Jason Badower/Root and Branch, Part 1
After finishing the page, Jason decided to go back and color the novel in a different style. "Little did I know that the letterer had already grabbed my page 1 and lettered it. I forgot to remind anyone that the page had been redone as I underestimated the letterer's eagerness and speed." Some of the differences between the published page and the page that "shoulda been" are pointed out below.
"I added the snow and sleet [in the first panel], as it seems to come from nowhere in page 2! Looks fine one minute and then, BOOM! Thompson kicks in the door and it's a snowstorm....It's also a lot brighter. I added the dragon tattoo on Thompson's jacket as a contrivance, but one I felt was important to help identify the character. It's for the same reason that you see Donna's hair. She should be wearing her hood to protect her from the cold. Hell, she should be wearing goggles too."
"To create a more convincing lightscape [in the second panel], I added shadows on the hillock and the tree. I should also point out the first two of five easter egg shout-outs to Sarmy members is in this panel. I've been hanging in London with Nat and Noo....I guess not many fans can say they own property in the Heroes universe. I think Ryan Gibson Stewart of Heroes Wiki and GTV can make the only other claim with his nightclub in The Death of Hana Gitelman.
There are large changes in the third panel. "I crafted beams of sunlight coming through the overhead canopy to help separate foreground and background. You can really see a more normal skin tone with only a hint of green here. You know I've been watching too much Lost when you can see I remembered to put a huge sweat patch on the front of her top. I figured if Evangeline Lilly can make a sweat patch look sexy, then Sabine can give it a go too."
"The only thing I pulled Ollie up on, was that he asked that the hat that "Aussie Julien" wears be one of those cork hats. I wrote to my editor, Frank, and asked if he could just be wearing an akubra (what he wears now) as NO ONE wears those cork hats. It would be like me asking you to draw an American dude who lives in the woods and insisting that he has to have a Daniel Boone raccoon hat."
"As a point of extra detail, I actually jumped online to figure out what the time would be in each of the different places. Here's what I chose. It would be about 6pm in Antarctica, 4pm in Australia and 8am in the Congo. I say about as those were my rough calculations. I knew I might be up to an hour off in either direction with daylight savings time and my screwed up math and geography so I made sure that my lighting covered that standard deviation of my stupidity...[Page 2, panel 2] is the first installment of the screwed up clock. Two things happened here...The first is that I calculated and re-calculated the timezones that many times I probably checked the wrong notes. The other thing is something very few people know about me. I really struggle to read analog clock faces."
"Because the general Heroes comic reading public isn't a hardcore comic reading public I tried to make the palettes as distinctive as possible to avoid confusion when there is no captions to distinguish that we're switching between scenes."
"Boy Ollie Grigsby knows how to trust. Look at this page. No dialogue. It's all just me, and I totally appreciated his faith in me...When I read this script, I almost laughed as to how much I enjoyed it. Some people have complained that it's a fast read. That's due to the decompressed nature of the storytelling that Ollie uses. It's a very modern way of telling stories, and a style that I love. In fact, I would argue that I have been developing a visual storytelling style that embraces decompressed storytelling. So reading the script, I knew I'd be right at home."
"Donna is carrying a Beretta 9mm rather than the standard issue Company gun (the Infinity). I later contacted Ryan and he told me what they actually used. I made corrections in Part 2...I also decided to do a Merv Hughes homage in panel 2...I screwed up [in the third panel]. I thought it would be obvious that his bullets are just missing all around her and that she's just shooting wild with the taser but such was not the case."
"So this page is a great example of me spending heaps of time on the line work and drawing trees and leaves and branches and roots and vines only to cover it all up with lighting effects. I'm so irreverent about it. If I was a smarter artist I would have just not drawn the bits I was going to cover up."
"Ollie does what any good writer should do, and that is to trust the people he's working with. In this case, his artist. He left it up to me to tell the story. He left it up to me to control the pacing. It's a very fast read if you just skim the pictures and read the sparse, yet incredibly dense, powerful and layered dialogue. So I tried to create a visual density to slow the reader down. I hope that eager beavers who power through it looking for revelations will go back and enjoy the view. I did spend a hell of a lot of time on working on that view. I hope it's apparent."
"I'm particularly proud of the third panel. Firstly, I like the cliff face. It's a fresh and convincing texture. Secondly, as you can see, the entire background is a digital painting...The last panel was fun. My initial layout had a much closer shot of the clone, but NBC asked me to pull back out. I did so, and it was a good call. It sells it much better. And any panel where you can spray blood all over someone is a good panel."
"I think Peter S drew Julien in red in his sketches, but I decided to make him green. Green as in branches, green...While I tried to keep to the character sketches that Peter sent me, I do have a nasty habit of 'prettying' people up. Julien was not as good looking as I eventually drew him. I also (accidentally) probably made him look a little younger than his 44 years."
Notes about Jason's drawings are taken from his weblog.