Saturday, February 24, 2007


BAT-BLOG ~ What do you like best about pencilling Batman Strikes? Also, what's the process like? Do you get a script from DC Comics & then YOU get to decide how everything is laid out??

CHRIS ~ The best thing is getting to draw Batman every month for a living. I love Batman and all the supporting cast, both as characters and as subjects to draw.
The process is pretty much like drawing any other comic, except that I have model sheets of how the main characters look on the TV show, and I have to keep to that basic look. Otherwise I have a lot of the same freedom to bring my own creativity to bear on telling the story as I would on any other book.

I start with being given a full script - and we've got some great people contributing scripts now: J Torres, Scott Beatty, Jai Nitz, and Russel Lissau among others. Then I do little thumbnail sketches of each page so I can get an idea of how I want to lay out each page and how the pages will flow from one to the next, and to identify what things I might have to design or find visual reference for.

Then I start doing more elaborate drawing. I tend to do most of my rough construction work of figure drawing on scratch paper so when I go to the actual art boards I can keep the linework very clean and clear for the inker. I scan my rough drawings and composite them into a page in Photoshop. At this stage I can re- scale or alter the images to get the page composition I want, then I print these assembled roughs at the size of the art board. I take those printouts to my light table and tighten and refine the drawings as I do the final pencil art for each page.

That artwork then gets passed on to the inker, who on this book is Terry Beatty, who had also inked the last several years of the previous Batman animation tie-in comic. After that the artwork is scanned, and the color and letters are added digitally. Which isn't to suggest that someone pushes a button and the coloring and lettering just happen. It's still a part of the creative process performed by a specialized artist, they're just using the computer as their tool, rather than working on the physical artwork.

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