Friday, December 18, 2009


A few months back, a fellow co-worker had graciously asked me to contribute some art work to his book "MAROONED - A space opera in the wrong key!" It's a collection of comic strips about a cast of characters marooned in space. The 100+ page book comes complete with extras and chocked full of "behind the scenes" notes from the author/artist himself, Tom Dell'Aringa. I'm not an avid follower of comic strips, but I read this one cover to cover. It's a solid collection any artist should be proud to produce.

Check out it's home on the interwebs here:

I guess Tom wasn't too embarrassed to include my take on his characters :)

If I could adjust one thing here, I'd remove the white offset line around John's nose. I wondered why I left it there because I feel it confuses his face/weakens his silhouette a bit. I remembered why though: Often times I feel I need to loosen up with how I work. Not everything needs to be perfect. I work a lot in Flash so vectors have an inherent ability to be very clean and crisp. I remember telling myself that not everything needs to be perfect (to my humble eye). "It's cool Bob - just roll with it." As it turns out, my gut instinct was probably smarter than my subconscious... A small irk overall I suppose.

And while this take on the character "Lian" reads a bit better color-wise...

...I did prefer the lighter colors here. Seeing it printed in the book, I really felt her hands get lost almost completely and all the blues in her body/hair run together, but I still liked it. I remember doing the darker version above just to justify my decision. Like I recognized the clarity in the darker image, but my artistic preference (who's to say art is "wrong?") was still the lighter colors. I gave Tom the choice and he liked the lighter colors too. With some more tweaking I could come to a better compromise, but again, this was one of those, "go with your gut, not everything is perfect" responses I had.

Hope I don't sound too critical. Just being my usual "worst critic". :) I always love projects like this and everything printed well. I dig the characters and Tom was happy with everything - Enjoyment was had by all!


damon said...

super cool

Khristine said...

I didn't even notice the white line around the nose, until you mentioned it. Now I can't stop looking at it :P Great work, as always :)

Tom Dell'Aringa said...

I never noticed the white around his nose either :) So thankful for your work for the book Bob, it rocked.

Appreciate the kind words, and I'm glad it's not just me that is his own worst critic! I think all artists suffer from it.

I didn't feel like her blues got lost so much at all, but I can see the point about her hand. Still, it's a great illustration - one of my faves.

. justin segal said...

awesome stuff, Bob! Also checked out your portfolio site -- so much goodness there to feast on (I especially liked the lizardman, manbot, gorjira, and the naught kitty!).

Thanks for the feedback on my ninja cat -- I totally forgot about S.W.A.T. Kats and checked 'em out after your comment -- spot on, mister. Same proportions, same feel. Oh well, I'll call it an homage!

ridd said...