Monday, May 2, 2011

The Art of Motionary Comics 2.0


Motionary Comics is the brainchild of Kurt Hartwig and his production company, Bad Soviet Habits. The first round happened a year ago and the comic created was based on the classic tale of "Rumpelstiltskin."

This year Kurt asked me (Tea Krulos) to step into the creative director role, suggesting I do a story based on Real Life Superheroes. Kurt remained producer of the show, and Chad Edwards helped coordinate things as the art director for Moct, the bar that has hosted the event both years.

I selected a few photos here that I hope will guide you through the creative process of Motionary Comics. All of these photos were taken by Kelly Crandall, who worked hard on photos and video (including live, streaming) all evening. You can see tons more on Bad Soviet Habit's Flickr HERE.

Here we see (L-R) myself, Kurt and Chad beginning to hang the framework for what will be pages 4, 5, and 6. Each page is approx. 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Plastic was hung up to protect the walls from flying paint, then white cloth was stretched and stapled to create a canvas. The next step was to create the individual panels with painter's tape.

After a break, our crew of painters, models in full body tyvek suits and two choreographers showed up. I led the choreographers through the storyline, not being very specific, but describing what poses I was looking for on each page. The choreographers helped pose the models, including kids for small panels and adults for the larger scenes. As they held the pose, the paint crew hosed them down with different paint colors to create silhouettes of the pose.

Here you can see the results of this process on Page 1 and part of Page 2. The crew of painters, models, choreographers, and people shielding with cardboard ("bafflers") slowly worked through the six pages.

After giving a little time for the paint to dry, the next crew of artists was introduced- the six illustrators. For their first round, they went through and outlined the characters. Each illustrator was assigned to a color. Here we see Dan Hernandez, who got the color green, outlining the comic's villain, Dr. Lupus.
Here we see the illustrators starting to go to town! Foreground to back- Pietro Norante, Matt Chic, Topher Macdonald, and David Beyer, Jr.

Following the illustrators is the paint crew, who starts coloring in the illustrator's drawings. Here we see Carri Dahl (left)and Andrea Toussaint adding color to Page 1. In a second round, the illustrators add more detail to the background, and the paint crew follows through again, painting the details. And so it keeps going until the art is sharp and finished looking.

While this is going on, myself and two of the crew were determining what captions and word balloons were needed and started cutting them out and tacking them to the comic so the artists knew where they would be. Here is the almost complete Pages 4 and 5.

The final step- using two sided tape to adhere the finished word balloons, lettered by myself- to the finished art. Here crew member Derek Castor sticks up the first word balloon of Page 1. The last word balloon was hung about 1:30AM. It had been an evening of a lot of hard work by a lot of talented people.

Tomorrow: Superheroes show up at Motionary Comics!

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