I’ve had a lot of fun working on these last few pages.
The Giants are such a joy to draw. Here is some early concept art of the Giants.
Second, if you haven’t already, check out this great podcast I did this last Friday with the guys over at Inter-Comics Podcast. I had a great conversation with Jack about Hominids, the new Daredevil season, the upcoming X-Men movie and a bunch of comics!
Not only that, Hominids received a great review over at Adam-P-Reviews. Go Give it a read and let me know what you think.
This is a really early Zona design. Well before I even thought of the concept of making them Neanderthals. Of course, it’s a bit too sexy model for my taste as well but you have to start concepting somewhere. I do like her outfit and might make a return to something like that somewhere down the line.
Here are some concepts of Icari. Some of the characteristics that were important to his physique was that he should be tall and lean, especially compared to the Tree People. Their short and stocky stature make them stronger but as you’ll eventually see, Icari will have far more stamina.
With his clothing, the red bandanas around his elbows are something that have been a part of his look ever since I was a kid. It’s fun to have some of these same things stay around even now. Like with Keyli, he almost always has that pony tail and so Icari will always have those bandanas. The other thing worth noting is while all the Tree People wear the surrounding foliage as clothing, Icari wears fur. I want to make their cultures as different as possible in almost every way.
Some early concepts of our main characters. This was the point where I really wanted Sno to play a central role in the story.
I thought I would share this sketch I did the other day.
I was experimenting with different kinds of hair as well as trying to be more bold with my shading. I was really happy with this one. Maybe this character will show up somewhere in the future.
Here are some concept drawings of Otari and young Zona. This was a good chance to show Zona as a curious, care-free spirit. I also like seeing the contrast between Otari, a humble quite young man, and Zona.
They’ll have much to teach each other.
I took last week completely off, and I’ll be honest, I still have a fair bit of work to do on Chapter 5 before I start posting again. In the meantime, I thought I would share some of the concepts I did for Chapter 4.
In the story, a good amount of time passes between Chapters 3 and 4. It was necessary to provide new costumes for each character. Here are there first sketches with there new outfits.
Stay tuned in the next few days with more concept art and a really cool new piece of fan art!
I try to add at least one exotic new animal to each chapter of “Hominids”. In Chapter 1 it was that crazy razor blade fish, Chapter 2 we met Basse’s pet panther Serilda, and my personal favorite in Chapter 3 was the WildCoat Barking Toad! In Chapter 4, I was looking to add another bizarre animal to this strange world. It was also necessary for our heroes to get to their destination fairly quickly. I looked back to my old drawings from my childhood for inspiration. I was reminded that Keyli rode an Ostrich as his means of transportation. This was perfect! Although I didn’t want it to be an ostrich exactly. I had to “evolve” it, or “devolve” it in this case.
There was a couple things I knew I wanted to be present. The fact that they’re based on a non-flying birds was important to help make them a “one way” trip. If they flew then you’d wonder why in the world don’t they fly on these things everywhere. So I just made their wings larger for gliding, but not flying. From an evolutionary stand point this made sense to me. I couldn’t see a normal ostrich surviving in a world with giant skyscraper sized trees. They’d have to adapt a way to travel from tree to tree, not unlike a flying squirrel. It’s either that or die out.
Then I wanted an older species to base the bird on so that they weren’t just ostriches with a few minor adjustments. In October, I was in New York and we went to the American Natural History Museum. There is saw a skeleton that was exactly what I was looking for. A giant bird that existed in the Paleocene era 65 to 56 million years ago. It was called the Gastornis. So I created an intermediate bird between the Gastornis and Ostrich.
Below are some of my concept drawings. Check them out and let me know what you think.
Greeting Hominerds (I’m playing with what to call my few fans. If you come up with any good ones, let me know)!
Process is an important part of making a comic. I wanted to share where I begin when drawing a new chapter. After I’ve finished my second or third draft of the script, I move onto the thumbnail stage.
I like having all my thumbnails on a single page. That way I can look at the whole story at once and see how it flows. Then it’s just a matter of easy cut and paste edits. You can also look at the design of panels page to page. I ask myself, is there enough variety from page to page or do they all look similar? What pages need to take a minute to breath? Do I need a big panel to really accentuate the drama that is going on?
It’s a really fun stage of the creative process, and can be done in just a few hours.
Setting is one of the most important parts of storytelling. It is a character that shapes everyone around it. This couldn’t be more true in Hominids. Early in development it was vital to understand this world. Creating a size comparison helped set the stage for each scene and grasp where everything takes place.
When we think of Neanderthals, we tend to think of the Ice Age. It was important for me to create a world that didn’t exactly fit into the history we know now. A forest that springs for the ocean, trees larger than the Empire State Building, and a mountain nowhere on our current landscape.
As a reader, this will hopefully give you a better incite of this almost alien landscape.
Outlining a story is one of the most difficult things to do. For a long time I attempted to write it down before writing the script. As an artist this was really hard. I found that drawing rough thumbnails while writing the script was much easier. This way I could visualize the whole story on one sheet of paper. Moving scenes around was much easier and I could visualize pacing.
A lot of people post their process online. I’m no exception. Take a look at how I did my newest page. There’s nothing new about the way I do it. However, it’s always fun to see a page go from beginning to end.
Originally, Zona was going to play a smaller role, and was barely in the story. It was these early drawings that made me realize she needed to play a bigger part in the story. She just carries a presence of confidence and strength, similar to how Storm was portrayed in “X-Men” in the ’80s.
Early on I thought it would be fun if our Hominid characters wore modern day clothes that washed up on the beach. That’s why you see Keyli with glasses on in some of these older sketches. This was at a time when the story was completely different. At that point, they all lived on a ‘mysterious island’ in modern times. It was all very much like “Lost”. Once I watched that show, I had to go back and change everything.
Here is another sketch for everyone today.
This is a sketch I did for the guys over at Inkbot.net after they interviewed me on their podcast.
Thanks again guys!
What is that crazy looking ‘bridge’ thing that has been the central setting for the last few pages of Hominids? It doesn’t quite look like a branch or a tree. It’s called a ‘Living Bridge’ or a ‘Root Bridge’. Something that really exists!
This really got my imagination going and it made me think, what if they built like that for everything? Does it have to be just a bridge? What else could they make with this idea?
Original post: http://www.snotr.com/video/7331/The_Living_Bridge
*Spoiler (Sort of)* When they reach the Haven, expect to see this concept everywhere you look. It takes upwards to 30 years for these things to be made. If the Neanderthal packs have living architecture everywhere then how long might they have lived in this dense forest? Could it be that perhaps the entire jungle is designed for their purpose? It would explain why they’re the dominate species right now in the story. It’d also suggest these characters are a lot smarter then your average Neanderthal.
You can read all about it here: http://rootbridges.blogspot.com/
Here is an early Keyli and Sno design from when I first decided to turn them into Neanderthals.
The Wild-Coat Barking Toad was first referenced in Chapter 2 of ‘Hominids’ when Icari had been bitten by this colorful creature. Evolved from poisonous frogs and your common toad, this is the only amphibious animal in the ‘Hominids’ jungle to poison it’s subject through a bite.
The poison actually comes from it’s sticky colorful tongue, which it will display if it feels threatened. Though it’s not deadly, the poison will leave it’s victim dazed and unbalanced. High in the trees, this is a receipt for disaster, as Icari nearly discovered in Chapter 2.
Treat it nicely, show it that you are it’s friend, and it can be a useful ally as you can see in the latest Hominids update.