That, above, is a Road Drone. It’s one of the strange creatures that keeps Mega-City Two going, and growing. The drawing of a giant mega city is a lot more than just drawing, before you put pen to paper, you try to imagine living there. What’s it smell like, what’s the temperature, how’s it sound and where’s everyone going? If a picture represents a thousand words, then you gotta try to think of a thousand words to draw. Douglas Wolk and I shared a lot of notes and ideas about MC2, and before i even drew this page, i was already throwing him concept art for machines we might never see. But finally, i had to begin:
I do not like perspective lines. I don’t know if i just didn’t pay attention in class when they taught that section, but i can not get the hang of it. Whenever i’ve tried to lay down lines and follow them, it gets all messed up, so i either wing it and try to get it as close to accurate as possible, or i use tracing paper to draw the outline of buildings/places/etc. I don’t like to do the tracing paper thing too much, cause a part of me feels like it’s cheating. But oh well, i got deadlines to hit and i don’t like to waste time on ethical dilemmas.
Above you can see, that all the major chunks of land have been drawn in. But i found this composition, to be very very flat. There was nothing pulling me in. Yes, it was a functional drawing, but it wasn’t an “OH WOW” drawing, and so that’s where the Road Drone came in. I needed something in the foreground to provide scale, so that it didn’t appear as just some model railroad set. Before i drew that though, i lightly penciled a blob on the pencils of where that foreground element would go, and when it looked right in my mind’s eye, i drew the drone on a separate paper, cut him out, and placed him on the spread.
A few car blobs are penciled in, to show their size in relation to others. But the rest of the cars are drawn on the fly.
Here, you can see that i’ve added another foreground element, this time, a bridge overpass that is in the bottom left corner. When you’ve created a completely fictional world, you need repeated references to familiar things. A human body for instance can not be taller than 6 feet, and an owl can not be larger than a cat. These two things are both near very fictional things, that would give no context for their size otherwise.
Some things have to be fudged though, such as building windows. Their implied sizes is that these are all MEGA structures, the windows would all be dots on the surfaces. Dots are not very interesting.
Once all the elements are finalized more or less, i just began inking and inking and inking.
All of the signage was created as i went. I’d either talk to Douglas about things that we’ve seen in Mega City 1, or i’d just think of something really stupid and draw it in. I’m really proud of the Carl’s Sagan Jr. in particular. I’ll discover that certain compositional elements are needed, here and there, to break up certain areas are to make it feel like it’s buzzing and living and breathing. A satellite tower here, some smoke blowing out there.
Finally, 5 days later, it is all done! Then it is scanned and sent to be colored, by the awesome Ryan Hill!
JUDGE DREDD – Mega City 2 : City of Courts is coming out this January 2014 from IDW. Written by Douglas Wolk, and colored by Ryan Hill