sexy superhero comedy (or not)

COMICS-RELATED Artwork AND MISCELLANEOUS bLABBERY

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galviron asked: Do you know if you'll be attending ECCC again?

No question, I’ll definitely be hitting up ECCC again. The only issue is, which year? Of late, I’ve been attending only every other year, but I’m thinking of making ECCC an every-year con, as I have such a great time at the show. 2015 might be tricky, though, as I imagine that Artist Alley spaces are long gone by now… Hrmm.

Well, never fear, I’ll be sure to sing out about it if I do manage to wheedle my way aboard ECCC 2015.

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gunwildversuseverything asked: My comic store hands out covers practically at random, but I got the Warren one like I'd hoped. Huzzah! Uh, what's it say on it?

Re: my WAYWARD variant cover: Those kanji in the BG should be station names for stops on the Tokyo subway system, if I recall correctly. While the basic concept was my idea, the actual kanji were helpfully provided by ace WAYWARD series artist Steve Cummings. Thanks for saving me quite a bit of BG work, Steve!

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drew-byrne asked: Will you be available for sketches at fan expo? Or is it booked up?

Yeahp, I’m still available for sketches at FanExpo. Check with me on Saturday and Sunday at table P110C (an endcap, next to creator Ty Templeton).

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On the eve of heading to FanExpo in Toronto (Aug. 28-31), here’s a con sketch from a previous show (Big Wow in San Jose, to be specific).

Yeahp, it’s Emp, eponymous heroine of my ongoing “sexy superhero comedy” EMPOWERED, dressed up in a Batgirl costume (from the Stephanie Brown iteration of a few years ago). As body-image-plagued Emp’s own “hypermembrane” supersuit is horrifically revealing, she’s quite enthused about a costume that would provide better coverage, especially from certain (posterior) angles; alas, her “work clothes” are sadly capeless.

On the eve of heading to FanExpo in Toronto (Aug. 28-31), here’s a con sketch from a previous show (Big Wow in San Jose, to be specific).

Yeahp, it’s Emp, eponymous heroine of my ongoing “sexy superhero comedy” EMPOWERED, dressed up in a Batgirl costume (from the Stephanie Brown iteration of a few years ago). As body-image-plagued Emp’s own “hypermembrane” supersuit is horrifically revealing, she’s quite enthused about a costume that would provide better coverage, especially from certain (posterior) angles; alas, her “work clothes” are sadly capeless.

Filed under Batgirl Empowered Adam Warren

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Work stages for the last cover illo (issue #6) from Livewires, the long-out-of-print miniseries I wrote (and occasionally drew) for Marvel 10 years ago. (Ouch.)

By the time this cover was due, I was burnt out on drawing in general and definitely at a low ebb artistically. (Can’t quite recall nowadays, but I might also have been demoralized by the miniseries’ sadly low sales figures.) So, instead of working up a conventional, pencil-and-ink-based cover image, I dug up a recent con sketch of Livewires’ plucky (and inhuman) heroine Stem Cell, and asked my buddy Ryan Kinnaird to paint directly over a scan of the piece. (Er, paint in Photoshop, that is.) Worked out pretty well for a last-minute gambit on my part, IMHO, though the lion’s share of any credit should go to Ryan’s ace Photoshoppery skills.

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Work stages for the Gothic Lolita cover illo from issue #5 of Livewires, the long-out-of-print miniseries I wrote (and occasionally drew) for Marvel 10 years ago. (Ouch.)

The first two roughs were unused first drafts of the cover layout; self-rejected, if I recall correctly. Third image is the inked line art. Fourth image is the final, colored version by my buddy Ryan Kinnaird, who was tasked with providing easily the least amount of work he’s ever had to put into a coloring job. (Perhaps this makes up for all the cover illos on which he’d been required to go above and beyond the call of Photoshop duty?) All he had to do was add some glow FX on the BG elements and color Gothic Lolita’s robotic eyes…

Side note: Yes, believe it or not, Marvel does, in fact, now have a character named “Gothic Lolita,” which amuses me to no end. You’re welcome, Marvel!

