Monthly Archives: September 2012

Batman: Year Fifty

Having been away at the CDW Wellington last week, I didn’t get the opportunity to contribute to the challenge in time. Nevertheless, the script was there and I didn’t want to let it go to waste. The writer Matt Holcomb created a vivid image of what he wanted and even went so far as to supply imagery from which us artists could gain inspiration, varying from German expressionist cinema, to Citizen Kane and Alex Ross.

With this one I wanted to stick to just the penciling and inking, and forego colour in order to speed up my process. However, as I started adding more texture and tones it ended up taking about the same time as the previous two challenges. Perhaps I need to be more disciplined, but I really like the film grain quality the mid tone texture gave the images. It feels a lot more of a 1940’s style noir movie.


By Matt Holcomb



On the other side of the tall, gothic gates of Wayne Manor, a familiar and iconic silhouette — cape, cowl and tall ears — makes its way toward the dark, castle-like mansion, perched on a mountain of mist. (CK ref. #3)



WIDE ON Bruce Wayne’s bedroom — vast and expressionistic, a giant fireplace cut into the wall on our right (CK ref. #4), old gym equipment to the left. Batman’s imposing shadow is cast over Bruce Wayne, the bed he’s sitting up in, and the wall behind.

CAPTION: He visits me every day, always before dawn — a spectre in shadow form.


The iconic Bat-Signal in the sky, projected onto clouds high above Gotham.

CAPTION: Not unlike the signal Jim Gordon would throw up to the sky for Batman whenever help was needed.


Batman and Jim Gordon back in the day, on the rooftop of the Gotham City Police Department — good friends deep in conversation.

CAPTION: Or whenever Jim needed someone to talk to.


MCU of Bruce sitting up in bed, shirtless and brooding, draped in Batman’s shadow. The octogenarian Bruce is still a beast of a man below the neck. (TH ref. #1)

CAPTION: Like Jim, perhaps Batman needs the company. And what better person than me — the one who created him.


Bruce is standing by his bed, scarred back to us, putting his black silk robe on, Batman’s shadow next to him, now smaller on the wall behind the bed. (AR ref. #1)

CAPTION: Abandoned him.


Bruce, silhouetted, silk robe flowing like Batman’s cape, is framed inside the door frame as he exits the bedroom, the door frame cutting into Batman’s shadow — it’s like Bruce is walking through Batman.

CAPTION: But I have nothing to say. Nothing to apologise for.


WIDE ON Bruce, who stands inside a narrow, slanted shaft of light in an otherwise shadowy Batcave. The vehicles. The lab, computer and surveillance equipment. The memorabilia: animatronic T-Rex, giant Lincoln penny, oversized Joker playing card — all covered in white drop sheets.

CAPTION: All I can do is continue to give Batman’s shadow a place to visit.



I have compiled some reference images for the script, some of which I’ve specifically cited. The original PDF document I sent to OzComics includes all reference images, but for some reason Facebook doesn’t allow for PDFs to be posted. So for anyone who wants to view the images (not fussed if you refer to them or not), then just copy and paste this link to download the original PDF:

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Concept Design Workshop – Wellington Day 5

Final day of the regular daily format of the Workshop and I’m excited to think of the artistic possibilities using Zbrush can unleash. Really enjoyed sculpting this chap. Really enjoyed painting him up too, complete with a scalp tattoo in homage to the talented Jacob Hina, who’s concepts can be found at his Order-in-Debris website. What to sculpt next? Hmm….

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Concept Design Workshop – Wellington Day 4

More Super-happy fun times at CDW in Wellington. First up, a future-trooper borrowing heavily from Aaron Beck’s work. For the real thing go here. Then there’s the knight’s head with some hand sculpted hair. I’m looking forward to rendering out and doing the paint over tomorrow.

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Concept Design Workshop – Wellington Day 3

Busy day today. First up was this knight with his hunting dogs drawn during the Greg Broadmore session. Next up was the Ben Mauro session creation which was intended to be a werewolf of sorts, but has since come to resemble some sort of pig-man. A smug looking one at that. Lastly was this heavy duty shocktrooper, done during the Aaron Beck stint. Might put some more time into him tomorrow.

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Concept Design Workshop – Wellington Day 2

Today’s fresh produce from the Wellington CDW…

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Concept Design Workshop – Wellington Day 1

I’m currently attending the Concept Design Workshop in Wellington. This one week workshop features top artists Greg Broadmore, Ben Mauro and Aaron Beck from Weta Workshops, along with special guest Robh Ruppel. In preparation for the workshop I started learning Zbrush last week and after today’s session with Ben Mauro I’m really excited about the possibilities this powerful application can help me realise. I’ve attached my initial efforts from last week, as well as today’s sculpt and paint over of what I’ve termed a pig-dog assassin. I’m looking forward to what inspirations and revelations tomorrow’s session will hold.

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This is an illustration commissioned by a mate who is an open water swimmer. Here he is swimming in the waters off Sardinia, Italy. This was drawn in pencil, white chalk pencil and white paint pen.

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