Monday, December 31, 2012

Cartoon: Police Foil Holiday Ritual Killing


The December 30 issue of Punch newspapers tells the story of a woman who was narrowly rescued by the police from ritual killers in Ado-Ekiti. Sadly, some people have macabre tastes for the holidays.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PIZZAZZ!: Cover Art And Design For First Issue

I illustrated and designed the cover for PIZZAZZ! magazine. The illustrations were created in CorelDRAW as vector graphics. I then assembled the various elements on the page.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Patriotic Photo Cartoon

A photocomic I created on the spur of the moment with the help of my fellow artists in the studio. Casts are Olusanya Aina, Bisoye Odewole and John Oporiopo.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Joe Kubert & Moebius: R.I.P.

One of my earliest memories of comics is a page advert for Joe Kubert School of Arts. It featured a savage land character (a cross between Conan and Ka-zar). The pose and brush strokes on that simple illustration stayed with me. Part of it is still being used today.
I was really sad to hear about the passing of the comic book juggernaut over the weekend. But at the same time, I felt a sense of satisfaction for him. This man lived doing what he loved and started at an early age too. Joe Kubert was a professional through and through. I remember reading my copy of Fax from Sarajevo in the 90s. That is the most memorable non-fiction comic work I have ever read. His most popular work is arguably his run on the DC title- Sgt. Rock. 

Not only has he mentored so many people over the years, but he bequeathed the comics industry with two highly skilled sons- Andy and Adam Kubert. He will truly be missed even by those of us he touched from far away. He was less than a month from his 86th birthday when he passed. Rest in peace, Joe Kubert. 

I received a phone call from a professional friend March this year informing me of the passing of Jean Giraud, the famed comic book master and creator of Lt. Blueberry graphic novels

His greatest impact is notably as Moebius, creator of abstract Sci Fi influenced works like INCAL. 

He was also involved in designs for movies like Aliens and TRON. He was a vissionary who has effectively influenced how pop culture visualises aliens and alien civilisations. Moebius passed after a battle with cancer. He was 73 years. He is missed. 

These men were masters of the craft whose works have influenced me since my youth. I owe them a debt of gratitude. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Prince Akpan: 2004 Comic Book Art

I recall when I started with The Comics Hut in 2004. There were only two of us in the entire studio and I had to do all the work on my title from comic scripting, layout, penciling and inking to painting and graphics design. All under a schedule so tight my health slipped on more than one occasion. Looking back at the finished pages I am filled with nostalgia.

Posted here are two pages and a cover from The Trials And Triumphs Of Prince Akpan, published by Cowrie Comics (The Comics Hut) and original story by Ako Essein.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Comic Strip: Tutorial On Visual Communication

In my previous post, I talked about the technical aspects of making the comic strip- software and illustration processes. But a good strip needs more than technical proficiency. It also needs good visual storytelling and composition.

Telling the story convincingly within the limited space requires a creative use of negative space. It is easy to clog the panels with visual information, especially background details. But this will make the strip too busy. Negative space allows the panels to 'breathe' and add aesthetic value to the overall design. It also provides space for the captions without covering up essential parts of the illustration.
A contrast between the background and the subjects of the story also help to make the visuals clearer. This is a marked difference between comic book illustration and the more constrained world of comic/cartoon strips. In the later, anything not totally relevant to the story is omitted. No frills. 
Another powerful story telling tool is body language and facial expressions. The expressions convey the general mood in a scene and communicates the character's feeling to the reader instantly. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

JMG Generators: Comic Strip Advert

JMG limited (distributors of F G Wilson generators) is a leading member of the Nigeria generator industry. I had the challenge of presenting a humorous story based on a real-life incident in comic strip format. After reading the brief, I developed a script for the comic.
The next challenge was capturing all the above in the limited space available. Most people do not realise how much juggling and trouble shooting goes into a well-laid out comic strip. After several sketches I arrived at design that satisfied the script and still had enough space to publicise the product. 
The panelling and graphics was done in CorelDRAWX4. I developed each panel in large scale and pencilled in the sketches bearing in mind the position of the captions and dialogue. 
Next comes the inking stage. Here, I redrew the sketches using a light box to achieve a smooth finish. The drawing were scanned and painted in Adobe Photoshop. 

I then imported the painted files into the CorelDRAW cartoon strip file and power clipped each image into its respective panel. Fine tuning the texts and word balloons, and the strip is ready. I then exported the final design to Photoshop where the image is treated in gray scale for optimal clarity. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rescue From The Shadows: Comic Book Covers

Some years back, I adapted a novel into a two part comic book titled Rescue From The Shadows. Posted here are my first concepts for the cover art. I created the painting using Photoshop 7. Sadly, the work is yet to be printed. I just stumbled on a cover printout during my on-going arrangement of my studio files. After a decade of professional illustration, I figured the archives needed some 'spring cleaning'.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Narrow Escape: Character Sketches

In 2003, I was having talks with Literamed Publications Nig Ltd to create comic books for them. But after a while I discovered I needed a team. It was difficult for me to do this and still maintain my illustration studio. Hence in the next year, I prepared breakdowns and character sketches on the the second story I was working on- the adaptation of a story written by Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo. Posted here are some of the character sheets based on my perception of the story.

I think the original tale was titled Enuma and the Kidnappers. The Cowrie Comics adaptation is titled The Narrow Escape.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Waka About Character Designs

The posted sheet is character design for a comic adaptation of a classic 1970s song titled Waka About. I shall start the illustration shortly.