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A book I worked on in 2014-2015, took me forever to do! http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Wheres-Wookiee-Search/dp/1405277335
A book I worked on in 2014-2015, took me forever to do! Colors by Ryan Hill. http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Wheres-Wookiee-Search/dp/1405277335
A book I worked on in 2014-2015, took me forever to do! Colors by Ryan Hill. http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Wheres-Wookiee-Search/dp/1405277335
The last year of my life has been one of a lot of changes. Well, not changes, more like leveling up. I moved to a new city (Portland), distant friends became closer friends, and close friends became more distant. As the song goes, “Love Changes and Thug Changes, and Best Friends become Strangers” Word up. I never have worked as much as i have worked this year, in a career of my own choosing. I got my own apartment, and i thought i’d be terrified of being alone, but that never happened. I became really angry at comics, angry at everyone who makes and likes comics, and then mostly got over it. I’m always terrified that my life will crash and burn, that my career will fall apart, that all my talking shit will come back to shit on my parade. So far, no shit storm. But it hasn’t, so…
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When i was a little kid, i was crazy for those amazing cut away books. I would read them all, pour over the illustrations, and they really are a genius way of getting across how complex systems and machines are put together, and unraveling the mysteries of modern living. They also had books on Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, and old medieval castles and warships. Really, you could be a kid genius with those things. You still can, since they sell for cheap on Amazon.
Everyone always goes on about their favorite comic book artists, but this guy, he was it for me. Stephen Biesty, Wayne Douglas Barlowe, and Frank Asch, those were my prime movers. They put a seed in my head, that has grown into a vine that effects everything i do.
One of the things i wanted to do when drawing Mega-City 2, is to absolutely define it. I didn’t want to just make a pastiche of other cities i’ve seen before, i didn’t want to do an uninspired by-the-numbers sci-fi metropolis, i wanted to build it from the ground up. I wanted to take things apart, and show you the insides. So in the final issue, i really wanted to stop the action, in the biggest action sequence of the comic, to just say “LOOK AT THIS”. So for an even closer look, here is a behind the scenes look from pencils to finished art, on the Titan Megatrain.
I had a lot of fun making up the various bits of techno-babble that helps the ship operate. You try to have every function be directly tied to some other function, imagining if one thing broke down how would it affect everything else. Everything has its purpose. If you’re wondering what the Blue Matter Diffuser Array is, I can tell you. Blue Matter are subatomic particles that are time displaced only a fraction of a nanosecond into the future. The Diffuser Array allows quantum entangled computers to measure the changes that the Blue Matter goes through in the future, and allows for limited predictive reactions. When disasters begin from the smallest of impacts, fractures, or mechanical failures, the Megatrain’s automated systems can prevent terrible accidents. As you can see above, none of this made it into the comic, but that’s the joy of making comics. Half your job is just making things up for fun.
The most difficult part of this drawing then was not coming up with the detail work, but deciding what not to show. Keeping the form of the entire structure readable, and not just a random collection of slices and chunks, was a challenge, because you want to show it all! This was probably the most detail heavy, and complex cutaway i’ve done, and its really just a straight up box. Compared to the wide variety of forms and volumes that Stephen Biesty, and other similar artists work with, when i was done i really appreciated the level of imagination, patience, and expertise that goes into these cut aways. In the end, I’m left feeling like the below image, but i hope you enjoyed Judge Dredd – Mega City 2, by Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas and Ryan Hill.
Cars are really a pain to draw! But after having to draw a bunch of cars, trucks, trains, and bikes in JUDGE DREDD – MEGA CITY 2 (#5 comes out this weds!) I really got a handle on these beasts. Now i like drawing them.
Reference is absolutely necessary for drawing cars, because although they are simply buckets to transport humans in, there is a massive variety of lines, forms, shapes and details to vehicles, that you don’t even expect. Fortunately, you can buy dozens of toy cars for about a buck each, at any supermarket. Hotwheels leads the way!
The first thing to keep in mind with cars, is that the Driver and Passengers are all sitting in a nice squashed cube. The front and back of the vehicle, are simply attached to this cube. But all lines on the vehicle must align with this cube, that is the most difficult part. People are usually sitting in a lower position in a car, than in a standard chair, and when they are standing outside the car, they can almost always see the top of the vehicle.
So i begin by taking photos of the toy car that is closest to the design of the car i’m drawing. Judge Dredd’s vehicle is a mix between a Chevy Vega and a Dodge Daytona Charger:
You don’t want to just take one photo, because cars are always supposed to look in motion, and the first photo you take will always look very stilted and stuck. Take a number of photos of the toy cars, until you find the right shot. You won’t be tracing this shot exactly, you will be interpreting it. Also, the ‘crop’ function on an iphone is useful, for creating the exact panel dimensions you’ll be using.
