I'm illustrating a graphic novel of the book Prophets Reborn by Gary Gabelhouse. It requires reading the book, using outlines Gary provides, and doing a little research. The main character, Gabe Turpin, has seen so much of the world that I want to know more! Details become important.
Luckily, Gary Gabelhouse was my Sensei in Diato Ryu, and I have trained much like Gabe Turpin does. I have to say I do NOT know what it's like to train in a corrugated metal side-building in the middle of a Japanese summer.
For drawings like the one above, I like to find ways to experience the story along with its main character, Gabe Turpin. The above scenes were inspired by YouTube methods of research. Fast forward to 11:02 to ride the cable car to Koyasan with Gabe:
I'm an avid user of Adobe Illustrator, but for this project, I decided to use Manga Studio 5. There are lightweight tools to batch character sketches, use brushes with very little adjustment, and store resources in the forefront of my work environment. Here's an example of a 3D model that was useful in finding the correct angle for Gabe meeting the edge of the mat before training:
Gabe is somewhat a happy-go-lucky anti-hero, who finds himself in sticky situations with people of power simply by way of seeking adventure. I love the fact that he is a professor and scholar in his fifties, making him a pretty sexy person outside of the usual swarm of comic book model men in tights. Behold the often mentioned "bald-spot" of the original story line:
Experience a Gabe Turpin book! The audio version of Prophets Reborn is available from audible.com, and Michael McCarthy sounds fantastic.
Also meet the author from Lincoln, Nebraska, Gary Gabelhouse. Here are a couple of fans of his work. One is Nebraska Senator and United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Tenshin Arakawa inspires one of the most important supporting roles here in the Prophets Reborn story (from Gablehouse Literary):