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A Creator’s Commentary: Artist KEWBER BAAL on KISS #9, on sale NOW!

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  • A Creator’s Commentary: Artist KEWBER BAAL on KISS #9, on sale NOW!

    A Creator’s Commentary: Artist KEWBER BAAL on KISS #9, on sale NOW from Dynamite!

    Olá again, everyone!

    I'm really happy to write another creator's commentary, now we'll talk about KISS #9! I hope all of you are enjoying knowing a bit about the creation process of the KISS series pages. After all, it's hours and hours of hard work to try to make the best pages I can, because if you are a fan of KISS, I want you to be proud to put this series on the main shelf of your collection, show it to all your friends, and cause envy to all your enemies! Well, let's go to the pages!

    Page 1:
    Beginning with yet another splash page, the members of KISS band once again show their omnipresence. But this time, they are not watching our heroes and the new generation of the KISS Army. They are looking at YOU, talking to YOU! Yes, you reader, and who knows, the new KISS Army generation? But, I confess, I did not have that in mind, I think it was a subconscious action! I read the lyrics in Amy's script, and I just wanted to draw them this time looking at me. But that was cool, and I think it can represent an important thing for any KISS fan!

    Pages 2 and 3:
    Now we come back to the Aliens' giant ship, with Noa and Adi. But wait! Something is not right! Are the Aliens just girls? Japanese girls? Tall Japanese girls? What is happening here? Well, we revealed this in last issue, but I confess I was quite surprised when Amy told me about the Aliens. I hope I have surprised you too! But then in KISS: The Demon miniseries, we learned the story of Mr. Blackwell. What would he be doing here, after hundreds of years? I particularly like the scene of the girl with that giant big toe poking Noa's face. For the new girls, I wanted to pass on an air of naivety, even childishness, despite the authority and seriousness of the situation, since the girls are the council of the Alien ship, named Obayashi.

    Pages 4 and 5:
    Meanwhile, in Blackwell, Eran is arriving next to the KISS Army, but nothing is happening. Again, I really enjoyed drawing this new generation of KISS Army, it's cool to put KISS makeup on people. I also liked the result of Alex's expression, it's a "what must I do now?" look. I believe this is an expression that says a lot about him. Karin also discovers the origin of the Aliens, since she has Japanese descendants. Until they start to move!

    Page 6:
    Returning to Obayashi ship, Noa and Adi enter a kind of stadium, this was based on a real stadium in Japan. Now, we can see the Japanese girls for the first time. They are not tall, in fact, they are smaller than Adi. I had done a whole scheme of the huge armor they were wearing, and I imagined making a funny scene, a big and scary warrior robot, and here comes a totally harmless little girl from within. But unfortunately I had no way of doing that in the script. The clothes, Amy sent me several references of harajuku girls, and Schim chose the colors for the clothes. And behold, the battle will begin!

    Page 7:
    What do we see here? A guitar? Yes! We will have a musical battle! Oh, I really wanted to make some crazy, techie, steampunk guitars that play by themselves. But as I said in the comments of the previous edition, I believe that the more modern, the more we are becoming minimalists, and at the same time, we do not get rid of nostalgia, especially in the musical world. So I ended up making normal guitars, but with a subtle blend of all the best known shapes, and with some little details that shows that there is something futuristic. What do we love? The modern with a classic touch!

    Pages 8 and 9:
    I have to say, I suffered a lot to work out the layout of this double spread page! I do not remember well, but I think I left those two pages for the last. And I still look and think it did not go as well as I would have liked! The colors of Schimerys really helped a lot in these pages, I was quite happy and surprised when I saw them finished. But I still think that if I could have spent a little more time dedicated to them, the result could have been a lot better. The musical scores, at first, the idea came just to fill the empty areas, because if I put in detailed backgrounds, it would become a visual mess! But I asked Amy if I could do this, since the sober mood of the series was going to get a little more fanciful and subjective. She approved on the spot! As it was difficult to make this scene, many elements were simply thought out and made to order, so they were not part of the initial idea. The white lines between the panels, the panel border like a bolt format, and the penultimate panel, which did not exist in the script, were made all during the pencil process. And the elements of a panel pass through the border and join the next one, I decided to do it when I started to ink! In the end I realized that they were good ideas, which made this scene very engaging! I hope you have enjoyed!

    Page 10:
    This was a page I was crazy to do since I read the script for the first time. I always imagined the Japanese girls as manga characters, which has a much more exaggerated language depending on the story. So I wanted to give this touch, make them a bit more fun, partying and throwing their arms up. They are happy, after all! Initially I also talked to Amy about it, and I had to be careful not to do something too surreal. So I left things softer, to keep the sobriety of the story. And on the other hand, I do not know what was cooler, the lively attitude of the harajuku girls, or the looks of Noa and Adi, trying to understand all that. Note also how much Schimerys made these scenes much more beautiful and optimistic, with totally unexpected colors for such a dystopian future of this universe.

    Pages 11, 12 and 13:
    Continuing the music battle, now Noa and Adi show their sensitivity. And they can captivate the council! Again, I used musical scores to compose the scene, and one detail, it is a real music score. And so the council decide that everyone is welcome to the ship. Note that simply Eran, Alex and Karin, are already on board. But we do not see what happens in the battle of the Obayashi Robots Vs. Blackwell Protectors. What do you think?

    Pages 14 and 15:
    Another double page spread, and I love this one! Again, I had no idea how I could draw these pages, where Obayashi tells the story of the population and ship. But the opposite of pages 8 and 9, this time I just stopped thinking what to draw, and just started to draw! Of course, there are some real sights, which Amy sent me the references, but the rest, I did what my subconscious told me! I like the multi-tentacled robots, and the water robot, and I also loved the colors! And I was quite happy that still in the layout, everything was approved!

    Pages 16 and 17:
    A double page spread I had much fun doing, because to draw the museum I researched a lot about relics and Japanese artifacts, masks, paintings, a basic study on manga eyes, and a cool guitar! I also liked to do the artifacts floating inside the glass, and in fact, I do not even know if they are real artifacts or just holograms. And yet, for me, it was a great chance to study perspective, and use blacks to balance the composition of the scene. Yes, I really liked the final result.

    Page 18:
    This page still tells the story of what happened to Earth, from Obayashi's point of view, and I think Amy's idea about Elections by music is very cool! I really would like to make a trip around the moon, watching a musical concert!

    Page 19:
    And finally, the pages I've been waiting for the entire issue to get to them! I was crazy to make this page and this environment, because as soon as I read the script, I already imagined everything, the colors, the lights, the shadows, and I love making environments with projected light. The colors were wonderful, especially because Schim added this red tone, matching very well with the situation! We have a huge cube, kept all this time, intact, and due the engraved caricatures, it has occidental origin! And now, what will this mystery be?

    Page 20:
    The cube opens! A big splash page! Oh my! Is someone asleep in a cryogenic tank? Is this all real? Is it Mr. Blackwell, finally? I must say that issue #10, where this scene continues, is one of the most cool and fun issues I have drawn in the whole series! Do you want to know the answers to all your questions?

    See you next issue!