Here is a “behind the scenes” look at the making of SPY GUY #1 Page 7. This one is interesting not only because it is the “hook” for issue 1, but it also contains the very first gag ever created for Spy Guy.
Back around 2004 I got to thinking that every comic book should have a “hook”. A page that while you’re flipping through it in the comic book shop, it catches your eye, and you go “whoa!”, and in that moment you are given enough information to get a gist of what the book is about, and are enticed to learn more. It would most likely contain a splash page image, and should contain a joke or one-liner that can be absorbed in an instant. When I began brainstorming what the issue #1 hook should be, this gag came to mind. It is one of the earliest Spy Guy drawings ever done, circa 1988, and is what I consider to be an iconic image for Spy Guy. What better place to use it than in the very first issue of the Unlimited Series.
Pretty good gag. But for the comic it had to be more dynamic. That became very apparent while I was putting together the mock-up copy that I use to pace out the comic with.
Once I started the full sized roughs of the new dynamic pose, I realized that I wasn’t getting the drawing right at all. Once you tilt it at a bit of an angle, you start getting some perspective and the way the trench coat falls gets more complicated. I needed photo reference.
In doing video reference for animation, I discovered how much superior using video reference is compared to using photo reference, because you can capture thousands of frames to chose from, and you get better action because you don’t get stiff as you hold still for the camera.
From there I did some pencil sketches in front of the computer on 11 x 17 paper. Here is the 11 x 17 rough I created. The sharpie work was done on the bus on route to the GO Train back when I had a daily commute and was featured in a blog journal post a while back. I find the sharpie is useful for really blocking in some forms to base the final pencils around.
From there I took the sharpie rough, and did a tracing paper pencil over it to tighten the drawing before transferring it over to the S-172 Bainbridge illustration board.
For the final pencils and inks, I pulled out the gun reference that I keep beside the drawing board at all times.
And this is what it looks like in the final page. You can read it in context right here.
The page has gotten quite a few comments, so I can only assume that it accomplished what I set out to do with it. Now there you have it; the making of SPY GUY #1 Page 7.