Above is one of the pages from Happyville, the new comic book I´m working on. It tells the story of the small village of Happyville, lost in the middle of the snow mountains, just at the end of a glacier tongue.
Religion and caribou hunting move their everyday lives, but this soon will change after a surprising appearance on the snow: something that can change their life forever…
The idea comes from my last year trip to Perito Moreno´s glacier in Argentina, where I started thinking on a story about small minded people with small worlds and how they are destroying the planet.
This is one of the pictures I took at the glacier:
These are some other pictures of mountain towns I´ve used to create the village:
Caribous and their meat are an important part of the story, so I worked on some sketches of them.
I like how big their horns are, so I wanted to draw them even a little bigger to reinforce that look.
Then I went into the characters design. The most important ones are the main character (with no name yet) and the priest.
I wanted the main character to wear a goose down jacket: I don´t remember a lot of comic characters who wear one, so I think it could be a good distinctive detail (the same for the “furry” hat!).
For the priest, Peter Lorre was first image that came to my mind. His childish face, bulging eyes and short height were exactly what I was looking for this wolf in sheep’s clothing.
This is the first page where the main character appears:
Comic Sketches VS Final Art
Having all this information, I begun with the sketches of the first pages. I usually start with the sketches of the first part of the comic, and then go with the final work of them before finishing the sketches of the whole comic book. I do that because the final work helps me to visualize the story better than the sketches, so even if I have to change some things afterwards, I prefer to do it this way.
The idea is to use a very small color palette, and let the white snow fill the page.
The sketch of the next page was too simple and weak, so I changed it in the final art to a more dramatic image, adding a kind of spider-sense to the caribou when he listens the load of the rifle. Also I used these two pictures to draw the eye and the caribou on alert (the first picture actually is a cow´s eye, but it was useful!).
And then comes the most powerful moment until now:
…and when the red color appears for the first time.
And then we see Happyville, the location of our story (this page is not finished yet, it needs more work in the background):
I´ll keep updating the blog with more details of Happyville.
Thanks for reading!