In closing, might I add a whiningly preemptive comment? Every g-d time I post a high-contrast B&W piece like this, I automatically receive a passel o’ comments along the lines of, "Influenced by Frank Miller’s Sin City, huh?” While I do appreciate Miller’s use of B&W, my primary influence for this sorta thing was Jim Steranko’s wholly badass Chandler: Red Tide (which, I suspect, was in turn a major influence on Sin City). Hell, even my old high school art portfolio (which predates Miller’s inky phase by a few years) featured a few “harsh B&W” pieces like this.

Ehh, who am I kidding? Stand by for the Sin City, huh?” comments; I’m braced for em, needless to say.

Filed under Gothic Lolita Livewires Adam Warren inks B&W

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Work stages for the cover illo from issue #4 of Livewires, the long-out-of-print miniseries I wrote (and occasionally drew) for Marvel 10 years ago. (Ouch.) Colors on the finished piece by my buddy Ryan Kinnaird; all other art by yrs trly.

Odd bit: Note that initial rough shows only what I call “the live action area” of the cover, or the most critical elements of the piece. Said rough is technically quite disproportionate to the cover’s final print dimensions, and leaves out any space for the various logos and the like; that’s because I’m solely concerned with working out the composition of the key elements at this point. Needless to say, I often have to assure editors that, yes, the final piece will, in fact, leave room for the logo, credits, company masthead, UPC box, etc. (Then again, an editor would be remiss in not making certain about this, as freelancers are sometimes prone to jaw-dropping feats of proportion error.)

Filed under Livewires Adam Warren comics comics cover

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Work stages on a panel from the upcoming EMPOWERED vol.9, progressing from initial rough to lightboarded H-lead underdrawing to the finished (6B-lead) panel.

And now, onward to my last panel of the workday. Wheeeee!

Filed under Empowered adam warren comics pencils

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Roughs (both rejected and used), color guide, and finished colors for the cover illo from the third issue of Livewires, the long-out-of-print miniseries I wrote (and occasionally drew) for Marvel 10 years ago. (Ouch.) Colors on the finished piece by my buddy Ryan Kinnaird; all other art by yrs trly.

The first rough used a “multi-panel” cover layout, which was an approach I often used on my Gen13 covers earlier in the decade. Editor Tom Brevoort didn’t go for it, though, so I resubmitted a different take with the second rough; once that was approved, onward to the final version!

This is, alas, the only Livewires cover that I actively dislike, but it’s nonetheless a image of notable significance to me. That’s because back then (July 4th weekend, 2004), I borrowed Social Butterfly’s variant hairstyle on this cover for use on the first pages of what would later become Empowered, my ongoing “sexy superhero comedy” series. I should note, howeva, that Emp’s hair wasn’t quite as long as the comically exaggerated, Tangled-worthy mane that Social Butterfly sports here.

(I should note that Social also sports an exaggeratedly and annoyingly skinny waist here, which was a puzzling, possibly Bruce-Timm-influenced unconscious stylistic tic that popped up at random in my work at the time… More on this odd—and, in retrospect, frustrating—trend later, though.)

Filed under Livewires Empowered Adam Warren comics covers

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nobilisreed asked: Holy Crap, I just saw the Livewires cover and my eyes bugged out. Is there any connection between Hollowpoint Ninja and Thugboy?

Nope, other than the fact that the brief, throwaway joke comics that would eventually evolve into EMPOWERED first started when I was wrapping up LIVEWIRES. Having decided to give Emp a hunky boyfriend-to-be on a whim, I casually sleazed up a look for him on the fly that pretty much split the difference between LIVEWIRES’ Hollowpoint Ninja (size, base facial structure, physique) and my version of GEN13’s Grunge (hairstyle, ethnicity). If I’d had any idea back then that EMPOWERED was “gonna be a thing,” I might’ve spent more time* giving Thugboy a more distinct and differentiated character design.

*Or, indeed, ANY time at all, as I never drew up actual character design sheets for Thugboy—or Emp, or Ninjette, or Spooky, or anyone else in EMPOWERED vol.1. Instead, I just “winged it” and drew the characters straight on the comic page, without the slightest bit of preparation or design work beforehand.