The company I work for has just finished another season of Snatchers, a comedy horror series which debuted at Sundance in 2017. It’s a goofy and sometimes slapstick mixture of monsters and gore that manages to be cheerful. It basically feels like I went back to my roots – creature features.
I spent most of my middle career working on those schlock-y Saturday night spoofy movies on the Sci Fi Channel before it changed its name. That’s kept me pretty busy for the last few months, and from what I’ve seen of season 3 – well, that’s down the road a bit. But I can say from an animation point of view, it changes tone dramatically and in the service of the story. In other words, the change was motivated by something in the story, always a plus.
In other news, I had been working on a project with friend and fellow comics creator, Jamie Gambell. Just like me, we both work full time in jobs that REALLY don’t care about your free time, thus making that time tremendously valuable. Anyway, I am happy to report that almost three years after merely talking about it, we have actual pages. Suffice it to say that he pitched it to me as “Metabarrons … but British.” That was it, I was in.
As always, I have been making progress on Encoding Bushido, having blocked out the cover. Making a cover on this series is an experiment in a long standing pet peeve I have with comics. I think too many comics disappear into a sea of noise in most comic stores – every mainstream comic tries to “SMASHBOOMPOW LOOK AT ME” – screaming at customers.
I get it. And more recently, cover designs have tried to leverage this with good graphic design and less art – negative space, less clutter. And that works .. sometimes. My biggest pet peeve is that many modern covers have absolutely NOTHING to do with what’s inside the book. And you can tell when someone did a cover last minute or too far ahead of time, or – my favorite – it seems like someone DELIBERATELY misleads you about what the issue ACTUALLY contains.
I have taken an almost collage approach to my covers for Encoding Bushido – taking panels from the artwork I’ve finished and composing them into something which directly represents both the issue itself and some of those less cluttered approaches. I’m not going to say my covers will stand out against the sea of noise, but you will definitely see relevance.
I am basically treating the cover as another page in the story, taking my favorite moments and saying something about what you are about to see. So at the end of seven issues I hope the overall effect is close to telling the story on it’s own.