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Submitted on
July 10, 2012
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EMPOWERED UNCHAINED, as both rough + finished illo by AdamWarren EMPOWERED UNCHAINED, as both rough + finished illo by AdamWarren
As my trip to the San Diego Comic-Con looms nigh, thought I'd post an odd piece: Here's the rough sketch and the finished version of an illo I'm dragging along to the con, featuring Emp, heroine of my ongoing "sexy superhero comedy" series Empowered. The oddity, here, is that I like the rough sketch okay, but really, really dislike how the finished version came out, for reasons I can't quite articulate. Is it her hair? Her face? The lines of her upper body broken up by the aforementioned hair? Dunno, but I don't like the results much.

Anyhoo, the image riffs on a very obscure pop-culture trope dating back to the 70s, dimly remembered from my childhood: The captured protagonist's feet imprisoned within a block of freakishly quick-drying cement, as opposed to the more mundane (and far more practical) "chain a cinderblock to his or her feet" trope. Even as a wee laddie I was puzzled by this idea, mainly because I mixed a helluva lotta cement as a kid,* and thus was well aware that no form of cement or concrete dries all that quickly. I was considering a joke about this logistically and practically unsound practice in Empowered, save for the fact that I'm not sure anyone much younger than me would ever have heard of this trope...

Okay, so that finished sketch kinda blows; here are a few better Emp illos (including, yes, one for the "damsel in distress" fans):

On the SDCC front, I'll be signing in the mornings (Thursday, Friday, Sunday) 9:30-11:30 at the UDON booth (#5307), then in the afternoon on Thursday and Saturday, 4:30-7:00. I also have a Big Important Signing at the Dark Horse booth (#2615) on Friday at 4:00. Plus, I'll be appearing two panels (including a deviantART one!), as detailed here: [link] Beyond that, check my Twitter feed during the con for unscheduled signings and the like: [link]

So, the newest installment of Empowered, vol. 7, is now on sale at your Local Comics Retailer Store and/or conventional bookstore, and is also available in digital form via the Dark Horse Digital Store [link] and on Barnes & noble's Nook: [link]
More info here: [link]

If you've read the book and care to weigh in on the experience, feel free to leave a comment here, in a SPOILER ALERT zone: [link]

And now, further floggery: Empowered vol. 7 can be found at your Local Comics Retailer (or bookstore, possibly), or online at Dark Horse's retail website [link] or on [link] .

Say, here's Empowered vol. 7's cover, without the logo:

And here's the book's back-cover copy:

While costumed crimefighter Empowered makes a startling discovery regarding her unfortunate status as an all-too-frequent "damsel in distress," her hard-drinking best friend Ninjette confronts her own sordid past, violent present and frighteningly uncertain future as she fights a desperate, single-handed battle against a entire clan of supernaturally durable ninja warriors. Can our two hard-luck heroines also withstand the further perils posed by supervillainous minivans, dueling sets of "daddy issues," doomed-but-still-hot boyfriends, undead karaoke party-crashers, and even "spoiler alerts from hell itself" voiced by diabolically omniscient demonspawn?

In closing, I must of course paste in the requisite general-purpose Emp-related floggery: Print copies of Empowered's first six volumes (and a pair of one-shots in comics format) can be found on the shelves of your Local Comics Retailer or bookstore, or online at Dark Horse's retail website [link] or on [link] . All the existing Empowered books can be purchased rather more cheaply in digital form as well, via the Dark Horse Digital store: [link]

*During epic years of home restoration.
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majin88 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Prolly because the image that makes it to the page rarely matches what's in your head. (at least that's MY general problem!)
BondoFox Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Darn, I hate an unhappy ending 8-)
xzendor7 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012   Digital Artist
It's Cool To See How You Developed The Scene Out Of A Rough Sketch
MisterEye Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Twinsnake-Coatl Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
I'm tempted to say this is OOC, but when Emp gets pissed, she gets royally pissed!
KidMonster Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
I like this a lot. It's a really "Iconic" image and would make a great cover/poster/pin-up/ etc.
donmurray29 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
Always the case, you like the rough and hate the finished work, but later you will admire the work put in to finished artwork. Both are good.

A good way to be really happy is to scan or photocopy the rough onto watercolour paper or some thing thick like 120 gsm paper up that can hold paints, go over the copy rough in light watercolour paints, pencil colours, or pencil the line work heavy 6b and paint over it, or quick inks with crayola supertips or pantone/copic markers.

Also try charcoal, charcoal and fixing it, then paint over it with watercolour wash.
blindeyeinsight Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
Yay! Rescue yourself! XD
Pol-Rua Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
I think Succubeth nailed it. In the initial picture, the lines of the body are very pronounced, but in the finished version, they're broken up somewhat by the hair.

Also, as far as the blurb goes, if you're offended by it, skip it. As Jim Shooter once said, every comic is someone's first, and I can't begrudge Mister Warren trying to sell his stuff. If someone is unhappy with all the wonderful art being given away freely here, then maybe someone is a little bloody entitled.

I can't find it in my heart to begrudge the artist trying to sell his stuff. After all, the more of it he sells, the more time he can dedicate to wonderful comics and stories and the less to scraping for cash... which is bogus.
BalloonPrincess Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
:heart::heart:Magnificent work!:heart::heart:
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