Friday, March 23, 2012

Roller Grrrls. Process.

Rather than showing a sketch for this post, I considered instead to put up some of the early process work I do towards creating a page or cover. This is the most fun part for me as there are many ideas that come out of this stage of the process and you are free to experiment with more radical views or perspectives. For this cover, I wanted a Jammer's (player's) POV of the pack crossing over her (after her fall). Roller derby is a full-contact sport and that immediacy and chaos needed to be at the fore-front of the image.

I worked out a simple pack formation and tried some tumbles to best provide the Jammer's POV (looking back) of the mayhem! Skewed perspective, close-cropping of figures and a sense of tightness to the pack helped convey the 'carnage'. This kinda thing is difficult with a static image so every trick in the book is employed where necessary! Still lots to work out with this cover but the initial sketches from this week look promising. I will check over again at the weekend with a fresh eye after day job commitments and hopefully spark some more elements to add or tweak?

While trying to nail the perfect composition for the client or project, there will be many initially discarded layouts (for a variety of reasons) but these will eventually be recycled back into other books or projects. Nothing is ever wasted (not even your time!) Roller Grrrls for example, was originally born out of an idea for an all-female Serenity spin-off called Helles Belles that went as far as layouts, but the cold hard realisation of doing a lot of concept design and character developement really put that project on hold (an overly complex idea for a personal project ) and sadly meant it was shelved for a couple of years until Mhairi and I realised that major elements of the concept could be fashioned into Roller Grrrls. A lot of the characters and personal relationships and social dynamics stayed. The girls camaradre too. All good! The laser guns and hyperspace ideas were grudgingly jettisoned! ;)

Helles Belles will still be something to look over again at some stage but right now the contemporary setting of Roller Grrrls is proving 'easier' to work with and more immediately enjoyable. It also proves instantly loved by fans who 'get' the concept quickly. No genre to confuse or distract. Just roller derby action and real lives. Eastenders on skates? Or Love and Rockets on flat track! You decide!

You can see more roller derby work by visiting our hub at

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