Semester 2: The Longest 4 Months Ever (First Part) – 2000 AD Future Shock

So let’s pick up where we left off. After the last comic project about the deaf but passionate music man, in this second semester I have more projects going on and it is a little bit harder to keep up and maintain this blog, as I also have to keep the demon at bay while finishing all the projects.

To sum it up, there are 3 major projects that I would like to discuss. The Future Shock comic project from 2000 AD, a web comic project collaborated with V&A Dundee Museum, and the logo or brand identity projects.

2000 AD Future Shock Project

A little background about 2000 AD and Future Shock, 2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-oriented comic magazine and as a comics anthology it serialises stories in each issue (known as “progs”) and was first published by IPC Magazines in 1977, the first issue dated 26 February. While Tharg’s Future Shocks is the name given to a long-running series of short strips in the British weekly comic 2000 AD in 1977. These stories would be a testing ground for new artists and writers and creators, which is the idea of the project that is given to me as the artist. The brief of the project is to interpret the story and script supplied, produce breakdowns then produce a black and white (with or without tones) strip based on the script. Even though it is not an official commission, the final work will be judged by Matt Smith, the current Tharg and may lead to future work for 2000 AD.

Character Design

So the first thing that I do for this project is to read the script thoroughly and immersed myself to the characters and the story. Which then leads me to play with the creation of the two main characters: Axel Lott and The Tooth. From the description on the script, Axel Lott is an MI6 agent who usually dressed in a smart suit, young, handsome and athletic. While The Tooth is the villain, who wears a tight-fitting black jumpsuit and holstered on his hip is a hefty ray-gun with tall and lean physicality. On creating this character, first I look for some references for the character’s physicality, their outfit, and I tried to familiarised myself with the hefty ray-gun which will take a major part in the story.

These are some references that I used to create Axel Lott and The Tooth:

 

Then after some trials and errors here are the final looks of the characters:

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Axel Lott

 

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The Tooth

Comics Creation

Ideally,  I am supposed to create a sketch with pencil first before I ink the whole sketches. And this is the first page of pencils I did for the comics.

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First page sketch

Which then I carefully inked, as I still get some nervousness on doing this comics because this is my first experience on doing a science fiction comics.

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Inking progress

But apparently that method is not very suitable for me, as it leads to stiffness and blocking my creativity to create this comics. Which somehow also inhibit my progress on this, that it took quite a while for me to finishing it. So after the first page, I turned in very loose layout before going straight to finished inks.

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Second page pencil and ink process

Which I also do for the rest of the pages. Although on some particular panel I still do a tight pencil sketch as I want to get a certain final look on it. It happened on the last panel on page 4 where The Tooth and his crews got shot by Axel Lott’s clonings.

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Page 4 ink and pencil process

Then after the inking stage is done, what I do next is basically just scan the papers and clean the pages digitally as there are lots of accidental smudges from when I drew it manually. After I felt that it is clean enough I edit the layout so it is compatible with the required final page size, convert it to PDF format and…DONE!

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