Tuesday, December 21, 2010

HOPE's parents...

they only appear for a brief moment in one of her flashbacks,
but their identity is one of the many pieces of the puzzle that is HOPE's shattered past...

and that's why i'll keep them anonymous for now...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

underwater crime scene...

OMNICORP is involved in running the world. It's net of influence surrounds the globe like a spider's web, and the members of it's board of directors are quite possibly the most powerful people on the planet.
so rest assured that a leak at the site of one of their numerous (illegal) deep see mining operations is nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Officially, everything is under control, and OMNICORP denies any wrongdoing or responsibility - but HOPE and her friends from the MIDGARD initiative are not being discouraged by the corporation's intimidation tactics...

Monday, December 13, 2010

"I say. You do. No questions."

quick sketch of HOPE's sensei Masamuro Hiroshii, to go with the previous material of her in martial arts training poses - obviously inspired by a bunch of such masters, from Rocky's Mickey through Yoda, Mr, Miyagi to Kill Bill's Pai Mei...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Larry, we have to close the beaches!

Cyborgian Carcharias. The great robotic shark!

who would build robo-sharks, and for what purpose?
how did HOPE get into this predicament, and HOW is she gonna get out of it?

i really don't want to say too much about it, just 'cause it'll be too much of a spoiler....


the robot sharks are influenced by hajime sorayama, whose 'sexy robots' became part of pop culture, and whose work i admire from way back when we were all using actual airbrushes

stay tuned....

oh, one thing to note is that HOPE's 'outfit' is a direct homage to honey rider in dr. no, down to the exact same knife on her belt - somehow, in my mind, this makes total sense...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

'be like water...'

another pose - this one more close-up:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

...and now it's dark!

i changed the splash-page establishing shot from dusk to actual nightime,
because it made more sense story-wise, and also because this way it allows me to show off the crazy hustle and bustle of the megalopolis - before, it just looked too quiet and serene, more like venice than hong kong.
it was a crazy amount of work, though... ;)
oh, and i also took this story's title out of the masthead of the page and made a logo out of it - and although i'm not 100% convinced that THAT's what it's gonna be, i kinda like it and will leave it for now
onward and upward...

Monday, November 29, 2010

more orang-utans...

did a couple of quick sketches for the orang-utans, who play a big part in the story

even more of a caricatured approach, to work with all the other characters

also, first appearance of the baby-orang!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

you're going to teach me kung fu? whoa!!

like every hero on her journey, HOPE gets to her teacher/mentor, and will be instructed in some ancient but very effective martial arts technique, and, alongside the extremely difficult exercise and the increase in the mastery of kick-assness, be taught a lesson or two about life in general, which i'm sure will also come in handy later on in the story...

"Even though these characters and events are fictional, any resemblance
to cliches past or present is purely and completely intentional.


character is not properly inked yet, and color is also only roughed in - WIP

happy thanksgiving, everyone!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

secret lair revisited

i needed to go back to this setting, and rethink the look and level of detail, which will have repercussions throughout the book -
so here is a new look for OMNICORP's underground lair
(you ARE aware of the fact that reading this blog means major SPOILERS, right?)

i still have to figure out WHAT exactly will happen down here, so i prepared for several possibilities, including a map laying out how OMNICORP has spread across the globe, and a hologram of one of the chairmen of the board of directors... ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

HOPE 'comic strip'

i'm re-posting the collection of HOPE newspaper-type comics strips that i did over the course of last year, plus the two pages which are a part of the 'atomic lead' 2010 compilation
- just to have them all together in one spot -


Monday, November 15, 2010

now in color

hope at home, from earlier - mostly lit by the holo-laptop...

Friday, November 12, 2010

the secret laboratory within the hidden temple...

hiding your secret high tech laboratory underneath long forgotten temple structures deep within the jungles of borneo seems to be THE most perfectly logical thing to do - who would EVER think to look THERE?? - except HOPE, of course...
well, it's actually not that simple (is it ever?), but you're gonna have to stick around and eventually read the book to find out

it IS pretty much a 'james bond'ian setup, though, isn't it? secret villainous lair hidden in or under some exotic landmark? LOVE IT!!
"No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!"

the set design is also inspired by my favorite comic strip, 'terry and the pirates', which took place in numerous picturesque locations along the chinese coast

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

back on track...

is what i'm gettin'
daytime stuff like 'work' etc is clearly getting in the way - but i have been steadily chipping away at things nevertheless, and i actually have a assembled a tiny little 'backlog' of stuff i will be posting

so here we go:

first up, a 'companion piece' to the most recently posted hope ("i don't think so")

just using her two holoswords in a way that MAY be inspired by a certain villain in a moderately famous space-fantasy franchise....


