Wednesday, December 17, 2014

RED SKY IN COMIX MAGAZINE!

In next week's edition of COMIX my new comic RED SKY is starting it's serialization. This is the continuation of my already published 300-page graphic novel ENDLESS SKY. I also created a cover for the issue which you can see below. Both graphic novels can also be read for free on ZAMPANO. COMIX will be available next week on most good newsstands and bookstores in Germany.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!

Although I will be working over the holiday season I wish you all an enjoyable festive season and a good time.


If you need to get any storyboards/layouts or illustrations done over the holidays, don't hesitate to contact me: david(at)virtual-graphics.ch

Monday, December 8, 2014

TATTOO DESIGN!

Something I've been doing for a long while are tattoo designs. My ornamental style lends itself perfectly to that kind of artwork. I wanna expand on this business in the next year and been working on a promo piece for that new venture. Here is a step-by-step breakdown for you:

1. A small sketch was printed out on the PC and traced for clean-up. At this stage more details are added and refined.















 
2. Finished pencil drawing. This will then be inked with a brush...
















 
3. After the inks it will be colored.

















Tuesday, December 2, 2014

GRAPHIC NOVEL HOLIDAY OFFER!

For those of you who are interested in my graphic novel work, Virtual Graphics has put together four nice Christmas packages at a great price. These are only the German editions but will be shipped in Europe and Switzerland. You can check it out on the Virtual Graphics Shop >>>


Monday, December 1, 2014

THAILAND ADVENTURE!

For a change I will not post any new artwork today. I just returned from a trip to LOS (Thailand: The land of smiles). I was conducting a series of comic books workshops for the prestigious Swiss School Bangkok. This was the second time that I conducted this workshop and as always it was a pleasure to work with the outstanding students of this prolific school.

Aferwards I took the chance to travel around the country for a short while which gave me the chance to visit also the North of the country, most notably Udon Thani, the last city before the Lao border.

Here are a few impressions from the trip with a brief legend:

1. The horrible traffic in Bangkok from the Asok skytrain station

2. The infamous Soi (street) Nana... (no further comment lol)

3. Temple area opposite of the Grand Palace


4. Impressive wat (temple) in the North of the country (tourist shot lol)




5. Gigantic white Buddha statue close to Udon Thani in the North at dusk.









Monday, October 27, 2014

PANDA AND GIRL!

With the "big" snow passed, it's gotten a bit warmer again. And with the changes in the weather I'll share "heartwarming" new illustration with you...

I always loved Panda bears and Asian motives. Enjoy...


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FIRST SNOW!

After an almost apocalyptic storm last night the big freeze came rolling in this morning. And with the low temperatures also came the first snow of the year. A bit wet but snow nonetheless. So winter is just around the corner.

To celebrate the early advent of winter I wanna share a winter-themed illustration I did a little while ago. Very stylized but because of the limited use of color pretty effective. Enjoy...


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

FRANKFURT BOOKFAIR 2014

October is usually reserved for the giant Frankfurt Bookfair in Germany, the largest trade show for books of all kinds with 300'000 visitors. This is the fifth time that I attended the show. Since the Comic-Center has been shrinking to almost nothing we were only present at the Comic-Community booth with other publishers. This is a low cost alternative to renting a pricey booth but can still be quite effective.














Additionally there were meetings with potential new partners, our distributors and then the public signing. This time I signed in the designated signing area in the comic area in hall 3.0 as well at the booth of Herbert Utz Publishing in hall 3.1 to promote the release of "The last Days of Mankind".




















Before the bookfair I was at a comic festival in Vienna and also did a signing in Frankfurt's largest comic book store T3 Entertainment. Needles to say I was pretty beat by the time I got back home...

But work is waiting for me, so let's get busy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SIR GIO COMIC BOOKLET!

It has been a while since my last post but this is a good sign. I as very busy and attended a several book signings and festivals over the last month. I will talk about those events in my next post tomorrow with some pictures...

Meanwhile, I finished illustrations on a 20-page booklet for acclaimed Swiss music producer Sergio Fertitta (Snoop Dog and many more). I had already created a full graphic novel for him which you can check out in the "Comics Section". He's about to release his first solo CD and asked me to illustrate the origin story of his character SirGIO and the robots.

The style is in a typical Marvel Comics style and it was a lot of fun to create this booklet. The CD will be released after October 21, 2014.


Friday, September 5, 2014

REAL LIFE COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS

A large portion of my work is drawing comic-style characters from existing persons. It's just so much fun seeing yourself or someone you know in a comic book environment. I just completed a series of 4 illustrations for Austria based internet insurance company CAA. The premise was that two employees (pictured below) would be explaining the product in a fictional environment. This is the great appeal of this kind of presentation: Anything is is possible in the wonderful world of comic books.





Monday, September 1, 2014

BACK FROM VACATION IN SPACE!

A while ago I did a storyboard for the Samsung Galaxy phone. This was one of the more fun ideas which never made i past the pitch stage as expected. Instead Samsung opted to go for the idea with the hand swiping the phone (yawn). I liked this idea since it shows that the phone was powerful enough to command a space shuttle. If they were able to go to the moon in a rocket with the computing power of a calculatior why not steer a shuttle with a smart phone? Well, here is the board for you to enjoy...



Thursday, August 21, 2014

SUPERHEROS ARE ALL THE RAGE!

It's summer time and the Hollywood popcorn movies are flooding the local theaters. Since the success of superhero movies at the box office there has also been a reawakened interest on the job front for me. Never have I been approached this many times in one year for superhero jobs. The one movie that seemed to have turned the tide in favor of superhero mainstream acceptance was "The Avengers".