When you begin drawing the cars, you start with drawing the squashed cubes that the characters sit in. Perspective rules are king here, and this is why you begin with the squashed cube. Cars are often hard to draw, because they are shaped like strange tetris blocks, which are moving against a static background, which throws the car’s vanishing points into opposition with the background’s vanishing points. But as long as you follow the perspective lines that you’ve set down with the cube, you will be okay. Having the toy car with you, will help you in keeping the proportions of the vehicle correct. Like a face with eyes, ears and nose, a car has wheels, windows and spoilers.
And here are the finished inks and then colors by Ryan Hill for this car chase sequence in Judge Dredd – Mega City 2 #5, out this May 15.
How to draw a dope city-scape y’all:
First things first! PLAY WITH BLOCKS! I don’t need no fancy google sketchup, I’m oldschool. I just grab my trusty box of box and thigamajigs and start playing on the floor.
After i make a cool little city-scape, i lay on my belly and take pictures from all angles, and try to find a cool shot. This drawing went through about 8 rebuilds of the city, and then about 8 photos per build, til i found what i liked.
Then pencil! and ink! Get it doneeeee!
Then Ryan “Ray-Ray De Best Colorist in the Game” Hill “Shoulda been called Mountain” colors that bad boy, and Tom B. Long letters it!
And here are some more examples –
I’ve been writing a lot, all around the internet. On Think Faest, Mister Misses, and my Facebook (ha!) and i’ve decided to bring some method to my madness, so i created a website to contain all of my writing-focused projects. Check out the IDOL-BOX, it’s my new baby. Drawing comics is still my other baby, but a good parent doesn’t have a limit to their love.
And here is a flyer i’m gonna post around town, for Mister Misses, my relationship column.
END OF 2013 ULISES BLITZ. Recently was voted BREAKOUT ARTIST of 2013, and MOST OVERLOOKED Comic of 2013 on Multiversity Comics ! So here’s your chance to get everything.
$10 PRINTS til end of the month!
GAMMA – on sale for $1.99
GO GO GO!
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
If you loved GAMMA, me and Erick Freitas have brought you the next super excellent comic, through MONKEYBRAIN. 4 different artists, a cover by Paul Chadwick, an amazing logo by Hannah Nance Partlow and everything written by the best super team since Batman & Superman.
“It only took one visit to the Amazing Forest to convince me: the breadth and depth of material here gets me all juiced up for the unlimited potential of the medium. Great stuff, from top to bottom.” – Joe Casey
check out what others have said already about it –
GO BUY SOME SHIRTS!
Hey guys! I made a TSHIRT! Check it out!!!!
It’s that time of the year, the time of year where Ulises has one of the best things he drew (and wrote with Erick Freitas) all last year, collected into a ONE SHOT out on JULY 24th. And that means me and Erick Freitas, are having a signing AND an ART SHOW.
First signing is Weds. @ Forbidden Planet in Union Square, NYC 6:30 pm.
And this Saturday 7:00 pm, If you wanted to buy some original art, get your butt down to Philly and have some good times with us at LOCUST MOON. Y’all need to understand, that Locust Moon is one of the best spots on the east coast. Check out some of the art on sale!
San Diego Comic Con is gonna be a lot of fun for me. Two comics i’ve been working on in the last year, will be coming out this JULY! Check out the cover for the GAMMA one-shot, written by me and Erick Freitas, and drawn by me. Also, Catalyst: Agents of Change, will be out on July 3rd, written by Joe Casey, and drawn by Paul Maybury, Dan McDaid, and I. What a blast!
The conclusion of GAMMA in Dark Horse Presents #20 is in this month’s issue. If you’ve been following it, it’s a crazy story about a pervy old dude trying to get back into the monster training game. It doesn’t work out so well. Check out this article in comics alliance, where i’m interviewed about the story:
In case that wasn’t a good sell, here are three scenes of Dusty being a crybaby, because he’s a loser. Go buy them!
^ full on wailing.
Hey guys, Dark Horse Presents #19 is currently on sale! And if you wanna catch the 2nd part of GAMMA, go pick it up! Here’s a sweet preview!
Just to let anyone know, who wants to know, i have two tumblrs that I update regularly. This one:
Is my inspiration tumblr, where I post art and images that jumpstart my brain when i’m having trouble drawing.
And this one, is my advice column, where I answer people’s questions. It helps me relax at the end of the day, to just write for fun and think of solutions to problems.
Also, check out these Battle Beast designs, for funsies
This month’s Dark Horse Presents, is featuring a story i drew and cowrote with my pal Erick Freitas. You’ll be seeing a lot more of his work with me, in the next year, so keep an eye out for him. I’m really excited for this story, I think it’s some of the best work i’ve ever done. Check out a page from DHP #18, and go get yourself a copy!
