As mentioned a few months ago, my ongoing illustration work with Pine Cove Christian Camps yielded some cool fruit this year: the opportunity to do comic pages. Here are the finished single-page stories I did for their Base Camps Bible Studies. (You can see the rough drafts here— most of which are pretty different from the final versions!)
I first met Robby Mayne when I was a gangly, myopic high school freshman attending the Pine Cove Shores camp. Anyone in college qualified as “coolest thing ever” in my book, and Robby especially had one of those unique combinations of dry wit and spiritual enthusiasm that made him an exceptional counselor. The only thing I couldn’t parse was his weird obsession with LSU (These sorts of things don’t compute for a native Texas boy).
But the cool thing about Robby is, he wasn’t content to just stay “cool.” Instead of making a career out of working at the High School camp, he made a lateral move to Pine Cove’s Towers camp for grade schoolers. As its current director, he’s inspiring a whole new generation of kids, and in the process, he’s showing a remarkable gift for writing compelling Bible Studies that have definite all-ages appeal.
It’s always a joy to illustrate his work, and this year was no exception– Robby’s study focused on Scriptural characters who lived like God was everything to them. The stories he picked and retold reminded me of the great rewards found in our faith, and offered some cool opportunities to depict a lot of drama and emotion in some dynamic settings.
Pine Cove Towers 2012 Bible Study Illustrations:
Caleb entering his part of the Promised Land, from Judges.
Jonathan and his armor-bearer climbing to a Philistine camp, from 1 Samuel.
Stephen, seeing Christ just prior to his stoning, from Acts.
Paul surviving a shipwreck, from Acts.
Jesus heals a blind man while John looks on, from the Gospel of John.
I’ve enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Pine Cove Christian Camps for over a decade now. I started going as a camper in 2000, came on summer staff in 2004, and even spent 8 months after graduating college in their discipleship program, The Forge. They’re a ministry that values excellence, and they have a very clear sense of mission that’s molded the way I approach my work.
They’ve also contracted me to do Bible study illustrations since 2009. At this point, I do covers and single-page illustrations for up to four studies a year, so they’ve become responsible for a large part of my professional catalog. But one thing I’d like to produce more of is comics. And wouldn’t you know: this year, one of the Bible studies called for comic pages.
What?! Well, I’m on board with that!
Below is my first round of sketches. The challenge was to depict five separate sequences from the Gospels (each individual page had to correspond with a different passage of Scripture) and still make them feel like installments of a single, continuous story. I’ll let you judge if I hit the mark:
More to come on this front…
Well this was a busy season!
Between Easter, planning a volunteer thank-you party, and prepping to break ground on new buildings, things were hopping at StoneBridge last month. Some highlights from the rush:
Pamphlet cover for our Good Friday program. Since it was outdoors, we sought to give it a rustic, old-timey feel.
First-time visitors get a coupon to our in-house cafe. Here’s our latest (for Easter!) with background courtesy of David Wittenmyer
The final version of our volunteer thank-you party’s Save the Date.
…and the final version of the Beach Party invite itself. (You can see the black-and-white draft here).
And finally, the logo for our new sermon series. (You can see the concepts for it here).
One last thing of note: while we worked to develop the Soak Up the Son material, my pastor ran across some art he really liked from a company called Stampendous. We reached out to them and they actually donated their orignal art (the umbrella and tree) for the series. If you’re in the market for crafty stuff, hit them up– we owe them some big-time thanks.
Dr. Doom is freehand; the other is a model reference for a character in the graphic novel
Still hacking away at a big ‘ol comics project! Here’re some rough drafts (blue first, then pencil scribble).
(More about what this is here and here).
If you’re interested in seeing more pages, Chapter 1 is up on my Google Plus page. Come check it out!
I mocked this up over my lunch break. (Do I smell a boast? Yes, that’s my boast.)
My goodness, I love Photoshop.
The process started on Saturday night when I drew this picture of Spidey for a kid at the church. I snapped it with a super low-res camera phone:
After opening it in Photoshop, I fiddled with the levels and started filling in spots with color to take out some of the dark splotch on his left foot. After seeing the picture in red-and-blue, I really wanted a background. A Google Images search for “New York Skyline” (no restriction on rights) got me this:
Which I used “posterize” to turn into this:
and then layered the final image on top of. Using the “Stroke” function from the “Layer Style” menu gave Spidey a nice white outline, and the result is what you see above.
I’m telling you. Photoshop is MAGIC.
Check it out: a blast from the past!
Ever wonder what to do with manga and/or anime kids? You know. The ones that love comics and cartoons made primarily in Japan?
If you’re teaching, you join in the fun.
The above image is from back in the spring when I tutored at a local high school. One of my boys had started working on his own manga script and asked me to draw a page. I wanted to encourage him (and maybe I felt gratified), but I did this, dang it. You can still see the marks from the scanner.
Then I went back to visit him in September and saw that his art skills had GROWN over the summer. His new rendition of the first page BLOWS this out of the water.
At the same time, this is really similar to a sequence in the first Scott Pilgrim book, which neither of us had read at that point. We were either hapless geniuses… or we were inadvertently confessing we could only talk to cute girls in our dreams.