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Resurrecting the Gig Poster: Nuclear Krill Edition, Contains Rambling.

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The time has come to once again pick up the pencil and inflict my vision upon an unsuspecting world. Rather than do the sane thing and start out with something like angry squirrels or grey aliens, or anything else that wouldn't require me to track down reference pictures or turn into a lengthy project, I decided to jump right back into concert poster/album covers, this time for bands with better names that don't yet exist! 

Several reasons for this,

1 It's a very familiar format.

2 Wishing I'd been able to do this when Nuclear Krill took over the Randomness thread awhile back.

3 It's a format with interesting limitations. 

The band name needs to have something to do with the image, (although when I was doing this regularly and getting hit with bands whose names didn't even evoke what genre they were, I usually ignored it.) and I have only one panel, if a large one to depict an image that not only catches the eye, but hopefully entices and entertains the viewer into forking over some cash by going to the show. A more personal goal was that even if the viewer didn't much care about or for the band or show depicted, they might at least enjoy the drawing and keep the flyer. 

Before I ramble further, I'd like to shout out an appreciation towards whoever set up the Nuclear Krill Wiki, because that's going to save me so much time and sanity. Seriously, thank you!

I decided to go with the first album, 1985's Born To Krill. Made sense to start at the beginning, and one of my ideas is to have the krill grow steadily larger with each cover/poster. Also it makes the evolution if any, of their logo easier on continuity. 


My rough notes for the poster. I spent some time searching for 1985 metal album covers in search of period fonts, and possible ideas for composition. Unfortunately, the vast majority were of band members or paintings that don't really translate to the 50s comic book style I aim for. The Born To Krill font is based off the poster for 1947's "Born To Kill". Wherever possible, I like to mix fonts so as to tug the viewer's eye all over the poster, and prevent the sameness of the lettering from blanding everything out if that makes sense. As can be dimly seen I penciled in a rough idea for the image. A nuclear plant going into meltdown in the back ground, and a krill riding a radioactive barrel over a nearby body of water. I remember a lot of cartoons using the radioactive barrel as a plot device in the 80s, so this fits the theme I'm going for and provides at least the bare bones of an origin story. Also it makes reference pictures easier to find. The coffee stain on the page gave me a laugh because years ago, almost all of my work was done at the coffee house, so most of my drawings had at least one. Thankfully they never showed up in the photocopies, and I view it as Agamenthar blessing the work in progress.


Three Mile Island will be the basis of the background, and this picture gives me a nice wide view of it to work with, and allows me to highten the realism by including all of the various structure, powerlines, etc. Since most of my work contains fantastical elements, keeping as much realism as possible in the presentation grounds things and keeps them from getting too cartoony. 


Wally Wood was a master at this as shown in the panel. A ship in a bathtub takes on a seriousness it would otherwise not have. He was also a master at contrasting black and white, and I selected this picture so as to study the water. Our krill will be in calmer waters, but if I can pull off a tenth of this, I'll be happy. 


And this is where I'm currently at. I have a love/hate view of lettering, this took three hours not counting the "R" in nuclear, which I finished up a few minutes ago. The challenge is always to get them large enough to be a focal point, yet still be able to fit them onto the page in a pleasing fashion. A lot of measuring goes into this, and as can be seen by the way the "R" is clipped off, I do usually run out of space. I also ink in the letters as soon as possible, because it's easier to draw around/ through them when the actual drawing part begins. The paper I'm abusing is 11x17, with a half inch border all around, a relic of the days when the copy service employees would end up lopping bits off by loading it in crooked. Outside of quick sketches I prefer this size, because it allows me to noodle in a large amount of detail even if it is a lot of space to fill. 

Next up will be the joys of curved lettering. 


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I am following this thread so hard:wub:


Please feel free to ramble, I love seeing the process behind creative endeavors. 


Also, if you ever get any of your posters to a publishable state, I will happily throw money at it. I still wear my Nuclear Krill t-shirt that @klarg1 designed on special occasions. ^_^


(can't post a commerce link, but if you go to Zazzle.com and search for Krillfest, it'll pop up) 



--OneBoot :D 

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Quite the artful coffee stain there. :) 


The variable letter width in your last drawing looks odd. I think I'd do some kerning with the E and R, like you did with the C and L.  And the C, I know it's the font, but it reads like a G.  

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1 hour ago, OneBoot said:

I am following this thread so hard:wub:


Please feel free to ramble, I love seeing the process behind creative endeavors. 


