now most of the companies have gone belly up.

And yeah, American comic and animation fans can be too narrow minded.

Heck it was better when I was a kid and I didn't know why Battle of the Planets / Robotech / Starblazers was different, but it looked cool and I liked it a lot.

I need to order the last two Fist of the North Star box sets before they go out of print.

This post has been edited by Greg G.: May 17 2012, 09:08 AM


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HdE
post May 17 2012, 11:58 AM
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QUOTE (Greg G. @ May 17 2012, 09:06 AM) *
Oh yeah, in America we have a small base that pays for manga and anime too. It's how the term "manga cows" was coined. People who would go into book stores and just sit in the aisle grazing on the manga. And oh look! What once was a huge market with lots of titles in print has collapsed because nobody was willing to pay for it.


My particular button is piracy. Funny how manga seems to be a low-selling art form, but hugely downloaded via illegal means. Applies to anime as well. The guy who runs my local comic store tells me stories of PARENTS bringing their kids into the shop, browsing the manga and telling their kids 'don't pay that for it. You can download it when you get home for nothing.'

Everything you say above really strikes a chord with me. Sadly, we're seeing a return to the 'price it high' thinking of the bad old days. Anime fans have never had it so good in recent years, but all the signs point to the business model that's been used of late not being sustainable.

Heck, I hear about DVD releases that struggle to sell even a thousand copies. In the UK, one distro even disclosed that they had released stuff that struggled to make sales in the double figures.

I tell ya, I could talk and complain about this all day. The situation really grieves me.

But, I do go on. Go grab those box sets! They're great. I've just started on volume 2. I am so, so grateful to have the whole series here!


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Lexia
post May 17 2012, 09:48 PM
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OOO I give my two cents on this mwahahaha if you do not mind I like your art btw happy.gif but I am not a huge fan of transformers but I do like fistie ^-^

As for me, since I do not go to comic store a lot I tend to dl some to see how I will like it then buy it for anime USA butchers them to much to buy them in USA and the voices they are baaad, they change names and even things that happen in the anime along with cutting and combining episodes, so you do not even get the full story time to time so dl it is, but what makes it sad is they market it to kids but teens and adults watch it and buy it, that is the issue with anime I see anyway. I buy Manga lol I really do not mind buying but I do the same dl to see if i like then buy if i like it.


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HdE
post May 17 2012, 11:13 PM
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Hey Lexia, thanks for posting. Glad you like what you see here!

Sheesh, when did this become the anime thread, huh? Nah - I kid, I kid. It's all cool. Probably has something to do with that pic I posted. wink.gif

Glad to hear you're supporting manga releases with your dough. Just a couple of things I'll mention, though.

I've actually been pleasantly surprised at how much more respectful the attitude to dubs has been in recent years. It used to be the case that major changes would be made, as you say, but no so much any more. I've spotted a much greater acknowledgement on the part of western distributors and commitment to putting out a dub that stays true to the original script. I'm actually a fan of the whole English dub thing. For me, it's part of the charm. Although that said, there are some shows I watch subbed. Fisty McNorthstar would be one prime example of such. You just can't beat Akira Kamiya as Kenshiro!

I gotta say as well, it's been YEARS since I've heard of anime being cut for any reason apart from falling afoul of the UK's BBFC - thankfully a rare thing these days. But who knows - what I'm watching may be a different kettle of fish to what you're watching. I'm certainly no expert.

Also, there's one point I'm quick to raise in the face of the 'I'll download it to see if I like it, and then I'll buy it if I do' rationale. And that is... what if you download it and you don't like it? The problem there is, when folks take this approach, if they illegally sample a show via downloading and find they don't like it and aren't inclined to spend money on it... they've still stolen something!

Of course, I don't mean to get on your personal case - I'm not saying that by way of a dig. For all I know you may be referring to streaming anime and checking it out by perfectly legal means. I just like to get that little nugget out there whenever I can.


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HdE
post Jun 21 2012, 12:10 PM
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Another one of those Transformers Mosaic thingies - almost certainly my last before the project closes at the end of the month.



As is so often the case, I look at this now and see only what I did wrong. Ah well. At least it's raised a few chuckles!


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Lexia
post Jun 21 2012, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE (HdE @ May 18 2012, 01:13 AM) *
Hey Lexia, thanks for posting. Glad you like what you see here!

Sheesh, when did this become the anime thread, huh? Nah - I kid, I kid. It's all cool. Probably has something to do with that pic I posted. wink.gif

Glad to hear you're supporting manga releases with your dough. Just a couple of things I'll mention, though.

