February 22, 2006

KING Magazine commissioned me to illustrate Dave Chappelle's story - the huge success of his show, the reputed nervous breakdown, the disappearance into South Africa after securing a 50 million deal with Comedy Central - in comics form. I was too busy to illustrate the series of images they had wanted, so I agreed to do one 'cover' image.

The AD was pretty clear about what he wanted: Dave in the spotlight, beset by his characters, on a faux comic book cover entitled, "The Joker." So I submitted this sketch, which was rightly rejected. I usually have trouble with likelinesses, so the this sketch was a struggle, and the result was stiff. No fun.

Then the AD sent me this reference image, and the clouds parted.

> Despite my arty-farty pretensions, I love old comic book covers, so I attacked the illustration with new energy. The sketch is graphite on bond, 5.5 x 8.5," which I enlarge and transfer with a lightbox onto a larger sheet of bristol.

> graphite on bristol, cleaned up and adjusted in Photoshop, 8 x 10" @ 450 dpi.

> photoshop colors, with flat colors underneath the linework to facilitate selection of areas for rendering. At this point, I've also finished the vector elements like the credit box and logo, which were started during the sketch phase.

> rendered photoshop color.

> a bit of post-production and photoshop wizardry results in a beat up, vintage look.