Two Bad Pilgrims
I’ve got another book coming out in August, Two Bad Pilgrims.
It’s the true story of the Billington brothers, who came to the New World on the Mayflower. They were a couple of brats who nearly blew up the ship while fooling around with a fowling piece belowdecks.
The art director and editor asked that this project be given a graphic novel look. When I was a kid, my goal was to become a comic book or strip artist. So this was fun, but what a load of work! Nineteen times more work than a conventional picture book.
I was never going to finish all this—thumbnail sketches, comp sketches, character designs, inking and coloring— on time without some help, so my buddy Vince Dorse jumped in to digitally colorize my black and white ink drawings.
Here are character designs for the 2 boys, Franky and Johnny.
The thumbnail sketch for spread 18/19 (later bumped to 20/21). The thumbnail sketch is about 2 inches tall.
The comprehensive sketch for page 20. I work about half-size.
The inked-in version of page 20. This is a night scene at the top. I really enjoyed dropping in those big areas of solid black!
Now it’s time to color it in. I painted this little color sketch for Vince.
And here’s his beautiful colorization.
This is fab, John. Totally different from your usual style, but knowing that it is yours, I can see your distinctive mark … how tough to make that slight, but significant, change …. awesome.