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

dreamhive kid

here's another cleanup of a pencil rough i did in germany a couple of days ago - it's one of the dreamhive kids, who may or may not appear in this story - towards the very end, to be discovered and rescued by hope.

his name is J.M., short for joshua march - joshua because josh clearly is the inspiration here, and march because all the dreamhive kids are re-named for the month they've been added to the hive, AND because his outfit is an homage to the march hare, courtesy of lewis carroll...


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

i don't think so...

sorry for the long silence - we're SUPER-busy at Suckerpunch, and i was 'out' for two weeks traveling to germany in what would under normal circumstances be considered a 'vacation', but which this time around turned out to be a somewhat blurry succession overly tight interiors of planes, trains and automobiles - what i DO remember of non-traveling moments was nice, though - good to see the family and good to know that as much as things change, they DO stay the same...

i wasn't all lazy, though - back on my posting schedule with cleaned up stuff i start working on over in the old country, beginning with this hope pin-up, inspired if not directly by one of frank frazettas paintings, then at least by their spirit... :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

harbour color

this is -almost- exactly the way this panel will end up on the first page

ready to go

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

hope@home INK

inked panel, and cropped image, ultimately making sure the composition works for special round frame (like looking through a porthole) and position on first page

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

harbour ink

inked panel, plus repositioned some elements, plus flipped and cropped image, ultimately made composition work for frame-aspect ratio and position on first page

Monday, August 2, 2010

hope at home

there is also the idea of her having a tiny room above an internet cafe somewhere in the middle of La Pacifica, but for this story (and for simplicity) i went with this - she lives on the Iduna, the Midgard Initiative's ship. Shes got her little corner there, her girly stuff, and we find her blogging - providing us with a voiceover that will lead into the story

oh, and she likes panda bears and horsies



Sunday, August 1, 2010

harbour scene

here are the pencils for an additional shot from within la pacifica harbor, adding more detail information to the location of the anchored iduna, hope's temporary home...

this will probably end up being panel 3 on the first page, setting the scene...

Thursday, July 8, 2010


the moment before the frazetta-inspired panel, setting up the big reveal - what does hope see??

a monster?? her credit-card bill???

stay tuned...


Tuesday, July 6, 2010


not THAT kind of junk - the romantic type, the boat...

this is work on 'background detail', it will be part of the first page splash panel...

homage to milton caniff and his masterpiece, 'terry and the pirates'

Saturday, July 3, 2010

La Pacifica

background work for the first page splash! Again, the architecture in La Pacifica, as well as OMNICORP technology is heavily anime-inspired, which looks great when rendered with the 'silver-age' color palette and spiced up a little with the classic 'ben-day' dot pattern.

i'm kinda proud of the line-work here, which is all free-hand, not using a straight-edge or anything, and not cleaned up in photoshop - gives it a nice, organic feel!

btw, i'm ALMOST done with the big 'reveal'-panel featuring hope's 'frazetta-pose', which will happen later in the story, i'm just posting this work focusing on outside environments in the meantime because of some necessary re-design concerning the holographic representation of OMNICORP's board of directors. It's much more ambitious now (go figure!)



Tuesday, June 29, 2010


here is the background for the panel in progress - it's somewhat inspired by anime, which i feel is totally appropriate for all the tech-y elements in the hope universe, the look of which creates a nice contrast to the characters with their unmistakable franco-belgian heritage.

interesting to see the BG in its unobstructed glory - it will be mostly covered up in the particular panel i'm working on, but even though this creates more work right now, designing and drawing and coloring the whole panel - if you think about this workflow more like you would in animation, this 'shot' is being prepared like in a multiplane set-up, and thus it allows you to use all the elements separately, and possibly in a slightly different way, in other panels requiring the same (or a similar) location...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

the bad guy

this is our little doctor guy, recast as the villain in this story, the ceo of omnicorp - he'll only appear as a hologram, though...

the original idea only really works in movement: multiple faces projected on top of each other, the 'chairmen of the board' all talking at once - this is a simplification, both conceptually and graphically, and it'll work really well in the story, as the personification of evil...



