For this page I left ample head room for dialogue. This page features two of our most popular and outspoken characters, so I expect Joe Casey to really go to town with their final conversation. The third character is new to the series, making his debut and final appearance in the same issue. Poor fellow.
At this point in the drawing process, I’m finding the forms. My previously described practice of flipping the page over and drawing on each side of the paper is useful to me because sometimes I get so caught up in the creative moment that my figures lose their structural integrity. This is a way of seeing and re-seeing the same image so I can shepherd it closer and closer to perfection.
Plastic People. Joe has described this descendent of the Archer family as having a plastic coating, a glossy second skin. This is not something we talked about when we were plotting this story, so I’m wondering if it’s his way of tricking me into going into all-out Kirby squiggle mode (something I’ve been trying to do less of in recent years). In any event, for the past few months I’ve found myself gravitically pulled back into a Kirbyesque orbit, so I’m more than happy to oblige.
Comics collaboration is war. It’s a play war between friends, but it’s a war nonetheless. Each side employs every trick in their arsenal. In many cases (Claremont/Byrne springs to mind) this creative tension enhances the work.
The closeups of _____ Archer are probably not the best way to depict a character in the glamorous world of superhero comics, but I imagine that space helmet gets your hair all sweaty and greasy, so I’ve depicted him with slick, flattened hair.
That giant broken statue head in the background of panel two is a pencil stage ad-lib. I’m not sure who’s statue the head fell from, Adam Archer seems the most obvious candidate, but it could be anybody. It felt like an appropriate touch to the sci-fi ruins, vaguely reminiscent of Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
Here’s the finished inked piece, inked on the first side of the page, after I erased the inital layout. The pencil lines from the other side are shined through via lightbox and I ink it. I had a couple of accidental smudges. Ink bled onto my hand, then smeared on the page as I continued drawing. I “fixed” some of these mistakes by making them into compositional elements, like some of the ink areas around Basil’s floating skull in panel one. Those that I couldn’t “correct” I covered up with opaquing white.
Before sending the file to the colorist, I do a little digital cleanup and adjust the threshold level to the point where I get a high contrast black and white image.
This original piece of art is available for sale at the following link: www.etsy.com/listing/155211280/godland-finale-page-61-original-artwork