Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Liquid Vapor #1:MyThoughts on issue #1

***NOTE***
If you haven't read the book yet this post has minor spoilers thruout...

You know it's still a kick to get your stuff published and to break open that box of advanced copies and pour thru your book like you were still a kid buying comics at your local store. Even tho' I did this issue more than awhile ago it was still a thrill opening it up for the first time as a real, in your hands, comicbook. Even tho' I am "close" to the artwork having seen it a million times there still is a magic to seeing it reduced down in size (techNOTE:comics are drawn 11X17 and then reduced down to comicbook size when printed) and colored and packaged as an actual comicbook...

When we started this process to bring back Wetworks I had mixed thoughts. I wanted to draw these familiar characters again but logically couldn't figure out how to do it. Meaning, Wetworks team#1 is a big team with alot of fire power so if we brought them back what would they do? I didn't want to revive everything that we did before with the first series and redo it, a sort of 2.0 version. Or say hey all the vampires are alive again let's kill them again. I wanted a new storyline.

We went thru every story from a planet of warring creatures of the night where Wetworks would transport to and from that planet doing WETmissions ala Vietnam, to an extremely depressing maxi series of Dane one by one revisiting each member of the team in order to kill them with his hands (Papa's hands) because he knew the suits were about to gruesomely kill thier host. Talk about Wetworks within Wetworks...

Another thing I wanted, and I'll be honest in this blog...I've always been proud of what Brandon and I created both of us having never really created a whole new comicbook before that, but have always lamented the "way" we introduced people into that HUGE world. I thought we did it too fast, introducing too many characters all at once all the time never giving the readers sufficient time to let all the implications for each character to really sink in.

So this time I wanted to do it slowly and as much as possible from one point of view. From Dane's point of view, as he see's and reacts to characters and situations for the first time. So enter Mike Carey.

***SPOILER WARNING***
He had this great story whose very premise was what if there were another world of Vampires that weren't tied down to the rules of Mother Nature that our Earth bound vampires are restricted to? What if Vampires could freely roam the sunlit surface of a planet? Any planet? Now that's a threat worthy of a return.
***SPOILER WARNING***

Jim had this feeling that Mike and I could somehow wrap that around Wetworks. I called up Mike in England and we chatted up a storm of ideas. It turns out he actually read and liked the original series because we dared to take all the genre's we liked and smash them together. Well, Brandon and I did that unconsciously, wait til you see what Mike has done deftly going in and out of genre's like he was born there.

Now I loved not only his reverance for the original characters/storyline but also his fountain of new ideas and what smashing all of that together into one world would mean for the drama of a new story. So I decided along with my earlier thoughts that Mike should have all the room needed to setup and tell this story. So readers beware and get ready for a story that in a span of ten "horror/sci-fi/action" comicbook issues will unfold in real time and build into the rollercoaster ride that Wetworks is known for.

So, for those expecting a "thoughtful sensitive disertation of Man's hazardous desire to be a hero in a world that clearly needs heroes" no. This was and is an Action driven story. With Mike's expertise we are now telling it properly with proper introductions and depth but we are still basically telling a super-fantastic story of some super-fantastic humans in some really super-fantastic situations. Again, because of Mike the characters are more sunstantial and the situations are more ordered and based therefore making the horror elements truer.

This first issue nicely introduces the main characters and the main storyline that an unknown vampire threat has arisen and Dane is needed to take that threat down. In exchange he wants the Mother-One cyborg brought back to life...romance? A human element from Dane. Or is there just a practical need for Dane. I mean (as hinted at in previous Wildstorm books) Dane seems to be rebuilding his Wetworks team. There are a few pages where we've placed in the background what looks like soldiers with new hi-tech gear. The guys with the bowling balls for helmets. Those are Dane's men as shown by the close-up on one page of the new Wetworks patch on their left sleeves. Yup these are regular human men, all ex-special forces with my take on the new advanced cross-talk warfare armour/gear. Their primarly missions are one of security, here Dane's bodygaurds. You will see these guys in the backgrounds every now and then and will hear them talking to Dane thru communications links. We don't talk about it in the stories (because it has nothing to do with the flow of the story) but these guys are always around Dane. Whether you can see them or not. Dane is never alone. Well, never is pretty strong, eh? Most of the time....

