Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NILES NEMO-The first adventure!

Here's the first ever Niles Nemo adventure!  It was the only one I drew and painted all on the same layer.  After that, I started doing the line art separately and rendering the color on an overlay.  That was a particularly daunting and exacting process, as I chose to paint the color on watercolor paper, which even when it's on a light-box, is fairly opaque.  I used a combination of colored pencil, watercolors, and an airbrush effect which was accomplished by blowing air from a can over the tip of a marker.  More on that process later!  Meanwhile, here's Episode 1 of Niles Nemo in Segaland, written by the awesome Bill Kunkel and illustrated by Dave Sullivan!

Bill was great to work with, allowing me a lot of leeway to condense the script or discard some parts if I felt there was too much to fit into two pages.  I never took advantage of that, however.  It was more fun to think of creative ways to tell that whole story in two pages.  For example, in this episode, there are 12 panels on page 1 and 15 on page 2 including all the insets.

I never met Bill during the course of our collaborations, as we were thousands of miles apart, but had several enjoyable phone conversations with him in those pre-email/texting days.  We'd been out of touch for some time, probably since shortly after the publication of his excellent autobiography, "Confessions of the Game Doctor," and it was just now, while researching this blog post, that I discovered very sadly, that he had passed away.  Bill sent me a copy of his book, and I was was pleased to discover that it was a breezy read, as they say, even for a non-gamer like me.  He also asked me to draw an updated (2006) version of Niles Nemo which is seen below.  Why Bill wanted that, I can't recall, but I believe it was on his blog for a while. A belated sayonara, Bill.  You were the greatest.

The updated (and now outdated!) Niles seen here has a darker, grunge/slacker look and is outfitted with an iPod, and a wrist brace to help with his carpal tunnel syndrome, a by-product of years of video game playing.  The "Sega" logo he used to have shaved onto the back of his head has been replaced by a tattoo.

More Niles adventure to come!  Stay tuned!

NILES NEMO-From the archives!

I've been thinking for quite a while about setting up a gallery of the complete episodes of "Niles Nemo In Segaland," a two-page comic book feature I illustrated back in the early '90s for Sega Visions Magazine.  So, why not do it here?  I'll add more about the history of Niles Nemo, his origins, etc., as the gallery grows.  Right now, I'm starting with a special, never-before-seen image of Niles and Alex Kidd.  I rendered it as a concept drawing of the two characters before drawing the first adventure.  A smaller version of the scene appears on page one of the first Niles story, when the two characters meet.  You're seeing it here first, dudes and dudettes!

This painting is fairly large, about 22 inches wide, so given the size limitations of the blog, I'm also presenting it in two parts, so you can see the characters in greater detail.  As always, click on the images to see the larger art.