By Fernando Heinz Furukawa July 28, 2012
Fernando Heinz Furukawa is the artist of Legend of the Valkyrie and resides in Argentina.
As I previously promised, today I'll tell you a little about the process of creating "The Legend of the Valkyrie". First of all, let me clarify that this is my own way of doing things… I mean, each artist has his own methods when creating a comic, but usually, at the end there are some techniques in common.
The first thing I do is read the script (obviously), get familiar with the characters and their environment, and begin to imagine the comic as if it was a movie or a cartoon. I imagine camera shots that I like and pencil them on paper to create the "layouts".
But before doing all of that, there is an extra step, which is the “character design”. In this case, I was requested by Namco and Cryptozoic to do my version of the Valkyrie: This was the first time I had tried to draw this kind of character and it was difficult to make it "cute" as I'm used to drawing in a different and more aggressive style. I don’t know if I would call it a more “realistic style”, but perhaps it is a “more adult style” ? It’s pretty hard for me to make funny and nice faces! I usually draw angry people in battle scenes!
Another thing to consider is giving the character a distinctive personality. So, as I'm getting used to drawing Valkyrie, I feel like I get more comfortable with the character and I put more emphasis on her personality. So, I hope that this is noted on the actual pages and that my approach is correct for her! And If she is to your liking, I apologize for that!
Let me tell you an anecdote: When I was doing the sketches for Valkyrie, I made them under candlelight, because a small tornado went through my city, which left us without electricity for about ten days! Lucky for me I had my DSLite with the Namco Museum DS, and the battery was almost full! The trouble was, besides being without electricity and water, I was not to be able to beat my brother’s HighScore in PACMAN!
Let's continue with the second step: The "thumbnails". What are the "thumbnails"? It is a "beta" page. A simple and small version of the final comic where I create the distribution of panels and camera shots as a quick sketch. Then, once they are approved by the editor, I clean them up and begin drawing the page properly. Here is an example of the first page:
As shown, the first panel is what is called an "establishing shot" that is, an overall shot of the place where we spend the most of the story. This is something VERY important to keep in mind when making a comic. Without a shot that shows in detail where the action takes place, the reader may feel disoriented. It is preferable to create an establishing shot when you start a story or when there is scene-swap. In the second panel, where Valkyrie is training, I drew the practice dummies so they looked similar to the green imps in the game! I don’t know if you noticed! I made the design of Prince Krino directly on that page without doing any sketches of him. I have no full view renders of him like I did with the Valkyrie. Perhaps it is a "cliche" design — I mean: the cute boy with spiky hair, but I really like how he looks.
I hope you enjoyed this post, dear readers! In upcoming entries I will continue to show the process of creating this comic.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a high score to beat.