Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Color of Sacrifice

It's here at last!

As just published by Image Comics, Age of Bronze Book 2: SACRIFICE shines forth in full color, thanks to the restrained and steady hand of John Dallaire, colorist. Newly colored artwork enhances Helen's arrival at Troy, the accidental battle at Mysia, the regrouping of the Achaean army, the sacrifice of Iphigenia, and more.

You can buy a copy of Sacrifice by clicking here.

Working with John on coloring Age of Bronze is quite an experience. My drawings are extremely detailed and he spends the time to color each bead in a necklace and each stripe on a tunic. John assigns a unique skin tone and a unique hair color to each character. We're both sticklers for consistency, and unless there's a specific story reason for a character's color to change, all these colors need to be carried through hundreds of pages.

As the creator of Age of Bronze, I have final say on John's color work. Pages generally go through several color versions before I okay a final version ready for publication. Part of my task is to catch lapses in John's consistency. Turnabout is fair play, and while John's coloring my work, he catches lapses in my consistency, mistakes I've made in the black-and-white artwork. These usually consist of missing costume details. Occasionally John fills in easy and obvious corrections, but sometimes I need to add elements—such as armbands and straps, things like that—which I originally forgot. Disappearing sandals and wristbands have been particularly annoying. 

Some backgrounds are so complicated or obscured by foreground figures or word balloons that when I look at John's colored version I can tell he had no idea what I'd intended in my artwork. Usually these instances are easy to fix, but sometimes even I have no idea what I originally intended. Fortunately I saved photocopies of my penciled artwork, and I can often look at those to figure out confusing backgrounds. But it's annoying when I realize that I originally drew something in pencil, then mistakenly inked it differently than what I'd intended. Those mistakes are often the cause of confusion in John's coloring. Depending on the specific circumstances of each of these instances, I ask John to revise the color as seems most appropriate.

Of course, most readers won't notice these things. And they shouldn't. Readers should be following the story. All the details and all the color are there to support the story, to bring it to life, to transport the reader to the long-ago world of the Trojan War, to keep the spell of the drama going from first page to last. I hope this new color version of Sacrifice will do that for you.

To whet your appetite, below is a six-page excerpt from Age of Bronze Book 2: SACRIFICE. Click on each page to see it larger.

Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower.
Color copyright © 2020 John Dallaire.
All rights reserved.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Sacrifice - New Cover

Sacrifice, book two in the Age of Bronze graphic novel series, will be published by Image Comics in full color for the first time in February 2020. Colorist John Dallaire brings the same subtle palette and vibrant hues that he brought last year to book one, A Thousand Ships.

Full color brings new dimension to the story, especially as Achilles battles Telephus in the vineyards of Mysia, as a storm scatters the Achaean fleet, as Paris and Helen wake within a fog-bound world, and as political shenanigans point Iphigenia toward the sacrificial altar. The full human drama of the story of the Trojan War comes to life again.

Take a look at the new cover for the new color edition of Sacrifice.

Age of Bronze: Sacrifice, color edition coming in February 2020.

For samples of story pages in color, click here to see the earlier posting.
Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Everyody Rise

Dina Schiff Massachi recently interviewed me about comics and graphic novels for Rise: A Children's Literacy Journal. Much of the interview is about my Oz projects, but we also discuss Age of Bronze and touch on Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Click here on the link to read the interview. You'll need to page through the magazine to page 26 where the interview begins.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All right reserved.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Get a Job!

Careers in Animation and Comics is a new book by W. L. Kitts from ReferencePoint Press. It's packed with practical information for anyone interested in working in video animation, web animation, video game animation, storyboards, comic books, and graphic novels. That's a pretty wide range of careers for and 80-page book, but author Kitts packs in plenty of no-nonsense information, including a three-page interview with a professional cartoonist: me. That's why I'm bringing the volume to your attention. I answer such questions as "How did you break into the comic book business?" and "What do you like least about your job?"

If you're interested in owning a copy, the publisher's selling copies on its website here.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Sacrifice in Color

So where's the new full-color edition of Age of Bronze: Sacrifice, you ask?

It was supposed to be out in September. Now it's December.

When John Dallaire colored A Thousand Ships, he spent about seven years on it. He was scheduled to complete the coloring of Sacrifice in one year. One year wasn't long enough, so publication was postponed.

The good news is that Sacrifice in full color will be out in February 2020 from Image Comics.

In the next couple weeks, John will be finishing the final touches to the coloring and I'll be finishing the layout to send to the publisher. Here's a preview to tide you over until Age of Bronze: Sacrifice is released for the first time in full color in February 2020:

Click on any image to see it larger.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower.
Color copyright © 2019 John Dallaire.
All rights reserved.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Votes for Women

Syracuse Cultural Workers has issued a new illustrated 2020 wall calendar, Hear Us Roar. This new calendar celebrates the 100th anniversary of the federal acknowledgement of US women's right to vote. Each month features a different image connected with women's suffrage. I drew the image for the month of June, an illustration of Matilda Joslyn Gage and Susan B. Anthony storming the stage of the US Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia.

Today—for Cyber Monday—the 2020 Calendar is on sale at the Syracuse Cultural Workers website. Click here for details.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Fun Ideas

Mark Arnold did a podcast interview with me, digging into my early career, talking about Age of Bronze, Oz, and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Listen to Fun Ideas podcast #49 by clicking here.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.