Over the past week or so, I went over to Vancouver to have a Prophet story-powwow with Brandon Graham (to figure out the issues I'll be tackling for print next year) and figure out the cover for the first trade paperback. In doing so, it made me think back to the first issues of Prophet, drawn last summer...
The first three issues of prophet were a real blast to work on. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to make those first three issues last summer, spitballing the story with Brandon and seeing what we could build off of that initial premise (only with a lot more conan thrown in).
The actual making of the comics themselves, with the amazing help of Richard Ballermann, the colorist (and an AMAZING designer and illustrator outside of comics), was tough but good going.
Below I've included a handful of the initial sketches that survived from that summer of development.
When Brandon first approached me about working on the title, this was the first idea I sent back his way - John Prophet as a badass adventurer more in the vein of Carson of Venus or John Carpenter, a former marine or something of the sort.
These sketches were developed off of the sketches brandon sent in response - less vietnam vet and more space-ie. My main idea was to give him the kind of jumpsuit you'd see in the cockpit of a seventies sci-fi craft (like an x-wing, perhaps?) Also, by this time, the story for the first issue (or, the pile of ideas that became issue 21) was starting to crystalize a bit - thus the mold-people in the corner there.
Here: The first "canon" drawing of John Prophet. It was a sort of 'proof-of-concept' piece which ended up being as a cover for the first issue when it was re-printed.
Here: Drawing the various termite-like castes of the mold people.
This fella is a weird alien design that I've chopped up and re-used a few times - the cuttlehead. There's a few lurking in the background of the alternate #21 cover I just showed.
These are a couple of those critters, re-jigged derivations of the five-leg bauplan. One of which tries to eat Prophet in the first issue...
Here: In response to a sketch from brandon outlining the caravan, this is the design that would end up going to print. If you've read the issue, you'd know - it's a caravan powered on poop.
Here: John Prophet's dolmantle acting as a breather system, as well as the Qid-pids (known as poop-shovelors all while the issue was being made) and the pilgrims of the caravan.
As an added bonus, Studygroup recently put up a story of mine from a couple years back, where a handful of the aliens that show up in Prophet made their first appearance (there are furry mold-men and cuttleheads, along with a Kzin or two hidden in there).
Take a look!