Friday 6 September 2013

Eight Days Of Dave - Day 6: Dr. Who Prisoners Of Time #12

Hi Tim - I think what I'm going to do is just blather -- since this is our first time doing "after the issue" -- and leave it up to you if you want to run the whole thing all at once or dribble it out.  Issue 2 of The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond took about two and a half months.  I hope I get faster but I'm not counting on it.


Chris just faxed, How about all eleven Doctors on the last cover? And then quickly added "I'm picturing Jack Kirby floating heads."  I'm not even thinking about it, but in retrospect I realize that he's trying to let me off the hook a bit. I mean, I'm going to get paid the same for eleven Doctors that I got for one Doctor. To me, I was just finding it hard to believe that I made it from DOCTOR #11 back to #5 and filled in #6, #7, #8, #9 and #10 without getting bounced off the book -- that we were actually PAST my #11 "we'll need this mid-century" cover. It really wasn't until I was sitting down and going "Wait -- ELEVEN DOCTORS WHO?!" And knowing that I couldn't just drop back and punt. I made it this far. I'm poking fun at myself, but there's a lot of pressure in that situation.  This is a venerable franchise. This is the 50th anniversary. I was 7 when it started. Millions and millions of fans who know what these guys look like and what these guys don't look like. So, I'm thinking, okay, the Tardis with a halo of Jack Kirby heads.  How do you break up the field into 11 quadrants. Um. 12 minus 1. Okay, what goes in the minus-1 slot?  Beats heck out of me. So I start going through the photo reference on disk and I'm trying to go "Okay, #1 needs to be looking to the right and down if possible." So I'm filling in the blanks and then I go, wait, where does the LOGO go? Okay, start over. Put the logo in first in pencil. Now divide by 12, subtract one.

And that was when I hit the publicity still of...four of them?  I guess it was a BBC special where they brought them all back or brought a number of them back. And they're in a row. And suddenly I'm seeing the Neal Adams cover. An 80-page Giant (yes?). The class photo thing that he updated from the BIG ALL AMERICAN comic book. Even Alex Ross ended up having to do it a number of times. I can't remember what the book was, but it was a gorgeous cover, with the spotlight effect.

See, and you can't do that if you're trying to do a cover a day. The top row, the actual four or five actors together, that's fine. But now I have to find seven other figures that look just as natural standing next to each other. And I have to re-size the photos. How big would he be? I don't know, how big does he look? 62% reduction. Let's try 58%. Oops. Too small. Is it? Or am I just placing him too low? No, too small. Let's try 59%. Okay, 60%. Alternate 59% and 60%. 60% it is.

I had to do all the costumes first. The costumes had to look as if they were lit the same way, as if they were standing next to each other. A lot of sitting back and looking.  Do they LOOK as if they're next to each other? If they don't why don't they? Put in a shadow, take out a shadow. Finally, had all of the Doctors clothes done and it really seemed to work. They all looked as if they were hanging out with each other. All that was left was the faces which were barely visible because I'd been erasing around them and the edge of them. It was a very weird effect: 11 DOCTORS WHO without the faces.

At that point John Scrudder left a phone message about something (else) that had gone wrong with Kickstarter.  And he starts off, "So, it looks like Margaret Thatcher is dead."

So that's how I found out that Margaret Thatcher had died. Sitting there staring at a cover of No Face DOCTORS WHO.

Make of that what you will.

Or don't.


Adam Ell said...

Well, that explains how Richard Hurndall got in there. I wonder if Dave knows?

Ben Herman said...

I am a long time Doctor Who fan, and I have to say, this looks absolutely amazing. I look forward to seeing the colored, published artwork.