The Breakaways Is Here!!

Published on 2019-03-05

Today is the day that Cathy G. Johnson's amazing graphic novel The Breakaways finally hits the shelves! I've been involved with this project since its inception, both emotionally as a supportive partner, and artistically as the colorist. I'm so grateful to Cathy for trusting me to be a part of her art, and I'm glad that people are now seeing all her hard work! 

Above is a drawing of the team, the Bloodhounds, that I drew way back at the beginning as a gift for Cathy. I really fell in love with all these kids - Cathy's so good at treating each unique character with equal amounts of care and respect. 

Cathy's got a great thread about her process going on twitter, so I thought it might be fun to share some of mine.

Here's a sample of my color inspo and reference folder for this project –

Starting out, I did some figuring out the basic color palettes for scenes through the book as a whole. Then, once Cathy was underway with penciling, I made color sketches on top of her thumbnails for the book so that Cathy and I could go back and forth to fine-tune how we wanted it to look:

The Breakaways color thumbnails
The Breakaways color thumbnails
Early color thumbnails to establish different settings
Early color thumbnails to establish different settings

Once we got to the actual inked pages, I flatted them with BPelt, which is a pretty amazing plugin that lets you press a button and assign a random color to every open space (shout out to Sophia Foster Dimino for putting this on my radar way back).

Flatted page with BPelt
Flatted page with BPelt
Final colors
Final colors

Between the flats and the finals, there were a number of rounds going back and forth with Cathy to make sure I was still on track with her vision.

And now, we can finally see it printed on paper!

Thanks for following along! Go out and get this book, because it's so so good!