Oh, and trivia...Red's first scene where she is with a guy in a hotel room. Originally this book was slated for Mature Readers so the original scene as drawn and inked and colored was quite a bit more racy that what you see here now. Maybe some time later on we will be able to show the original page as it still stands on the original artwork.

The armoured guys on the rooftop watching Dane are not Wetworks. By listening to their conversation one of them doesn't even know who Dane is. These are straight up military with their version of the advance armour. You can say these are IO's guys checking Dane out.

The touch about Red's addiction is Mr. Mike's genius. Making her a tragic figure with a once illustrious background. Remember she used to be the Blood Queens right hand. Second in combat only to the dreaded Blood Queen which Dane killed in the original series.

Ab-death is a blast. Notice I have tailored him after the Frankenstien monster somewhat. He is a hulking figure that to tell the truth noone really knows anything about. You will notice I draw him into the background thruout the issues.

Mother's operating room scene...wish I had three more pages at least. I love these kind of scene's.

The last page is again pure Mike. Where it looks like the werewolf (yes he is a werewolf) is gonna smash Red in the face then pulls out his detective badge...brilliant!

Well that's the first issue...enjoy...

11 comments:

Daniel said...

Hey, Whilce

Nice indepth explination. I loved the book and can't wait for more.

I hope you and Mike Carey push DC and Wildstorm to publish trades in story arcs instead of six-seven issues worth. I'd really love to buy this arc in nice one chunk of a book.

Whilce Portacio said...

Thanx for giving the book a looksie. If I have my way it will be a big compilation packed with sketches and background like some of the stuff you will be seeing in this blog to come...again thanx...

ARTLINK STUDIOS said...

Amazing and interesting new story from Wetworks! and its now under the banner of DC! Can't wait too see the copy here in Manila!^__^

Rafa said...

WOW.
This is like a "making of/behind the scenes" extra on a movie-DVD.

Question for Whilce: do you still have some ownership of the WetWorks franchise or is it all DC now?

monsanto said...

You are also doing a Batman book right? :)

Whilce Portacio said...

Hey Rafa,

Glad you hit on the DVD-analogy all my "Liquid Vapor" post will be like directors commentaries...I'm hoping all the stuff I post on this blog will make it to the TPB...

And yes DC now owns Wetworks BUT they know its my baby...

Whilce Portacio said...

Hey Gilbert,

I stopped drawing Wetworks with issue #6 last year and am now drawing the fourth issue of six for Batman:Confidential. Once I finish Batman I go back to Wetworks. I have now approved the plots for WW#7 to #9 and am gonna plot #10 which is actually the last quarter of #9.

Mike Collins said...

Welcome back Whilce!

I really liked the first issue. It gets the ball rolling but you certainly get the feel that so much more is going on.

Happy to see Rich inking you as well. He's aces. Also really happy to see you with two books coming out.

It's great to see you back.

Whilce Portacio said...

Thanx alot Mike,

Glad you picked up the book, saw your comment on Mike's blog too. My wife has been badgering me to finally go online and I kept telling her it would be a hassle...truth be told so far it's been kinda good theraphy. I've always had alot more to say about the stories I do than I have felt the comicbook has ever had room for, guess that's why I've always felt an afinity to films...

endlesone said...

uhm please include GRAIL in the team again (even a less powerful grail would do) hey mother-one is a part of the team so naturally joel should be, as you have said pilgrim will join the team together with jester, remember Dane=Pilgrim; Grail=Mother-one, Jester=??? ^^ please

Whilce Portacio said...

Grail is for sure coming back he is the life of the team, he is their spirit their flame...