A peek at COMMISSIONER GORDON artist Francesco Francavilla’s artwork
Some of the most fun I’ve had doing this blog is seeing the process behind a lot of my favorite books. Whether it’s an inked David Finch BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT cover or a Scott Snyder DETECTIVE COMICS script, the chance to get a glimpse of what happens behind the curtain makes the final product that much more exciting.
We’ve got a special treat for you today, Source gang – after swinging by and getting a look at artist Francesco Francavilla’s layouts for November’s DETECTIVE COMICS co-feature, starring Commissioner Gordon, I knew we had to show it on this here blog. So, without further adieu, I’ll pass the mic to the creative team behind the story, writer Scott Snyder and artist Francesco Francavilla. Scott, take it away:
“I can't tell you all how excited I am about Francesco's pages so far. His story isn't just a back-up, it's tied to the feature - part of one big piece. And it's about someone from Jim Gordon's past, someone who has haunted him for years, returning to Gotham. It's a dark, twisted and piercing story, and to my mind, Francesco's pages perfectly capture the tone and feel of the whole thing. His work so far has been amazingly fresh and affecting - I cannot wait for people to see his finished pages. He's one of the most talented, enthusiastic, and creative guys I've had the pleasure of working with - couldn't be more excited for what's to come!”
But just what goes into the process of creating these jaw-dropping pages? Well, let’s ask the artist himself.
“In my personal experience, the layouts are maybe the most important stage of the whole comic book making process. This is when, for the very first time, I translate in visuals what was just text a moment before. It takes imagination (and a bit of experience) to break down a white blank page into panels and fill it with the scripted story. 95% of the time, my layouts represent a blueprint for the final pencils.
Initially I do a very rough breakdown of the page, with mostly silhouetted figures. Then I start to work into these rough lines and add details. I also start to put in shadows, blacks, grays. I like to see - already at layout stage - the whole mood and feel I wanna give to the pages. When needed, I also like to hand draw/write the SFX: IMO they are part of the storytelling when used effectively. The result is what you see here, something very close to what the finished page will look like in terms of composition and design.
Once approved, I pencil an 11x17 version of the page (the layouts are drawn in comic book size) and then do my best with inks and colors.
I am sure you guys are gonna enjoy this Gordon co-feature and the Batman feature Jock is drawing. Scott is a hell of a writer and is cooking quite a cool story for our favorite caped crusader.”