IDW's Black Crown comics are always riding in the fast lane of provocative storytelling, pushing the outer limits of where genre comics can go, daring the reader to hit the gas and let go of the wheel. Their latest entry spins into the spy game with Eve Stranger, written by Punks Not Dead writer David Barnett, with stunning art by Philip Bond (Invisibles, The Exterminators), colors by Eva de la Cruz, and letters by Jane Heir. It will hit comic shops on May 1 with a backup story with art by Liz Prince.
Eve Stranger is the name of the protagonist, but she has no short-term memory. She wakes up confused, with hazy memories, jumbled with essential protocol to help her stay alive. Think of the modern noir film Memento without the backwards gimmick, set within a world where biotech advancements are off-the-charts exciting and deadly. As the mystery of her world unfolds, her latest job and the people who come after her make for one of the more devilishly inviting comics of the year.
SYFY WIRE has the step-by-step process of how a page was made, with Bond walking us through each step with his commentary. Also check out the full gallery to expand the images to full size.
"Page 14 drops us in to the penultimate scene of the first Eve Stranger issue where she takes out a group of bit-part kidnappers — introduced and dispatched within a single page. This was both one of the first pages started and one of the last finished," he told SYFY WIRE. "We needed the splash panel where Eve takes out the evil henchman for some early announcements, and then I swung back round to draw the setup panels towards the end of the inking process."
1) Thumbnail breaks
"Just a tiny doodle to figure out the arrangement of panels on the page and where we might have establishing shots, close ups, or whatever. This is also the stage that we can refine a bit of storytelling - a couple of scenes that made good sense in David Barnett's written script are moved around in the breaks. The scene on this page was relocated from New York to Miami."
"These are mostly pretty loose (the blue pencil lines) since I'll be inking myself. I got a bit more carried away with the last panel (the more detailed red pencil lines)."
"After years of dipping in a toe and retreating in defeat, Eve Stranger is the first long form comic I've inked digitally. The pencils are scanned and loaded into Clip Studio where I'll generally overwork the inking and add lots of stupid effects before deleting the effects to try to make it look like it took about half an hour to draw. Maybe one day we'll get to do a version that's all motion blur and lens flare and completely unreadable."
"Once inked, the page is off to our patiently waiting colourist Eva de la Cruz to work her CMYK magic."
"In the meantime, editor Shelly Bond has been using her vast expertise to figure out the optimal placings for word balloons and sound effects so that our letterer Jane Heir can drop them on top of the finished art ready for print. Just a 'YEAH..?' and an 'URK' here but I understand writer Barnett will still be paid the same page rate as the extremely wordy page 3."