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Secrets of The Sire

It’s not quite as dangerous as driving…but it’s close… No but seriously, I’m watching this god awful Thursday night game (f’real why is Jacksonville on national TV again???) And I’m thinking and blogging and tweeting. The comic book industry is changing much like the music industry has already. I can’t help but remember the convention where a fan came up, saw one of my books and said: “Oh yeah, i downloaded this. It’s pretty good.” After taking the requisite ego trip joy ride over his compliment, I thought waitaminute this is 2008. There were no digital comics and I just got jacked. Such is the state of the industry today. Digital is overtaking brick and mortar. And it sucks. Unless they transform themselves much like the music industry changed and made the concert experience what makes money for bands now. Sucks, cuz I’m an artist, but bottom line, if you don’t support retailers and artists, we can’t create while working at Dennys, or Blockbuster. Um…what’s a Blockbuster? Not bad, 5 beers and a smirnoff ice in (i got iced. Yeah, it still happens and yeah, it sucked). Thoughts?

For those of us not blessed with the artistic prowess of Jim Lee, we need to resort to little tricks of the trade to make our stuff look…well, professional.

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Namely: reference. I can spot a million miles away an artist that is either not using reference or using other comic books art AS reference. It stinks. Seriously. Even the pros, no matter how pro-y they are can’t do it alone. That being said, I still think i stink, lol. Below is an image i drew for the upcoming Sire #7. No matter how much i progress as an artist i still feel i come up short. Thank goodness for the reference art from my good friends at comicbookschool.com (shameless plug time kids!) I dread to think what it would have turned out otherwise. Enjoy and stay tuned for more Sire #7 blogs. I’m sure I’ll think of something clever to write.

Oh and be sure to follow me @Michael_Dolce on twitter. And like us on Facebook dammit! Facebook.com/SireComic and Facebook.com/MBDStudios.

I will be showing you start to finish page 2 of the upcoming Sire #7 drawn by yours truly! It’s the first Sire art I’ve personally worked on in 4 years (besides sketches) Hope you like what you see. The empty panels will be filled with artwork from previous issues as the story opens with a recap, which you will see of course. Also, I’ll be digitally rendering the studio background behind the two characters. As for what the page is all about? Well, all recognize one of our stars, JJ Waterston. As for who she’s talking to and what she’s saying? Stay tuned!

Step 1: This is the pencils scanned in:

Step 2: This is the page rendered with inks:

Step 3: Flats applied:

Step 4: And finally…fully rendered!

We’re getting closer and closer to the Sire’s return. As it stands I want to get this right before launching anything and July 1st is closing fast. Will we get this launched in time? Can’t say for sure. What I can say is a whole crew of talented artists are working on bringing this to life. Including yours truly. Below I’ve got some drawings from the opener of Sire #7 that I’ve done. I’ll be tackling the first three pages followed by super talented Michael Bencic for the next installment of pages 4-10. Newcomer Jacob Newell rendered pages 11-15, while Sire vet Will Torres is finishing up pages 16-20. I’ll be rounding out this issue with the final two pages. Release dates online to come (again targeting July 1st with more installments to run all month, though timing it with San Diego seems much more likely). The issue will be available for print purchase just in time for Baltimore Comic-Con Aug 20-21. Cover by Dave Johnson! The next installment will be released online in August, with a print version in time for Comic-Con October 13th. This issue is already drawn as a matter of fact by another Sire regular Kris Karter. Cover by Talent Caldwell. Without further ado, take a look at some of the pages I’ve snapped up with my camera phone and get set for Sire to return!

Just a little tease on a Sunday night. Fresh off the hard drive, Sire #7, page #4. Drawn by Michael Bencic w/colors by yours truly. Who’s the mystery villain? Well come back here this Wednesday to sink your teeth into the new issue of The Sire! Featuring a kick ass cover drawn by an industry genius (you’ll see it released tomorrow) The Sire returns in grand fashion!

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So with the return of The Sire less than 2 months away I can’t help but talk about how excited at how it’s coming together…

I recently picked up two trades from my local comic store (comicswarehouse.com) that were instrumental in the development of my early inspirations in comics: The Todd McFarlane Spider-Man Legends Trades. These trades collected McFarlane’s historic run on Amazing Spider-Man, which coincidentally mirror my initial entry into the Marvel Universe. And while McFarlane’s art still holds up over all these years, and pretty much speaks for itself, it dawned on me how much writer David Micheline gets overlooked as one of the premier seriel style writers we grew up with.

His pacing and juggling of the supporting cast coupled with his structure is pretty much the standard by how i write all my comics:
1. Initial battle sequence to draw the reader in.
2. Exposition in Act 2, plus setup of sub-plots that will culminate in later installments
3. Conclusion to main threat or villain introduced at the get go.

And having re-read these trades, along with the Sire TPB, a flood of new ideas have been brewing. Look forward to the return of the main three bad guys from Sire #1: Bard, Claw, and Paralys not to mention the introduction of several new good guys to aid our hero: Shatter, Cutthroat, Montor. New baddies The Executor, Streak and more will slowly infiltrate our world. And much further down the road, the return of some other familiar faces. All in all, i can’t tell you how excited I am to be EXCITED for these new tales to come. Plus, I’ll be working with some super talented contributors that will definitely be taking the comics world by storm. Oh, and I’ll be drawing my own character too. What-what?? Yeah. It feels good. In a classic kind of way.