Also, if you ever get any of your posters to a publishable state, I will happily throw money at it. I still wear my Nuclear Krill t-shirt that @klarg1 designed on special occasions. ^_^


(can't post a commerce link, but if you go to Zazzle.com and search for Krillfest, it'll pop up) 



--OneBoot :D 


I can't post a link, but it's technically still available on Zazzle.


@Lord of the Dish Pit, your designs are looking really nice! I agree with @Inarah on the kerning, but the letter design is great. The lettering for "Krill" is spot on.

Would it be possible to shorten the lower bar on the 'L' in "Nuclear" to bring the 'E' closer in?


I meant to try to put together a new shirt for 2019, but life got in the way, and I totally failed to get it done. :down:

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The angles on the lettering threw me off, and this was a style of font I'd not attempted before. The guide squares for the letters were each an inch and a half wide except for the final "R" which was an inch and 1/4. I got ahead of myself, inking each letter in as it was done, rather than waiting as I should've. I also should've centered Krill a bit more...

As to availibility as posters/ t shirts, the plan is to run off some copies once I find out where the nearest copy service joint is, and mail them out to those of you who want them, I'll try for one b&w copy and one colored, assuming my prismacolors have survived their 9 years of neglect. From there, hopefully someone can scan them into some kind of file, and put them up for the taking here in the forum. 

As to the timeframe, I have no idea. Years ago it came out to somewhere around 30-35 hours from first pencil to final color. What it would take now I haven't the faintest, although my quick sketch for Illegal Kitty gave me reason to believe that with the drawing aspect at least, my hand has not entirely forgotten it's skill. 

Later on after dinner, I'll see about getting the lettering finished.

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Most of the lettering is now penciled in.


Using the brim of the Inquisiting Hat, I traced down a couple of lines but only went with the bottom one to line up the letters. Being a less angular font, I freehanded everything, allowing the occasional overlap. Mostly because I want to keep as close as possible to the source, and to save space.

I forget the name of the font, but the most common one I used to overuse can be seen in the image below from 2009.


An example not only of the font, which was easy to draw and quite forgiving, but also of the "crank it out" era, where I had to come up with something to cover 6 shows a week, all of which had five bands minimum, most of whom I couldn't think of a tie in image for. Hence, vampire landlord. Animosity towards landlords has been a reoccuring theme in my works for a long time now, and with reason. What I still shake my head about is the 14$ cover....with live shows every day save Monday, which was open mic (no cover and became a Dekalb institution, two owners later and I understand it's still the busiest night of the week), and most of them similarly priced...there was no possible way we could get enough ^%%es in the seats, no one could afford to drop 60$ plus on shows each week. The solution that was gone with was to increase the number of bands on the ticket, which bumped the cover up even more....

As to the "deadbeat", that was my snark against the same 10 or so folks that somehow or another were "with the band" or otherwise allowed to skip the cover charge. I was also the door guy for several months and my insistence on folks paying up as they should made me rather unpopular with a certain segment of folks, although the bands appreciated it. They were fighting to get paid, I was fighting to get paid, and we could only fit 168 people in the building legally. 

Memories aside, up next is a peice from 2011 based on my then roomate's cat.


I included this, as not only is it one of my best works, it's a probably fair indication of where the Nuclear Krill project is going. 


While imperfections abound, it's the closest to proper use of shadow I've gotten. It also shows the effectiveness of Sharpies as far as laying down black. The originals always showed ink lines, but the photocopies looked great. 


Also an example of the wordy, oddly phrased panels I like to put in things. 

Now to get back to the krill...


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2 hours ago, Lord of the Dish Pit said:

Pencils are now done.


It seems a little off balance towards the right, but I'm debating whether or not an exclaimation point after the final "L" would work. Since I'm losing light, I'll leave it for now, see what you folks think. 


... I would figure out how to doodle a krill into an exclamation point, myself. 

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I lack both the means and the knowledge to get something from the page to the computer, outside pictures. But fret not, the next one after this is going to be one of the live albums, Triskrillion 1986. For the live albums I was thinking of doing in a more experimental style anyway, which KrillFont would be perfect for. So what I can do is figure out how that's going to work and send you a copy of the font sheet. I'll start noodling around with it, but it's going to be a few weeks before I have anything solid.

If anyone else is wise in the ways of font creating, feel free to jump in. 

Also if anyone wants to post their Krill related projects in here, feel free. 

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