“Yes, Virginia, evolution does exist!”

Ask any artist about the evolution of an idea and hands down you will get a longer answer than expected. So I’ll apologize now for keeping you from your work. I for one have a tendency to let ideas gestate for years at a time taking shape on the subconscious back burner of my mind.

However that’s only partly true for my next graphic novel, Things Undone. The story came to me relatively quickly, mainly as a reaction to a comic gig I turned down (it was a poorly conceived zombie-story in case you were wondering). But the character I had in mind was living in my brain with nothing to do.

I wanted someone cool, someone I think people would react well too whatever the situation I put them in.

His first incarnation was a character called Beatnik Billy, a tough grade-schooler who was brought up on Kerouac and Lenny Bruce. Admittedly these were both authors I’ve never read…but if you’ve been around long enough you get who they are and how they impacted culture. Imagine that same force impacting PS 121? I did a few strips that amounted to one joke and a pastiche of 50s hepcat patter and it died on the vine.

A few years later I brought him out again, trying this time to make a brand for EXTREME sports. I was working for a t-shirt company at the time and was tasked with coming up with lines of shirts for various markets. The direction went a lot more EXTREME and I abandoned this design as well.

Then the story hit me one day while working on The Overman series. I wanted to start a project that I could really burn through quickly once I was finished. Something simpler in line weight, stylized and shape-driven. I was hungry to express myself through character rather than story. A storyboard gig that I had done recently had used a similar cartooning style and it was this atomic collision of ideas, hunger and line that pushed me in this direction.

NEXT TIME: I’ll show more development sketches from finding character to choosing an appropriate line.

=s=

Be Sociable, Share!

About the Author

shane white
shane white
Shane White spent much of his childhood in the Seaway Valley of Northern New York. He recounted much of this in his 2005 graphic novel, North Country. His passion since junior high school has always been comics and sequential art. With the constantly changing tide of the industry he decided to pursue other areas of art to gain a broader spectrum in which to facilitate his comic work. He's been an illustrator, graphic designer, concept artist and storyboard artist, for the film, video game and publishing industry since early 1990. Not until recently has he put all of this experience to use. Last year he co-created a hard science fiction series for Image Comics called, The Overman. He's worked on short stories in books such as Fear Agent, Hawaiian Dick, and Comic Book Tattoo. Shane White lives with his wife Jessica in the sometimes gray Shangri-La of the Northwest where he enjoys art, film and fine food.

See his books from NBM!

Be the first to comment on "“Yes, Virginia, evolution does exist!”"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

*