ALSO, Today starts the 2nd Annual Black Friday sale! If you’ve been looking to buy one of my prints for awhile, now’s the time. Lots of art up for just $10! Go get them while you can!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Hey everyone, i’ve always loved the Marvel Vs. Capcom games, and i thought it’d be fun to combine them into new weird characters. Check it out!
Wolverine was the only mutant capable of surviving the experiments done to him by Mag Bison, in Project: Bionic. But they did more than give him a super grappling gun arm, he was forced to become Shadaloo’s most elite assassin!
Rescued by Dr.Light, Tony Stark was near death. Most of his body was either frozen, burnt or cut to shreds by the deadly assault of Cutman, Iceman and Fireman. But using their own technology against them, Dr.Light forged the indestructable android, the IRON-Mega.
MAG Bison. Supreme Ruler of Shadaloo, Commander of Mutant Armies. Once a victim of war and genocide, he can now think of nothing else but the destruction of mankind. He hosts the Street Fighter championships, which are nothing more but gruesome gladiator games to keep his hungry people from rioting. The winner thinks their wishes will come true, but they are really kidnapped and experimented upon! Replaced by Doomdroids that masquerade as them.
Roger Guiles – The Super Soldier. The first winner of the Street Fighter championship, and the first successful experiment of Mag Bisons. Unfortunately, it was too successful, and “Guile”, as he is known to his men, escaped and now leads a guerilla uprising in the nation of Shadaloo.
Arthur – The Nova Knight
Hey, not sure if i ever posted this, but last year i did a cool poster for this cool hip hop album, called Ludwig, Can You Hear me? Check it out, then check out their music.
I recently did a signing with Bobby Curnow at San Diego Comic Con, he’s the writer for Battle Beasts (Incredible adventures, every step!) for IDW, and i did TWO variant covers for them! Hope you like them!
And for the mighty mega fans of BattleBeasts (of which i am one, i still have 3 of those toys) here are my designs i did for when they were seeking artists. They are much more similar to the original look.
Hope you like them! Go buy the comic! Battlebeasts #1 from IDW.
Hey, i did this fictional book cover for this month’s issue of Wired (July 2012), check it out. http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/06/beltway-sci-fi/
This past week, i went to Puerto Rico, for its amazing comic convention! If you’re an artist or a professional, i totally encourage you to check it out. It’s a new convention that totally deserves support. The comic-fans there are super nice and friendly, and I really enjoyed the show. One of the prints i sold was this Capt. America drawing:
I think it’s a cool drawing, but there’s a few things about it, that after some time has bothered me a lot about it. So i decided to GEORGE LUCAS it, and i drew up some new drawings and this is the final result!
I got the great opportunity to do the cover for one of the best new comics on the market. Glory #26 by Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell, where the female superhero is built like a truck, and can do major damage. I really love Ross’ character design, and was super cool drawing her after a one woman monster holocaust.
Get one of your own! Contact me for details!
The Legion of Doom has been defeated, and the Crusades are over. England awaits the triumphant return of King Richard I. But he is not the same man, the wars for the holy land have changed him, instead of a holy grail, he brings back arabic numerology – he has unwittingly unlocked the ANTI-LIFE EQUATION. The once benevolent king now seeks to spread HIS DARKSEID!
I recently had a show at Giant Robot 2, in LA. And now, the pieces are online to buy! These are one of a kind pieces, based on a book i’m currently writing and drawing. Go check them out!
I realized that i didn’t really have a clear image of this up online, where you can really dig in and see the characters. So here ya go! Hello, if you’ve come from io9.
Hey, it’s been almost a year since i worked on the Transformers: Heart of Darkness series, and i’ve never really shown what i did for that series. It was good fun working on the transformers, and i guess i haven’t shown to much of it because 1. the fans seemed to hate it, and 2. i didn’t like how some of it came out either. But here are some bits i am happy with, so maybe they’ll make you happy to.
I am like a factory of images. And now i’m on bookshelves as well as comics. Check out this cover i did for FANDOM UNBOUND: Otaku Culture in a Connected World. Can’t wait to get my copy, go out and buy it if you’re interested in japanese nerd culture spreading around the world!
I’ve been busy lately, working on 2 books, a show for Giant Robot 2, and cover art for some great comics coming out! First off, make sure to check out on FEB 18, THIS:
Make sure to check it out, it’s a sneak preview for what you’ll be seeing more of later this year! http://www.giantrobot.com/gr2/
AND! AND! Check out these two covers i did. Make sure to read Joe Keatinge’s and Ross Campbell’s GLORY comic, i think it’s awesome, so i did a cover. GLORY #26, go spend money!
I’m usually pretty absent minded about actually recording how i get to point A to point B in a drawing. But i did this cover for Zupi Magazine, that i’m really pleased with, and so here is how i make a super detailed drawing. Go behind the cut for secret secrets!