Monday, 24 August 2009

The Deep Hereafter

Dan McDaid's brilliant Doctor Who Noir story The Deep Hereafter, drawn by me, can be found within the pages of Doctor Who Magazine 412 and is available in your local newagents right now!

The story is DWM's tribute to the Spirit comics of the 1940s. This meant I could pretend to be Will Eisner for a few weeks (more taxing than you might imagine, and I don't think it looks much like Eisner anyway). I wanted to go the whole way on this strip - taking 10 pages of Doctor Who Magazine back in time with me. I was reined in somewhat (perhaps wisely) as there were concerns that Eisner and The Spirit may not be known to DWM readers and making the pastiche too absolute (old printing effects and newsprint texture etc) may lose the reader. Some of my ideas survived including the "Action, adventure, Time travel" banner thing across the top of the first page (see above).

In the end James Offredi was patient enough to let me interfere with his colour work( Gawd bless yer James), re-paintbucketing panels to fit my vision and then aging all the colour to ensure that the reader knew this was from another time.

Below is one of the process things showing the stages, I haven't included James original colours. This is one of my favourite panels, not just because it features the Doctor and Madge's fine behinds, but because it's just not the sort of panel I wouldn't have thought of unless I was aping Eisner.
I roughed all the strip directly into Manga Studio so I had total control over the amount of black (I don't usual get my roughs this spot on by the way)

inks in Manga

my recoloured panel - paintbucketed in Photoshop with no modeling or effects

Final stage - I used a sepia-yellowish 'multiplied' layer over the top to age the colours.

I must also mention Roger Langridge who made an Abe Kanegson font (Abe was The Spirit's letterer and one of the best letterers there's ever been) and I should also say thanks to Scott Gray, whose original idea it was to do a Doctor Who / Spirit story and who tolerated my constant interference with every aspect of the strip's development.


Mark Kardwell said...

I may relent on my "waiting for Panini to trade this" kick and just pick up the issue next time I'm in Tesco's.

james corcoran said...

Will hunt this down! always forget the who monthly has strips in it, looks great

paulhd said...

The pose in that panel is perfect Eisner, lovely stuff.

shane oakley said...

damn! PANINI versus TESCO indeed.

lovely stuff, must've bin a buzz-and-a-half to do.

pity DC have cancelled the SPIRIT monthly, you could've wowed em with this.

Rob Davis said...

cheers chaps.

I'm sure DWM will be chuffed if I've managed to sell a few more copies. The Panini tpb for this won't be out for about 18 months anyway.

I can see you doing the Spirit actually Shane.

shane oakley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shane oakley said...

sod it - i'm sold! this is too good to wait 18 months for, i may be dead.
it'll make good reading on the plane journey outta this miserable country.

funny, i WAS down to do a 2-part SPIRIT, long time back before DC got the rights.

another 'almost', another very sad story.

Ade Salmon said...

Rob - excellent job , just excellent.


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