ECCC 2019: Creating Image Comics With The Pros

by Tito W. James

At ECCC 2019, Image Comics held a panel highlighting a series of creators and how they create comics from the initial concept to the final page. Creators on the panel included Kyle Starks, Erica Henderson, Jen Bartel, Sanford Greene, and Daniel Warren Johnson.

Kyle Starks and Erica Henderson chatted about their new comic Assassin Nation and how its wacky cast was inspired by weird character actors. The character of Dave is modeled after Henderson’s husband Dave because Starks wanted a normal-sounding name.

When discussing Blackbird, artist Jen Bartel said she was interested because the writer Sam Humphries tailored the script to what she wanted to draw. The script for Blackbird used magical girls as a frame of reference even though it’s not a magical girl book. Bartel also spoke about adding a slight noise filter in photoshop so the art wouldn’t appear too digital.

Daniel Warren Johnson described Murder Falcon as Val Kilmer’s character from Top Gun as a falcon. Acting as both the writer and artist, Johnson said that his scripted dialogue is specific while the action is scripted loosely. Johnson also confessed to adding in sound effects to cover the background in certain panels so he wouldn’t have to draw backgrounds.

Sanford Greene talked about how Bitter Root was birthed out of the ideas he and writer David F. Walker, wanted to do in Power Man and Iron Fist. Greene was excited about Bitter Root because he knew there was a demand for diverse characters but the Harlem Renaissance hadn’t been explored. Greene also expressed his color philosophy defining “local color” (where the grass is green and the sky is blue) vs “moody color” (which is representative of the emotion of a scene).

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