Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Firestorm #10 art in close-up

I had another original art page arrive today via eBay. This time it was Page 3 from Firestorm #10. Pencils by Jamal Igle, Inks by Larry Stucker. I figure, what's the point in getting this sort of thing, if I don't share. I don't know about anyone else, but I find it fascinating to see how things were done, what the colorist did, etc.

My scanner isn't large enough to accomodate the art page, so I took photos instead, which means they're slightly off-centre (I tried my best!), but good enough. I'm posting via dial-up, so these pics are as big as I can reasonably make them, given that at their present size it's still going to take an age to upload. I'm happy to share higher-res pictures, if anyone out there wants them.

I thought I'd present each panel, in original form with the printed version, to show the differences, because that's the first thing I do when I get a new piece. To kick things off, the full pages:

To sum up the story so far, Jason has just merged with Lorrain to become Firestorm. To their surprise, their union brings about the return of Ronnie Raymond, the original Firestorm, who was killed during Identity Crisis. This panel takes place inside the Firestorm Matrix (essentially a place in Firestorm's head, which the passive member of the Firestorm union inhabits, and is able to view the outside world, and interact with the host 'telepathically'. Just to sum up, incase you know nothing about Firestorm ;P)

A word of advise to those new to the world of purchasing art: you can get cool pages for dirt cheap, if you buy pages that have the characters out of costume. I paid $18.65US for this page. I may as well've hit someone over the head and stolen it. Jamal is selling pages from this very issue on Serendipity Art, and the asking price is many hundreds of dollars. They, of course, all have big shots of Firestorm.

Panel 1:

I don't particularly like this panel, Lorrain's face doesn't quite work imho. Almost. The colourist does a nice job with Jason's face, giving it more depth than the original. There's some cool shading in the original, on the 'tubes' above Jason's right shoulder- some really fine lines on just a few of the bottom parts, which most likely could've been left out without much impact, but their addition is a really nice detail.

Panel 2:

The #1 reason I wanted this page, was to see how the 'dissolving' effect was done (see Ronnie's left shoulder, and subsequent panels). It's so impressive. Fine cross-hatching over a tiny area, with an empty space in the middle (and no white out!). The crackling energy around their feet looks much better in the original, 'though the blue glow behind Ronnie is a nice addition by the colourist. It's interesting to note just how much shading the colourist actually adds. In the printed version, it's a very dark panel, but there is very little shadow in the original (hah, I just noticed I'm writing "colourist", and all the American's are gonna be all "WTF learn to spell" :p).
The inker has added some nice weight Jason's pants, specifically the line that is the front of his leg. Ronnie's pants too, for that matter.

Panel 3:

For me, this panel is the money shot of the page. Jamal absolutely nails Lorraine's facial expression. Her man is back from the dead, and she's so relieved and happy. Plus more of that cool 'dissolving' effect.

Panel 4:

A small establishing shot of the outside world here. A very basic rendition of Firestorm, but I really like it, it's elegant in it's simplicity. See, drawing can be easy ;) The colourist needs a lot of credit on this one, my scanner can't do the printed page justice, but Chris Sotomayor did a lot with this panel. He even added the moon! (there's no markings for it on the original page) The sky looks great, and the light emenating from the bottom window is a clever detail.

Panel 5:

More good facial expressions from Jamal. You even get a good impression of Lorraine's expression, just from the side of her face. The colourist makes the background interesting, and check out their addition of the shadow Jason's shirt is making on his t-shirt underneath.

Oh, and I guess I should add, the scale of the original page (inked area) is 15.75" x 10.5"

I've got about a dozen pages from various titles- '80's & current Firestorm, current Blue Beetle, Ghost Rider 2099 (including one by Ashley Wood, which is the only piece I had to pay over $40US for), and Vigilante. I think I might make this a regular feature, so if you liked it, keep an eye out.

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