I've actually been pleasantly surprised at how much more respectful the attitude to dubs has been in recent years. It used to be the case that major changes would be made, as you say, but no so much any more. I've spotted a much greater acknowledgement on the part of western distributors and commitment to putting out a dub that stays true to the original script. I'm actually a fan of the whole English dub thing. For me, it's part of the charm. Although that said, there are some shows I watch subbed. Fisty McNorthstar would be one prime example of such. You just can't beat Akira Kamiya as Kenshiro!

I gotta say as well, it's been YEARS since I've heard of anime being cut for any reason apart from falling afoul of the UK's BBFC - thankfully a rare thing these days. But who knows - what I'm watching may be a different kettle of fish to what you're watching. I'm certainly no expert.

Also, there's one point I'm quick to raise in the face of the 'I'll download it to see if I like it, and then I'll buy it if I do' rationale. And that is... what if you download it and you don't like it? The problem there is, when folks take this approach, if they illegally sample a show via downloading and find they don't like it and aren't inclined to spend money on it... they've still stolen something!

Of course, I don't mean to get on your personal case - I'm not saying that by way of a dig. For all I know you may be referring to streaming anime and checking it out by perfectly legal means. I just like to get that little nugget out there whenever I can.


The way I look at it odds are I will not waste my money anyway, weather I watch it online or not. I will not buy anything unless I know I will like it. So they would not get money from me, no I would not waste money just to see if I will like it, they have a chance to get me into it and if they don't they never will. But you see viewing it gives them a chance and I do buy them time to time, so over all, if I did not see it before I would buy none. So it's either some or none.

This post has been edited by Lexia: Jun 21 2012, 01:15 PM


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HdE
post Jul 15 2012, 02:44 AM
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Good lawdy lawd! He's back!

Mixing it up a bit here, with a little something I cooked up on my lightbox earlier this morning. As there'll soon be a new collected edition of the Batman / Judge Dredd crossovers, i thought this might be apt.

As you'll see, I'm trying to tighten up and work on my inks a little more, and this time around, I had a go at a simple piece where I could practice some feathering.




Worth noting that I ink with pens almost exclusively. I've tried brushes, and find them almost unusable. I recently branched out into using quill pens, and I'm finding that quite fun, but very, very tricky. I actually have a version of this picture which was inked entirely with the quill. Line weights were all over the place (I don't yet have the fine control over the nib) but I did enjoy the extra feeling of organic personality the inks had to them. I may just go back and practice that some more.

On the version shown here, I used a mix of my Copic multiliners for fine detail, Faber Castell PITT pens for the chunkier lines, and brush pens for the spot blacks. I won;t lie - I did some touch-ups in Photoshop. Batman especially had some major reconstructive surgery!

There's a fair few flubs here, and I haven't by any means mastered the stuff I set out to work on, but I learned a lot through doing this.


***


I'll happily admit that Judge Dredd is one of my favourite comic book characters, and always has been. I can't wait for the new movie - hopefully it'll repair some of the damage done by that godawful '95 Stallone flick. I die inside when people tell me it's all they know of the character.



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HdE
post Jul 22 2012, 04:24 PM
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More new inks!

This time, I tried my hand at inking over some Ron Garney pencils from teh 1998 Captain America story 'Sentinel of Liberty'.

Here are my inks over the master's pencils:



I made a decision on this one to use the quills as much as possible. I learned a few techniques along th eway for tidying and reinforcing the lines with my selection of pens, digging out the trust Copic Multiliners and Faber Castells to do some of the teeny tiny and really chunky stuff. Some textures were added to the page in Photoshop.

I'm quite proud of this. Although there are still things I'm not happy with, I really think it marks a progressive step in my inking. If you disagree, just look at my godawful lines in the Transformers stuff above!


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cougar18
post Jul 22 2012, 09:17 PM
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QUOTE (HdE @ Jul 22 2012, 04:24 PM) *
More new inks!

This time, I tried my hand at inking over some Ron Garney pencils from teh 1998 Captain America story 'Sentinel of Liberty'.

Here are my inks over the master's pencils:



I made a decision on this one to use the quills as much as possible. I learned a few techniques along th eway for tidying and reinforcing the lines with my selection of pens, digging out the trust Copic Multiliners and Faber Castells to do some of the teeny tiny and really chunky stuff. Some textures were added to the page in Photoshop.

I'm quite proud of this. Although there are still things I'm not happy with, I really think it marks a progressive step in my inking. If you disagree, just look at my godawful lines in the Transformers stuff above!


Really strong. I think you need a little more weight around the main figures, as they are blending in with the background too much. Maybe have a thicker line around them or something. This is particularly evident in the third panel, as the figures in the background are blending in with the background itsself. The foreground figures should have a thicker outline when compared to the background figures also.

Other than that, really good. Like how much you are testing yoursself.

On a side note, Ron Garney is one of those artists who you love or loathe, because he can often change his style and try to channel another artist, depending on the project, which ends up like a hodgepodge of really bad proportions.
Irritatingly so.
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