Friday, October 3, 2014

Olympians Boxed Set-- Countdown! Megapost Number 3- HERA: THE GODDESS AND HER GLORY

On October 7th, the new boxed set of the first 6 Olympians books is officially released.
That's six volumes, and a poster, so for each day leading up to the 7th I'll release a post detailing sketches, anecdotes, alternate drawings-- whatever I can find, really, for one of the books in the series. Today, I'll be covering the third book in the series,  Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory.

Today's installment is a little bit leaner than the rest-- I'm not sure why, but I just don't have as much material for Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory as I do the other books. It's no reflection on the book itself-- in fact, Hera is my favorite volume of Olympians. Maybe because I like it so much I was able to dive in with less prep work/mis-steps.

Above is some cover concepts, harking back to my early idea that each volume would be a close-up headshot of the titular god. I posted some Athena variants on this idea yesterday.

But after we decided on the final cover for Zeus we had a template for the series. Here's the thumbnail for Hera's cover. Note the title: I intended this book to be called The Glory of HERA, both as a reference to the goddess herself and a translation of the name of her foil Heracles. Editorial felt strongly that the first word of the book title had to be Hera, to match Zeus: King of the Gods and Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess. After much back and forth we arrived on Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory which said pretty much the same thing.

Inks for the final cover, one of my favorite in the series. The first 

Some thumbnails for Hera, including the sequence with Zeus and Io, his lover-turned-cow. This sequence was unusual for me in that usually I work both pictures and words simultaneously, bit by bit, until I get a finished comic. With the Io sequence, wherein Hera ruthlessly verbally outwits her outmatched husband, I wrote it as a full script and thumbnailed the accompanying pictures after. 

His head is so tiny. If he stood up straight he'd look like a giraffe.
Early design idea for Heracles. I was trying to capture some of his fun-loving attitude.

He's pretty calm considering that huge snake head.

But I quickly learned don't mess with a classic. Heracles's appearance and attributes are so well-defined in ancient art all I really had to do was draw him in my style. Instantly recognizable.

I've shared this a zillion times before, but this is like my all-time favorite drawing of Hera. While designing the appearances of the characters for the series she arrived immediately, fully-formed.

For a time, some studiomates and I had a daily sketchblog called Drawbridge together. I had missed a few days, so Tim Hamilton came up with the topic "Hera in a space suit" to lure me back. This is what I drew.

Another Drawbridge sketch, Zeus and Hera in a happier moment.

If you have this postcard now, let's say it's worth, oh, 5 billion dollars.
The postcard for the Hera release party at Bergen Street Comics. I love this drawing, if I may so so myself.
Run, Captain Starnipples! Run!
Around this time I was contacted to draw the cover for a book by Oxford University Press called Classics and Comics. I drew Heracles in the role of Superman from Action Comics #1.

And that's that for Hera. Check back tomorrow for Hades: Lord of the Dead.

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