Monday, June 21, 2010


sorry for the delay, but E3 was big and noisy (as usual) and became somewhat a distraction for a couple of days - but now back to more regular posting as intended:

i'm using a combination of copic multiliner, pigma microns and pentel brushpens - so yes, i'm inking on paper, but then i clean it all up once in photoshop - this may all change once i get a cintiq, but for now the back and forth between real pen and pencil on paper and the computer works just fine for me...

Monday, June 14, 2010

pencil over rough...

here is the next step: cleaned up the silhouette, put in 'real' arms and her 'bionic arm pads', put in detail on her leggings, boots and dress - and her hair

also put in the real sword - and i just noticed i need to move her left fist away from her body to achieve a better read in silhouette - but i can do that during the inking stage...

Saturday, June 12, 2010


to frazetta - he is truly one of the great ones - the vitality and energy of his characters, the virtuosity of his brushwork and his breathtaking compositions have fascinated me ever since i came across his work in 1976 (during my stay here in the states as an exchange student)

One of frank's paperback covers provides the inspiration for this upcoming panel, which will appear towards the very end of the adventure - hope encounters her ultimate nemesis. The pyramidal compositions as well as his flawless anatomy are aspirational, so i better not cheat, but have a solid underlying construction for the character, even though (or especially BECAUSE) she's a cartoon character - strong pose, solid construction, clean line of action, good read in silhouette and details wrapping around the form...

not that i'm delusional by even putting my stuff and frank frazetta in the same sentence, but when you're stealing, steal from the best...

i will post work in progress, the piece in several successive stages of completion, to show the process, and chat a little about the how's and the why's

Thursday, June 10, 2010

panel assembly

here is a preliminary assembly for a panel scenario - big action-showdown - hope fighting (defeating?) a bunch of holo-ninjas with her ultra-sonic scream - a situation that will definitely occur in the story i'm putting together - maybe just not EXACTLY like this, but it's pretty damn close - based on original material created a while ago, but now updated and made to work with the 'new look'..



Monday, May 24, 2010

revisions, revisions....

slight tweaks to the holo-ninja - nothing major, only slight but important tweaks to his outfit around the arms and legs, and his head - just a little streamlining, so to speak...

mo' better stuff next time, promise


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


yes- monkeys are funny!!! - but this is not about that....

the story just so happens to be (in parts) about the 'old man of the forest' - the midgard group and hope embark on an adventure in the forests of Indonesia, which, along with the thousands of animals and plants that live there, are facing grave danger as they are destroyed at an alarming rate due to omnicorp's massive illegal logging operation and clearing for their palm oil plantations. These tropical forests are of global importance, ranked second in terms of size to those of Brazil and covering over 406,000 square miles. The rapid deterioration of tropical forests is causing an incalculable loss in terms of biodiversity and is pushing species such as the orangutan ever closer to extinction.

this is look development for the orangutan, how he would fit within the hope-universe:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

holographic ninja

HL-HP technology ninja:

hard-light holographic projection of practically super-powered assassins within a Hyper-flux magnetically induced super-condensed lumo-energy field

i'm happy with the way this guy turned out - i'm pretty much sticking to the 64 colors of the old DC palette, but i'm making exceptions now and then, when necessary - white itself is a cheat to begin with, considering that within this conceit, the light tan color of the background is the lightest you would get, as it is the actual tone of the old newsprint paper itself.

to achieve the necessary glow, the light blues and cyans of the holograms are a bit cheated and tweaked, a little cleaner than you could achieve with the old process - but i still think it works and harmonizes with the rest...

and yes, our little ninja here is literally armed to the teeth - i only put as many weapons as possible on this one guy for look-development purposes - they wont always be carrying this much, although - it's kinda funny...


stay tuned


Monday, May 10, 2010


Ah, what the heck - i DO have two background penciled out waiting to be inked and colored, but because of what little storywork i AM doing, it's now decided that the holo-ninjas will make an appearance, and thus during this adventure hope will find out about one of her gifts, her special powers - the soundwaves of her voice are able to temporarily destabilize OMNICORP's super-condensed lumo-energy fields - which in this case materialize as deadly assasins.

