Hi folks. Next week the 50th issue of Hex hits the stands and while I rarely jump on the net to promote a single issue comic, this is a very special case and it occurred to me that the background on this book may be of interest.
When Jimmy and Justin tapped me for this one, I got somewhat excited about the possibilities artistically. Working with a full script from those two frees me up to stretch some artistic muscles I mightn't otherwise. My previous outing on Hex was quite rewarding, but very much within the type of work I'm generally known for; brushwork with an economy of line and dense blacks. I really wanted to switch it up for this one, and see if I could come up with something that looked somewhat more fitting technique-wise.
It was quite a challenge. Working with line only and leaving large areas I'd normally fill with black open for colour was a lot of fun for me. I had to forgo all my usual approaches and come up with solutions that worked for this approach, from the panel design on up.
It's always important to me to cite the influences that shape and inform my work. The technique applied to the inks on Hex is an amalgam of several great adventure artists filtered through the hand of a guy many are convinced normally inks with a corncob.
Moebius, John Severin, Reed Crandall, Jack Davis and Walt Simonson all had immense effects on me as a young artist and you'll see that in the linework on Hex.
A lot of the courage needed to break away from your comfort zone can come from your collaborators. J and J were totally supportive, and I knew in the back of my mind that anything I fell short on would be propped up by my art partner, Dave Stewart.
When you work with a talent like Dave, you're not afraid to try something new. His ability to grasp an approach and then take it somewhere you haven't been is the most exciting part of doing a book like this. I wasn't afraid to let broad expanses of western plain anchor a compostion because I knew Dave was going to be there.
Let me put it this way; As I paged through the colour for the first time, I was astonished at the range of palettes created. The story is an epic of sorts, and takes place over a full year with every type of terrain, climate, and time of day imaginable. Each and every scene felt unique and a moment of it's own. As I reached the last few pages of the issue something dawned on me. I flipped back through for confirmation and was stunned to realize that somehow Dave had coloured every daytime sky something other than blue.
Every color but blue. And the genius is I almost didn't notice. None of that, "Look how clever I am" stuff, but something so unique and yet oddly natural that it doesn't call attention to itself. Thanks, Dave. You are the greatest.
And that's my end of Hex 50. As for the story, Justin and Jimmy had thirty-eight pages to develop one of Hex's most human and heartless adventures. There are things these sick men make me draw...lol. So all y'all should give old Hex a spin this Wednesday if you haven't already.