A month ago, Melissa Sue Stanley, David Schneider, and I created a comic with Aimee Quinkert for Revolution Brewing. The comic featured Galaxy Hero, the star of Revolution's delicious IPA and official beer of C2E2. It launched with the 2016 relaunch of the Galaxy Hero beer.
At C2E2, after many a brew consumed and many a Deadpool hiya-fiveda, we discussed the creative process behind making the Galaxy Hero comic, at the 2016 Beer & Comics panel. We wanted to share a little bit of the process here.
Melissa and I were tasked with taking Dave's oddball and hilarious script and bringing it to life. Taking directions from the writer such as "Galaxy Hero smirks" when he has no face were some of the fun challenges we had to tackle (we <3 u Dave!).
In order to keep the same style we used in our latest collabo projects, Melissa and I approached Galaxy Hero as a tandem unit. Some pages Melissa would pencil, other pages I would pencil or we would designate certain characters, environments, or scenes to one another on the same page. The latter was the most fun. Since Melissa and I have two very distinct styles, our goal was to work on top of each other so that our styles would weave together. The result was a look that was cohesive.
I would start with laying out thumbnails for the entire book. We would run these by Dave to confirm we're telling our story faithfully. Melissa and I would then workshop these sketches to our comfort then move on to the final pages.
Using page 11 as an example, below you can see how the page evolves from pencils to the finished product. For this page in particular, we used my thumbnail as our starting point. Fluid action and animated energy compose some of my strengths so I provided pencils for the final hop-punch panel. Melissa gets in the nitty gritty with her details and grounds the characters with some realism exhibited in her style, so she would often sketch the close ups, like in panel 3. I designed a robot suit for Dr. Skunk very much akin to Krang's body suit from the 90's Ninja Turtles. However our skunk friend lives more in the crotchal region. For this page, I was responsible for all appearances of the suit. Melissa drew Galaxy Hero for panel 1 and 2 as well as Dr. Skunk's expressive face in panel 2.
After all final pencils were laid down, the page was scanned and pulled into Photoshop. Using an ancient Wacom Cintiq 12WX, I started the inking process. I used Drew Green's Cartoon Brushes for most of my inking line work. I fell in love with the brushes pretty quickly, you can purchase them here.
Melissa kicked off colors with flats, then I finalized the color process adding further definition, finishing it off with some galactic background textures Melissa created for the last two panels.
I provided lettering, bringing the page to full completion. My approach to the speech blimps throughout the book have a bit of an asymmetrical and amorphous shape inspired by Melissa's approach to the balloons such as in panel 3. So there is even a little collabo going on there.
Galaxy Hero being the very first collaboration between Melissa, Dave and myself, we needed a name. Noone was doing anything with Salsa Sharks, so there you have it: Salsa Sharks the comic trio was born!