Since then the amount of inquiries are just flooding in. This week I finished a one page superhero assignment for a client in Zurich. Just one page but to be displayed in A2, so fairly large. In order to retain a decent amount of details I also had to work in A2. Because from a logistical standpoint the sheet of paper would be too big, I drew the page on 2 A3 boards and pasted them together in the computer. Client was happy with the result which makes me happy in return :)




Thursday, August 14, 2014

STORYTELLING IS THE KEY!

Storyboards are not just an aimless series of pictures but also need to communicate a story in a clear and precise manner. This is where storytelling skills come in handy. Being aware of what a camera can do and using those techniques to my advantage has proven to be an important asset in my creative toolbox. Now what makes for good storytelling? Generally you want to vary the shots and use all possible camera angles that include:

- Long shots

- Medium shots
- Close-ups

As well as upshots and downshots.

Within the frame it is always important to be aware of the foreground, middle ground and background to create depth and clarify the various elements for the viewer. This separation can be created through a variation of color values as well as the lighting setup (warm color and cool colors).

In this rough board the perspective was stretched to make a point. This is just one example...



















For any creative person Wally Wood's 22 panels that always work are an absolute must as a reference point. I refer to it quite frequently and it has proven to be an invaluable resource...


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

COSMETICS & BEAUTY

One of the more difficult subjects to draw in terms of storyboards are commercials that involve cosmetics and beauty. Not because it is technically difficult but because the client is rarely satisfied with the results. I never looks soft and beautiful enough. Since there are obvious limitations in terms of what can be achieved with artwork, it can be very challenging to get the expected results...

This is the initial line art for a Nivea spot. Nice and clean but the lines were a bit too hard.

After an extensive softening phase and some subtle colors the result was more pleasing.

 (Illustrations courtesy Funkyframe Films Agency. Client: Nivea)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I LOVE ANIMATICS!

Did i say...I love animatics? I did, because it's true. I just finished an intense animatic for a client (sorry, no details so far, you know those NDA will come and bite you in the butt) and it's so cool when the static images spring to life. Just some motion and limited animation combined with narration or music can add a world of difference to any presentation.
















After Effects and it's fantastic integration with the Adobe Creative Suite makes it possible to create good looking and easy to sell animatics in a reasonable amount of time. But regardless of technology, the artist is still the most important asset. Software is just a tool. In any case, I'm looking forward to the next animated challenge...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

ANIMATION FOR STAMMFILM!

video

Recently I was asked to create a new trailer animation for Dieter Meier's Stammfilm, an independent feature film production company in Zurich. A film student had created a similar animated logo for them previously but they weren't really happy with it.

To keep the simple logo character I chose Adobe Flash as my animation tool of choice. Once the basic animation was done and approved, I brought the files into After Effects for final touch up and to make it less digital looking for projection on the cinema screen.

So next time you see a Stammfilm movie at your local theater, you might see this trailer before the feature presentation.

Monday, August 4, 2014

MARVEL COMICS!

I updated the comics section with a few choice pieces of comic book pages I did for Marvel and DC Comics. A very small amount of all the the books I did over the years but it will give you a good impression of my earlier works. This started my career and I'm proud I did some of those books. It was a childhood dream of mine that I achieved despite difficult circumstances. Remember this was before the internet age and one had to actually apply for the jobs in person.

You will find more samples at the very bottom of the comics section... enjoy...




























Friday, August 1, 2014

PRESS ARTICLES!

A lot has been written about me in various news outlets and online. Mostly about my books or about some events I attended. In order to give you some insights into my work, my life and my travels I posted a small selection in the Press Feedback section of the menu to the right.

There are some articles in English and some in German, varying from local newspapers to large international papers like The Wall Street Journal and to exotic journals like The Vientiane Times from Laos in South East Asia...



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BYSTRONIC PEOPLE MAGAZINE!

I just finished work on a two-page manga story for the corporate magazine of Bystronic, a laser precision equipment company. This is the forth story I created for them and the first story was even up for a Marketing Award in Switzerland.

The big challenge with those jobs is to explain a very complex and abstract subject matter in simple visual terms. More than not it is a matter of finding the right set up and facial expressions to bring an idea across. Since Bystronic People is published internationally in German, English and Chinese, it's important to choose an art style that can be appreciated by the employees in many countries. A subtle but adult manga style turned out to be a good choice.

Here is a look at the sketch phase of the new manga. This was handed to the client for input.


Note how after a review by Bystronic, the text and visuals have been altered for the final version.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CAPMAN & HASHTAG WOMAN FOR 1LIVE/WDR

Last week the largest German youth radio station 1LIVE posted a five-part comic strip series about two of their moderators, in the comic called Capman and Hashtag woman, on their website as part of their superhero event week. You can see all five strips on the 1LIVE website.

Here are a couple examples as WIP...

These were the initial sketches to determine the looks of the moderators in the strip:



 

These are the pencils for the first strip:

 And here is the final version as it appears on the website with text (in German only):
 
More examples can also be found in the COMICS section on the right. Enjoy...
Welcome to my new blog. I will post mostly about my work created for clients. Most of the pieces are custom comics, storyboards, layouts and illustrations. If you're interested in my creator-owned comics and books, please check out my publishing site VIRTUAL GRAPHICS or the free webcomic site ZAMPANO Online.

I will try to post as often as possible. I also will post some WIP from other projects to give you an insight into my work environment as well as photos from trips and presentations.

For the first post I wanna share a couple pics from the NIFFF (Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival) where I was interviewed by Marc Atallah from Maison D'Ailleurs (Scifi-Museum in Yverdon that also features a couple pieces of my art in their current exhibit). Our presentation was preceding the Masterclass by George R.R. Martin, so it was pretty crowded.