The title of this post also reminds me that i need to think about lettering....

Saturday, May 1, 2010


done with major look-development for characters!!

i've looked into ben-day dot newsprint specifics

and researched comic-book coloring before the emergence
of higher quality paper and computer coloring

i'm basically restricting myself to the old DC 64 color palette
(with a few exceptions to make things work) and further emulate the old look by laying down a light tint to the 'paper' and add a subtle layer of printing dots, slightly out of register, of course...
i'm pretty happy with the result, it's a mixture of old and new, very close to my original color choices, while giving it a little 'class' (if by class we all understand old, cheap and slightly musty comic books - i.e. pulp)

next, backgrounds! (and ongoing story work)



Monday, April 19, 2010


sorry for the slow posting - i'm working on a couple of things at the same time...
in the meantime, here is the 'hero shot' for one of the baddies, shawanna

here is something i've been experimenting with, on and off - playing with the Ben-Day Dots to allude to the four-color printing process, which now may come in handy with my attempt to make the hope adventures into a facsimile of vintage newspaper sunday color comics pages - we'll see how THAT goes...

stay tuned!


Monday, April 5, 2010

jacob and hope...

here is full figure study of jacob (alongside another one of hope)
he has turned into a full-blown "eco-pirate" now, leader of the 'midgard project'

i'm giving the characters a final once-over, while i'm working on story, backgrounds, layout etc...

like i said before, postings will be few and far between for another couple of weeks, but this is all preparatory work that will pay off later, while in production.

Monday, March 29, 2010

a new hope

so, look dev is done - this is what i've decided on for the new adventure = a little darker and edgier, hope's outfit is a little sexier (unless she's in disguise, which might very well happen), the petbot is a little clunkier, overall there's just a little more ... grit to it.
I think it'll work well with kind of story i have in mind, which will mix slapstick humor with high adventure and a healthy dose of science fiction - in the grand tradition of spirou and tintin (yeah, i know - that's not a lofty goal AT ALL!!)



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

it's a matter of character...

in addition to the handful of characters i've incorporated into the gag-strip version of hope, there are a handful of friends and villains that still need to be adapted to the 'cartoon universe' of hope - one of the major ones is jacob jacobson, and if you stick around, you'll find out why he is so important - from a stylistic standpoint, not only did i have to adapt his features to work with the other, already established really cartoony characters, but i also wanted to test the heavier inkline, suggesting more shadows and thus a darker tone overall...

soon: a new hope (no, not episode 4!!!)



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a new beginning!

spent most of my weekend running around the emerald city comic-convention here in beautiful seattle - lots of inspiration, a bunch of great guys (and gals) doing a lot of cool stuff!!
mostly though, everything on display once more reaffirmed my conviction to get my ship into shape and finally use this fantastical sequential story-telling-device to tell one of the many hope-stories i have lying around in embryonic form since, like, forever!!

i may disappear for a couple of days to (re-)read a bunch of really interesting stuff about sequential art, storytelling, character development, script-writing etc etc,just 'cause that's gonna be the first order of the day, writing a script - but nevertheless, here's the more serious look that hope and her pals are gonna take on when they enter the world of high adventure.
A strong overall palette of more muted colors, coupled with the use of bold shadows, give the story more impact. The use of dark hues reflect the more serious mood of these more mature storylines.

i'll try and keep this blog updated, though, with more exploratory artwork, until i get to the actual script/thumbnail/layout phase

stay tuned!!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

done and done!!!

this is the last strip for a while -

i REALLY like the format, and the four panels are a great way to divide the art chores over a manageable period of time - but i really want to tackle a serious piece of sequential art, of storytelling, and get a piece of the hope-saga out there at the same time - so that's the challenge for this year: to take one 'episode' of the 'hope' tv-series proposal, turn it into a script and then go and illustrate that said script in the form of tabloid format, sunday color pages. Let's see how that goes: I will keep on posting all work in progress and keep everyone up to date...

thanks for you continued interest


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"she's got legs"

"... and she knows how to use them...

she never begs, she knows how to choose them..."

this is pencil work for the fourth panel, but you will never see her like that in the strip -

the characters are basically silhouettes by this time, inspired by franquin's 'idees noires'

almost there....