If you've ever picked up an issue of Image Comics' "The Red Star" you know it's a rather unique piece of work; It's the story of a fictional war set in a Russia filled with elements of magic and the fantastic. The comic is assembled via the computer, using 3-D modeling and design elements in a way comic fans hadn't seen up until this point. Those elements might usually work against the book achieving mainstream success, but quite the contrary. Those very elements are what's helped the book garner a rabid following and great critical acclaim, including an Eisner award nomination last year. Now series creator Christian Gossett wants to take you behind the scenes of "The Red Star."
Over on The Red Star message board Gossett is sharing with readers a unique look at the creative process behind the book. Gosset is using the second major story arc from "The Red Star," "The Nokgorka Arc" which started in issue #6, as the basis for his analysis. Gosset and Team Red Star are giving a page by page breakdown of the creative process behind this saga, sharing the story behind the story, notes about the art process and page composition and pretty much everything and anything else that might come up about the creation of this comic. Gossett shared with CBR News the introduction to this series as well as the notes for the creation of the cover to issue #6.
Brothers and Sisters of the Comics Community,
Most of you who read The Red Star are interested in at least two out of three of the topics I just mentioned. Some of you are professionals yourselves, and others have the aspiration of telling stories in some form or other.
Each of us on Team Red Star have been asked by many people across the country about 'story' and the creation of comics fiction, and since this is the case, why not discuss, in this Open Forum, as much of these things as possible using the Saga of the Antares family as our focus?
What will follow, therefore, is a page by page breakdown of the entire second story arc from the perspective of the creators and guided by participation and input of the readers.
In the hopes that this will be of some use to those of you who are attempting to build your own careers, I'm going to be as honest as I can about not only what we've done right, but also about mistakes in the hopes that others may possibly avoid future missed marks.
Any members of Team Red Star who have the time and inclination will be invited to moderate, and I will urge us to cover as much ground as possible. Richard? Saida? Oscar? I know you Comicraft folks are shy, but y'all are encouraged to sound off as well.
Those of you who are regular visitors to TRS.com will recall that I've been dabbling in open forums lately. They were all in preparation for this, in the hopes that I could make it an enjoyable and informative exercise for everyone who cared to join in.
As a last word before I begin, I would urge everyone to invite anyone they think might benefit or otherwise enjoy our discussion.
And now, I proudly present, a personal breakdown and analysis of the second story arc of the Saga of the Antares family. The Red Star, Issue 6
Starting from the aforementioned place of honesty, as proud as I am of the covers of the Nokgorka Arc, they are actually a failed series from a certain point of view.
I had hoped that the covers would be a locking set, just as our back covers had been on the first four issues. (For those of you who do not have the original issues, the back covers of Red Star 1-4 formed a poster that can be found in the TPB of Makita holding a ragged flag of Nokgorka. This drawing of Makita served double duty as the very last page of issue 4)
The plan was that we would have portraits, but behind the portraits would be 3D elements that would interlock when the covers were placed in a vertical column. Ruins for Makita, Krawls for Alexandra, Skyfurnaces for Maya etc. etc.-- Lack of Planning on my part kept this from becoming a reality. The sooner an artist gets past their fear of solid preparation, the sooner that artist is going to succeed.
Thankfully, Snakebite loves Maki -- and his gift of piercing green eyes and haunting ivory skin were enough for our readers who'd been waiting far too long for this issue to hit the stands. For those of you out there that are learning Digital Coloring, we'll be publishing the line-art next to the full color file in the next TPB for easy comparison.
For more visit The Red Star Web site where Gossett is adding new analysis nightly. Issue #8 of the series will be in stores April 3rd.